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Found 1184 Books Published by Penguin Random House — Book Cover Mosaic

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Click for more detail about 10 Minutes Past Too Late by Anika Malone 10 Minutes Past Too Late

by Anika Malone
AuthorHouse (May 11, 2001)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Lisa Munroe is a successful, single young black attorney, branded from childhood with the nickname, ’Bad Girl.’ Embracing her title, she has managed to live up to every bit of it— At first glance, Lisa would appear to have it all—a promising career, a committed relationship with her beau Darnel Harvin, and the prospect of more to come. But underneath it all, the realization that this could be a ’long-term relationship,’ which she’d never planned, and scares the hell out of her— Then enters the flashy New York lawyer Mike Wilson, whose forceful nature could destroy it all— Like a top spinning out of control, crashing into everyone around her—with the love of one man and the lust of another—she finds herself back into a corner and forced to reveal everything. During this downward spiral, Lisa begins to look within herself to confront some truths that could forever change her, even shatter the lives around her—Sometimes, we have to go to the brink of self destruction to finally come to rest at a place of happiness. But, for Lisa, is it ten minutes past too late?


Click for more detail about 32 Ways To Be A Champion In Business by Earvin Magic Johnson 32 Ways To Be A Champion In Business

by Earvin Magic Johnson
Crown Business (Nov 18, 2008)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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As a young man, Earvin “Magic” Johnson admired his father and other small-town entrepreneurs who created jobs and served as leaders in his Midwestern community. He worked for them, watched them, and his interest in building communities through economic development grew even while his basketball career flourished. His fame as an NBA star gave him access to some of the most successful business leaders in the country. It was Earvin’s own entrepreneurial spirit that inspired them to serve as his mentors.

Earvin made the transition from great athlete to greater entrepreneur through hard work and by avidly pursuing opportunities. He recognized that densely populated urban communities were ripe for commercial and residential development. He partnered with major brands like Starbucks, 24 Hour Fitness, and T.G.I. Friday’s to lead a major economic push in these communities. The success of his businesses proved that ethnically diverse urban residents would welcome and support major brands if given the opportunity. Earvin continues to be a leader of urban economic development that provides jobs, goods, and a new spirit of community.

32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business will inspire and enlighten readers who wish to make a similar impact with their careers and business endeavors.

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Click for more detail about 72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell 72 Hour Hold

by Bebe Moore Campbell
Knopf (Jun 28, 2005)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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In this novel of family and redemption, a mother struggles to save her eighteen-year-old daughter from the devastating consequences of mental illness by forcing her to deal with her bipolar disorder. New York Times best-selling author Bebe Moore Campbell draws on her own powerful emotions and African-American roots, showcasing her best writing yet.

Trina suffers from bipolar disorder, making her paranoid, wild, and violent. Watching her child turn into a bizarre stranger, Keri searches for assistance through normal channels. She quickly learns that a seventy-two hour hold is the only help you can get when an adult child starts to spiral out of control. After three days, Trina can sign herself out of any program.

Fed up with the bureaucracy of the mental health community and determined to save her daughter by any means necessary, Keri signs on for an illegal intervention. The Program is a group of radicals who eschew the psychiatric system and model themselves after the Underground Railroad. When Keri puts her daughter’s fate in their hands, she begins a journey that has her calling on the spirit of Harriet Tubman for courage. In the upheaval that follows, she is forced to confront a past that refuses to stay buried, even as she battles to secure a future for her child.

Bebe Moore Campbell’s moving story is for anyone who has ever faced insurmountable obstacles and prayed for a happy ending, only to discover she’d have to reach deep within herself to fight for it.


Click for more detail about A Brief History Of Seven Killings: A Novel by Marlon James A Brief History Of Seven Killings: A Novel

by Marlon James
Knopf (Oct 02, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize

A recipient of the 2015 American Book Award

Named a best book of the year by:
The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Time, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, The Seattle Times, The Houston Chronicle, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Popsugar, BookPage, BuzzFeed Books, Salon, Kansas City Star, L Magazine.  

rom the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a “musical, electric, fantastically profane” (The New York Times) epic that explores the tumultuous world of Jamaica over the past three decades.

In A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James combines brilliant storytelling with his unrivaled skills of characterization and meticulous eye for detail to forge an enthralling novel of dazzling ambition and scope.

On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions in Kingston, seven gunmen stormed the singer’s house, machine guns blazing. The attack wounded Marley, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Little was officially released about the gunmen, but much has been whispered, gossiped and sung about in the streets of West Kingston. Rumors abound regarding the assassins’ fates, and there are suspicions  that the attack was politically motivated.

A Brief History of Seven Killings delves deep into that dangerous and unstable time in Jamaica’s history and beyond. James deftly chronicles the lives of a host of unforgettable characters – gunmen, drug dealers, one-night stands, CIA agents,  even ghosts – over the course of thirty years as they roam the streets of 1970s Kingston, dominate the crack houses of 1980s New York, and ultimately reemerge into the radically altered Jamaica of the 1990s. Along the way, they learn that evil does indeed cast long shadows, that justice and retribution are inextricably linked, and that no one can truly escape his fate.

Gripping and inventive, shocking and irresistible, A Brief History of Seven Killings is a mesmerizing modern classic of power, mystery, and insight.


Click for more detail about A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa by Howard W. French A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa

by Howard W. French
Knopf (Apr 20, 2004)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Africa first captivated New York Times journalist Howard W. French more than twenty-five years ago, but his knowledge of and passion for the continent has the depth of a lifetime association. His experiences there awakened him as nothing before to the selfishness and shortsightedness of the rich, the suffering and dignity of the poor and the uses and abuses of power. And in this powerfully written, profoundly felt book, he gives us an unstinting account of the disastrous consequences of the fateful, centuries-old encounter between Africa and the West.

French delineates the betrayal and greed of the West–often aided and abetted by Africa’s own leaders–that have given rise to the increasing exploitation of Africa’s natural resources and its human beings. Coarse self-interest and outright greed once generated a need for the continent’s rubber, cotton, gold and diamonds, not to mention slaves; now the attractions include offshore oil reserves and minerals like coltan, which powers cellular phones.

He takes us inside Nigeria, Liberia, Mali and the Congo, examining with unusual insight the legacy of colonization in the lives of contemporary Africans. He looks at the tragedies of the AIDS epidemic, the Ebola outbreak and the genocide that resulted in millions of deaths in Rwanda and the Congo. He makes clear the systematic failure of Western political leaders–the nurturers of tyrants such as Mobuto Sese Seko and Laurent Kabila, whose stories are told here in full detail–and the brutal excesses of the CIA.

In helping us to better understand the continent, and indeed Africans themselves, French helps us see as well the hope and possibility that lie in the myriad cultural strengths of Africa.


Click for more detail about A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dream by Kristy Dempsey A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dream

by Kristy Dempsey
Philomel Books (Jan 02, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A story of little ballerinas with big dreams.

Little ballerinas have big dreams. Dreams of pirouettes and grande jetes, dreams of attending the best ballet schools and of dancing starring roles on stage. But in Harlem in the 1950s, dreams don’t always come true—they take a lot of work and a lot of hope. And sometimes hope is hard to come by.
 
But the first African-American prima ballerina, Janet Collins, did make her dreams come true. And those dreams inspired ballerinas everywhere, showing them that the color of their skin couldn’t stop them from becoming a star.
 
In a lyrical tale as beautiful as a dance en pointe, Kristy Dempsey and Floyd Cooper tell the story of one little ballerina who was inspired by Janet Collins to make her own dreams come true.


Click for more detail about A Darkness at Ingraham’s Crest by Frank Yerby A Darkness at Ingraham’s Crest

by Frank Yerby
Dell Publishing (Aug 01, 1980)
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Click for more detail about A Different Drummer by William Melvin Kelley A Different Drummer

by William Melvin Kelley
Anchor (May 01, 1990)
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Nearly three decades offer its first publication, A Different Drummer remains one of the most trenchant, imaginative, and hard-hitting works of fiction to come out of the bitter struggle for African-American civil rights.


Click for more detail about A Distant Shore by Caryl Phillips A Distant Shore

by Caryl Phillips
Vintage (Mar 08, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Dorothy is a retired schoolteacher who has recently moved to a housing estate in a small village. Solomon is a night-watchman, an immigrant from an unnamed country in Africa. Each is desperate for love. And yet each harbors secrets that may make attaining it impossible.
With breathtaking assurance and compassion, Caryl Phillips retraces the paths that lead Dorothy and Solomon to their meeting point: her failed marriage and ruinous obsession with a younger man, the horrors he witnessed as a soldier in his disintegrating native land, and the cruelty he encounters as a stranger in his new one. Intimate and panoramic, measured and shattering, A Distant Shore charts the oceanic expanses that separate people from their homes, their hearts, and their selves.


Click for more detail about A Distant Shore. by Caryl Phillips A Distant Shore.

by Caryl Phillips
Knopf (Oct 14, 2003)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From Caryl Phillips—acclaimed author of The Nature of Blood and The Atlantic Sound—a masterful new novel set in contemporary England, about an African man and an English woman whose hidden lives, and worlds, are revealed in their fragile, fateful connection.

Dorothy and Solomon live in a new housing estate on the outskirts of an English village. She’s recently bought her bungalow; he’s recently become the night watchman. He is black, an immigrant. She is white, a recently retired music teacher. They are both solitary, reticent outsiders. When they move tenuously toward each other and their paths briefly cross, neither of them can know that it will be the last true human contact either will have.

The novel unfolds into the past to show us how Solomon and Dorothy have arrived at this moment: Solomon, a former soldier, escaping the horrors of a war-ravaged African country, entering England illegally, a non-man with no resources but his own waning strength, and no comprehension of the society that both hates and harbors him; Dorothy, the product of a troubled childhood and a messy divorce, fleeing the repercussions of a desperate obsession. In scene after resonant scene, we watch as Solomon and Dorothy come to live inside themselves, closing off from a world that has changed—and changed them—beyond recognition.

In their powerfully compelling stories, Caryl Phillips has created a brilliant and moving portrait of modern human displacement: from home, from heart, and from self.

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Click for more detail about A Family Sin: A Novel by Travis Hunter A Family Sin: A Novel

by Travis Hunter
One World/Ballantine (Sep 25, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Karim Spencer, raised in the home of a bootlegger in a run-down neighborhood, has gone on to become a successful businessman with a tony home, a beautiful girlfriend, and a son. But memories of tragedy and betrayal have kept him entrenched in the past, as have the living reminders of his former life, including his down-on-her-luck sister, Nadiah; JaQuan, Nadiah’s thugged-out teenage son; and Karim’s older brother, Omar, serving a life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit.

As emotions reach a boiling point, does Karim have what it takes to set JaQuan on a straight path, clear his brother of a bogus indictment without jeopardizing his own future, and hold together the family that he so desperately loves?

As Travis Hunter skillfully draws us in with strong, believable characters with endearing flaws and broken dreams, A Family Sin, full of riveting twists and turns of plot, unravels the mystery of a long-buried secret that threatens to tear a family apart.


Click for more detail about A Fence Away From Freedom by Ellen S. Levine A Fence Away From Freedom

by Ellen S. Levine
Putnam Juvenile (Oct 17, 1995)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A series of interviews with Japanese Americans, who were placed in internment camps during World War II merely because they had Japanese ancestry, reveals how they lost businesses, homes, and personal possessions.


Click for more detail about A Game Of Character: A Family Journey From Chicago’s Southside To The Ivy League And Beyond by Craig Robinson A Game Of Character: A Family Journey From Chicago’s Southside To The Ivy League And Beyond

by Craig Robinson
Knopf (Apr 20, 2010)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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The eagerly anticipated inspirational memoir from Michelle Obama’s brother, celebrating the extraordinary family members and mentors who have shaped his life

When he stepped into history’s spotlight at the National Democratic Convention, Craig Robinson recalls that nothing could have been more gratifying than introducing his sister, Michelle Obama, to millions of Americans. Within minutes, he won the hearts of the nation by sharing highlights of growing up in the modest Robinson household, where the two were raised by devoted parents who taught them the values of education, hard work, and the importance of reaching far beyond what even seemed possible.

Those lessons of character were fundamentals in shaping Craig Robinson’s own remarkable journey: from his days playing street basketball on Chicago’s Southside, while excelling academically, to admission at Princeton University, where he was later named Ivy League Player of the Year, twice. After playing professionally in Europe, Robinson made an about-face, entering the competitive field of finance. With his MBA from the University of Chicago, his meteoric rise landed him a partnership in a promising new venture. But another dream beckoned and Craig made the unusual decision to forego the trappings of money and status in the business world in order to become a basketball coach. He soon helped transform three struggling teams - as an assistant coach at Northwestern, then as head coach at Brown and now at Oregon State University. In his first season at OSU, he navigated what was declared to be one of the nation’s best single season turnarounds.

In A Game of Character, Robinson takes readers behind the scenes to meet his most important influences in his understanding of the winning traits that are part of his playbook for success. Central to his story are his parents, Marian and Fraser, two indefatigable individuals who showed their children how to believe in themselves and live their lives with conviction through love, discipline and respect. With insights into this exemplary family, we relive memories of how Marian sacrificed a career to be a full-time mom, how Fraser got up and went to work every day while confronting the challenges of multiple sclerosis, how Craig and Michelle strengthened their bond as they journeyed out of the Southside to Princeton University and eventually, the national stage.

Heartwarming, inspiring, and even transformational, A Game of Character comes just at the right time in an era of change, reminding readers of our opportunity to work together and embrace the character of our nation, to make a difference in the lives of others and to pave the way for the next generation.

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Book Review

Click for more detail about A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest Gaines A Gathering of Old Men

by Ernest Gaines
Vintage Books (Jun 30, 1992)
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Set on a Louisiana sugarcane plantation in the 1970s, A Gathering of Old Men is a powerful depiction of racial tensions arising over the death of a Cajun farmer at the hands of a black man.

"Poignant, powerful, earthy…a novel of Southern racial confrontation in which a group of elderly black men band together against whites who seek vengeance for the murder of one of their own."—Booklist

"A fine novel…there is a denouement that will shock and move readers as much as it does the characters."—Philadelphia Inquirer


Click for more detail about A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme by Calvin Trillin A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme

by Calvin Trillin
Random House (May 30, 2006)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Somehow, despite everything Calvin Trillin wrote about the Bush Administration in Obliviously On He Sails, his 2004 bestseller in verse, George W. Bush is still in the White House. Taking a philosophical view, Trillin has said, “We weren’t going to know whether you could bring down a presidency with iambic pentameter until somebody tried it.”

Now Trillin is trying again, back at his pithy and hilarious best to comment on the President’s decision to go to war in Iraq (“Then terrorists could count on what we’d do: / Attack us, we’ll strike back, though not at you”), his religiosity (“He treats his critics in the press / As if they’re yapping Pekineses. / Reporters deal in mundane facts; / This man has got the word from Jesus”), and whether he was wearing a transmitting device in the first presidential debate (“Could this explain his odd expressions? Is there proof he / Was being told, ‘If you can hear me now, look goofy’?”)

Trillin deals with the people around Bush, such as Nanny Dick Cheney and Mushroom Cloud Rice and Orange John Ashcroft and Orange John’s successor, Alberto Gonzales (“The A.G.’s to be one Alberto Gonzales– / Dependable, actually loyal über alles”). He tries to predict the behavior of the famously intemperate John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations in poems with titles like “Bolton Chases French Ambassador Up Tree” and “White House Says Bolton Can Do Job Even While in Straitjacket.”

Finally, in dealing with whether the entire Bush Administration, like the unfortunate Brownie, has done a heckuva job, he composes a small-government sea chantey for the Republicans:

’Cause government’s the problem, lads,
Americans would all do well to shun it.
Yes, government’s the problem, lads.
At least it is when we’re the ones who run it.


Click for more detail about A Hero Ain’t Nothin But a Sandwich by Alice Childress A Hero Ain’t Nothin But a Sandwich

by Alice Childress
Puffin Books (Feb 01, 2000)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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Benjie can stop using heroin anytime he wants to. He just doesn’t want to yet. Why would he want to give up something that makes him feel so good, so relaxed, so tuned-out? As Benjie sees it, there’s nothing much to tune in for. School is a waste of time, and home life isn’t much better. All Benjie wants is for someone to believe in him, for someone to believe that he’s more than a thirteen-year-old junkie. Told from the perspectives of the people in his life-including his mother, stepfather, teachers, drug dealer, and best friend-this powerful story will draw you into Benjie’s troubled world and force you to confront the uncertainty of his future.


Click for more detail about A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines A Lesson Before Dying

by Ernest Gaines
Vintage Books (Sep 01, 1994)
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A Lesson Before Dying, is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach. As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson’s godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting—and defying—the expected.

Ernest J. Gaines brings to this novel the same rich sense of place, the same deep understanding of the human psyche, and the same compassion for a people and their struggle that have informed his previous, highly praised works of fiction.


Click for more detail about A LETTER TO AMY (PAPERBACK) 1998 PUFFIN (Picture Puffins) by Ezra Jack Keats A LETTER TO AMY (PAPERBACK) 1998 PUFFIN (Picture Puffins)

by Ezra Jack Keats
Puffin Books (Mar 05, 2010)
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Generations of children have read, re-read, and loved Ezra Jack Keats?s award-winning, classic stories about Peter and his neighborhood friends. Now, for the first time, Peter?s Chair, A Letter to Amy, and Goggles! are available in paperback exclusively from Puffin.?A master of ingenious collages, AKeats? has made brilliant variegated pictures?? — The Horn BookEzra Jack Keats (1916?1983) was the beloved author and/or illustrator of over eighty-five books for children.


Click for more detail about A Little Piece of Sky by Nicole Bailey-Williams A Little Piece of Sky

by Nicole Bailey-Williams
Broadway Books (Oct 08, 2002)
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A poignant, powerful debut that combines the deep emotion of The House on Mango Street with uniquely creative storytelling.

Unfolding in a series of tiny vignettes, A Little Piece of Sky introduces an endearing new novelist and a truly unforgettable main character. In the first few chapters we meet a little girl named Song Byrd, who keenly reports on the world around her. She is African American (in a mostly Hispanic neighborhood), unwanted (conceived during an adulterous affair), and poor in the material sense but extraordinarily rich in spirit.

In piercingly insightful prose, Nicole Bailey-Williams takes readers on Song’s journey through life as she struggles against outsider status and intense guilt over her mother’s murder. Behind it all, places of pure joy, “dreaming the hurt away,” and glorious little pieces of sky shine through. Song’s tales—and Bailey-Williams’s narrative gift—are truly words to treasure.


Click for more detail about A Love No Less: Two Centuries Of African American Love Letters by Pamela Newkirk A Love No Less: Two Centuries Of African American Love Letters

by Pamela Newkirk
Knopf (Jan 14, 2003)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A Delightful paean to African American love, this treasury of fifty letters written by well known figures and ordinary folk alike resonates with the joy and tenderness of romance, and offers glimpses into the social, literary, and political lives of black Americans throughout the last two centuries.

An elegantly designed volume, printed in sepia and enhanced with photographs, A LOVE NO LESS presents the letters of African American lovers of all walks of life—from slave letters to the celebrated turn-of-the-twentieth-century poet Paul Laurence Dunbar to soldiers fighting World War II, to notable entertainers, businessmen, and civic leaders. Whether they were penned by literary masters or hastily scribbled by soldiers writing home to their wives or girlfriends, the letters are eloquent expressions of the writers’ most intimate feelings and touching revelations of the things that matter most in their lives.

A LOVE NO LESS is a testament to black love and to the bonds that endure in the face of physical separation, harsh times, and personal misfortunes. It also provides a peek into the more public arena, as writers tell their lovers about their everyday activities and encounters. Paul Laurence Dunbar writes to his wife about meeting Booker T. Washington and attending a lecture by W. E. B. DuBois. Letters from the Harlem Renaissance capture the excitement and vibrancy of that extraordinary period with stories about dinners, theater parties, shows and social outings with Langston Hughes, Carl Van Vechten and other luminaries. In a letter to her new husband written in the 1930s, stage and screen star Fredi Washington describes seeing a stereo for the first time and recounts her negotiations for a role in a Paramount film.

An enchanting and inspiring look at the power of love to transform and sustain, A LOVE NO LESS is the perfect gift for Valentines Day, anniversaries, birthdays, and weddings, a book that everyone who has ever been in love will treasure.


Click for more detail about A Love of My Own: A Novel by E. Lynn Harris A Love of My Own: A Novel

by E. Lynn Harris
Doubleday (Jul 30, 2002)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Friendship. Love. Family.

Bestselling author E. Lynn Harris is back with another new tale that embraces his signature themes.

Zola Denise Norwood is a young hot editor in chief of Bling Bling, (the magazine “for people who want everything!) who’s at the top of her game, ruling the roost in business as well as the bedroom. Having discovered “the power of three” (not tying herself down to just one guy) Zola surrounds herself with a coterie of men : her best male friend, the gay Hayden; her Monday night man, Jabar, and enjoys stolen nights with married Bling Bling owner and media mogul Davis Vincent McClinton, a man who chases power at all costs…Still, Zola dreams of finding true love.

Raymond Tyler, Jr., a favorite and classic Harris character has suffered a personal loss and picks up and moves to New York to re-build his life. As CEO of Bling Bling,Raymond struggles to enjoy his newfound success in business as he searches for love and meaning in his personal life. John Basil Henderson returns with a new lady in his life, and Raymond and Basil renew a friendship that is fraught with sexual tension. As Raymond examines his life and strains to move forward, tragedy strikes, and Raymond faces his biggest challenge ever.

As Zola and Raymond search for a love of their own, several characters from the past make cameo appearances and round out another E. Lynn Harris classic tale. A LOVE OF MY OWN is filled with all the marvelous ingredients the author’s fans the globe over have come to love. Sit back and get ready as E. Lynn Harris takes you on another satisfying and rip-roaring ride.

Book Review

Click for more detail about A Man of the People by Chinua Achebe A Man of the People

by Chinua Achebe
Anchor (Jan 19, 1989)
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By the renowned author of Things Fall Apart, this novel foreshadows the Nigerian coups of 1966 and shows the color and vivacity as well as the violence and corruption of a society making its own way between the two worlds.


Click for more detail about A Mercy by Toni Morrison A Mercy

by Toni Morrison
Knopf Canada (Nov 11, 2008)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A powerful tragedy distilled into a small masterpiece by the Nobel Prize-winning author of Beloved and, almost like a prelude to that story, set two centuries earlier.

Jacob is an Anglo-Dutch trader in 1680s United States, when the slave trade is still in its infancy. Reluctantly he takes a small slave girl in part payment from a plantation owner for a bad debt. Feeling rejected by her slave mother, 14-year-old Florens can read and write and might be useful on his farm. Florens looks for love, first from Lina, an older servant woman at her new master’s house, but later from the handsome blacksmith, an African, never enslaved, who comes riding into their lives . . .

At the novel’s heart, like Beloved, it is the ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother and a daughter – a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her, and a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment.


Click for more detail about A Miracle Every Day: Triumph and Transformation in the Lives of Single Mothers by Marita Golden A Miracle Every Day: Triumph and Transformation in the Lives of Single Mothers

by Marita Golden
Anchor (Mar 16, 1999)
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A Miracle Every Day takes an illuminating and intimate look at flourishing single-mother families. Single motherhood and the children of single mothers have been the subject of overwhelmingly negative statistical analysis. But, asks Marita Golden, where are the studies that analyze the strengths of single mothers, the positive adaptive skills learned by their children, the support systems that help these families work?

In A Miracle Every Day Golden, once a single mother herself, and several other single mothers and their family members share their success stories with great honestly and insight. Golden identifies the coping characteristics these families have in common and organizes them into guiding themes, making A Miracle Every Day a book that single mothers and their support networks can turn to for wisdom, comfort, and inspiration.


Click for more detail about A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties by Ben Carson A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties

by Ben Carson
Sentinel (Oct 06, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Dear Reader,

Many people have wondered why I’ve been speaking out on controversial issues for the last few years. They say I’ve never held political office. I’m not a constitutional scholar. I’m not even a lawyer. All I can say to that is “Guilty as charged.”

It’s true that I’ve never voted for a budget America could not afford. I’ve never raised anyone’s taxes. And I’ve never promised a lobbyist anything in exchange for a donation.

Luckily, none of that really matters. Our founding fathers didn’t want a permanent governing class of professional politicians. They wanted a republic, in Lincoln’s words, "of the people, by the people, and for the people." A country where any farmer, small-business owner, manual laborer, or doctor could speak up and make a difference.

I believe that making a difference starts with understanding our amazing founding document, the U.S. Constitution. And as someone who has performed brain surgery thousands of times, I can assure you that the Constitution isn’t brain surgery.

The founders wrote it for ordinary men and women, in clear, precise, simple language. They intentionally made it short enough to read in a single sitting and to carry in your pocket.

I wrote this book to encourage every citizen to read and think about the Constitution, and to help defend it from those who misinterpret and undermine it. In our age of political correctness it’s especially important to defend the Bill of Rights, which guarantees our freedom to speak, bear arms, practice our religion, and much more.

The Constitution isn’t history—it’s about your life in America today. And defending it is about what kind of country our children and grandchildren will inherit.

I hope you’ll enjoy learning about the fascinating ways that the founders established the greatest democracy in history—and the ways that recent presidents, congresses, and courts have threatened that democracy.

As the Preamble says, the purpose of the Constitution is to create a more perfect union. My goal is to empower you to help protect that union and secure the blessings of liberty.

Sincerely,
Ben Carson


Click for more detail about A Nation’s Hope: the Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis by Matt De La Peña A Nation’s Hope: the Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis

by Matt De La Peña
Dial Books for Young Readers (Jan 20, 2011)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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On the eve of World War II, African American boxer Joe Louis fought German Max Schmeling in a bout that had more at stake than just the world heavyweight title; for much of America their fight came to represent America’s war with Germany. This elegant and powerful picture book biography centers around the historic fight in which Black and White America were able to put aside prejudice and come together to celebrate our nation’s ideals.


Click for more detail about A New World Order: Essays by Caryl Phillips A New World Order: Essays

by Caryl Phillips
Vintage (Apr 01, 2002)
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The Africa of his ancestry, the Caribbean of his birth, the Britain of his upbringing, and the United States where he now lives are the focal points of award-winning writer Caryl Phillips’ profound inquiry into evolving notions of home, identity, and belonging in an increasingly international society.
At once deeply reflective and coolly prescient, A New World Order charts the psychological frontiers of our ever-changing world. Through personal and literary encounters, Phillips probes the meaning of cultural dislocation, measuring the distinguishing features of our identities–geographic, racial, national, religious–against the amalgamating effects of globalization. In the work of writers such as V. S. Naipaul, James Baldwin, and Zadie Smith, cultural figures such as Steven Spielberg, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Marvin Gaye, and in his own experiences, Phillips detects the erosion of cultural boundaries and amasses startling and poignant insights on whether there can be an answer anymore to the question “Where are you from?” The result is an illuminating–and powerfully relevant–account of identity from an exceedingly perceptive citizen of the world.


Click for more detail about A One Woman Man: A Novel (Strivers Row) by Travis Hunter A One Woman Man: A Novel (Strivers Row)

by Travis Hunter
One World (Mar 01, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Bestselling author Travis Hunter returns with a stunning new novel about family, success, and just how far a man will go to protect those he loves.

Dallas Dupree is a one woman man. A handsome and successful teacher, he is both worshipped and envied in his Atlanta neighborhood and chooses to live and raise his daughter, Aja, in the ghetto where he grew up rather than desert his roots. The only problem is that the one woman for him—his beloved Yasmin—passed away giving birth to his daughter. Now Dallas struggles through a string of empty relationships, unable to commit his heart because no woman can measure up to Yasmin. However, when Dallas plays with the wrong woman, he finds the consequences may cost him much more than he can afford.

Dallas’s sister Carmen has issues of her own. All of her life she has struggled with a weight problem that had caused a lack of self esteem. Now she is an affluent doctor who lives in the suburbs with her handsome new husband, Sterling. When a family crisis forces her to take in her wayward niece, she realizes that the picture perfect world she worked so hard to create is an illusion.

Their older brother, Priest, is pretty secretive about how he makes his money—and he does make a lot of it. He has been a father figure to both Dallas and Carmen, but now that they are all grown up, they want nothing to do with their shady older brother. But when Dallas and Carmen are in trouble, they turn to the one person who has always been there for them—and learn there is more to Priest than meets the eye.


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about A Palace in the Old Village: A Novel by Tahar Ben Jelloun A Palace in the Old Village: A Novel

by Tahar Ben Jelloun
Penguin Books (Jan 25, 2011)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The latest novel from "Morocco’s greatest living author" (The Guardian)

Award-winning, internationally bestselling author Tahar Ben Jelloun’s new novel is the story of an immigrant named Mohammed who has spent forty years in France and is about to retire. Taking stock of his life- his devotion to Islam and to his assimilated children-he decides to return to Morocco, where he spends his life’s savings building the biggest house in the village and waits for his children and grandchildren to come be with him. A heartbreaking novel about parents and children, A Palace in the Old Village captures the sometimes stark contrasts between old- and new-world values, and an immigrant’s abiding pursuit of home.


Click for more detail about A PERFECT WORLD: (A Perry Richards Novel) by Bernard Alexander McNealy A PERFECT WORLD: (A Perry Richards Novel)

by Bernard Alexander McNealy
AuthorHouse (Apr 12, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A Perfect World… Life is good for Los Angeles attorney Perry B. Richards. Blessed with good looks, courtroom brilliance, a beautiful psychologist wife by the name of Felicia Pridemore Richards, loyal friends and two wonderful daughters, for Perry it’s a perfect world. But, the perfect world of Perry Richards is shattered as a cruel façade. Days before Perry is to be appointed as the executive director of the public interest law firm he works for, Felicia vanishes on her way to meet him at their cabin in the mountains. Was it an accident, foul play, or something more sinister? Aided by his wealthy and beautiful colleague, Charleston Liria Bradley, Perry sets out to find the truth. Together they discover that the woman known as Felicia Pridemore was a construct of fiction – she never existed. He also discovers Charleston is so deeply in love him, she will go to any length to see that Felicia remains a haunting mystery. Perry’s search for the truth becomes a pitched battle against sexual temptation, racial politics, professional treachery and a host of people out to kill him. Perry Richards discovers that there is a deadly price to pay for disrupting someone else’s idea of a perfect world.


Click for more detail about A Piece of Cake: A Memoir by Cupcake Brown A Piece of Cake: A Memoir

by Cupcake Brown
Broadway Books (Apr 10, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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There are shelves of memoirs about overcoming the death of a parent, childhood abuse, rape, drug addiction, miscarriage, alcoholism, hustling, gangbanging, near-death injuries, drug dealing, prostitution, or homelessness.



Cupcake Brown survived all these things before she’d even turned twenty.



And that’s when things got interesting…



You have before you the strange, heart-wrenching, and exhilarating tale of a woman named Cupcake. It begins as the story of a girl orphaned twice over, once by the death of her mother and then again by a child welfare system that separated her from her stepfather and put her into the hands of an epically sadistic foster parent. But there comes a point in her preteen years—maybe it’s the night she first tries to run away and is exposed to drugs, alcohol, and sex all at once—when Cupcake’s story shifts from a tear-jerking tragedy to a dark comic blues opera. As Cupcake’s troubles grow, so do her voice and spirit. Her gut-punch sense of humor and eye for the absurd, along with her outsized will, carry her through a fateful series of events that could easily have left her dead.



Young Cupcake learned to survive by turning tricks, downing hard liquor, partying like a rock star, and ingesting every drug she could find while hitchhiking up and down the California coast. She stumbled into gangbanging, drug dealing, hustling, prostitution, theft, and, eventually, the best scam of all: a series of 9-to-5 jobs. But Cupcake’s unlikely tour through the cubicle world was paralleled by a quickening descent into the nightmare of crack cocaine use, till she eventually found herself living behind a Dumpster.



Astonishingly, she turned it around. With the help of a cobbled together family of eccentric fellow addicts and “angels”—a series of friends and strangers who came to her aid at pivotalmoments—she slowly transformed her life from the inside out.



A Piece of Cake is unlike any memoir you’ll ever read. Moving and almost transgressive in its frankness, it is a relentlessly gripping tale of a resilient spirit who took on the worst of contemporary urban life and survived it with a furious wit and unyielding determination. Cupcake Brown is a dynamic and utterly original storyteller who will guide you on the most satisfying, startlingly funny, and genuinely affecting tour through hell you’ll ever take.


Click for more detail about A Piece of Mine: Stories by J. California Cooper A Piece of Mine: Stories

by J. California Cooper
Anchor (Dec 01, 1991)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Back in print after more than five years, this is the extraordinary first short story collection by the author of Family.


Click for more detail about A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day

by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Viking Books for Young Readers (Nov 01, 2016)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keat and the Creation of The Snowy Day


A celebration of the extraordinary life of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of The Snowy Day.

The story of The Snowy Day begins more than one hundred years ago, when Ezra Jack Keats was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. The family were struggling Polish immigrants, and despite Keats’s obvious talent, his father worried that Ezra’s dream of being an artist was an unrealistic one. But Ezra was determined. By high school he was winning prizes and scholarships. Later, jobs followed with the WPA and Marvel comics. But it was many years before Keats’s greatest dream was realized and he had the opportunity to write and illustrate his own book.
 
For more than two decades, Ezra had kept pinned to his wall a series of photographs of an adorable African American child. In Keats’s hands, the boy morphed into Peter, a boy in a red snowsuit, out enjoying the pristine snow; the book became The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal, the first mainstream book to feature an African American child. It was also the first of many books featuring Peter and the children of his — and Keats’s — neighborhood.
 
Andrea Davis Pinkney’s lyrical narrative tells the inspiring story of a boy who pursued a dream, and who, in turn, inspired generations of other dreamers.


Click for more detail about A Poem Traveled Down My Arm: Poems And Drawings by Alice Walker A Poem Traveled Down My Arm: Poems And Drawings

by Alice Walker
Knopf (Oct 28, 2003)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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In this illuminating book, Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist and acclaimed poet Alice Walker reveals her remarkable philosophy of life. Curiously, this labor of love started with the author’s signature: Faced with the daunting task of providing autographs for multiple copies of one of her poetry collections, Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth, Walker turned an act of repetition into an act of inspiration. For each autograph became something more than a name: a thoughtful reflection, an impromptu sketch, a heartfelt poem. The result is this spontaneous burst of the unexpected. A Poem Traveled Down My Arm is a lovely collection of insights and drawings—by turns charming and humorous, provocative and profound—that represent the wisdom of one of today’s most beloved writers.

The essence of Walker’s independent spirit emanates from words and images that are simple but deep in meaning. An empowering approach to life…the inspiration to live completely in the moment…the chance to nurture one’s creativity and peace of mind—all these beautiful elements are evoked by this unusual and original book.


Click for more detail about A Prayer for Deliverance: An Angela Bivens Thriller by Christopher Chambers A Prayer for Deliverance: An Angela Bivens Thriller

by Christopher Chambers
Crown (Feb 25, 2003)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Never try to outrun your past . . .

Tough-minded FBI special agent Angela Bivens is just beginning to put her life back together. Still reeling from the bloody showdown where she took the lives of two serial killers, one of whom was her lover, Angela is hell-bent on facing the future. She’s enjoying the perks of a well-deserved promotion, as well as getting to know her new boyfriend on a romantic camping trip. All that changes when the FBI interrupts her relaxing getaway and puts her on a complicated high-profile case.

Inside a secluded Chesapeake bed-and-breakfast, Dr. Leslie Collins, a prominent African-American obstetrician, has been found dead and mutilated. His white mistress, a Clinton White House advisor, was also dead in their bed, apparently from a poisonous snakebite. And no one at the inn heard or saw a thing. Angela can’t help but be shaken to the core—Dr. Collins was a family friend, and now it’s up to her to apprehend the killer.
Angela’s superiors at the Bureau suspect a shadowy white supremacy group that has been terrorizing abortion clinics and liberal leaders, but such tidy motives are soon discredited as other influential Black men from the worlds of business, politics, and religion start to share the doctor’s gruesome fate. Angela’s quest for justice deepens when she discovers the unlikely connections that link the men to one another, and to Antoine Jones, a convicted murderer on death row. Angela’s investigation also uncovers disturbing evidence that these murders are bound to a world of spells and ancient prophecies rooted in South African witchcraft, and of age-old vendettas being played out in a very modern D.C.

In this compelling, action-packed sequel to the riveting debut Sympathy for the Devil, Christopher Chambers captivates his readers with an unpredictable plot that pits this strong and savvy female protagonist against a cast of formidable foes—both human and supernatural. His innovative blend of images from traditional African mysticism and the vivid landscape of our nation’s capital breathes new life into the suspense thriller genre. Fans of Walter Mosley, Thomas Harris, and Patricia Cornwell will all love this remarkably spellbinding page-turner.

Book Review

Click for more detail about A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison by Dwayne Betts A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison

by Dwayne Betts
Avery (May 04, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A unique prison narrative that testifies to the power of books to transform a young man’s life

At the age of sixteen, R. Dwayne Betts—a good student from a lower-middle-class family-carjacked a man with a friend. He had never held a gun before, but within a matter of minutes he had committed six felonies. In Virginia, carjacking is a ""certifiable"" offense, meaning that Betts would be treated as an adult under state law. A bright young kid, he served his nine-year sentence as part of the adult population in some of the worst prisons in the state.

A Question of Freedom chronicles Betts’s years in prison, reflecting back on his crime and looking ahead to how his experiences and the books he discovered while incarcerated would define him. Utterly alone, Betts confronts profound questions about violence, freedom, crime, race, and the justice system. Confined by cinder-block walls and barbed wire, he discovers the power of language through books, poetry, and his own pen. Above all, A Question of Freedom is about a quest for identity-one that guarantees Betts’s survival in a hostile environment and that incorporates an understanding of how his own past led to the moment of his crime.


Click for more detail about A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes A Rage in Harlem

by Chester Himes
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (Dec 17, 1989)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A Rage in Harlem is a ripping introduction to Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, patrolling New York City’s roughest streets in Chester Himes’s groundbreaking Harlem Detectives series. 
 
For love of fine, wily Imabelle, hapless Jackson surrenders his life savings to a con man who knows the secret of turning ten-dollar bills into hundreds—and then he steals from his boss, only to lose the stolen money at a craps table. Luckily for him, he can turn to his savvy twin brother, Goldy, who earns a living—disguised as a Sister of Mercy—by selling tickets to Heaven in Harlem. With Goldy on his side, Jackson is ready for payback.


Click for more detail about A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry A Raisin in the Sun

by Lorraine Hansberry
Vintage Books (Nov 29, 2004)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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“…pivotal play in the history of the American Black theatre.”—Newsweek
“…a milestone in the American Theatre.”&mdash Ebony.

From Sacred Fire

A Raisin in the Sun, written by the then twenty-nine-year-old Hansberry, was the "movin' on up" morality play of the 1960s. Martin had mesmerized millions, and integration was seen as the stairway to heaven. Raisin had something for everyone, and for this reason it was the recipient of the prestigious New York Drama Critics Circle Award.
The place: a tenement flat in Southside, Chicago. The time: post'World War II. Lena Younger, the strong-willed matriarch, is the glue that holds together the Younger family. Walter Lee is her married, thirty-something son who, along with his wife and sister, lives in his mother's apartment. He is short on meeting responsibilities but long on dreams. Beneatha (that's right, Beneatha) is Waiter's sister'an upwardly mobile college student who plans to attend medical school.

Mama Lena is due a check from her late husband's insurance, and Waiter Lee is ready to invest it in a liquor store. The money represents his opportunity to assert his manhood. It will bring the jump start he needs to set his life right. Beneatha tells him that it's "mama's money to do with as she pleases," and that she doesn't really expect any for her schooling. However, Mama wants to use her new money for a new beginning'in a new house, in a new neighborhood (white).

Walter cries, and Mama relents. She refrains from paying cash for the house and places a deposit instead, giving Waiter the difference to share equally between his investment and Beneatha's college fund. Walter squanders the entire amount. Meanwhile, Mama receives a call from the neighborhood "welcome committee" hoping to dissuade the family from moving in.

While roundly criticized for being politically accommodating to whites, Raisin accurately reflected the aspirations of a newly nascent black middle class.

This groundbreaking play starred Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeill, Ruby Dee and Diana Sands in the Broadway production which opened in 1959. Set on Chicago’s South Side, the plot revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis and matriarch Lena, called Mama. When her deceased husband’s insurance money comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans, however: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school.


Click for more detail about A Reason To Believe: Lessons From An Improbable Life by Deval Patrick A Reason To Believe: Lessons From An Improbable Life

by Deval Patrick
Knopf (Apr 12, 2011)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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“I’ve simply seen too much goodness in this country—and have come so far in my own journey—not to believe in those ideals, and my faith in the future is sometimes restored under the darkest clouds.” —Governor Deval Patrick
 
In January 2007, Deval Patrick became the first black governor of the state of Massachusetts, one of only two black governors elected in American history. But that was just one triumphant step in a long, improbable journey that began in a poor tenement on the South Side of Chicago. From a chaotic childhood to an elite boarding school in New England, from a sojourn doing relief work in Africa to the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies, and then to a career in politics, Patrick has led an extraordinary life. In this heartfelt and inspirational book, he pays tribute to the family, friends, and strangers who, through words and deeds, have instilled in him transcendent lessons of faith, perseverance, and friendship. In doing so, he reminds us of the power of community and the imperative of idealism. With humility, humor, and grace, he offers a road map for attaining happiness, empowerment, and success while also making an appeal for readers to cultivate those achievements in others, to feel a greater stake in this world, and to shape a life worth living.
 
Warm, nostalgic, and inspirational, A Reason to Believe is destined to become a timeless tribute to a uniquely American odyssey and a testament to what is possible in our lives and our communities if we are hopeful, generous, and resilient.

GOVERNOR DEVAL PATRICK is donating a portion of the proceeds from A REASON TO BELIEVE to A Better Chance, a national organization dedicated to opening the doors to greater educational opportunities for young people of color. To learn more, visit www.abetterchance.org.

Book Review

Click for more detail about A Rose for Ana Maria: A Novel by Frank Yerby A Rose for Ana Maria: A Novel

by Frank Yerby
Doubleday (Jun 01, 1976)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A Rose for Ana Maria: A Novel


Click for more detail about A Shining Thread of Hope by Darlene Clark Hine and Kathleen Thompson A Shining Thread of Hope

by Darlene Clark Hine and Kathleen Thompson
Broadway Books (Jan 05, 1999)
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At the greatest moments and in the cruelest times, black women have been a crucial part of America’s history.  Now, the inspiring history of black women in America is explored in vivid detail by two leaders in the fields of African American and women’s history.

A Shining Thread of Hope chronicles the lives of black women from indentured servitude in the early American colonies to the cruelty of antebellum plantations, from the reign of lynch law in the Jim Crow South to the triumphs of the Civil Rights era, and it illustrates how the story of black women in America is as much a tale of courage and hope as it is a history of struggle.  On both an individual and a collective level, A Shining Thread of Hope reveals the strength and spirit of black women and brings their stories from the fringes of American history to a central position in our understanding of the forces and events that have shaped this country.


Click for more detail about A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother by Janny Scott A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother

by Janny Scott
Riverhead Books (May 03, 2011)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A major publishing event: an unprecedented look into the life of the woman who most singularly shaped Barack Obama--his mother. Barack Obama has written extensively about his father, but little is known about Stanley Ann Dunham, the fiercely independent woman who raised him, the person he credits for, as he says, ""what is best in me."" Here is the missing piece of the story. Award-winning reporter Janny Scott interviewed nearly two hundred of Dunham’s friends, colleagues, and relatives (including both her children), and combed through boxes of personal and professional papers, letters to friends, and photo albums, to uncover the full breadth of this woman’s inspiring and untraditional life, and to show the remarkable extent to which she shaped the man Obama is today. Dunham’s story moves from Kansas and Washington state to Hawaii and Indonesia. It begins in a time when interracial marriage was still a felony in much of the United States, and culminates in the present, with her son as our president- something she never got to see. It is a poignant look at how character is passed from parent to child, and offers insight into how Obama’s destiny was created early, by his mother’s extraordinary faith in his gifts, and by her unconventional mothering. Finally, it is a heartbreaking story of a woman who died at age fifty-two, before her son would go on to his greatest accomplishments and reflections of what she taught him.


