Category Archives: Filmmakers You Should Know

Great Books, Events, Films & More – October 2015 eNewsletter

news-banner-september’s Best Selling Books — July/August 2015news-childrens-bestsellers

We just published our ten best selling fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books for the period July 1 through August 31st. The photo above highlights eight of the top selling children’s books on We are substantially increasing our commitment to children’s literature.

As part of this goal, we are compiling a list of The 100 Most Important African-American Children’s Books. If you would like to suggest books for our list, please visit our blog and share the books you would like to be considered for inclusion.

Book Reviews & Recommendations


The Face That Changed It All: A Memoir by Beverly Johnson — Book ReviewThe Face That Changed It All: A Memoir by Beverly Johnson — Book Review

Beverly was signed by the Ford agency which, in turn, led to her meteoric transformation into the first black supermodel. Her face would eventually grace the cover of over 500 magazines, including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Elle, Essence, Ebony and Harper’s Bazaar, to name a few. By 1975, she’d paved the way for models of every hue, inspiring editors and fashion designers to adopt colorblind hiring practices.

The Face That Changed It All (Atria Books, August 25, 2015) is a touching, warts-and-all autobiography in which Beverly recounts not only her considerable professional achievements but also reveals the litany of challenges she’s had to surmount in her personal life. Of topical interest, undoubtedly, is the chapter devoted to Bill Cosby, since Beverly was the most famous female and the first African-American to publicly accuse him of drugging and assaulting her with intent to rape. More

Rock the Boat: How to Use Conflict to Heal and Deepen Your Relationship — Book Review
Rock the Boat: How to Use Conflict to Heal and Deepen Your Relationship — Book Review

I’ve refrained from reviewing relationship books lately, basically because there’s been such a profusion of self-professed love gurus hawking lighthearted advice ever since comedian-turned-love guru Steve Harvey not only published Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, but turned the runaway best-seller into a hit movie, too. However, I’ve decided to make an exception for this relatively-sobering opus by Resma Menakem, a licensed therapist you might recognize from his appearances on Oprah, Dr. Phil and elsewhere.

Resma is a licensed clinical social worker whose approach to counseling encourages couples to confront rather than smooth over their differences. In Rock the Boat (Hazelden Publishing, April 28, 2015), a how-to handbook delineating his professional philosophy, the author starts with the thesis that marriage is never the happily-ever-after fairy tale suggested by the end of every romantic romp you see in the movies. More

African-American Philosophers: 17 ConversationsAfrican-American Philosophers: 17 Conversations

Originally published by Routledge in 1998; I’m finding African-American Philosophers: 17 Conversations to be a fascinating insight into the minds of some of America’s great philosophers. The brilliant thinkers include; Anita L. Allen, Robert E. Birt, Bernard R. Boxhill, Joyce Mitchell Cook, Angela Y. Davis, Lewis R. Gordon, Leonard Harris, Joy Ann James, Tommy L. Lott, Hoard McGary, Jr., Michele M. Moody-Adams, Albert Mosley, Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr., Adrian M. S. Piper, Laurence Thomas, Cornell West, Naomi Zack.

I started reading this book in reaction to a conversation on our discussion forum, “Who has filled the intellectual void after James Baldwin?,” which I initiated in reaction to Toni Morrison blurb for Ta-Nehisi Coates new book, the Power List and best seller, Between the World and Me ; “I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died…clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates.”

Children’s Books

news-one-million-men-and-meOne Million Men & Me for the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March Written By Kelly Starling Lyons, Illustrated by Peter Ambush

Lyons relates the events of the 1995 Million Man March as told from the point of view of a girl who accompanies her father to Washington, DC, for the historic gathering. She begins, My cousin, Omari, said no girls were allowed. But Daddy took me.

…The description of the faces as a rainbow of chocolate, graham cracker brown and cream is accompanied by a spread depicting men of different ages, dress styles, and color, but their expressions of pride and hope are the same. Ambush successfully varies the illustrations to include both warm close-ups of father and daughter and wider views of the speakers she sees while sitting on her dad’s shoulders. An author’s note includes additional historical facts about the march. —School Library Journal. (Just Us Books, Oct 15, 2014)

news-poems-in-the-atticPoems in the Attic by Nikki Grimes, Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

During a visit to her grandma’s house, a young girl discovers a box of poems in the attic, poems written by her mother when she was growing up. Her mother’s family often moved around the United States and the world because her father was in the Air Force. Over the years, her mother used poetry to record her experiences in the many places the family lived. Reading the poems and sharing those experiences through her mother’s eyes, the young girl feels closer to her mother than ever before.

To let her mother know this, she creates a gift: a book with her own poems and copies of her mother’s. And when she returns her mother’s poems to the box in the attic, she leaves her own poems too, for someone else to find, someday. Using free verse for the young girl’s poems and tanka for her mother’s, master poet Nikki Grimes creates a tender intergenerational story that speaks to every child’s need to hold onto special memories of home, no matter where that place might be (Lee & Low Books, May 15, 2015).

news-mixed-meMixed Me! — Book Review

A few years ago, actor Taye Diggs and artist Shane Evans collaborated on Chocolate Me (see it on the new website), a children’s book about a little boy who was teased by his friends about having skin the color of dirt and hair that made him look like he was scared. That illustrated best-seller received critical acclaim for its sensitive treatment of the emotional impact of taunting on the young mind of an impressionable black child.

Now, Taye and Shane are back on behalf of biracial and any other kids of mixed ancestry with a story highlighting Mike’s struggle to fit in. A medium-complexioned boy with a ginormous orange afro, he’s being bullied at school by classmates who called him “Mixed-Up Mike.” They also make fun of the fact that his parents supposedly don’t match, since one is much darker-skinned than the other (Feiwel & Friends, October 6, 2015).


news-rhythm-of-the-august-rainThe Rhythm of August the Rain by Gillian Royes

Shannon, a photojournalist on assignment for a Canadian magazine, arrives in the impoverished but beautiful fishing village of Largo Bay, Jamaica. But she’s seeking more than a tropical paradise: She wants to know why a Canadian woman named Katlyn went missing there more than three decades ago. So she calls on Shad Myers, the lovable bartender and town sleuth of Largo Bay, who hunts down clues to a woman’s mysterious disappearance in this fourth riveting novel in the Shad detective series.

As in her previous novels The Sea Grape Tree, The Man Who Turned Both Cheeks, and The Goat Woman of Largo Bay, Royes transports readers into a beautiful Caribbean setting where life is cheap, but religion is strong and one man is still trying to solve the island’s relentless questions. (Atria Books, July 28, 2015)

news-captin-blackmanCaptain Blackman by John A. Williams

Named “among the most important works of fiction of the decade” by the New York Times Book Review when it was first published in 1972. Captain Blackman was republished in April, 2000, as part of Coffee House Press’s Black Arts Movement reprint series.

“Captain Blackman chronicles the fevered dreams of a black soldier’s journey through time from the American Revolution to Vietnam. Published in 1972, it was the first book of speculative fiction that I’d ever read by an African-American, and I loved its power, its history, and that it was rooted in the race’s struggle to find dignity in a country intent upon denying that dignity by all means necessary. Williams was one of the finest unsung American writers of his generation.” —Beverly Jenkins, Author

daddy-homeDaddy’s Home by Janae Marie

Janae Marie is a writer, journalist and publisher. Born in Michigan, she’s earned a Bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University in Media Arts and working on another as well. She’s also wrote, produced, directed and edited her own film entitled, My Mother Donna. She is also the publisher of Young Urban Voices Magazine, an online publication for young adults.

Daddy’s Home is the second novel from Janae Marie. Abandoned, raped, homeless, and molested are just a list of things Danielle Turner has endured while growing up. Being sexually abused at the age of thirteen by her alcoholic father and ignored by her mother after she witnesses the act herself forces Danielle to run away from home. She later meets smooth talker Dante Willis who promises to take care of her. What she doesn’t realize is that his promises come with hidden agendas. Danielle finds herself being coerced into prostitution and abusing drugs to earn her keep in Dante’s house.

news-akaschic-booksAnything Published by Akashic Books

“Akashic Books is a Brooklyn-based independent company dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction by authors who are either ignored by the mainstream, or who have no interest in working within the ever-consolidating ranks of the major corporate publishers.”

Akashic, publishes authors of all colors, but continues to make tremendous contributions to Black literature. Their roster of authors reads like a veritable who’s-who list of significant Black writers including, Elizabeth Nunez, Bernice L. McFadden, Nelson George, Percival Everett, Preston L. Allen, Amiri Baraka, K’wan, Shannon Holmes, Courttia Newland, Colin Channer, Persia Walker, Kwame Dawes, Chris Abani, and many more.



Events — October 2015

The 11th Annual Cavalcade of Authors with Brenda Jackson, Beverly Jenkins, Lutishia Lovely and more. Hosted by Naleighna Kai and J.L. Woodson — October 2-4, 2015, Chicago, IL

Literary Festival of Charlotte Formerly the Charlotte Book Fair started in 2011 — October 3, 2015, Charlotte, NC (Postponed due to heavy rains and winds)

11th Annual African American Literary Awards Show Organized by Yvette Hayward the event’s goal is to recognize the accomplishments of African American authors and industry professionals. — October 3, 2015, New York, NY

The 2015 Black Authors & Readers Rock Weekend — A two-day literary conference for authors and readers — October 16-17, 2015, Bowie, MD

National Black Book Festival 2015 Journalist Roland Martin, nationally-renowned model Beverly Johnson and New York Times best-selling author Lalita Tademy will headline. — October 23-24, 2015, Houston, TX

14th Annual Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards Ceremony Mistress of Ceremonies, S.Epatha Merkerson; with Special Guests Nikky Finney and Yusef Komunyakaa; and Edwidge Danticat, Recipient of the 2015 North Star Award — October 23, 2015, Washington, DC

2nd Annual Independent Authors Book Expo Independent Authors Book Expo is a free event open to the public where independent authors, poets, publishers and writers can promote their work. — October 24, 2015, Elizabeth, NJ

Film Reviews

news-the-black-pathersThe Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Film Review

…The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (In Theaters: Sep 2, 2015), a warts-and-all documentary directed by Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders). The film is fascinating not only because of its copious archival footage, but on account of the many revelations exposing the dark underbelly of an outfit often given a pass in spite of myriad flaws in terms of misogyny and machismo. More

David Hilliard the executive director of The Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, founding member of the Black Panther Party, and chief of staff of the Party during the time Huey and Bobby Seale were incarcerated says, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is not the story of the BPP, like many other academic and mainstream media interpretations of the Black Panther Party it is an inaccurate, external description of the BPP and it’s legacy.” More ▶

news-warroomWar Room — Film Review

In 2011, Pastor Alex Kendrick produced, directed, wrote and starred in Courageous, a very compelling, action-oriented, faith-based drama. With War Room (In Theaters: Aug 28, 2015), he’s opted to play only a supporting role in the flick, thereby freeing himself to focus more on his duties behind the camera.

The film revolves around protagonists Elizabeth (Priscilla Shirer) and Tony Jordan (T.C. Stallings), a couple we meet already in the midst of a relationship crisis. Most of their marital woes are of the husband’s making, as he is a workaholic who’s emotionally and physically unavailable to his wife and their young daughter, Danielle (Alena Pitts). More

news-malalaHe Named Me Malala — Film Review

Initially, she blamed her dad for her plight, since he was the one who’d cultivated her activist streak. “I am a child,” she said, “You are my father. You should have stopped me. What happened to me is because of you.”

But eventually her health was substantially restored, and she became a stoic and serene symbol of resistance to radical Islam. With continued death threats hanging over their heads, the Yousafzai family (including Malalal’s mom and two younger brothers) was forced to resettle in England where she would become a champion of oppressed females all over the planet (In Theaters: Oct 2, 2015). More

Related Articles & News

news-black-panther-comicTa-Nehisi Coates to Write the New Black Panther Comic for Marvel

Created in 1966, Black Panther, who is from the fictional African country of Wakanda, is the first Black superhero.

Ta-Nehisi Coates the; #1 Power List bestselling author; bestselling author; #1 NY Times bestselling Author; 2015 National Book Award Winning Author ( prediction); and heir apparent to Jimmy Baldwin; will write the new Black Panther comic for Marvel! Coates definitely has “the juice” right about now.

news-bloggers-helpHow Bloggers Can Help Each Other

In 2011, I created a website, Huria Search, to showcase and highlight the websites of Black content providers including, magazines, newspapers, major websites, bookstores, and most recently bloggers.

I completely understand the difficulty bloggers, especially those just starting out, face attracting readers. Many excellent writers no longer maintain blogs, as they are unable to attract readers or generate revenue. Without the contributions of these writers, the World Wide Web does not reflect the richness of our culture and is a less interesting place.

