Recap of the Successful Compton Urban Book Expo
Just like that, it’s over.
The inaugural Compton Urban Book Expo took place at the Douglas Dollarhide Community Center over the weekend. Judging from the reactions of authors, organizers and local politicians, this is one literary festival that plans to be around for a long time. KLIQ Radio founder Devonte Styles and station manager Shelly Ward were the organizers of this fine event with the support from the city of Compton to make this expo happen as it encouraged literacy in the Hub City and beyond.
Held inside the spacious multipurpose facility, the community center became an ideal venue for authors to set up and sell their books to the public. A panel discussion “The Blueprint for Success” was held before the expo with several authors sharing their knowledge and experience from subjects on publishing and marketing their works on social media. A children’s area was provided for free face paintings and other fun activities for the youth. Authors were given the opportunity to speak on the microphone and pitch their books to attendees on hand.
Not only did Councilwoman Emma Sharif add her support, but it caught the attention of Assemblyman Mike Gipson of the 64th District as well. For entertainment, local hip hop artist Ms.Toi made an appearance with Isabell Izzy Requena, a participant on the television show X-Factor and the founder of the Miss America Belize Pagent. Returning to books, most of the authors in appearance either veterans of past literary festivals or first timers excited to be a part of the first annual event in a city known for negative news and the rap group NWA.
The Urban Book Expo is a great win for the city of Compton. It has put them on the map as far as a destination for literacy and the hard work and dedication of Mr. Styles and Ms. Ward cannot be mentioned enough. It takes cooperation, effort and foresight to make a community literary festival happened and the reactions on the expo’s Facebook page show the excitement, the promise and anticipation of great things to come. Hopefully it will produce more creative and non-fiction authors who will also produce literary works that are straight outta Compton.
Charles L. Chatmon
Authors N Focus Extra