Click for more detail about A Song Flung Up to Heaven by Maya Angelou A Song Flung Up to Heaven

by Maya Angelou
Bantam (Apr 01, 2003)
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The culmination of a unique achievement in modern American literature: the six volumes of autobiography that began more than thirty years ago with the appearance of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

A Song Flung Up to Heaven opens as Maya Angelou returns from Africa to the United States to work with Malcolm X. But first she has to journey to California to be reunited with her mother and brother. No sooner does she arrive there than she learns that Malcolm X has been assassinated.

Devastated, she tries to put her life back together, working on the stage in local theaters and even conducting a door-to-door survey in Watts. Then Watts explodes in violence, a riot she describes firsthand.

Subsequently, on a trip to New York, she meets Martin Luther King, Jr., who asks her to become his coordinator in the North, and she visits black churches all over America to help support King’s Poor People’s March.

But once again tragedy strikes. King is assassinated, and this time Angelou completely withdraws from the world, unable to deal with this horrible event. Finally, James Baldwin forces her out of isolation and insists that she accompany him to a dinner party—where the idea for writing I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is born. In fact, A Song Flung Up to Heaven ends as Maya Angelou begins to write the first sentences of Caged Bird.

Read poet, Wanda Coelman’s Reaction


Click for more detail about A State of Independence by Caryl Phillips A State of Independence

by Caryl Phillips
Vintage (Jan 15, 1995)
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Bertram Francis, a British West Indian, has spent the last 20 years away from the Carribean. Now independence is looming and he is going back to see the end of colonial rule. But the visit is not the nostalgic homecoming he expected as he finds himself an outsider in a place he thought was home.


Click for more detail about A Street Girl Named Desire: A Novel by Treasure Blue A Street Girl Named Desire: A Novel

by Treasure Blue
One World (Jun 26, 2007)
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Bestselling author Treasure E. Blue returns with a gritty against-all-odds urban fairy tale set in the same unforgiving neighborhood as that of his breakout debut novel Harlem Girl Lost.

Desire was born on the streets of Harlem–literally. Her mom, a crack-addicted prostitute, delivered her on a bitter winter’s night after turning a trick and being brutally beaten by the john. Taken from her mother by the state, Desire grows up unwelcoming foster homes, until a local Good Samaritan takes her in. With Miss Hattie Mae’s love and Christian guidance, Desire gains confidence, joins the church choir, and discovers that she’s got a set of pipes–which soon attract the attention of hip-hop’s biggest exec.

But the road to superstardom is paved with dangers and temptations: drugged-out, violent rappers, untrustworthy pro athletes promising romance, and vicious drugs. Despite her phenomenal success and Miss Hattie Mae’s kindness, Desire seems destined for a fall from the top that will slam her back onto the pavement where her mama left her–until an unexpected angel picks her back up. . . .


Click for more detail about A Taste of Honey: Stories by Jabari Asim A Taste of Honey: Stories

by Jabari Asim
Broadway Books (Mar 02, 2010)
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Poignant and powerful, this debut collection from preeminent writer and critic Jabari Asim heralds his arrival as an exciting new voice in African American fiction.______________________________________________________________________ Through a series of fictional episodes set against the backdrop of one of the most turbulent years in modern history, Asim brings into pin-sharp focus how the tumultuous events of ’68 affected real people’s lives and shaped the country we live in today.   The sixteen connected stories in this exciting debut are set in the fictional Midwestern town of Gateway City, where second generation off-spring of the Great Migrators have pieced together a thriving, if fragile existence.  With police brutality on the rise, the civil rights movement gaining momentum, and wars raging at home and abroad, Asim has conjured a community that stands on edge.  But it is the individual struggles with love, childrearing, adolescence, etc, lyrically chronicled here, that create a piercing portrait of humanity. In I’d Rather Go Blind and Zombies, young Crispus Jones, who while sensitive to the tremors of upheaval around him is still much more concerned with his crush on neighbor Polly and if he’s ever going to be as cool as his brother.   When Ray Mortimer, a white cop, kills the owner of his favorite candy store, Crispus becomes aware of malice even more scary than zombies and the ghost that he thinks may be haunting his house.   In The Wheat from the Tares and A Virtuous Woman, Rose Whittier deals with her abusive husband with a desperate resignation until his past catches up with him and she’s given a second chance at love.  And Gabriel, her suitor, realizes that his whole-hearted commitment to The Struggle may have to give way for his own shot at romance. And in Ashes to Ashes we see how a single act of despicable violence in their childhoods cements a lasting connection between two unlikely friends.  From Crispus’ tender innocence to Ray Mortimer’s near pure evil, to Rose’s quiet determination, the characters in this book and their journeys showcase a world that is brimming with grace and meaning and showcases the talents of a writer at the top of his game.


Click for more detail about A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story by Elaine Brown A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story

by Elaine Brown
Anchor (Dec 01, 1993)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Elaine Brown assumed her role as the first and only female leader of the Black Panther Party with these words: “I have all the guns and all the money. I can withstand challenge from without and from within. Am I right, Comrade?” It was August 1974. From a small Oakland-based cell, the Panthers had grown to become a revolutionary national organization, mobilizing black communities and white supporters across the country—but relentlessly targeted by the police and the FBI, and increasingly riven by violence and strife within. How Brown came to a position of power over this paramilitary, male-dominated organization, and what she did with that power, is a riveting, unsparing account of self-discovery.
            Brown’s story begins with growing up in an impoverished neighborhood in Philadelphia and attending a predominantly white school, where she first sensed what it meant to be black, female, and poor in America. She describes her political awakening during the bohemian years of her adolescence, and her time as a foot soldier for the Panthers, who seemed to hold the promise of redemption. And she tells of her ascent into the upper echelons of Panther leadership: her tumultuous relationship with the charismatic Huey Newton, who would become her lover and her nemesis; her experience with the male power rituals that would sow the seeds of the party’s demise; and the scars that she both suffered and inflicted in that era’s paradigm-shifting clashes of sex and power. Stunning, lyrical, and acute, this is the indelible testimony of a black woman’s battle to define herself.

“A glowing achievement.” —Los Angeles Times
 
“Honest, funny, subjective, unsparing, and passionate. . . A Taste of Power weaves autobiography and political history into a story that fascinates and illuminates.” —The Washington Post
 
“A stunning picture of a black woman’s coming of age in America. Put it on the shelf beside The Autobiography of Malcolm X.” —Kirkus Reviews


Click for more detail about A Thief in the Village: And Other Stories of Jamaica by James Berry A Thief in the Village: And Other Stories of Jamaica

by James Berry
Puffin Books (Feb 01, 1990)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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This is a collection of short stories about children and young people in Jamaica. Full of wonderfully atmospheric background detail combined with the rhythms and patterns of speech, these contemporary narratives bring to life a culture highly relevant to multi ethnic Britain. Stories include "Becky and the Wheels and Brake Boys"; "A Thief in the Village"; "Tukku Tukku and Sampson"; "All other Days Run into Sunday"; "The Mouth Organ Boys"; "Elias and the Mongoose"; "The Pet, The Sea and Little Buddy"; "Fanso and Granny-Flo"; and, "The Banana Tree".


Click for more detail about A Tiny Piece of Sky by Shawn K. Stout A Tiny Piece of Sky

by Shawn K. Stout
Philomel Books (Jan 19, 2016)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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THE SUMMER STORY OF THREE SISTERS, ONE RESTUARANT, AND A (POSSIBLE) GERMAN SPY

World War II is coming in Europe. At least that’s what Frankie Baum heard on the radio. But from her small town in Maryland, in the wilting summer heat of 1939, the war is a world away.
 
Besides, there are too many other things to think about: first that Frankie’s father up and bought a restaurant without telling anyone and now she has to help in the kitchen, peeling potatoes and washing dishes, when she’d rather be racing to Wexler’s Five and Dime on her skates. Plus her favorite sister, Joanie Baloney, is away for the summer and hasn’t been answering any of Frankie’s letters.
 
But when some people in town start accusing her father of being a German spy, all of a sudden the war arrives at Frankie’s feet and she can think of nothing else.
 
Could the rumors be true? Frankie has to do some spying of her own to try to figure out her father’s secrets and clear his good name. What she discovers about him surprises everyone, but is nothing compared to what she discovers about the world.
 
In a heartfelt, charming, and insightful novel that is based on true events, Shawn K. Stout weaves a story about family secrets, intolerance, and coming of age that will keep readers guessing until the end.
 
Advance praise for A Tiny Piece of Sky:
 
“Shawn Stout’s Frankie Baum is that rare creation: a character so real, so true, we don’t just feel we know her—we are her. Irrepressible Frankie meets issues like prejudice and loyalty head on, in a story both highly entertaining and deeply thought-provoking. She may be #3 in her family, but she’ll be #1 in the hearts of all who read this book.”—Tricia Springstubb, author of What Happened on Fox Street

“At turns hilarious, at turns heartbreaking, Shawn Stout’s story shows us the damage that a whisper campaign can do to a family and a community, and at the same time shows us, each of us, a way to find our hearts. Frankie Baum is a hero from a distant time and yet a hero for all times, the kind of hero who never gets old. I loved this book from the very beginning to the very end.”—Kathi Appelt, author of the National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honor book The Underneath
 
"Stout uses an archly chummy direct address at several points, successfully and humorously breaking up tension in this cleareyed look at bad behavior by society….Successfully warmhearted and child-centered."—Kirkus Reviews


Click for more detail about A Visitation of Spirits: A Novel by Randall Kenan A Visitation of Spirits: A Novel

by Randall Kenan
Vintage (Jan 25, 2000)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Horace Cross, the 16-year-old descendent of slaves and deacons of the church, spends a horror-filled spring night wrestling with the demons and angels of his brief life. Brilliant, popular, and the bright promise of his elders, Horace struggles with the guilt of discovering who he is, a young man attracted to other men and yearning to escape the narrow confines of Tim’s Creek. His cousin, the Reverend James Greene, tries to help Horace but finds he is no more prepared than the older generation to save Horace’s soul or his life. And as he views the aftermath of Horace’s horrible night, he is left with only questions and the passing of generations. 

In his powerful first novel, Randall Kenan—recipient of the Prix de Rome, the Whiting Award, and other accolades—shows us the effects of a proud family heritage on a generation that must confront a world far removed from anything they are prepared for. 

Told in a montage of voices and memories, A Visitation of the Spirits shows just how richly populated a family’s present is with the spirits of the past and the future.


Click for more detail about A Walk Through Darkness: A Novel by David Anthony Durham A Walk Through Darkness: A Novel

by David Anthony Durham
Doubleday (Apr 30, 2002)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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The second novel by the acclaimed author of Gabriel’s Story, Walk Through Darkness is a story of history infused by myth, the intense narrative of an escaped slave trying to reunite with his pregnant wife.

Walk Through Darkness is the story of two very different men, each on a quest, both tied together by a history of remorse, jealousy, and a love that crosses the barriers of race during the time of slavery.

William, a fugitive slave from Maryland, is driven by two powerful needs—to find his wife, Dover, who is pregnant with his child, and to live as a free man. He undertakes the treacherous journey north to restore meaning to his life, putting him at odds with the law and the sentiments of a nation. Morrison, who fled a painful youth in Scotland, had once hoped to establish a new life in America with his brother, but the unforeseen realities of immigrant life drove them apart.

As David Anthony Durham traces the physical and spiritual journeys of William, Dover, and Morrison he captures in rich, evocative detail the events and the landscape of America just before the turmoil of the Civil War. Interweaving tragedy and hardship with a profound understanding of enduring love and the desire for freedom. Walk Through Darkness is a complex story that is uniquely American, reflecting the tortured nature of the country’s bloodlines and uncovering the deep bonds, and wounds, that exist across racial lines. This is a well-wrought work of "fiction in history" that follows two very different American men’s paths to freedom, and places a difficult part of our nation’s history under a magnifying glass to search for something beyond pain. In the end, it also presents a new possibility for healing — for the characters, and for the larger racial divide that still haunts the United States.

Building on the strengths of his extraordinary debut, Durham opens the reader’s eyes anew to the eternal odyssey to find a home and identity in America.

Book Review

Click for more detail about A Wanted Woman by Eric Jerome Dickey A Wanted Woman

by Eric Jerome Dickey
Knopf (Apr 15, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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The twenty-first novel from New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey, a steamy thriller set in tropical Barbados

She is a woman of a thousand faces, an assassin who could be anyone, anywhere.

The Trinidad contract was supposed to be simple: to make a living man become a dead man. When the job goes bad under the watchful eye of a bank security camera, there is nowhere for agent MX-401, known as Reaper, to hide from the fearsome local warlords, the Laventille Killers.

Her employers, the Barbarians, send her to Barbados, the next island over, barely two hundred miles away, with the LK’s in hot pursuit of the woman who took many of their own. With the scant protection of a dank safe house, no passport, and no access to funds, an island paradise becomes her prison.

While she trawls for low-profile assignments to keep her skills sharp and a few dollars in her pocket, Reaper discovers that family ties run deep, on both sides of the fight. Will the woman everyone wants, who has lived countless lives in the service of others, finally discover who she really is?

In A Wanted Woman, New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey delivers an adrenaline-pumping rush of a read.


Click for more detail about A Woman’s Place by Marita Golden A Woman’s Place

by Marita Golden
Ballantine Books (Mar 01, 1995)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The compelling story of three black women who meet at a New England college in the late sixties and form a friendship that will guide them through the changes, the joys, and the tears of the coming years
 
Faith, small-boned and delicate, the daughter of a strong-willed mother and a father she no longer remembers, longs for the one experience that will show her to herself. Serena, a passionate and outspoken radical, has an intense political commitment and pride in her African roots, which will lead her to find a life on a continent far away. And Crystal, a poet from girlhood, has a long love affair with words that will be put to the ultimate test when she must explain to her father her love for a man of another race.

Praise for A Woman’s Place
 
“A radical new talent . . . The poignancy invites comparison to The Color Purple.”—New Woman
 
“A book that should be bought, read, and cherished, because it is a story of hope, a story of triumph and, above all, a testimony to resilience.”—The Philadelphia Tribune


Click for more detail about A Woman’s Work: Street Chronicles by Nikki Turner A Woman’s Work: Street Chronicles

by Nikki Turner
One World/Ballantine (Sep 20, 2011)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The heralded Queen of Hip-Hop Lit presents an addictive collection of celebrated urban authors with their fingers on the pulse of the streets.
 
Street lit’s finest female voices—Keisha Starr, Tysha, LaKesa Cox, and Monique S. Hall—deliver searing stories about women who make hard sacrifices to stay on top of their hustle and seize the power, money, and fame they can’t live without. Enterprising and fearless, these players are more than equipped to handle whatever the street throws at them. That’s because they are hellbent on survival—by any means necessary. 

Once again, Nikki Turner shares ultra-realistic page-turners that will keep fans coming back for more.


Click for more detail about A Woman’s Worth: A Novel (Strivers Row) by Tracy Price-Thompson A Woman’s Worth: A Novel (Strivers Row)

by Tracy Price-Thompson
One World/Ballantine (Oct 25, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Embracing the shattered pieces of the soul and championing the resilient nature of the heart, A Woman’s Worth takes readers on a journey of startling depth. From a speakeasy whorehouse in the bottoms of Alabama to a luxurious high-rise apartment in Kenya, acclaimed author Tracy Price-Thompson crosses boundaries of sexuality, gender, and culture to accentuate the core of black identity: the enormous strength of family.

“Ain’t nothing like a Black man. No other man on the face of the earth can hold a light up to him, coming or going. Why do you think women are all the time chasing behind them? Smooth game and all, when a brotha loves you, he loves you right.”
—from A Woman’s Worth

Abeni Omorru is a stunning Kenyan woman who is haunted by piercing memories. Although her father’s wealth ensures her a life of prestige, childhood trauma has left her emotionally damaged and sexually promiscuous. While Abeni takes on many lovers, none come close to healing the wounds of her heart—and only a man who understands her worth can truly claim her soul.

Bishop Johnson is also haunted by his past. Raised by prostitutes in a rural Alabama town, he is a promising teenage boxer—until his dreams are shattered when his parents are murdered during a violent robbery and he takes revenge on the perpetrators. Bishop goes to jail, and when he is released he has a volatile temper and a mean left hook to back it up.

Trouble continues to find Bishop, and he is forced to leave Alabama and travel to Kenya with the Peace Corps. There he falls in love with Abeni, and they marry. When Bishop learns the secret of Abeni’s past, he is force to make a decision that may cost him more than one man should ever have to sacrifice.


Click for more detail about A Woman’s Worth: A Novel (Strivers Row) by Tracy Price-Thompson A Woman’s Worth: A Novel (Strivers Row)

by Tracy Price-Thompson
One World/Ballantine (Mar 30, 2004)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Embracing the shattered pieces of the soul and championing the resilient nature of the heart, A Woman’s Worth takes readers on a journey of startling depth. From a speakeasy whorehouse in the bottoms of Alabama to a luxurious high-rise apartment in Kenya, acclaimed author Tracy Price-Thompson crosses boundaries of sexuality, gender, and culture to accentuate the core of black identity: the enormous strength of family.

“Ain’t nothing like a Black man. No other man on the face of the earth can hold a light up to him, coming or going. Why do you think women are all the time chasing behind them? Smooth game and all, when a brotha loves you, he loves you right.”
—from A Woman’s Worth

Abeni Omorru is a stunning Kenyan woman who is haunted by piercing memories. Although her father’s wealth ensures her a life of prestige, childhood trauma has left her emotionally damaged and sexually promiscuous. While Abeni takes on many lovers, none come close to healing the wounds of her heart—and only a man who understands her worth can truly claim her soul.

Bishop Johnson is also haunted by his past. Raised by prostitutes in a rural Alabama town, he is a promising teenage boxer—until his dreams are shattered when his parents are murdered during a violent robbery and he takes revenge on the perpetrators. Bishop goes to jail, and when he is released he has a volatile temper and a mean left hook to back it up.

Trouble continues to find Bishop, and he is forced to leave Alabama and travel to Kenya with the Peace Corps. There he falls in love with Abeni, and they marry. When Bishop learns the secret of Abeni’s past, he is force to make a decision that may cost him more than one man should ever have to sacrifice.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Abide With Me: A Novel by E. Lynn Harris Abide With Me: A Novel

by E. Lynn Harris
Anchor (May 02, 2000)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In this hotly anticipated conclusion to his popular Invisible Life trilogy, E. Lynn Harris delivers a masterful tale that traces the evolving lives of his beloved characters Nicole Springer and Raymond Tyler, Jr., and reintroduces readers to their respective lovers, best friends, and potential enemies.  Abide with Me moves between the worlds of New York City, where Nicole has recently settled in order to pursue her dream of returning to the Broadway stage, and Seattle, where a late-night phone call from a U.S. Senator is about to change Raymond’s life dramatically.  Relationships and ambitions are tested as Harris deftly guides us toward this entertaining novel’s conclusion.

Sexy and heartwarming in equal measure, Abide with Me will thrill new readers as well as fans already familiar with Harris’s unique take on the universal themes of love, friendship, and family.  E. Lynn Harris has truly done it again.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Abingdon’s by Michael R. French Abingdon’s

by Michael R. French
Doubleday (Jun 01, 1979)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Where jeans are $75 and love is free. Where stars set trends, celebrites throw fits, and the beautiful people get more beautiful. Abingdon’s. Where glitter is the weapon and power is the prize that threatens three of New York’s best kept secrets!


Click for more detail about Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth: New Poems by Alice Walker Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth: New Poems

by Alice Walker
Random House Trade Paperbacks (Mar 09, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In this exquisite book, Alice Walker’s first new collection of poetry since 1991, are poems that reaffirm her as “one of the best American writers of today” (The Washington Post). The forces of nature and the strength of the human spirit inspire the poems in Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth. Alice Walker opens us to feeling and understanding, with poems that cover a broad spectrum of emotions. With profound artistry, Walker searches for, discovers, and declares the fundamental beauty of existence, as she explores what it means to experience life fully, to learn from it, and to grow both as an individual and as part of a greater spiritual community. About Walker’s Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful, America said, “In the tradition of Whitman, Walker sings, celebrates and agonizes over the ordinary vicissitudes that link and separate all of humankind,” and the same can be said about this astonishing new collection, Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth.


Click for more detail about Acacia: The War with the Mein (Acacia, Book 1) by David Anthony Durham Acacia: The War with the Mein (Acacia, Book 1)

by David Anthony Durham
Doubleday (Jun 12, 2007)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Leodan Akaran, ruler of the Known World, has inherited generations of apparent peace and prosperity, won ages ago by his ancestors. A widower of high intelligence, he presides over an empire called Acacia, after the idyllic island from which he rules. He dotes on his four children and hides from them the dark realities of traffic in drugs and human lives on which their prosperity depends. He hopes that he might change this, but powerful forces stand in his way. And then a deadly assassin sent from a race called the Mein, exiled long ago to an ice-locked stronghold in the frozen north, strikes at Leodan in the heart of Acacia while they unleash surprise attacks across the empire. On his deathbed, Leodan puts into play a plan to allow his children to escape, each to their separate destiny. And so his children begin a quest to avenge their father’s death and restore the Acacian empire–this time on the basis of universal freedom.

ACACIA is a thrilling work of literary imagination that creates an all-enveloping and mythic world that will carry readers away. It is a timeless tale of heroism and betrayal, of treachery and revenge, of primal wrongs and ultimate redemption. David Durham has reimagined the epic narrative for our time in a book that will surely mark his breakthrough to a wide audience.


Click for more detail about Accident of Birth: A Novel by Heather Neff Accident of Birth: A Novel

by Heather Neff
Broadway Books (Nov 09, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Reba Freeman has loved two men in her life. Her current husband, Carl, has supported her through their twenty-year marriage and given her all the material wealth a suburban wife could hope for. Reba is comfortable, if not necessarily content, in her life with Carl and their blossoming teenage daughter, Marisa, until she learns that her first love and first husband, Joseph Thomas, has been detained by the World Court of Human Rights.

Joseph, a peaceful, gifted Liberian student, had dreams of returning to his native land and educating his people for the betterment of his country. Reba respected his strength and wanted to support his cause, but didn’t accompany Joseph to Liberia after graduation due to mysterious circumstances. Now, twenty years later, she must decide if finding out what has happened to her first husband is worth the risk of losing Carl and turning her comfortable world inside out.

Alternating between present-day action and a series of flashbacks, Accident of Birth creates an intricate tapestry of suspense, drama, and romance, while also looking at the moral and cultural differences between African Americans and Africans. Neff boldly exposes the rift between American comforts and the traumas of the world we choose to ignore, creating a moving and memorable story of courage and hope that readers will talk about for a long time.


Click for more detail about Adam And Seymour by Cathy Finch White Adam And Seymour

by Cathy Finch White
AuthorHouse (Oct 14, 2011)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Adam and Seymour are two young boys who wants to play soccer, but does not know how to play, they both signs up for soccer tryouts, believing that they could make the team with a little help and determination.


Click for more detail about Adultery: A Novel by Paulo Coelho Adultery: A Novel

by Paulo Coelho
Knopf (Aug 19, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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I want to change. I need to change. I’m gradually losing touch with myself.

Adultery, the provocative new novel by Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes, explores the question of what it means to live life fully and happily, finding the balance between life’s routine and the desire for something new.


Click for more detail about Affirmative Acts by June Jordan Affirmative Acts

by June Jordan
Anchor (Oct 20, 1998)
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Piercingly intuitive, eloquent, and caustic, Affirmative Acts is an address to the social, economic, racial, and political conflicts that mar the otherwise beautiful human experience.

In this new collection of political essays, Jordan explores the confusion of an America in the grip of pseudo-multiculturalism and political intolerance. Continuing in the tradition of her classic collections Civil Wars and Technical Difficulties, Jordan acquaints readers with moments of American life threatened by social negligence and economic despair. With her characteristic insight, Jordan unveils how these too-frequent bouts of civil unrest bring out the weakest parts of the American spirit and challenges readers to remain inspired as society approaches the millennium.
June Jordan’s wisdom shines through in this brilliant collection of inspirational essays, which will be eagerly awaited by Jordan loyalists and enjoyed by her new readers.


Click for more detail about African-American Literature: A Brief Introduction and Anthology by Al Young African-American Literature: A Brief Introduction and Anthology

by Al Young
Watson-Guptill Publications (Nov 01, 1995)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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These brief anthologies of ethnic American literature are ideal for ethnic, multicultural and American literature courses. They are designed to introduce undergraduates to the rich but often neglected literary contributions of established and newer ethnic writers to American literature. Each text is organized chronologically by genre and represent a wide range of literature.


Click for more detail about Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remix by Bryant Terry Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remix

by Bryant Terry
Knopf (Apr 08, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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African, Caribbean, and southern food are all known and loved as vibrant and flavor-packed cuisines. In Afro-Vegan, renowned chef and food justice activist Bryant Terry reworks and remixes the favorite staples, ingredients, and classic dishes of the African Diaspora to present wholly new, creative culinary combinations that will amaze vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike.

Blending these colorful cuisines results in delicious recipes like Smashed Potatoes, Peas, and Corn with Chile-Garlic Oil, a recipe inspired by the Kenyan dish irio, and Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad with dried apricots, carrots, and almonds, which is based on a Moroccan tagine. Creamy Coconut-Cashew Soup with Okra, Corn, and Tomatoes pays homage to a popular Brazilian dish while incorporating classic Southern ingredients, and Crispy Teff and Grit Cakes with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Peanuts combines the Ethiopian grain teff with stone-ground corn grits from the Deep South and North African zalook dip. There’s perfect potluck fare, such as the simple, warming, and intensely flavored Collard Greens and Cabbage with Lots of Garlic, and the Caribbean-inspired Cocoa Spice Cake with Crystallized Ginger and Coconut-Chocolate Ganache, plus a refreshing Roselle-Rooibos Drink that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

With more than 100 modern and delicious dishes that draw on Terry’s personal memories as well as the history of food that has traveled from the African continent, Afro-Vegan takes you on an international food journey. Accompanying the recipes are Terry’s insights about building community around food, along with suggested music tracks from around the world and book recommendations. For anyone interested in improving their well-being, Afro-Vegan’s groundbreaking recipes offer innovative, plant-based global cuisine that is fresh, healthy, and forges a new direction in vegan cooking.


Click for more detail about After Hours: A Collection of Erotic Writing by Black Men by Robert Fleming After Hours: A Collection of Erotic Writing by Black Men

by Robert Fleming
Plume (Jul 30, 2002)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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After Hours contains nineteen stories from some of the best black male authors in the business today, such as National Book Award Winner, Charles Johnson, Colin Channer, Curtis Bunn, Brandon Massey, Brian Egeston, Alexs D. Pate, and many more.

Book Review

Click for more detail about After: A Novel by Marita Golden After: A Novel

by Marita Golden
Doubleday (May 16, 2006)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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For twelve years Carson Blake inhabited a world of his own creation. Scorned by the father who was incapable of showing him affection and nearly consumed by the mean streets of Prince George’s County, Maryland, Carson did what no one else could: he saved himself.

After joining the police force and building a family with his wife, Bunny, Carson is finally in control of his life in the enclave where African American wealth and privilege shares the same zip code with black American crime and tragedy. Both Carson and his wife have great careers and three beautiful children: Roslyn, Roseanne, and Juwan. Carson is a devoted father, determined not to be the father that Jimmy Blake was to him. But while Juwan’s astounding artistic talent is his father’s pride, the boy’s close relationship with classmate Will conjures up emotions and questions in Carson that threaten to spill over and poison the entire Blake family.

And then, one night in March, nearing the end of a routine shift, Carson stops a young black man for speeding. He orders Paul Houston to exit the car and drop to his knees. But when Houston retrieves something from his waistband and turns to face Carson, three shots are fired, one man loses his life and two families are wrenched from everything that came before and hurled into the haunting future of everything that will come after. When it is revealed that Paul, a son of educators and a teacher in Southeast D.C., was only holding a cell phone, Carson’s carefully woven world begins to unravel.

After is a penetrating work of discovery for a man whose life careens more than once off the edge of disaster. Golden’s astounding prose will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.


Click for more detail about Ain’t No River by Sharon Ewell Foster Ain’t No River

by Sharon Ewell Foster
Multnomah (Jan 04, 2001)
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Penned in the same poetic voice introduced in her bestselling debut novel, Passing by Samaria, Sharon Ewell Foster’s Ain’t No River is a contemporary tale where the angst of modern life is seasoned with wisdom, humor, and a dash of African-American history. Meemaw has been a doting mother, grandmother, and church mother to her community. Suddenly she’s become a slimmed-down, silver-haired, seventy-something fox with a new attitude. And all fingers are pointing at a much younger ex-pro football player, GoGo Walker. When D.C. lawyer Garvin Daniels — Meemaw’s granddaughter — gets wind of what’s happening, she heads back to her hometown determined to help her Meemaw get it together before she goes too far.


Click for more detail about Aké: The Years Of Childhood by Wole Soyinka Aké: The Years Of Childhood

by Wole Soyinka
Vintage (Oct 23, 1989)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A dazzling memoir of an African childhood from Nobel Prize-winning Nigerian novelist, playwright, and poet Wole Soyinka.

Aké: The Years of Childhood gives us the story of Soyinka’s boyhood before and during World War II in a Yoruba village in western Nigeria called Aké. A relentlessly curious child who loved books and getting into trouble, Soyinka grew up on a parsonage compound, raised by Christian parents and by a grandfather who introduced him to Yoruba spiritual traditions. His vivid evocation of the colorful sights, sounds, and aromas of the world that shaped him is both lyrically beautiful and laced with humor and the sheer delight of a child’s-eye view. A classic of African autobiography, Aké is also a transcendantly timeless portrait of the mysteries of childhood.


Click for more detail about Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor Akata Witch

by Nnedi Okorafor
Viking Books for Young Readers (Apr 14, 2011)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Read Nnedi Okorafor’s blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits. And then she discovers something amazing-she is a "free agent," with latent magical power. Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?


Click for more detail about Aleph (Vintage International) by Paulo Coelho Aleph (Vintage International)

by Paulo Coelho
Vintage Books (Jun 26, 2012)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Transform your life. Rewrite your destiny.

In his most personal novel to date, internationally bestselling author Paulo Coelho returns with a remarkable journey of self-discovery. Like the main character in his much-beloved The Alchemist, Paulo is facing a grave crisis of faith. As he seeks a path of spiritual renewal and growth, his only real option is to begin again—to travel, to experiment, to reconnect with people and the landscapes around him.

Setting off to Africa, and then to Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian railroad, he initiates a journey to revitalize his energy and passion. Even so, he never expects to meet Hilal. A gifted young violinist, she is the woman Paulo loved five hundred years before—and the woman he betrayed in an act of cowardice so far-reaching that it prevents him from finding real happiness in this life. Together they will initiate a mystical voyage through time and space, traveling a path that teaches love, forgiveness, and the courage to overcome life’s inevitable challenges. Beautiful and inspiring, Aleph invites us to consider the meaning of our own personal journeys.


Click for more detail about Alex Haley: The Playboy Interviews by Alex Haley Alex Haley: The Playboy Interviews

by Alex Haley
Ballantine Books (Jun 08, 1993)
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Everyone knows Alex Haley as the world-renowned author of the international bestseller ROOTS, and as the writer who collaborated with Malcolm X on his historic autobiography. What many people don’t know is that Alex Haley began his professional writing career as a journalist. It was his experience in this arena that earned him the plum assignment as Playboy’s first — and foremost — interviewer.
Witness Haley’s work with the pre-Ali Cassius Clay, in which the posture of the young rebel fell away and a sensitive, intelligent young man emerged. He lured Malcolm X beyond his scathing Black Muslim rhetoric to reveal the agile, perceptive mind of a charismatic leader. With Johnny Carson, Haley revealed the man behind the mask of a charming television raconteur. And, in a devasting interview with George Lincoln Rockwell, the self-appointed fuhrer of the American Nazi Party, Haley deftly exposed the frightening heart and soul of the twisted man and his racist ideology.
A fascinating slice of recent history, an extraordinarily candid collection of celebrity interviews and personal reminiscences, ALEX HALEY: THE PLAYBOY INTERVIEWS anthologizes for the first time a gifted writer’s finest work at its controversial and informative best.


Click for more detail about All About The Beat: Why Hip-Hop Can’t Save Black America by John McWhorter All About The Beat: Why Hip-Hop Can’t Save Black America

by John McWhorter
Knopf (Jun 19, 2008)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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The bestselling commentator, hailed for his frank and fearless arguments on race, imparts a scathing look at the hypocrisy of hip-hop—and why its popularity proves that black America must overhaul its politics.

One of the most outspoken voices in America’s cultural dialogues, John McWhorter can always be counted on to provide provocative viewpoints steeped in scholarly savvy. Now he turns his formidable intellect to the topic of hip-hop music and culture, smashing the claims that hip-hop is politically valuable because it delivers the only “real” portrayal of black society.

In this measured, impassioned work, McWhorter delves into the rhythms of hip-hop, analyzing its content and celebrating its artistry and craftsmanship. But at the same time he points out that hip-hop is, at its core, simply music, and takes issue with those who celebrate hip-hop as the beginning of a new civil rights program and inflate the lyrics with a kind of radical chic. In a power vacuum, this often offensive and destructive music has become a leading voice of black America, and McWhorter stridently calls for a renewed sense of purpose and pride in black communities.

Joining the ranks of Russell Simmons and others who have called for a deeper investigation of hip-hop’s role in black culture, McWhorter’s All About the Beat is a spectacular polemic that takes the debate in a seismically new direction.

Book Review

Click for more detail about All Good Things by Sandra Kitt All Good Things

by Sandra Kitt
Doubleday (Aug 01, 1984)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Click for more detail about All I Did Was Shoot My Man (Leonid Mcgill Mystery) by Walter Mosley All I Did Was Shoot My Man (Leonid Mcgill Mystery)

by Walter Mosley
Riverhead Hardcover (Jan 24, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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In the latest and most surprising novel in the bestselling Leonid McGill series, Leonid finds himself caught between his sins of the past and an all-too-vivid present.Seven years ago, Zella Grisham came home to find her man, Harry Tangelo, in bed with her friend. The weekend before, $6.8 million had been stolen from Rutgers Assurance Corp., whose offices are across the street from where Zella worked. Zella didn’t remember shooting Harry, but she didn’t deny it either. The district attorney was inclined to call it temporary insanity-until the police found $80,000 from the Rutgers heist hidden in her storage space.For reasons of his own, Leonid McGill is convinced of Zella’s innocence. But as he begins his investigation, his life begins to unravel. His wife is drinking more than she should. His oldest son has dropped out of college and moved in with an exprostitute. His youngest son is working for him and trying to stay within the law. And his father, whom he thought was long dead, has turned up under an alias.A gripping story of murder, greed, and retribution, All I Did Was Shoot My Man is also the poignant tale of one man’s attempt to stay connected to his family.


Click for more detail about All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu All Our Names

by Dinaw Mengestu
Knopf (Mar 04, 2014)
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From acclaimed author Dinaw Mengestu, a recipient of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 award, The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 award, and a 2012 MacArthur Foundation genius grant, comes an unforgettable love story about a searing affair between an American woman and an African man in 1970s America and an unflinching novel about the fragmentation of lives that straddle countries and histories. 

All Our Names is the story of two young men who come of age during an African revolution, drawn from the safe confines of the university campus into the intensifying clamor of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, the friends are driven apart—one into the deepest peril, as the movement gathers inexorable force, and the other into the safety of exile in the American Midwest. There, pretending to be an exchange student, he falls in love with a social worker and settles into small-town life. Yet this idyll is inescapably darkened by the secrets of his past: the acts he committed and the work he left unfinished. Most of all, he is haunted by the beloved friend he left behind, the charismatic leader who first guided him to revolution and then sacrificed everything to ensure his freedom.
 
Elegiac, blazing with insights about the physical and emotional geographies that circumscribe our lives, All Our Names is a marvel of vision and tonal command. Writing within the grand tradition of Naipul, Greene, and Achebe, Mengestu gives us a political novel that is also a transfixing portrait of love and grace, of self-determination and the names we are given and the names we earn.


Click for more detail about All the Stars Came Out That Night by Kevin King All the Stars Came Out That Night

by Kevin King
Plume (Feb 27, 2007)
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Kevin King’s debut novel, All the Stars Came Out That Night, is a vivid portrait of Depression-era America written in a voice at once humorous and poetic. Set at Boston’s Fenway Park on October 20, 1943, All the Stars Came Out That Night imagines a late-night baseball game bankrolled by Henry Ford, pitting Dizzy Dean’s all-white all-stars against Satchel Paige’s black all-stars. Not a contest waged for money or trophies, the outcome of this game carries with it both the weight of a historic injustice?the barring of blacks from baseball?and the promise of vindication and redemption. Steeped in baseball lore and featuring an array of iconic American figures?from Babe Ruth to Clarence Darrow?All the Stars Came Out That Nightfar transcends the sport of baseball, creating a tale that is mythic, captivating, and above all, quintessentially American.


Click for more detail about Allah is Not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma Allah is Not Obliged

by Ahmadou Kourouma
Anchor (May 08, 2007)
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ALLAH IS NOT OBLIGED TO BE FAIR ABOUT ALL THE THINGS HE DOES HERE ON EARTH.These are the words of the boy soldier Birahima in the final masterpiece by one of Africa’s most celebrated writers, Ahmadou Kourouma. When ten-year-old Birahima’s mother dies, he leaves his native village in the Ivory Coast, accompanied by the sorcerer and cook Yacouba, to search for his aunt Mahan. Crossing the border into Liberia, they are seized by rebels and forced into military service. Birahima is given a Kalashnikov, minimal rations of food, a small supply of dope and a tiny wage. Fighting in a chaotic civil war alongside many other boys, Birahima sees death, torture, dismemberment and madness but somehow manages to retain his own sanity. Raw and unforgettable, despairing yet filled with laughter, Allah Is Not Obliged reveals the ways in which children’s innocence and youth are compromised by war.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Almost Zero: A Dyamonde Daniel Book by Nikki Grimes Almost Zero: A Dyamonde Daniel Book

by Nikki Grimes
Puffin Books (Apr 04, 2017)
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The third book in the Dyamonde Daniels series, by bestselling author Nikki Grimes, is perfect for fans of the Keena Ford, Judy Moody, and Magnificent Mya Tibbs series and includes illustrations by Coretta Scott King honor winner R. Gregory Christie. 

Dyamonde really wants red high-top sneakers. Too bad they’re so expensive! A classmate tells her it’s her mom’s job to give her what she needs, but when Dyamonde tries that argument, her mom teaches her a lesson by literally only giving her what she needs. Now Dyamonde is down to almost zero outfits! But then she finds out one of her friends has it much worse, and she’s determined to do what she can to help.


Click for more detail about Always In Pursuit: Fresh American Perspectives by Stanley Crouch Always In Pursuit: Fresh American Perspectives

by Stanley Crouch
Vintage (Mar 16, 1999)
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  As a cultural and political commentator, Stanley Crouch in unapologetically contentious and delightfully iconoclastic. Whether he is writing on the uniqueness of the American South, the death of Tupak Shakur, the O.J. Simpson verdict, or the damage done by the Oklahoma City bombing, Crouch’s high-velocity exchange with American culture is conducted with scrupulous allegiance to the truth, even when it hurts—and it usually does. And on the subject of jazz—from Sidney Bechet to Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington to Miles Davis—there is no one more articulate, impassioned, and encyclopedic in his knowledge than Stanley Crouch.

   Crouch approaches everything in his path with head-on energy, restless intelligence, and a refreshing faith in the collective experiment that is America—and he does so in a virtuosic prose style that is never less than thrilling.


Click for more detail about Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman Amazing Grace

by Mary Hoffman
Dial Books for Young Readers (Sep 02, 1991)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Grace loves stories, whether they’re from books, movies, or the kind her grandmother tells. So when she gets a chance to play a part in Peter Pan, she knows exactly who she wants to be. Remarkable watercolor illustrations give full expression to Grace’s high-flying imagination.


Click for more detail about Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem

by Maya Angelou
Random House (Dec 01, 2005)
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In this beautiful, deeply moving poem, Maya Angelou inspires us to embrace the peace and promise of Christmas, so that hope and love can once again light up our holidays and the world. “Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers, look heavenward,” she writes, “and speak the word aloud. Peace.”

Read by the poet at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the White House on December 1, 2005, Maya Angelou’s celebration of the “Glad Season” is a radiant affirmation of the goodness of life and a beautiful holiday gift for people of all faiths.


Click for more detail about American Ace by Marilyn Nelson American Ace

by Marilyn Nelson
Dial Books for Young Readers (Jan 12, 2016)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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This riveting novel in verse, perfect for fans of Jacqueline Woodson and Toni Morrison, explores American history and race through the eyes of a teenage boy embracing his newfound identity
 
Connor’s grandmother leaves his dad a letter when she dies, and the letter’s confession shakes their tight-knit Italian-American family: The man who raised Dad is not his birth father.
 
But the only clues to this birth father’s identity are a class ring and a pair of pilot’s wings. And so Connor takes it upon himself to investigate—a pursuit that becomes even more pressing when Dad is hospitalized after a stroke. What Connor discovers will lead him and his father to a new, richer understanding of race, identity, and each other.


Click for more detail about American Dreams by Sapphire American Dreams

by Sapphire
Vintage (Jun 18, 1996)
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In the tradition of Alice Walker, this electrifying new African American voice delivers the verdict on the urban condition in a sensual, propulsive, and prophetic book of poetry and prose.

Whether she is writing about an enraged teenager gone "wilding" in Central Park, fifteen-year-old Latasha Harlins gunned down by a Korean grocer, or a brutalized child who grows up to escape her probable fate through the miracle of art, Sapphire’s vision in this collection of poetry and prose is unswervingly honest.

"Stunning . . . . One of the strongest debut collections of the ’90s."—Publishers Weekly


Click for more detail about American Patriots: The Story of Blacks in the Military from the Revolution to Desert Storm (Young Readers Adaptation) by Gail Lumet Buckley American Patriots: The Story of Blacks in the Military from the Revolution to Desert Storm (Young Readers Adaptation)

by Gail Lumet Buckley
Crown Books for Young Readers (Jan 14, 2003)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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They fought on Lexington Green the first morning of the Revolution and survived the bitter cold winter at Valley Forge. They stormed San Juan Hill with Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and manned an anti-aircraft gun at Pearl Harbor. They are the black Americans who fought, often in foreign lands, for freedoms that they did not enjoy at home.
Adapted for young readers, this dramatic story brings to life the heroism of people such as Crispus Attucks, Benjamin O. Davis, Charity Adams, and Colin Powell, and captures the spirit that drove these Americans to better their lives and demand of themselves the highest form of sacrifice.


Click for more detail about Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Americanah

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Knopf (May 14, 2013)
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From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home.

As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu—beautiful, self-assured—departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze—the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor—had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion—for their homeland and for each other—they will face the toughest decisions of their lives. Fearless, gripping, at once darkly funny and tender, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story set in today’s globalized world: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s most powerful and astonishing novel yet.


Click for more detail about An Accidental Affair by Eric Jerome Dickey An Accidental Affair

by Eric Jerome Dickey
Knopf (Apr 17, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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James Thicke is a man whose mysterious past runs as deep as his violent streak. He's channeled the intensity of his soul into twin passions-success as a screenwriter, and marriage to movie actress Regina Baptiste. In the midst of filming his latest script, starring Regina and leading man Johnny Bergs, James receives a video of his wife caught in the most compromising of situations.

Hours later, the clip of the on-set infidelity has hit the Internet and gone viral in the blogosphere and across all channels of social media. James responds to the affront by savagely attacking Johnny Bergs, and the spectacle has both the paparazzi and the police amassing at the married couple's estate. James goes on the run, but only as far as the city of Downey, California. As James tries to protect Regina from Hollywood's underbelly, lust, blackmail, and revenge become his constant companions. Does an accidental affair spell permanent danger?

An Accidental Affair has the eroticism of Pleasure, the intrigue of Thieves' Paradise, the relentless pacing of Drive Me Crazy, and a female lead as complex as Genevieve.


Click for more detail about An African Elegy Paperback by Ben Okri An African Elegy Paperback

by Ben Okri
Vintage Books USA (Apr 24, 1997)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Dreams are the currency of Okri’s writing, particularly in this first book of poems, An African Elegy, but also in his books of short stories and prize-winning novel The Famished Road. Okri’s dreams are made on the stuff of Africa’s colossal economic and political problems, and reading the poems is to experience a constant succession of metaphors of resolution in both senses of the word. Virtually every poem contains an exhortation to climb out of the African miasma, and virtually every poem harvests the dream of itself with an upbeat restorative ending’ - Giles Foden, Times Literary Supplement.