Some bloggers are migrating to Facebook, but the creativity and unique design of a blog is simply impossible to replicate on a Facebook page. In addition, Facebook is solely revenue driven, so if your writing is not designed to engage the maximum number of people—good luck getting it seen by other readers, without paid promotion, no matter how substantive, creative or important it is. Of course there are also the issues of ownership, revenue, privacy, and control to consider on Facebook.

This was not always the case; the web started to become more challenging for independent entities about a decade ago. We can—indeed must— do more to support each other, otherwise our online platforms will continue to grow weaker and the power of the web will coalesce into the hands a few powerful corporations, and this does not serve any of us.

So visit a blog, comment on an article, share articles with others. If you need help finding a blog you’ll like, visit the Blog section of Huria Search.

Troy Johnson, Founder and webmasterDear Reader,

If book websites, and physical stores that focus on Black literature are going to survive (there are not many left), Troy, you have to support us. This is the only way our stories will be recorded and shared widely.

The new version of, planned for official launch in March of 2016, will provide book buy links to independent booksellers, not just to Amazon, the way we are setup now. Sure, we will provide links to Amazon, but we are committed to ensuring independent booksellers have a chance, and will highlight links to those sites when we can.

Check out the “Buy This Book” button for Buffalo Soldiers by Robert H. Miller you will find an option to purchase this book directly from Just Us Books. Buying this book directly from Just Us Books benefits this independent publisher more than buying the book via Amazon. More profit for Just Us Books more books for us in the future.

As always, remember to help us support for the writers and institutions we cover, with your paid subscription to our newsletter.

Peace & Love,
troy signature 1
Troy Johnson,
Founder & Webmaster,
Support, Support this eNewsletter eNewsletter – September 29, 2015 – Issue #228



Good Books, Films, Events & Articles – June 23, 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 eNewsletter is sponsored by Brown Girls Publishing

macro-marketing-authorsIntroducing the next four books from Brown Girls Publishing: D.J. McLaurin’s What if it Feels Good?—the story of an unconventional romance that may not survive a woman scorned or the public’s outrage. Pink & Patent Leather, Candy Jackson’s mind-blowing tale of one-woman’s quest for love at all costs, and the spiraling descent she’ll travel to get it. The Next Thing is Joy: The Gospel According to Vivan Grace, by Tracey Michae’l Lewis, is the story of a woman who is about to find love in a way she never imagined…but what will she have to do to get it? Roni Teson’s Twist, where romance, insanity, mind-altering experiments, and a government conspiracy, all lead to the fight of Beatrice Malcolm’s life. Visit to find out more. Mourns the Passing of Ellis J. Still joins the book world in mourning the unexpected passing of Ellis James Still on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Ellis was the President & CEO, The Burning Bush Christian, Literary, & Scholastic Bookstore. Ellis was a terrific advocate for our literature and was simply one conscious brother. His loss to the book world is incalculable and will be felt for years to come.

He was a member of Abundant Life Family Worship Church in New Brunswick and was part of their Youth Ministry. He was 46 years old. A memorial fund has been started in his honor.

Book Reviews

news-the-man-from-essenceThe Man from Essence: Creating a Magazine for Black Women

Despite the irony of four brothers being behind a publication aimed at sisters, the periodical proved phenomenally popular, soon blossoming into the premiere beauty and fashion magazine for its target demographic. And over the intervening decades the Essence brand has been extended to include an annual Fourth of July weekend cultural festival featuring everything from musical concerts to empowerment seminars.

However, the magazine has also experienced considerable behind-the-scenes turmoil, and much of that drama is the subject of The Man from Essence, a revealing memoir written by Mr. Lewis with the assistance of his former executive editor, Audrey Edwards. Inter alia, we learn that the four founders had no experience in the field of publishing, yet ultimately managed to flourish in part because they had identified a need just begging to be addressed.

new-prodigalProdigal: Special Edition by David Covin

Often, fiction can be confusing when the author loses his way. That is not the case with Prodigal’s author, David Covin, Emeritus Professor of Government and Pan African Studies at California State University, even as he attempts to stuff as much cultural seasoning and action as possible into this bloated plot. The reader, once strapped in, is just encouraged to hold on and go hell-bent for the thrill ride.

