Welcome to the Diamond Literary Festival

Former Authors & Writers for the Diamond Literary Festival

Melvin “Deep Red” Boyce II is a poet, teacher and film writer. He uses poetry to build self-esteem in his young students.

His album, "Involuntary Chameleon,” takes a tough look at the challenges young girls and women face in this society. His first documentary short film: BIRTHMARK, follows the life of Samara Lycain as she confronts her past history of sexual abuse.


Jan Rynveld Carew, Emeritus Professor Northwestern University, was born in Agricola-Rome, Guyana, South America. He is a novelist, poet, playwright, and educator. In addition to his education at Howard and Western Reserve Universities in the United States, he also studied at the Charles University in Prague, Czechoslovakia and the Sorbonne in France. He is a founder of the field of Pan- African Studies, and has served as lecturer, professor or program director at Princeton, Rutgers, George Mason, Hampshire, Lincoln and London Universities. He has served as an advisor to the heads of state of numerous nations on the African continent and in the Caribbean.

Carew entered academia after living for years in Britain as a writer, and in an Emeritus Professors of African-American and Third World Studies at Northwestern University. He is a permanent advisor to the University of Namibia in Windhoek, Namibia and to the St. Petersburg University of the Pedagogical Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has been a major contributor to the Journal of African Civilizations and Race and Class. He is the author of Grenada: The Hour Will Strike Again (1985), Fulcrums of Change (1988), and Ghosts in Our Blood: With Malcolm X in Africa, England and the Caribbean (1994). His essays include: "Estevanico: The African Explorer," "Columbus and the Origins of Racism in the Americas," and "Moorish Culture-Bringers: Bearers of Enlightenment."
Jan Carew is also the author of Black Midas (1958), The Wild Coast (1958), The Last Barbarian (1962), Green Winter (1965), The Third Gift (1981), Children of the Sun (1980), Sea Drums in My Blood (1981), and Rape of Paradise (1984).

Michael Datcher is an author, poet, playwright, and journalist. His latest play, SILENCE, was commissioned by and opened at the Getty Museum. He is the author of the New York Times Bestseller, RAISING FENCES: A Black Man’s Love Story which was also a TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB selection. His essays and poetry are widely anthologized, including Bum Rush the Page (Crown Books), Testimony (Beacon Press), Soulfires (Penguin), Body & Soul (Crown), Another City (City Lights Books), Catch The Fire (Riverhead), Roll Call (Third World Press), and many others.
As a journalist, Datcher has written for the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Vibe, Ladies Home Journal, The Source, and others.

Datcher is the co-editor of TOUGH LOVE: The Life and Death of Tupac Shakur (Alexander). He is a Professor of English at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a board member of Pen USA.

Kendrick Dial from Dallas, Texas, is a Poet, an Author, Motivational Speaker, MC, songwriter, and Entrepreneur. He is currently the host of a monthly Christian Event called the “Palmist Hour” a venue that allows artists, singers, musicians, poets and others to display their various talents. Kendrick published his first book of poetry entitled " Da JOYNT" The Journey Not Withstanding.


Ron Edmundson is a professor of English at San Diego Mesa College, California. He teaches critical thinking and visual writing skills; custom design individual research projects. He has self published three collections of personal essays on the Black Experience: The Mystical Pleasure of Chocolate, The Making of a Chocolate Connoisseur, and Agony and Ecstasy: Seeing God in Black Skin (A Mystic’s Journey). He has finished two more manuscripts for future publication: Rumble in the Blackboard Jungle and Loving a Woman Well.

Edmundson is a former Public Relations Director at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He planned publicity campaigns for Sidney Poiter, Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis Jr. and Spike Lee.

Dr. Ida Greene, president of People Skills International, received == Haki Madhubuti "Self Publisher of the Year" Award in 2006; She’s a personal development coach, motivational speaker, and educator; The author of over 13 books focused on personal empowerment, self-esteem, and anger management.


Sam Greenlee has been a novelist, poet, screenwriter, journalist, teacher and talk show host. He was born in Chicago. His first and most well known novel, The Spook Who Sat by the Door, was published in 1968. This prize-winning novel quickly became an underground favorite for its fictionalization of an urban-based war for African American liberation. Greenlee co-wrote a screenplay adaptation of the novel, and in 1973 The Spook Who Sat by the Door was released on film. The film was an overnight success when it was released but was unexpectedly taken out of distribution.

Carridder "Rita" Jones is a playwright, a published fictional/non fictional writer and a historian. Jones' plays have been presented at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky Center for the Arts Martin Experimental Theatre, Paducah, Kentucky Market House Theatre and the University Of Louisville Theatre. Jones was Co-Director of an award winning National Public Radio Program, Negro Hamlets of Lexington. Presently she is Co-producing a documentary on Lexington Free towns for Kentucky Educational Television.

- A Backward Glance At Reality - Tobacco Literary Anthology 2004; A Thief In The Night, Calliope Literary Anthology 2003; Climbing the Great Wall of China, Women Who Write Anthology 2000; University of Louisville Alumni Magazine 1995 – 1999; The Maleficent Impet - Story Tellers Arts and Humanities Journal 1995; Action Pact Magazine 1994-1995; That Old Time Religion - Thinker Review - National Literary Magazine 1994; Old Dusty Road - Arts Tabloid 1993; Miz Cenia - Louisville Review 1992.

