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December 2016 Newsletter – Great New Books, Best Film of the Year, and More

Cerece Rennie Murphy – Our eNewsletter Sponsor for December
Experience The Love of A Lifetime ~ Two Souls, One Desire, To Find Each Other…Again

The journey begins with Ama and Ekow ~ Two lovers betrothed, then torn apart by an enemy disguised as a friend. And in the midst of an unthinkable bargain, their freedom is sold for a bag of gold. But what their enemies thought would break them only unleashed a power greater than life itself.

From the ancient shores of Ghana to the streets of pre-colonial India, from the burning embers of Oahu to the heart of a nation’s capitol. Their souls risked war, death, and betrayal to bend destiny to their will. Will they survive? Will they succeed? Join them on this timeless journey and see… (Buy To Find You Now)

New Books Coming January 2017

New Books

Kindred, by Octavia Butler, is one of my favorite novels. The 4 Time AALBC.com bestselling book was also voted #15 on our list of the Top 100 Books of the 20th Century, and is a QBR 100 Essential Black Book! Kindred is now available as a graphic novel—expanding Butler’s work to an entirely new audience.

Alice Childress, who is most famous for her novel, A Hero Ain’t Nothin But a Sandwich will enlighten a new generation of readers with a new edition of her classic novel about African-American domestic workers, Like One of The Family.

Roxane Gay returns with Difficult Women, a collection of stories of the quirky and vexed human condition.  48 time AALBC Bestselling Author, Kimberla Lawson Roby’s 25th book, Copycat, will be released; and Award-winning Poet Kwame Dawes presents us with a new collection, City of Bones: A Testament.

Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!: Games, Songs, and Stories from an African American Childhood by award-winning author Patricia C. Mckissack and illustrator Brian Pinkney not only shows children wonderful games but helps preserve an important aspect of our cultural legacy.

Learn more about these, and more terrific new books, on our curated list of soon to be released books.

She is Global, an Artist, a Movement—Malaika Adero is “Global I Aam” by Patrick A. Howell

Malaika AderoMalaika Adero doesn’t call a lot of attention to herself. She does her work methodically and pointedly, beautifully, year after year, decade after decade without a lot of fanfare. All you see of Malaika are the volumes of books that she has birthed as well as the regular celebration of our global village griots and ancestors under the expanse of large colorful wings.

She is part of the 13th-century continuum of West African history from those kingdoms of Ghana, Songhai and Mali. She comes to us from the tradition of the griot—a story teller or praise singer who is a historian and often seen as a community and cultural leader, often times an advisor to persons of royal designation (think Miles Davis, Nelson Mandela, Prince, Toni Morrison, or Spike Lee amongst countless others). Read the full tribute to Ms. Adero.

Folktales’ Black Women’s Literary Society

Folktales’ Black Women’s Literary Society

Folktales’ Black Women’s Literary Society, from Austin, Texas, meets the 3rd Friday of each month from February – November usually at the George Washington Carver Museum. They are a group of Black women reading African America authors. Learn more about this Book Club and hundreds of others on our book club listing.

Amazon Owns the Black Book Ecosystem—Does it Matter?

Amazon Timeline of expansionThere are very few booksellers (physical stores and online) selling books, independent of Amazon, and making very much money doing it. This is particularly true for booksellers who sell books that are important to the Black community. As a result, Amazon, to our detriment, owns the Black book ecosystem. Amazon not only profits disproportionately from our products they determine which books are important and are seen.

I encourage you to read this research report produced by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. This report brilliantly describes the impact of Amazon’s virtual monopoly and how Amazon is “Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities.”

African American Film Critics Association Names Moonlight the Top Film of 2016

African American Film Critics Association Names Moonlight the Top Film of 2016“Our members had a plethora of outstanding movies, documentaries and TV shows to choose from this year,” says AAFCA Co-founder Shawn Edwards. “It was an exceptional year in terms of the quantity and quality of films about the black experience. And while this by no means solves the diversity issue in the film industry it was definitely refreshing to have such a wide-range of exceptional work to choose from to honor and celebrate with our approval.”

There were several movies released this year that are considered masterpieces. However, it was “Moonlight” that dominated this year’s voting for the 8th AAFCA Awards. The independent film which chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami completely resonated with the majority of the members of the association.”

Put Your Book on AALBC.com Until March 21, 2017!

Put Your Book on AALBC.com Until March 21, 2017!Your book will appear on our Homepage and our Book’s Main Page for the entire winter (December 22, 2016 until midnight March 21, 2017). Get it now.

