African-American authors featured at Ethnic Heritage Museum Sept. 21

Staff Report

Rockford’s Ethnic Heritage Museum, 1129 S. Main St., will host an African-American Authors Exhibit & Literary Fair featuring more than 15 local African-American authors from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 21.

The event is hosted by Estelle Black and will include book-signings, oral presentations and light refreshments. Admission is $3 students, $5 adults and $10 families. Contact the museum at (815) 962-7402 or visit for more details.

Following is information about participating authors:

• Charlyne Blatcher Martin — Charlyne is a playwright, poet, freelance writer and host of Comcast’s Something To Talk About. And, she has taught “Write On Poetry” classes at the Rock Valley Community College Center for Learning in Retirement.

• Charles Blatcher III — Founder and CEO of the National Minority Military Museum Foundation, established to raise public awareness of the contributions made by African-Americans and other minorities in the defense of the nation. He is also the author of Of thee I Sing.

• Dr. Joyce Brown — Dr. Brown owns her own business, a consulting firm specializing in enhancing effective management, governance and leadership. She has more than 30 years of experience working in diverse community settings, nonprofit organizations and philanthropy.

• Creola A. Colon — Creola self-published Born With A Broken Heart, a compelling tale about her family’s slave-like conditions during mid-1900s. It is a book about overcoming obstacles against the odds. In 2004, CBS considered Born With A Broken Heart for a movie.

• Flora Cousins — Flora Cousins, the 2001 International Poet Merit Award recipient, has written more than 600 poems, and authored Lost Skates and Don’t Be a Bully! Be a Buddy.

• Rick Daniels — Rick is the manager of Student Life at Rock Valley College, and his personal mission is to encourage, inspire and impact the lives of students everywhere. He speaks on issues concerning leadership, diversity and Greek life.

• Patricia Haley — Patricia Haley-Glass, who writes under the pen name of Patricia Haley, is an award-winning national bestselling author. She earned the title of “trailblazer” after achieving remarkable success with her first faith-based novel in 1998.

• Gracie Hill — Gracie is a member of the Chicago Writers Association and a first-place Chicago Essay contest winner. She has four books to her credit: Where The Brothers At?, Sorrows of the Heart, The Kitchen Beautician, and Saved, Sanctified and Keeping My Secret.

• Gail Johnson — Gail has always enjoyed journalism; however, she never thought she would author books. She is working on a third book, Waiting in the Wings: Stepping out in Faith.

• Kimberla Lawson Roby — A New York Times bestselling author, Kimberla has written 20 novels that center on real-life social issues to which readers can relate. Her books also feature important messages, such as forgiveness and redemption.

• Coleen Martin Williams — Her career has taken her into the classroom, special university projects, and the executive quarters of government. She now considers herself to be semi-retired in a new career as a freelance writer, poet and presenter of the spoken word. 

• Richard Meeks — A teacher in the Rockford Public School District, Richard is considered Rockford’s premier “Groits” or African storyteller. He started in the 1980s with the “Storytellers in the Park” and has been telling stories ever since, and includes stories from around the world.

• George Richardson — George’s books teach the value of principle to children. In his fourth book, The Clash with Robin and Squirrel, he talks about building and developing trusting friendships. It shows that trust takes a long time to develop, what can happen when it is broken, and how hard it is to win back that trust.

• Christopher Sims — Christopher D. Sims, a.k.a. “UniverSouLove,” is an internationally-known poet, spoken-word artist, performer and recording artist. In 2013, he released a book of poetry, Universal Citizen.

• Charles Washington, M.D. — Dr. Washington is a renowned physician, author, motivational speaker, pastor and humanitarian. His latest book, The Healthcare Family: The Power of Positive Thinking, is an interactive guide that compels the reader to discover their own sense of power and leadership.

From the Sept. 17-23, 2014, issue

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