Tuesday, April 30, 2019

A Book Fair in Blaine, Minnesota

On April 26-28, I participated in a book fair organized by Bukola Oriola to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the publication of her first book, Imprisoned: The Travails of a Trafficked Victim. Having participated in many book fairs, I thought this one was unique. The fairs I know last for one day, but Bukola's went on for three days, thus offering anyone who couldn't make it on a particular day another chance.

Though Bukola organized the fair to commemorate the publication of her book, she had invited fellow indie authors to exhibit their books. I was one of the authors. She had not required us to be present for the duration of the fair, except the time when an individual author's work was scheduled to be featured.

I spent considerable time at the fair, on April 26 and 28. I met several authors, some of whom I knew, such as Rita Apaloo, author of African Women Connect: How I started and grew a networking group of African immigrant women for friendship, business, and community. I also interacted with many visitors, including old friends. As usual, I had a great time talking with everybody, sharing ideas and experiences. There is no fair I have attended that failed to enlighten and delight me. This one was no exception and Bukola deserves much gratitude for her unending efforts to promote reading and writers.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

My Visit to Yankton, South Dakota

On April, 19, I traveled to Yankton South Dakota, following an invitation from Michael Schumacher, Administator at A.M.E. Allen Church. He contacted me after reading about an African storytelling presentation I had made in Red Wing, Minnesota. Introducing me, he noted, among other things, how my book, Matengo Falktales, had featured on Jeopardy.

My talk centered on the evolution of culture and cultural differences. I talked about Africa as the cradle of the human race, language and story telling and about how the migration of people out of their original home went with the proliferation of cultures and languages.

I used my book, Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Diiferences to illustrate the reality and consequences of cultural differences in the contemporary world. While talking about the evolution of and social functions of story telling, I shared and disccused several proverbs and the tale "The Monster in the Rice Field" found in my Matengo Folktales.

Audience members shared memorable experiences of cultural differences, and one of them said that she was a school teacher and was planning to take a group of students to Tanzania. I was delighted to hear this and grateful that my visit to Yankton had attracted her attention.

At the end of our meeting, people bought the books I had brought along. I am pleased that the teacher will use them as orientation materials for the Tanzania trip and am humbled that the books are now in the AME church library. I am happy about this, given the historic significance of this church.