In this tale of identity and cultural salvation, Covin displays his incredible capacity to give us a brief history lesson wrapped in a glittering jacket of contemporary urban fiction. It is often brilliant, aware, informative, and somewhat cluttered. If a reader submits to Covin’s commanding will and imagination, Prodigal will be an unforgettable, fulfilling experience.

news-unbreak-my-heartUnbreak My Heart: A Memoir by Toni Braxton

While Toni’s blossoming career would catapult her to the heights of superstardom in a matter of months, it also left her haunted with a sense of overwhelming regret. For, although striking that devil’s bargain led to fame and a half-dozen Grammys, it also meant temporarily alienating the affection of the folks she was closest to.

Furthermore, over the ensuing years, she would find her faith tested by a host of woes reminiscent of Job in the Bible. Not only did she make and lose a fortune, declaring bankruptcy twice in the process, but she married Mint Condition’s keyboardist Keri Lewis and had a couple of children with him before going through a messy divorce.

news-yogaYoga, Meditation and Spiritual Growth for the African American Community

Daya Devi-Doolin shares her philosophy in an easy-to-read how-to tome with an easy-to-follow illustrated introduction, aimed at beginners and also the young at heart. The book features photographs not of skinny contortionists, but of the author and some of her students who, as you’ll see, come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

That lets you know that you don’t have to be lithe and limber like a runway model to assume such poses pictures as the Boat, the Butterfly, the Half Lotus, the Cow, the Chair, the Eagle, the Half Bridge, the Dancer, the Cobra, the Tree, the Spinal Twist, or my favorite, The Mountain (which looks the easiest). Why should the uninitiated even consider trying yoga? “For a new or a renewed body, mind and spirit,” Daya suggests.

Book Recommendations

news-song-of-the-shankSong of the Shank by Jeffery Renard Allen

At the heart of this novel is Thomas Greene Wiggins, a nineteenth-century slave and improbable musical genius who performed under the name Blind Tom.” The novel ranges from Tom’s boyhood to the heights of his performing career, the inscrutable savant is buffeted by opportunistic teachers and crooked managers, crackpot healers and militant prophets. In his symphonic novel, Jeffery Renard Allen blends history and fantastical invention to bring to life a radical cipher, a man who profoundly changes all who encounter him.

Song of the Shank is also our Deal of the Week and is available to you at perhaps the lowest price online! But buy it now because this deal is only available until Sunday, June 29th.

news-strange-fruitStrange Fruit, Volume I: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History

Written and illustrated by Joel Christian Gill Strange Fruit, Volume I (Grade Level: 4 and up) is a collection of stories from African American history that exemplifies success in the face of great adversity. This unique graphic anthology offers historical and cultural commentary on nine uncelebrated heroes whose stories are not often found in history books.

Among the stories included are: Henry “Box” Brown, who escaped from slavery by mailing himself to Philadelphia; Alexander Crummel and the Noyes Academy, the first integrated school in America, established in the 1830s; Marshall “Major” Taylor, a.k.a. the Black Cyclone, the first black champion in any sport; and Bass Reeves, the most successful lawman in the Old West. Written and illustrated by Joel Christian Gill, the diverse art beautifully captures the spirit of each remarkable individual and opens a window into an important part of American history.

news-the-sacred-bombshellThe Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love by Abiola Abrams

The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love is your passport to become the woman you were born to be. If you’ve been looking for a sign, this is it. Love-Body-Spirit coach, advice columnist, and motivational speaker Abiola Abrams reveals 11 self-worth secrets with assignments to awaken your feminine energy, reclaiming the word bombshell to mean a woman who deliciously embodies her mind, body, spirit – and joy. Abiola’s transformational coaching is buoyed by her Guyanese family lessons and overcoming personal challenges from disordered eating to a failed marriage. If you have everything going for you, except what you really want, this journey is for you.

news-wahts-done-in-the-darkWhat’s Done in the Dark 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?

news-nine-years-underNine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner-City Funeral Home by Sheri Booker

Sheri Booker was only fifteen when she started working at Wylie Funeral Home in West Baltimore. She had no idea her summer job would become nine years of immersion into a hidden world. With AIDS and gang violence threatening to wipe out a generation of black men, Wylie was never short on business.

