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Black authors host book-signing event

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Dale Butler

Three black authors will be selling and signing their books at an event celebrating Bermuda’s unique culture today.

Dale Butler, Sharon Apopa and David Chapman will take centre stage at The Black Collective Saturday Market in the Bermuda Industrial Union parking lot, with books covering everything from music and psychology to the environment.

The Black Collective was set up earlier this summer as an opportunity for entrepreneurs and families struggling during the tough financial climate.

But organisers also aim to highlight Bermuda’s culture — and they have invited the authors to shine a light on the island’s heritage.

Mr Butler, a historian who will be selling books he has written over the years, reflected on how he has seen the culture of writing change over the years.

“It is a very important event,” he said of today’s get-together.

“In 1976, when I got started, there were just a couple of authors and in those days historians only told one side of the truth. So it was my intention to take the one and two paragraphs they had about outstanding blacks and make them into books.

“I did that with the first biography of EF Gordon. I believe that encouraged other authors to start writing more.

“Recently I have had a lot of clients writing books about abuse which seems to be a hot topic — a hidden item in Bermuda where married women, single women and children are now telling their stories which is very sad and concerning.”

The former Progressive Labour Party MP and culture minister said he “got out of books” seven years ago, and now he helps others get into print.

“I don’t have too many titles left, so chances are I will be signing the few remaining copies of Transitions: Voices of Bermudian Women.”

He describes that as “the only book to date that has captured the opinions of local women on a variety of topics”.

He will also be signing copies of Music on The Rock and Football on the Rock as well as selling lawyer Larry Scott’s It’s Only 4 Per Cent among others.

Author and clinical social worker Dr Apopa will be signing copies of her newest book The Encounter a fictional work that speaks to some of the stories shared by clients over the years.

Released in July, it is the latest of five books that she will have for sale.

The Encounter is what I call a psychological drama,” she said.

“It is actually a fictional story but as a clinical social worker by training I have decided to weave into the story some psychological and sociological principles that can be of assistance to people as they journey through the book.

“It represents the voices of many women I have worked with both when I was clinical director at the Women’s Resource Centre and also in working in women’s treatment. I have heard many stories, so this is a collage of the voices of those women.

“All of us have defining moments in our lives and the outcome of those moments is really based on the psychological approach we take. Underpinning the whole book is the concept of intentionality, making each day count and how the value of good friendships and a better understanding of self leads to better outcomes when managing that defining moment in our lives. It is meant to make you laugh, it is meant to give you some introspection and it is also meant to provide some guidance to those who may be journeying through some level of conflict in their lives.”

Her book, by Pivot Publishing, is on sale at Brown and Company.

Dr Apopa is raising money for a scholarship fund in memory of her late twin sister Caron Assan, formerly director of the National Drug Control.

Dr Chapman will have his book series Daddy and I Explore ... which aims to promote healthy relations between father and child, the environment and early literacy.

“It’s a series of five children’s environmental books about habitats in Bermuda and exposing young people to habitats they might not get an opportunity to see,” he said.

“We talk about tide pools in one book, we talk about Nonsuch Island, mangroves, caves and we have a book about the farms and farm life in Bermuda. It was put into all of the public and private schools so it was very successful during its runs but it is still sold privately.

“The subject was important because of the three strands — it was an opportunity to show that fathers can spend time with their children and Bermuda has a lot of natural spaces to afford that.

“There is a big issue regarding the concept of deadbeat dads in Bermuda so the books were an opportunity to show there is a counter image to that.

“Running alongside that theme was the whole idea of environmental appreciation and helping the young people to be exposed to some of the unique natural spaces that Bermuda has that a lot of them don’t get to see like caves.

“Finally the third piece about the series is promoting early literacy.”

The market was launched at Cup Match and groups including CultureWear, Mae’Z Fashions and The Amen Collection will be selling items. It takes place from 10am to 4pm.

David Chapman
Sharon Apopo with her late twin sister Caron Assan