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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Harlem Book Fair Authors to Discuss Race Perceptions on C-Span’s Book TV

Pamela Newkirk

Pamela Newkirk, author and commentator

Harlem, NY — Coinciding with the surge of awareness around the killings of unarmed black men, Pamela Newkirk (pictured), author of Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga, and author Sherilynn Ifill (On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century), a regular political and election night commentator on both national and local television, will discuss America’s history of race perception and its impact during the Harlem Book Fair on Saturday, July 18 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The discussion will be televised live on C-Span’s BookTV.

During the height of Baltimore’s recent unrest, a New York police officer placed what was considered a racist post on Facebook. The photo juxtaposed a picture of blacks on a minivan protesting the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson with one of baboons jumping all over a white woman’s car.

As discussed in Ms. Newkirk’s Spectacle, in 1904 a young Congolese man of petite stature was captured in Central Africa and brought to the United States.  First, he was featured in an anthropology exhibit at the St. Louis World’s Fair. Two years later, the New York Zoological Garden displayed him in its Monkey House with an orangutan. The attraction became an international sensation, attracting thousands of New Yorkers and commanding headlines from across the nation and Europe. This discussion will trace America’s history of race perception, and connect its impact and escalation from slave culture to prison culture to what some consider blatant disregard of life.


About the Harlem Book Fair:
The Harlem Book Fair (HBF), the nations’ largest and most-respected African American literary festival will take place this year in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues from Friday, July 17, to Sunday, July 19. Attended by over 20,000 readers and viewed by millions on C-Span’s BookTV, the Harlem Book Fair stands as the nation’s flagship African American public literary event. Exhibitor applications are available online at www.harlembookfair.com. The presentation of the QBR Wheatley Book Awards will open the Harlem Book Fair on the evening of July 17th. The program blends awards presentations into an entertaining evening of music, letters, and stellar performances. The Harlem Book Fair Sunday Author Brunch completes the ‘literary heaven’ weekend. The Harlem Book Fair is a family event that is free and open to all.

About C-SPANs BookTV:
Book TV covers established and upcoming nonfiction authors, featuring programs in the format of interviews with writers as well as live coverage of book events from around the country. Approximately 2,000 authors are featured annually, and in one year may cover as many as 60,000 titles. Check your local listing (www.booktv.org) for viewing in your area.


Pittershawn Palmer

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