Four-time Emmy® award-winning red-carpet reporter, Dr. Eric Chambers, readies to launch a fundraising campaign for his new celebrity-driven black history coffee table book Dining With The Ancestors: When Heroes Come To Dinner.
If you could have dinner with anyone from our illustrious Black History past, who would it be? And what would you want to discuss with them? That is the question more than 200 African-American entertainers, professional athletes and notables have answered in this book including Gladys Knight, Ne-Yo, Tyrese, Bishop TD Jakes, Yolanda Adams, Sheryl Underwood, Taraji P. Henson, Israel Houghton, Colin Kaepernick, Lolo Jones, John Wall, Donnie McClurkin, Charlie Wilson, India Arie, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Cedric The Entertainer.
The survey question is the brainchild of Dr. Eric J. Chambers’ book where he’s turned these questions and answers into a new coffee table Black History literacy picture book.
The fundraising campaign is underway at www.diningwiththeancestors.com and Chambers is calling on as many people as possible to contribute, including sponsors.
Chambers first asked the question in 2004 while interviewing his late friend,
Yolanda King, the eldest child of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, his wife. Yolanda sang the praises of her own mother during the interview that aired on Chambersʼ Jazzspel TV show that ran nationally on The Word Network.
When the religious network unexpectedly canceled his wildly popular show in March 2012, Chambers struck a deal to go to another TV station, TCT (Total Christian Television). “They called me the day after my birthday, December 11, 2012 and said theyʼd pick up my show. It was great news,” said the New Orleans native from his southern California office. Once green lit, he began preparing a Black History episode for his February 2013 debut.
In 2000, Mrs. Mamie Till Mobley, the mother of civil rights icon Emmett Louis Till visited Chambers in San Diego and became a “surrogate grandmother” to him. In December 2012 while looking at pictures of him self, at dinner with her and friends, the idea of the “dining with heroes” episode was born. He began asking the question again-This time on the red- carpets of Hollywood. “What a great question! What a great concept for a book!” exclaimed pop star Brandy. Said rap star Kendrick Lamar, “Thatʼs a good one.” During the interviewing process, Chambers learned one superstarentertainer is a cousin of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., while another celebrity’s dream dinner guest would be OJ Simpson. Find out the answers in the book.
About three weeks after the TCT agreement, they sent him an email–reneging on the deal but because the celebrities were so intrigued by the question, he continued asking it while reporting for his own newly formed CUT Network (Chambers Urban TV Network). It was then the idea of a book was born.
“This is such a unique way to teach Black History,” said Professor AlazarTesfamariam, the Black Studies Department Chair at Chambersʼ Alma mater, San Diego City College in San Diego, CA. “Iʼve never seen anything like it. This is going to be a one-of-a-kind, fun way to learn about Black History heroes, past and present,” said theman who Chambers credits as his first Black History mentor.
The book is an imprint of his Who Dat? Publishing House, LLC venture and is slated for a December 2014 release at a celebrity gala in Hollywood. He is offering fans a unique opportunity to win dinner with him and a celebrity or two. He plans a book tour visiting elementary and high schools, community colleges, HBCUs, state universities and Ivy League schools, bringing along a surprise celebrity hero to some events.
A portion of the proceeds will go to The Harvest Of My Dreams Foundationʼs H.A.M. Program (History, Art & Music Literacy) that will teach and inspire African-American youth and young adults as well as offer scholarships for higher learning and artistic project completions.
Dr. Chambers is available for interviews and speaking engagements. Email your request to: DWTAncestors@Gmail.com.