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52nd National Convention C O V E R A G E JOURNAL Spring 2016 s49 children matter and that their stories matter, before lead-ing the crowd in a call and re-sponse reading of her book, “One Million Men and Me,” about a little girl’s experience attending the Million Man March with her father. Brenda Jackson, a New York Times best-selling au-thor of more than 100 ro-mance novels, read an ex-cerpt from “A Lover’s Vow,” the third installment of her book series, “The Grangers,” the story of three brothers trying to clear their father of murder charges. Jackson said she was inspired to write the series af-ter receiving feedback from the hus-bands of her regular readers. Modern day grio and children’s author Carliss McGhee read her fifth book “Oh to Be a Delta Girl” and en-couraged the audience to begin the dialogue about sororities early with the young women and girls in their lives. The café also included the poet-ry of Henry “Hank” Stewart, who ex-cited the crowd with his poem “It,” as well as a steamy crowd pleasing per-formance of his poem, “Chocolate.” The evening was peppered with musical performances by Sorors Fe-licia Hamilton and Madell Williams, Arts and Letters Commissioners. Hamilton got the audience to join in as she sang Jill Scott’s popular “Liv-ing My Life Like It’s Golden,” while Williams’ selections included an a cappella rendition of “I Surrender All” and a soulful jazz number. Genine Perez and Band closed out the event with music ranging from Etta James to disco and funk while sorors mingled with authors, purchased books, got autographs from authors and enjoyed the café music and atmosphere. Soror Bellamy said the event was an overall success, allowing people to see the variety of ways in which we can engage with the arts. “I’m happy that we have venues like this,” Bellamy said. “We need more exposure and the more we get, the more people understand that the arts are critical.” s Poet Henry “Hank” Stewart shares his poems “It” and “Chocolate” during the Literary Café. PHOTO BY DONNAMARIA JONES Soror Genine Perez, Arts and Letters commission-er, closes out the Literary Café event. PHOTO BY DONNAMARIA JONES Terrance Lyles, Youth Recognition Award recipient, performs “New York State of Mind” during the Literary Café. PHOTO BY DONNAMARIA JONES


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