Tag Archives: information

September eNewsletter: Bestselling Books, 118 Book Events, and More


July/August 2016 Bestselling Books

Titles on Go On Girl! Book Club’s reading list are prominent on our bestsellers list this period. This is good, because these books excellent reads, and commissions AALBC.com earns from their sales are contributed to Go On Girl! Book Club’s scholarship fund. Several novels, published by Brown Girls Books, made our fiction list because of the of the quaily of their literature and Brown Girls Books’ support of AALBC.com as an online bookseller. Readers, publishers, and authors all win in these scenarios.

118 Important Book Events, Fairs, Festivals, and Conferences

news-harlem-book-fairAALBC.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 118 terrific events, covering the next 12 months, and are actively expanding our calendar.

Also, use our free widget to add our Events Calendar to your website or Blog. Our widget is automatically updated, optimized for mobile, and works with websites that use https.

10 Black Writers Longlisted for National Book Awards


“The mission of the National Book Foundation and the National Book Awards is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America.”

A total of 40 books are longlisted in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. On October 13, five finalists, in each category, will be announced. The winners will be celebrated at a wonderful awards ceremony on November 16, 2016. Check out our list of longlisted and winning writers, of African descent. The first award was presented to a Black writer in 1953; do you know who it was?

Black Classic Press Partners with ASALHnews-carter-g-woodson-books

“Our plan is to make these titles available as a complete collectors’ library and encourage readers to enjoy them and share them with future generations.”
—W. Paul Coates, publisher Black Classic Press.

news-paul-coates-1Black Classic Press, in partnership with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), is pleased to announce the launch of The Woodson Series, which recognizes the pioneering efforts of Carter G. Woodson, The father of Black History Month, as a pub­lisher and institution builder. Dr. Woodson founded The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, which became ASALH in 1915.

Enjoy a 30% discount, off the retail price, of all ASALH titles thru October 31.

Book Reviews

news-bibsyBibsy by Brenda Ross

Bibsy was a finalist (first fiction) for a 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Award. Our reviewer, Carol Taylor, called Brenda Ross, “…a writer to watch, with a uniquely lyrical and assured voice and style.”

Bibsy gives keen insight into the complexity of the lives of African Americans during the construction of the bridge and the development of the land. It’s the end of a way of life for hundreds of poor displaced families. It’s a story not often told yet this type of displacement happened in widespread areas across the country. Read the complete review.

news9781634913560The Gem Connection by Michael R. Lane

The caper, The Gem Connection, penned by Michael R. Lane, features a private eye team. C.J. Cavanaugh and his partner, Renita Harris. Harris is a computer whiz. They are paired on the Windell slaying following a letter employing them with a hefty fee of $200,000 with the catch that the team must fly under the radar, without the knowledge of the Portland Police Department. However, Cavanaugh has the added pressure to keep all of the information from his long-time lover, Homicide Detective Destini Pendleton, who has been assigned to head the high-profile case. Read the complete review written by Robert Fleming.

Recommended Reads

news-black-man-in-a-white-coatBlack Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine by Damon Tweedy

Black Man in a White Coat examines the complex ways in which both black doctors and patients must navigate the difficult and often contradictory terrain of race and medicine. As Tweedy transforms from student to practicing physician, he discovers how often race influences his encounters with patients. Through their stories, he illustrates the complex social, cultural, and economic factors at the root of most health problems in the black community (Picador, September 6, 2016).

Be sure to check out the book club discussion questions for Tweedy’s book; which was also selected by Folktales Black Women’s Literary Society for their reading list.

news-the-sell-outThe Sellout by Paul Beatty Shortlisted for Man Booker Prize

The Sellout was one of six novels shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction on September 13. This annually awarded literary prize is for the best original novel, written in English, and published in the UK. It is open to writers of any nationality. The winner of the 2016 Prize will be announced at a ceremony in London on Oct. 25. In addition to a prize of £50,000 (approximately $65,513), Beatty is one of two Americans to be honored this year.

The Sellout is 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. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant. (Picador, March 1, 2016).

news-invisible-man-got-the-whole-worldInvisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man’s Education by Mychal Denzel Smith

How do you learn to be a black man in America?

Smith unapologetically upends reigning assumptions about black masculinity, rewriting the script for black manhood so that depression and anxiety aren’t considered taboo, and feminism and LGBTQ rights become part of the fight. The questions Smith asks in this book are urgent for him, for the martyrs and the tokens, and for the Trayvons that could have been and are still waiting. (Watch a Video of Smith Reading with Melissa Harris Perry).

news-southside_with_youSouthside With You – Film Review

The story unfolds in Chicago during the summer of 1989 when Michelle was already employed as an attorney and living back home with her parents. Barack had just finished his first year at Harvard law school and had landed an internship as her assistant at her prestigious, white-shoe firm.

