WYLLISA BENNETT, publicist du jour

BOOKWORMS WANTED! Best Selling Author Eric Jerome Dickey Named Distinguished Lecturer of the Leimert Park Village Book Fair

Book Fair to Spotlight Southern Roots, Southern Comforts at Summertime Literary Event

LOS ANGELES – New York Times best selling author Eric Jerome Dickey has been named the 2018 Distinguished Lecturer for the 12th annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair (LPVBF). He will be honored at the literary event, which kicks off on Saturday, August 25, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (BHCP), located at 3650 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in LA. “Voted One of LA’s Five Best Annual Book Festivals,” the family-oriented event is held in the heart of Leimert Park, which is considered the center of the African American arts/intellectual scene in LA. Kristi Eddy, a children’s author and the reigning Mrs. California, has been tapped as the book fair’s ambassador.


Dickey is the author of 25 novels, more than a dozen of them becoming New York Times bestsellers, including “Bad Men and Wicked Women,” “Finding Gideon,” “Blackbirds” “One Night,” “A Wanted Woman” and “Decadence” – just to name a few. He is also the author of a six-issue miniseries of comic books for Marvel Enterprises, featuring X-men’s Storm and the Black Panther. His novel, “Naughty or Nice” has been optioned by Lionsgate Films. Dickey’s books have consistently held positions on national and regional bestseller lists, including Blackboard Bestsellers List, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.


“We are absolutely thrilled and excited that Mr. Dickey is joining us,” said Cynthia Exum, executive producer and founder of LPVBF. “He is one of our shining stars in literature, and one of the most-read African American writers in the United States. Avid readers and new fans alike will have a wonderful chance to meet and greet this great American author.”


In addition to Dickey, the book fair will honor award-winning author Mildred Pitts Walter; restauranteur Gregory Dulan of Dulan’s on Crenshaw; and bluesman Franklin Bell, the founder of Franklin Bell’s Blues Workshop for their individual contributions to the community and worldwide.


With a theme of “Celebrating Our Southern Roots,” this year, the bookfair will be held inside the mall to create a more intimate, “salon experience” of entertainment. In keeping with its theme, key offerings of the book fair include a Q & A discussion with distinguished lecturer Dickey; a panel discussion about the Great Migration of African Americans from southern states to the West; and a walking tour, mimicking the migration pattern of blacks, complimented by vintage, life-size photos of migrators. Plus, the African American Genealogical Society and the Family History Center from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will host a genealogy station for attendees to search their ancestral roots.


In addition, southern comforts and a Taste of the South will be offered, such as a gospel breakfast, featuring a performance by the Los Angeles chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) and southern fare for the authors, catered by Dulan’s on Crenshaw. And for dessert, pie will be served! Along with other dessert delights from some of the most popular bakeries and eateries in town, including Shae Seward’s Cobblemania, the 27th Street Bakery, Southern Girls Desserts, Gwen’s Specialty Cakes and Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery.


LPVBF will celebrate its 12th anniversary with interviews, booksignings, panel discussions, musical entertainment and a variety of activities for the entire family. It will also unveil its list of “20 Must-Read Books by Notable Southern Writers and Authors.” Also, representatives from several colleges and universities, including Pepperdine Graziadio Business School (PGBS), Loyola Marymount University (LMU/LA) and UCLA will be on hand to speak with attendees about their educational offerings. The book fair will end on a high note – that is, an old- fashioned jam session with Long Beach blues guitarist Bernie Pearl and guest performances by the Franklin Bell’s Blues Workshop.


For more about the Leimert Park Village Book Far, visit


The book fair is free and open to the public.



In the past ten years, LPVBF has had an incredible lineup of authors, poets, celebrity authors, speakers and artists, including Pulitzer Prize winners Isabel Wilkerson and Douglas A. Blackmon; prominent literary figure Ishmael Reed; New York Times best selling authors Eric Jerome Dickey and Zane; author Tananarive Due and novelist/screenwriter Steve Barnes; novelist/screenwriter/producer Attica Locke; author Pamela Samuels Young; poet/activist Nikki Giovanni and poet/playwright Sonia Sanchez; author and Essence magazine Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Susan L. Taylor; White House correspondent and political commentator April Ryan; economist and political commentator Julianne Malveaux; spoken word tour-de-force-Talaam Acey, award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay, world-renowned visual artists Charles Bibbs, Synthia Saint James and Varnette P. Honeywood -- just to name a few.


Names from the entertainment world – that is, actors/entertainers-turned authors include Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr.; along with award-winning actors Victoria Rowell (The Young and the Restless”); Hill Harper (“CSI: NY”); Todd Bridges (Diff’rent Strokes); Isaiah Washington (“Grey’s Anatomy”); film producer DeVon Franklin and his wife, actress Meagan Good; Emmy-nominated music director Rickey Minor ("American Idol" and band leader of the "Tonight Show"); reality star NeNe Leakes ("Real Housewives of Atlanta”); reality star and restaurateur Miss Robbie (“Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s”); writer and reality star Demetria Lucas D’Oyley (“Blood, Sweat & Heels”); actress/comedienne Kim Coles (“Living Single”); playwright/author Donald B. Welch; and actress/children’s author Kim Wayans and Grammy-winning recording artist Bobby Brown -- just to name a few.




The LPVBF is produced by Exum and Associates in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas (District 2), Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson Jr. (District 10), Los Angeles City Councilman Curren D. Price Jr. (District 9), Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson (District 8) as well as The Gas Company - Sempra Energy, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and Capri Capital Partners of Baldwin Hills Crenshaw. Philanthropists and art historians Dr. Bernard W. and Shirley Kinsey serve as the book fair’s honorary chairpersons, leading the fundraising efforts and increasing the book fair’s brand awareness in the corporate community.


The Kinseys are one of the most admired and respected couples in Los Angeles. They are known for their collection of African-American art, books and manuscripts that document and tell the remarkable story of African Americans triumphs and struggles from 1632 to the present. The Kinsey Collection: “Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey” has been on a national tour and seen by millions. 


Cynthia Exum, an alumnus of the prestigious California State Senate Fellows program, holds a Master of Arts from UCLA’s School of Urban Planning and Public Policy. She founded Exum and Associates, a public affairs and events management firm in 2005. Exum is also the co-author of “Images of America: Leimert Park,” with Maty Guiza-Leimert -- the wife of Walter H. Leimert, whose grandfather developed the area in 1927. 


The mission of LPVBF is to promote, encourage and advocate literacy, education and the love of reading throughout the Greater Los Angeles areas. LPVBF is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to producing year-round educational programming, as well as to the presentation of events in collaboration with our partners, in addition to the annual summer fair for which the organization is named.  For more information, visit


With the backing of partners and supporters, Exum built a high-quality cultural event, and the people came!



Visit us at

Like us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter @LeimertParkBF

Follow us on Instagram: @LeimertParkBF


“Voted One of LA’s Five Best Annual Book Festivals”