Authors sell tomes at Black Spectrum Theatre’s first book fair

Cathleen Williams and her son, Sean Roker, hold up her book, "Single Mother: The New Father," at the Black Spectrum Theatre's book fair. Roker wrote the foreword to the book. Photo by Howard Koplowitz
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From a children’s book on how to conquer your fears to stories of the first black soldiers to fight in the Civil War, the first book fair Saturday at the Black Spectrum Theatre at Roy Wilkins Park had something for everyone.

“It’s been a great community outpouring,” said Beverly Burchett, an author, publisher and co-organizer of the event, which went on without a hitch despite the snowy weather. “Everyone here has sold books, believe it or not.”

Burchett, founder of Black Courrant Press, had her book “Queen Kinni” for sale.

“It’s a story about a girl I met in Harlem and she asked me to write her life story. Then she disappeared and it became a book of fiction,” Burchett said. “Parts of it are false. Parts of it are true.”

The youngest author at the event was 13-year-old DaeQuan T. Morrison, who was 10 years old when he self-published his children’s book “What’s the Spook?”

“It’s a story about a young boy named Ace. He’s often very scared of things,” DaeQuan said. “So he journeys into the underworld and with the help of God he overcomes his fears.”

DaeQuan said the book is geared toward children, but is appropriate for anyone who wants to conquer their fears.

The 13-year-old, who attends the Allen Christian School, is also coming out with a teen novel: “Ghost Kid and the Youngstars.”

“I’ve been writing since I was 6 years old and I want to become a best-selling author and an actor,” he said. “I like writing about supernatural action and adventures.”

Willie Cooper, a native of North Carolina who now lives in St. Albans, was hawking his book “The Forgotten Legacy” at the book fair.

“Basically, it’s in honor of my great-grandfather, who was a Civil War soldier,” said Cooper, a retired schoolteacher. “I call it ‘forgotten’ because that story has been pretty much ignored. Thirty-eight thousand black soldiers lost their lives fighting in the Civil War.”

Carl Clay, founder of the Black Spectrum Theatre, helped organize the event and had his book “Poor-Ducing Theatre & Film at Black Spectrum” for sale.

Clay said the title came from a play he was producing in the 1970s about black cowboys in the Wild West.

A typographical error in an article about the play identified Clay as a “poorducer.”

Clay said he used that as part of the title of his book, which shows readers how to put on plays on a budget.

“It’s really aimed at the general theater-going audience,” he said, although he said the book is also appropriate for people who want to get into the theater business or those who want to start an arts group.

Clay said he believed the book fair was beneficial for southeast Queens.

“I think there needs to be more reading going on in our community,” he said. “We consider books golden opportunities and we feel this is a very positive thing to be involved in.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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