Enrich Your Life; Read a Good Book – August 2014 eNewsletter

You may receive this eNewsletter directly in your email-box by subscribing. It may also be read on your Kindle ebook reader, or any device by downloading a PDF version. Enjoy our previous eNewsletters. Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing.

This month’s eNewsletter is sponsored by Grand Central Publishing

The Choir Director 2 In this sequel to Carl Weber’s New York Times bestseller The Choir Director, the faith and friendship of two men will be tested in ways they never thought possible…

Three years ago, the unlikely duo of Bishop TK Wilson and choir director Aaron Mackie saved First Jamaica Ministries from financial ruin with their successful church choir. Now, jealousy and lies has both men’s lives spiraling out of control and the lines TK and Aaron might have to cross will force them to choose between faith and friendship, or as TK puts it, “between heaven and hell.”

RT Book Reviews named The Choir Director 2 (Grand Central Publishing, 8/19/2014) a Top Pick, calling it “a tale so captivating, thrilling, sexy and insane that it’s enough to make a preacher curse.” Visit CarlWeber.net to buy it now!


Power List Best Selling Books — Summer 2014

Power List Best Selling Books — Summer 2014In an era when the NY Times Bestsellers list can go several months without a single novel written by a Black person, it is increasingly important for us to recognize and celebrate the most popular books written by Black writers. This is this is not just for the benefit of Black authors or Black readers; this is for the benefit of everyone who loves a wide range of literature. Spread the word. Added Bonus all Power List best selling books are available for 20% off list when purchased using the MahoganyBooks links on powerlist.info!


Authors You Should Know

news-george-moses-hortonGeorge Moses Horton — 1st African American to publish any book in the South

George Moses Horton (ca. 1797-1883), was born in Northampton County, North Carolina. A slave for sixty-eight years, Horton spent much of his life on a farm near Chapel Hill, and in time he fostered a deep connection with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The “Colored Bard of North Carolina” was the only man to publish volumes of poetry while in bondage and the first African American to publish any book in the South. More >


news-mona-lisa-saloyMona Lisa Saloy — Poet, Author, Educator, Folklorist

Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy is professor of English at Dillard University. She previously published Red Beans & Ricely Yours, which won the 2005 T. S. Eliot Prize and the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Prize in 2006. Saloy’s literary voice represents the African-American and the New Orleans Creole cultural experience.

Saloy is a noted speaker and storyteller, who consults to the Louisiana Endowment for the

Humanities (LEH), the Louisiana Division of the Arts (LDOA), and is an active member of the Louisiana Folklore Society. Also, Saloy composed a praise song & performed for two presidents. Read a review of her latest, Second Line Home: New Orleans Poems.


news-ishmael-beahIshmael Beah — Child Soldier Pens his 1st Novel

Ishmael Beah was born in Sierra Leone in 1980. He moved to the United States in 1998 and finished his last two years of high school at the United Nations International School in New York. In 2004 he graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in political science. He is a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Advisory Committee and has spoken before the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities (CETO) at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, and many other NGO panels on children affected by the war. Read about Beah’s new novel, Radiance of Tomorrow.


Drusilla Dunjee Houston — Foremother of Africana Historical Writing and Research Drusilla Dunjee Houston — Foremother of Africana Historical Writing and Research

“Like many African American women writers swallowed up and languishing in the historical gap, Houston is one of the most prolific and all but forgotten African American women writers of the 20th century.

Houston burst on the historical literary scene in 1926 with Volume I of her magnum opus Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Cushite Empire Book 1: Nations of the Cushite Empire, Marvelous Facts from Authentic Records thought to represent the crowning achievement of Drusilla Dunjee Houston’s literary life. With this work, Houston is remembered as the earliest known and possibly the only African American woman to write a multi-volume study of ancient Africa where she boldly proclaimed in 1926, an African origin of civilization and culture during one of the most turbulent periods for black Americans in American history.” —Peggy Brooks-Bertram Learn More about Drusilla Dunjee Houston.


news-essex-hemphillEssex Hemphill — Poet, Writer, Activist

Born in Chicago in 1957, Essex Hemphill was raised in Washington, D.C. before settling in Philadelphia. Cleis Press calls Hemphill, “one of the most provocative African American gay authors since James Baldwin.” Winner of the 1993 American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Book Award, Ceremonies (Plume, 1992) tackles cultural controversy with remarkable force and clarity. Whether he is addressing love between men, AIDS in the African American community, racism among white gay artists, coming home or coming out, Hemphill’s insights give voice to a generation of men silenced by fears of reprisal and rejection. Hemphill passed in November of 1995. More >


news-sister-bettyPat G’Orge-Walker — Christian Author and Comedienne

“The First Lady of Gospel Comedy,” is an accomplished Christian author and comedienne with a talent for turning her observations of church and black church life, in particular, into gems of sidesplitting humor. It is her own special gift from God that enables G’Orge-Walker to depict the often ridiculous antics of church folk. She does it without subverting the Good News or watering down the potency of its message. More >


Book Recommendations

news-what-i-know-for-sureWhat I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

An AALBC.com Book of the Month! for September 2014: The 1st 50 customers that purchase this book will receive a FREE copy of The Ditchdigger’s Daughter. No code needed.

Winfrey, the nation’s only African-American billionaire, has been awarded both an honorary degree by Harvard University and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. From all her experiences, she has gleaned life lessons—which, for fourteen years, she’s shared in O, The Oprah Magazine’s widely popular “What I Know For Sure” column, a monthly source of inspiration and revelation.