All Winter Special advertisers will get a 25% discount on the Spring Special. The winter and spring are the busiest seasons of the year on AALBC.com.

Also, if you purchase your 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.

Dear Reader,

All About AALBC.comThis, our 240th newsletter, will our last newsletter for 2016. I hope you will be able to enjoy the holiday season with family, friends, and a few good books.

Remember, AALBC.com continues to grow and improve because of your ongoing support. If you value our content, here are four simple things should do to support AALBC.com;

1. Do not use an ad blocker to block AALBC.com’s ads.
Advertisements are AALBC.com’s primary source of revenue. Our ads, which are usually books, are nonintrusive and are actually a great way to discover an excellent read.

2. Share our content.
It is our responsibility to ensure our perspectives and history are shared and known widely.

3. Buy your books through AALBC.com.
If you use Amazon to buy anything, bookmark this link http://aalbc.it/supportaalbc and generate commissions for AALBC.com. Book sales count toward our bestsellers list.

4. Pay for your subscription to our newsletter.

Thanks for reading and supporting Black literature.

Peace & Love,

Troy 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 – December 15, 2016 – Issue #240

100 Bestselling Authors, New Books, and More: October 2016 eNewsletter

Our Top 100, All-time, Bestselling Authors

top 100 authorsWe are excited to present our regularly updated list of our top 100, all-time, bestselling authors. This list of bestselling authors is compiled from sales data going back to the first book we sold in 1997. How many authors do you recognize? How many have you read? You may learn more about all of these authors and thousands more on AALBC.com.

New Books Coming in November

There are so many terrific new books, and there is simply is not enough space to describe them all in our eNewsletter. Please visit our website for a list of newly published and soon to be released books.

Paul Beatty Wins the Man Booker Prize

Paul BearttyPaul Beatty’s novel The Sellout won the Man Booker Prize on October 25, 2016. Beatty is the first American to win the award.

In 1990, Paul Beatty was crowned the first Grand Poetry Slam Champion of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. One of the prizes for winning that championship title was the book deal which resulted in his first volume of poetry, Big Bank Takes Little Bank. His first novel, The White Boy Shuffle, received a favorable review in The New York Times. Beaty’s award-winning novel The Sellout, Beatty chronicles an urban farmer who tries to spearhead a revitalization of slavery and segregation in a fictional Los Angeles neighborhood.

National Book Awards Finalists Announced

Black National Book Award FinalistsThe National Book Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2016 National Book Awards for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. The winners will be announced on November 16 at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner, which will be hosted by award-winning writer and comedian Larry Wilmore. AALBC.com will be on hand to cover the event. Check out the 2016 finalists of African descent and all the others going back to 1953.

Book Reviews

Telling It Like It Is: The Remarkable Life Experiences of My Aunt Edna by Carrolyn PichetTelling It Like It Is: The Remarkable Life Experiences of My Aunt Edna by Carrolyn Pichet

“Telling It Like It Is, is equal parts historical biography, personal recollections, family memories, and self-help in the guise of lessons from a well-lived life. It is a love letter to not only a person, Pichet’s beloved Aunt Edna, but also to a long gone time and place—when neighborhoods were tightly knit communities and families looked out for each other. Filled with anecdotes and life lessons, favorite sayings are used as titles throughout the book and serve to highlight the many roles Aunt Edna has taken and played in her life—mother, fierce family defender, and advocate, to name only a few.”—Carol Taylor (more ►)

Legend of the Orange Scepter by M. HaynesLegend of the Orange Scepter by M. Haynes

“Overall, Haynes’ Legend of The Orange Scepter takes us on a classic battle between good and evil. The final battle between the teen Elementals and the evil Queen and her metal minions is well worth the wait and should provide some thrills for the young readers. Impassioned, exciting, and well-conceived, the novel is a marvelous achievement.” —Robert Fleming (more ►)

Recommended Reads

The Prince of Kokomo — Poetry by Laini MatakaThe Prince of Kokomo — Poetry by Laini Mataka

Laini Mataka is wiser, smarter, and stronger than ever. If you’ve read any of her earlier books and thought she might mellow, you’d be wrong. If you loved reading Bein A Strong Black Woman Can Get U Killed!! and wanted more, The Prince of Kokomo is for you. Laini doesn’t just write about Black reality, she tears it apart, piercing the boundless and forgotten moments that shape our reality.

