For immediate release | June 22, 2010

BCALA conference adds Roland Martin, Bryant Terry, Ray Charles Robinson Jr. as featured speakers

CHICAGO, IL – Award-winning journalist Roland S. Martin; eco-chef, food justice activist and author Bryant Terry; and Ray Charles Robinson Jr., son of legendary performer Ray Charles, will speak during the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s seventh National Conference of African American Librarians, August 4­–8, 2010, at the Sheraton Conference Center in Birmingham, Ala. The conference theme is “Bridging the Divide with Information Access, Activism, and Advocacy”

Martin, a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate, will deliver the conference closing session address from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 8. The author of "Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith," "Speak, Brother! A Black Man's View of America" and the forthcoming 'The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin," he is also a commentator for the TV One cable network and host of "Washington Watch with Roland Martin." He was named one of the 150 Most Influential African Americans in the United States by Ebony magazine in 2008 and 2009. Martin is the 2009 winner of the NAACP Image Award for Best Interview for "In Conversation: The Michelle Obama Interview" and the 2008 winner of the NAACP Image Award for Best Interview for "In Conversation: The Sen. Barack Obama Interview."

Terry and Robinson are Authors Luncheon speakers from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7.

Terry is a former fellow of the Food and Society Policy Fellows Program, a national project of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and Fair Food Foundations, and author of the critically acclaimed "Vegan Soul Kitchen (VSK): Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine." In 2001, he founded b-healthy! (Build Healthy Eating and Lifestyles for Youth), a five-year initiative to raise awareness about food justice issues and to empower youth to be active in creating a more just and sustainable food system. Terry’s writings and recipes have been published in Food and Wine, Domino, Mothering, Plenty and Delicious Living.

Robinson will discuss his book "You Don’t Know Me: Reflections of My Father, Ray Charles," cowritten with Mary Jane Ross. He is the oldest son of music icon Ray Charles Robinson and Della B. Robinson. An independent film producer, his work has included serving as co-executive producer with Greg Willenborg of "Ray Charles: 50 Years of Music" and the concert DVD "Christmas Jubilee/Ray Charles with the Voices of Jubilation" with executive producer Stuart Benjamin.

The latest speakers join Dr. Terrance Roberts, a member of the Little Rock Nine, who will deliver the opening session address from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5, and actress/writer/author Kim Wayans and her actor/writer husband Kevin Knotts, who will speak at the Authors Luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6.

The conference will also include screenings of the films "More than a Bus Ride," about the Montgomery bus boycott, and "The Hollywood Librarian," the first full-length documentary about the work and lives of librarians. Birmingham Public Library will host a welcome reception, featuring the “Gee’s Bend Quilts” exhibition, live music and refreshments. The BCALA Awards Ceremony and Dinner will honor outstanding colleagues, and a tour of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is part of the conference agenda.

Advance registration, by July 5, is $225 for ALA ethnic caucus members, $265 for nonmembers, and $135 for retirees and students. Visit for more information.


Pamela Goodes