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Morrow store celebrates black heritage with festival, readings

By Kathy Jefcoats

Barnes and Nobles Booksellers in Morrow puts its money where its mouth is Saturday with a salute to black authors that includes a day-long donation to the United Negro College Fund.

A portion of the proceeds from Saturday sales go to the fund, said Barbara Bird, communications specialist for the bookstore. This is the third February the store has held a festival celebrating Black History Month.

"We want to show African-Americans in the community that we have books in every category, for every interest," said Bird. "We hope they will come and see what we have."

The event starts at 2 p.m. at the store at 1939 Mt. Zion Road. Live readings will be broadcast on local radio station V-103 from 2 p.m.- 4 p.m.

Among the 21 featured authors are Judge Glenda Hatchett, the presiding judge of a popular syndicated reality court television program, "Judge Hatchett." Although the show is produced in New York City, Hatchett lives in Atlanta.

After almost 10 years with Delta Air Lines, Hatchett accepted an appointment to chief presiding judge of the Fulton County Juvenile Court.

"If anyone had told me that I'd be a judge someday, I'd have said they were crazy," she says on her Web site. "However, certain people I respect in the community asked me to consider the judgeship."

Upon accepting the position, Hatchett became Georgia's first black chief presiding judge of a state court and the department head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country. She held that position for eight years.

Hatchett will be signing copies of her book, "Say What you Mean and Mean What You Say."

But Bird said there is literally something for everyone in the book selection.

"We have historical, fiction, Christian, inspiration, motivational, romance, poetry," she said. "We have a book for everyone's interest and heritage."

Another local author featured Saturday is Anthony B. Thomas, more widely known as The Spark Plug, a professional motivational speaker. He will be signing copies of his second book, "When Times are Tough, Everybody Needs a Spark Plug," which he co-authored with his wife, Jacqueline Benjamin Thomas.

"She's the lady who puts the spark in Spark Plug," said Thomas, who lives in Fayetteville.

Thomas calls his book "your personal spark plug."

"It is packed with hope, inspiration and encouragement on every single page," he said. "This book will also breathe new life into your hopes and dreams and it can help you believe again."

The day kicks off with a character performance by Joanna Maddix, who will deliver a story reading in the form of Harriett Tubman at 11 a.m.

Other authors slated to attend the event are Magdelene Breaux, Laurinda D. Brown, Curtis Bunn, Clifford Chandler, Winston Chapman, Sheila Davis;

Michelle De Leon, Herbert Denmark, Charles W. Dryden, Brian Egeston, Phyllis Hamilton, Rique Johnson;

Darrien Lee, Latina Marie, Brandon Massey, Phil Noble, Velma Maia Thomas, Michael Thurman;

Franklin White, Liz Wisdom and Francine Yates.