When you read The Prince of Kokomo, be ready to follow Mataka into battle. She is Harriet Tubman restored. Like Harriet, she has no time for those who love the comfort of their prisons or the seductions of their enslavement.

Good2go Publishing – Over 1 Million Books SoldGood2go Publishing – Over 1 Million Books Sold

“Our goal is to provide an opportunity for prospective authors to help them fulfill their dreams of becoming a publish author and turning them into a reality. To date, we have helped over 10 authors become national best sellers including, Silk White, Mychea, Ernest Morris, Reality Way, Asia Hill, Jay Morrison, Jacob Spears, J.L Rose, and Jason Brent. Good2go Publishing has over 20 #1 Amazon bestselling books. In addition, we have three of the bestselling urban fiction series of all time. Tears of a Hustler Pt 1-6 by Silk White, He Loves Me, He Loves You Not Pt 1-5 by Mychea & The Teflon Queen PT 1-6 by Silk White. Our original goal was to reach 1 million sales worldwide, but since we’ve reached that goal the new goal is 10 million. Thanks to everyone for the love and support we really appreciate it.”— Ray Brown, Publisher Good2go Publishing (www.good2gopublishing.com)

Fim Reviews

Maya Angelou: And Still I RiseMaya Angelou: And Still I Rise

“…a single-mom at 17 after being pressured into a sexual encounter with a boy who wanted nothing more to do with her. She subsequently supported herself and her son, Guy Johnson (an AALBC.com Bestselling novelist), by holding an array of odd jobs, including work in the sex trade industry as a stripper, prostitute, and even a madam.

Yet somehow, Maya would overcome her humble roots and checkered early career to become an African-American icon and a very respected writer in her own right. That miraculous recovery is the subject of Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, a reverential retrospective offering an intimate look at the life of the late poet, author, actress, director, and civil rights activist.” —Kam Williams (more ►)

The Birth of a NationThe Birth of a Nation

“…judging The Birth of a Nation strictly on the merits, it undeniably deserved its previous status as a prime Oscar contender.” —Kam Williams (more ►)

Read our interview with Nate Parker, the film’s star, writer, and director (he addresses the rape allegations).

Learn about “Nat Turner’s Mental and Military Motivations” in an article by Ezrah Aharone. Also, read a scathing review of the film written by Professor Leslie M. Alexander who called the film an “Epic Fail.”

13th — Documentary Discusses Contemporary Slavery in America13th — Documentary Discusses Contemporary Slavery in America

The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.”

The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.

124 Book Festivals & Fairs Book Lovers will Enjoy

RT Booklovers Convention – May 2-7 2017 – Atlanta, GA AALBC.com’s Events Calendar will track all of the important book festivals in North America (Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean). We currently have 124 terrific events, covering the next 12 months, and are actively expanding our calendar.

Editor’s Picks:

RT Booklovers Convention – May 2-7 2017 – Atlanta, GA
A senior publishing industry professional highly recommends this event. It is well run and a lot of fun. The organizers RT Book Reviews (formerly Romantic Times Magazine) describes the RT Booklovers Convention as a “…book industry event where you can mix business with pleasure. Attend more than 200 workshops as well as numerous parties and reader events that will keep you informed, and in touch, while having fun.”

New York Comic Con – October 5-8, 2017 – New York, NY
Author tip: “…if you’re a speculative fiction author (horror, fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, sci-fi, etc.) you should definitely go”—Cerece Rennie Murphy

Mosaic Literary Conference – November 19, 2016 – Bronx, NY Mosaic Literary Conference – November 19, 2016 – Bronx, NY
This year’s conference will focus on the influence James Baldwin’s prescient writings continue to have on American culture. The conference will feature film, lesson plans, panels, and workshops.

The Mosaic Literary Conference is a grassroots event and a great opportunity for the community, educators, students, program administrators, and parents to learn ways to integrate books and reading into the lives of teenagers. MLC offers a mix of informative programs and creative workshops to engage young minds, strengthen literacy, and develop education strategies. Register here.

Increased Interest in the Survival of Independent Bookstores

Troy Johnson supporting BookstoresBlack-Owned Bookstores Soldier-On in the Fight to Survive and Thrive
by Tony Williams, Caribbean Book Blog (October 20, 2016)

Black-owned indie bookstores look forward to the next chapter
by Kelsey McKinney, Fusion (October 20, 2016)

A Glimmer of Hope for Black-Owned Bookstores
by Judith Rosen, Publisher Weekly (Feb 19, 2016)

For more information check out our list of bookstores in the United States that specialize in Black literature, and our list of websites dedicated to authors of African descent.