Apparently, he was so instantly smitten with Michelle that he could barely contain himself. So, she had to politely remind him of the the office’s strict rule against fraternizing among associates. Nevertheless, when she refused to consider a romantic rendezvous, he pitched her on the idea of attending a business meeting with him… (read more).

Get a Free AALBC.com Author Profile ($249 Value)

news-s-pearl-sharp-profile-short-300w-1Buy a Large Book Cover or Horizontal Banner Advertisement and Get a Free Author Profile!

An Author Profile Profile is a permanent web presence on AALBC.com. It includes everything an author’s website should have including: your photo, biography, video, and pages for all of your books. Book pages can include a book trailer, description, excerpt, and buy links to all the major booksellers.

For an additional charge we can replace the books on the right hand side of your pages with customized widgets for you social media accounts, events calendar, video, blog and more. We can even associate your domain name to your pages if you don’t have a website. Check out elizabethnunez.com or christopherdburns.com for examples.

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 this group of readers more effectively.

Dear Reader,

news-aalbc-18-yearsI still need your support. Please consider purchasing your AALBC.com eNewsletter subscription. It is less than $1 per month.

AALBC.com thrives, in a large part, due to your financial support. Sure, I work very hard to keep AALBC.com growing, but I can’t succeed without your financial support. If you are currently a paid subscriber thank you so very much. If you have not yet purchased your subscription thanks in advance for the support.

By the way, our website upgrade is progressing very nicely. I still have thousands of pages to convert, or clean up, but I hope to have this done by the end of the year.

Thanks for reading and supporting Black Literature.

Peace & Love,
troy_signature_1_ (2)
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 – September 16, 2016 – Issue #237

The Willie Lynch Letter is a Hoax!

As a book seller, my primary goal is to connect readers with books that they will enjoy and learn from.  Having a reader thank me for introducing them to a book or an author they appreciated is one of the joys of running this website.

In a recent conversation we discussed the growing number of publishers publishing the book, Willie Lynch Letter and the Making of a Slave.  I asked, “Why is anyone still publishing this book when it is common knowledge that the letter is a hoax?”  Of course the answer is self-evident; the book is profitable.  Immediately, I was forced to ask myself, why am I providing a platform to sell this book, and helping to perpetuate a lie?

Death of the Willie Lynch LetterI searched the AALBC.com database and found five versions of the Willie Lynch letter, all from different pubishers, and all AALBC.com bestselling books.

I thought about removing the books from the website altogether, but realized it would be better to keep the book and update the pages to reflect that fact that the letter is indeed a hoax and change the book’s category from nonfiction to fiction. I also provide a link to another book, Death of the Willie Lynch Speech: Exposing the Myth by Manu Ampim which explains why the letter is a hoax and even shares an email exchange with the author of the letter, Kwabena Faheen Ashanti, PhD.

Why do myths like the Willie Lynch Letter persist?  

Hollywood would never be confused with an entity concerned with the accurate portrayal of Black history and culture.  However if you consider Denzel Washington’s compelling diatribe in the 2007 film, The Great Debaters, it is easy to understand why one would be moved to believe such fiction as the Willie Lynch Letter.

Of course in our social media fueled World Wide Web, scandalous information, whether it is true or not spreads quickly, while the often less compelling truth tends to get lost.

Some argue that it does not matter that the letter is a lie, for it is the message that the letter conveys that matters. That argument is flawed. For critical people, it is clear that the truth is required to understand how the enslavement in Black people in America impacts us today, not some 21st century hoax.

Don’t be lulled into thinking that the spreading of lies like the Willie Lynch letter does not matter.  Please share this article, or information about Manu’s book, the next time someone presents you with the Willie Lynch Letter as an explanation for anything regarding Black people, with the exception of how we can be easily misled.

Top 50 Authors, Bestselling Books, and More

50 Favorite African-American Authors of the 20th Century

Top 50 African American Authors

1,826 readers cast votes, back in 2001, for their favorite African-American authors. Here we share the 50 authors who received the most votes. Is your favorite author among them?

Bestselling Books May/June 2016

Bestselling Books May/June 2016

Our bestselling books for May and June of 2016 is a mix of books by both major and independent publishers. Recently published and classic titles are represented as well, making for an interesting list.

The 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Awards Winning Books

The 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Awards Winning Books

The 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Awards Winning BooksThe 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Award winners were announced, during the Harlem Book Fair, on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 5 p.m. The winning titles are all excellent, but the finalist are definitely worth checking out too. AALBC.com published very favorable reviews of; Bibsy, by Brenda Ross; and The Summer of my Fifteenth Year, by Geri Spencer Hunter; which were finalists for Wheatley Awards.

New Books Coming in August

New Books Coming in August

Jacqueline Woodson, Jesmyn Ward, Teju Cole, Rep. John Lewis, Greg Tate, the names alone should inspire excitement. Visit AALBC.com to learn about excellent books published in the last two months, and to discover great reads coming out soon.

The Results of a Decade on Social Media

The Results of a Decade on Social MediaMuch of what I think about social media runs counter to conventional wisdom, but I appreciate my perspective is rather unique: I have over 20 years of experience building websites and actively publishing original content to the web. I teach web design at the college level and have used all of the major social media platforms for about as long as they have been around.

In this article I share detailed results of AALBC.com’s use of social media over the last 10 years, from BlackPlanet to Facebook and everything in between. Hopefully my experience will help you; “Use social media; don’t let it use you.”

Tiphanie Yanique, Nicole Dennis-Benn, and Glory Edim

Tiphanie Yanique, Glory Edim, and Nicole Dennis-Benn,

Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes The Sun; Glory Edim, founder of #wellreadblackgirl; and Tiphanie Yanique, author of Land of Love and Drowning; shout out their favorite bookstores and read from their novels.  These videos were recorded on July 27, 2016 at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, in New York City.

Oprah’s Book Club 2016 Selection

The Underground Railroad by Colson WhiteheadHere is the latest book club pick from Oprah; The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

“Every now and then a book comes along that reaches the marrow of your bones, settles in, and stays forever. This is one. It’s a tour de force, and I don’t say that lightly.” —Oprah Winfrey

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom (Doubleday, August 2).

Also let us know what you think about the phenomenon of Oprah’s Picks.

Poet, Kevin Young to Serve as New Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Poet, Kevin YoungOn August 1st, the New York Public Library announced, “Kevin Young will be joining NYPL as Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He will begin his tenure at the Library in the late fall. Kevin succeeds Khalil Gibran Muhammad, who led the Schomburg with great distinction for the last five years.”

Visitors to AALBC.com will recognize Kevin Young as an accomplished Poet, who was a finalist for a 2003 National Book Award

Events Coming in August

Leimert Park Village Book Fair

▪ The 32nd Annual Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair, Aug 5 to 6, Denver, CO
▪ National Conference of African American Librarians, Aug 9 to 13, Atlanta, GA
▪ Blogger Week 2016 UnConference Aug 20 to 21, Washington, DC
▪ Leimert Park Village Book Fair Aug 20, 2016, Los Angeles, CA

Meet Troy Johnson Founder and President of AALBC.com

Meet AALBC.com Founder and Webmaster, Troy JohnsonI had the pleasure of being part of Virgo Girl Media’s Meet 50 Bloggers Tour

“Although Troy runs a digital website you can constantly find him out and about within the crowd. My first encounter with Troy was at one of his literary networking mixers in Harlem and from that day forth, I swear I have seen Troy at 90% of the literary events I have attended. I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying “It not what you know, it is who you know”; well Troy is one of those people to know.”

Check out Virgo Girl Media’s interview with me and share it with others.

Authors Get Your Website Up and Running Fast!Authors Get Your Website Up and Running Fast!

Do you have an out of date website and can’t find your webmaster? Is your Facebook page your “official” website? Would you like a website, but don’t know where to begin? If any of the above is true, you need AALBC.com’s Enhanced Author Profile.

Even if you are satisfied with your web site, you will still benefit from the increased exposure an Enhanced Author Profile provides. We are often update our pages before and an author’s main site and out rank them in search. Authors with an existing profile (over 2,460 of you) can upgrade at a discounted rate.

This service is not just for authors. Many publishers, agents, publicists, book cover designers, editors, and other industry professions are discovered on AALBC.com. You’ll attract more visitors, than you would on your own because you be associated with, AALBC.com, the most popular website dedicated to Black books!

Edit 1st – Manuscript Editing Services

Edit 1st Manuscript Editing ServicesWe Provide a Full Range of Editing Services
“Edit 1st’s services are first rate! I found them to be extremely helpful and easy to work with. They offer professional, in-depth insight and comments. Are easily accessible for questions and feedback, and their work is comprehensive in scope taking in the totality of your work, with respect to grammar, plot and voice. I completely recommend them to anyone looking to make a good story great!”—David Lamb, award-winning playwright and author

Participate in an AALBC.com Focus Group

Dear Reader,

AALBC.com Celebrating 18 yearsAre you interested in helping AALBC.com improve? Would you like to share your ideas with us? There will be two sessions during the month of August. In New York City and central Florida. If you are interested in participating let me know which days of the week and times works best for you. Food will be provided and books will be given away. Email me at troy@aalbc.com

As always, thanks for reading!
Peace & Love,

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 – August 3, 2016 – Issue #236