Answer: Host an authors’ festival. These legendary, award winning and noted authors will be part of Long Beach Public Library’s celebration of national library month. The Mayor of Long Beach, Mr. Bob Foster, will proclaim April 4, 2009 as Black Authors’ Festival Day. The proclamation will be presented during The Black Authors’ Festival in Long Beach. This historic festival is sponsored by award winning authors Sunny Nash and Aaron L. Day. This proclamation illuminates the efforts of great black authors and their contributions to the world of literature which are broad, vital, and significant.


The proclamation by the Mayor’s Office will only be one piece of the festival. The accomplishments, and contributions to the world of literature, by Dr. Maya Angelou, and Professor John Hope Franklin, will be honored at this first event. “Black writings and expression need to be recognized because of what it has accomplished. This is an historical moment that is larger than an idea, a philosophy, or one single person” said author MG Hardie, who initiated the proclamation.


The Long Beach Black Authors’ Festival will deliver an exciting day full of substantive and lively interactions with outstanding writers of all genres. These events is free to the public and allows attendees and fans the opportunity to engage with a wide array or authors, have their books signed, ask questions, and learn more about the writing and publishing process.


Scheduled to appear:

Autrilla Watkins Scott – ‘Stories From The Past’ and the first Long Beach African American to have a street named in her honor and Bill Clinton’s babysitter.

Doris Topsy-Elvord‘No Mountain High Enough’ and the first African American woman to be elected to the Long Beach City Council; the first female Long Beach Vice Mayor. (978-0943233987)

Bobbie Smith ‘Breaking Through, Lighting The Way‘ (Carolyn Smith Watts) a book celebrating women a collection of historical profiles of twelve African American women who have made a difference by being firsts in their fields.

Marie Treadwell- ‘Untold Legacies’ the pictorial history of Long Beach 1900-2000 and beyond.

Karen HarperMary Dell Butler-Making a Difference‘ and author of many noted romantic suspense, mystery novels.

Evelyn Knight‘Freedom & Sacrifice’

Phyllis VenableThe Heritage of African Americans In Long Beach’

Aaron L. Day – ‘History Lessons’. Aaron L. Day’s books have included genealogy/reference guides, essays, poems, and short stories about ethical questions, moral dilemmas, history, and special people. (978-0741424433)


Ernest McBride, Jr. – ‘Fighting For The People will explore the civil rights leader’s personal, professional and political life of a civil rights pioneer.


Anthony Parnell– ‘The 7 Laws of Stress Management/ Healing Through Writing’ has introduced concepts centered on writing as a tool for facilitating personal and organizational growth with solution-oriented philosophy for addressing complex problems. (978-0595456604, 978-0595346424)


Rufus Butler – ‘Black Energy’ author and creator of ground breaking entertaining books for children of all ages such as, Gallop and Swing!


Naomi Rainey‘Family Tree/Love Peace & Harmony,’ (Otis G. Sanders).


Darick J. Simpson‘Who Will Be There’ This artist mixes spoken word with a smooth jazz flavor on the subject of unconditional love in relationships of all kind.

MG Hardie – ‘EveryDay Life’ the raw, terribly smart, humorous, political hip hop book. (978-1605940366)  

Lacey C. Clark – ‘Celebrate HER Now!An Interactive Guide to Loving Ourselves and Embracing Female Youth of the Hip-Hop Generation. (978-1-4116-8591-8)


Stephanie Butler‘My Body Is The Temple: Encounters and Revelations of Sacred Dance & Artistry‘ specializes in teaching on the spiritual disciplines, principles, and techniques of liturgical and prophetic dance, biblical dream interpretation, and spiritual warfare in a radically unique way. (978-1591601203)

Paul Craft – ‘Christ Second Baptist Church: Centennial Yearbook 

Barnes & Noble– ‘Bigmamma Didn’t Shop At Woolworths’


This historic festival will be held in the auditorium lobby with book signing from 12-4 p.m. with a program from 1-230 p.m. The Long Beach authors’ festival will truly have something for everyone featuring autobiographies, children’s books, empowerment, history books, inspirational a play, pictorials, self-help, spoken word, success stories and urban titles.


For more information contact Long Beach Public Library  (562) 570-7500

For more information:

Contact: Co-Presenter, Aaron L. Day (562) 634-6708 or email:

Contact: Co-Presenter, Sunny Nash (562) 951-9309 or email:




In case you hadn’t heard that Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department will no longer have DEA agents or the government resources used to raid California cannabis clubs. Why, the official reasoning is that the government has more important thing to do than stopping people with cancer from easing their pain and arresting patients. The real reason is a little more detailed, to find out you need to have a little bit of what I like to call


Marijuana History


Marijuana is the herb of peace that is why American Indians smoked it in the Peace Pipe. Most people don’t know why marijuana is federally illegal in the first place. Well in Big Tobacco’s hey-day they lobbied, cough paid for cough, congress to outlaw the herb. Marijuana does not have a global conglomerate to fill the coffers of senators. By the way those in power do take donations just make sure they are not traceable. If you think this is hog-wash then ask yourself why do we have a Super Highway system in California instead of a subway system? That is another story but it involves money, the big three automakers and certain tire companies… anyway. Subsequently Marijuana was outlawed, don’t believe that whole crossing state lines jurisdiction stuff, besides how do you expect Tobacco companies to compete with something that just grows naturally if you water it.

