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Sherman J. Howard honored at The Soulful Chicago Book Fair

The Soulful Chicago Book Fair organized by Asadah Kirkland will be held on Saturday, July 16 on 61st Street from Cottage Grove to King Drive starting at 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. It is expected to include over 100 Black authors, workshops, special ceremonies, Grammy-level entertainment and food.

A special tribute ceremony is planned for new authors to recognize their work with awards for the courage and perseverance it takes to author a book. Entertainers include Eric Roberson, Maggie Brown, David Boykin, KUUMBA Lynx, Blah, Blah, Blah DJ Duane Powell, Pegasus Theatre Chicago Useni Eugene Perkins, and J. Daphaney.

This “Gathering of the Griots,” is the theme under which organizers hope to create a counter narrative to Chicago’s reputation for violence, and bolster a renewed appreciation for literacy and the literary arts in the Black community. That is why six blocks will be transformed into a platform where author-centric, literary celebration will provide a platform for Black authors to tell their stories and to inspire future thinkers. The Soulful Chicago Book Fair is organized with each block featuring a different literary genre from non-fiction to fiction, as well as children’s books. Signage will highlight these sections making is easy for visitors to locate areas of interest at the book fair.

Kirkland says this event promises to be an exciting exposé promoting Black authors. One such author is Vietta L. Robinson, daughter of legendary African American National Football League (NFL) player, Sherman J. Howard. Howard, at the age of 91, is the oldest living NFL alumnus. He was also a student athlete at Wendell Phillips High School in the early 1940s and a member of the State Track and Field team from Phillips in 1943, where along with the great Buddy Young, won the State Championship.

After his NFL career ended in 1954, Howard taught in the Chicago Public Schools for twenty-six years and was a renowned Physical Education instructor at Harlan High School and its head football coach. His daughter Vietta has captured the life of this legendary African American Chicagoan in her book, Sherman J. Howard: Football and Beyond: The Legend and Legacy of an African American NFL Pioneer.

The Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (CCICS) is hosting a book signing reception featuring Vietta Robinson on Thursday, July 14, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Pre-Function Reception Area of the Donn F. Bailey Legacy Hall.

CCICS is located at 700 East Oakwood Boulevard in Chicago. Admission is free and the book will be available for purchase.

The public is invited to join others on this date as preparation is made to celebrate the life of the great and legendary, Sherman J. Howard.

For more information call 646-359-6605 or send an email to [email protected]. More information is also available on the website at

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