This vibrant tour of a macabre world reveals an urban funeral culture where photo-screened memorial T-shirts often replace suits and ties and the dead are sent off with a joint or a fifth of cognac. As families came together to bury one of their own, Booker was privy to their most intimate moments of grief and despair. But along with the sadness, Booker encountered moments of dark humor: brawls between mistresses and widows, and car crashes at McDonald’s with dead bodies in tow. While she never got over her terror of the embalming room, Booker learned to expect the unexpected and to never, ever cry. Nine Years Under offers readers an glimpse into an industry in the backdrop of all our lives.

news-go-de-ras-to-sleepShaggy Records Jamaican Patois Version of Go the F* to Sleep

Reggae superstar Shaggy repeats Samuel L. Jackson’s reading of Go the F* to Sleep, but in a Jamaican fashion. Shaggy’s humor and verbal prowess are on full display as he reads the book’s stanzas such as:

Modda puss a hug up har pickney,
Young sheep a lay down wid big sheep.
Yuh wrap up an warm inna yuh bed, putoos,
Beg yuh, go de rass to sleep.

Related Articles


The ESSENCE Brand—Where Black Women Come First—NOT!

“Community Book Center, owned by a Black woman, had been the sole bookseller for Essence Fest from the beginning. At that time the idea was to do everything possible to strengthen and empower Black owned businesses. Last year [2012] Wal-Mart and local white bookstores were allowed in. This year [2013] CBC was told that they did not have space for them. When another vendor reportedly dropped out, CBC was still not allowed back in. The local white-owned bookstore had already been approved.

In a nutshell, Essence has evicted, booted, put out the only Black-owned bookstore to make more room for retail giant Wal-Mart and a local white book store. The Black-owned Community Book Center is practicing Self-Deter­mination by hosting its own Home Fest during the same time as Essence, so I’ll be making a special trip; hope you will too.”
—Minister J. Kojo Livingston

news-market-your-bookDo Yourself a Favor Authors; Market Your Book by A. Yamina Collins

My fantasy romance novel, The Last King, has already been in Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller List in no less than four separate genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Christian Women’s Literature. And yet I’ve only sold 210 copies of the book.

To me, the money hasn’t been a waste. In fact, I am inspired to now hire a professional publicist. I believe in my book and it’s chance to succeed, but that means I have to give it a chance to reach a larger audience.

news-griot-solutionThe Griot Solution

Since black people in large numbers might not read fiction, live storytelling may still resonate in their blood because of the oral tradition. A combination of story telling and controlled psycho-drama—It will necessitate community and traveling theaters, block play parties, or street theater if no buildings will have you—but the big caveat, the silent elephant in the room is the class dynamics within the black community itself or rather not in the community. That is the best and the brightest with money don’t live in the slums.

new-writers-worldWriters’ World Newspaper

A Resource for the self-published, established authors and readers who love them.

Writers’ World will publish positive news and information. We are here to bring good and informative news to our readers. We will also provide valuable information from our authors. Writers’ World Newspaper is a resource for self-published and established authors and the readers who love them to have a forum to exchange opinions on literature. Readers will be provided with unique and motivational articles, implementing ideas and resources to further enhance their lives.

news-black-star-project-journal-logoBlack Star Journal

Check out the news and events archive of The Black Star Project. The Black Star Journal is the news and events archive of The Black Star Project

Founded in 1996 by Phillip Jackson, The Black Star Project is committed to improving the quality of life in Black and Latino communities of Chicago and nationwide by eliminating the racial academic achievement gap.


news-ammaAmma Asante

Writer/director Amma Asante made an unusual entry into filmmaking. As a child, she attended the Barbara Speake stage school in London, where she trained as a student in dance and drama.

Here, she talks about her new film, Belle, a fact-based, historical drama starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw about the daughter of an African slave and a British ship captain who was raised in England as an aristocrat.

news-michael-ealyMichael Ealy

For the last few years, Michael Ealy has been red-hot, jumping from TV to film and back to TV, seamlessly. He recently starred in the sci-fi television series, “Almost Human,” for which he earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Leading Actor in a Drama Series.

In terms of the tabloids, the blue-eyed hunk was named one of People magazines’ “On the Verge” actors in the magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” 2002 and 2013 issues. Furthermore, he was named one of E! Entertainment Television’s “Sizzlin’ 16” of 2004 and appeared on the cover of Essence magazine’s “Hollywood Screen Gems” for their April 2004 issue.

