April 18, 2017 Newsletter: New Books, Vote for Your Favorite Author, and More

Tyehimba Jess, Hilton Als, Colson Whityehead and LYnn Nottage. Black writers winners of the 2017 Pulitzer PrizeAALBC.com Congratulates all the Winners of Pulitzer Prizes in the Letters and Drama Categories

Fiction: Colson Whitehead for his novel Underground Railroad
Poetry: Tyehimba Jess for his book Olio
Drama: Lynn Nottage for her play Sweat

AALBC.com also recognizes novelist and critic Hilton Als who won for Criticism: “For bold and original reviews that strove to put stage dramas within a real-world cultural context, particularly the shifting landscape of gender, sexuality, and race.” Discover all the Black winners of Pulitzers over the past 100 years.


25 African Women Writers You Should Read25 African Women Writers You Should Read

These ladies originate all corners of the African continent, and their stories are as unique as their backgrounds. The common denominator is that they are all terrific writers. Learn more about their work.


New Books Coming Out May 2017

New Books Coming Out May 2017Learn about these and other excellent new books coming out this month and in the coming months.


AALBC.com Mourns the Loss of Nobel Laureate Derrick WalcottAALBC.com Mourns the Loss of Nobel Laureate Derrick Walcott

Sir Derek Alton Walcott was born on January 23, 1930, in the town of Castries in Saint Lucia, one of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. He passed March 17, 2017, at his home in Gros Islet, St. Lucia.

In addition to having won the Nobel, Walcott has won many literary awards over the course of his career including an Obie Award in 1971 for his play Dream on Monkey Mountain, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award, a Royal Society of Literature Award, the Queen’s Medal for Poetry, and the 2011 T. S. Eliot Prize for his book of poetry, White Egrets.


Recommended Reads

Chasing Space by Leland Melvin

Chasing Space
by Leland Melvin

Melvin is a former NFL player and retired astronaut who has had a remarkable journey filled with setbacks and injury. Ultimate he was able to overcome all obstacles and use his platform to further STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) education.

Leland’s story is incredibly inspiring. There is a video on his page which is definitely worth watching. Chasing Space Young Readers’ Edition will be available as well


Book of Black Heroes: Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil RobertsonBook of Black Heroes: Political Leaders Past and Present
by Gil Robertson

The highly anticipated fourth installment of the Book of Black Heroes series, Political Leaders Past and Present, spotlights African American who have made valuable contributions in U.S. government leadership. Included are Hiram Revels, P.B.S. Pinchback and Robert Smalls, among the first African Americans to hold political offices, Oscar De Priest and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr,, who served during the Jim Crow period as well as Edward M. Brooke, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, John Lewis, John Conyers, Carl Stokes, and others who emerged during the 1960s on the heels of major civil rights legislation that gave millions of African American the right to vote.


Vote for Your Favorite Black Author of the 21st Century

Vote for Your Favorite Black Author of the 21st CenturyIn 2001, almost two thousand readers cast votes for their favorite African-American authors. We published the names of those 50 very popular authors.

We are now creating a new list, expanding our original scope beyond African-Americans, to include Black authors regardless of their nationality. The only requirement is that the authors you vote for must have been alive and published a book in the 21st century (after January 1, 2001). Everyone is welcome to vote.

Cast your vote today! and share the poll with others. This is a great way to discover new but significant writers from our network of readers.


Video: Update on The Premier Website for Black Books

Video: Update on The Premier Website for Black BooksAALBC.com is a massive, feature rich, website. Many visitors don’t appreciate the site’s size and scope, so I created this video to help describe some of what AALBC.com has to offer.

I also describe some of the recent enhancements which have been added as a result of the upgrade I started last year. Check out the video and share your feedback.


Black World Books in Killeen, TX

We are pleased to share the news of the opening of a new bookstore, and the launch of their associated website, Black World Books located in Killeen TX.

“One of the things that Maeva [the store’s founder] is most excited about is her involvement in the struggle for African Americans, and all blacks who are a part of the African diaspora, to achieve autonomy through economic empowerment.”

Learn more about other independent bookstores and book websites that serve the Black community.


Africa Book Club

Africa Book Club“Our journey as a club dates back to 2010, and was inspired by the conviction that African literature had an important contribution to make in shaping what the world thought about Africa and its people.”

Africa Book Club is one of the best websites dedicated to books I’ve discovered in a long time. The site hasn’t been active for a while (since July 2015), but they’re looking to update more regularly. Check them out.


Black Classic Press Takes 20% off Poetry & Literature Books

Black Classic Press Takes 20% off Poetry & Literature BooksBlack Classic Press is discounting all poetry and literature titles for National Poetry Month.

Founded in 1978, by W. Paul Coates, Black Classic Press is devoted to publishing obscure and significant works by and about people of African descent. They specialize in republishing works that are out of print and quite often out of memory. They began publishing because They wanted to extend the memory of what they believe are important books that have helped in meaningful ways to shape the Black diasporic experience and our understanding of the world.


130+ Book Events, Fairs, Festivals, and Conferences

Abantu Book Festival

The Abantu Book Festival is an annual literary event held in Soweto, South African’s artistic heartland, featuring authors from South Africa, Africa, and the diaspora. Abantu is the Nguni word for people, which makes this the people’s festival.

