The late Rosa Parks, left, and Author H.H. Leonards

NASHVILLE, TN — R.H. Boyd made its first appearance at the 34th Annual Southern Festival of Books in Nashville from October 14 – 16. 

This appearance featured Rosa Parks Beyond the Bus: Life, Lessons, and Leadership, and author H. H. Leonards, founder of O Museum in The Mansion in Washington, DC, where Mrs. Rosa Parks, her friends, and business associates lived with her, at no cost, as part of The Mansion and O Museum’s Heroes-In-Residence Program.

Leonards took part in a featured panel discussion during the festival and  signed copies of her book, Rosa Parks Beyond the Bus: Life, Lessons, and Leadership which was published on Juneteenth. This book includes a decade of inspiring and instructive memories collected during the time when Rosa Parks stayed at the author’s Washington, DC home. A personal and intimate glimpse of Parks is also shared by the author in this work through her fond recollections, both delightful and somber.

“We are excited to take part in this festival and are eager to connect with the community,” said Dr. LaDonna Boyd, fifth-generation President/CEO of R.H. Boyd. “This company was founded during a time when literacy was criminalized and dangerous for African Americans. To be able to share our culture and resources with this audience is an honor. We are thankful to our ancestors for their perseverance and sacrifice that paved the way for us to be here today.”

An annual literary festival in downtown Nashville, the Southern Festival of Books is one of the oldest in the country, welcoming approximately 200 authors and 25,000 visitors every October. 

Presented by Humanities Tennessee, the three-day festival hosted panel sessions, discussions, and readings from a wide variety of genres including fiction and nonfiction, young adult literature, poetry, science fiction, and mystery. 

The event was held in downtown Nashville at the War Memorial Plaza and the Nashville Public Library’s main branch.