Film Reviews

news-think-like-a-man-tooThink Like a Man Too – Film Has Little to do With Thinking Like a Man

The surprise hit Think Like a Man was #1 at the box-office over its opening weekend back in April of 2012. Inspired by Steve Harvey’s best-selling, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, the original explored some of the serious issues tackled by the popular, relationship advice book by examining the angst of four couples in relationship crisis.

Unfortunately, this relatively-tame sequel fails to measure up to either of those side-splitting descents into debauchery, being basically a vehicle for Kevin Hart’s kitchen sink brand of comedy. Here, the motor-mouthed comedian serves as an omniscient narrator who calls the battle-of-the-sexes’ play-by-play.

news-black-church-incBlack Church Inc. – Film Tackles Topic of Financial Abuse in the Black Church

Gone are the days of working class preachers who didn’t expect financial gain in exchange for spiritual guidance. A new breed of pastors has emerged: the mega-pastor… one who aims to sell their religious brand and get rich off the gospel.

Black Church, Inc. is a feature-length investigative documentary that examines the sensationalism of the black church and its present day relationship with serving the community. The documentary compares the black church’s origins to its modern day cultural relevance. The film focuses on modern mega-churches and asks hard-hitting questions about service vs. the extravagant lifestyles of its multi-million dollar ministers and ministries. The documentary takes a deep dive into controversial issues clouding the church including “love offerings” (cash payments given to ministers), financial abuse and the deification of the mega-church pastor all while asking… is prayer-for-profit moral?

Upcoming Events


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We currently have two positions available on our Homepage and Books Main page. The regular price is just $49 for 32 days (dropping to $39 on the 3rd consecutive month). However, if you act now, you may secure both positions for just $74. You may even rotate two different books in each position! That works out to a little more than 50 cents per book, per day. Act now, because at this price these positions will not be available very long. Learn more about this service here.

Email Troy Johnson if you are interested in this special price (it is not available for purchase online).

Dear Reader,

In addition to our regular monthly eNewsletter you will may receive one additional “Sponsored Email” each month. These emails will be curated, in exactly the same way our regular eNewsletters are, but will be dedicated to a single business, author or event we believe you will find worthy of special attention.

With the potential addition of the sponsored emails, you will only receive a maximum of two emails from us each month.

Some sponsored emails may be fee based, but not every potential sponsor’s message will qualify; this is not a traditional “eBlast” service; messages will be limited to one per month and curated. This past year, we sent two email messages which reflect the type of information we will communicate with a sponsored email, The National Black Writers Conference Schedule and Join Effort to Make “Forever an Ex” a Best-Selling Book. We may not send a sponsored email each month. However, if we do send a sponsored email you will be automatically entered into a contest to win $50!

If you are interested in sponsoring a dedicated email, please contact Troy Johnson.

As 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, recorded and archived.

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

If you are interested in providing more substantial support through website sponsorship please contact Troy Johnson.

Troy Johnson,
Founder and Webmaster

Blacktrospective 2012 – Annual Assessment of the Best in Black Film

Blacktrospective 2012 - Annual Assessment of the Best in Black Cinema

Each year we publish our annual list of the best in Black cinema.  This list is unique in that it assesses each film not just how good it is as a film, but how good it is for the Black community in general.  This list is compiled by prominent film critic and contributor, Kam Williams.

Each movie is assessed on several of criteria, including;

  1. What was our reviewers critical evaluation of the film (how many stars was it given)?
  2. How strong a showing did the film have at the box office (how much money did it make)?
  3. What was the make up of the cast (was there an all Black cast or one or two Black actors in prominent roles)?
  4. Was there a Black director, producer (were Black professionals instrumental behind the scenes)?
  5. How positive were the images (does it support the Black community in a positive way or does it reinforce negative stereotypes)?

As a result, you will find a film like Think Like A Man, which was given 3 stars, ranked higher than Flight, which was given 4 stars, on our list of “Best Big Budget Black Films”.

Best Big Budget Black Films

  1. Think like a Man movie posterThink Like a Man
  2. Sparkle
  3. Good Deeds
  4. Flight
  5. Won’t Back Down
  6. Men in Black III
  7. Safe House
  8. Madea’s Witness Protection
  9. Red Tails
  10. Red Hook Summer

For the complete list of our Best of List for 2012 visit:



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