Click for more detail about An Eighth of August by Dawn Turner Trice An Eighth of August

by Dawn Turner Trice
Crown (Oct 17, 2000)
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With Only Twice I’ve Wished for Heaven, Dawn Turner Trice established herself as a powerful and unique new fiction writer with a first novel called "touching and memorable" by the New York Times. Now, with An Eighth of August, she delivers on the promise of her stunning debut with an eloquent, evocative novel about the strong ties and haunting memories that bind family and friends in a small town.

Since the late 1800s, Halley’s Landing has commemorated the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation with one of the grandest festivals in the Midwest. Year after year, celebrants come from near and far to show off their best clothes, cook up special dishes, and pay tribute to the rich heritage of the former slaves who settled the Illinois town, hoping to piece together a life. But along with stories of the good times come unbearably painful memories and long-buried resentments.

Narrated by a chorus of voices, An Eighth of August begins with the Sunday church services of the 1986 celebration, a year after a terrible tragedy rocked the people of this close-knit community. The festival provides the backdrop for a vividly moving story that weaves together the lives and voices of the residents of Halley’s Landing. We hear from strong-willed Flossie Jo Penticott and her estranged daughter, Sweet Alma, whose relationship has been torn apart by an unimaginable sorrow; Flossie’s scatterbrained sister-in-law Thelma and her salt-of-the-earth husband, Herbert, who remain steadfastly devoted despite life’s ups and downs; Aunt Cora, whose humor, generous spirit,  and large home provide refuge for the weary; and May Ruth, an eccentric older white woman who fits in like any other family member.

As we grow to know and love these characters, we witness how this Emancipation Festival will offer up its own particular brand of freedom and herald a change in each of their lives. Like Gloria Naylor, Dawn Turner Trice draws us into a remarkable world in An Eighth of August and invites us to spend time with a group of extraordinary individuals who linger long after the story is complete.


Click for more detail about AN Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio by Judith Ortiz Cofer AN Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio

by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Puffin Books (Dec 01, 1996)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A collection of stories captures the lives of different teenagers growing up in the barrio, including Rita, who goes to live with her grandparents in Puerto Rico; Luis, who spends his days working at his father’s junkyard; and Sandra, who tries to rediscover her natural Latino beauty. Reprint. PW. AB. SLJ.


Click for more detail about And Do Remember Me by Marita Golden And Do Remember Me

by Marita Golden
Ballantine Books (Jul 19, 1994)
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"An engaging saga of unconditional friendship, love, and foregiveness…Golden’s style is modern, refreshing and accurately captures a slice of African-American life."
ST. PETERSBURG TIMES
In the exciting, yet frightening days of Freedom Summer in 1963, two very different African-American women meet, each to discover in the other an elegant completion of herself. Jessie, running from her sexually abusive father and distant mother, is a born actress. In the movement she discovers an unknown world of personal freedom that could shape her into an extraordinary talent or destroy her from within. Macon, beautiful, fearless, and brilliant, knows she is too good to settle for less than she’s worth, but her activism threatens the man she loves.
In a vital time of politics and passion, dedication and distress, two women struggle to recreate themselves and their world—and learn to love the fight.


Click for more detail about And I Heard a Bird Sing by Rosa Guy And I Heard a Bird Sing

by Rosa Guy
Delacorte Books for Young Readers (May 01, 1987)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Eighteen-year-old Imamu’s newly-found contentment, with his job and the apartment he shares with his frail mother, is shattered when he is inadvertently drawn into the sinister events taking place in a wealthy household where he has been delivering groceries.


Click for more detail about And Sometimes I Wonder About You: A Leonid Mcgill Mystery (Leonid Mcgill Mysteries) by Walter Mosley And Sometimes I Wonder About You: A Leonid Mcgill Mystery (Leonid Mcgill Mysteries)

by Walter Mosley
Knopf (May 01, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Click for more detail about And This Too Shall Pass: A Novel by E. Lynn Harris And This Too Shall Pass: A Novel

by E. Lynn Harris
Anchor (Feb 17, 1997)
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A stellar quarterback, an ambitious sportscaster. What happens when rising stars collide?In And This Too Shall Pass, Harris takes us into the locker rooms and newsrooms of Chicago, where four lives are about to intersect in romance and scandal. At the heart of the novel is the celibate Zurich, a rookiequarterback for the Chicago Cougars whose trajectory for superstardom is interrupted by a sexual assault charge by Mia, a sportscaster with her own sights on fame. With his career in jeopardy, Zurich hires Tamela, a high-powered attorney, to defend him, while Sean, a gay sportswriter, covers the story and uncovers his heart.All of these characters face the challenge of keeping the faith—in themselves and in God—while Harris’s heartfelt storytelling reveals how the love of family can help one to face the terrible legacy of long-held secrets. Throughout these characters’ search for self-knowledge, Harris weaves the stories of MamaCee, Zurich’s grandmother, whose lessons of faith teach one and all that "this too shall pass."Breaking new ground in contemporary fiction, And This Too Shall Pass entertains and affirms with its stirring message about the healing power of family and faith.


Click for more detail about Anna Learns to Play the Violin by Cathy Finch White Anna Learns to Play the Violin

by Cathy Finch White
AuthorHouse (Sep 02, 2010)
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Anna is a 9 year old girl, that loves music but does not know how to play an instrument. Anna decides to learn to play the violin and realizes that playing an instrument takes a lot of practice. See how persistent Anna is when it comes to playing the violin and how practice makes perfect.


Click for more detail about Another Africa: Photographs by Robert Lyons by Robert Lyons and Chinua Achebe Another Africa: Photographs by Robert Lyons

by Robert Lyons and Chinua Achebe
Doubleday (Oct 20, 1998)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Another Africa is a book that fuses photographs, poetry, and text to create a view of present-day Africa that moves beyond the stereotypes commonly held by most westerners: an open-air ethnographic museum, a continent in constant turmoil, a vast expanse of beautiful sand dunes and tropical savannas where herds of wildlife roam. This work peels away myths to explore the complexity, diversity, and human dimensions of a place called Africa—one that celebrates the commonplace and exotic simultaneously. The photographs are highly subjective, a personal investigation that reflects the sensibilities, formal concerns, and the ongoing engagement of the photographer in this part of the world.

With the brilliant Chinua Achebe—a Nigerian—contributing his poems and an essay, the book takes on a further and critical dimension. He presents a concise view of Africa today, including the individual and political issues facing its countries. He deals with Africa on its own terms—from within, not from an outsider’s perspective.


Click for more detail about Another Country by James Baldwin Another Country

by James Baldwin
Vintage Books (Dec 01, 1992)
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Set in Greenwich Village, Harlem, and France, among other locales, Another Country is a novel of passions—sexual, racial, political, artistic—that is stunning for its emotional intensity and haunting sensuality, depicting men and women, blacks and whites, stripped of their masks of gender and race by love and hatred at the most elemental and sublime. In a small set of friends, Baldwin imbues the best and worst intentions of liberal America in the early 1970s.


Click for more detail about Another Good Loving Blues by Arna Bontemps Another Good Loving Blues

by Arna Bontemps
Ballantine Books (Jan 18, 1994)
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"A charming, provocative novel in which Mr. Flowers seamlessly blends the rich rythms of the blues and a Deep South patois in a lyrical, literate style."
- THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
It’s Beale Street in Memphis in the age when jazz was spelled "jass" and ragtime was just a glint in Scott Joplin’s eye. Lucas Bodeen is the bluesman, and Melvira Dupree is the conjure woman he loves. But pitted against them are all the forces of nature, the clashing of their own stubborn wills, and a society mired in the laws of Jim Crow and the mob. Combining the ancient African storytelling art of the griot with the American offshoots of blues and hoodoo, Arthur Flowers sings us a story that makes us smile - a story of life, and how love and happiness really happen.


Click for more detail about Anthills of the Savannah by Chinua Achebe Anthills of the Savannah

by Chinua Achebe
Anchor Books (Feb 04, 1998)
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In the fictional West African nation Kangan, newly independent of British rule, the hopes and dreams of democracy have been quashed by a fierce military dictatorship. Chris Oriko is a member of the cabinet of the president for life, one of his oldest friends. When the president is charged with censoring the oppositionist editor of the state-run newspaper—another childhood friend—Chris’s loyalty and ideology are put to the test. The fate of Kangan hangs in the balance as tensions rise and a devious plot is set in motion to silence the firebrand critic.


Click for more detail about Any Way the Wind Blows: A Novel by E. Lynn Harris Any Way the Wind Blows: A Novel

by E. Lynn Harris
Doubleday (Jul 10, 2001)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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At the end of Not a Day Goes By, the terminally bisexual John Basil Henderson declares: “I’m back, in full form. And I’m out there. Roamin’. And switching lanes.” Now, in Any Way the Wind Blows, Basil, good-looking gadabout and homme fatal, is back at the top of his game (razzle-dazzling both the women and the men). All is well until Basil’s picture-perfect life starts to unravel . . .
Left at the altar a year before, jilted Broadway bombshell Yancey Harrington Braxton stages her comeback–this time as a recording star–but has she forgiven ex-fiancé Basil, or does she still need to even the score? As Yancey’s star continues to rise, her past threatens to catch up with her and she fears someone may be after her as well . . .
In a wicked little dance of revenge, Basil and Yancey struggle to keep their lives on track, while a chorus of unforgettable characters either come to their aid, or make matters worse. In the mix are: Yancey’s mother, Ava “Mama Dearest” Braxton, a diva’s diva and a second-rate showgirl housed in the body of an aging supermodel; the wise and wonderful Windsor Adams; and the new guy in town, Bartholomew “Bart” Dunbar, a rogue’s rogue and handsome hunk of a man who stands to make Basil look like a choirboy.
With just the right amount of wickedness, love, and compassion, Harris’s masterful storytelling and delicious plot twists will have fans and newcomers alike frantically turning pages trying to find the answer to the ultimate question: Does revenge ever really pay?


Click for more detail about Apex Hides the Hurt: A Novel by Colson Whitehead Apex Hides the Hurt: A Novel

by Colson Whitehead
Anchor (Jan 09, 2007)
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The town of Winthrop has decided it needs a new name. The resident software millionaire wants to call it New Prospera; the mayor wants to return to the original choice of the founding black settlers; and the town’s aristocracy sees no reason to change the name at all. What they need, they realize, is a nomenclature consultant. And, it turns out, the consultant needs them. But in a culture overwhelmed by marketing, the name is everything and our hero’s efforts may result in not just a new name for the town but a new and subtler truth about it as well.


Click for more detail about Ardency: A Chronicle Of The Amistad Rebels by Kevin Young Ardency: A Chronicle Of The Amistad Rebels

by Kevin Young
Knopf (Sep 18, 2012)
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Now in paperback, a haunting chorus of voices that tells the story of the captivity, education, language, hopes, dreams, and fight for freedom, of the African Americans abducted in the Amistad rebellion.

Based on the 1840 mutiny on board the slave ship Amistad, Ardency begins with "Buzzard," a sequence of poems told in the voice of the interpreter for the captive rebels, who were jailed in New Haven. In "Correspondence," we encounter the remarkable letters to John Quincy Adams and others that the captives wrote from jail. The book culminates in "Witness," a libretto chanted by Cinque, the rebel leader, who yearns for his family and freedom while eloquently evoking the Amistads’ conversion and life in America. As Young conjures this array of characters, interweaving the liberation cry of Negro spirituals and the indoctrinating wordplay of American primers, he delivers his signature songlike immediacy at the service of an epic built on the ironies, violence, and virtues of American history.


Click for more detail about Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe Arrow of God

by Chinua Achebe
Anchor (Jan 01, 1989)
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Set in the Ibo heartland of eastern Nigeria, one of Africa’s best-known writers describes the conflict between old and new in its most poignant aspect: the personal struggle between father and son.


Click for more detail about Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions

by Margaret Musgrove
Dial (Jan 01, 1976)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Artists Leo and Diane Dillon won their second consecutive Caldecott Medal for this stunning ABC of African culture. "Another virtuoso performance. . . . Such an astute blend of aesthetics and information is admirable, the child’s eye will be rewarded many times over."—Booklist. ALA Notable Book; Caldecott Medal.

Art from Ashanti Zulu


Click for more detail about At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America by Philip Dray At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America

by Philip Dray
Random House (Jan 08, 2002)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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It is easy to shrink from our country’s brutal history of lynching. Lynching is called the last great skeleton in our nation’s closet: It terrorized all of black America, claimed thousands upon thousands of victims in the decades between the 1880s and the Second World War, and leaves invisible but deep scars to this day. The cost of pushing lynching into the shadows, however—misremembering it as isolated acts perpetrated by bigots on society’s fringes—is insupportably high: Until we understand how pervasive and socially accepted the practice was—and, more important, why this was so—it will haunt all efforts at racial reconciliation.

“I could not suppress the thought,” James Baldwin once recalled of seeing the red clay hills of Georgia on his first trip to the South, “that this earth had acquired its color from the blood that had dripped down from these trees.” Throughout America, not just in the South, blacks accused of a crime—or merely of violating social or racial customs—were hunted by mobs, abducted from jails, and given summary “justice” in blatant defiance of all guarantees of due process under law. Men and women were shot, hanged, tortured, and burned, often in sadistic, picnic-like “spectacle lynchings” involving thousands of witnesses. “At the hands of persons unknown” was the official verdict rendered on most of these atrocities.

The celebrated historian Philip Dray shines a clear, bright light on this dark history—its causes, perpetrators, apologists, and victims. He also tells the story of the men and women who led the long and difficult fight to expose and eradicate lynching, including Ida B. Wells, James Weldon Johnson, Walter White, and W.E.B. Du Bois. If lynching is emblematic of what is worst about America, their fight may stand for what is best: the love of justice and fairness and the conviction that one individual’s sense of right can suffice to defy the gravest of wrongs. This landmark book follows the trajectory of both forces over American history—and makes the history of lynching belong to us all.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Augustown: A Novel by Kei Miller Augustown: A Novel

by Kei Miller
Pantheon Books (May 23, 2017)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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11 April 1982: a smell is coming down John Golding Road right alongside the boy-child, something attached to him, like a spirit but not quite. Ma Taffy is growing worried. She knows that something is going to happen. Something terrible is going to pour out into the world. But if she can hold it off for just a little bit longer, she will. So she asks a question that surprises herself even as she asks it, "Kaia, I ever tell you bout the flying preacherman?"

Set in the backlands of Jamaica, Augustown is a magical and haunting novel of one woman’s struggle to rise above the brutal vicissitudes of history, race, class, collective memory, violence, and myth.


Click for more detail about Authentically Black: Essays For The Black Silent Majority by John McWhorter Authentically Black: Essays For The Black Silent Majority

by John McWhorter
Knopf (Jan 27, 2003)
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Picking up where the bestselling Losing the Race left off, this penetrating and profound collection of essays by the controversial thinker and passionate advocate for racial enlightenment and achievement explores what it means to be black in America today.

According to the author, nearly forty years after the Civil Rights Act, African-Americans in this country still remain "a race apart." He feels that modern black Americans have internalized a tacit message: "authentically black" people stress initiative in private but cloak the race in victimhood in public in order to protect black people from an ever-looming white backlash. He terms this the "New Double Consciousness" in homage to W.E.B. DuBois’ description of a different kind of double consciousness in blacks a century ago.

Within this context McWhorter takes the reader on a guided tour through the race issues dominant in our moment: racial profiling, getting past race, the reparations movement, black stereotypes in film and television, hip-hop, diversity, affirmative action, the word nigger, and Cornel West’s resignation from Harvard.

With his fierce intelligence and fervent eloquence, McWhorter makes a powerful case for the advancement of true racial equality.

A timely and important work about issues that must be addressed by blacks and whites alike, Authentically Black is a book for Americans of every racial, social, political, and economic persuasion.


Click for more detail about Autobiography of a People: Three Centuries of African American History Told by Those Who Lived It by Herb Boyd Autobiography of a People: Three Centuries of African American History Told by Those Who Lived It

by Herb Boyd
Anchor (Dec 26, 2000)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Autobiography of a People is an insightfully assembled anthology of eyewitness accounts that traces the history of the African American experience.  From the Middle Passage to the Million Man March, editor Herb Boyd has culled a diverse range of voices, both famous and ordinary, to creat a unique and compelling historical portrait:

Benjamin Banneker on Thomas Jefferson Old Elizabeth on spreading the Word Frederick Douglass on life in the North W.E.B. Du Bois on the Talented Tenth Matthew Henson on reaching the North Pole Harriot Jacobs on running away James Cameron on escaping a mob lyniching Alvin Ailey on the world of dance Langston Hughes on the Harlem Renaissance Curtis Morriw on the Korean War Max ROach on ""jazz"" as a four-letter word LL Cool J on rap Mary Church Terrell on the Chicago World’s Fair Rev. Bernice King on the future of Black America And many others.


Click for more detail about Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell by W. Kamau Bell Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell

by W. Kamau Bell
Dutton (May 02, 2017)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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“I am excited to announce my first book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian, is going to be released on May 2nd!”

“The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell of W. Kamau Bell’ is my humorous take on the world today. In the book, I tackle a wide range of issues, such as race relations; fatherhood; the state of law enforcement today; comedians and superheroes; right-wing politics; failure; my interracial marriage; my upbringing by very strong-willed, race-conscious, yet ideologically opposite parents; my early days struggling to find my comedic voice, then my later days struggling to find my comedic voice; why I never seemed to fit in with the Black comedy scene…or the white comedy scene; how I was a Black nerd way before that became a thing; how it took my wife and an East Bay lesbian to teach me that racism and sexism often walk hand in hand; and much, much more.”


Click for more detail about B. Smith: Rituals & Celebrations by Barbara Smith B. Smith: Rituals & Celebrations

by Barbara Smith
Random House (Oct 19, 1999)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Television lifestyle expert B. Smith shares her passion and ideas for entertaining, cooking, and crafts in this fabulous twelve-month celebration of holidays and rituals. As a restaurateur, TV host, columnist, and former model, B. Smith lets us in on the tricks of entertaining with flair and personal style.

The first in a series, Rituals & Celebrations is organized by calendar month, each including two or three celebrations and containing a history of the ritual, full-course recipes, party ideas, and step-by-step craft  instructions. In addition to such basic celebrations as a wine tasting at home,a Labor Day picnic on the beach, and a New Year’s Eve pajama party for kids, Rituals & Celebrations also incorporates such African American traditions as a Juneteenth celebration and a bid whist card party. The book also includes some wonderful variations on traditional holidays, such as a hot pink Valentine’s Day, a Thanksgiving featuring Jerked Roast Turkey, and Christmas Eve spent dipping into fondue.

Shrimp Dumplings with Ginger Soy Sauce, Candied Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Stuffing, and Triple Chocolate Torte are just a few of the  other mouthwatering recipes included. Craft ideas    include putting together the perfect houseguest thank-you basket and creating beautiful personalized hand-painted glassware.

B. Smith brings these celebrations into your home and helps you make them your own. Filled with beautiful full-color photographs, B. Smith: Rituals & Celebrations completes any home and makes a great gift all year long.










B. Smith gives us twelve months of menus, recipes, crafts, and party ideas that help us celebrate with style


Click for more detail about Baby Brother’s Blues: A Novel by Pearl Cleage Baby Brother’s Blues: A Novel

by Pearl Cleage
One World (Feb 27, 2007)
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When Regina Burns married Blue Hamilton, she knew he was no ordinary man. A charismatic R&B singer who gave up his career to assume responsibility for the safety of Atlanta’s West End community, Blue had created an African American urban oasis where crime and violence were virtually nonexistent. In the beginning, Regina enjoyed a circle of engaging friends and her own work as a freelance communications consultant. Most of all, she relished the company of her husband, who never ceased to be a source of passion and delight.

Then everything changed. More and more frightened women were showing up in West End, seeking Blue’s protection from lovers who had suddenly become violent. When the worst offenders begin to disappear without a trace, the signs–all of them grim–seem to point toward Blue and his longtime associate, Joseph “General” Richardson. Now that Regina is pregnant, her fear for Blue’s safety has become an obsession that threatens the very heart of their relationship.

At the same time, Regina’s friend Aretha Hargrove is desperately trying to redefine her own marriage. Aretha’s husband, Kwame, is lobbying for them to leave West End and move to midtown. Aretha resists at first, but finally agrees in an effort to rekindle the flame that first brought them together.

Regina and Aretha have no way of knowing that what they regard as their private struggles will soon become very public. When Baby Brother, a charming con man, insinuates himself into the community, it becomes clear that there is more to his handsome façade than meets the eye. He carries the seeds of change that will affect both women in profound and startling ways.

Returning to the vividly rendered Atlanta district of her last two novels, New York Times bestselling author Pearl Cleage brilliantly weaves the threads of her characters’ intersecting lives into a story of family, friendship and, of course, love. Baby Brother’s Blues is full of wit and warmth, illumination the core of every woman’s hopes and dreams.


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After A Lifetime Of Ambivalence by Rebecca Walker Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After A Lifetime Of Ambivalence

by Rebecca Walker
Knopf (Mar 04, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From the international bestselling author of Black, White, and Jewish comes a "wonderfully insightful" (Associated Press) book that’s destined to become a motherhood classic. Now in trade.

Like many women her age, thirty-four-year-old Rebecca Walker was brought up to be skeptical of motherhood. As an adult she longed for a baby but feared losing her independence. In this very smart memoir, Walker explores some of the larger sociological trends of her generation while delivering her own story about the emotional and intellectual transformation that led her to motherhood.


Click for more detail about Babylon Sisters: A Novel by Pearl Cleage Babylon Sisters: A Novel

by Pearl Cleage
One World/Ballantine (Mar 29, 2005)
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Catherine Sanderson seems to have it all: a fulfilling career helping immigrant women find jobs, a lovely home, and a beautiful, intelligent daughter on her way to Smith College. What Catherine doesn’t have: a father for her child– and she’s spent many years dodging her daughter’s questions about it. Now Phoebe is old enough to start poking around on her own. It doesn’t help matters that the mystery man, B.J. Johnson–the only man Catherine has ever loved–doesn’t even know about Phoebe. He’s been living in Africa.

Now B.J., a renowned newspaper correspondent, is back in town and needs Catherine’s help cracking a story about a female slavery ring operating right on the streets of Atlanta. Catherine is eager to help B.J., despite her heart’s uncertainty over meeting him again after so long, and confessing the truth to him–and their daughter.

Meanwhile, Catherine’s hands are more than full since she’s taken on a new client. Atlanta’s legendary Miss Mandeville–a housekeeper turned tycoon–is eager to have Catherine staff her housekeeping business. But why are the steely Miss Mandeville and her all-too-slick sidekick Sam so interested in Catherine’s connection to B.J.? What transpires is an explosive story that takes her world–not to mention the entire city of Atlanta–by storm.

From the New York Times bestselling author of What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day . . . comes another fast-paced and emotionally resonant novel, by turns warm and funny, serious and raw. Pearl Cleage’s ability to create a gripping story centered on strong, spirited black women and the important issues they face remains unrivaled.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Back Channel: A novel by Stephen L. Carter Back Channel: A novel

by Stephen L. Carter
Knopf (Jul 29, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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October 1962. The Soviet Union has smuggled missiles into Cuba. Kennedy and Khrushchev are in the midst of a military face-off that could lead to nuclear conflagration. Warships and submarines are on the move. Planes are in the air. Troops are at the ready. Both leaders are surrounded by advisers clamoring for war. The only way for the two leaders to negotiate safely is to open a “back channel”—a surreptitious path of communication hidden from their own people. They need a clandestine emissary nobody would ever suspect. If the secret gets out, her life will be at risk . . . but they’re careful not to tell her that.

Stephen L. Carter’s gripping new novel, Back Channel, is a brilliant amalgam of fact and fiction—a suspenseful retelling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, in which the fate of the world rests unexpectedly on the shoulders of a young college student.

On the island of Curaçao, a visiting Soviet chess champion whispers state secrets to an American acquaintance.

In the Atlantic Ocean, a freighter struggles through a squall while trying to avoid surveillance.

And in Ithaca, New York, Margo Jensen, one of the few black women at Cornell, is asked to go to Eastern Europe to babysit a madman.

As the clock ticks toward World War III, Margo undertakes her harrowing journey. Pursued by the hawks on both sides, protected by nothing but her own ingenuity and courage, Margo is drawn ever more deeply into the crossfire—and into her own family’s hidden past.


Click for more detail about Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from Them by Liz Curtis Higgs Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from Them

by Liz Curtis Higgs
Knopf (Jul 16, 2013)
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“When she was perfect, beautiful, and innocent, I found no toehold where I could connect with Eve. When she was tempted by her flesh, humbled by her sin, and redeemed by her God, I could sing out, ‘Oh, sister Eve! Can we talk?’ - from Bad Girls of the Bible

Ten of the Bible’s best-known femmes fatales parade across the pages of Bad Girls of the Bible with situations that sound oh-so-familiar.

Eve had food issues. Potiphar’s Wife and Delilah had man trouble. Lot’s Wife and Michal couldn’t let go of the past, Sapphira couldn’t let go of money, and Jezebel couldn’t let go of anything. Yet the Woman at the Well had her thirst quenched at last, while Rahab and the Sinful Woman left their sordid histories behind. Let these Bad Girls show you why studying the Bible has never been more fun!


Click for more detail about Bailey's Cafe by Gloria Naylor Bailey’s Cafe

by Gloria Naylor
Vintage Books (Aug 31, 1993)
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Set in a diner where the food isn’t very good and the ambience veers between heaven and hell, this bestselling novel from the author of Mama Day and The Women of Brewster Place is a feast for the senses and the spirit. "A virtuoso orchestration of survival, suffering, courage and humor."—New York Times Book Review.


Click for more detail about Balancing Act by Anita Bunkley Balancing Act

by Anita Bunkley
Dutton (Jul 01, 1997)
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When a chemical explosion in a facility owned by her employer rocks her hometown of Flatwoods, Texas, Elise Jeffries is torn between professional ethics and personal loyalty to her childhood friends."


Click for more detail about Ballerina Dreams: From Orphan to Dancer (Step Into Reading, Step 4) by Michaela and Elaine Deprince Ballerina Dreams: From Orphan to Dancer (Step Into Reading, Step 4)

by Michaela and Elaine Deprince
Random House Books for Young Readers (Oct 14, 2014)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 7 - 9 years
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Perfect for newly independent readers—the amazing true story of Michaela DePrince, one of America’s top ballerinas.

At the age of three, Michaela DePrince found a photo of a ballerina that changed her life. She was living in an orphanage in Sierra Leone at the time, but was soon adopted by a family and brought to America. Michaela never forgot the photo of the dancer she once saw, and quickly decided to make her dream of becoming a ballerina come true. She has been dancing ever since and is now a principal dancer in New York City and has been featured in the ballet documentary First Position, as well as Dancing with the Stars, Good Morning America, and Oprah magazine.

Young readers will love learning about this inspiring ballerina in this uplifting and informative leveled reader. This Step 4 Step into Reading book is for newly independent readers who read simple sentences with confidence.


Click for more detail about Barbara Jordan by James Haskins Barbara Jordan

by James Haskins
Dial Books for Young Readers (Jan 01, 1978)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A biography of the Congresswoman from Texas, the first black woman ever to be elected to that office from the South.


Click for more detail about Barbeque’n With Bobby by Bobby Seale Barbeque’n With Bobby

by Bobby Seale
Knopf (Jun 01, 1988)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Southern & Western Style Barbeque Recipes Veggie-Grill & LowFat Heart Smart Recipies including Sauces, Barbeque BASTE MARINADES, Side Dishes, & BobbyQue Quick recipies All by & with Bobby Seale’s 50 years recipe-perfected pit-smoke & pit-grilling Methodology


Click for more detail about Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times by Karen Grigsby Bates Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times

by Karen Grigsby Bates
Doubleday (Dec 30, 1996)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Some call it polite behavior,or good manners.  Others call it proper breeding, but to most African  Americans its simply called "home training."  Now in Basic Black, authors  Karen Grigsby Bates and Karen E. Hudson offer a  modern guide for gracious  living.

Contrary to the more traditional etiquette books  that most African Americans may find stodgy,  off-putting, and culturally alien, Basic  Black is for real people who live  real lives—and addresses many of the  issues of a growing black middle class who want to  live riche without seeming  noveau. Straightforward,  user-friendly and illustrated with line drawings,  Basic Black includes all the  information any well-mannered person would want to know  about the social rites of passage (marriage, birth,  christening, death), the new corporate workplace  (standard work issues and the more delicate issue  of race and its impact in an integrated  workplace), various occasions (having guests or being a  guest at one’s summer home, etc.), and everyday  rules and rituals that make living in hectic times a  little easier.

For singles and  families alike, Basic Black  takes the mystery out of conventional etiquette and  will arm the reader with the ability to be  comfortable and confident in just about any situation.


Click for more detail about Basketball Jones by E. Lynn Harris Basketball Jones

by E. Lynn Harris
Knopf (Jan 27, 2009)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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E. Lynn Harris has wowed and seduced more than three million readers with the wicked drama and undeniable heart in his novels. Now he’s back with another winner sure to top the bestseller lists—a rip-roaring tale of sex, secrets, betrayal . . . and blackmail.

Aldridge James “AJ” Richardson is living the good life. He has a gorgeous town house in always-flavorful New Orleans, plenty of frequent-flier miles from jet-setting around the country on a whim, and an MBA—but he’s never had to work a regular job. He owes it all to his longtime lover, Dray Jones. Dray Jones the rich and famous NBA star. They fell in love in college when AJ was hired to tutor Dray, a freshman on the basketball team. But Dray knew if he wanted to make it to the big time, he must juggle his public image and his private desires. Built on a deep, abiding love, their hidden relationship sustains them both, but when Dray’s teammates begin to ask insinuating questions about AJ, Dray puts their doubts to rest by marrying Judi, a beautiful and ambitious woman. Judi knows nothing about Dray’s “other life.” Or does she?
In Basketball Jones, E. Lynn Harris explores the consequences of loving someone who is forced to conform to the rules society demands its public heroes follow. Filled with nonstop twists and turns, it will keep readers riveted from the first page to the last.


Click for more detail about Basketball Jones by E. Lynn Harris Basketball Jones

by E. Lynn Harris
Anchor (Jan 05, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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AJ Richardson is living the good life. Thanks to his longtime lover, NBA star Dray Jones, he has a gorgeous townhouse in New Orleans, plenty of frequent-flier miles, and an MBA he’s never had to use. Built on a deep and abiding love, their hidden relationship sustains them both. But when Dray’s teammates begin to ask insinuating questions, Dray puts their doubts to rest by marrying Judi, a beautiful and ambitious woman. Judi knows nothing about Dray’s “other life.” Or does she?
 
In Basketball Jones, E. Lynn Harris explores the consequences of loving someone who is desperate to conform. Filled with nonstop twists and turns, it will keep readers riveted from the first page to the last.


Click for more detail about Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America; Sixth Revised Edition by Lerone Bennett Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America; Sixth Revised Edition

by Lerone Bennett
Penguin Books (Jul 01, 1993)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Traces black history from its origins in western Africa, through the transatlantic journey and slavery, the Reconstruction period, the Jim Crow era, and the civil rights movement, to life in the 1990s. Reprint. 35,000 first printing. $20,000 ad/promo.


Click for more detail about Behind Closed Doors by Madeline Hampton Behind Closed Doors

by Madeline Hampton
AuthorHouse (Jun 23, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Maiyanah Milton is a chic, young, beautiful reporter with a caring heart. When she throws her friend a surprise party at the local UAW, she’s the one who gets surprised. The magnetic pull she feels for the handsome stranger obviously down on his luck, is unexpected and has her second guessing herself. From the moment Javon Miller first laid eyes on Yani, she had consumed his every thought. The strong attraction he feels for her is shocking but he soon realizes she’s more than just another pretty face. They become fast friends and Jay struggles to suppress his growing feelings for Yani. Will Jay’s feelings for Yani risk their friendship or will Yani succumb to her own feelings for the sexy truck driver who’d charmed his way into her heart.


Click for more detail about Behold the Dreamers: A Novel by Imbolo Mbue Behold the Dreamers: A Novel

by Imbolo Mbue
Knopf (Aug 23, 2016)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Imbolo Mbue’s The Longings of Jende Jonga one of two books to earn $1 Million+ advances at the Frankfurt Book Fair read more; “Frankfurt Book Fair 2014: Two Debuts Draw Seven Figures”

For fans of Americanah and The Lowland comes a debut novel about an immigrant couple striving to get ahead as the Great Recession hits home. With profound empathy, keen insight, and sly wit, Imbolo Mbue has written a compulsively readable story about marriage, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream.

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at their summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ facades.

Then the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Desperate to keep Jende’s job, which grows more tenuous by the day, the Jongas try to protect the Edwardses from certain truths, even as their own marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

Advance praise for Behold the Dreamers

“A beautiful novel about one African couple starting a new life in a new land, Behold the Dreamers will teach you as much about the promise and pitfalls of life in the United States as about the immigrants who come here in search of the so-called American dream.”—Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Enrique’s Journey


Click for more detail about Beloved by Toni Morrison Beloved

by Toni Morrison
Vintage Books (Jun 08, 2004)
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Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.


Click for more detail about Beloved Sisters And Loving Friends: Letters From Rebecca Primus Of Royal Oak, Maryland, And Addie Brown Of Hartford, Connecticut, 1854-1868 by Farah Jasmine Griffin Beloved Sisters And Loving Friends: Letters From Rebecca Primus Of Royal Oak, Maryland, And Addie Brown Of Hartford, Connecticut, 1854-1868

by Farah Jasmine Griffin
One World/Ballantine (Jan 30, 2001)
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Rebecca Primus was the daughter of a prominent black Connecticut family who was sent south during Reconstruction by the Hartford Freedmen’s Aid Society to teach newly freed slaves. Addie Brown was a domestic servant in Connecticut and New York City—as well as Rebecca’s best friend and romantic companion. These two spirited, intelligent women wrote letters in this astonishing, historically priceless volume. Beloved Sisters and Loving Friends breaks the long silence surrounding the lives of black women in America and reveals an amazing world until now unknown.

"I have today put my second class into the third Reader," wrote Rebecca from the school in Maryland’s Eastern Shore that was later to bear her name. "I hear the President Johnson expect to be in Hartford the 26th," exclaimed Addie. "I wish some of them present him with a ball through his head."

Shared passion, ambitions, frustrations, politics, gossip, all the fascinating minutiae of daily life, give these unique letters extraordinary flavor and richness—and offer us an unprecedented piece of American history.


Click for more detail about Benton’s Row by Frank Yerby Benton’s Row

by Frank Yerby
Dell Publishing (Mar 01, 1977)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Click for more detail about Best African American Essays: 2009 by Gerald Early Best African American Essays: 2009

by Gerald Early
Bantam (Jan 13, 2009)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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This exciting collection introduces the first-ever annual anthology of writing by African Americans. Here are remarkable essays on a variety of subjects informed by—but not necessarily about—the experience of blackness, as seen through the eyes of some of our finest writers.

From art, entertainment, and science to technology, sexuality, and current events—including the battle for the Democratic nomination for the presidency—the essays in this inaugural anthology offer the compelling perspectives of a number of well-known, distinguished writers, among them Malcolm Gladwell, Jamaica Kincaid, James McBride, and Walter Mosley, and a number of other writers who are just beginning to be heard.

Selected from a diverse array of respected publications such as the New Yorker, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Slate, and National Geographic, the essays gathered here are about making history, living everyday life—and everything in between. In “Fired,” author and professor Emily Bernard wrestles with the pain of a friendship inexplicably ended. Kenneth McClane writes hauntingly of the last days of his parents’ lives in “Driving.” Journalist Brian Palmer shares “The Last Thoughts of an Iraq War Embed.” Jamaica Kincaid describes her oddly charged relationship with that quintessentially British, Wordsworthian flower in “Dances with Daffodils,” and writer Hawa Allan depicts the forces of race and rivalry as two catwalk icons face off in “When Tyra Met Naomi.” A venue in which African American writers can branch out from traditionally “black” subjects, Best African American Essays features a range of gifted voices exploring the many issues and experiences, joys and trials, that, as human beings, we all share.


Please click the "Behind the Book" link for contributor’s bios.


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about Best African American Fiction 2010 by Dorothy Sterling and Chris Abani Best African American Fiction 2010

by Dorothy Sterling and Chris Abani
One World (Dec 29, 2009)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Bursting with energy and innovation, the second volume in the annual anthology collects the year’s best short stories by African American authors.
 
Dealing with all aspects of life from the pain of war to the warmth of family, the superb tales in Best African American Fiction 2010 are a tribute to the stunning imaginations thriving in today’s African American literary community. Chosen by this year’s guest editor, the legendary Nikki Giovanni, these works delve into international politics and personal histories, the clash of armies and of generations—and come from such publications as The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Kenyon Review, and Callaloo.

In "Ghosts," Edwidge Danticat portrays an aspiring radio talk show host in Bel Air—which some call the Baghdad of Haiti—who is brutally scapegoated, and in "Three Letters, One Song & a Refrain," Chris Abani gives a searing account of the violent life of a thirteen-year-old member of a Burmese hill tribe. Jeffery Renard Allen dramatizes the mysterious arrival in Harlem of a child’s hated grandmother, and Wesley Brown fictionalizes the life of the great saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, with cameo appearances by Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, and other immortals. John Edgar Wideman contributes dense and textured "Microstories" that interweave everything from taboo sex acts to Richard Wright’s last works to murder in a modern family. Desiree Cooper depicts a debutante from Atlanta moving to Detroit, "a city where there’s no place to hide," while in "Been Meaning to Say" by Amina Gautier, a widower gets an unforgettable holiday visit from his resentful daughter.

From Africa to Philadelphia, from the era of segregation to the age of Obama, the times and places, people and events in Best African American Fiction 2010 reveal inconvenient truths through incomparable fiction.


Click for more detail about Best African American Fiction: 2009 by E. Lynn Harris and Gerald Early Best African American Fiction: 2009

by E. Lynn Harris and Gerald Early
Bantam (Jan 13, 2009)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Introducing the first volume in an exciting new annual anthology featuring the year's most outstanding fiction by some of today's finest African American writers.

From stories that depict black life in times gone by to those that address contemporary issues, this inaugural volume gathers the very best recent African American fiction. Created during a period of electrifying political dialogue and cultural, social, and economic change that is sure to captivate the imaginations of writers and readers for years to come, these short stories and novel excerpts explore a rich variety of subjects. But most of all, they represent exceptional artistry.

Here youill find work by both established names and up-and-comers, ranging from Walter Dean Myers to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Mat Johnson, and Junot Díaz . They write about subjects as diverse as the complexities of black middle-class life and the challenges of interracial relationships, a modern-day lynching in the South and a young musician's coming-of-age during the Harlem Renaissance. What unites these stories, whether set in suburbia, in eighteenth-century New York City, or on a Caribbean island that is supposed to be "brown skin paradise," is their creators' passionate engagement with matters of the human heart.

Masterful and engaging, this first volume of Best African American Fiction features stories you'll want to savor, share, and return to again and again.


Click for more detail about Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates Between The World And Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Spiegel & Grau (Jul 01, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Debuted #1 New York Times Best Seller • Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer
“This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”
 
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
 
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Beyond Glory: Joe Louis Vs. Max Schmeling, And A World On The Brink by David Margolick Beyond Glory: Joe Louis Vs. Max Schmeling, And A World On The Brink

by David Margolick
Vintage (Oct 10, 2006)
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Nothing in the annals of sports has aroused more passion than the heavyweight fights in New York in 1936 and 1938 between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling — bouts that symbolized the hopes, hatreds, and fears of a world moving toward total war. Acclaimed journalist David Margolick takes us into the careers of both men — a black American and a Nazi German hero — and depicts the extraordinary buildup to their legendary 1938 rematch. Vividly capturing the outpouring of emotion that the two fighters brought forth, Margolick brilliantly illuminates the cultural and social divisions that they came to represent.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Beyond The Limbo Silence by Elizabeth Nunez Beyond The Limbo Silence

by Elizabeth Nunez
One World/Ballantine (Jul 01, 2003)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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“[A] haunting story . . . Bears witness to the struggles of an African Caribbean woman as she seeks to find her place in America without selling her soul.” –BEBE MOORE CAMPBELL, Author of Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine

When Sara Edgehill is given a scholarship to leave Trinidad and attend a college in Wisconsin, she is thrilled. America, the one she has seen in the movies, is a land of dreams, prosperity, and equality. Not like Trinidad, where her parents cast disappointed glances her way because she wasn’t born with lighter-colored skin. But when Sara leaves her island’s brilliant green fields and warm sparkling waters for the pale cornfields of the Midwest, the ties to her home and her past grip her as strongly as America’s cold, winter winds.

For as soon as Sara sets foot in her new home, she must make tough decisions. Wanting desperately to fit in, she begins to understand that in America, the color lines run deeper than they did even in Trinidad. And as Sara forms ties with two other West Indian students–the beguiling, haunted Courtney and the passionate, vivacious Sam–she is irrevocably pulled into the very center of America’s exploding civil rights movement.


Click for more detail about Bibsy by Brenda Ross Bibsy

by Brenda Ross
AuthorHouse (Jan 20, 2015)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Bibsy’s life changes forever when she falls in love after a chance meeting in a Harlem bar in 1952. The tranquil, free-spirited lifestyle she casually enters into with Jake Tucker collides with intractable memories of a difficult past, a new community fated for development and heartbreaking loss. This multifaceted and riveting historical novel gives greater insight into the complexity of African American lives. With New York State’s major road and bridge construction in the background, rural enclaves become casualties of suburbanization.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Big Girls Don't Cry by Connie Briscoe Big Girls Don’t Cry

by Connie Briscoe
One World/Ballantine (Jul 01, 1997)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"[An] empathetic portrait of a modern woman wrestling with issues of love, work, and family obligations."—Publishers Weekly

Born into a comfortable Washington, D.C., home, Naomi Jefferson leads a life that is only occasionally marred by racism. As a teenager in the 1960s, her biggest concern centers around virginity. But all that changes when her older brother, Joshua—who seems destined for greatness—is killed in a tragic car accident on his way to a civil rights demonstration. Now the rift between black and white America becomes much too personal, and Naomi embarks on a journey to honor her brother’s legacy—and to find herself.

This brilliant new novel, from the bestselling author of Sisters & Lovers, traces three decades in the life of a woman readers will not soon forget, as she searches for love and purpose in a harsh often unforgiving world.

"Contains an infectious hope and optimism."
—Los Angeles Times


Click for more detail about Big Machine: A Novel by Victor Lavalle Big Machine: A Novel

by Victor Lavalle
Spiegel & Grau (Aug 11, 2009)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A fiendishly imaginative comic novel about doubt, faith, and the monsters we carry within us.


Ricky Rice was as good as invisible: a middling hustler, recovering dope fiend, and traumatized suicide cult survivor running out the string of his life as a porter at a bus depot in Utica, New York. Until one day a letter appears, summoning him to the frozen woods of Vermont. There, Ricky is inducted into a band of paranormal investigators comprised of former addicts and petty criminals, all of whom had at some point in their wasted lives heard The Voice: a mysterious murmur on the wind, a disembodied shout, or a whisper in an empty room that may or may not be from God.

Evoking the disorienting wonder of writers like Haruki Murakami and Kevin Brockmeier, but driven by Victor LaValle’s perfectly pitched comic sensibility Big Machine is a mind-rattling literary adventure about sex, race, and the eternal struggle between faith and doubt.


Click for more detail about Bill Clinton and Black America by Dewayne Wickham Bill Clinton and Black America

by Dewayne Wickham
One World/Ballantine (Jan 15, 2002)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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While white Americans were evenly divided about Bill Clinton’s impeachment ninety percent of African-Americans opposed it. Now from a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists comes a groundbreaking new book that explores the deep and unique connection between the former president and the black community–in the words of journalists, celebrities, academics, and other thoughtful Americans.

Going well beyond mere TV punditry, luminaries such as Dr. Mary Frances Berry, Bill Gray, Kweisi Mfume, and Alice Randall, as well as ordinary citizens, offer insight into why African-Americans for the first time saw themselves in the soul of a president–Whether it was the large African-American presence in his administration, his perceived legal persecutions, his personal style, or his lasting yet tumultuous marriage–and why that kinship has sweeping cultural implications. Bill Clinton’s actions, associations, and essence are all analyzed in light of their effect on and appeal to this crucial constituency.