Dr. Steven Jones is the author of Journey to Excellence, An Introduction to E4 (Examination, Education, Empowerment, and Excellence) is a must read for people of every walk of life. Jones is a national speaker, trainer, and consultant in the areas of strategic change, leadership development, diversity and inclusion, conflict resolution, and self-esteem. Dr. Jones is the CEO of Jones & Associates Consulting, a diversity and organizational change consulting firm.

He founded project SELF, which partnered with schools across San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles County, to develop the skills that young African American males need to become leaders and make a substantial contribution to their society. Dr. Jones has provided consultation to leaders in organizations such as Poway Unified School District, The Chicago Academy for Urban School Leadership, the City of Sacramento, City of San Diego, Florida Workforce Treasure Board, Harvard University, State University of New York (Purchase), University of San Diego, Kodak, LG InfoComm, Nokia, Toyota, National Association of Women Business Owners, AOL (America Online), Honda Motors, and UHP Healthcare.

Amara Momoh, born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, is the author of The Echo of a Cry in the Dark, a book of poems. He began writing poetry in high school where he discovered the art as “a way of reaching into himself and reaching out to the world.”

He studied Agriculture at the University of Sierra Leone and, shortly after graduating, migrated to the United States in 1989, just a few years before his country would plunged into a ten year long brutal civil war.

Amara holds a degree in Nursing from the Los Angeles Trade Technical College and he practices as a Critical Care Nurse in Southern California. He lives with his wife in San Diego where he writes and performs poetry.

Ruth Peterson is a children’s book author. Her latest book is entitled, “It’s Time for Bed, Stephanie!” She is a native of Oklahoma, born in a poor, rural community known of Garcreek, in the Township of Wagoner. Her first book was “Before I Die,” a drama, published in 1987 in the Standard Christmas Program Book, Anniversary Edition. She has written and published numerous poems, plays, and skits. She has served as seminar leader and coordinator for youth groups where she wrote and published various literary works.

Tony Rose is publisher and CEO of Amber Communications Group, Inc (Amber Books, Busta Books, Colossus Books and Ambrosia Books) and is the recipient of the Black Board Bestseller’s African American Publisher of the Year Award for his dedication to African-American publishing and his efforts to promote African-American authors worldwide.


Dr. Ikael Tafari is the author of Rastafari In Transition. It is an authentic comprehensive study of Rastafari. Dr. Tafari, Rastafarian elder, is the Deputy Director of the Commission for Pan-African Affairs based in Barbados.

Itibari M. Zulu is the head librarian at the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies Library and Media Center at UCLA; Provost of Instruction and Curriculum at Amen-Ra-Theological Seminary; African and African American Studies editor for Multicultural Review Magazine; Vice President of the African Diaspora Foundation; Provisional Director of the King-Luthuli Transformation Centre Peace Library and Distance Learning Centre (Johannesburg, South Africa); Executive Director of the Los Angeles Black Book Expo; The author of Exploring the African Centered Paradigm: Discourse and Innovation in African World Community Studies; Junteenth: A Celebration of African American Freedom, Basic Questions and Answers (California Institute of Pan African Studies African American Library and Information Science Association); and, editor of Authentic Voices: Axioms and Questions from the African World Community.

DLF Health Care Scholars and Athletes
Trena Bennett is the Director of Mid-City Community Gym of San Diego, CA. A personal trainer instructor. President/CEO of Gospel Cise Ministries Inc. with the mission of building a healthy mind, body, and spirit. She is a certified “Gospel Step Aerobics/Dance Instructor.

Gregory Knoll is also the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society’s Consumer Center for Health Education and Advocacy. This is one of the first comprehensive education and advocacy centers for physical and mental health consumers, who are eligible to receive healthcare from federal, state, and county programs.
Mr. Knoll has extensive litigation experience and has been the recipient of the Loren Miller Attorney of the Year Award from the NAACP, the San Diego County Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award, and the Cesar E. Chavez Social Justice Award. Mr. Knoll is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law in Newark, NJ.

Master Luis De La Rosa was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In 1975, he received his Black Belt in Shotokan and in 1977 he joined the United States Marine Corps.

In 1984 Mr. De La Rosa received his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and later competed in the Navy/Marine Corps Tae Kwon Do Championships where he won a Silver Medal.
From 1995 to 1997, Mr. De La Rosa was the Director and Guard Chief for the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, and was the Co-Founder of S.A.R.A.P, (Sexual Assault/Rape Awareness and prevention) measures. He organized and judged the selection of the U.S. Marine Corps Tae Kwon Do Team, which represented the Marine Corps World Wide Team in 1996.


Paul “The Ultimate” Vaden is a personal trainer and motivational speaker. He is the 1995 IBF World Jr. Middleweight Champion; 1989 U.S. Amateur Champion; 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival Gold Medalist, and his best winning record in amateur boxing history is 327 wins and 10 losses.


Diamond Literary Festival Association
P.O. Box 152106
San Diego, CA 92195-2106
Phone: 619-913-0626
Email: alice.jefferson@cox.net

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