Now, for the first time, these thoughtful gems have been revised, updated, and collected in What I Know For Sure, a beautiful cloth bound book with a ribbon marker, packed with insight and revelation from Oprah. (Flatiron Books 9/2/14)


news-act-like-a-success

Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life’s Riches by Steve Harvey

Countless books on success tell you what you need to get that you don’t already possess. In Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success, Steve Harvey tells you how to achieve your dreams using the gift you already have. Every one of us was born with a gift endowed by our creator—something you do the best at with very little effort. While it can be like someone else’s, your gift is yours alone. No one can take it away. You are the only one who can use it—or waste it. (Amistad, 9/9/14)


news-in-the-slow-goInto the Go-Slow by Bridgett M. Davis

“…Davis writes about two hot-button locations—Detroit and Lagos, yet she explores these settings without nostalgia or exoticism. She understands that these are REAL PLACES where REAL PEOPLE live. I connected all the characters, Angie, especially. Her pain so so vivid, but so is her big-hearted love for the people in her life.

…She asks whether or not African Americans can ever really go ‘home’ to Africa. The love story contained on these pages will break your heart, and mend it too. There’s so much going on, but you never take your mind off the big question: What happened to Angie’s sister, Ella? Will Angie ever find out? Who can she trust? Does she really want to know the truth? …get this novel. You will love it.” —Award Winning Author, Tayari Jones (The Feminist Press at CUNY, 9/9/14)


news-bed-rock-faithBedrock Faith by Eric Charles May

After fourteen years in prison, Gerald “Stew Pot” Reeves, age thirty-one, returns home to live with his mom in Parkland, a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. A frightening delinquent before being sent away (his infamies included butchering a neighbor’s cat, torching another neighbor’s garage, and terrorizing the locals with a scary pit bull named Hitler), his return sends Parkland residents into a religiously infused tailspin, which only increases when Stew Pot announces that he experienced a religious awakening in prison. With uncompromising fervor (and with a new pit bull named John the Baptist), Stew Pot appoints himself the moral judge of Parkland. He discovers that a woman on his block is a lesbian and outs her to the neighborhood, after a mild threat from the block club president, Stew Pot reveals a secret that leaves the president’s marriage in ruin… (Akashic Books, 3/4/14)


news-oh-gadOh Gad! by Joanne C. Hillhouse

Oh Gad! is a stirring novel about a woman facing cross-cultural odds and redefining everything she understands about her family, herself, and the country she’s never really been able to call home.

Nikki Baltimore was born in Antigua but grew up with her dad in the United States. With each year, she’s grown further apart from her mother and maternal siblings, potters in rural Antigua.

Listen to Elizabeth Nunez’s, recommendation for the novel _Oh Gad!_ (Strebor Books, 4/17/12)


news-our-children-can-soarOur Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change by Michelle Cook

Rosa sat so
Martin could march.
Martin marched so
Barack could run.
Barack ran so
Our children can soar.

This is the seed of a unique picture book that is part historical, part poetry, and entirely inspirational. It takes the reader through the cumulative story of the US Civil Rights Movement, expanding the popular slogan beyond these three heroes to include more key players in the struggle for equality. Spare prose and vivid imagery make this a truly moving and accessible picture book to be savored by readers of all ages. (Bloomsbury USA Childrens 4/14/09)


Book Reviews

news-bill-t-jonesStory/Time: The Life of an Idea by Bill T. Jones

Jones has choreographed for everyone from Alvin Ailey to the Boston Ballet to the Berlin Opera. And among his many accolades are a couple of Tony Awards, an Obie Award, a MacArthur Genius Fellowship, the National Medal of Arts, and induction into the National Museum of Dance Hall of Fame.

Story/Time is an ethereal memoir emblematic of this iconoclastic trailblazer’s unpredictable approach to everything he does. The book is basically an attempt to reduce to writing and photographs a trio of multi-media talks Jones delivered at Princeton University as part of the prestigious Toni Morrison Lecture Series. More >


news-second-line-homeSecond Line Home: New Orleans Poems by Mona Lisa Saloy

Mona Lisa Saloy’s refreshing, Second Line Home (2014) is a poetic memoir of her post-Katrina experiences—from her evacuation with friends and neighborhoods to her return, through efforts to rebuild and reoccupy her 7th Ward home handed down to her by her Black Creole father.

$100,000 cost to elevate it and termite eaten wood
Nixed keeping our family place
(“From Lament to Hope”) More >


news-growingup-in-the-nations-capitalGrowing Up in the Nation’s Capital: We Made it, but it Took an Entire Village by Carrolyn Pichet

Her story will remind us of a time in neighborhoods when doors were left unlocked, and neighbors were extended family picking up the slack for each other wherever it was needed. That reason alone makes Pichet’s book a good, nostalgic read even if her past reads nothing like ours. We will connect to the sense of pride and purpose she grew up with in her family and her community, and how it illustrates the African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. “Back then, if a neighbor lent a cup of sugar to my mother, she paid back the loan with a cup of flour, a stick of butter or a slice of homemade cake or pie. Since our neighbors were extended family, the doors were never locked. There was no shame in bartering or exchanging amongst us. We were all struggling to make ends meet, and every one of us was willing and eager to render some service. More >


news-finding-your-rootsFinding Your Roots by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Most black people hit a dead end when trying to trace their lineage, because their ancestors were considered fungible goods during slavery, meaning they were merely personal property to be bought and sold, and whipped and shipped at the will of their owners. While in bondage, they couldn’t marry, start a family or even raise their own offspring.

For that reason, Henry Louis Gates’ African-American Lives proved to be a hit on TV, since the popular PBS program profiled prominent black figures’ attempt to reconstruct their family trees with his help. Turns out some other ethnicities are just as curious about their heritage. So, Dr. Gates decided to host another show, expanding his focus this time to include a diversity of folks reflecting the full spectrum of the racial rainbow. More >


news-tony-browns journalTony Brown’s Journal is Now Available Online

The website is a resurrection of 40 years of broadcast excellence and hundreds of titles of professional-grade content with high-production values from Tony Brown’s Journal, America’s “#1-rated talk/educational TV series” (circa 1968-2008), that covers African-American history with legends such as Martin Luther King, Elijah Muhammad, and historians Dr. Chancellor Williams/The Destruction of Black Civilization and J. A. Rogers.

Tony Brown’s Journal was the first series on national television to break the story on the odious Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment on Black men and the infamous Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. There is also the famous 1974 debate between Dr. Frances Welsing and Dr. William Shockley on the issue of racial supremacy.


Related Articles & News

Huria's Map of Black Owned Book StoresMap of Black Owned Book Stores

Check out our map of Black-owned independent bookstores.

We are also making this map freely available to anyone to embed on their website or blog with just a single line of code. Help promote our cultural institutions. They thrive with our support.


news-The-Honorable-Minister-Louis-FarrakhanFarrakhan to Black Youth: Study Ferguson, MO and Gaza

The military readiness of police in Ferguson, Missouri is a warning to all Black youth in America, according to Minister Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam. In a two-hour speech Sunday, August 17 from his organization’s headquarters Mosque Maryam in Chicago, Farrakhan made a passionate plea for Black youth to see in Ferguson a tip off of what government agencies are preparing for them in the urban centers of America. As for Gaza, he said the willingness to bomb humans in tightly compact neighborhoods was a sign of how suppression could happen in Black neighborhoods here. More


news-nicholas-payton“…Hiphop, as a Whole, is Wack”

“And to those of you who say I know nothing about Hiphop, if ‘Blurred Lines’ is Hiphop, I don’t want to know anything about it. So let me officially go on record now and say that I hate Hiphop. There are certain artists who claim Hiphop that I dig, but Hiphop as a whole is wack. It’s a parasitic culture that preys on real musicians for its livelihood. I may not know anything about Hiphop, but I don’t have to. Without real artists and musicians like me, you’d have nothing to steal. I know enough about it all to know that.”

—Nicholas Payton in, An Open Letter To Pharrell Williams (Blurred Lines Vol. 3) where he castigates Pharrell over his unwillingness to knowledge that he stole Marvin Gaye’s tune, ‘Got to Give It Up.’ What do you think?


news-hiv-atlAlmost half of Black Gay Men, in Atlanta, are HIV Positive

Sullivan’s preliminary results in Atlanta confirmed the huge racial differences that persist. Among black gay men, 43 percent were HIV positive, compared to 13 percent of white gay men, even though the black gay men had fewer sex partners and less unprotected sex. Everyone also reported a tendency to date within the same race. Black gay men said that 80 percent of their partners in the past year were also black. The white gay men said that 73 percent of their partners were also white. Join the conversation


news-letterAuthors Beg Amazon for Mercy

“…[W]e encourage Amazon in the strongest possible terms to stop harming the livelihood of the authors on whom it has built its business.” —Authors United

Not all author agree, “…publishers like Hachette have a long history of treating authors and readers poorly. Amazon, on the other hand, has built its reputation on valuing authors and readers dearly. ” What do you think?


Film Reviews

ng Fela: Music is the WeaponFinding Fela: Music is the Weapon

Finding Fela tells the story of Fela Kuti’s life (1938 – 1997), his music, and his social and political importance. This in-depth look at the man who created Afrobeat (a fusion of Jazz, traditional West African rhythms, Funk, Highlife, and psychedelic rock) brings audiences close to Mr. Kuti’s fight against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the 1970s and 1980s. With his audacious music and a great deal of courage, Fela Kuti helped bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria, promoted Pan Africanist politics to the entire world and became an inspiration in the global fight for the rights of all oppressed people. More >


newsget-on-upGet on Up: The James Brown Story

“…all the producers, writers, and the director of the James Brown movie are white. No black people were hired until a few weeks before the cameras started rolling, the actors.” —Gregory Allen Howard, Award-winning screenwriter

“…the non-linear (back and forth) telling of the story limit’s the intensity of a narrative that naturally builds, but I also think the film is pretty balanced with Brown’s talents and his flaws.” —C. Liegh McInnis publisher of Black Magnolias Literary Journal

This is just some of the commentary in addition to our review.


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Events

news-sonia-sanchez-party

The Official NYC 80th Birthday Party for Sonia Sanchez
Join us on Friday, September 19, 2014, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., in Brooklyn NY.

This will be an actual party, not a lot of speechifying. There will be performances by Ursula Rucker and jessica Care moore, music by DJ Reborn, and more. More >


news-aaliteraywardsshow2014African American Literary Awards Show

The 2014 African American Literary Awards Show will be held at the MIST, 46 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026 on September 27th.

Voting for the 2014 AALAS is open Now through September 7th, 2014.


news-baabfThe Baltimore African American Book Festival will take place October 11, 2014, from 10am to 5pm, at the Enoch Pratt Central Library, 400 Cathedral St Baltimore Md 21201. Scheduled speakers include; Trice Hickman, author of new novel Troublemaker; Sherri Booker, winner of an NAACP Image Award for her memoir Nine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner City Funeral Home; Nikki Woods, senior producer of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” and author of the AALBC.com #1 bestseller, Easier Said Than Done ; Ella Curry, Owner of EDC Creations; and AALBC.com’s Founder, Troy Johnson. Learn More >


Dear Reader

The Baltimore African American Book Festival We need your support. Please purchase or renew your subscription to AALBC.com’s eNewsletter—less than 50 cents an issue.

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Peace,
Troy Johnson,
Founder and Webmaster

AALBC.com eNewsletter – August 26, 2014 – Issue # 217

Enrich Your Life; Read a Good Book – August 2014 eNewsletter

Posted in 2014, AALBC.com News, African-American, Book Reviews, books, Culture, eNewsletter, Events | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unpublished Stories From Octavia Butler Available for the First Time

news-octavia-butler

Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006) was a bestselling and award-winning author, considered one of the best science fiction writers of her generation. She received both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, and in 1995 became the first author of science fiction to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. She was also awarded the prestigious PEN Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Her first novel, Patternmaster (1976), was praised both for its imaginative vision and for Butler’s powerful prose, and spawned four prequels, beginning with Mind of My Mind (1977) and finishing with Clay’s Ark (1984).

Although the Patternist series established Butler among the science fiction elite, it was Kindred (1979), a story of a black woman who travels back in time to the antebellum South, that brought her mainstream success. In 1985, Butler won Nebula and Hugo awards for the novella Bloodchild, and in 1987 she published Dawn, the first novel of the Xenogenesis trilogy, about a race of aliens who visit earth to save humanity from itself. Fledgling (2005) was Butler’s final novel. She died at her home in 2006.

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Unexpected Storiesnews-unexpected-stories

New, from Open Road Media, Unexpected Stories contains two never-before-published stories from Octavia E. Butler.

The novella “A Necessary Being” showcases Octavia E. Butler’s ability to create alien yet fully believable “others.” Tahneh’s father was a Hao, one of a dwindling race whose leadership abilities render them so valuable that their members are captured and forced to govern. When her father dies, Tahneh steps into his place, both chief and prisoner, and for twenty years has ruled without ever meeting another of her kind. She bears her loneliness privately until the day that a Hao youth is spotted wandering into her territory. As her warriors sharpen their weapons, Tahneh must choose between imprisoning the newcomer—and living the rest of her life alone.

The second story in this volume, “Childfinder,” was commissioned by Harlan Ellison for his legendary (and never-published) anthology The Last Dangerous Visions™. A disaffected telepath connects with a young girl in a desperate attempt to help her harness her growing powers. But in the richly evocative fiction of Octavia E. Butler, mentorship is a rocky path, and every lesson comes at a price. (Open Road Media, 6/24/2014)

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bloodchildBloodchild

Six remarkable stories from a master of modern science fiction

Octavia E. Butler’s classic Bloodchild (Open Road Publishing, 7/24/2012), winner of both the Nebula and Hugo awards, anchors this collection of incomparable stories and essays. Bloodchild is set on a distant planet where human children spend their lives preparing to become hosts for the offspring of the alien Tlic. Sometimes the procedure is harmless, but often it is not. Also included is the Hugo Award–winning “Speech Sounds,” about a near future in which humans must adapt after an apocalyptic event robs them of their ability to speak.

In these pages, Butler shows us life on Earth and amongst the stars, telling her tales with characteristic imagination and clarity.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Octavia E. Butler including rare images from the author’s estate.

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Related Articles

news-octavia-butler-science-fiction

Unseen Octavia E Butler Stories Recovered

“…her long-term agent Merrilee Heifetz has announced that she has discovered two previously unpublished works by Butler with the help of the archivists at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, where Butler’s papers are housed, and that the stories will be published in June by digital press Open Road Integrated Media.” —Article by Alison Flood, theguardian.com, April 30, 2014

An “Unexpected” Treat For Octavia E. Butler Fans

“…Unexpected Stories offers a much-appreciated glimpse into Butler’s rich writing style and her genre sensibilities as they formed. It’s a must read, not just for Butler fans but for all lovers of speculative fiction. —Review by K. Tempest Bradford, NPR, July 10, 2014

dividerYou may receive this eNewsletter directly in your email-box by subscribing.  It may also be read on your Kindle ebook reader, or any device by downloading a PDF version. Enjoy our previous eNewslettersSponsor a dedicated email, like this, for a book or author.

Enjoy,
Troy Johnson

AALBC.com’s, Founder and Webmaster

Unpublished Stories From Octavia Butler Available for the First Time

Posted in 2014, African-American, Authors You Should Know, book, books, Science Fiction | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Exercise Your Mind With a Good Book – July 29, 2014 eNewsletter

You may receive this eNewsletter directly in your email-box by subscribing.  It may also be read on your Kindle ebook reader, or any device by downloading a PDF version. Enjoy our previous eNewsletters.  Consider Sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing.

This Month’s eNewsletter is Sponsored by

Akashic Books and Infamous Books

akaschic-books-infamous-books-bannerInfamous Books, curated by Albert “Prodigy” Johnson of the legendary hip-hop group Mobb Deep, is a revolutionary partnership that pairs the Infamous Records brand with Brooklyn-based independent publisher Akashic Books. Infamous Books’ mission is to connect readers worldwide to crime fiction and street lit authors both familiar and new. The imprint launched in 2013 with H.N.I.C. by Prodigy and Steven Savile, which earned a starred review from Library Journal and landed Infamous Books on the front page of the Sunday New York Times Arts Section. Our latest releases are The White House, by New York Times best-selling author JaQuavis Coleman; Black Lotus, by K’wan, the author of over a dozen books, including the award-winning novels Eviction Notice and Animal; and Swing, an erotic thriller by best-selling author Miasha. Infamous Books are available wherever books and e-books are sold. For more information, visit Akashic Books.
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AALBC.com Best Selling Books — May and June 2014

news-bestsellers-may0june-2014Our best sellers list is based upon book sales for the period, May 1st through June 30th. The #1 best selling book for the period was Joyce A. Brown’s novel What You Can Get Away with (Live The Dream Publishers, May 16, 2014). eBooks sales represented 41% of all sales. See the complete list >
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Authors You Should Know

news-mariPoet Mari Evans Turns 95

Mari Evans was born on July 16, 1919, in Toledo, Ohio. Fellow Poet, Eugene Redmon, notified AALBC.com of this milestone in Evans’ life.

Evans’ poetic voice helped defined the 1960s Black Arts Movement. Over the course of her career Evans has been Distinguished Writer and Assistant Professor, African American and Resource Center, Cornell University, she has taught at Indiana University, the State University of New York at Albany, the University of Miami at Coral Gables and at Spelman College, Atlanta. She is the author of numerous articles, children’s books, plays, musicals and books of poetry. Read More >

dividernews-walter-dean-myersWalter Dean Myers: More Than an Outstanding Writer by Wade Hudson

“Tom [Feelings] is gone. Virginia Hamilton is gone. Leo Dillon and Fred McKissack are gone, too. And now we have lost Walter Dean Myers [8/12/1937 to 7/1/2014]”.

“I will miss seeing Walter at Book Expo America, ALA, NCTE and the many other conferences where he often held court, sharing, urging, encouraging, directing, advocating…always trying to make things better. When Walter’s article, Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books? appeared in the March 15, 2014 issue of the New York Times, many welcomed it as timely and much needed. But Walter had written an article that appeared in the New York Times in 1986, addressing the same concerns. He was always at the forefront, involved in many initiatives, some that he organized himself. He was determined to increase diversity in our body of literature for children. He also advocated for the inclusion of people of color in the offices of publishing houses.” Read Wade’s Entire Tribute >dividernews-al-saadiq-banksAl-Saadiq Banks

Al-Saadiq Banks has written and published nine novels. He’s the co-founder of True 2 Life Publications. True 2 Life has just ventured into the world of comics, as Al-Saadiq Banks transforms his fiction based novels into graphic novels and comic books.

In his spare time he’s a boxing instructor and mentor to troubled youth. He cherishes every opportunity that he’s granted to reach out to not just the youth, but even adults who may be going through the tug of war that he went through in life. He’s a motivational speaker, who plans to take his show on the road and speak on a national level. Read Moredivider

New Author Videos

news-kalisha-moonKamilah Aisha Moon

Moon, a native of Nashville, TN, is a recipient of fellowships to the Cave Canem Foundation, the Prague Summer Writing Institute, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, and the Vermont Studio Center, She was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Audre Lorde Award from the Publishing Triangle. Moon holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

Here she reads from her first full-length poetry collection, She Has a Name, which is a largely about a family whose youngest daughter has autism. Watch the Video > divider

news-elsie-video-july2014Elsie Augustave Reads from The Roving Tree

Elsie Augustave was born in Haiti and is a graduate of Middlebury College and Howard University with degrees in foreign language and literature. Among her many accomplishments, Augustave choreographed Elima Ngando, a major production for the prestigious National Dance Theater of Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Here she reads from the The Roving Tree her debut novel. In the NY Times Book Review, Edwidge Danticat, called The Roving Tree a “…gorgeous new novel about a Haitian adoptee finding her way in many different corners of the world.” Watch the Video >

dividernews-asthepageturn0videoAs The Pages Turn Book Club’s Luncheon

This video shows highlights from the As The Pages Turn Book Club’s Literary Luncheon Fundraiser held Saturday June 28, 2014, at the Chateau of Spain Restaurant, in Newark NJ.

Authors featured included NAACP Image Award Winning Author Pamela Samuels Young (Keynote), RM Johnson, Eva Tremains, Sadeqa Johnson, Pat G’Orge-Walker. Watch the Video >dividernews-the-book-lookThe Book Look Tackles the Latest in Book News Relevant to Our Community.

Here Book Look Host Monda Webb Interviews Mahogany Books’ Ramunda Young about the latest and greatest news in Black Books and Events in 2014. From the Harlem Book Fair to the National Black Book Conference, Monda and Ramunda make sure you know what’s going on. Watch the Video >dividernews-abiloa-video-july2014The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love – Book Club Questions Answered

Women’s Empowerment Coach and author Abiola Abrams talks about her new book, The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love This self-love handbook features empowering life lessons, helpful tools, inspiring dialogues, healing modalities, and life-changing exercises with detailed steps on how to connect to your real strength and activate your most fulfilled life. You learn to “own your bombshell” when you tune into your feminine power.

In this video, made for AALBC.com’’s readers, Abiola answers many common questions about the book and the subjects it covers. Watch the Video >divider

Book Reviews

news-nine-lives-of-a-black-pantherNine Lives of a Black Panther: A Story of Survival by Wayne Pharr

…while still in his teens, Wayne ended up trapped inside Panther headquarters during a 5-hour gun battle with the police. He was arrested and charged with a host of offenses, but basically beat the rap, thanks to stellar representation by the late Johnnie “If the gloves don’t fit, you must acquit” Cochran.

In Nine Lives of a Black Panther: A Story of Survival, Wayne revisits that incident and the rest of the BPP’s turbulent years, a time when he had intimate interactions with such celebrated Party leaders as Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Geronimo Pratt, Bunchy Carter and Elaine Brown. The before-and-after memoir also recounts the author’s childhood as well as what his life was like in the wake of the assorted struggles which led to the total collapse of the beleaguered organization. Read More >divider

news-mlkbullavoidMartin Luther King Bullavoid: Imploding Communities by Etta B. Harbin

“Amid mounting threats to his life, Martin Luther King chose to step onto the second floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in the trajectory of the one-eyed Remington 760 Gamemaster that patiently awaited his arrival…” The resulting riots of the sixties were to ensure that Dr. King didn’t die in vain and for a while it seemed that he hadn’t. Many cities honored King’s memory by designating the site of the riots as Martin Luther King Boulevard, Avenue or Street. Outside businesses were ousted from neighborhoods and replaced with churches and tabernacles.

Forty-five years have passed since Dr. King’s death and Etta B. Harbin posits that most of the thoroughfares that bear his name are “deplorable” reminders of his death. Today the few entrepreneurs that are on the boulevard do business through iron bars and bulletproof revolving servers. Read More >divider

news-blessed-experiencesBlessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black by Congressman James E. Clyburn

Whenever House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) calls a press conference, she is invariably accompanied at the podium by the next two ranking Democrats, namely, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and Assistant Leader James Clyburn. Clyburn (D-SC) is a very visible and important historical figure as the first African-American to represent South Carolina in the House of Representatives since Reconstruction.

During his tenure there, he has also done stints as Majority Whip and as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Still, not much has been known about his private life prior to the publication of Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black, an intimate autobiography which leaves you with a lasting impression of just who Representative Clyburn is as a person. Read More >dividernews-the-riseThe Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery by Sarah Lewis

The idea of ‘fessing up about ones foibles sounds sort of counter-intuitive to this critic, given that we now live in an age when careers are routinely ruined by a mere slip of the tweet or the tongue. Sadly, society puts pressure on individuals to present themselves as squeaky clean and picture perfect from the cradle to the grave, since the slightest sophomoric post on Facebook, Instagram or elsewhere on the internet is supposedly certain to haunt you for the rest of your days.

Nevertheless, The Rise represents a contrary tribute to the indomitability of the human spirit which encourages all to freely acknowledge flaws revealed by their passionate pursuit of perfection. Read More >divider

Book Recommendations

news-maya-bookMaya Angelou: Her Phenomenal Life & Poetic Journey

Essence magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. Bush’s introduction discusses Angelou’s legacy. The book includes a recent interview with Angelou and the writer’s groundbreaking essay in honor of Essence’s 25th anniversary. The colorful tome, which includes rare and exclusive images, also documents Angelou’s impact on two generations of African-American women writers, scholars and poets with reflections from Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate Rita Dove, New York Times best-selling authors Pearl Cleage and Edwidge Danticat, National Book Award–winning poet Nikky Finney, acclaimed poet asha bandele, American Book Award winner Sonia Sanchez and commentator Melissa Harris-Perry, a professor at Wake Forest University, where Dr. Angelou was a devoted faculty member. Buy This Book >divider

news-whats-done-in-the-dark-powerWhat’s Done In the Dark Paperback by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Felise is not the kind of woman to cheat on her husband—especially with her best friend’s man. But after one perfect storm of a night, it happened…and she can hardly believe it herself. To top it off, when she woke up in the morning, she found that the man to whom she guiltily made passionate love died of a heart attack overnight. Felise, who is a nurse and a good citizen at that, leaves the hotel room without reporting his death.

When her best friend, Paula, finds out about her husband’s sudden death a day later, Felise is overcome with guilt and grief. She must be there for her friend and her family, but when her husband repeatedly tries to apologize for his absentminded behavior and Paula starts investigating who Stephen was with the night he died, Felise finds it hard to hold herself together. Should she come clean and tell everyone what she did? Or should she just let it go and move past the mistake on her own? Buy This Book >divider

news-zane-the-other-sde-of-the-pillowZane’s The Other Side of the Pillow: A Novel

The New York Times bestselling Queen of Erotica, Zane is back with a new novel about a testy love affair that emerges between a woman who’s had enough and a man who’s had it all.

Jemistry Daniels is a bitter woman and not trying to hide it. Even though she is beautiful, intelligent, and makes six figures a year as a high school principal in Washington, DC, one man after another has failed her. So she decides to give up and join the party by adapting the entire “friends with benefits” mentality with a couple of men that she beds on the regular but refuses to hold any kind of real conversation with, in fear that she might actually catch feelings. Read More >divider

news-angles-make-there-hope-hereAngels Make Their Hope Here by Breena Clarke

From the author of the bestselling River, Cross My Heart—a compelling and lyrical new novel about a young black woman in the Civil War era who finds refuge in a racially tolerant community.

Russell’s Knob is not paradise. But already in 1863 this New Jersey highlands settlement is home to a diverse population of blacks and whites and reds who have intermarried and lived in relative harmony for generations. It is a haven for Dossie Bird, who has escaped north along the Underground Railroad and now feels the embrace of the Smoot family: Duncan (so much older than Dossie; could he expect her to be his helpmeet?), his reticent sister, his exuberant nephews, and a circle of friends that includes the local spirit woman, Noelle. Tentatively, Dossie begins to lay down roots-until an act of violence propels her away from Russell’s Knob and eventually into the mayhem of New York City’s mean streets. Read More >divider

news-blue-butterflyMust-Read Romances Recommendations from USA TODAY

“From the first page, Marian L. Thomas grabs your wrist to have a seat and listen to a story. Blue Butterfly has a wonderful quality within its prose that enables you to hear the words, the dialogue, the ballet movement and music powerfully told in the story. A literary style that reminds me of Sue Monk Kidd’s.

The story is rich with history and romance told to entertain and educate with a layered approach. Page after page, chapter after chapter, you go deeper into these lives where hope for them stirs. Once you’ve met them, you can’t let them go until the end. And maybe not then. Definite book club recommend.” —Michelle Monkou, Special for USA TODAY. Read More >divider

news-skydancingSky Dancing by Ellen Erwin

Here come the mocko jumbies! Children and adults alike love these colorfully clad Caribbean stilt dancers who move like graceful giants. Ruby and Jamal want to learn how to be stilt walkers, but only boys can join the local mocko jumbie troupe. Follow their adventures in this wryly sweet story of perseverance, friendship, and fun. Lavish illustrations sparkle and shine with the colors of the Caribbean, and will engage even the youngest readers.

This story was written by Ellen Erwin and illustrated by Renata Fryshara, two “blond, blue-eyed women,” who are learning that getting attention for a book with Black characters is even more difficult when you don’t happen to be black. Buy This Book >divider

news-motor-city-burningBook of the Week: Motor City Burning by Bill Morris

Willie Bledsoe, once an idealistic young black activist, is now a burnt-out case. After leaving a snug berth at Tuskegee Institute to join the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, he has become bitterly disillusioned with the civil rights movement and its leaders. He returns home to Alabama to try to write a memoir about his time in the cultural whirlwind, but the words fail to come. The surprise return of his Vietnam veteran brother in the spring of 1967 gives Willie a chance to drive a load of smuggled guns to the Motor City and make enough money to jump-start his stalled dream of writing his movement memoir. Then, Willie learns some terrifying news: the Detroit police are still investigating the last unsolved murder from the bloody, apocalyptic riot of the previous summer, and a white cop named Frank Doyle will not rest until the case is solved. And Willie is his prime suspect.

MahoganyBook’s of the Week Amazon’s price, $20.61 (%17 off); Our Price, $17.47 (30% Off) Buy This Book Now >divider

news-jack-strongJack Strong: A Story of Life after Life by Walter Mosley

Dreaming, Jack hears voices: a frightened child in a hospital, a woman cheating on her husband, a death-row inmate. When he wakes, the voices recede, but they do not vanish. He is in a luxurious hotel room on the Vegas strip, and his body is covered in scars. Jack Strong is a patchwork man, his flesh melded together from dozens of men and women, and his mind is the same way. Countless lifetimes are contained within him: people whose time was cut short, and who see their place in Jack as a chance to make things right.

Be the first of five subscribers to win a free copy of Jack Strong: A Story of Life after Life (Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy, July 29, 2014)divider

Interviews

news-danny-simmonsDaniel “Danny” Simmons

Danny Simmons, a renowned painter of abstract-expressionist oil works which can be seen all over the world and in such prominent establishments as Chase Manhattan Bank, The Smithsonian, the United Nations and more. His work is highly respected within the art world and he has become extremely collectible; devoted fans of his work include music industry executive and producer Lyor Cohen and actor Will Smith.

Simmons most recent book, The Brown Beatnik Tomes presents a collection of prose and paintings; this is his most wide reaching and multi-disciplined project to date. Among the most impressive artists of his day, The New York Times says that he “injects freshness” into his abstracts, and that they are “meticulously rendered and decoratively impressive.” Read More >divider

news-justin-robinsonJustin Robinson: On His Latest Album “Alana’s Fantasy”

Justin Robinson is a jazz saxophonist and flutist. Robinson established himself as a child prodigy when, while still a teenager, he began running after-hours jam sessions at the renowned Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City the late 1980’s. He released his debut album “Justin Time” in 1991, which featured saxophone legends such as Bobby Watson and Gary Bartz. Robinson has shared the stage with greats like Diana Ross, Abbey Lincoln, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, and currently tours with trumpeter Roy Hargrove. His newest album, Alana’s Fantasy, comes out today under the Criss Cross Jazz label. Robinson was Interviewed by Nick Antoine. Read More >divider

Related Articles & News

news-ebony-1963Ebony Has Earned its Place Among the Paragons and Pioneers of Black Journalism.

“…it was during my generation that black resources became under utilized because the drive for integration was on and this meant forsaking what was ‘all-black’ while eagerly embarking on incursions into the white world that was opening up for us. But there was one exception back then. During the infancy of TV and the absence of the Internet, the print media was the home of literary and intellectual discussion. When it came to a black dialogue on these subjects a showcase was provided by a ‘Negro’ counterpart of LIFE magazine that was relatively new to the field. This upstart publication was Ebony and it quickly became the flagship for black communication, providing a voice for all segments of the African American population which included the successors to the Harlem Renaissance crowd who always found an outlet for their output on the pages of Ebony.”

The September 1963 issue of Ebony (cover shown) included an article, “Negro in Literature Today,” written by John A. Williams (a literary giant himself) who offered a terrific, now historical, snapshot about the best Black writers in 1963. Read More >divider

news-facebook-happierWould You Be Happier Without Facebook?

This is not to suggest that you are not happy now, but consider whether the questions is worth asking. It was recently uncovered that Facebook was surreptitiously experimenting with altering our moods by manipulating the content we see in our news feeds. The experiment indeed revealed that if Facebook presented us with information that skewed negative, our posts skewed negative. The practice of manipulating what we see raised numerous ethics questions by the scientific community. What else is Facebook doing?

My own anecdotal observations of the type of information Facebook shares most frequently, though quite profitable for Facebook, is not serving us well. It is also worth asking, is social media bringing people closer to each other, or is it strengthening our bonds to electronic devices with escalating monthly fees? Read More >divider

news-jetJET Magazine Goes From Print to Digital Only

JET magazine, whose first issue was published Nov 1, 1951, by the late John H. Johnson, is no longer available as a printed magazine. The final print issue was published June 9, 2014, after a 63 year run.

The new weekly digital magazine app will leverage a variety of storytelling tactics, including video interviews, enhanced digital maps, 3D charts and photography from the JPC archives. Breaking news will be updated daily. The app will be available on all tablet devices and mobile platforms. In addition, JET will publish an annual special print edition. Read Moredividernews-marva-allenThe Hue-Man Experience Bookstore – Case Study

Often self-published authors are the most critical of Black owned bookstores.

It may make perfect sense for a person running a physical store to not invest a lot of time in a very long book, written an unknown author. The business decision of carrying a book is not that same as determining if a book has literary merit. In an ideal world that might be the case, but in the real world it does not always work out that way. Read More >divider

Film Reviews

news-a-sucka-4-luvSucka 4 Luv

Sucka 4 Luv, the third feature-length offering from Patrick Pierre (The City Is Mine). The movie represents a bit of a departure for the Haitian-American writer/director in terms of both setting (Philly as opposed to his adopted hometown of Trenton) and genre (lighthearted comedy as opposed to gritty urban drama).

Here, with the help of a talented cast and crew, he successfully made a compelling, character-driven tale of romance and redemption on a modest budget. Accolades are especially in order for Spank Horton and Xavia Omega for carrying the production playing a couple of colorful lead characters who manage to generate oodles of screen chemistry. Read More >divider

news-hidden-colors-3Hidden Colors 3: The Rules Of Racism

Hidden Colors 3: The Rules Of Racism is the third installment of the critically acclaimed documentary Hidden Colors series. This installment of tackles the taboo subject of systematic racism. The film explores how institutional racism effects all areas of human activity, and the rules, laws, and public policies that are utilized to maintain this system. Hidden Colors 3 features commentary from a diverse group of scholars, authors, and entertainment icons, which includes actor/rapper David Banner (The Butler), comedian Paul Mooney (The Chapelle Show), New York Times Best selling author Tariq Nasheed, Civil Rights activist/comedian Dick Gregory, Hip-Hop legend Nas, and many more.  Read More >divider

Upcoming Events

news-baabfThe Baltimore African American Book Festival will take place October 11, 2014, from 10am to 5pm, at the Enoch Pratt Central Library, 400 Cathedral St Baltimore MD 21201. Scheduled speakers include; Trice Hickman, author of new novel Troublemaker; Sherri Booker, winner of an NAACP Image Award for her memoir Nine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner City Funeral Home; Nikki Woods, senior producer of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” and author of the AALBC.com #1 bestseller, Easier Said Than Done ; Ella Curry, Owner of EDC Creations; and AALBC.com’s Founder, Troy Johnson. Learn More >divider

news-ffbfExhibit Your Book at the Frankfurt Book Fair, October 8 -12, 2014

Author and Book Promoter Irene Smalls will lead a team of four professionals who will actively seek opportunities for, promote, and answer questions about your book during the Frankfurt International Book Fair, the world’s largest. Have your book hand sold and promoted to 300,00 people and 1750 exhibitors from 120 countries. Learn More >divider

Power to the Publisher

news-dseDedicated Sponsored Email

Send a rich email message to our mailing list of over 15,000 readers, supporters and advocates of Black literature, with our Dedicated Sponsored Email (DSE) service. DSEs are special emails that are dedicated to a single business, author or event.

This is not a traditional “eBlast” service; as DSE mailing are limited to just one per month and are curated to include only information we believe our readers will find valuable. Our list is one of the most targeted available to reach readers who enjoy Black literature. The DSE is only one of two emails subscribers receive from AALBC.com each month. DSEs are also permanently archived on AALBC.com. Read an example of a DSE.

All recipients of DSEs are eligible to receive cash prizes. See who won the $50 prize from our Nina Foxx contest!dividerDear Reader,

paypal-sunscription-buttonAs always, if you’ve read something in our eNewsletter, you enjoyed or felt was important, please share it with others. We are responsible for ensuring the depth and breadth of our stories are told, shared, and archived.

In order to continue our work, and to improve our offerings, we still need your support. Please consider purchasing or renewing your subscription to AALBC.com’s monthly eNewsletter—less than a dollar an issue.

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Troy Johnson,
Founder and Webmaster

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