Much-awaited and long overdue, Bill Clinton and Black America features fascinating, provocative interpretations of the special relationship between the black people and this extraordinary man who, when his presidency ended, moved his office from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue–White America’s most famous address–to Harlem’s 125th Street–the heart of Black America.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Billy by Albert French Billy

by Albert French
Penguin Books (Feb 01, 1995)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Albert French lights up the monstrous face of American racism in this harrowing tale of ten-year-old Billy Lee Turner, who is convicted of and executed for murdering a white girl in Banes County, Mississippi in 1937. Billy is about the deaths of two children, one girl, one boy, the girl’s death an accident, the boy’s a murder perpetrated by the state. Though the events Billy records occur during the 1930s in a small Mississippi town, the range of characters, emotions, and social forces, and the inexorable march to doom of a ten-year-old boy and the society that dooms him, catapult the story far beyond a specific time and location. Narrated by an anonymous observer in the rich accents of the region, constructed in a series of powerfully lean vignettes, Billy imparts an intensity that is nearly unbearable. It is a tour de force of dramatic compression. Albert French evokes with cinematic vividness the picking fields and town streets; the heat, the dust, the unrelenting sun, the poverty of 1930s Mississippi. High-spirited Billy; his mysterious and passionate mother, Cinder; his friend, Gumpy; and other characters black and white are realized with depth and authority. Told in classic, unrelieved terms yet with remarkable compassion and restraint, their story is an unsentimental and ultimately heart-rending vision of racial injustice. Billy is, quite simply, one of the most powerfully affecting novels to come along in years.


Click for more detail about Billy the Great by Rosa Guy Billy the Great

by Rosa Guy
Delacorte Books for Young Readers (Aug 01, 1992)
Format: Library Binding, Age Range: 
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Billy’s parents have always decided what is right for him, but when new neighbors move in next door, he begins to demonstrate that he has a mind of his own. By the author of My Love, My Love.


Click for more detail about Birth of a Nation: A Comic Novel by Aaron McGruder Birth of a Nation: A Comic Novel

by Aaron McGruder
Crown (Jul 20, 2004)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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This scathingly hilarious political satire—produced from a collaboration of three of our funniest humorists—answers the burning question: Would anyone care if East St. Louis seceded from the Union?

East St. Louis, Illinois (“the inner city without an outer city”), is an impoverished town, so poor that Fred Fredericks, its idealistic mayor, starts off Election Day by collecting the city’s trash in his own minivan. But the mayor believes in the power of democracy and rallies his fellow citizens to the polls for the presidential election, only to find hundreds of them turned away for trumped-up reasons. Even sweet old Miss Jackson—not to mention the mayor himself—is denied the vote because her name turns up on a bogus list of felons. The national election hinges on Illinois’s electoral votes and, as a result of the mass disenfranchisement of East St. Louis, a radical right-wing junta led by a dim-witted Texas governor seizes the Oval Office.

Prodded by shady black billionaire and old friend John Roberts, Fredericks devises a radical plan of protest: East St. Louis will secede from the Union. Roberts opens an “offshore” bank (albeit in the heart of the U.S.) to finance the newly liberated country, and suddenly East St. Louis becomes the Switzerland of the American heartland, flush with money. It also begins to attract a motley circus of idealistic young militants, OPEC-funded hitmen, CIA operatives, tabloid reporters, and AWOL black servicemen eager to protect and serve the new nation.

Problems set in almost immediately: Controversies rage over the name and national anthem of the new country (they decide on the Republic of Blackland with an anthem sung to the tune of the theme from Good Times), and local thug Roscoe becomes a warlord and turns his gang into a paramilitary force. When the U.S. military begins to move in, Fredericks is forced to decide whether his protest is worth taking all the way.

Birth of a Nation starts with a scenario drawn from the botched election of 2000 and spins it into a brilliantly absurd work of sharply pointed satire. Along the way the authors lay into a host of hot social and cultural issues—skewering white supremacists, black nationalists, and everyone in between—drawing real blood and real laughs in equal measure in this riotous send-up of American politics.


Click for more detail about Bittersweet by Freddie Lee Johnson III Bittersweet

by Freddie Lee Johnson III
One World/Ballantine (Jan 02, 2002)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Clifford. Victor. Nathan. Three brothers as different as they come. Three lives that veer unexpectedly off course. One bond that heals them all. . . .

Clifford sees his life as picture-perfect: two wonderful young sons, a fast-track career, and a solid marriage. But fresh back from a family vacation in Florida, Clifford is hit with a stunning blow when his wife Demetria declares that she is leaving him for “true love, excitement, and fun”–an announcement that throws him into an uncontrollable tailspin of denial.

With one failed marriage under his belt, and a precious daughter his ex-wife bars him from seeing, Victor is no expert in romantic love. His philosophy? The only way to keep a woman from squeezing every last drop from you is to get out before things get too deep. But lately Victor hasn’t been feeling quite like himself–especially since he’s been falling for Edie and her little girl. Seems like he spends more time looking out for her then he does staking out new booty calls.

Even in the face of tragedy and travail, Nathan, a minister, remains hopeful. His marriage is a paragon of Christian ideals, his loving wife Brenda is his soul mate and support. But it wasn’t always that way. Nathan has left some ugly wreckage in his wake before finding God. Now he and Brenda are truly blessed with a solid family and an adoring congregation. Then, a troubled divorcée tempts Nathan–and threatens the sacred vows he swore to uphold.

While Clifford, Victor, and Nathan struggle with the unexpected–faltering marriages, breaking hearts, and torn childhoods that threaten to repeat themselves in the lives of their children–each will discover the true redemptive power of a brother’s love.

By turns fierce and passionate, tender and humorous, this wise novel blasts the stereotype that black men’s ties to their families are tenuous at best. Freddie Lee Johnson III tells a refreshing story of three complex men who fight to do right by their families–both the ones they created, and the one they were born into. The result is Bittersweet.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Black Child by Peter Magubane Black Child

by Peter Magubane
Knopf (Mar 12, 1982)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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1982, First Edition, Large Paperback, 109 pages


Click for more detail about Black Gold of the Sun: Searching for Home in Africa and Beyond by Ekow Eshun Black Gold of the Sun: Searching for Home in Africa and Beyond

by Ekow Eshun
Vintage (Jul 10, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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At the age of thirty-three, Ekow Eshun—born in London to African-born parents—travels to Ghana in search of his roots. He goes from Accra, Ghana’s cosmopolitan capital city, to the storied slave forts of Elmina, and on to the historic warrior kingdom of Asante. During his journey, Eshun uncovers a long-held secret about his lineage that will compel him to question everything he knows about himself and where he comes from. From the London suburbs of his childhood to the twenty-first century African metropolis, Eshun’s is a moving chronicle of one man’s search for home, and of the pleasures and pitfalls of fashioning an identity in these vibrant contemporary worlds.


Click for more detail about Black Ice by Lorene Cary Black Ice

by Lorene Cary
Vintage (Feb 04, 1992)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In 1972 Lorene Cary, a bright, ambitious black teenager from Philadelphia, was transplanted into the formerly all-white, all-male environs of the elite St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire, where she became a scholarship student in a "boot camp" for future American leaders.  Like any good student, she was determined to succeed.  But Cary was also determined to succeed without selling out.  This wonderfully frank and perceptive memoir describes the perils and ambiguities of that double role, in which failing calculus and winning a student election could both be interpreted as betrayals of one’s skin.  Black Ice is also a universally recognizable document of a woman’s adolescence; it is, as Houston Baker says, "a journey into selfhood that resonates with sober reflection, intellignet passion, and joyous love."


Click for more detail about Black Maria by Kevin Young Black Maria

by Kevin Young
Knopf (Mar 20, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Kevin Young follows his acclaimed exploration of the blues in Jelly Roll with another playful riff on a vital art form, giving us a film noir in verse. Black Maria–the title is a slang term for a police van as well as a hearse–is a twisting tale of suspicion, passion, mystery, and the city. Young channels the world of detective movies, picking up its lingo and dark glamour in five “reels” of poetry–the adventures of a “soft-boiled” private eye, known as A.K.A. Jones, and an ingenue turned femme fatale, Delilah Redbone, who’s come to town from down south (“Mama bent till dark / tending rows to send / Me to school . . . I wanted / To head on & hitch . . . strike it / Big”). We follow Jones and Delilah through a maze of aliases and ambushes, sex and suspicions, fast talk and hard luck, in Shadowtown where noir characters abound. The Killer, The Gunsel, The Hack, The Director, The Champ, and The Snitch are among the local luminaries and beautiful losers who mingle with Jones and his elusive lady as they stalk one another through the scenes of the poet’s dazzling “treatment.” Charming, funky, bleak, humorous, picaresque, and full of pathos, Black Maria is brimming with the originality and stark lyricism we have come to expect from this remarkable poet.

When we met her first request:
Got a light?
*
I only had dark
so gave her that instead.
*
Ashtray full of butts
& maybes.
*
The sound of her heels down the hall
to me means reveille.

(from “Stills”)

Click on the poem titles below to hear Kevin Young read from Black Maria.


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about Black Men: In Their Own Words by Patricia M. Hinds and Susan L. Taylor Black Men: In Their Own Words

by Patricia M. Hinds and Susan L. Taylor
Crown (May 14, 2002)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From ESSENCE Books comes an exquisitely designed collection of essays from some of today’s most influential, respected, and recognized Black men, who speak candidly and eloquently about their lives and passions.

Black Men: In Their Own Words is an inspiring look at men of color who have reached the top of their chosen professions. Beautifully illustrated with striking photographs, it features prominent Black men speaking openly about the forces that have shaped their lives—from their friendships, passions, loves, and family relationships to racism and historical legacies.

A unique who’s who of contemporary African-American history and culture, Black Men: In Their Own Words is a fascinating compilation of personal testimonies from almost a hundred men. Filled with rich and powerful reflections from leading civil-rights activists and news-making politicians (Julian Bond, Jesse Jackson, Jr.), artists and entertainers (Samuel L. Jackson, Damon Wayans, Wynton Marsalis), sports stars (Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), media stalwarts (Ed Bradley, Tavis Smiley), and powerful thinkers and businessmen (Omar Wasow, Alvin Poussaint, Russell Simmons), this book’s thoughtful, enlightening stories and dynamic photographs will evoke feelings of pride and purpose in every reader—male or female.

A wonderful combination of poignant writing and photographic artistry, Black Men: In Their Own Words is a deeply felt and engaging book that acknowledges the past, celebrates today’s accomplishments, and salutes the future of Black men in all walks of life.


Click for more detail about Black Power : The Politics of Liberation by Kwame Ture Black Power : The Politics of Liberation

by Kwame Ture
Vintage (Nov 10, 1992)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In 1967, this revolutionary work exposed the depths of systemic racism in this country and provided a radical political framework for reform: true and lasting social change would only be accomplished through unity among African-Americans and their independence from the preexisting order. An eloquent document of the civil rights movement that remains a work of profound social relevance 25 years after it was first published.


Click for more detail about Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins and Elizabeth Gardner Hines Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire

by Carol Jenkins and Elizabeth Gardner Hines
One World (Jan 25, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The grandson of slaves, born into poverty in 1892 in the Deep South, A. G. Gaston died more than a century later with a fortune worth well over $130 million and a business empire spanning communications, real estate, and insurance. Gaston was, by any measure, a heroic figure whose wealth and influence bore comparison to J. P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie. Here, for the first time, is the story of the life of this extraordinary pioneer, told by his niece and grandniece, the award-winning television journalist Carol Jenkins and her daughter Elizabeth Gardner Hines.

Born at a time when the bitter legacy of slavery and Reconstruction still poisoned the lives of black Americans, Gaston was determined to make a difference for himself and his people. His first job, after serving in the celebrated all-black regiment during World War I, bound him to the near-slavery of an Alabama coal mine—but even here Gaston saw not only hope but opportunity. He launched a business selling lunches to fellow miners, soon established a rudimentary bank—and from then on there was no stopping him. A kind of black Horatio Alger, Gaston let a single, powerful question be his guide: What do our people need now? His success flowed from an uncanny genius for knowing the answer.

Combining rich family lore with a deep knowledge of American social and economic history, Carol Jenkins and Elizabeth Hines unfold Gaston’s success story against the backdrop of a century of crushing racial hatred and bigotry. Gaston not only survived the hardships of being black during the Depression, he flourished, and by the 1950s he was ruling a Birmingham-based business empire. When the movement for civil rights swept through the South in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Gaston provided critical financial support to many activists.

At the time of his death in 1996, A. G. Gaston was one of the wealthiest black men in America, if not the wealthiest. But his legacy extended far beyond the monetary. He was a man who had proved it was possible to overcome staggering odds and make a place for himself as a leader, a captain of industry, and a far-sighted philanthropist. Writing with grace and power, Jenkins and Hines bring their distinguished ancestor fully to life in the pages of this book. Black Titan is the story of a man who created his own future—and in the process, blazed a future for all black businesspeople in America.


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about Black Widow: A Novel (Nikki Turner Original) by Nikki Turner Black Widow: A Novel (Nikki Turner Original)

by Nikki Turner
One World/Ballantine (Apr 29, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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#1 bestselling author Nikki Turner returns with an explosive new novel about a woman at an emotional crossroads–and the men left in her wake.

Isis Tatum knows firsthand the way love can mess up a person. After all, she saw her mother drive a truck through the home of her father’s mistress before killing her dad. And ever since Isis was a teenager, her love life has been a series of disasters: Her first sweetheart was executed by the state of Virginia, and her next lover was sent to jail for murder. Now Isis is a successful jewelry designer, but she remains a failure with men. When she meets Logic, a Las Vegas high roller who treats her like a princess, Isis reckons she’s finally struck gold–literally. Logic sees to it that her custom pieces of jewelry are seen on the hottest rap stars and pro athletes.

But when this Mr. Right ends up in jail too, Isis starts to believe that she’s cursed, that she’s a true Black Widow. Always one to roll with the punches, she embraces her life and walks bravely down all its twisted paths, taking her business to unprecedented heights while letting the men who dare to get involved with her take their chances.


“Few writers working in the field today bring the drama quite as dramatically as Nikki Turner. . . . [She’s] a master at weaving juicy, ’hood-rich sagas of revenge, regret, and redemption.”
–Vibe.com

“Turner [takes] street literature to the next level, further proving that she is indeed ‘The Queen of Hip-Hop Fiction.’ ”
–UrbanPublicity.com


Click for more detail about Black Wings & Blind Angels: Poems by Sapphire Black Wings & Blind Angels: Poems

by Sapphire
Vintage (Sep 12, 2000)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Click for more detail about Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation by Mari Evans Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation

by Mari Evans
Anchor (Aug 17, 1984)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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This unique volume provides each writers reflection on her work, an evaluation of that writer by two perceptive critics, and detailed biographical and bibliographical data.  Included are Maya Angelou, Toni Cade Bambara, Nikki Giovanni, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and ten other outstanding writers.


Click for more detail about Black, White & Jewish: Autobiography Of A Shifting Self by Rebecca Walker Black, White & Jewish: Autobiography Of A Shifting Self

by Rebecca Walker
Knopf (Jan 08, 2002)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The Civil Rights movement brought author Alice Walker and lawyer Mel Leventhal together, and in 1969 their daughter, Rebecca, was born. Some saw this unusual copper-colored girl as an outrage or an oddity; others viewed her as a symbol of harmony, a triumph of love over hate. But after her parents divorced, leaving her a lonely only child ferrying between two worlds that only seemed to grow further apart, Rebecca was no longer sure what she represented. In this book, Rebecca Leventhal Walker attempts to define herself as a soul instead of a symbol—and offers a new look at the challenge of personal identity, in a story at once strikingly unique and truly universal.


Click for more detail about Black-Eyed Susans and Midnight Birds: Stories by and about Black Women by Mary Helen Washington Black-Eyed Susans and Midnight Birds: Stories by and about Black Women

by Mary Helen Washington
Anchor (Jan 01, 1990)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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This book combines in one volume two now classic short story collections.  The editor has added a new introduction and prefatory material.



"Mary Helen Washington has had a greater impact upon the formation of the canon of Afro-American literature than has any other scholar." —The New York Times Book Review


Click for more detail about Blackgammon by Heather Neff Blackgammon

by Heather Neff
One World/Ballantine (Oct 03, 2000)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A sweeping, unforgettable debut novel that traces remarkable parallel voyages of self-discovery, Blackgammon reveals the intertwined lives of two African-American women—soul sisters whose vow to stay true to one another will carry them through love, loss, and triumph on the way to finding out who they really are . . . and who they were meant to be.

After twenty-five years of self-imposed exile in Paris, legendary African American artist Chloe Emmanuel faces a daunting prospect: the chance of a triumphant return to the United States. She came to the City of Light in search of freedom . . . the freedom to paint, freedom from a love that nearly destroyed her, freedom from the racial strife in the country she once called home. Swept into the seductive world of high fashion and art gallery intrigues, Chloe finds that Paris posed its own set of challenges—the pressures of living up to her acclaimed reputation, the difficulty of expressing her feelings without a brush, the vow always to remain strong and directed, and the hope of never again allowing a man to turn her away from her dreams.

While Chloe reflects on her life, her relationships, and the meaning of her art, she begins to wonder: Is her artistic success linked to her "inability to love," as an enigmatic lover once suggested? If that is true, Chloe must somehow help her younger "sister" and closest friend, Michael Davies Northcross, who is confronting a devastating personal crisis of her own.

A distinguished African-American professor in England, married to a brilliant British scholar, Michael has modeled her life on the lies that Chloe has lived. When a visiting professor challenges not only her marriage but her reasons for staying devoted to a white man, Michael must sort through the half-truths and deceptions— and find her way back to that fragile place where real love exists.

Unwilling to sacrifice the dreams they dared to make real, Chloe and Michael are forced to the limits of their strength and independence. They must gamble everything to recapture what they have lost . . . in a dazzling game called Blackgammon.


Click for more detail about Blame It On Eve by Philana Marie Boles Blame It On Eve

by Philana Marie Boles
One World/Ballantine (Oct 01, 2002)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Shawni Baldwin has everything she has ever closed her eyes and wished for. She can wrap her arms around a devoted and very sexy fiancé, Bo Delaney, an entertainment attorney. She is living a glamorous life as a successful, jet-setting fashion model. But now, much to the dismay of her mother, Shawni has decided not to sign her next modeling contract. For beyond the pop of the flash bulb, beneath the glitzy trappings of fame and fortune, Shawni feels like just another empty doll on the runway.

As the cold war with her commanding mother silently rages on, and her overprotective brother tries not to cramp her style, Shawni starts a new career as an independent beauty and fashion consultant. But a current client, a band of gorgeous crooners known as The Gentlemen, challenges her in ways she would never have imagined. In particular, one of the singers, Zin, with his Kenneth Cole boots and Joop cologne, defines sensuality and knocks her feelings of fidelity off balance.

Suddenly there is a wedge between Shawni and her groom-to-be—and the estrangement turns a woman’s confidence into uncertainty. As her life begins to recklessly spiral out of control, Shawni is forced to confront demons she never knew she had. She asks herself a profound question: Does her sense of self, her happiness, her very existence, depend upon a man?


By turns probing and funny, searing and sweet, Blame It On Eve follows the ups and downs of a sassy new heroine as she navigates brave new emotional terrains of the heart and soul. It’s an infectious novel about independence, sisterhood, and finding the strength to be true to oneself. If you don’t like that truth, well . . . Blame It On Eve!


Click for more detail about Blanche among the Talented Tenth by Barbara Neely Blanche among the Talented Tenth

by Barbara Neely
Penguin Books (Sep 01, 1995)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The heroine of the top-selling mystery Blanche on the Lam—black domestic worker extraordinaire, accidental sleuth Blanche White—is enlisted to use her considerable wiles to discover the link between a suicide and a murder, and uncovers a web of secrets that someone may be willing to kill for.


Click for more detail about Blanche Cleans Up by Barbara Neely Blanche Cleans Up

by Barbara Neely
Viking Adult (Apr 01, 1998)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Tart-tongued and shrewd—with a keen nose for trouble—Blanche is unique in the field of amateur sleuths: a queen-sized, middle-aged black woman rooted in working-class America. Blanche sees at a glance what people, and society, are up to—especially if it’s criminal. This time, she’s filling in as cook-housekeeper to a Boston Brahmin politician and his venal wife when she becomes enmeshed in a festering canker of a scandal that moves from the Brindles’ house in Brookline (a.k.a Prozac House) to the center of her own black community in Roxbury. Hot on the trail, she encounters a love triangle with bent angles, teen pregnancy, phony spirituality, and at least one person who doesn’t mean her any good. In Blanche, BarbaraNeely has created a heroine to cheer for—and Blanche Cleans Up is a novel that will thrill not only her ardent fans and other mystery buffs, but also mainstream readers eager to explore a new neighborhood with a feisty, funny black woman as their guide.


Click for more detail about Blanche Passes Go by Barbara Neely Blanche Passes Go

by Barbara Neely
Penguin Books (Jul 01, 2001)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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Praise the Ancestors! After three years of housekeeping for Boston’s haughty elite, Blanche White is finally coming home to North Carolina for an entire summer. And like a sign from above that she’s headed in the right direction, Blanche has already lined up a date with the handsome train conductor she met somewhere between Boston and Baltimore. The summer holds lots of promise, including helping her best friend, Ardell, with her new catering business. Then, on her first night back, Blanche runs into David Palmer, the man who raped her eight years ago. The time has now come for Blanche to exact her revenge. So when a young girl is murdered and it looks as if Palmer may be involved, Blanche pursues every possible lead to help put an end to his legacy once and for all.


Click for more detail about Blind Spot by Teju Cole Blind Spot

by Teju Cole
Random House (Jun 13, 2017)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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“To look is to see only a fraction of what one is looking at. Even in the most vigilant eye, there is a blind spot. What is missing?”

When it comes to Teju Cole, the unexpected is not unfamiliar: He’s an acclaimed novelist, an influential essayist, and an internationally exhibited photographer. In Blind Spot, readers follow Cole’s inimitable artistic vision into the visual realm as he continues to refine the voice, eye, and intellectual obsessions that earned him such acclaim for Open City.

Here, journey through more than 150 of Cole’s full-color, original photos, each accompanied by his lyrical and evocative prose, forming a multimedia diary of years of near-constant travel: from a park in Berlin to a mountain range in Switzerland, a church exterior in Lagos to a parking lot in Brooklyn; landscapes, beautiful or quotidian, that inspire Cole’s memories, fantasies, and introspections. Ships in Capri remind him of the work of writers from Homer to Edna O’Brien; a hotel room in Wannsee brings back a disturbing dream about a friend’s death; a home in Tivoli evokes a transformative period of semi-blindness, after which "the photography changed… The looking changed." As exquisitely wrought as the work of Anne Carson or Chris Marker, Blind Spot is a testament to the art of seeing by one of the most powerful and original voices in contemporary literature.

Praise for Blind Spot

“[Teju] Cole’s fiction and essays are incredible, unexpected, and beautiful; he’s also a spectacular photographer. His first collection of photographs, each image accompanied by his stunning prose, promises to show us the world through his eyes, which always seem to see things in a brilliant new light.”—Lisa Lucas, National Book Foundation

“Once you get a taste of [Cole’s] writing, you can quickly (and hungrily) burn through what’s available. Thankfully, Blind Spot will indulge the senses by combining both of Cole’s loves in this . . . full-color collection of Cole’s photos, accompanied by his prose.”—The Week

“Many artists have felt the lure of juxtaposing photographs and text, but few have succeeded as well as Teju Cole. He approaches this problem with an understanding of the limitations and glories of each medium.”—Stephen Shore, author of Uncommon Places

Praise for Teju Cole

“The places [Teju Cole] can go, you feel, are just about limitless.”—The New York Times

“[Cole is] one of the most vibrant voices in contemporary writing.”—LA Times

“There’s almost no subject Cole can’t come at from a startling angle. . . . His [is a] prickly, eclectic, roaming mind.”—The Boston Globe

“To read, see, and travel with him is to be changed by the questions that challenge him.”—Publishers Weekly

“In following [Cole’s] wanderings, I have often a sense of beholding something more delicate . . . but also more ordinary and more heartbreaking than the eye can typically bear. [His] photographs . . . insist on intimacy, transparency, confrontation.”—Taiye Selasi, author of Ghana Must Go


Click for more detail about Blinking Red Light by Mister Mann Frisby Blinking Red Light

by Mister Mann Frisby
Riverhead Trade (May 04, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The hardcore hip-hop debut novel from a natural born storyteller.

"I had all this s-racing through my head. I figured that if the pigs was asking about Dex then they had to know he was rolling with somebody which meant they was going to be looking for me too…"

Blinking Red Light is a story of temptation and betrayal, where sex looks easy but the stakes are way higher than the players could have known.

When Dexter and a longtime friend come across a sweet hook up, it’s a deal neither can refuse: they are paid large sums of money to sleep with women with no strings attached… part of a blackmail ring that quickly backfires. Soon the two are caught in a predicament with lethal consequences. Twists and turns come flying at them full speed from the rugged streets of North Philly to the eerie back roads of North Carolina.

Blinking Red Light is fast-paced and intriguing, from its opening line to the shocking conclusion——-a thrilling ride about the madness that ensues when easy money comes a man’s way.


Click for more detail about Bliss: A Novel by Danyel Smith Bliss: A Novel

by Danyel Smith
Crown (Jul 12, 2005)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Danyel Smith is one of the most acclaimed music journalists of her generation, a prose stylist who “writes with music in her language” (Quincy Jones). In Bliss, a thrillingly sensual tale drenched with love and music, Smith dives deep into an intriguing set of characters facing life-changing choices in the swirl of the music industry at its decadent peak.

At a glossy gathering on Paradise Island, record exec Eva Glenn—soulful, sexy, powerful, and possibly pregnant—is hosting a comeback showcase for her singing sensation Sunny Addison, a barefoot diva with a poet’s heart and the voice of a lion. At the event’s high-strung peak, however, Eva begins to sink beneath the waves of anxiety washing over her—anxiety about a confusing sexual triangle, a career at a crossroads, and choices to be made about her possible pregnancy—and decides, in a blink, to flee. She leaves Paradise for the petite, pastoral island of Cat, accompanied by her sometime-lover D’Artagnan Addison, an earnestly crazy mystic looking for answers of his own. What begins as an idyllic break quickly turns into an intense sojourn that brings Eva to terms with the crises closing in on her.

Smith casts a wittily skeptical eye on the absurd drama of the music industry, but infuses every page with an infectious, bracing, unashamed passion for the power of pop. Her language matches the spirit of the music she writes about, echoing everything from throaty blues shouts and hip hop menace to the transcendent joy of a perfect R & B love song. This is a novel about the real rhythm and blues of life, about pain and loss and why we hold tight, in the end, to the sex and music and love that offer us a fleeting glimpse of bliss, even when the price is steep.


Click for more detail about Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo Blonde Roots

by Bernardine Evaristo
Riverhead Books (Jan 05, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The most provocative debut novel of the year, "a dizzying satire" (The New Yorker) that "boldly turns history on its head" (Elle).

What if the history of the transatlantic slave trade had been reversed and Africans had enslaved Europeans? How would that have changed the ways that people justified their inhuman behavior? How would it inform our cultural attitudes and the insidious racism that still lingers today? We see this tragicomic world turned upside down through the eyes of Doris, an Englishwoman enslaved and taken to the New World, movingly recounting experiences of tremendous hardship and the dreams of the people she has left behind, all while journeying toward an escape into freedom.

A poignant and dramatic story grounded in provocative ideas, Blonde Roots is a genuinely original, profoundly imaginative novel.


Click for more detail about Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story by Timothy B. Tyson Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story

by Timothy B. Tyson
Crown (May 08, 2004)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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“Daddy and Roger and ’em shot ’em a nigger.”

Those words, whispered to ten-year-old Tim Tyson by one of his playmates in the late spring of 1970, heralded a firestorm that would forever transform the small tobacco market town of Oxford, North Carolina.

On May 11, 1970, Henry Marrow, a 23-year-old black veteran, walked into a crossroads store owned by Robert Teel, a rough man with a criminal record and ties to the Ku Klux Klan, and came out running. Teel and two of his sons chased Marrow, beat him unmercifully, and killed him in public as he pleaded for his life. In the words of a local prosecutor: “They shot him like you or I would kill a snake."

Like many small Southern towns, Oxford had barely been touched by the civil rights movement. But in the wake of the killing, young African Americans took to the streets, led by 22-year-old Ben Chavis, a future president of the NAACP. As mass protests crowded the town square, a cluster of returning Vietnam veterans organized what one termed “a military operation.” While lawyers battled in the courthouse that summer in a drama that one termed “a Perry Mason kind of thing,” the Ku Klux Klan raged in the shadows and black veterans torched the town’ s tobacco warehouses.

With large sections of the town in flames, Tyson’ s father, the pastor of Oxford’ s all-white Methodist church, pressed his congregation to widen their vision of humanity and pushed the town to come to terms with its bloody racial history. In the end, however, the Tyson family was forced to move away.

Years later, historian Tim Tyson returned to Oxford to ask Robert Teel why he and his sons had killed Henry Marrow. “That nigger committed suicide, coming in here wanting to four-letter-word my daughter-in-law,” Teel explained.

The black radicals who burned much of Oxford also told Tim their stories. “It was like we had a cash register up there at the pool hall, just ringing up how much money we done cost these white people,” one of them explained. “We knew if we cost ’ em enough goddamn money they was gonna start changing some things.”

In the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird, Blood Done Sign My Name is a classic work of conscience, a defining portrait of a time and place that we will never forget. Tim Tyson’ s riveting narrative of that fiery summer and one family’ s struggle to build bridges in a time of destruction brings gritty blues truth, soaring gospel vision, and down-home humor to our complex history, where violence and faith, courage and evil, despair and hope all mingle to illuminate America’ s enduring chasm of race.


Click for more detail about Bloodline: Five Stories by Ernest Gaines Bloodline: Five Stories

by Ernest Gaines
Vintage (Oct 28, 1997)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In these five stories, Gaines returns to the cane fields, sharecroppers’ shacks, and decaying plantation houses of Louisiana, the terrain of his great novels A Gathering of Old Men and A Lesson Before Dying. As rendered by Gaines, this country becomes as familiar, and as haunted by cruelty, suffering, and courage, as Ralph Ellison’s Harlem or Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County.

STORIES INCLUDE:

A Long Day in November

The Sky Is Gray

Three Men

Bloodline

Just Like a Tree


Click for more detail about Blue Laws: Selected and Uncollected Poems, 1995-2015 by Kevin Young Blue Laws: Selected and Uncollected Poems, 1995-2015

by Kevin Young
Knopf (Feb 02, 2016)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A rich and lively gathering of highlights from the first twenty years of an extraordinary career, interspersed with “B sides” and “bonus tracks” from this prolific and widely acclaimed poet.

Blue Laws gathers poems written over the past two decades, drawing from all nine of Kevin Young’s previously published books of poetry and including a number of uncollected, often unpublished, poems. From his stunning lyric debut (Most Way Home, 1995) and the amazing “double album” life of Jean-Michel Basquiat (2001, “remixed” for Knopf in 2005), through his brokenhearted Jelly Roll: A Blues (2003) and his recent forays into adult grief and the joys of birth in Dear Darkness (2008) and Book of Hours (2014), this collection provides a grand tour of a poet whose personal poems and political poems are equally riveting. Together with wonderful outtakes and previously unseen blues, the profoundly felt poems here of family, Southern food, and loss are of a piece with the depth of personal sensibility and humanity found in his Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels or bold sequences such as “The Ballad of Jim Crow” and a new “Homage to Phillis Wheatley.”


Click for more detail about Blue Tights by Rita Williams-Garcia Blue Tights

by Rita Williams-Garcia
Puffin Books (Dec 01, 1996)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Joyce Collins desperately wants to be accepted into the popular circle, and when she is cut from the ballet recital, she is devastated, until she joins an African dance troupe and quickly discovers a place where she truly feels she belongs. Reprint. H.


Click for more detail about Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday

by Angela Davis
Vintage (Jan 26, 1999)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From one of this country’s most important intellectuals comes a brilliant analysis of the blues tradition that examines the careers of three crucial black women blues singers through a feminist lens. Angela Davis provides the historical, social, and political contexts with which to reinterpret the performances and lyrics of Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday as powerful articulations of an alternative consciousness profoundly at odds with mainstream American culture.

The works of Rainey, Smith, and Holiday have been largely misunderstood by critics. Overlooked, Davis shows, has been the way their candor and bravado laid the groundwork for an aesthetic that allowed for the celebration of social, moral, and sexual values outside the constraints imposed by middle-class respectability. Through meticulous transcriptions of all the extant lyrics of Rainey and Smithpublished here in their entirety for the first timeDavis demonstrates how the roots of the blues extend beyond a musical tradition to serve as a conciousness-raising vehicle for American social memory. A stunning, indispensable contribution to American history, as boldly insightful as the women Davis praises, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism is a triumph.


Click for more detail about Bobby’s Faith by Cathy Finch White Bobby’s Faith

by Cathy Finch White
AuthorHouse (Oct 19, 2011)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Follow along with Bobby as his faith in God, leads him to realizing his dream. 9- year old Bobby wishes he could play basketball like the other kids at his recreation center but a medical condition stops him. With a little faith and a lot of prayer, Bobby learns that anything is possible if you just believe.


Click for more detail about Bombingham by Anthony Grooms Bombingham

by Anthony Grooms
One World (Oct 01, 2002)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In his barracks, Walter Burke is trying to write a letter to the parents of a fallen soldier, an Alabama man who died in a muddy rice paddy. But all he can think of is his childhood friend Lamar, the friend with whom he first experienced the fury of violence, on the streets of Birmingham, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The juxtaposition is so powerful—between war-torn Vietnam and terror-filled “Bombingham”—that he is drawn back to the summer that would see his transition from childish wonder at the world to his certain knowledge of his place in it.

Walter and Lamar were always aware of the terms of segregation—the horrendous rules and stifling reality. Their paper route never took them to the white areas of town. But that year, everything exploded. And so did Walter’s family. As the great movement swelled around them, the Burkes faced tremendous obstacles of their own. From a tortured past lingered questions of faith, and a terrible family crisis found its climax as the city did the same. In the streets of Birmingham, ordinary citizens risked their lives to change America. And for Walter, the war was just beginning.


Click for more detail about Book Of Hours: Poems by Kevin Young Book Of Hours: Poems

by Kevin Young
Knopf (Mar 04, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A decade after the sudden and tragic loss of his father, we witness the unfolding of grief. “In the night I brush / my teeth with a razor,” he tells us, in one of the collection’s piercing two-line poems. Capturing the strange silence of bereavement (“Not the storm / but the calm / that slays me”), Kevin Young acknowledges, even celebrates, life’s passages, his loss transformed and tempered in a sequence about the birth of his son: in “Crowning,” he delivers what is surely one of the most powerful birth poems written by a man, describing “her face / full of fire, then groaning your face / out like a flower, blood-bloom,/ crocused into air.” Ending this book of both birth and grief, the gorgeous title sequence brings acceptance, asking “What good/are wishes if they aren’t / used up?” while understanding “How to listen / to what’s gone.” Young’s frank music speaks directly to the reader in these elemental poems, reminding us that the right words can both comfort us and enlarge our understanding of life’s mysteries.

Winner BCALA Poetry Book Award

A decade after the sudden and tragic loss of his father, we witness the unfolding of grief.

In the night I brush
my teeth with a razor

He tells us, in one of the collection’s piercing two-line poems. Capturing the strange silence of bereavement

Not the storm
but the calm
that slays me

Kevin Young acknowledges, even celebrates, life’s passages, his loss transformed and tempered in a sequence about the birth of his son: in “Crowning,” he delivers what is surely one of the most powerful birth poems written by a man, describing

her face
full of fire, then groaning your face
out like a flower, blood-bloom,
crocused into air.

Ending this book of both birth and grief, the gorgeous title sequence brings acceptance, asking

What good
are wishes if they aren’t
used up?

while understanding

How to listen
to what’s gone.

Young’s frank music speaks directly to the reader in these elemental poems, reminding us that the right words can both comfort us and enlarge our understanding of life’s mysteries.


Click for more detail about Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

by Trevor Noah
Spiegel & Grau (Nov 15, 2016)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Michiko Kakutani, New York Times • Newsday • Esquire • NPR • Booklist

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

Praise for Born a Crime

 “[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah’s] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“[An] unforgettable memoir.”—Parade

 “What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her—and an enormous gift to the rest of us.”—USA Today

“[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar.”—People

“[Noah’s] electrifying memoir sparkles with funny stories . . . and his candid and compassionate essays deepen our perception of the complexities of race, gender, and class.”—Booklist (starred review)

“A gritty memoir . . . studded with insight and provocative social criticism . . . with flashes of brilliant storytelling and acute observations.”—Kirkus Reviews


Click for more detail about Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel by Helen Oyeyemi Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel

by Helen Oyeyemi
Knopf (Mar 06, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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As seen on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, where it was described as “gloriously unsettling… evoking Toni Morrison, Haruki Murakami, Angela Carter, Edgar Allan Poe, Gabriel García Márquez, Chris Abani and even Emily Dickinson,” and already one of the year’s most widely acclaimed novels:

“Helen Oyeyemi has fully transformed from a literary prodigy into a powerful, distinctive storyteller…Transfixing and surprising.”—Entertainment Weekly (Grade: A)

“I don’t care what the magic mirror says; Oyeyemi is the cleverest in the land…daring and unnerving… Under Oyeyemi’s spell, the fairy-tale conceit makes a brilliant setting in which to explore the alchemy of racism, the weird ways in which identity can be transmuted in an instant — from beauty to beast or vice versa.” – Ron Charles, The Washington Post

From the prizewinning author of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, coming February 2016, the Snow White fairy tale brilliantly recast as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity.

In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman.A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she’d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy’s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.

Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time.


Click for more detail about Boys Into Men: Raising Our African American Teenage Sons by Nancy Boyd-Franklin and A. J. Franklin Boys Into Men: Raising Our African American Teenage Sons

by Nancy Boyd-Franklin and A. J. Franklin
Dutton Adult (May 01, 2000)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Two noted psychologists, who are parents themselves, share their wisdom in this indispensable book on raising African-American boys.

With the success of books such as Raising Cain and Real Boys comes the awareness of the increasing need we have to help boys grow into healthy, happy men. But for African-American boys, the statistics are often grim. They enter this world having a distinct disadvantage, still the target of racism, prejudice, and discrimination. Now, in the first book of its kind, husband and wife psychologists Drs. Nancy Boyd-Franklin and A. J. Franklin address the long overdue issues involved in raising African-American teenage boys and how to combat the overwhelming influences that can negatively affect these young men.

Parents and educators will learn how to deal with problems such as violence, drugs, sex, and racism, as well as with the effects of music, the media, and sports. Based on the authors’ own experience as psychologists and as the parents of four children, and including stories from dozens of other African-American families, Boys into Men offers simple, effective strategies for problem-solving, improving communication, and instilling a positive racial identity in African-American boys. This important book includes resources on finding a professional counselor as well as offering related reading, websites, and helpful organizations.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Breaking Away by Kristin Hunter Breaking Away

by Kristin Hunter
One World/Ballantine (Apr 01, 2003)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Bethesda Barnes has reached a point in life where she at last feels comfortable. She loves her family, despite a stormy relationship with her mother. For romance, there’s Lloyd Bounds, a devoted postal clerk. Although, cards on the table, Beth wouldn’t mind a ring. Ask Beth what part of her life is truly fulfilling and she just might answer “my beautiful career.”

After landing a plum teaching position at an Ivy League college, Dr. Barnes focuses her energies on her students, even the obnoxious ones, encouraging them all to “always strive for more.” Though driven and dedicated, Beth is fairly detached from her faculty colleagues, well aware that she is one of the only black faces in a sea of white. Despite the disparity, she loves her job and pursues it with gusto. Until an incident on campus rocks her worldand forces her to confront society’s uglier side.

Late one night, four African American sorority sisters are called vile names and assailed with garbage. The students decide to charge the boys with assault and racial insensitivity for violating the university’s harassment code. They ask Beth to be their faculty advisor for the case.

When Beth accepts, she walks into a racially charged firestorm of heated protest and dangerous threats. It turns out that one of the boys is a skinhead who seems to have sympathizers in high places. When the case goes national, even the editorial boards of presumably liberal newspapers criticize the victims and their cause. Though some of girls drop out of the case, and her personal life is blindsided by tragedy, Beth perseveres with the cause, believing some things are worth fighting for . . . especially in the name of justice.

A powerful novel that boldly takes on large, important themes while telling an intimate story of a courageous woman, Breaking Away is Kristin Lattany’s most persuasive and searing novel to date.


Click for more detail about Breaking Ice: An Anthology Of Contemporary African-American Fiction by Terry McMillan Breaking Ice: An Anthology Of Contemporary African-American Fiction

by Terry McMillan
Penguin Books (Oct 01, 1990)
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A striking collection of works from authors both established and emerging, this is the first original anthology of African-American writing in over a decade. Featured contributors include: J. California Cooper, Marita Golden, Gloria Naylor, Darryl Pinckney, Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, Ishmael Reed, Terry McMillan, and many others.


Click for more detail about Breath, Eyes, Memory (Oprah’s Book Club) by Edwidge Danticat Breath, Eyes, Memory (Oprah’s Book Club)

by Edwidge Danticat
Vintage (May 31, 1998)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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At an astonishingly young age, Edwidge Danticat has become one of our most celebrated new novelists, a writer who evokes the wonder, terror, and heartache of her native Haiti—and the enduring strength of Haiti’s women—with a vibrant imagery and narrative grace that bear witness to her people’s suffering and courage.  

At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti—to the women who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence, in a novel that bears witness to the traditions, suffering, and wisdom of an entire people.


Click for more detail about Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything in It by Sundee T. Frazier Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything in It

by Sundee T. Frazier
Yearling (Sep 09, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 8 - 12
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Ten-year-old Tae Kwon Do blue belt and budding rock hound Brendan Buckley keeps a CONFIDENTIAL notebook for his top-secret discoveries. And he's found something totally top secret. The grandpa he's never met, whom his mom refuses to see or even talk about, is an expert mineral collector, and he lives nearby! Brendan sneaks off to visit his grandpa Ed DeBose, whose skin is pink, not brown like Brendan's, his dad's, and the late Grandpa Clem's. Brendan sets out to find the reason behind Ed's absence, but what he discovers can't be explained by science, and now he wishes he'd never found Ed at all. . . .


Click for more detail about Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood by Donald Bogle Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood

by Donald Bogle
One World (Jan 31, 2006)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams, Donald Bogle tells–for the first time–the story of a place both mythic and real: Black Hollywood. Spanning sixty years, this deliciously entertaining history uncovers the audacious manner in which many blacks made a place for themselves in an industry that originally had no place for them.

Through interviews and the personal recollections of Hollywood luminaries, Bogle pieces together a remarkable history that remains largely obscure to this day. We discover that Black Hollywood was a place distinct from the studio-system-dominated Tinseltown–a world unto itself, with unique rules and social hierarchy. It had its own talent scouts and media, its own watering holes, elegant hotels, and fashionable nightspots, and of course its own glamorous and brilliant personalities.

Along with famous actors including Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Hattie McDaniel (whose home was among Hollywood’s most exquisite), and, later, the stunningly beautiful Lena Horne and the fabulously gifted Sammy Davis, Jr., we meet the likes of heartthrob James Edwards, whose promising career was derailed by whispers of an affair with Lana Turner, and the mysterious Madame Sul-Te-Wan, who shared a close lifelong friendship with pioneering director D. W. Griffith. But Bogle also looks at other members of the black community–from the white stars’ black servants, who had their own money and prestige, to gossip columnists, hairstylists, and architects–and at the world that grew up around them along Central Avenue, the Harlem of the West.

In the tradition of Hortense Powdermaker’s classic Hollywood: The Dream Factory and Neal Gabler’s An Empire of Their Own, in Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams, Donald Bogle re-creates a vanished world that left an indelible mark on Hollywood–and on all of America.


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes Bronx Masquerade

by Nikki Grimes
Penguin Young Readers Group (Dec 29, 2003)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 12 - 16
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A Coretta Scott King Award winner!

