FORT LAUDERDALE — Food Network personality and cookbook author Sunny Anderson will lead the two-day South Florida Book Festival at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center next weekend. Anderson is author of the New York Times bestseller Sunny Kitchen: Easy Food for Real Life, published September 2013 that shares recipes that build on store-bought items, her childhood and years as an Air Force military reporter.
She is set to appear at the festival’s an “Evening with the Stars,” 6: 30 p.m. Friday, July 25, complete with smooth jazz, wine
and hors d’oeuvres and the opportunity mix and mingle with some of the most influential and entertaining authors in the country.
The third annual South Florida Book Festival is meant to promote a love for reading by making authors more accessible, but it also serves the purpose of promoting the library on a national scale with the help of big name guests like Anderson.
“The library is like a well-kept secret; there are people who live in the neighborhood and don’t even know that the library is here for them,” said publications specialist Steve Vinik.
Along with admittance costs covering both days— $25 in advance from Eventbrite.com, or $30 at the door—guests will receive a complimentary autographed book from Anderson, or other featured authors.
U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn warms up day two at 10 a.m. with the keynote. Clyburn came to Congress in 1993, and is serving as the Assistant Democratic Leader, the No. 3 Democrat in the House. He will be chatting about his new book, Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black, which concerns “the current state of retreat the country is in, specifically in regard to equality.”
It is a message that centers on the African American viewpoint, comparable to the manner in which the three best-selling authors scheduled for noon cater to the African American reader. Coming all the way from Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and the hotel he finds himself last, Donna Hill, Pamela Samuels Young and Eric Jerome Dickey respectively will comprise the panel for “Lies, Lust, Sin & Mayhem”.
Following will be neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart, a native Miamian. His book High Price, featuring his renowned research on drug addiction and his own personal experiences with it, has led to his reoccurring guest positions on PBS and CNBC.
The workshop with financial analyst and coach Kembala Evans of Chicago advertised at 2 p.m. is sold out. Another has been added at 3 p.m., during which Evans will show attendees “how to take control of their money, how to become debt free and build savings, and how to get the credit they deserve.”
A natural hair care workshop at 2 p.m shares the styling and health secrets of author Pamela Samuels Young, Simone Hylton of Miami’s Natural Trendsetters, Forrest Moore and Terrance Rivers of Fort Lauderdale’s Black Star Unisex Salon, and founder of the Ebene Naturals product line Fayola Nicaisse.
For the poets who don’t know it, there will be a workshop on Sound & Sense at 3 p.m. lead by Miami Dade College professor Geoffrey Philp. Guests will have the opportunity to learn the essentials of poetry: rhythm, metaphor and voice. Also at 3 p.m. is a workshop for those who desire a little more spice in their lives. Chef David Stample and cookbook author Dorette Darby will discuss the distinct Caribbean style of cooking, complete with samples.
The day’s grand finale will be a trio of returning female writers of Haitian descent. Marie Ketsia Theodore-Pharel is an author of short stories and children’s books, while M.J. Fievre is a poet and story writer. Mahalia Solages is an author of two picture books along with writing women’s fiction. Aside from the moderator of the author events, S. James Guitard, these three ladies are the only book festival veterans.
A Kid Zone is open all-day Saturday.