Unlike the more forthrightly mythic origins of other urban centers — think Rome via Romulus and Remus or Mexico City via the god Huitzilopochtli — Los Angeles emerged from a smoke-and-mirrors process that is simultaneously literal and figurative, real and imagined, material and metaphorical, physical and textual. Through penetrating analysis and personal engagement, Vincent Brook uncovers the many portraits of this ever-enticing, ever-ambivalent, and increasingly multicultural megalopolis. Divided into sections that probe Los Angeles’s checkered history and reflect on Hollywood’s own self-reflections, the book shows how the city, despite considerable remaining challenges, is finally blowing away some of the smoke of its not always proud past and rhetorically adjusting its rear-view mirrors.
Part I is a review of the city’s history through the early 1900s, focusing on the seminal 1884 novel Ramona and its immediate effect, but also exploring its ongoing impact through interviews with present-day Tongva Indians, attendance at the 88th annual Ramona pageant, and analysis of its feature film adaptations.
Brook deals with Hollywood as geographical site, film production center, and frame of mind in Part II. He charts the events leading up to Hollywood’s emergence as the world’s movie capital and explores subsequent developments of the film industry from its golden age through the so-called New Hollywood, citing such self-reflexive films as Sunset Blvd., Singin’ in the Rain, and The Truman Show.
Part III considers LA noir, a subset of film noir that emerged alongside the classical noir cycle in the 1940s and 1950s and continues today. The city’s status as a privileged noir site is analyzed in relation to its history and through discussions of such key LA noir novels and films as Double Indemnity, Chinatown, and Crash.
In Part IV, Brook examines multicultural Los Angeles. Using media texts as signposts, he maps the history and contemporary situation of the city’s major ethno-racial and other minority groups, looking at such films as Mi Familia (Latinos), Boyz N the Hood (African Americans), Charlotte Sometimes (Asians), Falling Down (Whites), and The Kids Are All Right (LGBT).
Land of Smoke and Mirrors: A Cultural History of Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Black Book Expo is proud to announce the date of this year’s event, August 17, 2013.
They will return to the Los Angeles Convention Center in the West Hall in Rooms 502-507. Registration for LABBX will be announced shortly.
For inquiries on exhibitor spots, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is moving to a new location, LABBX.org and will be updated in the near future.
Leimert Park, one of the first comprehensively planned communities in Southern California, was founded and developed in 1927 by Walter H. Leimert Sr. and designed by Olmsted Brothers, a firm headed by sons of Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., the master planner of New York Citys Central Park. In its early years, Leimert Park was a pasture situated on portions of the Rancho Cienega Paso de la Tijera, once owned by land baron E.J. Lucky Baldwin. The area is best known for its gracefully curved tree-lined streets, Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean-style homes, and Art Deco buildings designed by some of the nations foremost architects.
Famous residents Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and Los Angeless first African American mayor, Tom Bradley, have called Leimert Park home. In 1967, artists Alonzo and Dale Davis founded Brockman Gallery, and with this beginning, a new era of Leimert Park as an arts and cultural center dawned. Today, with its art galleries, jazz and blues clubs, coffeehouses, performance spaces, restaurants, and Afrocentric fashion and merchandise shops, the area has evolved into one of Los Angeless great idyllic communities.
Leimert Park (Images of America)
We first met Avery in two of the stories featured in Dana Johnson’s award–winning collection Break Any Woman Down. As a young girl, she and her family escape the violent streets of Los Angeles to a more gentrified existence in suburban West Covina. This average life, filled with school, trips to 7–Eleven to gawk at Tiger Beat magazine, and family outings to Dodger Stadium, is soon interrupted by a past she cannot escape, personified in the guise of her violent cousin Keith.
When Keith moves in with her family, he triggers a series of events that will follow Avery throughout her life: to her studies at USC, to her burgeoning career as a painter and artist, and into her relationship with a wealthy Italian who sequesters her in his glass–walled house in the Hollywood Hills. The past will intrude upon Avery’s first gallery show, proving her mother’s adage: Every goodbye aint gone. The dual–narrative of Elsewhere, California illustrates the complicated history of African Americans across the rolling basin of Los Angeles.
April 21-22, 2012
The 17th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will be held at the University of Southern California, near the intersection of Exposition Blvd and S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90089.
General attendance is free!
Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches from a Black Journalista by Erin Aubry KaplanOctober 12, 2011
Los Angeles has had a ringside seat during the long last century of racial struggle in America. The bouts have been over money and jobs and police brutality, over politics and poetry and rap and basketball. Minimizing blackness itself has been touted as the logical and ideal solution to the struggle, but in Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line, Erin Aubry Kaplan begs to differ. With eloquence, wit, and high prose style she crafts a series of compelling arguments against black eclipse.
Here are thirty-three insightful and wide-ranging pieces of literary, cultural, political, and personal reporting on the contemporary black American experience. Drawn from the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Salon.com, and elsewhere, this collection also features major new articles on President Barack Obama, black and Hispanic conflicts, and clinical depression. In each, Kaplan argues with meticulous observation, razor-sharp intelligence, and sparkling prose against the trend of black erasure, and for the expansion of horizons of the black American story.
