The Harlem Book Fair initially created by QBR as a platform where book enthusiasts could meet and celebrate their love of books, culture and literacy , has grown to be the largest book event for people of color nationally.
Visitors from across the US visited more than 300 boots with books, art, jewelry and other cultural ware exhibited along the blocks of 135th street in Manhattan. From unknown self publishing authors to C-Span’s Book TV were representing as well as spoken word artists, singers dancers and drummers.
This guy from WHBR helped me out as well as my neighbor for the day Ed from GoodingThoughts Inc
Even though I had never visited this event before, I decided to rent a table myself because I had heard so many praises about this Harlem Book Fair. From the perspective of an unknown self published author, who rented a space, it truly is a great event. Accept for a few flaws one can live with, it was a well organized book fair. Volunteers were helpful and even the man who kept the block clean seemed to be enjoying himself. He charged everybody who threw rubbish in his basket $2.50 and had a funny or witty answer back, no matter their response. Booth owners were very helpful to one another. My friendly neighbor Ed, of GoodingThoughts Inc. didn’t mind to keep an eye for me at all and when I had to carry the chairs and table myself and this guy from WHBR quickly offered to help me. So the atmosphere was excellent. Even the weather was great. The sun was out but there was a continuous breeze to keep the temperature pleasant.
Of course Nappturality was also representing. Ebonique with her mom.
The more than 40.000 visitors were outstanding. Nice, friendly people, hungry for information, looking for good books, bargains and other interesting stuff. It’s fascinating to observe such a diverse crowd connected by the same roots. As an author it’s always flattering when people stop at your table. Some just buy the book, others complement and congratulate you. Some wonder whether they should buy the book, others ask questions about you and your motivation to write a book. With me, of course many started to talk about hair. Besides when people buying my book, this is a part I really like. I always enjoy listening to the hair-stories. There was a girl who had just shaved her locs off and felt like she didn’t belong to a community anymore where she was automatically adopted to when she wore dreads. Another one was natural twice and went back because of the pressure. Yet another with long dreads wanted to shave her locs off because she missed combing her hair. Many, many stories, all equally interesting, some funny and some sad. Sometimes I couldn’t help being distracted by passersby with striking hairstyles. I am so grateful to the people who let me take their picture spontaneously.
Take a look at the images. Aren’t we beautiful people?
Harlem Book fair is an annual event. For more info visit harlembookfair.com/