ST. PETERSBURG — In support of National Black Business Month this month, which was founded by Frederick E. Jordan and William Templeton from California over 11 years ago, Urban Exposure Inc., is the Presenter and Organizer of the Tampa Bay Black Authors and Business Showcase.
The St. Petersburg Museum of History welcomes 35 black authors and more than 35 black businesses and non-profits this Sat., Aug. 9. The purpose of this event is to introduce black authors and business people to each other and to the community in order to create economic empowerment.
Guest speakers, live entertainment and the children’s free book giveaways and storytelling each hour on the hour are all a part of this inspiring event. The event will be free to the public from 9-4 p.m. and is planned to target several hundred attendees.
The museum will open at 9 a.m., at which time you may browse and meet authors and vendors. The actual program begins at10 a.m. with the City of St. Petersburg Urban Affairs Manager Nikki Gaskin-Capehart bringing greetings from the city. Parking is in the Dolphin parking lot at $3 per carload, for all day parking.
Sharon Tubbs, an author and former reporter/editor with the Tampa Bay Times is facilitating the free “Author’s Workshop,” which begins at 10:15 a.m. At the same time, in the main Flight Gallery author Donald Dowridge will give the “Power of Being a Winner” 30-minute speech, which is also the title of his autobiography to inspire and motivate attendees.
Author Christopher Stignil is traveling all the way from Philadelphia with his book “Race, Faith & Politics.” While Jay Lee, motivational speaker who is originally from Washington, D.C. will speak about his book “Change Your Mind, Change Your Life.”
Last but not least Kentrell Martin, an award-winning children’s book author, will be appearing at 10:45 a.m. His first two titles, “Shelly’s Outdoor Adventures” and “Shelly Goes to the Zoo,” are published by Shelly’s Adventures, a company that provides parents and their children with reading material that teaches American Sign Language (ASL) and increases fluency. He reconnected with his ASL roots and love of Deaf culture, which began at the age of four after being introduced to the language by his Deaf brother. As a result, Shelly’s Adventures was born!
Martin feels empowered to help bridge the gap between the Deaf and hearing world and firmly believes that the children are our future. “The earlier they are introduced to another language and culture, the greater the likelihood that they will be receptive to it as they grow older,” he said.
After researching National Black Business Month, Rinita Anderson, Urban Exposure’s CEO had the idea to promote literacy among all ages, especially in the black community, and showcase black authors and businesses that support local literacy initiatives. She partnered with numerous organizations such as 100 Black Men of Tampa Bay and the featured literacy partner is the non-profit Literacy Council of St. Petersburg, which will be the recipient of a donation from Rebecca Stewart, co-sponsor, at the close of the event.
The St. Petersburg Museum of History is located at 335 Second Ave. North, downtown St. Pete., on the approach to the Pier. The contact number for the museum is 727-894-1052. This showcase supports the focus of National Black Business Month, which is to encourage consumers to buy from local black businesses in August, and beyond.
Rebecca Stewart of Remax Metro is the co-sponsor of this event. 1150am WTMP and The Weekly Challenger newspaper are the primary media partners, who helped to get the word out.