Author of Real Talk TIPS: Laugh-Out-Loud Pointers & Suggestions For The Morally Challenged, Socially Inept, & Those Who Love Them
For Immediate Release
Contact: Cherise Charleswell 818-521-8422
Event Date: Saturday October 1, 2011
Time: 11:00am – 7:00pm
The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center
“The Rave 18”, 6081 Center Dr. Westchester, CA
15th Annual Cameron’s Family Book Festival
The Cameron Eugene Jackson Children’s Library will be hosting the largest book club meeting in the Los Angeles area. The festival is free to the public, and includes a day of author signings, panel discussions, and workshops.
The purpose of this project is to promote and celebrate Literacy, music and “The Arts” as well as to help stamp out illiteracy. We would be honored if you would participate. The success of the Festival is directly due to authors like you who plan to embrace this EVENT with your presence.
For more information please contact Marilyn Pitts, Director/Author-Vendor Booths at (323) 841-BOOK or email@example.com.
LOS ANGELES (AUGUST 2011) – Known as the ‘fastest growing book expo in the country’, the Los Angeles Black Book Expo is set to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center #403 on Saturday, August 20 from 10:00AM until 6:00 PM. An awesome array of featured guests, celebrities, powerful speakers, and the best up and coming authors join the annual literary celebration. Fresh from her appearances on the Mo’Nique and Wendy Williams shows, the expo is proud to announce Danielle Spencer-Fields known as Rog’s sister Dee from the television show ‘What’s Happening’ is one of the featured guest appearing at the expo this year. At 2:00PM in Room 404 A of the Meeting Room Concourse, she will discuss her new book, “Through The Fire: Journal of a child star” and will take questions from the audience.
Also appearing at LABBX; author and speaker Jewel Diamond Taylor, actress, producer and author Cherie Johnson, Essence bestselling author J.M. Benjamin, contemporary jazz artist, speaker & author Russel Blake, bestselling author Pamela Samuels-Young, NAACP Award winner David G. Brown round up part of the outstanding lineup taking part at the expo.
This year’s expo will feature lively panel discussions and workshops with topics such as a graphic novel panel hosted by Geoffrey Thorne (In the Heat of the Night, TNT’s Leverage, Ben 10, Star Trek: Titan novel), Anthony Montgomery (Star Trek: Enterprise, VH1′s Single Ladies) and Brandon M. Easton (WB’s new ThunderCats series, Transformers: Armada, BlackSci-fi.com) at 12:00 PM in Room 402A followed by a discussion by the Journal of Pan-African Studies of Manning Marable’s ‘Malcolm X: A Life or Reinvention’ beginning at 1:00PM in Room 402 B. Other subjects as they relate to publishing, urban lit, health, relationships, cultural issues, spirituality, creative writing and marketing tips for aspiring authors will also be presented. Poetry, open mics and children’s programs will also be included throughout the day. Admission for LABBX is free to the general public.
The L.A. Black Book Expo is sponsored by the California Crusader News. Empire Beat Magazine and Authors N Focus are media partners.
For more information please visit www.labbx.com or at (323) 718-5678 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Los Angeles Black Book Expo
The Los Angeles Black Book Expo through its fiscal sponsor, Amen-Ra Community Assembly of California, Inc. (Amen-Ra Theological Seminary) is a 501(c) (3) organization. It began on June 2004 to celebrate the written word, promote literacy and to showcase new and established authors, storytellers, spoken word artists, children’s book authors, emerging writers, publishers, booksellers, editors and book reviewers local and nationwide.
He’s a hip-hop icon credited with single-handedly creating gangsta rap in the 1980s. Television viewers know him as Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola on the top-rated TV drama Law & Order: SVU. But where the hype and the headlines end, the real story of Ice-T — the one few of his millions of fans have ever heard — truly begins.
Ice is Ice-T in his own words — raw, uncensored, and unafraid to speak his mind. About his orphan upbringing on the gang-infested streets of South Central Los Angeles. About his four-year stint in the U.S. Army’s famed “Tropic Lightning” outfit. About his successful career as a hustler and thief, the car crash that nearly killed him, and the fateful decision to turn away from a life of crime and forge his own path to international entertainment stardom.
Ice by Ice-T is both a tell-it-like-it-is tale of redemption and a star-studded tour of the pop culture firmament. The acclaimed rapper and actor shares never-before-told stories about friends like Tupac, Dick Wolf, Chris Rock, and an antler-clad Flavor Flav, among others. Readers will ride along as Ice-T’s incendiary rock band Body Count narrowly escapes from a riotous mob of angry concertgoers in Milan, and listen in as the music legend battles the self-appointed censors over his controversial “Cop Killer” single.
Most of all, Ice is the place where one of the game’s most opinionated players breaks down his own secret plan for living, offering up candid observations on marriage and monogamy, the current state of hip-hop, and his latest passion: doing one-on-one gang interventions and mentoring at-risk youths around the country.
With insights into the cutthroat world of the street — and the cutthroat world of Hollywood — Ice is the inspirational story of a true American original.
Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood
The 5th Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair in Los Angeles is scheduled for Saturday, June 25th, from 10am to 6pm.
As in our previous festivals, the Book Fair will attract a large number of visitors to the Leimert Park Village for an entertaining day of readings, poetry, and musical entertainment. The centerpiece will be the Authors Tent where we will gather our community of authors to share and sell their works to the public.
The 2011 line-up for the Leimert Park Book Fair of authors, panel discussions, and entertainment promises to be the BEST year ever.