Using the structure of a poetry slam, Nikki Grimes’ award-winning novel is a powerful exploration of self, an homage to spoken-word poetry, and an intriguing look into the life of eighteen urban teens. This anniversary edition—celebrating ten years of this wonderfully evocative work—will feature discussion questions, testimonials from teachers, and an all new introduction from the author.

"All of the [students], black, Latino, white, male, and female, talk about the unease and alienation endemic to their ages, and they do it in fresh and appealing voices. Rich and complex."
—Kirkus Reviews

"As always, Grimes gives young people exactly what they’re looking for—real characters who show them they are not alone."
—School Library Journal

"Readers will enjoy the lively, smart voices that talk bravely, about real issues and secret fears. A fantastic choice."
—Booklist


Click for more detail about Brother, I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat Brother, I’m Dying

by Edwidge Danticat
Knopf (Sep 04, 2007)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From the best-selling author of The Dew Breaker, a major work of nonfiction: a powerfully moving family story that centers around the men closest to her heart—her father, Mira, and his older brother, Joseph.

From the age of four, Edwidge Danticat came to think of her uncle Joseph, a charismatic pastor, as her “second father,” when she was placed in his care after her parents left Haiti for a better life in America. Listening to his sermons, sharing coconut-flavored ices on their walks through town, roaming through the house that held together many members of a colorful extended family, Edwidge grew profoundly attached to Joseph. He was the man who “knew all the verses for love.”

And so she experiences a jumble of emotions when, at twelve, she joins her parents in New York City. She is at last reunited with her two youngest brothers, and with her mother and father, whom she has struggled to remember. But she must also leave behind Joseph and the only home she’s ever known.

Edwidge tells of making a new life in a new country while fearing for the safety of those still in Haiti as the political situation deteriorates. But Brother I’m Dying soon becomes a terrifying tale of good people caught up in events beyond their control. Late in 2004, his life threatened by an angry mob, forced to flee his church, the frail, eighty-one-year-old Joseph makes his way to Miami, where he thinks he will be safe. Instead, he is detained by U.S. Customs, held by the Department of Homeland Security, brutally imprisoned, and dead within days. It was a story that made headlines around the world. His brother, Mira, will soon join him in death, but not before he holds hope in his arms: Edwidge’s firstborn, who will bear his name—and the family’s stories, both joyous and tragic—into the next generation.

Told with tremendous feeling, this is a true-life epic on an intimate scale: a deeply affecting story of home and family—of two men’s lives and deaths, and of a daughter’s great love for them both.


Click for more detail about Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat Brother, I’m Dying

by Edwidge Danticat
Vintage (Sep 09, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From the age of four, award-winning writer Edwidge Danticat came to think of her uncle Joseph as her “second father,” when she was placed in his care after her parents left Haiti for America. And so she was both elated and saddened when, at twelve, she joined her parents and youngest brothers in New York City. As Edwidge made a life in a new country, adjusting to being far away from so many who she loved, she and her family continued to fear for the safety of those still in Haiti as the political situation deteriorated.

In 2004, they entered into a terrifying tale of good people caught up in events beyond their control. Brother I'm Dying is an astonishing true-life epic, told on an intimate scale by one of our finest writers.


Click for more detail about Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America—An Anthology by Herb Boyd and Robert L. Allen Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America—An Anthology

by Herb Boyd and Robert L. Allen
One World/Ballantine (Jan 30, 1996)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"[AN] OUTSTANDING COLLECTION…
The powerful opening excerpt by Frederick Douglass evokes his boyhood as a slave, and the collection closes with an eloquent discussion of the race problem today by Cornel West. A distinguished addition to black studies."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The purpose of this extraordinary anthology is made abundantly clear by the editors’ stated intention: "to create a living mosaic of essays and stories in which Black men can view themselves, and be viewed without distortion." In this, they have succeeded brilliantly. Brotherman contains more than one hundred and fifty selections, some never before published—from slave narratives, memoirs, social histories, novels, poems, short stories, biographies, autobiographies, position papers, and essays.
Brotherman books us passage to the world that Black men experience as adolescents, lovers, husbands, fathers, workers, warriors, and elders. On this journey they encounter pain, confusion, anger, and love while confronting the life-threatening issues of race, sex, and politics—often as strangers in a strange land. The first collection of its kind, Brotherman gathers together a multitude of voices that add a new, unforgettable chapter to American cultural identity.


Click for more detail about Brothers and Keepers by John Edgar Wideman Brothers and Keepers

by John Edgar Wideman
Vintage (Aug 29, 1995)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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As John Wideman was building a reputation as one of our finest writers, his brother Robby went from the streets of Philadelphia to a life sentence in prison for murder. As it weighs their shared bonds of blood, tenderness, and guilt, Brothers and Keepers yields an unsparing analysis of America’s racial contract.


Click for more detail about Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes

by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Broadway Books (May 10, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A powerful wartime saga in the bestselling tradition of Flags of Our Fathers, Brothers in Arms recounts the extraordinary story of the 761st Tank Battalion, the first all-black armored unit to see combat in World War II.


Click for more detail about Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson Brown Girl Dreaming

by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen Books (Aug 28, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: Age Range: 10 and up
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“Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story… but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery.”—The New York Times Book Review

Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.


Click for more detail about Brown Sugar: A Collection Of Erotic Black Fiction (V. 1) by Carol Taylor Brown Sugar: A Collection Of Erotic Black Fiction (V. 1)

by Carol Taylor
Plume (Jan 02, 2001)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Brown Sugar brings together some of the most acclaimed voices in today’s black literary world — Sapphire, Natasha Tarpley, Reginald Harris, and Pamela Sneed, among them. These titillating stories cover the full spectrum of black experience and identity as they reveal sexuality and sensuality in all their varied and exotic forms. From the subtle to the graphic, Brown Sugar embraces the ardor and passion of black love and lust, and will appeal to both men and women. Featuring both well-established authors and promising new writers, this one-of-a-kind collection represents the past, present, and future of black literature at its pleasurable and outrageous best. It is a must-have for every lover, as well as every lover of first-rate fiction.


Click for more detail about Bruised Hibiscus by Elizabeth Nunez Bruised Hibiscus

by Elizabeth Nunez
One World/Ballantine (Mar 04, 2003)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The year is 1954. A white woman’s body, stuffed in a coconut bag, has washed ashore in Otatiti, Trinidad, and the British colony is rife with rumors. In two homes, one in a distant shantytown, the other on the outskirts of a former sugar cane estate, two women hear the news and their blood runs cold. Rosa, the white daughter of a landowner, and Zuela, the adopted “daughter” of a Chinese shop owner used to play together as girls—and witnessed something terrible behind a hibiscus bush many years ago.


Click for more detail about Brutal Imagination: Poems by Cornelius Eady Brutal Imagination: Poems

by Cornelius Eady
G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Jan 15, 2001)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Brutal Imagination is the work of a poet at the peak of his considerable powers. Its two central sections—which could be called song cycles—confront the same subject: the black man in America.The first, which carries the book’s title, deals with the vision of the black man in white imagination. Narrated largely by the black kidnapper that Susan Smith invented to cover up the killing of her two sons, the cycle displays all of Mr. Eady’s range: his deft wit, inventiveness, and skillfully targeted anger, and the way in which he combines the subtle with the charged, street idiom with elegant inversions, harsh images with the sweetly ordinary. The second cycle, "Running Man," presents poems Mr. Eady drew on for his libretto for the music-drama of the same name, which was a l999 Pulitzer Prize finalist. Here, the focus is the black family and the barriers of color, class, and caste that tear it apart. As the Village Voice said, "It is a hymn to all the sons this country has stolen from her African- American families."


Click for more detail about Buck: A Memoir by MK Asante Buck: A Memoir

by MK Asante
Spiegel & Grau (Aug 20, 2013)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A rebellious boy’s journey through the wilds of urban America and the shrapnel of a self-destructing family—this is the riveting story of a generation told through one dazzlingly poetic new voice.
 
MK Asante was born in Zimbabwe to American parents: a mother who led the new nation’s dance company and a father who would soon become a revered pioneer in black studies. But things fell apart, and a decade later MK was in America, a teenager lost in a fog of drugs, sex, and violence on the streets of North Philadelphia. Now he was alone—his mother in a mental hospital, his father gone, his older brother locked up in a prison on the other side of the country—and forced to find his own way to survive physically, mentally, and spiritually, by any means necessary.
 
Buck is a powerful memoir of how a precocious kid educated himself through the most unconventional teachers—outlaws and eccentrics, rappers and mystic strangers, ghetto philosophers and strippers, and, eventually, an alternative school that transformed his life with a single blank sheet of paper. It’s a one-of-a-kind story about finding your purpose in life, and an inspiring tribute to the power of education, art, and love to heal and redeem us.

Praise for Buck
 
“A story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style.”—Maya Angelou 
 
“In America, we have a tradition of black writers whose autobiographies and memoirs come to define an era. . . . Buck may be this generation’s story.”—NPR

“The voice of a new generation. . . . You will love nearly everything about Buck.”—Essence

“A virtuoso performance . . . [an] extraordinary page-turner of a memoir . . . written in a breathless, driving hip-hop prose style that gives it a tough, contemporary edge.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Frequently brilliant and always engaging . . . It takes great skill to render the wide variety of characters, male and female, young and old, that populate a memoir like Buck. Asante [is] at his best when he sets out into the city of Philadelphia itself. In fact, that city is the true star of this book. Philly’s skateboarders, its street-corner philosophers and its tattoo artists are all brought vividly to life here. . . . Asante’s memoir will find an eager readership, especially among young people searching in books for the kind of understanding and meaning that eludes them in their real-life relationships. . . . A powerful and captivating book.”—Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times

“Remarkable . . . Asante’s prose is a fluid blend of vernacular swagger and tender poeticism. . . . [He] soaks up James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston and Walt Whitman like thirsty ground in a heavy rain. Buck grew from that, and it’s a bumper crop.”—Salon
 
“Buck is so honest it floats—even while it’s so down-to-earth that the reader feels like an ant peering up from the concrete. It’s a powerful book. . . . Asante is a hip-hop raconteur, a storyteller in the Homeric tradition, an American, a rhymer, a big-thinker singing a song of himself. You’ll want to listen.”—The Buffalo News


Click for more detail about Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis Bud, Not Buddy

by Christopher Paul Curtis
Random House Children’s Books (Sep 14, 2004)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 9 - 12
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It’s 1936, in Flint, Michigan, and when 10-year-old Bud decides to hit the road to find his father, nothing can stop him.


Click for more detail about Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam by Tony Medina and Louis Reyes Rivera Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam

by Tony Medina and Louis Reyes Rivera
Broadway Books (Oct 23, 2001)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Bum Rush the Page is a groundbreaking collection, capturing the best new work from the poets who have brought fresh energy, life, and relevance to American poetry.

“Here is a democratic orchestration of voices and visions, poets of all ages, ethnicities, and geographic locations coming together to create a dialogue and to jam–not slam. This is our mouth on paper, our hearts on our sleeves, our refusal to shut up and swallow our silence. These poems are tough, honest, astute, perceptive, lyrical, blunt, sad, funny, heartbreaking, and true. They shout, they curse, they whisper, and sing. But most of all, they tell it like it is.”
–Tony Medina, from the Introduction


Click for more detail about Cairo: Memoir of a City Transformed by Ahdaf Soueif Cairo: Memoir of a City Transformed

by Ahdaf Soueif
Anchor (Oct 07, 2014)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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When throngs of Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square to demand the fall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime, Ahdaf Soueif—author, journalist, lifelong progressive—was among them. Now, in this deeply personal work, Soueif summons her storytelling talents to trace her city’s—and nation’s—ongoing transformation.
         She writes of the youth who led the revolts, and of the jubilation in the streets at Mubarak’s departure. We then watch as Egyptians fight for democracy, as the interim military government throws up obstacles at every step, and as an Islamist is voted into power. Against this stormy backdrop, Soueif casts memories of her own Cairo—the open-air cinema; her family’s land, in sight of the pyramids—and affirms the beauty of this ancient city. Soueif’s postscript considers Egypt’s more recent turns in its difficult but deeply inspiring path toward its great human aims.


Click for more detail about Cambridge by Caryl Phillips Cambridge

by Caryl Phillips
Vintage (Feb 02, 1993)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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One of England’s most widely acclaimed young novelists adopts two eerily convincing narrative voices and juxtaposes their stories to devastating effect in this mesmerizing portrait of slavery. Cambridge is a devoutly Christian slave in the West Indies whose sense of justice is both profound and self-destructive, while Emily is a morally-blind, genteel Englishwoman.


Click for more detail about Camilla’s Roses by Bernice L. McFadden Camilla’s Roses

by Bernice L. McFadden
Dutton Adult (Apr 01, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The poignant tale of a woman who discovers the fragility of life and the strength of a family’s love, from an author praised by Toni Morrison for “…searing, expertly imagined scenes.&rsdquo;

Known for bringing to life a host of endearing characters who reveal tender truths about humanity, Bernice L. McFadden now turns her storytelling talents to an unforgettable and deeply troubled woman named Camilla.

Unfolding in a progression of stirring and powerful chapters, Camilla’s Roses presents a life haunted by the past. Camilla’s childhood was immersed in chaos and love, and steeped in the myth of perfection. As an adult, she never looked back, refusing to acknowledge the people and places that had scarred her so many years ago. But a legacy of cancer proves inescapable, forcing Camilla to embrace the past—no matter how painful it may be—and to salvage what is left of her love in order to save her daughter. As Camilla discovers the bittersweet limitations of motherhood and reconciliation, she also awakens an inspiring message about the mortality issues we all must face.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Can’t Get Enough: A Novel by Connie Briscoe Can’t Get Enough: A Novel

by Connie Briscoe
Doubleday (Apr 26, 2005)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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The memorable men and women of P.G. County are back in Connie Briscoe’s wickedly funny and deliciously daring novel of romance and betrayal, dangerous choices and seductive second chances.

“This romp of a read combines lush settings, humorous dialogue and outrageous behavior . . .” Ebony magazine wrote of P.G. County, Connie Briscoe’s first excursion into the world of the overprivileged and undersatisfied inhabitants of an elite suburb of Washington, D.C. Readers will be delighted to learn that their mischievous machinations and meddlesome ways reach new heights—and sink to new depths—in CAN’T GET ENOUGH, the much-anticipated follow-up to P.G. County.

Barbara Bentley, the grand dame of P.G. County, is tentatively embarking on a fresh approach to life, abandoning the alcohol that served to soften the edges of her marriage to her bimbo-loving millionaire husband, Bradford. She’s been sober for nearly a year, her part-time work as a real estate agent has boosted her self-confidence, and the unexpected attentions of a handsome young colleague have done wonders for her ego. For Jolene, Bradford’s ambitious, conniving ex-mistress, the status she covets remains tantalizingly out of reach. Her decent, hard-working husband, Patrick, has left her for Pearl, a woman proud of her success as a beauty shop owner and eager to create a loving home for Patrick and his two mixed-up teenage daughters. Royalty comes to Silver Lake in the form of Veronique. She’s rich, fabulous and everyone’s new friend, or is she?

As the characters slip in and out of their Pratesi sheets and stride into mayhem and misdeeds in their Jimmy Choo shoes, CAN’T GET ENOUGH will hold readers spellbound. A delectable and scrumptious page-turner, it ushers in spring with the fabulous force of a Gucci-clad lion.


Click for more detail about Candy Licker: An Urban Erotic Tale by Noire Candy Licker: An Urban Erotic Tale

by Noire
One World (Dec 27, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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SHE WANTED TO BE A HIP-HOP STAR BUT THE STREETS GOT IN THE WAY.

Have you ever laid down with a man and wasn’t sure if you’d ever get back up? Tossed the sheets with a bone-knocking fear that only a hard-core hustler could produce? Sexed him like your life depended on it, because in reality it did? You still with me? Then let’s roll over to my house. Harlem. 145th Street. Grab a seat and brace yourself as I show you the kind of pain that street life and so-called success can bring. . . .

Nineteen-year-old Candy Raye Montana, an ex—drug runner for the Gabriano crime family and a former foster child, dreams of becoming a hip-hop superstar, if only someone will discover her talents.

Someone does. Mega music producer and king thug of Harlem, Junius “Hurricane” Jackson, CEO of the House of Homicide recording studio, cuts a deal and puts Candy on the stage. Suddenly she is a hot new artist on the notorious Homicide Hitz record label. Her career takes off and she blazes the charts, but it’s not long before Candy realizes that the man she thought was her knight is nothing more than a cold-blooded nightmare.

Caught between the music and the madness, between the dollars and the deals, Candy belongs to Hurricane–body and soul–and must endure his sadistic bedroom desires while keeping his sexual secrets hidden from the world. But Candy has some strong desires of her own that simply cannot be denied, especially when she finds herself turned on by a brilliant investment baller who just happens to be Hurricane’s right-hand man. Candy longs for her freedom, but if Hurricane gets wind of her betrayal the blowback will be lethal–and not only will she risk losing her recording contract, she just might lose her life.


Click for more detail about Catch The Fire!!: A Cross-Generational Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry by D-Knowledge Catch The Fire!!: A Cross-Generational Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry

by D-Knowledge
Riverhead Books (Feb 01, 1998)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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African-American poetry is an ever-growing and ever-changing art form… in coffee houses and night clubs... from the blues and be-bop, to rap and hip-hop. Catch the Fire!!! is more than a poetry anthology. It is a cultural event: the indroduction of a new generation of African-American poets by an established generation, and a celebration of contemporary African-American poetry. Through the themes of family, the city, revolution, the body, and the soul, included selections written by several noted poets and writers including the late Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Quincy Troupe, June Jordan, Ntozake Shange, Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets, and many others. discuss their own generation of poets and their thoughts about the emerging poets whose poems they are presenting here.

The Revolution Will Be on the Big Screen

My man Gil Scott Heron once said:
The revolution will not be televised
Well...
Gil Scott may have a point
The revolution may not be televised
But...
The revolution will be a major motion picture
The revolution will not be televised
But...
The revolution will be on the big screen

The Revolution will be a fifty million dollar production
The Revolution will be written by John Grisham
And directed by Oliver Stone
The Revolution will star Kevin Costner and Julia Roberts
And they will teach people of color
How to revolt
And how to fight and how to hide and how to kill
And how to SCREAM
The Revolution will be on the big screen, brother.

The Revolution will have one Latino extra
Playin' a thief
One Asian extra
Playin' a servant
And one Native American extra runnin’
down Florence and Normandie yellin’
Geronimo.

The Revolution will have one Black supporting actor
Denzel Washington
Who will be killed by Kevin Costner in the first
three minutes
For looking at Julia Roberts for more than
one minute
While Kevin Costner will have a picture of Whitney Houston
Burnin' in his wallet
The Revolution will be on the big screen, sistah.

The Revolution will be coming soon to a theatre near you
And will get two thumbs up from Siskel and Ebert
And will make more money than Jurassic Park and ET
The Revolution will cost $7.50 to see or $5.50 if
you got a student i.d.
The Revolution will go good with popcorn, bon bons and licorice
The Revolution will be on the big screen.

The Revolution will have a multi platinum soundtrack
Wtih revolutionary songs sung by
Guns 'N' Roses, Metallica and Madonna
The Revolution will be advertised on billboards, buses, t shirts
and at Taco Bell and Micky Dees
The Revolution will be on the big screen.

The Revolution will be distributed internationally
The Revolution will be seen in Cuba, Ruwanda and Haiti
The Revolution will change the way the world thinks about
Revolution
And the way the world thinks about
Change
The Revolution will be on the big screen.

The Revolution will have a sequel
The Revolution will have a part III
The Revolution will be too large for t.v.
Too large for the little screen
The Revolution will be larger than life
Larger than large
And larger than larger than large
The Revolution will not be televised
Will not be televised
Not be televised
Be televised
The Revolution will be
On the Big Screen.

D-Knowledge
(Derrick I.M. Gilbert)


Click for more detail about Catherine Carmier by Ernest Gaines Catherine Carmier

by Ernest Gaines
Vintage (Mar 31, 1993)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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By the author of A Lesson Before Dying and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Catherine Carmier is a compelling love story set in a deceptively bucolic Louisiana countryside, where blacks, Cajuns, and whites maintain an uneasy coexistence.

After living in San Francisco for ten years, Jackson returns home to his benefactor, Aunt Charlotte. Surrounded by family and old friends, he discovers that his bonds to them have been irreparably rent by his absence. In the midst of his alienation from those around him, he falls in love with Catherine Carmier, setting the stage for conflicts and confrontations which are complex, tortuous, and universal in their implications.


Click for more detail about Caucasia: A Novel by Danzy Senna Caucasia: A Novel

by Danzy Senna
Knopf (Feb 01, 1999)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In Caucasia—Danzy Senna’s extraordinary debut novel and national bestseller—Birdie and Cole are the daughters of a black father and a white mother, intellectuals and activists in the Civil Rights Movement in 1970s Boston. The sisters are so close that they have created a private language, yet to the outside world they can’t be sisters: Birdie appears to be white, while Cole is dark enough to fit in with the other kids at the Afrocentric school they attend. For Birdie, Cole is the mirror in which she can see her own blackness.Then their parents’ marriage falls apart. Their father’s new black girlfriend won’t even look at Birdie, while their mother gives her life over to the Movement: at night the sisters watch mysterious men arrive with bundles shaped like rifles.One night Birdie watches her father and his girlfriend drive away with Cole—they have gone to Brazil, she will later learn, where her father hopes for a racial equality he will never find in the States. The next morning—in the belief that the Feds are after them—Birdie and her mother leave everything behind: their house and possessions, their friends, and—most disturbing of all—their identity. Passing as the daughter and wife of a deceased Jewish professor, Birdie and her mother finally make their home in New Hampshire. Desperate to find Cole, yet afraid of betraying her mother and herself to some unknown danger, Birdie must learn to navigate the white world—so that when she sets off in search of her sister, she is ready for what she will find. At once a powerful coming-of-age story and a groundbreaking work on identity and race in America, "Caucasia deserves to be read all over" (Glamour).


Click for more detail about Cause: Reconstruction America 1863-1877 by Tonya Bolden Cause: Reconstruction America 1863-1877

by Tonya Bolden
Knopf Books for Young Readers (Dec 27, 2005)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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After the destruction of the Civil War, the United States faced the immense challenge of rebuilding a ravaged South and incorporating millions of freed slaves into the life of the nation. On April 11, 1865, President Lincoln introduced his plan for reconstruction, warning that the coming years would be “fraught with great difficulty.” Three days later he was assassinated. The years to come witnessed a time of complex and controversial change.

Cause
A Sample Page from Cause: Reconstruction America 1863-1877


Click for more detail about Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer by Maya Angelou Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

by Maya Angelou
Random House (Oct 24, 2006)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Grace, dignity, and eloquence have long been hallmarks of Maya Angelou’s poetry. Her measured verses have stirred our souls, energized our minds, and healed our hearts. Whether offering hope in the darkest of nights or expressing sincere joy at the extraordinariness of the everyday, Maya Angelou has served as our common voice.

Celebrations is a collection of timely and timeless poems that are an integral part of the global fabric. Several works have become nearly as iconic as Angelou herself: the inspiring “On the Pulse of Morning,” read at President William Jefferson Clinton’s 1993 inauguration; the heartening “Amazing Peace,” presented at the 2005 lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the White House; “A Brave and Startling Truth,” which marked the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations; and “Mother,” which beautifully honors the first woman in our lives. Angelou writes of celebrations public and private, a bar mitzvah wish to her nephew, a birthday greeting to Oprah Winfrey, and a memorial tribute to the late Luther Vandross and Barry White.

More than a writer, Angelou is a chronicler of history, an advocate for peace, and a champion for the planet, as well as a patriot, a mentor, and a friend. To be shared and cherished, the wisdom and poetry of Maya Angelou proves there is always cause for celebration.


Click for more detail about Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa by Veronica Chambers Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa

by Veronica Chambers
Puffin Books (Jul 19, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Everyone knows the flamboyant, larger-than-life Celia Cruz, the extraordinary salsa singer who passed away in 2003, leaving millions of fans brokenhearted. indeed, there was a magical vibrancy to the Cuban salsa singer. to hear her voice or to see her perform was to feel her life-affirming energy deep within you. relish the sizzling sights and sounds of her legacy in this glimpse into Celia’s childhood and her inspiring rise to worldwide fame and recognition as the Queen of salsa. Her inspirational life story is sure to sweeten your soul.


Click for more detail about Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays

by Zadie Smith
Penguin Press (Nov 12, 2009)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A sparkling collection of Zadie Smith?s nonfiction over the past decade.

Zadie Smith brings to her essays all of the curiosity, intellectual rigor, and sharp humor that have attracted so many readers to her fiction, and the result is a collection that is nothing short of extraordinary.

Split into four sections??Reading,? ?Being,? ?Seeing,? and ?Feeling??Changing My Mind invites readers to witness the world from Zadie Smith?s unique vantage. Smith casts her acute eye over material both personal and cultural, with wonderfully engaging essays?some published here for the first time?on diverse topics including literature, movies, going to the Oscars, British comedy, family, feminism, Obama, Katharine Hepburn, and Anna Magnani.

In her investigations Smith also reveals much of herself. Her literary criticism shares the wealth of her experiences as a reader and exposes the tremendous influence diverse writers?E. M. Forster, Zora Neale Hurston, George Eliot, and others?have had on her writing life and her self-understanding. Smith also speaks directly to writers as a craftsman, offering precious practical lessons on process. Here and throughout, readers will learn of the wide-ranging experiences?in novels, travel, philosophy, politics, and beyond?that have nourished Smith?s rich life of the mind. Her probing analysis offers tremendous food for thought, encouraging readers to attend to the slippery questions of identity, art, love, and vocation that so often go neglected.

Changing My Mind announces Zadie Smith as one of our most important contemporary essayists, a writer with the rare ability to turn the world on its side with both fact and fiction. Changing My Mind is a gift to readers, writers, and all who want to look at life more expansively.


Click for more detail about Charcoal Joe: An Easy Rawlins Mystery by Walter Mosley Charcoal Joe: An Easy Rawlins Mystery

by Walter Mosley
Doubleday (Jun 14, 2016)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Walter Mosley’s indelible detective Easy Rawlins is back, with a new detective agency and a new mystery to solve.

Picking up where his last adventures in Rose Gold left off in L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins finds his life in transition. He’s ready—finally—to propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together. And he’s taken the money he got from the Rose Gold case and, together with two partners, Saul Lynx and Tinsford “Whisper” Natly, has started a new detective agency. But, inevitably, a case gets in the way: Easy’s friend Mouse introduces him to Rufus Tyler, a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe’s friend’s son, Seymour (young, bright, top of his class in physics at Stanford), has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man from Redondo Beach. Joe tells Easy he will pay and pay well to see this young man exonerated, but seeing as how Seymour literally was found standing over the man’s dead body at his cabin home, and considering the racially charged motives seemingly behind the murder, that might prove to be a tall order.

Between his new company, a heart that should be broken but is not, a whole raft of new bad guys on his tail, and a bad odor that surrounds Charcoal Joe, Easy has his hands full, his horizons askew, and his life in shambles around his feet.


Click for more detail about Chasing Destiny by Eric Jerome Dickey Chasing Destiny

by Eric Jerome Dickey
Dutton Adult (Apr 11, 2006)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Eight-time New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey’s new novel is filled with intrigue, speed, and sex appeal. And an unforgettable female narrator rides her sexy yellow motorcycle right through it all. Billie (aka "Ducati") is known as much for her extraordinary beauty as for the sexy yellow motorcycle she rides through the mean streets of Los Angeles. Tough, talented, and self-assured, Billie’s used to doing things her way—but that was before love threw an oil slick in the road and spun her life into chaos. Billie’s first problem is simple: she’s pregnant.
Her second problem is that her lover, Keith, is still married. Keith has some "things" to deal with, and the people in his life are dark and duplicitous enough to take matters into their own hands, determined to keep Billie from having her baby. Billie suddenly finds herself confronted, attacked, run off highways, threatened and shadowed. Keith still has ties to his manipulative wife, Carmen, and he adores his fifteen-year-old daughter Destiny. Will he do the right thing by his new family, or stand by his old one? Soon all eyes shift as everyone finds themselves desperately chasing Destiny, a troubled and deceptive girl dancing on the edge of womanhood. When the rubber meets the road, everyone’s fighting dirty for what they want…and they’re all willing to destroy their enemy or go down in flames to get it.


Click for more detail about Chicken on a Leash: Lessons in Strength of Mind by Dorothea Grimes-Frederick Chicken on a Leash: Lessons in Strength of Mind

by Dorothea Grimes-Frederick
AuthorHouse (Mar 17, 2003)
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The sibilant sound of ’Girl, you know you crazy!’ resonates through our common airspace matter-of-factly. We grow up with different flavors of insanity all around. For our family it was great aunt Henrietta, who stopped wearing underwear because the Lord told her so. At least that is how she interpreted the Lord’s divine message. Aunt Henrietta is proof that even the holiest require a personal crusade to stay sane. Chicken on a Leash: Lessons in Strength in Mind recognizes the challenges of growing into personal leadership - getting from there to here - sane. It is about one African American woman of color who reaches back into her childhood diary to see where her lessons in leadership began. To her amazement, leadership was rooted in the most insane, bizarre, or even violent moments. Susan Raleigh finds that life’s path though littered with lessons in insanity, paved the way for purposeful leadership and strength of mind in every facet of her life from the bedroom to the boardroom. Readers will be able to wrestle with their own paths through the experiences of Dr. Susan Raleigh who eventually finds herself asking: ’How did I manage to grow up sane?’ The answer is amply described in thirty personality-shaping events that she adeptly calls: Lessons in Strength of Mind.


Click for more detail about Chike And The River by Chinua Achebe Chike And The River

by Chinua Achebe
Anchor (Aug 09, 2011)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The more Chike saw the ferry-boats the more he wanted to make the trip to Asaba. But where would he get the money? He did not know. Still, he hoped.

Eleven-year-old Chike longs to cross the Niger River to the city of Asaba, but he doesn’t have the sixpence he needs to pay for the ferry ride. With the help of his friend S.M.O.G., he embarks on a series of adventures to help him get there. Along the way, he is exposed to a range of new experiences that are both thrilling and terrifying, from eating his first skewer of suya under the shade of a mango tree, to visiting the village magician who promises to double the money in his pocket. Once he finally makes it across the river, Chike realizes that life on the other side is far different from his expectations, and he must find the courage within him to make it home.

Chike and the River is a magical tale of boundaries, bravery, and growth, by Chinua Achebe, one of the world’s most beloved and admired storytellers.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Child, Please: How Mama’s Old-School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myself by Ylonda Gault Caviness Child, Please: How Mama’s Old-School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myself

by Ylonda Gault Caviness
TarcherPerigee (May 01, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Book Review

Click for more detail about Children of Ham by Claude Brown Children of Ham

by Claude Brown
Bantam (Mar 01, 1977)
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This book records the stories of thirteen Harlem residents, focusing on their struggles against poverty, crime, and drugs.


Click for more detail about Children of the Revolution by Dinaw Mengestu Children of the Revolution

by Dinaw Mengestu
Vintage Books USA (Jul 01, 2009)
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Seventeen years after fleeing the revolutionary Ethiopia that claimed his father’s life, Stepha Stephanos is a man still caught between two existences: the one he left behind, aged nineteen, and the new life he has forged in Washington D.C. Sepha spends his days in a sort of limbo: quietly running his grocery store into the ground, revisiting the Russian classics, and toasting the old days with his friends Kenneth and Joseph, themselves emigrants from Africa. But when a white woman named Judith moves next door with her only daughter, Naomi, Sepha’s life seems on the verge of change…


Click for more detail about Children of the Street by Kwei Quartey Children of the Street

by Kwei Quartey
Random House (Jul 12, 2011)
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In the slums of Accra, Ghana’s fast-moving, cosmopolitan capital, teenagers are turning up dead. Inspector Darko Dawson has seen many crimes, but this latest string of murders—in which all the young victims bear a chilling signature—is the most unsettling of his career. Are these heinous acts a form of ritual killing or the work of a lone, cold-blooded monster? With time running out, Dawson embarks on a harrowing journey through the city’s underbelly and confronts the brutal world of the urban poor, where street children are forced to fight for their very survival—and a cunning killer seems just out of reach.


Click for more detail about Children Of The Waters: A Novel by Carleen Brice Children Of The Waters: A Novel

by Carleen Brice
One World/Ballantine (Jun 23, 2009)
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Still reeling from divorce and feeling estranged from her teenage son, Trish Taylor is in the midst of salvaging the remnants of her life when she uncovers a shocking secret: her sister is alive. For years Trish believed that her mother and infant sister had died in a car accident. But the truth is that her mother fatally overdosed and that Trish’s grandparents put the baby girl up for adoption because her father was black.

After years of drawing on the strength of her black ancestors, Billie Cousins is shocked to discover that she was adopted. Just as surprising, after finally overcoming a series of health struggles, she is pregnant–a dream come true for Billie but a nightmare for her sweetie, Nick, and for her mother, both determined to protect Billie from anything that may disrupt her well-being.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Chinua Achebe: Collected Poems by Chinua Achebe Chinua Achebe: Collected Poems

by Chinua Achebe
Anchor (Aug 10, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Chinua Achebe is one of the founding fathers of African literature in English, a writer of world stature whose novel Things Fall Apart is one of the essential works of the twentieth century. This Collected Poems draws on his three collections of poetry, and includes seven previously unpublished poems; it reveals a lifetime of poetic engagement with politics, war and culture, inherited wisdom and the making of new futures. Achebe’s poems are ironic, generous and tender, drawing deep on the Igbo traditions of his African roots, confronting the continent’s harsh realities of violence and exploitation.


Click for more detail about Christmas in Biafra, and Other Poems by Chinua Achebe Christmas in Biafra, and Other Poems

by Chinua Achebe
Anchor (Jan 01, 1973)
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Chinua Achebe volume of poetry was the joint winner of the first Commonwealth Poetry Prize.


Click for more detail about Christmas In The Hood (Street Chronicles) by Nikki Turner Christmas In The Hood (Street Chronicles)

by Nikki Turner
One World/Ballantine (Oct 30, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The undisputed queen of hip-hop fiction, #1 Essence bestselling author Nikki Turner unwraps a talented new collection of writers with raw urban stories to jingle your bells this season.

Christmas in the Hood presents fresh talent alongside shining stars such as K. Elliott and Seth “Soul Man” Ferranti–all writing gritty tales that reveal what the holidays bring for the naughty and the nice who live by the code of the street. In “Secret Santa,” after her children’s Christmas presents are stolen, a woman has to decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to give them the holiday they deserve; in “Me and Grandma,” a senior sleighs more crack than candy canes to bring Christmas cheer to her needy grandkids; and in “Holiday Hell,” Noelle must raise $23,000 to repay a loan shark or her sister will become a ghost of Christmas past. True to the streets and true to the season, these stories will raise the holiday spirit in the heart of even the most ghetto-hardened gangsta.

“The ghetto’s voice without constraint.”
–Upscale, on Tales from da Hood


Click for more detail about Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Chronicle of a Death Foretold

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Vintage (Oct 07, 2003)
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A man returns to the town where a baffling murder took place 27 years earlier, determined to get to the bottom of the story. Just hours after marrying the beautiful Angela Vicario, everyone agrees, Bayardo San Roman returned his bride in disgrace to her parents. Her distraught family forced her to name her first lover; and her twin brothers announced their intention to murder Santiago Nasar for dishonoring their sister.
Yet if everyone knew the murder was going to happen, why did no one intervene to stop it? The more that is learned, the less is understood, and as the story races to its inexplicable conclusion, an entire society—not just a pair of murderers—is put on trial.


Click for more detail about Church Ladies: Untold Stories of Harlem Women by Martia G. Goodson Church Ladies: Untold Stories of Harlem Women

by Martia G. Goodson
AuthorHouse (Feb 01, 2016)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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In the new book Church Ladies: Untold Stories of Harlem Women in the Powell Era by renowned scholar and historian Dr. Martia Goodson, featuring a foreword written by Adam Clayton Powell III and numerous rare archival photographs, readers will meet fifteen extraordinary women who left their spiritual and historical imprints on Harlem’s formidable Abyssinian Baptist Church, their surrounding communities, and the nation at large. Dr. Goodson, who specializes in African American oral history and is the author of New York’s African Burial Ground, interviewed these church ladies extensively over the course of a decade, from 1992 until 2002 about topics ranging from the oratory and sartorial splendor of Powell Sr.’s ministry, to Powell Jr.’s political career and activism, to the Civil Rights Movement, to their jobs and families, to how they each confronted and combatted racism in her life’s journey.

Dr. Goodson also conducted years of research through the Abyssinian Baptist Church archives, creating an engaging, page-turning historical record that will serve as a resource for historians, educators, and countless others for decades to come. Although only two of the women remain, their unique voices are alive with rich and vibrant accounts that take readers to a period that stretches back to the 1920s during Adam Clayton Powell Sr.’s “Church of the Classes,” to the era of Powell Jr.’s “Church of the Masses”, and extends to the early 1970s around the time of Powell Jr.’s death.

“I am extremely proud of this work and feel that it’s some of the most significant research that I’ve done to date,” says Dr. Goodson. “These women tell their own stories and in doing so, give voice to the history of Abyssinian and to the Powell Era in ways that others cannot…CHURCH LADIES is twentieth-century American history – seen through the eyes of the women of a black church. It is formed from the reminiscences of solid women: dignified, modest, hardworking, poised, imaginative, and intolerant of continued second-class citizenship.”


Click for more detail about Cinder by Albert French Cinder

by Albert French
Harvill Secker (Apr 24, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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This title is set in Banes, Mississippi, 1938. The Catfish creek separates the Patch from the town, black from white. These worlds and their prejudices are hauntingly evoked in the rich accents of the American South. Cinder is a woman who belongs to neither, her beauty marking her out as different. Time passes slowly, and the inhabitants of Banes follow the same daily rhythm as they have done for years. Shorty sweeps up in Mister Macky’s store, then drinks his wages at LeRoy’s bar, men sit spitting outside the Rosey Gray, old people watch the world go by from their porches. But one quiet Sunday morning, when the bombs are dropped on Pearl Harbor, change comes to this small Mississippi town. Spanning four years, ""Cinder"" is the follow-up to Albert French’s outstanding novel, ""Billy"". It is at once the story of a woman whose life has been torn apart by tragedy, and the portrait of a town divided. It is about loss, community, history and the ties that bind.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Claire Of The Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat Claire Of The Sea Light

by Edwidge Danticat
Knopf (Aug 27, 2013)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From the best-selling author of Brother, I’m Dying and The Dew Breaker: a stunning new work of fiction that brings us deep into the intertwined lives of a small seaside town where a little girl, the daughter of a fisherman, has gone missing.

Claire Limyè Lanmè—Claire of the Sea Light—is an enchanting child born into love and tragedy in Ville Rose, Haiti. Claire’s mother died in childbirth, and on each of her birthdays Claire is taken by her father, Nozias, to visit her mother’s grave. Nozias wonders if he should give away his young daughter to a local shopkeeper, who lost a child of her own, so that Claire can have a better life.

But on the night of Claire’s seventh birthday, when at last he makes the wrenching decision to do so, she disappears. As Nozias and others look for her, painful secrets, haunting memories, and startling truths are unearthed among the community of men and women whose individual stories connect to Claire, to her parents, and to the town itself. Told with piercing lyricism and the economy of a fable, Claire of the Sea Light is a tightly woven, breathtaking tapestry that explores what it means to be a parent, child, neighbor, lover, and friend, while revealing the mysterious bonds we share with the natural world and with one another. Embracing the magic and heartbreak of ordinary life, it is Edwidge Danticat’s most spellbinding, astonishing book yet.


Click for more detail about Class ACT #2 by Kelly Starling Lyons Class ACT #2

by Kelly Starling Lyons
Penguin Workshop (Sep 19, 2017)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 6 - 8 years
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Fans of Princess Posey and Ivy and Bean will enjoy rooting for Jada Jones as she runs for student council in this easy-to-read chapter book. As a candidate for class representative, Jada is ready to give the campaign her all. But when rumors start to fly about her secret fear of public speaking, she isn’t sure who she can trust. And the pressure to make promises she can’t keep only adds to her growing list of problems. Is winning even worth it when friendships are on the line? This easy-to-read story--with plenty of pictures and a charming, relatable cast of characters--is a sure winner. The early chapter book bridges between leveled readers and chapter books for fluent readers adjusting to the chapter book format. At about 5,000 words, with short chapters and two-color art on almost every page, it will appeal to this unique reader. The two-color art throughout will help readers transition from the familiar four-color art of leveled readers and ease them into black-and-white chapter books.


Click for more detail about Climate Of Fear: The Quest For Dignity In A Dehumanized World (Reith Lectures) by Wole Soyinka Climate Of Fear: The Quest For Dignity In A Dehumanized World (Reith Lectures)

by Wole Soyinka
Random House Trade Paperbacks (Jan 25, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In this new book developed from the prestigious Reith Lectures, Nobel Prize—winning author Wole Soyinka, a courageous advocate for human rights around the world, considers fear as the dominant theme in world politics.

Decades ago, the idea of collective fear had a tangible face: the atom bomb. Today our shared anxiety has become far more complex and insidious, arising from tyranny, terrorism, and the invisible power of the “quasi state.” As Wole Soyinka suggests, the climate of fear that has enveloped the world was sparked long before September 11, 2001.

Rather, it can be traced to 1989, when a passenger plane was brought down by terrorists over the Republic of Niger. From Niger to lower Manhattan to Madrid, this invisible threat has erased distinctions between citizens and soldiers; we’re all potential targets now.

In this seminal work, Soyinka explores the implications of this climate of fear: the conflict between power and freedom, the motives behind unthinkable acts of violence, and the meaning of human dignity. Fascinating and disturbing, Climate of Fear is a brilliant and defining work for our age.


Click for more detail about Cold Medina: A Novel of Suspense by Gary Hardwick Cold Medina: A Novel of Suspense

by Gary Hardwick
Dutton (Feb 01, 1996)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Tracking a white serial killer of African-American gang members in downtown Detroit, detective Tony Hill must capture the murderer while the city erupts in race-related violence all around him. A first novel. 25,000 first printing.


Click for more detail about Color Me Black by Jeannie Eneh Color Me Black

by Jeannie Eneh
AuthorHouse (Jun 08, 2011)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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"This novel is about a young, black woman name Autumn. Autumn has always dreamt to become a movie star in the rolling hills of Hollywood. Autumn is a 6 foot beauty with natural, golden blonde hair and eyes the color of the clear, blue/green ocean. Her skin is the perfect hue of the color of milk.
Autumn is in love. Autumn meets and starts dating the Mayor of Dallas who happens to be the first black mayor the city has ever had. Autumn is confused. How can Autumn love the Mayor when Nelly has her heart and refuses to let go. Nelly and Autumn’s chemistry is too hot to handle. Autumn’s love for Nelly hurt so bad she had to let him go. Nelly is a true big baller who just ‘happens’ to be white and married with kids.
Nelly asks Autumn, “What do you want me to do, Color Me Black?”
In midst of Autumn’s love triangle she gets the break she has been waiting on. Her best friend Bug-a-Loo who is an up and coming rapper gives her the lead role in his new rap video. Autumn’s success skyrockets.

Who will pay the price for Autumn’s success? Autumn, The Mayor, Nelly or will it be Bug."


Click for more detail about Colored People: A Memoir by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Colored People: A Memoir

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Vintage (Apr 11, 1995)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From an American Book Award-winning author comes a pungent and poignant masterpiece of recollection that ushers readers into a now-vanished "colored" world and extends and deepens our sense of African-American history, even as it entrances us with its bravura storytelling.


Click for more detail about Colored Sugar Water: A Spiritual Tale by Venise Berry Colored Sugar Water: A Spiritual Tale

by Venise Berry
Dutton Adult (Jan 01, 2002)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Colored Sugar Water introduces Lucy Merriweather and Adel Kelly, both dealing with life issues. Lucy is thirty-five, single, and in great shape thanks to her career as a fitness manager for a string of Texas health clubs. Adel is the vice president for human resources at American Oil, pulling in a six-figure salary and annual bonuses. Unfortunately, neither is happy.

Lucy struggles with her emotional and spiritual dreams. Her boyfriend Spencer, a basic kind of guy who loves his mama, sports, fried chicken, and Lucy in that order doesn’t seem to measure up. So she decides to get out of her rut with a Sexy Soul Psychic named Kuba. Self-assured and sensitive, Kuba seems to know exactly what women want. Or does he?

