The BlackBoard Books of the Year Presented at BEA

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BlackBoard African-American Bestsellers, Inc. has announced its 2003 Books of the Year. The awards, presented at this year's BookExpo America in Los Angeles and hosted by Cee Cee Michaela of the UPN series Girlfriends, recognize outstanding African-American writers of fiction, nonfiction, and children's books.

This year's fiction award winner was E. Lynn Harris for A Love of My Own (Doubleday). The nonfiction award winner was Judge Greg Mathis (of WB's the Judge Mathis Show), who with Blair S. Walker, wrote the memoir Inner City Miracle (One World). Cheryl Willis Hudson took the children's category with Come by Here Lord: Everyday Prayers for Children (Just Us Books).

Clara Villarosa, owner of the Hue-Man Bookstore in Harlem, won the BlackBoard Bookseller of the Year Award. And a new category, the African-American Publisher of the Year, went to Tony Rose, publisher of Amber Communications Group, Inc., whose Amber Books is "the nation's largest African-American self-help and career guide publishing house."

The awards were based on a vote by booksellers nationwide. "The growth [of the awards] has been phenomenal," said Faye Childs, president of BlackBoard, Inc. "Three [award-winning] writers have gone on to the New York Times bestseller lists. What could be better than that?" --Karen Schechner