We’ve recently decided to expand our list of book festivals to include the largest festivals around the world. Learn more about this festival and other coming up over the next 12 months.


Win Misti Copeland’s New Book

Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You by Misty Copeland

Be the first of three subscribers to identify the 10 African women writers pictured in the image near the beginning of this newsletter. Email the 10 names to troy@aalbc.com. The first three emails received with the correct 10 names will win. Ballerina Body by Misti Copeland.

Congratulation to the winners of our last contest, who won copies of KImberla Lawson Roby’s newest book a galley of her upcoming book, Sin of a Woman.

▪ Kimberly K. Frink, Bronx, NY
▪ Zina Kornegay, Cheltenham, MD and
▪ Avis Topps, Los Angeles CA

This contest is sponsored by Grand Central Publishing.


Authors: Let AALBC.com be Your Official Web Presence

Authors: Let AALBC.com be Your Official Web PresenceAALBC.com believes an author is best served by having their own website. In reaction to seeing so many authors give up running their own website and turning to Facebook or Amazon to serve as their primary web presence, we decided to launch a new service.

We can help you register your Domain Name and direct it to your AALBC.com Profile Page. This will not only give readers a much richer experience with your books, you’ll also enjoy the next best thing to having a dedicated website. Learn how to get started.


Two Terrific Ways to Promote Your Books on AALBC.com

Spring Special - Your Book on Two Popular Pages Until June 21, 2017 – Only $89Spring Special – Your Book on Two Popular Pages Until June 21, 2017 – Only $89

Your book will appear on AALBC.com’s Homepage and the Book’s Main Page for the entire spring, now through midnight June 21, 2017. Act now; this deal will expire April 30, 2017.

Place Your Horizontal Ad Banner on Every AALBC.com Page for as Little as 50 Cents per Day!

728X90 Ad Banners are displayed at the top and bottom of every AALBC.com page and are seen by 1,000s of visitors daily. Select the banner placement (top of page or bottom) and the number of days you’d like the campaign to run.

Get your book noticed by an avid reader today!


Poet, Mica Furlow’s AALBC.com “Mug Shot”Poet, Mica Furlow’s AALBC.com “Mug Shot


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Troy, please know that AALBC.com exists because of your support. Please consider paying for your newsletter subscription and sharing our content with others.

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Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com


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AALBC.com eNewsletter – April 18, 2017 – Issue #244

Video: Update on The Premier Website for Black Books

AALBC.com is a massive, feature rich, website.  Many visitors don’t appreciate the site’s size and scope, so I created this video to help describe some of what AALBC.com has to offer.

I also describe some of the recent enhancements which have been added as a result of the upgrade we started last year.

Black Writers Dominate the 2017 Pulitzer Prizes

Tyehimba Jess, Hilton Als, Colson Whityehead and LYnn Nottage. Black writers winners of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize

Back in January of this year, I took the time to try to figure out how many Black writers have won Pulitzer Prizes in the six “Letters and Drama” categories; Biography/Autobiography, Fiction, General Non-Fiction, History, Poetry, and Drama.  The results were spectacularly dismal.

The award was first bestowed in 1917.  The first award was not given to a Black person until 1950! Gwendolyn Brooks was the first to win for her book of poetry Annie Allen.  Almost another three decades would go by before another Black writer, James Alan McPherson would win for his novel, Elbow Room in 1978.

As far as I can tell, no Black writer has ever won for General Non-fiction. Only one writer Ta-Nehisi Coates was ever nominated in the category, for the spectacularly successful, Between the World and Me.

Up until 2016, only 19 Black writers have won Pulitzer Prizes during the first century the award was given.  However this year, three Black writers have won half of the awards in given in the Letters and Drama categories.  Given the history of the award, it is like lightning striking not twice but three times.

In fact, novelist and critic Hilton Als won the Award for Criticism.  I did not research the history of the other 18 categories for which Pulitzer Prizes are awarded.  The other categories deal mostly with journalism and reporting; I suspect that would be an interesting and revealing exercise to review those categories too.

I’d be the first to argue that the Black community does not need the validation of Pulitzer Prize Board to substantiate our work.  Indeed, given the history of the award, it is not expected either.  However, there have been substantive changes in the awards in recent years.  This is the first time three Black writers have won in these categories in a single year. Of the total 22 awards given to Black writers, almost half were given in the last 10 years.  This is a positive trend.

So while we do not need the award to know our writing deserves merit, it is, of course, welcomed when our literary merit is acknowledged and celebrated by the broader community.   In additional to the $10,000 monetary award, these writers will enjoy even greater success with better book advances and more lucrative speaking gigs.  This is America and awards like the Pulitzer help authors achieve financial success—a benefit denied so many talented Black writers.

AALBC.com congratulates all the winners of Pulitzer Prizes in the Letters and Drama categories:

Fiction
Colson Whitehead for his novel Underground Railroad

“For a distinctive work that melds performance art with the deeper art of poetry to explore collective memory and challenge contemporary notions of race and identity.”

Poetry
Tyehimba Jess for his book Olio

“For a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America.”

Drama
Lynn Nottage for her play Sweat

“For a nuanced yet powerful drama that reminds audiences of the stacked deck still facing workers searching for the American dream.”