Adel struggles with a husband, Thad, who refuses to grow up and a job that is less than satisfying despite its financial gains. She is eventually forced to reexamine her faith as she searches for a life that brings her closer to happiness and fulfillment.

Filled with the humor, passion, and pathos of modern relationships, Colored Sugar Water tells the story of two women who discover the power of their unique spiritual gifts. It further establishes Venise Berry as one of the freshest, wittiest, and wisest writers on today’s fiction scene-as New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey wrote, "magnificient and honest, Venise Berry’s writing comes from her soul."

Book Review

Click for more detail about Coming to North America: From Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico by Susan Garver and Paula McGuire Coming to North America: From Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico

by Susan Garver and Paula McGuire
Delacorte Press (Dec 01, 1981)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Explores the immigrant experiences of Mexicans, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans in the United States.


Click for more detail about Complete Poems (Penguin Classics) by James Weldon Johnson Complete Poems (Penguin Classics)

by James Weldon Johnson
Penguin Classics (Oct 01, 2000)
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2000 marks the centenary of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," James Weldon Johnson’s most famous lyric, which is now embraced as the Negro National Anthem. In celebration, this Penguin original collects all the poems from Johnson’s published works—Fifty Years and Other Poems (1917), God’s Trombones (1927), and Saint Peter Relates an Incident of the Resurrection Day (1935)—along with a number of previously unpublished poems.Sondra Kathryn Wilson, the foremost authority on Johnson and his work, provides an introduction that sheds light on Johnson’s many achievements and his pioneering contributions to recording and celebrating the African American experience.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


Click for more detail about Confirmation: The Spiritual Wisdom That Has Shaped Our Lives by Khephra Burns and Susan L. Taylor Confirmation: The Spiritual Wisdom That Has Shaped Our Lives

by Khephra Burns and Susan L. Taylor
Anchor (Jan 19, 1999)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Confirmation: The Spiritual Wisdom That Has Shaped Our Lives is a very personal collection of inspirational writings gathered by the husband and wife team of Khephra Burns and Susan L. Taylor from more than a hundred different sources, representing the wisdom of diverse cultures throughout the world that have helped to shape their spiritual life. Introduced by a moving essay describing Susan and Khephra’s spiritual coming-of-age, and informed by scores of narrative bridges by the authors explaining and annotating the selections they include, the collection spotlights the wisdom of the ages that has been at the core of the author’s spiritual growth over the past twenty years.

Organized under a dozen different subject areas, from love and forgiveness to fear, death, prayer and meditation, this enthralling collection includes passages not only from the traditional sacred texts of the world’s major religions—the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, Bhagavad Gita and the teachings of Buddha-but from African proverbs and the writings of animists, mystics, poets, seers and songwriters elucidating the oneness of being. Among the authors included are Christian mystic Howard Thurman, Maya Angelou, Kahlil Gibran, Deepak Chopra, Sufi mystic Jalal al-Din Rumi, Black Elk, Lao-Tzu, Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, John Coltrane, African shaman Malidoma Some, and many more.

Confirmation is a rich and varied treasury of spiritual delights that will be nothing less than a sacred feast to Susan Taylor’s devoted fans and followers.


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about Cornrows by Camille Yarbrough Cornrows

by Camille Yarbrough
Puffin Books (Jan 27, 1997)
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Every design has a name and means something in the powerful past and present richness of the Black tradition.

Mama’s and Great-Grammaw’s gentle fingers weave the design, and their lulling voices weave the tale, as they braid their children’s hair into the striking cornrow patterns of Africa.


Click for more detail about Cotton Comes to Harlem by Chester Himes Cotton Comes to Harlem

by Chester Himes
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (Nov 28, 1988)
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A classic entry in Chester Himes’s trailblazing Harlem Detectives series, Cotton Comes to Harlem is one of his hardest-hitting and most entertaining thrillers.
 
Flim-flam man Deke O’Hara is no sooner out of Atlanta’s state penitentiary than he’s back on the streets working the scam of a lifetime. As sponsor of the Back-to-Africa movement, he’s counting on a big Harlem rally to produce a massive collection—for his own private charity. But the take is hijacked by white gunmen and hidden in a bale of cotton that suddenly everyone wants to get his hands on. As NYPD detectives “Coffin Ed” Johnson and “Grave Digger” Jones piece together the complexity of the scheme, we are treated to Himes’s brand of hard-boiled crime fiction at its very best.


Click for more detail about Crawfish Dreams: A Novel by Nancy Rawles Crawfish Dreams: A Novel

by Nancy Rawles
Doubleday (Mar 18, 2003)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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The luminous, uplifting story of a woman who cooks up a plan to bring her family back together and discovers that love, sharing, and a dash of daring are the secret ingredients that can turn dreams into reality.

Camille Broussard can remember a time when she had more pep in her stride and her single-story house was one of the nicest homes in the cozy, well-kept neighborhood of Watts. Her kitchen overflowed with the fragrant aromas of Creole cooking, and the taste of her divine crawfish, rich gumbos, and delicious pralines had family and friends begging for seconds and thirds. The devastation of the Watts riots and the ravages of Reaganomics, however, changed everything. Her neighbors have fled, the church pews are nearly empty at Sunday mass, and her own children have turned their backs on Watts and on the pride and values Camille instilled in them.

Her grandson Nicholas has just finished serving time for a crime he knew better than to commit; her politically active lesbian daughter, Grace, is struggling with an identity crisis; and Yvette, her naïve, sexually cloistered daughter, has a husband whose secrets threaten to destroy the bond between mother and daughter. But despite how far they have strayed, Camille is not ready to give up on the family who has nourished her as she has nourished them. So she decides to combine her love of family and her love of cooking into one great enterprise. She opens Camille’s Creole Kitchen and recruits her family to help her get the restaurant on its feet. As the business gradually grows, Camille not only restores her family’s spirit and sense of purpose, she also recovers her own lost dreams.

Written with grace and vitality, Crawfish Dreams is a generous novel about responsibility, community, family loyalty, and the pursuit of personal happiness. From its heartwarming messages to the recipes sprinkled throughout its pages, it is an irresistible treat from start to finish.


Click for more detail about Crossbones by Nuruddin Farah Crossbones

by Nuruddin Farah
Knopf (Sep 01, 2011)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A gripping new novel from today’s "most important African novelist". (The New York Times Review of Books) A dozen years after his last visit, Jeebleh returns to his beloved Mogadiscio to see old friends. He is accompanied by his son-in-law, Malik, a journalist intent on covering the region’s ongoing turmoil. What greets them at first is not the chaos Jeebleh remembers, however, but an eerie calm enforced by ubiquitous white-robed figures bearing whips.Meanwhile, Malik’s brother, Ahl, has arrived in Puntland, the region notorious as a pirates’ base. Ahl is searching for his stepson, Taxliil, who has vanished from Minneapolis, apparently recruited by an imam allied to Somalia’s rising religious insurgency. The brothers’ efforts draw them closer to Taxliil and deeper into the fabric of the country, even as Somalis brace themselves for an Ethiopian invasion. Jeebleh leaves Mogadiscio only a few hours before the borders are breached and raids descend from land and sea. As the uneasy quiet shatters and the city turns into a battle zone, the brothers experience firsthand the derailments of war.Completing the trilogy that began with Links and Knots, Crossbones is a fascinating look at individuals caught in the maw of zealotry, profiteering, and political conflict, by one of our most highly acclaimed international writers.


Click for more detail about Crossing the Mangrove by Maryse Conde Crossing the Mangrove

by Maryse Conde
Anchor (Feb 01, 1995)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In this beautifully crafted, Rashomon-like novel, Maryse Conde has written a gripping story imbued with all the nuances and traditions of Caribbean culture. Francis Sancher—a handsome outsider, loved by some and reviled by others—is found dead, face down in the mud on a path outside Riviere au Sel, a small village in Guadeloupe.  None of the villagers are particularly surprised, since Sancher, a secretive and melancholy man, had often predicted an unnatural death for himself.  As the villagers come to pay their respects they each—either in a speech to the mourners, or in an internal monologue—reveal another piece of the mystery behind Sancher’s life and death.  

Like pieces of an elaborate puzzle, their memories interlock to create a rich and intriguing portrait of a man and a community. In the lush and vivid prose for which she has become famous, Conde has constructed a Guadeloupean wake for Francis Sancher.  Retaining the full color and vibrance of Conde’s homeland, Crossing the Mangrove pays homage to Guadeloupe in both subject and structure.


Click for more detail about Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry
Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats

by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry
Doubleday (Oct 31, 2000)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Countless black women would rather attend church naked than hatless. For these women, a church hat, flamboyant as it may be, is no mere fashion accessory;  it’s a cherished African American custom, one observed with boundless passion by black women of various religious denominations. A woman’s hat speaks long before its wearer utters a word.  It’s what Deirdre Guion calls "hattitude…there’s a little more strut in your carriage when you wear a nice hat. There’s something special about you." If a hat says a lot about a person, it says even more about a people-the customs they observe, the symbols they prize, and the fashions they fancy.

Photographer Michael Cunningham beautifully captures the self-expressions of women of all ages-from young glamorous women to serene but stylish grandmothers. Award-winning journalist Craig Marberry provides an intimate look at the women and their lives. Together they’ve captured a captivating custom, this wearing of church hats, a peculiar convergence of faith and fashion that keeps the Sabbath both holy and glamorous.


Click for more detail about Cubicles: A Novel by camika c. spencer Cubicles: A Novel

by camika c. spencer
One World/Ballantine (Oct 28, 2008)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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New from the Blackboard-bestselling author of When All Hell Breaks Loose: When some old secrets make office politics spiral out of control, three women will have to decide how far they’re willing to go to climb the corporate ladder.

At first glance, you couldn’t find three women more different than Margaret, Faulkner, and Joyce. Margaret is almost sixty, devoutly religious, and getting ready to retire from her job at Meridian Southwest. Faulkner is a young go-getter who really wants to land a position in upper management. And Joyce is a domineering, immaculately dressed middle-aged woman who’s moments away from receiving a top executive appointment.

But something just doesn’t seem right with these three. Isn’t it strange that Margaret and Joyce have worked together for more than twenty years but barely even speak? Why is it that the more Faulkner tries to impress Joyce with her hard work, the more Joyce seems to hate her? Who can explain why the management position for which Faulkner is the best qualified applicant remains vacant? And why is James, the department intern, always smiling about something?

Over the course of a few weeks, Margaret, Faulkner, and Joyce are unexpectedly drawn together as a tangled web woven decades earlier begins to unravel.


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about Dad Interrupted: A Novel by Van Whitfield Dad Interrupted: A Novel

by Van Whitfield
Harlem Moon (Jun 08, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Single guy Shawn Wayne has a problem . . . actually he has three problems:

(1) His girlfriend, a no-nonsense TV star named Dawn, expects the New Year’s broadcast of her new BET talk show to produce a long-awaited proposal from Shawn.

(2) His “sort-of” ex-girlfriend, the shapely and seductive Troi, announces that she’s pregnant and coming to be with Shawn in Washington, D.C.

(3) Shawn doesn’t know if the baby is his, though he would never deny it, and now he must decide if he should tell Dawn about the baby. He simply can’t afford to risk losing his one and only soul mate without first knowing he is, indeed, the father.

Shawn’s embarrassing, nationally televised confession is the centerpiece of this much-anticipated follow-up to Van Whitfield’s smash debut romantic comedy, Beeperless Remote. Taking an uncompromising and revealing look at the state of black fatherhood, this hilarious new novel includes the Official “Baby Mama” Checklist, the Why Men Are Lost Quotient, and the What It Takes to Be a Dad Inventory.

With Whitfield’s trademarked witty, fast-paced style, Dad Interrupted brings back Donnie, the recovering crack addict who now works as a drug counselor; Kelly, whose crush on Shawn may finally be realized; and Shawn’s lovable parents, who spin their special brand of wisdom from the great beyond. Everybody has a take on what Shawn should do and, more importantly, who he should do it with . . . Dawn or Troi.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Dakota Grand: A Novel by Kenji Jasper Dakota Grand: A Novel

by Kenji Jasper
Harlem Moon (Sep 24, 2002)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From the author of the acclaimed debut novel Dark, a searing and authentic new novel about the mano a mano feud between a famous rap artist and an intrepid, won’t-back-down hip-hop journalist.

Dakota Grand is a young music journalist who’s left his Southern roots behind and moved to the Big Apple to cover the rough-and-tumble world of rap. He’s part of the star-making machinery, spinning the web of interviews, reviews, and “inside stories” that move the CD’s off the racks. He’s good at this, but what it’s gotten him so far is an apartment in deepest Brooklyn, a check-to-check freelancer’s existence, and a hit-and-run love life. Then the break of his career comes: the opportunity to interview one of his rap heroes, Mirage, one half of the legendary group Arbor Day, for a cover story for The Magazine. Puffing on a spliff, Mirage spills plenty of beans to Dakota Grand, but he’s less than pleased by the resulting article. In fact, he has his boys assault Dakota in a midtown elevator and send him to the hospital. What ensues is an increasingly tense and violent duel between Mirage and Dakota Grand, with the young writer determined to fight back for his own honor and that of his fellow journalists.

As gripping as the best “Behind the Music” episode, Dakota Grand is a vivid and provocative study of a young writer and the multiplatinum, chart-topping culture that has begun to consume him—a significant step forward for a rising young star in the African-American literary world.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Dancing in the Dark by Caryl Phillips Dancing in the Dark

by Caryl Phillips
Vintage (Oct 10, 2006)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In this searing novel, Caryl Phillips reimagines the life of the first black entertainer in the U.S. to reach the highest levels of fame and fortune.After years of struggling for success on the stage, Bert Williams (1874—1922), the child of recent immigrants from the Bahamas, made the radical decision to don blackface makeup and play the “coon.” Behind this mask he became a Broadway headliner–as influential a comedian as Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, and W. C. Fields, who called him “the funniest man I ever saw, and the saddest man I ever knew.” It is this dichotomy at Williams’ core that Phillips explores in this richly nuanced, brilliantly written novel, unblinking in its attention to the sinister compromises that make up an identity.


Click for more detail about Dancing In The Wings by Debbie Allen Dancing In The Wings

by Debbie Allen
Dial Books for Young Readers (Sep 01, 2000)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Sassy worries that her too-large feet, too-long legs, and even her big mouth will keep her from her dream of becoming a star ballerina. So for now she’s just dancing in the wings, watching from behind the curtain, and hoping that one day it will be her turn to shimmer in the spotlight. When the director of an important dance festival comes to audition her class, Sassy’s first attempts to get his attention are, well, a little wobbly. But Sassy just knows, somehow, that this is her time to step out from those wings, and make her mark on the world. Actress/choreographer Debbie Allen and Kadir Nelson collaborated on Brothers of the Knight, about which School Library Journal raved, "the strutting high-stepping brothers are full of individuality, attitude, and movement."


Click for more detail about Dancing on the Edge of the Roof by Sheila Williams Dancing on the Edge of the Roof

by Sheila Williams
One World (Oct 29, 2002)
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At forty-one, Juanita Lewis is running away from home, courtesy of a one-way ticket to Montana, a place that seems about as far away from the violence and poverty of the Columbus, Ohio, projects as the moon. She wants adventure and excitement–if such things exist for a pre-menopausal African American woman with three grown, deadbeat children.

Juanita’s new life in Paper Moon, Montana, begins at a local diner where a culinary face-off with chef and owner Jess Gardiner finds Juanita in front of Jess’s stove serving up home cookin’ that lures the townsfolk like a magic spell. And suddenly Juanita, who was just passin’ through, now has a job by popular demand.

Out here in this wide-open space, Juanita’s heart can no longer hide, especially when she sees herself through the eyes of the wonderful and eccentric people of this down-to-earth town. She’s happy in Paper Moon; she’s found a home, but can she stay? And then there’s Jess. She has always dreamed of romance, but she never planned on falling in love.


Click for more detail about Dark salvation: The story of Methodism as it developed among Blacks in America (C. Eric Lincoln series on Black religion) by Harry V. Richardson Dark salvation: The story of Methodism as it developed among Blacks in America (C. Eric Lincoln series on Black religion)

by Harry V. Richardson
Anchor Press (Jan 01, 1976)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Click for more detail about Dark: A Novel by Kenji Jasper Dark: A Novel

by Kenji Jasper
Broadway Books (Jun 12, 2001)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Thai Williams is walking a thin line between two worlds. On one side he has his job as a filing clerk for the Washington, D.C., Department of Public Works, his girlfriend Sierra, and his plans for going to college. But on the other, darker side there are his friends Snowflake and Ray Ray, men who run the neighborhood streets dodging the dangers of the criminal life and its after-effects. But that thin line disappears when Thai walks in on Sierra with another man, whom he eventually kills in a haze of jealousy and confusion. From there Thai finds himself on the run and away from the five-block stretch where he’s lived for all his life. He finds his way to Charlotte, where Enrique, his closest friend of all, has moved in search of a better life. In the course of the week that follows, Thai encounters a series of men and women who show him aspects of life he never dreamed of in his narrow ghetto existence. All of them are looking for answers, but it is Thai who must find his own path out of the dark and into the clear light of moral responsibility and repentance for his actions.

In his first novel, Kenji has written a haunting portrait of his own urban generation, shadowed (and often erased) by violence, but determined to make their own mark on the world.


Click for more detail about Daughters of Africa by Margaret Busby Daughters of Africa

by Margaret Busby
Ballantine Books (Feb 01, 1994)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"A magnificent starting place for any reader interested in becoming part of the collective enterprise of discovering and uncovering the silent, forgotten, and underrated voices of black women."
THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
From all over the world and through the ages, here is a dazzling collection of two hundred women writers of African descent, showcased as never before, including:
Toni Cade Bambara, Gwendolyn Brooks, Alice Childress, Maryse Conde, Aldo do Espirito Santo, Marita Golden, Pilar Lopez Gonzales, June Jordan, Terry McMillan, Queen of Sheba, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Phillis Weatley, and many, many others.


Click for more detail about Daydreamers by Eloise Greenfield Daydreamers

by Eloise Greenfield
Dial Books for Young Readers (Jan 01, 1981)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Poetry and portraits of young black children reveal all the beauty in children’s wishes, yearnings, and memories. “"Greenfield and Feelings have unquestionably worked together in harmony to create their sensitive portrayals of black boys and girls.”—Publishers Weekly.


Click for more detail about De Mojo Blues: De Quest of HighJohn de Conqueror by Arthur R. Flowers De Mojo Blues: De Quest of HighJohn de Conqueror

by Arthur R. Flowers
Ballantine Books (Jan 01, 1987)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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Three black soldiers are dishonorably discharged from the Vietnam War due to a mutinous fragging incident. They return home resolved to take on the world, but ambition and poverty begin to dissolve their precious brotherhoodo forged in the trenches of Southeast Asia. To counter this growing fragmentation, the hero prophet of the group, Tucept Highjohn, inspired by a set of mystical bones passed onto him by a dying brother in Vietnam, undergoes ‘hoodoo’ in his isolated house on stilts in a wilderness park in Memphis. His new self mastery enables him to relive his memories of Vietnam and to rally his ex companions in arms with a vision of the triumph of black people everywhere.

This rich first novel about the Vietnam inheritance of three black combat veterans, written in an original rhythmic prose, marks the debut of a gifted young black novelist.


Click for more detail about Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself—And the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future by Harriet A. Washington Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself—And the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future

by Harriet A. Washington
Anchor (Nov 13, 2012)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From the award-winning author of Medical Apartheid, an exposé of the rush to own and exploit the raw materials of life—including yours.
 
Think your body is your own to control and dispose of as you wish? Think again. The United States Patent Office has granted at least 40,000 patents on genes controlling the most basic processes of human life, and more are pending. If you undergo surgery in many hospitals you must sign away ownership rights to your excised tissues, even if they turn out to have medical and fiscal value. Life itself is rapidly becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the medical-industrial complex.
 
Deadly Monopolies is a powerful, disturbing, and deeply researched book that illuminates this “life patent” gold rush and its harmful, and even lethal, consequences for public health. Like the bestselling The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, it reveals in shocking detail just how far the profit motive has encroached in colonizing human life and compromising medical ethics.


Click for more detail about Deals with the Devil by Pearl Cleage Deals with the Devil

by Pearl Cleage
Ballantine Books (Jul 07, 1993)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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"Pearl Cleage breaks down for sisters all the old rules and unspoken taboos. She tells us the truths our mothers are still afraid to confront, the essential wisdom we need to stay alive. Her book mourns and rages all in one breath."

BEBE MOORE CAMPBELL

Author of YOUR BLUES AIN’T LIKE MINE

Dead-on, to the point, fearless. A third-generation black nationalist feminist, Pearl Cleage recognizes the pure power of telling the uncompromising truth—about African-American life and about the fate of the race in racist America. Whether she’s writing about her—and her sisters’—defenition of good brother, or why she’s so mad at Miles Davis, DEALS WITH THE DEVIL is filled with Pearl’s most provactive, fascinating, and outrageous insights.


Click for more detail about Dear Darkness: Poems by Kevin Young Dear Darkness: Poems

by Kevin Young
Knopf (Jul 06, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Delivered in Young’s classic bluesy tone, this powerful collection of poems about the American family, smoky Southern food, and the losses that time inevitably brings “bristles with life, nerve and, best of all, wit” (San Francisco Chronicle).


Click for more detail about Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Knopf (Mar 07, 2017)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From the best-selling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists comes a powerful new statement about feminism today—written as a letter to a friend.

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 is Adichie’s letter of response.
     Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions—compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive—for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires; having open conversations with her about clothes, makeup, and sexuality; debunking the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, and that men can "allow" women to have full careers, Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century. It will start a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.


Click for more detail about Dear Mary, Dear Luther by Jill Marie Snyder Dear Mary, Dear Luther

by Jill Marie Snyder
AuthorHouse (Mar 05, 2015)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Dear Mary, Dear Luther reveals through letters the emotional track of a 1930s courtship that leads to a lasting, loving marriage. Luther is the pursuer, always being honest with Mary about where she stands. Step by step, he proclaims his feelings as he progresses from attraction to love. The media often portray African American males as brutes, lacking feelings and deep emotions. Luther’s authentic expressions of romantic love will be a revelation for many.

Mary-sassy, feisty and mercurial-is a very smart young lady. She continues to date others until Luther makes it clear she is the only one. She accepts his evolving emotional state, never pushing for a greater commitment than he’s ready to make. It is wonderful to witness this couple’s burgeoning relationship over a period of three and one-half years. Gradually, their intimacy deepens until they reach a point when they both know they’re ready to become man and wife.

These letters prove that a great love is attainable by everyone regardless of color or class. We need only the courage to patiently let it bloom.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Debbie Doesn't Do It Anymore by Walter Mosley Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore

by Walter Mosley
Knopf (May 13, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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In this scorching, mournful, often explicit, and never less than moving literary novel by the famed creator of the Easy Rawlins series, Debbie Dare, a black porn queen, has to come to terms with her sordid life in the adult entertainment industry after her tomcatting husband dies in a hot tub. Electrocuted. With another woman in there with him. Debbie decides she just isn't going to "do it anymore." But executing her exit strategy from the porn world is a wrenching and far from simple process.

Millions of men (and no doubt many women) have watched famed black porn queen Debbie Dare—she of the blond wig and blue contacts-"do it" on television and computer screens every which way with every combination of partners the mind of man can imagine. But one day an unexpected and thunderous on-set orgasm catches Debbie unawares, and when she returns to the mansion she shares with her husband, insatiable former porn star and "film producer" Theon Pinkney, she discovers that he's died in a case of hot tub electrocution, "auditioning" an aspiring "starlet." Burdened with massive debts that her husband incurred, and which various L.A. heavies want to collect on, Debbie must reckon with a life spent in the peculiar subculture of the pornography industry and her estrangement from her family and the child she had to give up. She's done with porn, but her options for what might come next include the possibility of suicide. Debbie . . . is a portrait of a ransacked but resilient soul in search of salvation and a cure for grief.


Click for more detail about Decadence by Eric Jerome Dickey Decadence

by Eric Jerome Dickey
Knopf (Feb 01, 2013)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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What Nia Simon Bijou desires, she works hard to achieve. Her accomplishments as a respected writer have not only brought her to Hollywood, but she’s now poised for worldwide success, and pursued and desired by Prada, a man of international power and wealth. With everything Nia has, she remains restless and on a journey to quell her inner storm. Then someone introduces her to a place called Decadence…

In this intimately private club, Nia submits to an abundance of sensual experiences she previously could only have imagined. As secret desires become reality, Nia’s ability to distinguish truth from fantasy becomes increasingly blurred. Seduced into the extremes of Decadence, Nia soon discovers that abandoning all caution in pursuit of your hedonistic fantasies can carry a devastating price…


Click for more detail about Decoded by Jay-Z Decoded

by Jay-Z
Spiegel & Grau (Nov 16, 2010)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Decoded is a book like no other: a collection of lyrics and their meanings that together tell the story of a culture, an art form, a moment in history, and one of the most provocative and successful artists of our time.

“Hip-hop’s renaissance man drops a classic. . . . Heartfelt, passionate and slick.”— Kirkus, starred review

Book Review

Click for more detail about Deep Sightings & Rescue Missions: Fiction, Essays, And Conversations by Toni Cade Bambara Deep Sightings & Rescue Missions: Fiction, Essays, And Conversations

by Toni Cade Bambara
Vintage (Jan 26, 1999)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Edited and with a Preface by Toni Morrison, this posthumous collection of short stories, essays, and interviews offers lasting evidence of Bambara’s passion, lyricism, and tough critical intelligence. Included are tales of mothers and daughters, rebels and seeresses, community activists and aging gangbangers, as well as essays on film and literature, politics and race, and on the difficulties and necessities of forging an identity as an artist, activist, and black woman. It is a treasure trove not only for those familiar with Bambara’s work, but for a new generation of readers who will recognize her contribution to contemporary American letters.


Click for more detail about Def Jam, Inc. : Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, and the Extraordinary Story of the World’s Most Influential Hip-Hop Label by Stacy Gueraseva Def Jam, Inc. : Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, and the Extraordinary Story of the World’s Most Influential Hip-Hop Label

by Stacy Gueraseva
One World/Ballantine (Jul 26, 2005)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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In the early ‘80s, the music industry wrote off hip-hop as a passing fad. Few could or would have predicted that the improvised raps and raw beats busting out of New York City’s urban underclass would one day become a multimillion-dollar business and one of music’s most lucrative genres.

Among those few were two visionaries: Russell Simmons, a young black man from Hollis, Queens, and Rick Rubin, a Jewish kid from Long Island. Though the two came from different backgrounds, their all-consuming passion for hip-hop brought them together. Soon they would revolutionize the music industry with their groundbreaking label, Def Jam Records.

Def Jam, Inc. traces the company’s incredible rise from the NYU dorm room of nineteen-year-old Rubin (where LL Cool J was discovered on a demo tape) to the powerhouse it is today; from financial struggles and scandals–including The Beastie Boys’s departure from the label and Rubin’s and Simmons’s eventual parting–to revealing anecdotes about artists like Slick Rick, Public Enemy, Foxy Brown, Jay-Z, and DMX.

Stacy Gueraseva, former editor in chief of Russell Simmons’s magazine, Oneworld, had access to the biggest players on the scene, and brings you real conversations and a behind-the-scenes look from a decade–and a company–that turned the music world upside down. She takes you back to New York in the ‘80s, when late-night spots such as Danceteria and Nell’s were burning with young, fresh rappers, and Simmons and Rubin had nothing but a hunch that they were on to something huge.

Far more than just a biography of the two men who made it happen, Def Jam, Inc. is a journey into the world of rap itself. Both an intriguing business history as well as a gritty narrative, here is the definitive book on Def Jam–a must read for any fan of hip-hop as well as all popular-culture junkies.


Click for more detail about Defending the Spirit: A Black Life in America by Randall Robinson Defending the Spirit: A Black Life in America

by Randall Robinson
Dutton Adult (Feb 01, 1998)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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In 1977, Randall Robinson founded TransAfrica, the first organization to lobby for the interests of African and Caribbean peoples, and it became the galvanizing force behind the anti-apartheid boycott of South Africa, spearheaded efforts to secure the release of Nelson Mandela, and mobilized the fight to reinstate President Aristide and restore democracy in Haiti. Defending the Spirit tells the story of Robinson’s rise from childhood in the segregated South to his role as a Washington power figure. A stunning and uplifting memoir, it also offers stinging commentary on American policies in Africa and the Caribbean, where racism still plays an unfortunate role. Impassioned, charismatic, and unwavering in his convictions, Robinson emerges as an inspiring and empowering example of a great American leader.

  • A behind-the-scenes look at some of the most significant moments in recent American and world history.
  • Randall Robinson candidly discusses such prominent figures as Jesse Helms, Bob Dole, Charles Rangel, Nelson Mandela, Roger Wilkins, and his famed newscaster brother, Max Robinson.
  • Published to coincide with Black History Month.
  • As an active public speaker, Robinson appears all over America.
  • Randall Robinson is a prominent African-American political figure and a model for the black community.


Click for more detail about Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul by Eddie S. Glaude Jr. Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul

by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
Crown (Jan 12, 2016)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A powerful polemic on the state of black America that savages the idea of a post-racial society
 
America’s great promise of equality has always rung hollow in the ears of African Americans. But today the situation has grown even more dire. From the murders of black youth by the police, to the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act, to the disaster visited upon poor and middle-class black families by the Great Recession, it is clear that black America faces an emergency—at the very moment the election of the first black president has prompted many to believe we’ve solved America’s race problem.
 
Democracy in Black is Eddie S. Glaude Jr.’s impassioned response. Part manifesto, part history, part memoir, it argues that we live in a country founded on a “value gap”—with white lives valued more than others—that still distorts our politics today. Whether discussing why all Americans have racial habits that reinforce inequality, why black politics based on the civil-rights era have reached a dead end, or why only remaking democracy from the ground up can bring real change, Glaude crystallizes the untenable position of black America—and offers thoughts on a better way forward. Forceful in ideas and unsettling in its candor, Democracy In Black is a landmark book on race in America, one that promises to spark wide discussion as we move toward the end of our first black presidency.


Click for more detail about Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism by Cornel West Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism

by Cornel West
Penguin Books (Aug 30, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In his major bestseller, Race Matters, philosopher Cornel West burst onto the national scene with his searing analysis of the scars of racism in American democracy. Race Matters has become a contemporary classic, still in print after ten years, having sold more than four hundred thousand copies. A mesmerizing speaker with a host of fervidly devoted fans, West gives as many as one hundred public lectures a year and appears regularly on radio and television. Praised by The New York Times for his "ferocious moral vision" and hailed by Newsweek as "an elegant prophet with attitude," he bridges the gap between black and white opinion about the country’s problems.In Democracy Matters, West returns to the analysis of the arrested development of democracy-both in America and in the crisis-ridden Middle East. In a strikingly original diagnosis, he argues that if America is to become a better steward of democratization around the world, we must first wake up to the long history of imperialist corruption that has plagued our own democracy. Both our failure to foster peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the crisis of Islamist anti-Americanism stem largely from hypocrisies in our dealings with the world. Racism and imperial expansionism have gone hand in hand in our country’s inexorable drive toward hegemony, and our current militarism is only the latest expression of that drive. Even as we are shocked by Islamic fundamentalism, our own brand of fundamentalism, which West dubs Constantinian Christianity, has joined forces with imperialist corporate and political elites in an unholy alliance, and four decades after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., insidious racism still inflicts debilitating psychic pain on so many of our citizens.But there is a deep democratic tradition in America of impassioned commitment to the fight against imperialist corruptions-the last great expression of which was the civil rights movement led by Dr. King-and West brings forth the powerful voices of that great democratizing tradition in a brilliant and deeply moving call for the revival of our better democratic nature. His impassioned and provocative argument for the revitalization of America’s democracy will reshape the terms of the raging national debate about America’s role in today’s troubled world.


Click for more detail about Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism by Cornel West Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism

by Cornel West
Penguin Press HC, The (Sep 02, 2004)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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In his major bestseller, Race Matters, philosopher Cornel West burst onto the national scene with his searing analysis of the scars of racism in American democracy. Race Matters has become a contemporary classic, still in print after ten years, having sold more than four hundred thousand copies. A mesmerizing speaker with a host of fervidly devoted fans, West gives as many as one hundred public lectures a year and appears regularly on radio and television. Praised by The New York Times for his "ferocious moral vision" and hailed by Newsweek as "an elegant prophet with attitude," he bridges the gap between black and white opinion about the country’s problems.

In Democracy Matters, West returns to the analysis of the arrested development of democracy-both in America and in the crisis-ridden Middle East. In a strikingly original diagnosis, he argues that if America is to become a better steward of democratization around the world, we must first wake up to the long history of imperialist corruption that has plagued our own democracy. Both our failure to foster peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the crisis of Islamist anti-Americanism stem largely from hypocrisies in our dealings with the world. Racism and imperial expansionism have gone hand in hand in our country’s inexorable drive toward hegemony, and our current militarism is only the latest expression of that drive. Even as we are shocked by Islamic fundamentalism, our own brand of fundamentalism, which West dubs Constantinian Christianity, has joined forces with imperialist corporate and political elites in an unholy alliance, and four decades after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., insidious racism still inflicts debilitating psychic pain on so many of our citizens.

But there is a deep democratic tradition in America of impassioned commitment to the fight against imperialist corruptions-the last great expression of which was the civil rights movement led by Dr. King-and West brings forth the powerful voices of that great democratizing tradition in a brilliant and deeply moving call for the revival of our better democratic nature. His impassioned and provocative argument for the revitalization of America’s democracy will reshape the terms of the raging national debate about America’s role in today’s troubled world.


Click for more detail about Devil on the Cross by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o Devil on the Cross

by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
Penguin Classics (Apr 11, 2017)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The great Kenyan writer and Nobel Prize nominee Ng?g? wa Thiong’o’s powerful fictional critique of capitalism

One of the cornerstones of Ng?g? wa Thiong’o’s fame, Devil on the Cross was written in secret, on toilet paper, while Ng?g? was in prison. It tells the tragic story of Wariinga, a young woman who moves from a rural Kenyan town to the capital, Nairobi, only to be exploited by her boss and later by a corrupt businessman. As she struggles to survive, Wariinga begins to realize that her problems are only symptoms of a larger societal malaise and that much of the misfortune stems from the Western, capitalist influences on her country. An impassioned cry for a Kenya free of dictatorship and for African writers to work in their own local dialects, Devil on the Cross has had a profound influence on Africa and on post-colonial African literature.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


Click for more detail about Devil’s Dream: A Novel About Nathan Bedford Forrest by Madison Smartt Bell Devil’s Dream: A Novel About Nathan Bedford Forrest

by Madison Smartt Bell
Pantheon Books (Nov 03, 2009)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From the author of All Souls’ Rising which The Washington Post called “A serious historical novel that reads like a dream,” comes a powerful new novel about Nathan Bedford Forrest, the most reviled, celebrated, and legendary, of Civil War generals.

With the same eloquence, dramatic energy, and grasp of history that marked his previous works, Madison Smartt Bell gives us a wholly new vantage point from which to view this complicated American figure. Considered a rogue by the upper ranks of the Confederate Army, who did not properly use his talents, Forrest was often relegated to small-scale operations.

In Devil’s Dream, Bell brings to life an energetic, plainspoken man who does not tolerate weakness in himself or in those around him. We see Forrest on and off the battlefield, in less familiar but no less revealing moments of his life: courting the woman who would become his wife; battling a compulsion to gamble; overcoming his abhorrence of the army bureaucracy to rise to its highest ranks. We see him treating his slaves humanely even as he fights to ensure their continued enslavement, and in battle we see his knack for keeping his enemy unsettled, his instinct for the unexpected, and his relentless stamina.

As Devil’s Dream moves back and forth in time, providing prismatic glimpses of Forrest, a vivid portrait comes into focus: a rough, fierce man with a life fill of contradictions.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Devilseed by Frank Yerby Devilseed

by Frank Yerby
Doubleday (Mar 01, 1984)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Best possible copy of this book. Brand new condition hardcover book in its also mint condition decorative dustjacket. An archival quality mylar cover has been professionally added to make it even nicer. Enjoy being the first to read this book!


Click for more detail about Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany Dhalgren

by Samuel R. Delany
Vintage (May 15, 2001)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In Dhalgren, perhaps one of the most profound and bestselling science fiction novels of all time, Samuel R. Delany has produced a novel “ to stand with the best American fiction of the 1970s— (Jonathan Lethem). Bellona is a city at the dead center of the United States. Something has happened there. The population has fled. Madmen and criminals wander the streets. Strange portents appear in the cloud-covered sky. And into this disaster zone comes a young man “poet, lover, and adventurer”known only as the Kid. Tackling questions of race, gender, and sexuality, Dhalgren is a literary marvel and groundbreaking work of American magical realism.


Click for more detail about Dinner with Persephone by Patricia Storace Dinner with Persephone

by Patricia Storace
Pantheon Books (Oct 08, 1996)
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With winning detail and infectious humor, award-winning poet and essayist Patricia Storace magically conjures up noisy, anarchist cities and quiet, idyllic towns and harbors where the unseen worlds of the pastthe Roman, the Byzantine, the Ottomancontinuing to make thier presence felt.


Click for more detail about Discerner of Hearts by Olive Senior Discerner of Hearts

by Olive Senior
McClelland & Stewart (Mar 25, 1995)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The nine vividly rendered stories of place and character in Discerner of Hearts are set in Jamaica, both rural and urban, some present-day, others looking back several decades. Senior’s gift for fine characterization, for recreating the music of everyday speech, pervades these tales, which explore notions of home and exile as well as the intricate realm of the human spirit – its fallible nature, its indomitable strength against the sometimes downward pull of fate.


Click for more detail about Discretion by Elizabeth Nunez Discretion

by Elizabeth Nunez
One World/Ballantine (Jul 01, 2003)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From American Book Award-winning author Elizabeth Nunez, a powerful novel that explores an intricate lovers’ triangle, the human thirst for passion, and the myriad ways desire can betray those who have fallen under its spell.

Descended from warriors and raised by missionaries, Oufoula is a diplomat whose wealth and charm make him both publicly admired and envied. From a tragic childhood he emerged a man who leads a disciplined life of respect, married to Nerida, a woman he did not want to deceive. But the beautiful Marguerite, a Jamaican-born artist living in New York, makes him question what ideals he can live by, and which values he can betray.

For twenty years, Oufoula has carried a secret in his heart, a secret of his love for Marguerite. Though they have been separated for two decades by Marguerite’s call for propriety, Oufoula refuses to let his desire wane. When the lovers are at last reunited, the rekindling of their passion forces Oufoula to come to terms with the core of his character: Is he willing to sacrifice his marriage, his career, and the very foundations of the life he has struggled to create, all for the love of one woman?

Oufoula’s confession is adorned with the literature of his European education, and shrouded by the spirits and responsibilities of Africa. Caught between myth and reason, Oufoula reveals himself to be a soul trapped in every way, who, like Faust, would bargain with the devil for fulfillment . . . but was never offered any choice.

This is the portrait of a man who cannot be forgotten. A gripping, masterfully crafted tale of love, deceit, and the human compulsion for power, Discretion forces us to reconsider that ever-compelling question: At what price passion?


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about DK Biography: Annie Oakley by Chuck Wills DK Biography: Annie Oakley

by Chuck Wills
DK (Jul 30, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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DK’s acclaimed Biography line shine the spotlight on sharpshooter Annie Oakley. Includes detailed sidebars, handy vocabulary, and a visual timeline. Supports the Common Core State Standards.


Click for more detail about Do or Die: A Mali Anderson Mystery by Grace Edwards Do or Die: A Mali Anderson Mystery

by Grace Edwards
Doubleday (Jul 18, 2000)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Harlem’s supersleuth Mali Anderson is back on the case in the fourth installment of Grace Edwards’s beautifully rendered and critically acclaimed Mali Anderson mystery series.

All of the characters Edwards’s fans love are back. This time Mali and company take to the high seas for a brief trip aboard the QE2. When they return to Harlem, they discover that the singer in Dad’s jazz band has been murdered—her throat slit from ear to ear, and her shirtsleeve ripped to expose faded track marks. The girl’s father, also a member of Dad’s band, is devastated. Out of a sense of duty, responsibility, and loyalty to her father and his grieving friend, Mali sets out to find the murderer and slips in and out of the "three B’s" of Harlem—the beauty shops, barbershops, and bars—with her signature grace and grit.

A spectacularly drawn Harlem—the good, the bad, and the ugly—comes vividly to life in Do or Die, which has all the charm and chutzpah Edwards’s fans have grown to expect. Readers will take delicious pleasure not only in Mali’s struggle to find the culprit before he strikes again; they will cheer her on as she fights for her jaw-droppingly gorgeous (and sensitive) man, Tad Honeywell, when he becomes the target of a sexpot’s advances.


Click for more detail about Do Unto Others by Kristin Hunter Do Unto Others

by Kristin Hunter
One World/Ballantine (Nov 28, 2000)
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Zena (short for Zenobia) Lawson honors all things African—art, culture, history. So when fortune hands her a twenty-year-old Nigerian girl in need of temporary housing, Zena and her husband, Lucius, jump at the chance to help. To Zena, Ifa Olongo is an exotic beauty with enough haughtiness and grace for three royal families. Not to mention the daughter she never had. But as Zena’s best friend, Vy, keeps reminding her, Ifa is no girl. Crackling with wit, intelligence, and hard-earned wisdom, Do Unto Others turns political correctness and Afrocentricity upside down, reminding us that there is only one golden rule.


Click for more detail about Do You!: 12  Laws To Access The Power In You To Achieve Happiness And Success by Russell Simmons and Chris Morrow Do You!: 12 Laws To Access The Power In You To Achieve Happiness And Success

by Russell Simmons and Chris Morrow
Knopf (Apr 10, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Since rising out of the New York City streets over twenty-five years ago, Russell Simmons has helped create such groundbreaking ventures as Def Jam Records, Phat Farm, and Def Comedy Jam. Russell might have helped introduce hip-hop to the world, but he credits his success to his belief in a strong set of principles—or laws. In twelve straightforward steps, Russell reveals a path that can be followed by anyone struggling to realize their dreams.

Russell’s laws stem from the belief that it’s impossible to receive any sort of lasting success from the world without giving something of lasting value to the world first. Blending business insight, universal spiritual truths, and an inspired sense of purpose, Do You! crosses the lines of age, race, and background, with wisdom that will lift you up and motivate you to pursue your vision.


Click for more detail about Doña Julia by Alberto O. Cappas Doña Julia

by Alberto O. Cappas
AuthorHouse (Oct 21, 2002)
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Clear. Natural. Poignant. These words accurately describe Alberto O. Cappas’ work.Cappas understands the suffering and struggles of Puerto Ricans living in Mainland America as well as in Puerto Rico. His poetry traces their hopes, problems, and misconceptions from the island to the mainland where they discover that dreams do die hard.In the poem ’Suicide of a Puerto Rican Jibaro,’ one need not be Puerto Rican to identify with the alienation faced when entering a cold, foreign, and jungle-like world. Cappas successfully explores what such a drastic change can mean for a Puerto Rican away from his island, where he is the majority. In ’…Jibaro,’ for the Puerto Rican man who emigrates to the United States, ’A million times his body was raped by the unfriendly cold… to pursue the American Dream…’Cappas is a relentless observer and commentator of what happens when a people leave their homeland, or forget where they come from, to pursue the uncertainties of the American Dream. His poetry, ironic at times, questions whether this dream does exist. In ’A Spoken Secret,’ ’Light skin Puerto Ricans forget to speak Spanish… and dark skin Puerto Ricans adopt hot combs to straighten their hair.’ In ’Doa Julia,’ a woman is trapped like a mouse in America and so commits suicide as a last attempt to return to her homeland. And in ’Maria,’ a young girl sits patiently thinking about her experiences in New York since leaving Puerto Rico and now waits ’for the overdose (of a drug) to take effect.’Of course this is not to say that all Puerto Ricans who emigrate to the United States end up killing themselves but it does show that Cappas is keenly aware of a sort of cultural and spiritual death that happens to Puerto Ricans and other Latinos when they leave the tropical scenes and adopt certain American values. In the ironic humorous poem, ’Her Boricua,’ a woman buys the Moon, tax-free, and invites her relatives and friends on weekend nights to ’admire the beauty of her new possessio

Book Review

Click for more detail about Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation Of Language And Music And Why We Should, Like, Care by John McWhorter Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation Of Language And Music And Why We Should, Like, Care

by John McWhorter
Knopf (Oct 13, 2003)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A rousing polemic in defense of the written word by the New York Times bestselling author of Losing the Race and the widely acclaimed history of language The Power of Babel.

