A Preview of African-American Programming at BEA

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BookExpo America will once again feature free education and networking opportunities developed specifically for African-American book industry professionals. The program, which begins at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, at the Javits Convention Center, is open to all BEA registered attendees; pre-registration for the African-American program is not required.

"We are excited about our program this year," said Clara Villarosa, organizer of the 12th annual event. "We are not having a luncheon because of the challenge of getting a sponsor. But we are starting at 1:00 with the keynote and, as usual, are having our workshops and reception. The workshops will provide good information about new ways of using the latest in social networking to promote books. The panel on African Americans in graphic novels and comics should be very enlightening. This is something that is not highlighted enough, and we have pulled together those in the field, giving them an opportunity to share their work and experiences."

Here's a look at the schedule, speakers, and sponsors to date:

1:00 p.m.: Welcome and Keynote Address (Room 1A07)
Clara Villarosa, Down to Business: The First 10 Steps to Entrepreneurship for Women (Avery/Penguin USA)

2:15 p.m.: Using Social Networks to Promote and Sell Books: FaceBook, Blogs, and Twitter (Room 1A07)
Panelists: Carleen Brice, Children of the Waters, Orange Mint and Honey (One World/Ballantine); Abiola Abrams, Dare (Pocket/Simon and Schuster); Felicia Pride, The Message: 100 Life Lessons From Hip-Hop's Greatest Songs (Running Press); and Daaimah S. Poole, Somebody Else's Man (Kensington/Dafina)

3:30 p.m.: African Americans in Graphic Novels and Comics (Room 1A07)
Panelists: Jeremy Love, DC Comics; Carol Burell, Lerner Graphic Universe; Shawn Martinborough, Watson-Guptill and DC comics; Kyle Baker, Abrams and Image; Alex Simmons, Archie Kids, Kids Comic-con. Moderator: Calvin Reid, Publishers Weekly

5:00 p.m.: Reception and Networking With Cash Bar (Room 1A10)

Sponsors include:

One World/Ballantine
Nikki Turner, Ghetto Superstar: A Nikki Turner Original; Dana Dane, Numbers: A Nikki Turner Presents Novel
Distribution of advance reader's edition of A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School (Carlotta Walls Lanier and Lisa Frazier Page)

Avery/Penguin Group USA
Clara Villarosa, Down to Business: The First 10 Steps to Entrepreneurship for Women

Kimani Press/Harlequin
Brenda Jackson, Secret Love; Earl Sewell, Love, Lies, and Scandal; Rochelle Alers, Naughty; Michelle Monkou, Only in Paradise; Donna Hill, Seduction and Lies; Gwynne Forster, Private Lives

Kensingston/Dafina
Daaimah S.Poole, Somebody Else's Man; Lutishia Lovely, Heaven Right Here; Pat G'Orge-Walker, Somebody's Sinning in My Bed; L. Divine, Drama High: Keep It Movin'; Dawn Marie Daniels and Candice Sandy, Tears to Triumph
Distribution of advance galleys: God Ain't Blind, Unconditionally Single, Maneater, Playing Dirty, and A Different Kind of Blues

Baker Publishing Group
Booker T. Mattison, Unsigned Hype

Just Us Books, Inc.
Omar Tyree, 12 Brown Boys

Questions about the program for African-American book industry professionals should be addressed to Clara Villarosa at huemanrdr@aol.com.