Tony Rose Celebrates Success of African American Pavillion at Book Expo

The Fifth Annual African American Pavilion at Book Expo America 2008 was recently held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, California (May 30 – June 1).

The highlight of the weekend’s events was a special presentation Saturday morning by world-renowned NBA champion and Chairman/CEO, of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Mr. Johnson spoke about his new book Urban Magic: 32 Ways to Succeed in Business that will be published by Crown in January, 2009 and developing strategic programs and supporting services that address the educational, health, social, and spiritual needs of our ethnically diverse, urban communities.

BookExpo America, one of the largest book trade exhibits in the world provides independent African American book publishers, self-publishers, authors, black interest imprints at major publishing houses, distributors, literary agents, publicists, librarians, and bookstore owners with exposure to more than 50,000 book buyers and book sellers from across the globe.

The African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, co-founded in 2004 by Executive Director Tony Rose (Publisher/CEO, Amber Communications Group, Inc.), Adrienne Ingrum, Adrienne Ingrum, LLC. (former Associate Publisher, Black Issues Book Review) and Niani Colon (former Associate Publisher, Genesis Press), showcased more than 300 African American exhibitors, authors, self-publishers and publishing houses and a pavilion attendance of over 6,000 book industry professionals, in the 5,000 square feet of joint exhibit space and 1,000 square feet of pavilion main staging area.

This year’s theme was “Celebrate with the Stars” as a high-powered entourage of celebrity speakers lit up the stage and shared positive messages to the standing-room only audience of book publishing professionals.

Heather Covington, CEO,, National Best-Selling Author, Literary Divas: The Top 100+ African American Women In Literature, NAACP Image Awards Nominee for Outstanding Literature (Biographies) and her new title Tekila Nika: The Forbidden Bronx Video Diary Tales, was the witty and charming host for programs at The African American Pavilion at Book Expo America. Miss Covington was named the 2008 African American Pavilion at BEA “Self-Publisher of the Year.”

The pavilion events began Friday, May 30th with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by Omar Tyree, NAACP Image Award Winner and New York Times National Bestselling Author of Flyy Girl and A Do Right Man. The 2008 African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, Gordon Parks “Renaissance Artist” Award was presented to Mr. Tyree.

Internationally renowned artist and writer Synthia SAINT JAMES unveiled her new art, which featured “Precious” a Collaborative Mixed Media Painting by Synthia SAINT JAMES and Charles BIBBS. The 2008 African American Pavilion at Book Expo America, Romare Bearden “Vibrant Artistry” Award was presented to Synthia SAINT JAMES.

Pras Michel, founding member of the Fugees showed his award-winning film documentary “SKID ROW”, after which he spoke about the perils of homelessness, and the spiritual and economic means that we need to battle this dilemma. Pras Michel was presented with The 2008 African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, Octavia Butler “Humanitarian” Award. Pras was accompanied by his manager Maxwell Billieon of The Billieon Group.

Tony Rose, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the African American Pavilion at Book Expo America stated, “I am elated at the overwhelming success of the pavilion and it’s programs. ‘Thanks ‘ are pouring in from many sources – publishers, sponsors, advertisers, exhibitors, authors, self-publishers and attendees – who networked, made deals, sold books, signed new book deals, acquired distribution and in their words ‘had a remarkable time!’ In turn, I thank all those who participated, our wonderful speakers, exhibitors, sponsors and advertisers, as well as my co-founders Adrienne Ingrum and Niani Colom, and my staff, including: Yvonne Rose, National Director; Lynnette McMillon, National Director of Publicity and Promotions; Heather Covington, Host, and National Director of On-Line Promotions; Cheryl Crosby, Associate Director of Sponsorships; Therez Fleetwood, Exhibitor Relations; Philip Herbert, Exhibitor Relations; Kristen Willis, Assistant, Exhibitor Relations; Darnell Smith, Exhibitor Relations and Kamali Minter, Videographer. I’d like to also thank Steve Rosato, Mike Carlucci, Lance Fensterman and all of our partners at BookExpo America.”

Preparations are underway for the 2009 African American Pavilion at Book Expo America being held at the John Jacob Javit’s Convention Center in New York City from May 28th to May 31st. To register, contact Mike Carlucci, Director of Sales, Book Expo America, 203-840-5625 or email: For further information, contact Tony Rose, Executive Director/Co-Founder, The African American Pavilion at BEA at 520-568-6692 or email: or visit: WWW.AMBERBOOKS.COM (The African American Pavilion 2008 link).

SOURCE Lynette McMillon, National Publicity Director, The African American Pavilion at BEA