Critically acclaimed linguist John McWhorter has devoted his career to exploring the evolution of language. He has often argued that language change is inevitable and in general culturally neutral-languages change rapidly even in indigenous cultures where traditions perpetuate; and among modernized peoples, culture endures despite linguistic shifts. But in his provocative new book, Doing Our Own Thing, McWhorter draws the line when it comes to how cultural change is turning the English language upside down in America today, and how public English is being overwhelmed by street English, with serious consequences for our writing, our music, and our society.

McWhorter explores the triumph of casual over formal speech-particularly since the dawn of 1960s counterculture-and its effect on Americans’ ability to write, read, critique, argue, and imagine. In the face of this growing rift between written English and spoken English, the intricate vocabularies and syntactic roadmaps of our language appear to be slipping away, eroding our intellectual and artistic capacities. He argues that "our increasing alienation from ’written language’ signals a gutting of our intellectual powers, our self-regard as a nation, and thus our very substance as a people."

Timely, thought-provoking, and compellingly written, Doing Our Own Thing is sure to stoke many debates about the fate of our threatened intellectual culture, and the destiny of our democracy.


Click for more detail about Doing What’s Right: How to Fight for What You Believe—And Make a Difference by Tavis Smiley Doing What’s Right: How to Fight for What You Believe—And Make a Difference

by Tavis Smiley
Anchor (Dec 26, 2000)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In Doing What’s Right, Tavis Smiley shows how each one of us can battle complacency and fight for the causes we support. Smiley is the host of "Black Entertainment Television Tonight with Tavis Smiley," a one-hour nightly talk show that reaches fifty-five million households, and his political and social commentary is heard daily on "The Tom Joyner Morning Show," a national radio program with a listenership of seven million. "The Smiley Report," his monthly newsletter, has a circulation of three to four million readers.

Smiley’s career was inspired by his lifelong determination to make a difference. Through the media, he has helped to galvanize public opinion and initiate national grassroots campaigns on everything from corporate responsibility to voter turnout. In Doing What’s Right, Smiley urges everyone to become involved and presents a practical and motivating gameplan for making it happen.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Don’t Believe the Hype: Fighting Cultural Misinformation About African Americans by Vivek Wadhwa and Farai Chideya Don’t Believe the Hype: Fighting Cultural Misinformation About African Americans

by Vivek Wadhwa and Farai Chideya
Plume (Feb 01, 1995)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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For those wishing to fight ignorance with intelligence and racism with facts, information from government sources and published studies point out discrepancies in assumed beliefs—such as that blacks are the main welfare recipients and drug users—and major fallacies.


Click for more detail about Don’t Block the Blessings by Patti Labelle Don’t Block the Blessings

by Patti Labelle
Riverhead Hardcover (Oct 04, 1996)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From lead singer with the Blue Belles in the ’60s to Grammy Award winner in the ’90s, the enduring career of Patti LaBelle is one for the books. In Don’t Block the Blessings, Patti reveals the exciting story of her rise to fame, describes how she overcame serious career setbacks, and writes frankly about her own personal tragedies.


Click for more detail about Don’t Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche Don’t Fail Me Now

by Una LaMarche
Razorbill (Sep 01, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From the author of Like No Other, the novel Entertainment Weekly calls "One of the most poignant and star-crossed love stories since The Fault in Our Stars": What if the last hope to save your family is the person who broke it up to begin with?

"Fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell, and Sharon Flake will find much to love in [Don’t Fail Me Now]." 
—School Library Journal
 
Michelle and her little siblings Cass and Denny are African-American and living on the poverty line in urban Baltimore, struggling to keep it together with their mom in jail and only Michelle’s part-time job at the Taco Bell to sustain them.
 
Leah and her stepbrother Tim are white and middle class from suburban Maryland, with few worries beyond winning lacrosse games and getting college applications in on time.
 
Michelle and Leah only have one thing in common: Buck Devereaux, the biological father who abandoned them when they were little.
 
After news trickles back to them that Buck is dying, they make the uneasy decision to drive across country to his hospice in California. Leah hopes for closure; Michelle just wants to give him a piece of her mind.
 
Five people in a failing, old station wagon, living off free samples at food courts across America, and the most pressing question on Michelle’s mind is: Who will break down first—herself or the car? All the signs tell her they won’t make it. But Michelle has heard that her whole life, and it’s never stopped her before….
 
Una LaMarche triumphs once again with this rare and compassionate look at how racial and social privilege affects one family in crisis in both subtle and astonishing ways.


Click for more detail about Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea’s Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life by Tyler Perry Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea’s Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life

by Tyler Perry
Riverhead Hardcover (Apr 11, 2006)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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View our feature on Tyler Perry’s Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings.

In 2005, Tyler Perry took Hollywood by storm. The movie he wrote, produced, and starred in, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, opened number one at the box office and went on to gross more than $50 million. In its first week on sale, the DVD sold 2.4 million copies. At the same time, Perry was starring nightly across the country in a soldout stage show he’d also written, produced, and scored-Madea Goes to Jail-even as another one of his productions, Meet the Browns, was touring nationally. Every week in 2005, 35,000 people saw a Tyler Perry production. His second feature film, Madea’s Family Reunion, opens in theaters in February 2006. Now, this triple-threat actor/playwright/director, has written his first book, and it features his most beloved, most irreverent creation: sixty-eight-year-old grandmother Madea Simmons.

Madea is at the center of all of Tyler Perry’s work, and she’s always unfailingly outspoken, dead-on, and hilarious. But in Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings, Madea shares more than she ever has before- about herself, and about what she thinks of everyone around her. The topics inimitably covered by Madea (a term of endearment for "Mother Dear") include love and marriage, child-rearing, etiquette and neighborliness, beauty tips, health tips, financial tips, the Bible and the church, and, of course, gun care. She’s brazen, feisty, and never at a loss for words, but at the heart of everything she says- and at the heart of all of Perry’s work-is a resounding message of faith and forgiveness.

Shockingly hilarious, surprisingly moving, and as rousing and inspiring as a great gospel show, Madea’s words of wisdom, memories, and straight-up in-your-face advice will be cherished by Perry’s numerous fans- and it all comes just in time for Mother’s Day. Tyler Perry is about to take the publishing world by storm.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Don’t Play in the Sun: One Woman’s Journey Through the Color Complex by Marita Golden Don’t Play in the Sun: One Woman’s Journey Through the Color Complex

by Marita Golden
Anchor (Jan 04, 2005)
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“Don’t play in the sun. You’re going to have to get a light-skinned husband for the sake of your children as it is.”

In these words from her mother, novelist and memoirist Marita Golden learned as a girl that she was the wrong color. Her mother had absorbed “colorism” without thinking about it. But, as Golden shows in this provocative book, biases based on skin color persist–and so do their long-lasting repercussions.

Golden recalls deciding against a distinguished black university because she didn’t want to worry about whether she was light enough to be homecoming queen. A male friend bitterly remembers that he was teased about his girlfriend because she was too dark for him. Even now, when she attends a party full of accomplished black men and their wives, Golden wonders why those wives are all nearly white. From Halle Berry to Michael Jackson, from Nigeria to Cuba, from what she sees in the mirror to what she notices about the Grammys, Golden exposes the many facets of "colorism" and their effect on American culture. Part memoir, part cultural history, and part analysis, Don’t Play in the Sun also dramatizes one accomplished black woman’s inner journey from self-loathing to self-acceptance and pride.


Click for more detail about Don’t Split the Pole by Eleanora E. Tate Don’t Split the Pole

by Eleanora E. Tate
Delacorte Books for Young Readers (Sep 08, 1997)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Nine-and-a-half-year-old Russell James finds that "a hard head makes a soft behind" when he tries to catch a catfish by hand. A giant glob of Gurdy’s Greasy Grape Groaners Gum attacks eleven-year-old Shaniqua Godette, who learns the hard way that you should "never leave your pocketbook on the floor. " And when twelve-year-old height-challenged Tucker Willis saves a life with the help of a ghost, he proves that "big things come in small packages. " A celebration of storytelling and folk wisdom, this is a perfect collection for sharing and reading aloud. Notes at the end explain the origins of the proverbs and the background of the stories.


Click for more detail about Don’t The Moon Look Lonesome: A Novel In Blues And Swing by Stanley Crouch Don’t The Moon Look Lonesome: A Novel In Blues And Swing

by Stanley Crouch
Vintage (Aug 10, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Stanley Crouch’s gloriously bold first novel provides an intimate and epic portrait of America that breaks all the rules in crossing the boundaries of race, sex, and class. Blonde Carla from South Dakota is a jazz singer who has been around the block. Almost suddenly, she finds herself fighting to hold on to Maxwell, a black tenor saxophonist from Texas. Their red-hot and sublimely tender five-year union is under siege. Those black people who oppose such relatonships in the interest of romantic entitlement or group solidarity are pressuring Maxwell, and he is wavering. As Carla battles to save the deepest love of her life, her past plays out against the present, vividly bringing forth a startlingly fresh range of characters in scenes that are as accurately drawn as they are unpredictable and innovatively conceived.


Click for more detail about Don’t You Remember by Lucille Clifton Don’t You Remember

by Lucille Clifton
Dutton Juvenile (Jun 03, 1985)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Until her birthday a young girl is convinced everyone makes promises to her that only she remembers.


Click for more detail about Down Home With The Neelys: A Southern Family Cookbook by Pat Neely, Gina Neely and Paula Disbrowe Down Home With The Neelys: A Southern Family Cookbook

by Pat Neely, Gina Neely and Paula Disbrowe
Knopf (May 12, 2009)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Collects over one hundred and twenty southern style recipes and cooking secrets, from adding barbeque sauce to spaghetti and nachos to molasses-baked beans and a kitchen sink omelet.
Title: Down Home With the Neelys
Author: Neely, Patrick/ Neely, Gina/ Disbrowe, Paula
Random House Inc
2009/05/12
Number of 278
Binding Type: HARDCOVER
Library of Congress: 2008054393

Book Review

Click for more detail about Down to Business: The First 10 Steps to Entrepreneurship for Women by Clara Villarosa Down to Business: The First 10 Steps to Entrepreneurship for Women

by Clara Villarosa
Avery (Sep 01, 2009)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A bulletproof, step-by-step plan for turning your business brainstorm into a money-making reality

At age fifty-two , after years of working her way up the corporate ladder, Clara Villarosa found herself out of a job. But she didn’t let that get her down. Instead, she put her gifts to the test and started her own business, which became one of the country’s best-known independent specialty bookstores-The Hue- Man Bookstore. Now, twenty years and two successful stores later, Clara is a highly sought-after business coach and expert in the industry.

Down to Business expands on Villarosa’s proven "First 10 Steps to Entrepreneurship for Women" to offer women everywhere a targeted plan to help them launch the small business of their dreams. This book includes advice on:

?How to develop realistic business ideas by researching the industry

?Analyzing a competitor’s marketing approach and attracting your ideal customer

? Accumulating the start-up funds you need, from recruiting investors to using loans wisely

?Scouting the ideal location

? Creating a sound business plan-and beyond-with a simple, step-by-step strategy

Packed with stories of businesswomen at all stages of the game-from a beer connoisseur-turned-brewer to an avid reader-turned-literary agent-Villarosa brings together inspiring, real-life stories with her award-winning business savvy. Encouraging and empowering, Down to Business will get you motivated to dust off your dream and get your plan into action.


Click for more detail about Drama Is Her Middle Name: The Ritz Harper Chronicles Vol. 1 by Wendy Williams and Karen Hunter Drama Is Her Middle Name: The Ritz Harper Chronicles Vol. 1

by Wendy Williams and Karen Hunter
Broadway Books (Jun 20, 2006)
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Shock jock extraordinaire Wendy Williams lets loose with the first in a series of novels based on her alter ego, the divalicious radio DJ Ritz Harper. Ritz puts the s in shock and the g in gossip, and Drama is her middle name.

Ritz is a suburban girl on the outside, but inside she’s a hustler’s hustler who’s masterfully maneuvered her way into the spotlight after ruining the career of a well-respected newswoman (and former college friend). Ritz’s “exclusive” rockets her to the top of the ratings, and she’s rewarded with her very own show. Like a talking Venus flytrap, she verbally seduces her on-air guests, only to have them for lunch as she spews gossip about their lives.

Ritz becomes the darling of the station’s afternoon slot. But what happens when Ritz goes from drive-time diva to drive-by victim? Has Ritz bad-mouthed the wrong person? Has her signature cat-and-mouse “bomb drop” been dropped on her instead?

As Ritz lies crumpled on a city sidewalk, all she can think as she struggles to maintain consciousness is “Who did this to me? Who?”

Readers will salivate as they try to figure out where the fictional Ritz ends and the real-life Wendy begins. Wendy will involve her millions of listeners by asking them what should happen to Ritz, which will be revealed at the beginning of the next novel, scheduled to be published in fall of 2006 for Christmas.


Click for more detail about Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Dreams From My Father

by Barack Obama
Knopf (Aug 09, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey—first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother’s family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance. Pictured in lefthand photograph on cover: Habiba Akumu Hussein and Barack Obama, Sr. (President Obama's paternal grandmother and his father as a young boy). Pictured in righthand photograph on cover: Stanley Dunham and Ann Dunham (President Obama's maternal grandfather and his mother as a young girl).

Obama, the son of a white American mother and a black African father, writes an elegant and compelling biography that powerfully articulates America's racial battleground and tells of his search for his place in black America.


Click for more detail about Dreams In A Time Of War: A Childhood Memoir by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o Dreams In A Time Of War: A Childhood Memoir

by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
Pantheon Books (Mar 09, 2010)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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By the world-renowned novelist, playwright, critic, and author of Wizard of the Crow, an evocative and affecting memoir of childhood.
 
Ngugi wa Thiong’o was born in 1938 in rural Kenya to a father whose four wives bore him more than a score of children. The man who would become one of Africa’s leading writers was the fifth child of the third wife. Even as World War II affected the lives of Africans under British colonial rule in particularly unexpected ways, Ngugi spent his childhood as very much the apple of his mother’s eye before attending school to slake what was then considered a bizarre thirst for learning.
 
In Dreams in a Time of War, Ngugi deftly etches a bygone era, capturing the landscape, the people, and their culture; the social and political vicissitudes of life under colonialism and war; and the troubled relationship between an emerging Christianized middle class and the rural poor. And he shows how the Mau Mau armed struggle for Kenya’s independence against the British informed not only his own life but also the lives of those closest to him.
 
Dreams in a Time of War speaks to the human right to dream even in the worst of times. It abounds in delicate and powerful subtleties and complexities that are movingly told.


Click for more detail about Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

by ZZ Packer
Riverhead Books (Feb 03, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Chosen by John Updike as a Today Show Book Club Pick.Already an award-winning writer, ZZ Packer now shares with us her debut, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. Her impressive range and talent are abundantly evident: Packer dazzles with her command of language, surprising and delighting us with unexpected turns and indelible images, as she takes us into the lives of characters on the periphery, unsure of where they belong. We meet a Brownie troop of black girls who are confronted with a troop of white girls; a young man who goes with his father to the Million Man March and must decides where his allegiance lies; an international group of drifters in Japan, who are starving, unable to find work; a girl in a Baltimore ghetto who has dreams of the larger world she has seen only on the screens in the television store nearby, where the Lithuanian shopkeeper holds out hope for attaining his own American Dream.With penetrating insight that belies her youth she was only nineteen years old when Seventeen magazine printed her first published story ZZ Packer helps us see the world with a clearer vision. Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is a striking performance—fresh, versatile, and captivating. It introduces us to an arresting and unforgettable new voice.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Drive Me Crazy by Eric Jerome Dickey Drive Me Crazy

by Eric Jerome Dickey
Dutton Adult (Jul 01, 2004)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Dickey’s tenth novel is packed with twists and turns, filled with titillations and poignancy. Drive Me Crazy is the latest example that "Dickey is an excellent writer at the top of his game." (Chicago Defender) After his blockbuster holiday novel, Naughty or Nice, New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey is serving up his new novel with style, sexiness, and a bit of grit. "Driver" is an ex-con trying to make his life right but who shares an expensive secret and a past affair with his boss’s wife-a woman who is nothing but trouble. Dickey’s rich characters jump off the page, making readers feel as if they are present in the hustle-filled pool hall, the bedroom, and the Lincoln Town Car that Driver chauffeurs his wealthy and notorious clients around in. Dickey’s millions of readers will be happy to see the reappearance of a femme fatale from Thieves’ Paradise, who adds spice and surprises every time she turns up. This is Dickey writing at his best-a fast-paced novel of raw emotions, softened as always with his incomparable humor and characters you will always remember.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Drown by Junot Diaz Drown

by Junot Diaz
Riverhead Books (Jul 01, 1997)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From the beloved and award-winning author Junot Díaz, a spellbinding saga of a family’s journey through the New World.
 
A coming-of-age story of unparalleled power, Drown introduced the world to Junot Díaz’s exhilarating talents. It also introduced an unforgettable narrator— Yunior, the haunted, brilliant young man who track his family’s precarious journey from the barrios of Santo Domingo to the tenements of industrial New Jersey, and their epic passage from hope to loss to something like love. Here is the soulful, unsparing book that made Díaz a literary sensation.


Click for more detail about Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington by Terry Teachout Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington

by Terry Teachout
Avery (Oct 17, 2013)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A major new biography of Duke Ellington from the acclaimed author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong

  Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was the greatest jazz composer of the twentieth century and an impenetrably enigmatic personality whom no one, not even his closest friends, claimed to understand. The grandson of a slave, he dropped out of high school to become one of the world’s most famous musicians, a showman of incomparable suavity who was as comfortable in Carnegie Hall as in the nightclubs where he honed his style. He wrote some fifteen hundred compositions, many of which, like “Mood Indigo” and “Sophisticated Lady,” remain beloved standards, and he sought inspiration in an endless string of transient lovers, concealing his inner self behind a smiling mask of flowery language and ironic charm.

  As the biographer of Louis Armstrong, Terry Teachout is uniquely qualified to tell the story of the public and private lives of Duke Ellington. Duke peels away countless layers of Ellington’s evasion and public deception to tell the unvarnished truth about the creative genius who inspired Miles Davis to say, “All the musicians should get together one certain day and get down on their knees and thank Duke.”


Click for more detail about Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor Dust

by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
Vintage (Oct 07, 2014)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A Washington Post Notable Book

When a young man is gunned down in the streets of Nairobi, his grief-stricken father and sister bring his body back to their crumbling home in the Kenyan drylands. But the murder has stirred up memories long since buried, precipitating a series of events no one could have foreseen. As the truth unfolds, we come to learn the secrets held by this parched landscape, hidden deep within the shared past of a family and their conflicted nation. Spanning Kenya’s turbulent 1950s and 1960s, Dust is spellbinding debut from a breathtaking new voice in literature.


Click for more detail about Dying for Revenge by Eric Jerome Dickey Dying for Revenge

by Eric Jerome Dickey
Dutton (Oct 06, 2009)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The next installment in the bold and sexy series by the fearless New York Times bestselling author.

Sleeping with Strangers and Waking with Enemies "[left] Dickey fans wanting more"(Ebony). Now, with Dying for Revenge, he returns to that adrenaline- fueled underworld.

Gideon, a professional assassin, is convinced that an old score with a former client from Detroit was settled a long time ago. But the lady from Detroit has never forgotten-or forgiven-Gideon, and with a crack team of hit-men, she’s not letting him out of her sight. Now, Gideon’s on the run again, embarking on a global chase that takes him from London to Nashville, and back to the Caribbean where those on both sides of this battle are dying for revenge.


Click for more detail about Dying For Revenge (Gideon Trilogy, Book 3) by Eric Jerome Dickey Dying For Revenge (Gideon Trilogy, Book 3)

by Eric Jerome Dickey
Dutton (Nov 18, 2008)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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International hit man Gideon never misses his target, but when a job in Detroit goes bad, he should have killed his client – a cold-blooded woman who hired him to kill her husband – when he had the chance. Now the city’s mayor and with money and power to spare, this woman will stop at nothing to see that Gideon gets what he deserves. Gideon soon finds himself in the crosshairs of two hired assassins: a seasoned killer known as El Matador and his voluptuous but ruthless wife, who dons Manolo Blahniks for even the dirtiest jobs. But when Gideon proves himself an impossible target, the lady from Detroit sets her sights on those closest to him. On the exotic island of Antigua, Gideon enlists the help of his friend and fellow assassin Hawks to square off against his deadliest adversary yet. Amid palm trees and white sands, sparks and bullets fly as Gideon must outsmart and defeat his pursuers before it’s too late. Featuring Dickey’s trademark blend of passion and suspense, Dying for Revenge is a pulse-pounding and deliciously sexy thrill-ride through a Caribbean island paradise.


Click for more detail about Dying in the Dark: A Tamara Hayle Mystery (Tamara Hayle Mysteries) by Valerie Wilson Wesley Dying in the Dark: A Tamara Hayle Mystery (Tamara Hayle Mysteries)

by Valerie Wilson Wesley
One World/Ballantine (Sep 28, 2004)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Valerie Wilson Wesley’s Tamara Hayle mystery series featuring Newark, New Jersey’s number one private investigator are loved for their smart, sexy protagonist who “has a way with a wisecrack that is positively lethal” (Washington Post). Now in Dying in the Dark, Hayle is entrenched in a sinister investigation that will demand her best detective work yet.

Tamara Hayle’s past has come back to haunt her–literally. She’s been plagued by terrifying dreams about Celia Jones, an old friend whose walk on the wild side led her to a horrible death. Celia’s teenage son, Cecil, begs Tamara to find his mother’s killer . . . only to end up dead himself, stabbed through the heart.

The search for Celia and her son’s killer pulls Tamara deep into her friend’s troubled love life, where everyone adored her but somebody held a murderous  grudge. There’s her bullying thug of an ex-husband; a handsome ex-lover who woos Tamara with charm and lies; and an angry, jealous woman who claims that Celia broke her heart. And those were just the obvious people with axes to grind.

Despite her better judgment and the admonitions of the police department, Tamara refuses to back away from the mystery surrounding her old friend’s death and the tragedy that met her son. All clues lead to the past Tamara shared with Celia Jones, and Tamara fears that that past will threaten her own son. But she uncovers more than she bargained for–and unearths secrets someone would kill to keep in the shadows.


Click for more detail about Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson Each Kindness

by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen Books (Oct 02, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 5 - 8
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Each kindness makes the world a little better

This unforgettable book is written and illustrated by the award-winning team that created The Other Side and the Caldecott Honor winner Coming On Home Soon. With its powerful anti-bullying message and striking art, it will resonate with readers long after they've put it down.

Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she'd shown a little kindness toward Maya.


Click for more detail about Easy Business For Women With Little Or No Money by M.E. Waters Easy Business For Women With Little Or No Money

by M.E. Waters
AuthorHouse (Feb 20, 2006)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Explains how easy it is to start and run a business. List many businesses to start with little or no money. Shows how to turn those arts and crafts items into a business. Very informative for men and women.


Click for more detail about Echoes of a Distant Summer by Guy Johnson Echoes of a Distant Summer

by Guy Johnson
Random House (Aug 30, 2005)
Format: Papaback, Age Range: 
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“You done lived a tough life, boy, and I know I’m part responsible for that. I ain’t askin’ you to excuse me or forgive me. Just know I did the best I knew to do. I was just tryin’ to make you tough enough to deal with the world. To stand tall among men, I knew you had to be strong and have yo’ own mind.”

“You were preparing me for war, Grandfather.”

Guy Johnson, the author of the critically acclaimed debut Standing at the Scratch Line, continues the Tremain family saga.

Jackson St. Clair Tremain hasn’t spoken to his grandfather King in nearly twenty years. Disgusted by the violence and bloodlust that seemed to be his grandfather’s way of life, Jackson chose to distance himself from King and live a simpler life. But now King is gravely ill, and his impending death places Jackson’s life—as well as those of his family and friends—in jeopardy. Reluctantly, Jackson travels to Mexico to see King. But after a brief reconciliation, his grandfather is assassinated, and Jackson suspects that his grandmother Serena may have had a hand in it. Jackson takes control of King’s organization, and as he does, he reflects on the summers he spent in Mexico as a child and the lessons he learned there at the knee of his strong-willed, complex grandfather.

In Echoes of a Distant Summer, Guy Johnson introduces us to a new hero, Jackson St. Clair Tremain, who learns that, like his grandfather, he must be willing to protect those he loves—at all costs.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Edith Jackson by Rosa Guy Edith Jackson

by Rosa Guy
Viking Books for Young Readers (May 22, 1978)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A black teen-ager tries valiantly to keep her family together but sees her world collapse as her younger sisters reject her inept mothering.


Click for more detail about Ellen’s Broom (Coretta Scott King Honor - Illustrator Honor Title) by Kelly Starling Lyons Ellen’s Broom (Coretta Scott King Honor - Illustrator Honor Title)

by Kelly Starling Lyons
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Jan 05, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 5 - 8
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A young girl learns a new meaning for freedom during the time of Reconstruction

Ellen always knew the broom resting above the hearth was special. Before it was legal for her mother and father to officially be married, the broom was what made them a family anyway. But now all former slaves who had already been married in their hearts could register as lawful husband and wife.

When Ellen and her family make the long trip to the courthouse dressed in their best, she brings the broom her parents had jumped so many years before. Even though freedom has come, Ellen knows the old traditions are important too. After Mama and Papa's names are recorded in the register, Ellen nearly bursts with pride as her parents jump the broom once again.

Ellen is a wonderfully endearing character whose love for her family is brought to life in Daniel Minter's rich and eye-catching block print illustrations.


Click for more detail about Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America—and What We Can Do About It by Juan Williams Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America—and What We Can Do About It

by Juan Williams
Crown (Aug 01, 2006)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Half a century after brave Americans took to the streets to raise the bar of opportunity for all races, Juan Williams writes that too many black Americans are in crisis—caught in a twisted hip-hop culture, dropping out of school, ending up in jail, having babies when they are not ready to be parents, and falling to the bottom in twenty-first-century global economic competition.

In Enough, Juan Williams issues a lucid, impassioned clarion call to do the right thing now, before we travel so far off the glorious path set by generations of civil rights heroes that there can be no more reaching back to offer a hand and rescue those being left behind.

Inspired by Bill Cosby’s now famous speech at the NAACP gala celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Brown decision integrating schools, Williams makes the case that while there is still racism, it is way past time for black Americans to open their eyes to the “culture of failure” that exists within their community. He raises the banner of proud black traditional values—self-help, strong families, and belief in God—that sustained black people through generations of oppression and flowered in the exhilarating promise of the modern civil rights movement. Williams asks what happened to keeping our eyes on the prize by proving the case for equality with black excellence and achievement.

He takes particular aim at prominent black leaders—from Al Sharpton to Jesse Jackson to Marion Barry. Williams exposes the call for reparations as an act of futility, a detour into self-pity; he condemns the “Stop Snitching” campaign as nothing more than a surrender to criminals; and he decries the glorification of materialism, misogyny, and murder as a corruption of a rich black culture, a tragic turn into pornographic excess that is hurting young black minds, especially among the poor.

Reinforcing his incisive observations with solid research and alarming statistical data, Williams offers a concrete plan for overcoming the obstacles that now stand in the way of African Americans’ full participation in the nation’s freedom and prosperity. Certain to be widely discussed and vehemently debated, Enough is a bold, perceptive, solution-based look at African American life, culture, and politics today.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Equiano, the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man by Vincent Carretta Equiano, the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man

by Vincent Carretta
Penguin Books (Jan 30, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A controversial look at the most renowned person of African descent in the eighteenth century In this widely aclaimed biography, historian Vincent Carretta gives us the authoritative portrait of Olaudah Equiano (c.1745–1797), the former slave whose 1789 autobiography quickly became a popular polemic against the slave trade and a literary classic. Sailor, entrepreneur, and adventurer, Equiano is revealed here as never before, thanks to archival research on an unprecedented scale—some of which even indicates that Equiano may have lied about his origins to advance the antibondage struggle with which he became famously identified. A masterpiece of scholarship and writerly poise, this book redefines an extraordinary man and the turbulent age that shaped him.


Click for more detail about Erotique Noire/Black Erotica by Miriam Decosta-Willis, Reginald Martin, and Roseann P. Bell Erotique Noire/Black Erotica

by Miriam Decosta-Willis, Reginald Martin, and Roseann P. Bell
Anchor (Aug 18, 1992)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A collective work of art whose time has come. Of lasting value for all lovers of literature and the erotic, this is a glorious, groundbreaking celebration of black sensuality, including works by Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, and many more.


Click for more detail about Escape To Freedom: A Play About Young Frederick Douglass (Puffin books) by Ossie Davis Escape To Freedom: A Play About Young Frederick Douglass (Puffin books)

by Ossie Davis
Puffin Books (Jan 01, 1976)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A play that depicts Frederick Douglas overcoming his beginnings as a slave to becoming the first African American man to hold a diplomatic office.


Click for more detail about Every Day Is For The Thief: Fiction by Teju Cole Every Day Is For The Thief: Fiction

by Teju Cole
Knopf (Mar 25, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY DWIGHT GARNER, THE NEW YORK TIMES • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY San Francisco Chronicle | NPR | The Root | The Telegraph | The Globe and Mail

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • FINALIST, PHILLIS WHEATLEY BOOK AWARD • TEJU COLE WAS NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AFRICANS OF THE YEAR BY NEW AFRICAN MAGAZINE

For readers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Michael Ondaatje, Every Day Is for the Thief is a wholly original work of fiction by Teju Cole, whose critically acclaimed debut, Open City, was the winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by more than twenty publications.
 
Fifteen years is a long time to be away from home. It feels longer still because I left under a cloud.
 
A young Nigerian living in New York City goes home to Lagos for a short visit, finding a city both familiar and strange. In a city dense with story, the unnamed narrator moves through a mosaic of life, hoping to find inspiration for his own. He witnesses the “yahoo yahoo” diligently perpetrating email frauds from an Internet café, longs after a mysterious woman reading on a public bus who disembarks and disappears into a bookless crowd, and recalls the tragic fate of an eleven-year-old boy accused of stealing at a local market.
 
Along the way, the man reconnects with old friends, a former girlfriend, and extended family, taps into the energies of Lagos life—creative, malevolent, ambiguous—and slowly begins to reconcile the profound changes that have taken place in his country and the truth about himself.
 
In spare, precise prose that sees humanity everywhere, interwoven with original photos by the author, Every Day Is for the Thief—originally published in Nigeria in 2007—is a wholly original work of fiction. This revised and updated edition is the first version of this unique book to be made available outside Africa. You’ve never read a book like Every Day Is for the Thief because no one writes like Teju Cole.
 
Praise for Every Day Is for the Thief

“A luminous rumination on storytelling and place, exile and return . . . extraordinary.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Cole is following in a long tradition of writerly walkers who, in the tradition of Baudelaire, make their way through urban spaces on foot and take their time doing so. Like Alfred Kazin, Joseph Mitchell, J. M. Coetzee, and W. G. Sebald (with whom he is often compared), Cole adds to the literature in his own zeitgeisty fashion.”—The Boston Globe
 
“Crisp, affecting . . . Cole constructs a narrative of fragments, a series of episodes that he allows to resonate.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Hugely rewarding . . . both a celebration of one of the world’s most vibrant cities and a lament over what can be one of the most frustrating and difficult places to live. It is also a story of family breakup and an uneasy homecoming—the narrator has been away for fifteen years and must relearn how to navigate a place that was once home.”—NPR

“[Every Day Is for the Thief has] a restraint that allows [Cole] to slip in these exquisitely rendered observations on life, love, art that leave you feeling richer and more attuned to your own reality once you’ve finished reading.”—Dinaw Mengestu, The Atlantic


Click for more detail about Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture by Greg Tate Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture

by Greg Tate
Broadway Books (Jan 14, 2003)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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White kids from the ’burbs are throwing up gang signs. The 2001 Grammy winner for best rap artist was as white as rice. And blond-haired sorority sisters are sporting FUBU gear. What is going on in American culture that’s giving our nation a racial-identity crisis?

Following the trail blazed by Norman Mailer’s controversial essay “The White Negro,” Everything but the Burden brings together voices from music, popular culture, the literary world, and the media speaking about how from Brooklyn to the Badlands white people are co-opting black styles of music, dance, dress, and slang. In this collection, the essayists examine how whites seem to be taking on, as editor Greg Tate’s mother used to tell him, “everything but the burden”–from fetishizing black athletes to spinning the ghetto lifestyle into a glamorous commodity. Is this a way of shaking off the fear of the unknown? A flattering indicator of appreciation? Or is it a more complicated cultural exchange? The pieces in Everything but the Burden explore the line between hero-worship and paternalism.

Among the book’s twelve essays are Vernon Reid’s “Steely Dan Understood as the Apotheosis of ‘The White Negro,’” Carl Hancock Rux’s “The Beats: America’s First ‘Wiggas,’” and Greg Tate’s own introductory essay “Nigs ’R Us.”

Other contributors include: Hilton Als, Beth Coleman, Tony Green, Robin Kelley, Arthur Jafa, Gary Dauphin, Michaela Angela Davis, dream hampton, and Manthia diAwara.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon Everything, Everything

by Nicola Yoon
Delacorte Press (Sep 01, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 12 and up
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Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. She is content enough—until a boy with eyes the color of the Atlantic Ocean moves in next door. Their complicated romance begins over IM and grows through a wunderkammer of vignettes, illustrations, charts, and more.

Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love.

PRAISE FOR EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING


Click for more detail about Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir Of Family by Condoleezza Rice Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir Of Family

by Condoleezza Rice
Knopf (Oct 12, 2010)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Condoleezza Rice has excelled as a diplomat, political scientist, and concert pianist.  Her achievements run the gamut from helping to oversee the collapse of communism in Europe and the decline of the Soviet Union, to working to protect the country in the aftermath of 9-11, to becoming only the second woman - and the first black woman ever — to serve as Secretary of State.
 
But until she was 25 she never learned to swim.
 
Not because she wouldn’t have loved to, but because when she was a little girl in Birmingham, Alabama, Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Connor decided he’d rather shut down the city’s pools than give black citizens access.
 
Throughout the 1950’s, Birmingham’s black middle class largely succeeded in insulating their children from the most corrosive effects of racism, providing multiple support systems to ensure the next generation would live better than the last.  But by 1963, when Rice was applying herself to her fourth grader’s lessons, the situation had grown intolerable.  Birmingham was an environment where blacks were expected to keep their head down and do what they were told — or face violent consequences. That spring two bombs exploded in Rice’s neighborhood amid a series of chilling Klu Klux Klan attacks.  Months later, four young girls lost their lives in a particularly vicious bombing.
 
So how was Rice able to achieve what she ultimately did?
 
Her father, John, a minister and educator, instilled a love of sports and politics.  Her mother, a teacher, developed Condoleezza’s passion for piano and exposed her to the fine arts.  From both, Rice learned the value of faith in the face of hardship and the importance of giving back to the community.  Her parents’ fierce unwillingness to set limits propelled her to the venerable halls of Stanford University, where she quickly rose through the ranks to become the university’s second-in-command.  An expert in Soviet and Eastern European Affairs, she played a leading role in U.S. policy as the Iron Curtain fell and the Soviet Union disintegrated.  Less than a decade later, at the apex of the hotly contested 2000 presidential election, she received the exciting news – just shortly before her father’s death – that she would go on to the White House as the first female National Security Advisor. 
 
As comfortable describing lighthearted family moments as she is recalling the poignancy of her mother’s cancer battle and the heady challenge of going toe-to-toe with Soviet leaders, Rice holds nothing back in this remarkably candid telling. This is the story of Condoleezza Rice that has never been told, not that of an ultra-accomplished world leader, but of a little girl – and a young woman — trying to find her place in a sometimes hostile world and of two exceptional parents, and an extended family and community, that made all the difference.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Extravagant Strangers: A Literature of Belonging by Caryl Phillips Extravagant Strangers: A Literature of Belonging

by Caryl Phillips
Vintage (Dec 29, 1998)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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   Shakespeare called Othello "an extravagant and wheeling stranger/Of here and every where." In this exciting anthology, Caryl Phillips has collected writings by thirty-nine extravagant strangers: British writers who were born outside of Britain and see it with clear and critical eyes.  These eloquent and incisive voices prove that English literature, far from being pure or homogenous, has in fact been shaped and influenced by outsiders for over two hundred years.

   Here are slave writers, such as Ignatius Sancho, an eightieth century African who became a friend to Samuel Johnson and Laurence Sterne; writers born in the colonies such as Thackeray, Kipling, and Orwell; "subject writers," such as C.L.R. James and V.S. Naipaul; foreign émigrés, such as Joseph Conrad and Kazuo Ishiguro; and postcolonial observers of the British scene, such as Salman Rushdie, Ben Okri, and Anita Desai.  With the eloquent and often inspiring collection, Phillips proves, if proof be needed, that the greatest literature is often born out of irreconcilable tensions between a writer and his or her society.


Click for more detail about Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 by Juan Williams Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965

by Juan Williams
Penguin Books (Sep 03, 2013)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The 25th-anniversary edition of Juan Williams’s celebrated account of the tumultuous early years of the civil rights movement

From the Montgomery bus boycott to the Little Rock Nine to the Selma–Montgomery march, thousands of ordinary people who participated in the American civil rights movement; their stories are told in Eyes on the Prize. From leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., to lesser-known figures such as Barbara Rose John and Jim Zwerg, each man and woman made the decision that somethinghad to be done to stop discrimination. These moving accounts and pictures of the first decade of the civil rights movement are a tribute to the people, black and white, who took part in the fight for justice and the struggle they endured.


Click for more detail about Fair Oaks by Frank Yerby Fair Oaks

by Frank Yerby
Dell Publishing (Aug 01, 1977)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Book by Yerby, Frank


Click for more detail about Family by J. California Cooper Family

by J. California Cooper
Anchor (Dec 01, 1991)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In this wise, beguiling, beautiful novel set in the era of the Civil War, an award-winning playwright and author paints a haunting portrait of a woman named Always, born a slave, and four generations of her African-American family.


Click for more detail about Fannin’ The Flames: A Novel by Parry Brown Fannin’ The Flames: A Novel

by Parry Brown
One World/Ballantine (Apr 12, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The fire and rescue squad from Los Angeles County’s Fire Department Station Twenty-seven’s “C-Shift” was a rock-solid team. The camaraderie among them was only made stronger by the fact that they were all minority. But when their unit becomes the prey of a perverse trickster, their loyalties to one another are deepened to the core.

Someone on the inside is trying to sabotage C-Shift, and Jerome White and his longtime mentor, Capt. Lloyd Frederickson, are certain it’s racially motivated. When the Fire Department chief balks at an internal investigation, Lloyd and Jerome have no choice but to take matters into their own hands.

Jerome and Lloyd’s personal problems further complicate their lives. After thirty years of marriage, Lloyd’s wife, Nellie, wants a divorce, even though their sex life is still deliciously hot. And while Jerome and Nicolle are deeply in love, Mychel Hernandez, a Hispanic bombshell at the station, has set her sights on Jerome. But his attentions soon turn to a horrific car accident involving Nicolle. As Jerome is thrown headfirst into this nightmare, he must face life as a single father, a critically ill spouse, Mychel turning up the heat with her advances, and an overwhelming sense of fear and apprehension about where the menace will next strike.

From the #1 bestselling author Parry “EbonySatin” Brown comes her anticipated hardcover debut—a fast-paced, multilayered story of extraordinary characters grappling with issues of race, family, love, and deceit. In Fannin’ the Flames, she brings readers to the forefront of the lives of our most revered men—and the women they love.


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff by Walter Dean Myers Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff

by Walter Dean Myers
Puffin Books (Apr 01, 1988)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Stuff doesn’t know anyone when he first moves to 116th Street. But all of that changes when he meets Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Gloria. Stuff and the gang grow close that eventful year, and nothing is ever like it again. That’s the year modern science gets them all in jail; Stuff falls in love and is unfaithful; and Cool Clyde and Fast Sam win the dance contest-almost.


Click for more detail about Fast Talk On A Slow Track by Rita Williams-Garcia Fast Talk On A Slow Track

by Rita Williams-Garcia
Puffin Books (Dec 01, 1998)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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Denzel Watson is a fast talker with a system, and it’s made him valedictorian. But when he goes to a summer program at Princeton, he takes a fall. How can he tell his proud family that he won’t be able to cut it in the Ivy League? Instead, he spends the rest of the summer selling candy, up against "Top Man" Mello, a drop-out with a police record. For the first time, Denzel is forced to take a hard look at himself — and how much further he could fall."Williams-Garcia confronts some crucial issues that are generally ignored in YA fiction: issues of class and race, friendship and competition, identity and failure." — Booklist"Teens everywhere will be able to identify and commiserate with Denzel." School Library Journal, starred review


Click for more detail about Fatheralong: A Meditation on Fathers and Sons, Race and Society by John Edgar Wideman Fatheralong: A Meditation on Fathers and Sons, Race and Society

by John Edgar Wideman
Vintage Books (Aug 29, 1995)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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With resonant artistry and unflagging directness, Wideman examines the tragedy of race and the gulf it cleaves between black fathers and black sons. He does so chiefly through the lens of his own relations with his remote father, producing a memoir that belongs alongside the classics of Richard Wright and Malcolm X.


Click for more detail about Fdr’s Alphabet Soup: New Deal America 1932-1939 by Tonya Bolden Fdr’s Alphabet Soup: New Deal America 1932-1939

by Tonya Bolden
Knopf Books for Young Readers (Jan 12, 2010)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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FDR’S New Deal, which followed the 1929 stock market crash, was a hugely influential moment in the history of the United States, encompassing everything from the arts to finance, labor to legislation, and some think it helped bring the country out of the Great Depression. Here, Tonya Bolden, writing in her trademark accessible style, creates a portrait of a time that changed American history both then and now.

FDR’s First 100 Days and how the United States was changed by it then are closely examined, especially now. The 2009 financial situation is eerily mirrored by that of the late 1920s, and this is a perfect book to help teens understand history and its lasting impact on current events.


Click for more detail about Fences (1950s Century Cycle) by August Wilson Fences (1950s Century Cycle)

by August Wilson
Plume (Jun 01, 1986)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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 The 1987 Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for DramaFrom August Wilson, author of The Piano Lesson and the 1984-85 Broadway season’s best play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, is another powerful, stunning dramatic work that has won him numerous critical acclaim including the 1987 Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize. The protagonist of Fences (part of Wilson’s ten-part “Pittsburgh Cycle” plays), Troy Maxson, is a strong man, a hard man. He has had to be to survive.  Troy Maxson has gone through life in an America where to be proud and black is to face pressures that could crush a man, body and soul. But the1950s are yielding to the new spirit of liberation in the 1960s… a spirit that is changing the world Troy Maxson has learned to deal with the only way he can…a spirit that is making him a stranger, angry and afraid, in a world he never knew and to a wife and son he understands less and less…


Click for more detail about Fever by Geneva Holliday Fever

by Geneva Holliday
Knopf (Apr 18, 2006)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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It’s almost summer in New York City, and the heat is breaking records on the street and between the sheets in Geneva Holliday’s beyond-sexy follow-up to Groove. When Geneva, Crystal, Chevy, and Noah get hot and bothered, they get way more than they ever bargained for…

Geneva is busy caring for her daughter—and robbing the cradle with her son’s business manager. Chevy is working for a diva who requires assistance that’s way too personal for Chevy’s liking. Crystal is in for the surprise of her life when her mom (!) conspires to get Crystal’s engine purring like a kitten again. And Noah hears everyone’s secrets, miles away in London, but with these friends, secrets don’t stay secret for long! After all, what are friends for?

So slip into something slinky and get ready to catch the Fever!


Click for more detail about Fever (Contemporary American Fiction) by John Edgar Wideman Fever (Contemporary American Fiction)

by John Edgar Wideman
Penguin Books (Oct 01, 1990)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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By turns subtle and intense, disturbing and elusive, the stories in this collection are ultimately connected by themes of memory and loss, reality and fabrication, and by a richless of language that rests lightly on its carefully foundation.


Click for more detail about Fifty Shades Darker by E L James Fifty Shades Darker

by E L James
Vintage (Apr 17, 2012)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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MORE THAN 100 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY IS NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

Daunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. 
 
