Black Books & Beyond

Now in its ninth year, the annual Harlem Book Fair, held July 20-22, was a welcome break from the Harry Potter mania. The event drew hundreds of onlookers and bookbuyers from the community and elsewhere. At the newly renovated Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, there were several panel discussions, one of which featured former Congressman J. C. Watts, speaking on the State of African American Literacy. Just outside, along a two-block stretch of 135th Street, there were poetry readings, gospel music, book sales, and more.

This is a wonderful venue for self-publishers, new authors, and obscure publishers to showcase their works: Dwayne Murray’s The Mouse that Roared from Madbo Enterprises; John Fouts Gardenhire’s Life Lessons from M y Father from Airleaf; and Joann D. Bellamy’s Saving Grace from Xulon Press

There was an interesting assortment of vendors: a custom clothier (Simply Ellis) promoting a book called Restoring the Male Image…a Look from the Inside Out; tents for clothing; a Washington mutual bank exhibitor; and a number of food stands. There were radical book vendors too. I was impressed with the hundreds of African Americans roaming those aisles, looking for books to add to their libraries, supporting black authors. Who says we don’t read?



  1. Shaniqua Brown says:

    Thanks for mentioning Dwayne Murray author of The Mouse That Roared and Whatever It Takes. I too was at the 2007 Harlem Book Fair and purchased his two books. I wish I had saved his books for last because after reading his books, the others I purchased didn’t hold a candle to his. This self-pub author has what it takes to make it in the literary world. Mr. Murray’s books are movies in print. Thanks for shouting him out on your site, hopefully if the word get out about this author, then great things will happen for him.

  2. Devon Gregg says:

    I met Dwayne Murray at the Harlem Book Fair too. He had his family out there hustling with him. He really went out the way for marketing and publicity. Mr. Murray gave out bookmarks, pens, magnetic calendars for the “fridge”, CDs, and an ice cold bottle of water with his book covers on them. I bought the books for my wife, but after she lost her mind when she was reading The Mouse, I told her to pass it on and let me see what all the hoopla was about. For real people, The Mouse That Roared was a great story and yes it is hard to put that book down even for a minute. I’m waiting to read Mr. Murray’s other novel Whatever It Takes soon after my wife finishes. “Mr. Murray, you have a fan for life!”


  3. Denise Phillips says:

    I typed this author’s name in a search engine and tons of information came up regarding the novels he self-published. I am compelled to post on this site because I read both of Mr. Murray’s novels which were both ecellent novels. I notice many of the reviews pointed out how his books read like motion pictures that I am sure would make money if they were made into movies. Is there places where a novelist like Mr. Murray can have his book reviewed and considered for motion picture. All I know is I would pay to see these books played out in a movie.

    Kudos to Mr. Dwayne Murray author and self-publisher of The Mouse That Roared and Whatever It Takes. Thanks for giving readers such an excellent story.

    Denise Phillips

  4. Arturo Gomez says:

    I also read Dwayne Murray’s books, The Mouse That Roared and Whatever It Takes. Both of his books are so different than other urban novels I read. I know the neighborhoods too well that he depicts in his novels and I know these areas are urban areas. But Mr. Murray is excellent with detailing his characters, setting up the scenes, and getting the reader ready for the next crazy thing his characters are going to do. His books are awesome and I look forward to the next one. I hope nothing but good things come to this guy because he has great storytelling abilities. Good Luck my brother!


  5. Solid Gold Travel says:

    Max Rodriguez of the Harlem Book Fair is a professional conman. Solid Gold Travel has had the unfortunate experience of being conned by him recently, leaving a huge debt and responsibility.

    In early 2007, Mr. Rodriguez entered an agreement with the Bermuda Department of Tourism and Solid Gold Travel to sponsor a Cruise to Bermuda for August of 2008. When the time came for Mr. Rodriguez to pay his agreed upon deposit for the Cruise, he submitted 2 consecutive bad checks. After his second check bounced, we reached out to Mr. Rodriguez via phone and email to no response whatsoever. Now, after several months and several attempts to reach him, Mr. Rodriguez will not respond.

    In recent conversations, we have found that Mr. Rodriguez has defrauded numerous other businesses and minority organizations.

    As minority business owners for over 20 years, we understand the importance and value of the Black Business responsibility and reputation. Max Rodriguez has built a career out of scamming our community and should be held responsible for his actions.

    If you or someone you know has been tricked, conned or ripped off by Max Rodriguez of the Harlem Book Fair, we invite you to share your story or contact us at