l-divine_web.jpgMIAMI – On Nov. 18 and 19, legendary Oscar Award-winning actor Louis Gosset Jr. will headline the inaugural “Soul of South Florida Book Expo” at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale.

Also scheduled during the family oriented event are actor-turned-activist Isaiah Washington, award-winning entertainer Taye Diggs, reggae icon Bob Marley’s daughter Cedella Marley, bestseller Victoria Christopher Murray, highly acclaimed young adult author L. Divine and Trinidad-born Genelle Guzman McMil- lan, the last survivor to be pulled from the collapsed Twin Towers after 9/11.

Noting that the Soul of South Florida Book Expo occurs during a time filled with book events in South Florida, the organizers, Oracle Group International, say it was established to complement those current activities, while making its mark as the premiere event in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach area specifically targeting authors and readers who enjoy books by and about people of color.

A kickoff gala is set for Friday Nov. 18 featuring a 6:30 p.m to 10:00 p.m “Evening With the Stars.” Each author will preview his or her book followed by a meet-and-greet reception. Tickets for this red-carpet reception are $60 ($75 at the door) and include a signed copy of the featured author's book of one’s choice.

On Saturday, Nov. 19, participants will enjoy a free daylong expo of music, vendors and children’s activities from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Expo attendees will hear firsthand from their favorite authors, get books signed and have photos taken as a host of national and local authors conduct meet-and-greet signing sessions. Although free and open to the public, prior registration is encouraged due to the anticipated crowds.

Speaking on behalf of the publishing side of African-American and Afro-Caribbean literature is Haitian-born Yona Deshommes, publicity manager for Simon & Schuster who works with such best-selling authors as Zane, TD Jakes, Nicola Kraus and

rapper/actor Common. Deshommes will conduct a session on “How to Successfully Pitch and Market Your Book,” providing insider tips and helpful hints for aspiring novelists and self-published authors.

Proceeds from the expo, co-sponsored by the African American Research Library and Cultural Center, will benefit the Friends of the Library Association at the AARLCC, which houses research, special collections, a cultural center, museum and a public library.

The Oracle Group’s stated aim is to produce year-round literary programming and enlighten, encourage and uplift communities one book at a time.

“The South Florida area with its international flair is the perfect platform to showcase the literary arts with history makers who have made such significant contributions in the diaspora while providing a social narrative about the black experience,” said Mocha Ochoa, event founder and principal of The Oracle Group.

For information regarding participating authors, ticketing, vending or sponsorship, email info@theoraclegroup.net, visit theoraclegroup.net or call the Oracle Group International at 954-793-640. Vendors are encouraged to give the public an opportunity to buy food, books and music and provide activities for children. To register call 954-357-6224.