Sheryl Lee Ralph Named Ambassador of 6th Leimert Park Village Book Fair
Sheryl Lee Ralph
By Sentinel News Service
With continued success in film, television, theatre and music, Sheryl Lee Ralph adds another accolade to her hyphenated title: Author. The beautiful and quintessential performer will serve as the 2012 Ambassador for the 6th Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair.
“We are honored to have Sheryl Lee Ralph as the 2012 Ambassador of the 6th Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair (LPVBF) during her banner year as a new author,” said Event Co-Chair, Dr. Bernard W. Kinsey. “Whether working as an actress, performing as a diva, proclaiming as an activist or chronicling as an author, Ms. Ralph will be celebrated for the community treasure she is at the book fair.”
The daylong book fair, which is free to the public, will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 30th in the back lot of the Vision Theatre located at 43rd Street and Degnan Boulevard in Leimert Park Village. This year’s event will pay tribute to the literary trailblazer Gwendolyn Brooks (1917 – 2000). The author of many of literary works, Brooks was the first African American author to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first black woman to hold the position of poetry consultant to the Library of Congress.
Much like her prolific predecessors, Ralph isn’t one to rest on her laurels. Ralph continues her journey to bring insight to her art by penning a tell-all book titled, “Redefining Diva: Life Lessons from the Original Dreamgirl.” Ralph’s candid memoir cites her experience with Diana Ross during her tenure in the cast of “Dreamgirls” and her relationship with actor-singer Brandy while portraying her stepmother on the hit sitcom “Moesha.”
Ralph is excited to be part of the festivities at this year’s book fair.
“As an avid reader who loves books, I am thrilled to serve as the Ambassador of the Leimert Park Village Book Fair,” said Ralph. “This is an important community event because it not only promotes literacy and the love of reading, reading has the power to positively impact life. That’s why reading really is fundamental.”
Ralph achieved star status on the Broadway stage. Her credits include creating the role of Deena Jones in the legendary Broadway musical "Dreamgirls" and earning Best Actress nods for Tony and Drama Desk Awards. She returned to Broadway for a 12-month stint in the Tony-award winning musical, "Thoroughly Modern Millie,” portraying the sassy chanteuse Muzzy Van Hossmere.
No stranger to television, Ralph was cast in "It's a Living," "Designing Women," "The District," and most notably, "Moesha." On the big screen, she has worked with some of Hollywood's leading men such as "The Mighty Quinn" with Denzel Washington and "Mistress" with Robert de Niro. Ralph turned her art into activism to raised awareness about HIV in her one-woman play, "Sometimes I Cry." Written and performed by Ralph, the play explores the lives of women infected and affected by HIV.
Ralph will be in good company this year. Black Arts Movement founder and author Amiri Baraka will be on the main stage. Isabel Wilkerson will return to discuss the history behind her Pulitzer Prize winning book, “The Warmth of Other Suns,” which recently went to paperback. The list of invited authors will be announced on LPVBF’s Facebook page, Twitter and website, www.leimertparkbookfair.com.
The book fair will also feature interviews, book-signings, writing workshops, panel discussions, poetry readings, exhibits, stage performances, musical entertainment and a variety of activities for the whole family. Plus, in the Children’s Village, kids will enjoy a crafts pavilion, celebrity storytelling, face-painting, book give-aways and more.
The book fair is produced by Cynthia Exum and Associates in partnership with Los Angeles City Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, Councilmember Bernard C. Parks and in association with the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the City of Los Angeles and Eso Won Books. Returning as LPVBF’s 2012 Event Chairs, Dr. Bernard W. and Shirley Kinsey, are known for their incredible collection of African-American art, books and manuscripts that document the remarkable story of African Americans triumphs and struggles from 1632 to the present.
Want to Go?
Leimert Park Village Book Fair
Saturday, June 30, 2012
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Leimert Park | Vision Theatre Back lot | 43rd Street and Degnan Boulevard