Put Your Book on AALBC.com for the Entire Fall

Put Your Book on AALBC.com for the Entire FallYour book will appear on the AALBC.com Homepage and our Book’s Main Page for the entire fall (until midnight December 21st). Buy it now, because there are only a couple of positions left. Current advertisers will also qualify for a discount on the Winter Special (the busiest season for AALBC.com).

If you buy a Large Book Cover Advertisement or an Author Profile we’ll give you the Book on the Homepage advertisement for free 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.

Troy Johnson working on websiteDear Reader,

On the evening of October 3, 1997, after the kids were put to bed, I fired up my 28.8KB modem and dialed up my ISP to connect to the World Wide Web. My custom built Pentium-powered PC was optimized for speed and sported a new 14″ CRT monitor capable of displaying 256 colors. I was ready to launch AALBC.com.

Over the years the site has grown by leaps and bounds, especially over the last year, as I’ve been fully engaged working on the website’s 4th major overhaul.

But in the final analysis Troy, AALBC.com thrives, due to your support. If you value our content, here are four things you can do to support AALBC.com;

1. Do not use an ad blocker to block AALBC.com’s ads.
Advertisements are AALBC.com’s primary source of revenue. Our ads, which are usually books, are nonintrusive and provide important content for the website.

2. Share our content.
Word of mouth, letters, blogs, social media, smoke signals, and carrier pigeon are all acceptable. Spread the word by any means necessary.

3. Buy Your Books Through AALBC.com.
We sell books any way they can be sold; through our publisher partners (like Black Classic Press and Just Us Books); as an affiliate of all the major online booksellers (B&N and Amazon); and even through other indie booksellers like MahoganyBooks. The commissions we earn support, not just AALBC.com, but the entire Black Book Ecosystem. If you use Amazon, bookmark this link http://aalbc.it/supportaalbc to buy any book and generate commissions for AALBC.com.

4. Support AALBC.com with a paid subscription to our newsletter.
Subscribe to our eNewsletter today.

Thanks for reading and supporting Black Literature.

Peace & Love,
signed by 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 – October 27, 2016 – Issue #238


The Louisiana Girls Trilogy from Jewell Parker Rhodes

Three books by Jewell Parker Rhodes

The Louisiana Girls trilogy from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes brings together three heroic girls from across history. These coming of age books tell the stories of Lanesha, Sugar, and Maddy, each living in Louisiana during a time of crisis, and each finding bravery within themselves in the face of overwhelming adversity. Steeped in the folklore tradition of the American deep south, this trilogy celebrates the power of friendship and family and demonstrates how anyone with enough strength in their heart can change the lives of those around them. All three Louisiana Girls books are now available in paperback.

Bayou MagicBayou Magic

It’s Maddy’s turn to have a bayou summer. At first she misses life back home in the city, but soon she grows to love everything about her new surroundings—the glimmering fireflies, the glorious landscape, and something else, deep within the water, that only Maddy sees. Could it be a mermaid? A coming-of-age tale rich with folk magic, set in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, Bayou Magic celebrates hope, friendship, and family, and captures the wonder of life in the Deep South.


Slavery is over, but ten-year-old Sugar doesn’t feel very free laboring in the fields all day. When Chinese workers are brought in to help harvest the cane, the older River Road folks feel threatened, but Sugar is fascinated. As she befriends young Beau and elder Master Liu, they introduce her to the traditions of their culture, and she, in turn, shares the ways of plantation life. Sugar soon realizes that she must be the one to bridge the cultural gap and bring the community together. Here is a story of unlikely friendships and how they can change our lives forever.

Ninth WardNinth Ward

Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives in a tight-knit community in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. She doesn’t have a fancy house like her uptown family or lots of friends like other kids on her street. But what she does have is Mama Ya-Ya, her fiercely loving caretaker, wise in the ways of the world and able to predict the future. So when Mama Ya-Ya’s visions show a powerful hurricane–Katrina–fast approaching, it’s up to Lanesha to call upon the hope and strength Mama Ya-Ya has given her to help them both survive the storm. Ninth Ward is a celebration of resilience, love, family, and friendship, and a deeply emotional story of transformation.

Jewell is currently touring, look for her in a city near you.

You may also find Jewell on Facebook and Twitter.