Lobbiest– It’s only a small amount of rat poisoning senator… now what fund do I make the check out to?

Though Mary Jane was illegal, people continued to smoked the little herb. In the 60’s the enlightened marijuana culture gained full force, some people called them hippies. In the 70’s the movies of the comedic duo Cheech and Chong added marijuana to pop-culture and many studies were done on the innocent herb. I bet you didn’t know that the Federal government grows and maintains the largest crop of marijuana on the planet did you. I wonder what they are using it for. They say it is for research… I say half-baked research. In the 80’s the culture spread and many entertainers were advocates of the little herbs decriminalization and Cheech and Chong broke up so it was a truly a sad day. In 1995 Chris Tucker and Ice Cube starred in a marijuana culture movie named Friday this movie has become a cult legend. The popularity of this little movie had much to do with the voters of California passing Prop 215, a law making marijuana available for medical purposes in 1996.  Other states also have passed laws of this nature as well. Although somewhat legal in California the Federal Government continued to raid medical cannabis clubs. However, if you have $100 in California a doctor will give you a certificate that states that you have a medical condition requiring an occasional puff or two. Which brings us to the reason behind this decision?


Marijuana Today  


With some estimates being as high as 40 billion dollars annually Cannabis is the biggest cash crop in America and you thought it was wheat or corn didn’t you. That can only mean that people are rolling an occasional joint and some are abusing it even though you may not see them smoking it. Most people fall on one side or the other when debating the effect of Marijuana. Most of the people who are against it are because they have a predisposition to using it. The people that are for pots legalization have used it or know someone who has and has seen no negative affect of it. By the way marijuana’s use is so prevalent that you do know someone who has or is using it. In the California’s Emerald Triangle people have houses with no tables and no chairs they are just growing reefer plants in the living room. Many countries around the world have legalized the herb with no problems. Honestly marijuana’s use is accepted today no one really cares and the tables have turned for Big Tobacco. Remember the Marijuana growers and sellers do not want it to be legalized because it would erase their profits. How accepted is it?  Marijuana is the prevalent subculture in America it stands head and shoulders with the Hip Hop culture… which reminds me that I’ve got to remember to renew my subscription to High Times. You can buy marijuana trinkets, smokeware and books just about everywhere. “It’s good news for people in California who are so ill that they have gotten a doctor’s note in compliance with the law,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer. Of course she is trippin’ because people can already do that! These kinds of statements only go to show that many Senators are completely out of touch. Marijuana’s use has been featured songs, theaters and movies the most recent movie was Pineapple Express. Even the playwright Tyler Perry newest Play the Marriage Counselor prominently showcases marijuana’s use. The fact that my book EveryDay Life is at the forefront of the Legalization of Marijuana debate was named The Best Kept Literary Secret of 2008 and it is now a finalist for an annual literary award is further evidence that blunt rollers all over America may soon have a real reason to fire it up.


Is Marijuana bad for you?


That is the question we all want to know right? The answer varies depending on who you ask. Medically, no. Legally, yes. Is there a criminal element to it? Of course, it’s illegal. I personally know a 75 year old Caucasian woman who uses it. I spoke to three people this week who said that if it were legalized they would smoke it and these people were in the healthcare profession. Ganja is just like sugar. Some sugar is good for you too much sugar is not. If while on it you just won 8 Olympic gold medals, an Oscar for something you did it can’t be bad can it? What if you were on it and you just won the Presidency of the United States of American by the largest margin ever it can’t be bad for you can it? If smoking it is bad for you then what does that say about the people who are around you everyday that use it?.


What’s Next?


No one knows there is talk about decriminalizing it and taxing it. And without question this action if done right will lift all of America out of a depression, period. If the Governator get this right it will be the best thing he’s ever done as Governor, I mean really cutting education and letting out thousands of prisoners is really not a good move. The proper legislation on this matter could be a model for every state, but remember there is a difference between use and abuse and that the sellers, growers and those with preconceived notions will be against this. This is the right thing to do but it has to be done right. California’s government has shown its ability to be inept so I doubt that this will be done correctly, if at all. The hope at the moment Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, has introduced legislation, that if approved by the California Legislature, it would put marijuana on the same legal footing as alcohol. Under AB 390, adults over the age of 21 would be allowed to buy marijuana from licensed sellers, and driving under the influence of it would be prohibited. At this point I would question anyone’s reasoning for not voting for it to be legalized in some way.Now it seems that the debate of decriminalizing Pot may be a simple matter of economics.

Here is an article in the District Magazine about The World Famous VIP Records in Long Beach California. You know the record store in Snoop Dogg’s video “Who Am I” from the Doggystyle album…yeah that one. Well anyway if you are near The Beach you need to visit this piece of Hip Hop History and I am not just saying that because they carry my book, or that some of the homies were in the video that was shot in the VIP parking.

The owner Kelvin Anderson has helped so many youth not to mention that he one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, VIP Records has has been around 30 years. I mean Snoop, Radio, Daz, DJ Quik, Nate Dogg, Warren G and many other west coast rappers honed their skillz in VIP’s records studio.Without VIP many of our favorite hip hop artist would have been in the streets doing all kinds of dirty instead of making us bounce. VIP’s influence was at the forefront of West Coast rap’s introduction to the world. You remember those days, don’t you?
At the crossroads

The Video: