Category Archives: African-American

March 1, 2017 Newsletter — Book Award Announcements, New Books, and More

New Book March 2017New Books Coming Out March 2017

Helene Cooper tells the amazing of story Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women’s movement and the first democratically elected female president in African history in Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Early Sunday Morning, a picture book for young children, is the first book from Denene Millner Books, the new children’s line in partnership with Agate’s Bolden. Millner is also a parenting authority, editor, and a New York Times bestselling author.

A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions is Adichie’s letter of response.

New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe takes you on the ultimate twist-filled ride with the next installment of her her Lonely Heart, Deadly Heart series, Never Trust a Stranger.

Adrian Matejka, author of The Big Smoke, a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, is back with a new collection of poetry, Map to the Stars.

Learn about these and other excellent new books coming out this month and in the coming months.


Coretta Scott King Award Winning Books AnnouncedCoretta Scott King Award Winning Books

CSK Award MedalOn January 31 the American Library Association announced the 2017 Coretta Scott King award-winning books. These awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.

All of the Coretta Scott King Award-winning books, since the award’s inception, may be found on AALBC.com.


2017 NAACP Image Awards Winning BooksNAACP 2017 Image Award Winning Books

NAACP Image Award TrophyOn February 11, 2017 the winners of the 48th NAACP Image Awards were announced. The awards show aired live on TV One. The winners of the book categories were announced during the non-televised awards dinner.

The big winner of the night was Trevor Noah whose book, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, won in two categories, Biography/Autobiography and Debut Author. I was particularly happy to learn AALBC.com friend, supporter, and bestselling author, Bernice L. McFadden won the fiction category for her novel The Book of Harlan.


…But Only 16 Black Writers Have Won Pulitzer Prizes for BooksPulitzer Prize Winning Books

The Pulitzer Prize has honored excellence in journalism and the arts since 1917, but only 16 Black authors have won the award. Literary giants including Baldwin, Hughes, and Wright were never honored. I reviewed the list over the past 100 years the award has been bestowed in the book-related categories (Fiction, Drama, History, Biography or Autobiography, Poetry, General Nonfiction, and Novel).

August Wilson was honored the most, winning twice and being a finalist three times. As far as I can tell, no Black writer has won the General Non-Fiction category. Ta-Nehesi Coates was the first writer nominated and that category.

I hope I’m wrong and that someone discovers that I missed a few names. Even if it the list of Black winners were doubled, we’d see how very important if is for us to recognize and celebrate Black talent and to celebrate the institutions who do.


Recently Reviewed Books

Life is a canvasLife Is A Canvas by Joy Elan

Lifeis a Canvas is a contemporary novel about finding love and self and how the choices we make early in life, particularly in our twenties, sets us on a path, positively or negatively, for the rest of our life.

Allegra Johnson is a go-getter. She graduated from college in three years, and got her master’s degree in one. At 23 she has secured a $75,000 grant to start a company, Mane Attraction. I didn’t understand this play on the word “Mane/Main” since the business doesn’t have anything to do with hair. It is a cafe in the early hours, then a lounge with live music during the evening where artists can perform spoken word or rap. Allegra wants to give “the youth a platform to perform and share their talents.” Elan is also a spoken word poet, and it is clear that this is an area she is passionate about. Read the complete review.


The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own edited by Veronica Chambers

Barack Obama made history by becoming the first African American President of the United States. Of almost equal significance was Michelle Obama’s becoming the first black First Lady.
Just as her husband undoubtedly inspired a generation of marginalized youngsters to believe that they could achieve anything they set their minds to, Michelle was a transformative figure in her own way, including the way she helped the world appreciate black beauty. Because of the high visibility of her position, almost single-handedly, she managed to successfully challenge the culture’s narrow definition of beauty based on European features (more).


Book Events, Fairs, Festivals, and Conferences

The Annual Harlem Literary Bunch
Videos from Harlem Literary Bruch

Dawn Davis and Sandra L. Richards

Dawn Davis and Sandra L. Richards

The brunch was co-hosted by Dawn Davis VP and Publisher of 37 Ink (an imprint of Simon and Schuster) and Morgan Stanley Managing Director and author Sandra L. Richards.

Check out videos of the readings and pictures from the event featuring Erica Armstrong Dunbar author of Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge; Tiffany Dufu, author of Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less; supermodel Pat Cleveland, author of Walking with the Muses: A Memoir, and Sandra L. Richards reading from her children’s book Rice & Rocks.


The African Americans On The Move Book Club Literary Awards — June 9-11, 2017 — Atlanta, GA

AAMBC AwardsThe annual AAMBC Literary Awards was launched in 2009 in San Antonio, Texas by Tamika Newhouse. Smaller ceremonies were then hosted in the years following in Chicago as well as in Baltimore in conjunction with other literary events. In 2015 the first inaugural red carpet ceremony took place in Atlanta, GA marking the beginning of the black writer’s weekend.

AALBC.com Founder’s, Troy Johnson, was nominated as “Literary Activist of the Year,” and will be at the awards ceremony to celebrate with all the other honorees and readers of Black literature.


One of My Favorite Bookstores – Underground BooksMother Pearl at Unerground Book bookstore

Since the closing of the only library in Oak Park in the 1970’s, it became the mission of St. HOPE founder, Kevin Johnson (former Sacramento Mayor and NBA player), to ensure that the students and the community had access to books. Underground Books hosts book signings by local and national authors, lectures, poetry events, children’s story time, radio shows and much more!

Managed and operated by the effervescent Georgia “Mother Rose” West (pictured above). The bookstore is a wonderful space and an asset to not just the local Oak Park community, but to the national Black book scene as well.


How an Ex-Black Panther Waged a Successful, Four-Decade Revolution In Publishing Without Planning To

W. Paul Coates

Upon leaving a restructured Panther party to focus more energy on assisting local comrades still incarcerated, [Paul] Coates helped forge the George Jackson Prison Movement in 1972 as a means of connecting inmates with a supportive and functional network on the outside.“What I envisioned through this movement was working with brothers who were incarcerated, bringing them out and having them work in our first program, which was to be a bookstore,” Coates says, describing it as a way for them to “contribute to our community some of the goodness that got shaped while organizing with the comrades in jail.” The idea was to then build a progressive publishing house and, subsequently, a printing house that would all work together in a symbiotic relationship with the bookstore, providing knowledge, employment, revenue and a supportive exchange between those in and out of the jail. “This is where Black Classic Press was founded,” says Coates, explaining the vision, largely inspired by the prison-based educations of Malcolm X and George Jackson, and by a literary call from Madhubuti stressing the need for Black publishing. “It didn’t have a name yet, but it was founded inside the George Jackson Prison Movement.” Read the entire article by D. Amari Jackson at the Atlanta Black Star.


AALBC.com Discussion Forums—Join The Conversation!

Discussion ForumElsewhere, this Pop Culture Vulture is motivated to put on her Milo hat because she is sick of BEYONCE who, thanks to the slavish devotion of her social media “Beehive”, thinks that having a big belly full of twins has not only obligated her to parade around and show off her bloated abdomen, but has also elevated her to the realm of Earth Mother – a goddess to be held in awe and worshiped by all who look upon her! Her appearance at the Grammys, looking like a latter-day Cleopatra with a stomach tumor, was a yawner. She needs to go somewhere and sit down and hope Jay-Z’s genes aren’t stronger than hers. I’m also sick of seeing a frolicking Obama’s grinning face plastered all over the internet, as he has embarked on an extended vacation, immersing himself in a lifestyle where the troubles of the world will never again intrude upon his carefree existence. He may be better off as result of his presidency but I’m not so sure about the rest of the black people who put him in office.


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Troy JohnsonDear Reader,

I missed sending a newsletter in February. That short month just got away from me. I will send another newsletter the last week of March to make up.

Today I decided to stop using social media indefinitely. There are several reasons for my decision. Perhaps the most important one, as it relates to AALBC.com, is that engagement on social media comes at the expense of AALBC.com—the relationship benefits the social media platform more than it benefits our website. While this decision may appear abrupt, it was carefully considered and support by years of analysis.

I know my decision is not for everyone, but as someone who runs an independent, mission-driven, website that is also their livelihood. I don’t really have much of a choice. You don’t maintain a website for 20 years by making easy decisions or following popular, often fleeting, trends.

My leaving social media does not mean you should stop sharing links to AALBC.com’s site on the social media platforms you enjoy—by all means please continue sharing information about AALBC.com everywhere.

AALBC.com will continue to thrive not because of some social media platform Troy, but because of your support.

Peace & Love,
Signature
Troy Johnson,
Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com


You may receive messages like this 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 all of our previous eNewsletters and consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing.
AALBC.com eNewsletter – March 2, 2017 – Issue #242

Victoria Christopher Murray Celebrates a Writing Career Spanning 20 Years and 27 Novels!


“In 1997, I self-published my first novel, Temptation. I sold 9,000 copies in 6 months, was picked up by a major publisher (Time Warner), and received my first NAACP Image Award nomination. Now, 20 years later, I’m still with a major publisher (Simon and Schuster), but I have also self-published a few novels. And now, my 27th book hits the shelves…”
Victoria Christopher Murray


LUSTVictoria’s latest novel is LUST: A Seven Deadly Sins (Touchstone, February 7, 2017)

“Murray has penned hot, steamy scenes in which her protagonist’s imagination runs wild, followed by the consequences of her realizing her dangerous dreams. A jarring twist at the end has the reader wondering who the good guys really are. Readers will be ready for more of Murray’s promising series.”
—Booklist (starred review)

“Murray (Stand Your Ground; Forever an Ex) mixes
quite a bit of passion, a touch of treachery, and some good old-fashioned revenge, taking time to build the tension…there’s a great resolution that hints at the movie Fatal Attraction.”
—Library Journal

“I have read Murray for years and have purchased Joy for at least 10 or more of my friends—birthdays, weddings, Christmas, etc. I love her books and have read about 8 or 10 of them. Now that l’ve retired, I can now catch up on the list of 27! Wonderful writer with the spiritual and real world approach! She, Pearl Cleage and, Walter Mosley are my absolute favorites!”
—Betti Clausell Chaney, AALBC.com eNewsletter Subscriber

About Lust

Meet the beautiful, entrepreneurial Tiffanie, who is days away from tying the knot with her first (and only) love. Tiffanie’s fiancé, Damon, is a highly successful businessman who is head-over-heels for her.

Everyone is happy for Tiffanie and Damon—except for Trey, Damon’s childhood friend and ex-partner from their drug dealings days. Unlike Damon, Trey refused to get out when the game got hot, and ended up in prison. Now he’s been released just in time to be the best man at Tiffanie and Damon’s lavish wedding. While Damon is thrilled, hoping this is a new start for his old friend, Tiffanie is confused by the lustful feelings she has around Trey.

When passion, betrayal, and revenge are mixed, only one man may be left standing.

Available at Amazon, Barnes & NobleTarget, and Wherever Books Are Sold

Black Books Galore! AALBC.com’s November 2016 eNewsletter

thesellout_shelfreader

Picador USA – Our eNewsletter Sponsor for November

Read one of the year’s most highly lauded – and highly provocative – books, now the first American winner of the Man Booker Prize. A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. Sure to spark lively conversation and debate, The Sellout is the perfect pick for book clubs looking for a timely and thought-provoking read. Learn more.


September/October Bestselling Books

news-oct-bestsellers

Our September/October bestsellers reflect strong offerings from independent publishers. The bestselling book across all genres was Single Mama Dating Drama. Here seventeen talented writers share fictional stories about the woes, pitfalls, and joys of dating while raising kids. From Monica Lynne Foster’s explosive tale of an ex who fights for custody of his child while fighting to gain his ex-wife back from her newfound love; to Candice Y. Johnson’s laugh-out-loud take on a mama whose baby girl prophetically dismisses all of her potential suitors. There is something for everyone not just in this anthology but on our entire bestsellers list.


New Books Coming in December

New Books Coming in December

JJ Smith’s Green Smoothies is the follow-up to her #1 New York Times bestseller 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. Something Good is the wrenching memoir of Simba Sana, the CEO of Karibu Books, which was the most successful black-owned bookstore chain in the U.S. before closing. Charles Johnson, a National Book Award winner and one of America’s preeminent scholars in literature, brings us an instructive and inspiring guide on the art of writing in The Way of the Writer. Learn more about these, and other terrific reads, on our curated and frequently updated list of soon to be released books.


Black Writers Dominate the National Book Awards — Is it White Guilt?Black Writers Dominate the National Book Awards

“BET Presents the National Book Awards.” —Larry Wilmore (MC, 2016 National Book Awards)

Larry WilmoreThree of the four books honored during the 67th National Book Awards were written by Black writers; Congressman John Lewis (and Andrew Aydin) won for March Book Three, Ibram X. Kendi won for Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, and Colson Whitehead took the Fiction prize for his novel The Underground Railroad. Terrance Hayes presented the Literarian Award to Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady of Cave Canem, and comedian Larry Wilmore hosted the event.

It was a great evening, but it was sad to read comments the following day, on the websites of respected publications, like The New York Times and The Atlantic suggesting that awarding these three writers was somehow the result of white guilt, reverse racism, or liberalism and political correctness run amok. Only a minority of readers were willing to accept that the winners won on merit alone. Check out our coverage of this year’s Awards Ceremony.


The 2016 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Winning BooksThe 2016 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Winning Books

The winning titles were announced October 23rd. The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award™ honors the best in Black literature. Introduced in 2001, the Legacy Award was the first national award presented to Black writers by a national organization of Black writers. Fiction, debut fiction, nonfiction, and poetry honorees are selected in a juried competition. Each October, the award winners are celebrated during a gala that draws hundreds of literary stars, readers, representatives of the publishing industry, the arts, media, politics, and academia. Learn more about all the award-winning titles, finalists, and nominees.

Submissions for 2017 are now being accepted; the deadline is December 5th.


2017 Reading List for Go On Girl! Book Club, Inc.2017 Reading List for Go On Girl! Book Club, Inc.

Go On Girl! Book Club, Inc. is the largest and most influential book club in the country. Their reading list is compiled from a curated list of prospective titles in the following categories, historical, international, mystery/thriller, novel, short stories, and social commentary. These titles are voted on, by hundreds of members across the country, to determine which ones are ultimately selected for their club’s reading list. In other words, you can’t go wrong reading any of the books on their list—there is something for everyone to enjoy! (Note: The order the 2017 titles will be read is not final.)


Recommended Reads

Fidel & Malcolm Book CoverFidel & Malcolm X: Memories of a Meeting by Rosemari Mealy
In 1960 Castro and his delegation had come to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, but the management of the Manhattan hotel they had booked refused to house them. Upon learning of their plight, Malcolm X invited the Cuban emissaries to come uptown to Harlem’s Black-owned Hotel Theresa.where he claimed they would be greeted with open arms.

Indeed, Harlemites by the thousands gave Castro a rousing, even magnificent welcome, keeping a round-the-clock vigil in the pouring rain outside his balcony window. To Harlem’s masses, unfazed by the red-baiting and anti-Cuba hysteria of the day, Castro was that bearded revolutionary who had told White America to go to hell (Black Classic Press, May 2013).


news-furqan-flattopFurqan’s First Flat Top – El Primer Corte de Mesita de Furqan
With text in both Spanish and English, Furqan’s First Flat Top is written and Illustrated by Robert Liu Trujillo and has been named a Top 100 Recommended African-American Children’s Book.
Furqan Moreno wakes up and decides that today he wants his hair cut for the first time. His dad has just the style: a flat top fade! He wants his new haircut to be cool but when they get to the barbershop, he’s a bit nervous about his decision. He begins to worry that his hair will look funny, imagining all the flat objects in his day to day life. Before he knows it, his haircut is done and he realizes that his dad was right-Furqan’s first flat top is the freshest!


The Summer of my Fifteenth Year by Geri Spencer HunterThe Summer of my Fifteenth Year by Geri Spencer Hunter
Geri Spencer Hunter is a formidable storyteller who has crafted a genuine masterpiece with The Summer of My Fifteenth Year. When 86-year old Etta Mae Netter sits down to record her personal history, she releases a torrent of closely held family secrets that threaten to engulf her even after 71-years. Geri Hunter deftly draws us into the lives of the Netters, a well-to-do Black family living what appears to be an idyllic life in a small Iowa town during the tough times of the late 1930’s.

The Summer of my Fifteenth Year is an AALBC.com bestselling book and was a finalist for the 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Award.


Life Is A Canvas by Joy ElanLife Is A Canvas by Joy Elan
Born with a hearing loss, Joy Elan has been wearing hearing aids since she was 15 months. Her mother always told her that she had three things against her: Black, female, and disabled. However, she’s exceeded low expectations that others had for her earning a Master’s Degree from Stanford University, becoming an award-winning poet, and novelist.

In Life Is A Canvas Elan tells the story of Allegra Johnson, a young, vibrant entrepreneur with dreams. From the outside, she seems to have all the things that she dreamed of… except love.


Rice & Rocks by Sandra L. RichardsRice & Rocks by Sandra L. Richards
Giovanni’s friends are coming over for Sunday dinner, and his grandmother is serving rice and beans. Giovanni is embarrassed—he does not like “rice and rocks” and worries his friends will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird. But his favorite Auntie comes to the rescue. She and Giovanni’s pet parrot, Jasper, take him on a magical journey across the globe, visiting places where people eat rice and rocks. This exciting story celebrates the varied traditions of every culture while also highlighting the delicious similarities that bring us all together.
Rice & Rocks is a Top 100 Recommended African-American Children’s Book and an AALBC.com Bestseller.


Film Reviews

MoonlightMoonlight
It isn’t bad enough that Chiron (Alex R. Hibbert/Ashton Sanders/Trevante Rhodes) is being raised by an emotionally-unavailable, drug-addicted, single-mom (Naomie Harris). The shy youngster also has the misfortune of having to hide the fact that he’s gay, since he’s experiencing pangs of sexual awakening in the midst of an African-American, ghetto culture which is homophobic to the point of violence.

Consequently, he finds himself not only being teased for being a “faggot” by a school bully (Patrick Decile) but sadistically beaten to a pulp by his best friend and secret lover, Kevin (Jaden Piner/Jharrel Jerome/Andre Holland). This sorry state of affairs has understandably left the closeted kid terribly confused.


Loving Movie PosterLoving
Mildred Jeter (Ruth Negga) and Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) committed a crime just by falling in love when they were in the bloom of youth back in 1958. That’s because she was black and he was white, and they were living in Virginia, one of the many Southern states with anti-miscegenation laws still on the books forbidding cohabitation, marriage, procreation or even sexual relations across racial lines.

Nevertheless, Richard was so smitten he proposed and after Mildred accepted, he purchased a vacant plot of land where he promised to build their dream home. However, when it came to time to wed, they had to travel north to Washington, DC, a city where they could secure a marriage license.


Put Your Book on AALBC.com Until December 31st

Fall SpecialYour book will appear on our Homepage and our Book’s Main Page for the entire fall (campaign duration extended until midnight December 31st). Buy it now, because there are only two positions left.

All Fall Special advertisers will get a 25% discount on the Winter Special ad. The winter and spring ads will be priced higher than the Fall Special due to the increased level of traffic during those seasons.

Also, if you purchase a Large Book Cover Advertisement we’ll give you a free Author Profile—permanent placement on AALBC.com—as an added bonus!
AALBC.com is the oldest, largest, and most frequently visited website dedicated to books written by or about people of African descent. There is no other website that reaches readers of Black literature more effectively.


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Thanks for reading and supporting Black Literature.
Peace & Love
,Troy Johnson
Troy Johnson,
Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com

You may receive messages like this 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 all of our previous eNewsletters and consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing.

AALBC.com eNewsletter – November 29, 2016 – Issue #239
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