But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades.
 
While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.

This book is intended for mature audiences.


Click for more detail about Fifty Shades of Gray by E L James Fifty Shades of Gray

by E L James
Knopf (Apr 03, 2012)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms. Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.


Click for more detail about Fifty Shades Trilogy (Fifty Shades of Grey / Fifty Shades Darker / Fifty Shades Freed) by E L James Fifty Shades Trilogy (Fifty Shades of Grey / Fifty Shades Darker / Fifty Shades Freed)

by E L James
Vintage (Jun 12, 2012)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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FIFTY SHADES OF GREY IS NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
Now available as a three-volume paperback boxed set, E L James’s New York Times #1 bestselling trilogy has been hailed by Entertainment Weekly as being “in a class by itself.” Beginning with the GoodReads Choice Award Romance Finalist Fifty Shades of Grey, the Fifty Shades Trilogy will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.
 
This boxed set includes the following novels:
 
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY: When college student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating.  The unworldly Ana realizes she wants this man, and Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian’s secrets and explores her own desires.
 
FIFTY SHADES DARKER: Daunted by Christian’s dark secrets and singular tastes, Ana has broken off their relationship to start a new career. But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and while Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Ana is forced to make the most important decision of her life.
 
FIFTY SHADES FREED: Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Just when it seems that their strength together will eclipse any obstacle, misfortune, malice, and fate conspire to turn Ana’s deepest fears into reality.

This book is intended for mature audiences.


Click for more detail about Fighting for America: Black Soldiers-the Unsung Heroes of World War II by Christopher Moore Fighting for America: Black Soldiers-the Unsung Heroes of World War II

by Christopher Moore
Presidio Press (Dec 27, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The African-American contribution to winning World War II has never been celebrated as profoundly as in Fighting for America. In this inspirational and uniquely personal tribute, the essential part played by black servicemen and -women in that cataclysmic conflict is brought home.

Here are letters, photographs, oral histories, and rare documents, collected by historian Christopher Moore, the son of two black WWII veterans. Weaving his family history with that of his people and nation, Moore has created an unforgettable tapestry of sacrifice, fortitude, and courage. From the 1,800 black soldiers who landed at Normandy Beach on D-Day, and the legendary Tuskegee Airmen who won ninety-five Distinguished Flying Crosses, to the 761st Tank Battalion who, under General Patton, helped liberate Nazi death camps, the invaluable effort of black Americans to defend democracy is captured in word and image.

Readers will be introduced to many unheralded heroes who helped America win the war, including Dorie Miller, the messman who manned a machine gun and downed four Japanese planes; Robert Brooks, the first American to die in armored battle; Lt. Jackie Robinson, the future baseball legend who faced court-martial for refusing to sit in the back of a military bus; an until now forgotten African-American philosopher who helped save many lives at a Japanese POW camp; even the author’s own parents: his mother, Kay, a WAC when she met his father, Bill, who was part of the celebrated Red Ball Express.

Yet Fighting for America is more than a testimonial; it is also a troubling story of profound contradictions, of a country still in the throes of segregation, of a domestic battleground where arrests and riots occurred simultaneously with foreign service–and of how the war helped spotlight this disparity and galvanize the need for civil rights. Featuring a unique perspective on black soldiers, Fighting for America will move any reader: all who, like the author, owe their lives to those who served.


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about Finding Gideon (Gideon Series) by Eric Jerome Dickey Finding Gideon (Gideon Series)

by Eric Jerome Dickey
Dutton (Apr 18, 2017)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A professional job turns personal for jet-setting contract killer Gideon in this sexy, thrilling page-turner by New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey. 

As a hit man from the time he was very young, money, women, and danger have always ruled Gideon’s life; but for the first time, the job is taking its toll. Neither Gideon nor the city of Buenos Aires has recovered from the mayhem caused during Gideon’s last job. But before the dust has settled and the bodies have been buried, Gideon calls in backup—including the lovely Hawks, with whom Gideon has heated memories—to launch his biggest act of revenge yet…one he believes will destroy his adversary, Midnight, once and for all.

Yet Midnight and his second-in-command, the beautiful and ruthless Señorita Raven, are launching their own revenge, assembling a team of mercenaries the likes of which the world has never seen… and Gideon isn’t their only target. Gideon will need all of his skills if he is to save not only his team, but his family as well.

Dickey’s new novel stirs up a whirlwind of sex and violence that spans the globe…and leaves no moral boundary uncrossed.


Click for more detail about Finding Martha’s Vineyard: African Americans at Home on an Island by Jill Nelson Finding Martha’s Vineyard: African Americans at Home on an Island

by Jill Nelson
Doubleday (May 17, 2005)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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In this elegant book of photographs, personal narrative, memories, and fascinating historical detail, bestselling author Jill Nelson conveys the special magic of Martha’s Vineyard and the African Americans who have summered or lived there for generations.

Jill Nelson has been a summer and occasional year-round resident of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard for nearly fifty years. It was where she learned to swim and ride a bike, first kissed a boy, became a writer, and, during twenty-eight summers, raised her own daughter. In Finding Martha’s Vineyard, Nelson offers a lively, intimate portrait of a place that has provided respite and rejuvenation, community and contemplation for generations of African Americans.

Part memoir, part history, Finding Martha’s Vineyard describes the various groups that settled on the Vineyard and in Oak Bluffs; slaves and their descendants; devout Methodists and Baptists; African Americans “in service” who accompanied their white employers to the island and over the years established a haven and a community; the black middle-class families who came each summer to escape the heat, hostility, and racial tension of their hometowns; and generations of African American professionals—doctors, presidential advisors, writers, academics and artists—who visit or live on the Vineyard today. Nelson interviews the Cottagers, the proud owners of Oak Bluffs’ famous Gingerbread cottages; members of the Polar Bear Club, a die-hard group that swims together every summer morning at 7:30 A.M.; and such famous residents as Vernon Jordan, Bebe Moore Campbell, and Stephen Carter.

Finding Martha’s Vineyard is about the power of place in our lives. A rich treasury of reminiscences, excerpts from news articles and documents from the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society, recipes, and glorious photographs, it brings the sights, sounds, celebrations, and social importance of the island community brilliantly to life.


Click for more detail about Finding Oprah’s Roots: Finding Your Own by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Finding Oprah’s Roots: Finding Your Own

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Crown (Jan 23, 2007)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Finding Oprah’s Roots will not only endow readers with a new appreciation for the key contributions made by history’s unsung but also equip them with the tools to connect to pivotal figures in their own past. A roadmap through the intricacies of public documents and online databases, the book also highlights genetic testing resources that can make it possible to know one’s distant tribal roots in Africa.
For Oprah, the path back to the past was emotion-filled and profoundly illuminating, connecting the narrative of her family to the larger American narrative and “anchoring” her in a way not previously possible. For the reader, Finding Oprah’s Roots offers the possibility of an equally rewarding experience.


Click for more detail about Firebird by Misty Copeland Firebird

by Misty Copeland
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Sep 04, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 5 - 8 years
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Winner of the 2015 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award
In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl--an every girl--whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl's faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird.

Lyrical and affecting text paired with bold, striking illustrations that are some of Caldecott Honoree Christopher Myers's best work, makes Firebird perfect for aspiring ballerinas everywhere.


Click for more detail about Fires in the Mirror by Anna Deavere Smith Fires in the Mirror

by Anna Deavere Smith
Anchor (Jan 01, 1993)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Derived from interviews with a wide range of  people who experienced or observed New York’s 1991  Crown Heights racial riots, Fires In The  Mirror is as distinguished a work of  commentary on black-white tensions as it is a  work of drama.  In August 1991 simmering tensions in the racially polarized Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood of Crown Heights exploded into riots after a black boy was killed by a car in a rabbi’s motorcade and a Jewish student was slain by blacks in retaliation.  Fires in the Mirror is dramatist Anna Deavere Smith’s stunning exploration of the events and emotions leading up to and following the Crown Heights conflict.  Through her portrayals of more than two dozen Crown eights adversaries, victims, and eyewitnesses, using verbatim excerpts from their observations derived from interviews she conducted, Smith provides a brilliant, Rashoman-like documentary portrait of contemporary ethnic turmoil.


Click for more detail about Floating: A Novel by Nicole Bailey-Williams Floating: A Novel

by Nicole Bailey-Williams
Broadway Books (May 11, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From the gifted author of A Little Piece of Sky: The poignant tale of a young woman who must come to terms with her biracial identity.

Shana Washington is the product of two very different worlds. Her white mother is a socialite with an Ivy League education; Shana’s black father has a weakness for whiskey and can’t stay faithful to any woman, but when his daughter is in peril, he always finds a way to rescue her. Hauntingly evoking the worlds represented by these three characters, Floating follows the life of Shana as she seeks acceptance—and wholeness—from white and black communities that both turn her away. When she begins a college romance with Lionel, a handsome track star with bronze-colored skin, her dreams of finding a soulmate seem tantalizingly close to coming true. Yet Lionel’s childhood demons are even more vicious than Shana’s, threatening the fragile love they can’t admit to needing.

Tracing the themes of identity, healing, and self-acceptance that won such acclaim for her debut novel, Nicole Bailey-Williams now shares a provocative new storyline for anyone who has faith in the power of self-discovery.


Click for more detail about Flying Home: And Other Stories by Ralph Ellison Flying Home: And Other Stories

by Ralph Ellison
Vintage (Jan 12, 1998)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Written between 1937 and 1954 and now available in paperback for the first time, these thirteen stories are a potent distillation of the genius of Ralph Ellison. Six of them remained unpublished during Ellison’s lifetime and were discovered among the author’s effects in a folder labeled "Early Stories." But they all bear the hallmarks—the thematic reach, musically layered voices, and sheer ebullience—that Ellison would bring to his classic Invisible Man.

The tales in Flying Home range in setting from the Jim Crow South to a Harlem bingo parlor, from the hobo jungles of the Great Depression to Wales during the Second World War. By turns lyrical, scathing, touching, and transcendently wise, Flying Home and Other Stories is a historic volume, an extravagant last bequest from a giant of our literature.


Click for more detail about For The Confederate Dead by Kevin Young For The Confederate Dead

by Kevin Young
Knopf (Sep 09, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The award-winning “lively and excellent collection” (Los Angeles Times) about the South and its legacy, about African-American griefs and passages, from the author of Jelly Roll and Black Maria, a poet who has “set himself apart from his peers with his supple, variable, blues-inflected lines” (Publishers Weekly).


Click for more detail about Foreigners (Vintage International) by Caryl Phillips Foreigners (Vintage International)

by Caryl Phillips
Vintage (Nov 11, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From an acclaimed, award-winning novelist comes this brilliant hybrid of reportage, fiction, and historical fact: the stories of three black men whose tragic lives speak resoundingly to the problem of race in British society.

With his characteristic grace and forceful prose, Phillips describes the lives of three very different men: Francis Barber, “given” to the 18th-century writer Samuel Johnson, whose friendship with Johnson led to his wretched demise; Randolph Turpin, a boxing champion who ended his life in debt and decrepitude; and David Oluwale, a Nigerian stowaway who arrived in Leeds in 1949 and whose death at the hands of police twenty years later was a wake up call for the entire nation. As Phillips weaves together these three stories, he illuminates the complexities of race relations and social constraints with devastating results.


Click for more detail about Forever a Hustler’s Wife: A Novel (Nikki Turner Original) by Nikki Turner Forever a Hustler’s Wife: A Novel (Nikki Turner Original)

by Nikki Turner
One World/Ballantine (Apr 10, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The high priestess of the hood, Nikki Turner, is back with the novel fans have been feenin’ for: the sequel to her #1 bestselling novel, A Hustler’s Wife.

Des, Virginia’s slickest gangsta, is about to become a dad when he is charged with the murder of his own attorney. But with Yarni, his gorgeous wife (and a brilliant lawyer), now calling the shots, Des isn’t going back to the slammer without a fierce fight. Even with the heat on, Des manages to take his game to the next level and finds a new hustle, one that will allow him to possess the three things all major players desire: money, power, and respect. He becomes a preacher. Reluctantly, Yarni stands by her man as he trades in his triple beam scale for a Bible and a Bentley and makes his Church of the Good Life Ministry a welcoming place for all sinners to step up to the altar.

But when Des’s nephew is killed in the high-stakes heroin trade and Des learns that someone close to him okayed the hit, the dyed-in-the-wool gangsta sets aside the Bible for the gospel of the streets–even if it means risking the one person who’s always had his back.


Click for more detail about Formula 50: A 6-Week Workout and Nutrition Plan That Will Transform Your Life by 50 Cent Formula 50: A 6-Week Workout and Nutrition Plan That Will Transform Your Life

by 50 Cent
Avery (Dec 27, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Get fit like 50 Cent: The phenomenally fit superstar rapper reveals his strategic six-week workout plan for achieving a ripped body and developing the mental toughness to stay in shape for a lifetime.

Survival is a recurring theme of 50 Cent’s lyrics, and his life. That’s why, with obesity rates soaring and fitness levels declining, he wants to give everyone an all-access pass to his premium plan for lifelong fitness. In Formula 50, the mega-successful entertainer and entrepreneur unleashes the power of metabolic resistance training (MRT), the key ingredient that has helped him achieve the famously buff physique that makes his music videos sizzle.

Through MRT, 50 Cent’s fitness plan breaks down the barriers between traditional weight training and cardio workouts, accelerating fat loss while building muscle and improving overall fitness. Designed for a six-week rollout for total mind-body transformation, the Formula 50 regimen builds willpower while it builds physical power. In addition to motivation, nutrition is another key element; readers will discover the unique dietary combinations that fuel 50 Cent’s workouts. Coauthored with Jeff O

Connell, health journalist and editor-in-chief at Bodybuilding.com (the world’s largest fitness website), the book delivers a payoff that goes beyond six-pack abs and flab-free pecs: This is a fitness plan that boosts energy, endurance, flexibility, and mobility. The result is a body you

ve always dreamed of and the mindset to attain the rest of your dreams.


Click for more detail about Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete by William C. Rhoden Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete

by William C. Rhoden
Broadway Books (Jul 24, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From Jackie Robinson to Muhammad Ali and Arthur Ashe, African American athletes have been at the center of modern culture, their on-the-field heroics admired and stratospheric earnings envied. But for all their money, fame, and achievement, says New York Times columnist William C. Rhoden, black athletes still find themselves on the periphery of true power in the multibillion-dollar industry their talent built.

Provocative and controversial, Rhoden’s $40 Million Slaves weaves a compelling narrative of black athletes in the United States, from the plantation to their beginnings in nineteenth-century boxing rings to the history-making accomplishments of notable figures such as Jesse Owens, Althea Gibson, and Willie Mays. Rhoden reveals that black athletes’ “evolution” has merely been a journey from literal plantations—where sports were introduced as diversions to quell revolutionary stirrings—to today’s figurative ones, in the form of collegiate and professional sports programs. He details the “conveyor belt” that brings kids from inner cities and small towns to big-time programs, where they’re cut off from their roots and exploited by team owners, sports agents, and the media. He also sets his sights on athletes like Michael Jordan, who he says have abdicated their responsibility to the community with an apathy that borders on treason.

The power black athletes have today is as limited as when masters forced their slaves to race and fight. The primary difference is, today’s shackles are often the athletes’ own making.


Click for more detail about Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete by William C. Rhoden Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete

by William C. Rhoden
Crown (Jul 11, 2006)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From Jackie Robinson to Muhammad Ali and Arthur Ashe, African American athletes have been at the center of modern culture, their on-the-field heroics admired and stratospheric earnings envied. But for all their money, fame, and achievement, says New York Times columnist William C. Rhoden, black athletes still find themselves on the periphery of true power in the multibillion-dollar industry their talent built.

Provocative and controversial, Rhoden’s $40 Million Slaves weaves a compelling narrative of black athletes in the United States, from the plantation to their beginnings in nineteenth-century boxing rings and at the first Kentucky Derby to the history-making accomplishments of notable figures such as Jesse Owens, Althea Gibson, and Willie Mays. Rhoden makes the cogent argument that black athletes’ “evolution” has merely been a journey from literal plantations—where sports were introduced as diversions to quell revolutionary stirrings—to today’s figurative ones, in the form of collegiate and professional sports programs. Weaving in his own experiences growing up on Chicago’s South Side, playing college football for an all-black university, and his decades as a sportswriter, Rhoden contends that black athletes’ exercise of true power is as limited today as when masters forced their slaves to race and fight. The primary difference is, today’s shackles are often of their own making.

Every advance made by black athletes, Rhoden explains, has been met with a knee-jerk backlash—one example being Major League Baseball’s integration of the sport, which stripped the black-controlled Negro League of its talent and left it to founder. He details the “conveyor belt” that brings kids from inner cities and small towns to big-time programs, where they’re cut off from their roots and exploited by team owners, sports agents, and the media. He also sets his sights on athletes like Michael Jordan, who he says have abdicated their responsibility to the community with an apathy that borders on treason.

Sweeping and meticulously detailed, $40 Million Slaves is an eye-opening exploration of a metaphor we only thought we knew.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Four Guys and Trouble by Marcus Major Four Guys and Trouble

by Marcus Major
Dutton (Apr 01, 2001)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Another hip and hilarious, sexy and wise novel about relationships-from the Blackboard bestselling author of Good Peoples.

Best friends since their college days, Ibn, Colin, Michael, and Dexter share something unusual in common: Her name is Erika-"Bunches" to her friends. She’s the kid sister of a friend who died, and the four buddies have promised to look out for her. But now she’s all grown up-a twenty-four-year-old knockout of a medical student who’s arousing some not-so-sisterly feelings in the brothers.

When one of them acts on those feelings, they will all-including Erika-discover how far they’re willing to go in the name of friendship, loyalty, and love. The result is this savvy, entertaining novel filled with the wit, humor, and right-on observations about contemporary relationships that distinguished Good Peoples.

Four Guys and Trouble is the irresistible follow-up to Marcus Major’s acclaimed debut novel-and one certain to win this gifted author a wealth of captivated new readers.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Frankie’s Angels by Cynthia Harris Casteel Frankie’s Angels

by Cynthia Harris Casteel
AuthorHouse (Aug 04, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Frankie’s Angels will become the next "Waiting to Exhale". This one comes with a Maze Concert. Cynthia Harris Casteel tells the story of five women who call themselves "Frankie’s Angels". Their love for Frankie Beverly and Maze has helped them endure the joys and pains of life. They discovered their common denominator on the Maze website and now they are on their way to Washington D.C. to meet at the first Angel Convention and a Maze concert. Some are actually expecting a surprise visit by Mr. Beverly. Before they get to the convention and concert, their life stories are revealed. The reader gets to understand why a Maze Concert is a necessity for these ladies. Frankie’s Angels are deeply in need of a spiritual healing and only Maze featuring Frankie Beverly can be the "fix". Although this work is fiction, Cynthia incorporates real facts about their favorite singer, Frankie Beverly. The reader gets a taste of facts mixed with a toss of fiction. Your imagination will take you along with them to a Maze concert. If you have never attended a Maze concert, this book will take you there and if you have had the fortune of attending a Maze concert, you’ll understand exactly what they feel. Though the name "Frankie’s Angels" gives the angels an angelic tone, you’ll be shocked to know the real deal about some of the angels from their past to the present. Come meet, Candice, Tish, Twana, Mozelle and Ernestine….divine messengers of light. Be prepared to laugh and cry as you travel on the wings of "Frankie’s Angels". Happy Feelings!


Click for more detail about Fraternity: In 1968, a visionary priest recruited 20 black men to the College of the Holy Cross and changed their lives and the course of history. by Diane Brady Fraternity: In 1968, a visionary priest recruited 20 black men to the College of the Holy Cross and changed their lives and the course of history.

by Diane Brady
Spiegel & Grau (Jan 03, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY San Francisco Chronicle

€¢ The Plain Dealer The inspiring true story of a group of young men whose lives were changed by a visionary mentor

  On April 4, 1968, the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., shocked the nation. Later that month, the Reverend John Brooks, a professor of theology at the College of the Holy Cross who shared Dr. King’s dream of an integrated society, drove up and down the East Coast searching for African American high school students to recruit to the school, young men he felt had the potential to succeed if given an opportunity. Among the twenty students he had a hand in recruiting that year were Clarence Thomas, the future Supreme Court justice; Edward P. Jones, who would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize for literature; and Theodore Wells, who would become one of the nation’s most successful defense attorneys. Many of the others went on to become stars in their fields as well.

  In Fraternity, Diane Brady follows five of the men through their college years. Not only did the future president of Holy Cross convince the young men to attend the school, he also obtained full scholarships to support them, and then mentored, defended, coached, and befriended them through an often challenging four years of college, pushing them to reach for goals that would sustain them as adults.

  Would these young men have become the leaders they are today without Father Brooks’s involvement? Fraternity is a triumphant testament to the power of education and mentorship, and a compelling argument for the difference one person can make in the lives of others.


Click for more detail about Free and Other Stories by Anika Nailah Free and Other Stories

by Anika Nailah
Doubleday (Jan 15, 2002)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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In spare, elegant stories reminiscent of the writings of Harlem Renaissance writer Dorothy West, Anika Nailah illuminates the emotional, spiritual, and social realities that shape–and sometimes destroy–the lives and dreams of ordinary African Americans.

The stories in Free offer a moving, strikingly original perspective on how cultural experiences and social assumptions impact our lives. The characters include young children trying to cope with the mysteries of adult behavior, adults striving to define themselves in a society unwilling to accept who and what they are, and elderly people looking back on the often difficult choices they have made. They all share a yearning to be free of the ties imposed by others, ties that bind their bodies, minds, or spirits.

"Trudy" depicts a battle of wills between a black salesclerk and a white customer, shining a harsh light on the bigotry of the 1950s. In "My Side of the Story," a little boy struggles to understand why his mother has abandoned him despite her claims that she loves him. “All These Years” is a touching vignette about a couple married for fifty-four years who reminisce about the attraction they felt at their very first meeting and realize that the magic still remains. In the aptly titled "Inside Out," a man who has adopted all the trappings of the white world–the hair, the clothes, the speech, the attitudes–finds himself still ostracized in his office and gently mocked at home by a wife who embraces her blackness with pride.

In probing the interior landscapes behind the everyday faces her characters assume, Anika Nailah brilliantly exposes the injustices and struggles African Americans confront, the skills they develop in order to survive, and the psychological and spiritual costs of survival.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights by Tananarive Due Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights

by Tananarive Due
One World/Ballantine (Jan 01, 2003)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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“History happens one person at a time.”
–Patricia Stephens Due

Patricia Stephens Due fought for justice during the height of the Civil Rights era, surrendering her very freedom to ensure that the rights of others might someday be protected. Her daughter, Tananarive, grew up deeply enmeshed in the values of a family committed to making right whatever they saw as wrong. Together, they have written a paean to the movement–its struggles, its nameless foot-soldiers, and its achievements–and an incisive examination of the future of justice in this country. Their mother-daughter journey spanning the struggles of two generations is an unforgettable story.

In 1960, when she was a student at Florida A&M University, Patricia and her sister Priscilla were part of the movement’s landmark “jail-in,” the first time during the student sit-in movement when protestors served their time rather than paying a fine. She and her sister, and three FAMU students, spent forty-nine days behind bars rather than pay for the “crime” of sitting at a Woolworth lunch counter. Thus began a lifelong commitment to human rights. Patricia and her husband, civil rights lawyer John Due, worked tirelessly with many of the movement’s greatest figures throughout the sixties to bring about change, particularly in the Deep Southern state of Florida.

Freedom in the Family chronicles these years with fascinating, raw power. Featuring interviews with civil rights leaders like Black Panther Stokely Carmichael (later known as Kwame Ture) and ordinary citizens whose heroism has been largely unknown, this is a sweeping, multivoiced account of the battle for civil rights in America. It also reveals those leaders’ potentially controversial feelings about the current state of our nation, a country where police brutality and crippling disparities for blacks and whites in health care, education, employment, and criminal justice still exist today.

A mother writes so that the civil liberties she struggled for are not eroded, so that others will take up the mantle and continue to fight against injustice and discrimination. Her daughter, as part of the integration generation, writes to say thank you, to show the previous generation how very much they’ve done and how much better off she is for their effort–despite all the work that remains. Their combined message is remarkable, moving, and important. It makes for riveting reading.


Click for more detail about Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights by Tananarive Due Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights

by Tananarive Due
One World (Dec 30, 2003)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Patricia Stephens Due fought for justice during the height of the Civil Rights era. Her daughter, Tananarive, grew up deeply enmeshed in the values of a family committed to making right whatever they saw as wrong. Together, in alternating chapters, they have written a paean to the movement—its hardships, its nameless foot soldiers, and its achievements—and an incisive examination of the future of justice in this country. Their mother-daughter journey spanning two generations of struggles is an unforgettable story.

Patricia Stephens Due fought for justice during the height of the Civil Rights era, surrendering her very freedom to ensure that the rights of others might someday be protected. Her daughter, Tananarive, grew up deeply enmeshed in the values of a family committed to making right whatever they saw as wrong. Together, they have written a paean to the movement'its struggles, its nameless foot-soldiers, and its achievements'and an incisive examination of the future of justice in this country. Their mother-daughter journey spanning the struggles of two generations is an unforgettable story.


Patricia Stephens Due was a civil rights activist with CORE while attending Florida A&M University. In 1960, based on her nonviolent stand during a landmark jail-in, she received the prestigious Gandhi Award. She is married to a civil rights lawyer, has three daughters, and continues to work for change in America. Over the years, she has conducted civil rights workshops and re-enactments for colleges, public schools, civic groups, and churches. She lives in Miami, Florida, with her husband, John Due. Photo: Troy Johnson

In 1960, when she was a student at Florida A&M University, Patricia and her sister Priscilla were part of the movement's landmark 'jail-in,' the first time during the student sit-in movement when protestors served their time rather than paying a fine. She and her sister, and three FAMU students, spent forty-nine days behind bars rather than pay for the 'crime' of sitting at a Woolworth lunch counter. Thus began a lifelong commitment to human rights. Patricia and her husband, civil rights lawyer John Due, worked tirelessly with many of the movement's greatest figures throughout the sixties to bring about change, particularly in the Deep Southern state of Florida.

Freedom in the Family chronicles these years with fascinating, raw power. Featuring interviews with civil rights leaders like Black Panther Stokely Carmichael (later known as Kwame Ture) and ordinary citizens whose heroism has been largely unknown, this is a sweeping, multivoicedaccount of the battle for civil rights in America. It also reveals those leaders' potentially controversial feelings about the current state of our nation, a country where police brutality and crippling disparities for blacks and whites in health care, education, employment, and criminal justice still exist today.

A mother writes so that the civil liberties she struggled for are not eroded, so that others will take up the mantle and continue to fight against injustice and discrimination. Her daughter, as part of the integration generation, writes to say thank you, to show the previous generation how very much they've done and how much better off she is for their effort'despite all the work that remains. Their combined message is remarkable, moving, and important. It makes for riveting reading.


Click for more detail about Freedom Summer: The Savage Season That Made Mississippi Burn And Made America A Democracy by Bruce Watson Freedom Summer: The Savage Season That Made Mississippi Burn And Made America A Democracy

by Bruce Watson
Knopf (Jun 10, 2010)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A majestic history of the summer of ’64, which forever changed race relations in America

In the summer of 1964, with the civil rights movement stalled, seven hundred college students descended on Mississippi to register black voters, teach in Freedom Schools, and live in sharecroppers’ shacks. But by the time their first night in the state had ended, three volunteers were dead, black churches had burned, and America had a new definition of freedom.

This remarkable chapter in American history, the basis for the controversial film Mississippi Burning, is now the subject of Bruce Watson’s thoughtful and riveting historical narrative. Using in- depth interviews with participants and residents, Watson brilliantly captures the tottering legacy of Jim Crow in Mississippi and the chaos that brought such national figures as Martin Luther King Jr. and Pete Seeger to the state. Freedom Summer presents finely rendered portraits of the courageous black citizens-and Northern volunteers-who refused to be intimidated in their struggle for justice, and the white Mississippians who would kill to protect a dying way of life. Few books have provided such an intimate look at race relations during the deadliest days of the Civil Rights movement, and Freedom Summer will appeal to readers of Taylor Branch and Doug Blackmon.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Friends & Fauxs: A Novel by Tracie Howard Friends & Fauxs: A Novel

by Tracie Howard
Knopf (Jul 28, 2009)
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Tracie Howard is back with all of the Gucci, glitz, and glamour in this steamy follow-up to her smash hit Gold Diggers!
Gillian Tillman learned all about landing a wealthy man from her globe-trotting mother, Imelda, but this second-generation gold digger has a style all her own. With big dreams of becoming a huge star, she slept her way right into the million-dollar mansion of her now-husband, star-producer Brandon Russell. He not only launched Gillian’s film career, but landed her the starring and Oscar-nominated role in the hit film Gold Diggers. But all that glitters may not be gold. Gillian wrestles with the real possibility that Brandon may be a mob-connected money launderer, and worse yet, may have had a hand in the murder of her friend Paulette. When pictures of her naked surface on the Internet, both Gillian’s Oscar dreams and her marriage are threatened, even though she swears they aren’t of her. Meanwhile her best friends are struggling with issues of their own. Reese’s beloved son falls ill and she’s forced to decide between spilling a long-kept secret and saving his life, and Lauren’s hard-won happiness is threatened by a shocking betrayal.
Buckle your seatbelt as the lives of these larger-than-life characters intersect in a wild, page-turning romp.


Click for more detail about From A Crooked Rib by Nuruddin Farah From A Crooked Rib

by Nuruddin Farah
Penguin Books (Jun 27, 2006)
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Written with complete conviction from a woman’s point of view, Nuruddin Farah’s spare, shocking first novel savagely attacks the traditional values of his people yet is also a haunting celebration of the unbroken human spirit. Ebla, an orphan of eighteen, runs away from her nomadic encampment in rural Somalia when she discovers that her grandfather has promised her in marriage to an older man. But even after her escape to Mogadishu, she finds herself as powerless and dependent on men as she was out in the bush. As she is propelled through servitude, marriage, poverty, and violence, Ebla has to fight to retain her identity in a world where women are "sold like cattle."


Click for more detail about From Columbus To Castro: The History Of The Caribbean 1492-1969 by Eric Williams From Columbus To Castro: The History Of The Caribbean 1492-1969

by Eric Williams
Vintage (Apr 12, 1984)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean is about 30 million people scattered across an arc of islands — Jamaica, Haiti, Barbados, Antigua, Martinique, Trinidad, among others-separated by the languages and cultures of their colonizers, but joined together, nevertheless, by a common heritage. For whether French, English, Dutch, Spanish, Danish, or-latterly-American, the nationality of their masters has made only a notional difference to the peoples of the Caribbean. The history of the Caribbean is dominated by the history of sugar, which is inseparable from the history of slavery; which was inseparable, until recently, from the systematic degradation of labor in the region. Here, for the first time, is a definitive work about a profoundly important but neglected and misrepresented area of the world.


Click for more detail about From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans by John Hope Franklin From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans

by John Hope Franklin
Knopf (Apr 11, 2000)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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This is the dramatic, exciting, authoritative story of the experiences of African Americans from the time they left Africa to their continued struggle for equality at the end of the twentieth century.

Since its original publication in 1947, From Slavery to Freedom has stood as the definitive his-tory of African Americans. Coauthors John Hope Franklin and Alfred A. Moss, Jr., give us a vividly detailed account of the journey of African Americans from their origins in the civilizations of Africa, through their years of slavery in the New World, to the successful struggle for freedom and its aftermath in the West Indies, Latin America, and the United States.

This eighth edition has been revised to include expanded coverage of Africa; additional material in every chapter on the history and current situation of African Americans in the United States; new charts, maps, and black-and-white illustrations; and a third four-page color insert. The authors incorporate recent scholarship to examine slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the period between World War I and World War II (including the Harlem Renaissance).

From Slavery to Freedom describes the rise of slavery, the interaction of European and African cultures in the New World, and the emergence of a distinct culture and way of life among slaves and free blacks. The authors examine the role of blacks in the nation’s wars, the rise of an articulate, restless free black community by the end of the eighteenth century, and the growing resistance to slavery among an expanding segment of the black population.

The book deals in considerable detail with the period after slavery, including the arduous struggle for first-class citizenship that has extended into the twentieth century. Many developments in recent African American history are examined, including demographic change; educational efforts; literary and cultural changes; problems in housing, health, juvenile matters, and poverty; the expansion of the black middle class; and the persistence of discrimination in the administration of justice.

All who are interested in African Americans’ continuing quest for equality will find a wealth of information based on the recent findings of many scholars. Professors Franklin and Moss have captured the tragedies and triumphs, the hurts and joys, the failures and successes, of blacks in a lively and readable volume that remains the most authoritative and comprehensive book of its kind.


Click for more detail about From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun

by Jacqueline Woodson
Puffin Books (Jul 08, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Three-time Newbery Honor author Jacqualine Woodson explores race and sexuality through the eyes of a compelling narrator

Melanin Sun has a lot to say. But sometimes it’s hard to speak his mind, so he fills up notebooks with his thoughts instead. He writes about his mom a lot—they’re about as close as they can be, because they have no other family. So when she suddenly tells him she’s gay, his world is turned upside down. And if that weren’t hard enough for him to accept, her girlfriend is white. Melanin Sun is angry and scared. How can his mom do this to him—is this the end of their closeness? What will his friends think? And can he let her girlfriend be part of their family?


Click for more detail about From the Streets to the Sheets: Urban Erotic Quickies (Noire: Urban Erotic Quickies) by Noire From the Streets to the Sheets: Urban Erotic Quickies (Noire: Urban Erotic Quickies)

by Noire
One World/Ballantine (Aug 12, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In this bold collection of hard-hitting urban erotic quickies, Noire, the undisputed Queen of Urban Erotica, brings you eleven authors who explore, without apology or restraint, street sagas of sexual pleasure.

Boasting an all-star lineup of some of today’s hottest authors–and sprinkled with heat from some fresh new talent too–this collection from Noire thoroughly lives up to her credo of giving her fans just what they like: street drama with a sheet-drenching erotic twist.

Here you’ll find sexy tales from fan favorites K’wan, Joy, Thomas Long, Jamise L. Dames, Andrea Blackstone, Gerald Malcom, Euftis Emory, Kweli Walker, and Erick Gray, along with two hot new voices: Aretha Temple and Plea$ure. Noire even supplies her own juicy addition to the hard-body lineup.

So beware: The heat and the drama between these pages are not fairy tales for the desperate housewife. Ride hard with Noire as her authors get their grind on and take it to the limits in From the Streets to the Sheets.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton Full Cicada Moon

by Marilyn Hilton
Dial Books for Young Readers (Sep 08, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Inside Out and Back Again meets One Crazy Summer and Brown Girl Dreaming in this novel-in-verse about fitting in and standing up for what’s right

It’s 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. Suddenly, Mimi’s appearance is all anyone notices. She struggles to fit in with her classmates, even as she fights for her right to stand out by entering science competitions and joining Shop Class instead of Home Ec. And even though teachers and neighbors balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimi’s dreams of becoming an astronaut never fade—no matter how many times she’s told no.

This historical middle-grade novel is told in poems from Mimi’s perspective over the course of one year in her new town, and shows readers that positive change can start with just one person speaking up.


Click for more detail about Gabriel’s Story by David Anthony Durham Gabriel’s Story

by David Anthony Durham
Doubleday (Jan 16, 2001)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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David Anthony Durham makes his literary debut with a haunting novel which, in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses, views the American West through a refreshingly original lens.

Set in the 1870s, the novel tells the tale of Gabriel Lynch, an African American youth who settles with his family in the plains of Kansas. Dissatisfied with the drudgery of homesteading and growing increasingly disconnected from his family, Gabriel forsakes the farm for a life of higher adventure. Thus begins a forbidding trek into a terrain of austere beauty, a journey begun in hope, but soon laced with danger and propelled by a cast of brutal characters.

Durham’s accomplishment is not solely in telling one man’s story. He also gives voice to a population seldom included in our Western lore and crafts a new poetry of the American landscape. Gabriel’s Story is an important addition to the mosaic of our nation’s mythology.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Gather Together In My Name by Maya Angelou Gather Together In My Name

by Maya Angelou
Random House Trade Paperbacks (Apr 21, 2009)
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Gather Together in My Name continues Maya Angelou’s personal story, begun so unforgettably in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The time is the end of World War II and there is a sense of optimism everywhere. Maya Angelou, still in her teens, has given birth to a son. But the next few years are difficult ones as she tries to find a place in the world for herself and her child. She goes from job to job–and from man to man. She tries to return home–back to Stamps, Arkansas–but discovers that she is no longer part of that world. Then Maya’s life takes a dramatic turn, and she faces new challenges and temptations.

In this second volume of her poignant autobiographical series, Maya Angelou powerfully captures the struggles and triumphs of her passionate life with dignity, wisdom, humor, and humanity.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Genevieve by Eric Jerome Dickey Genevieve

by Eric Jerome Dickey
Dutton Adult (May 10, 2005)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Eric Jerome Dickey, the six-time New York Times bestselling author of Drive Me Crazy, returns with a sizzling new novel of romance and betrayal.

Just how well do we ever really know the person sleeping next to us?

Sometimes we know everything.
Sometimes we can never know enough.

In Genevieve, Eric Jerome Dickey has crafted a masterfully twisted tale of intrigue, hidden identities, and self-discovery. It’s the tale of a man torn between the love of his beautiful wife and the sudden arrival of his wife’s sister—a mysterious and provocative woman who offers him the passion he craves, but at a steep price. Both women harbor secrets, the answers to which appear to lie in a small Southern town filled with darkness, danger, and the promise of pain. Soon nothing is as it seems and no one is who they claimed to be, including the man caught in the middle. As the truth bubbles closer to the surface, everyone’s world threatens to fall apart. In a story packed with revelations at every turn, Eric Jerome Dickey takes us on a journey filled with deception, careening down a highway bound for destiny . . . and disaster.


Click for more detail about Get Real, Get Rich: Conquer The 7 Lies Blocking You From Success by Farrah Gray Get Real, Get Rich: Conquer The 7 Lies Blocking You From Success

by Farrah Gray
Dutton (Dec 27, 2007)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Raised by a single parent in the impoverished south side of Chicago as the youngest of five children, Farrah Gray defied the odds to become a millionaire at the age of fourteen. He made his second million by sixteen and now inspires thousands through his speeches, writing, and consulting. His recipe for success: attitude, hustle, and an emphatic rejection of the most pervasive lies most of us believe about money and success. In Get Real, Get Rich, Farrah breaks down those seven lies one by one. Have you ever thought to yourself I’ll never be rich because I wasn’t born with connections, or a special talent? That’s The Born Lucky Lie. The truth is this: Luck is about showing up. And Farrah will help you move beyond the lottery mentality. If you’ve convinced yourself that you must first have money to make money, then you’ve fallen prey to The Money Lie. In the real world, the path to millions starts with just one dollar, and Farrah can help you find that first one. Perhaps you recognize yourself in one of these other misconceptions: I have to hit it big in entertainment or sports to be rich (The Celebrity Lie). I have to work hard and make sacrifices to be rich (The Work Hard Lie). I have to have zero debt to be rich (The Debt Lie). I have to be super smart or invent something the world relies on to be rich (The Google and Gates Lie). I have to know a lot about the stock market or work on the Street to be rich (The Wall Street Lie). In seven simple and provocative chapters blending inspiration and an actionable wealth building plan, Farrah lays out your road map to a richer life. “Too many of us live paycheck to paycheck and pray that those compilations of books and CDs and DVDs will somehow lead us to ‘automatic wealth.’ News flash: There’s no such thing as automatic wealth - at least not in the real world. In this book, I’m not only going to share the mind-set you need to achieve all that you dream, but also the specific strategies that accompany that state of mind. I want to help you marshal out your own wealth potential, which relates to everything about you - not just your bank account.”

Book Review

Click for more detail about Getting Mother’s Body: A Novel by Suzan-Lori Parks Getting Mother’s Body: A Novel

by Suzan-Lori Parks
Random House Trade Paperbacks (Apr 13, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks’s wildly original debut novel, Getting Mother’s Body, follows pregnant, unmarried Billy Beede and her down-and-out family in 1960s Texas as they search for the storied jewels buried—or were they?


Click for more detail about Getting Our Breath Back by Shawne Johnson Getting Our Breath Back

by Shawne Johnson
Dutton Adult (Jun 01, 2002)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Violet, Lilly, and Rose know how it feels to be black women trying to find their place in a changing white world. Violet, the eldest, grows up believing in the myth of the southern belle-only to discover that good manners and genteel charm aren’t going to bring her acceptance from a closed-minded society…or a philandering husband. Lilly is an ex-Black Panther and writer caught up in the stormy aftermath of the sixties; she shuts out this new world of confusion and pain with the heroin that can never give her peace-or salvation. Rose is the youngest, a sculptor who has shaped herself in the image of an independent black woman grounded in the political movements of her time. But she carries a secret heartache that will resonate in the life of her daughter, Imani, who grows up searching for the daddy she longs to know.

Earthy, evocative, rich in the atmosphere and emotional turmoil of the times, Getting Our Breath Back is a story of struggle and forgiveness, of separation and reconciliation…of women who must reinvent themselves if they are to survive, to heal, and to flourish.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Getting To Happy by Terry McMillan Getting To Happy

by Terry McMillan
Knopf (Sep 07, 2010)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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An exuberant return to the four unforgettable heroines of Waiting to Exhale—the novel that changed African American fiction forever. Terry McMillan’s Waiting to Exhale was more than just a bestselling novel—its publication was a watershed moment in literary history. McMillan’s sassy and vibrant story about four African American women struggling to find love and their place in the world touched a cultural nerve, inspired a blockbuster film, and generated a devoted audience. Now, McMillan revisits Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin fifteen years later. Each is at her own midlife crossroads: Savannah has awakened to the fact that she’s made too many concessions in her marriage, and decides to face life single again—at fifty-one. Bernadine has watched her megadivorce settlement dwindle, been swindled by her husband number two, and conned herself into thinking that a few pills will help distract her from her pain. Robin has an all-American case of shopaholism, while the big dream of her life—to wear a wedding dress—has gone unrealized. And for years, Gloria has taken happiness and security for granted. But being at the wrong place at the wrong time can change everything. All four are learning to heal past hurts and to reclaim their joy and their dreams; but they return to us full of spirit, sass, and faith in one another. They’ve exhaled: now they are learning to breathe.


Click for more detail about Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi Ghana Must Go

by Taiye Selasi
Penguin Press (Mar 05, 2013)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Kweku Sai is dead. A renowned surgeon and failed husband, he succumbs suddenly at dawn outside his home in suburban Accra. The news of Kweku’s death sends a ripple around the world, bringing together the family he abandoned years before. Ghana Must Go is their story. Electric, exhilarating, beautifully crafted, Ghana Must Go is a testament to the transformative power of unconditional love, from a debut novelist of extraordinary talent.

  Moving with great elegance through time and place, Ghana Must Go charts the Sai’s circuitous journey to one another. In the wake of Kweku’s death, his children gather in Ghana at their enigmatic mother’s new home. The eldest son and his wife; the mysterious, beautiful twins; the baby sister, now a young woman: each carries secrets of his own. What is revealed in their coming together is the story of how they came apart: the hearts broken, the lies told, the crimes committed in the name of love. Splintered, alone, each navigates his pain, believing that what has been lost can never be recovered until, in Ghana, a new way forward, a new family, begins to emerge.

  Ghana Must Go is at once a portrait of a modern family, and an exploration of the importance of where we come from to who we are. In a sweeping narrative that takes us from Accra to Lagos to London to New York, Ghana Must Go teaches that the truths we speak can heal the wounds we hide.

 


Click for more detail about Ghetto Superstar: A Novel (Many Cultures, One World) by Nikki Turner Ghetto Superstar: A Novel (Many Cultures, One World)

by Nikki Turner
One World/Ballantine (Apr 21, 2009)
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The reigning queen of hip-hop lit, Nikki Turner, takes on the music biz in this tale of a young woman who risks everything to be a superstar.

Fabiola Mays was born to sing. She has a voice like honey and a body to match, but one heartbreaking setback after another threatens to derail her dreams of a recording deal. To make matters worse, it’s Christmastime, rent is past due, and the cops intend to kick her tight-knit family to the curb–until a small-town gangster comes to the rescue and offers them a place to stay.
Years pass, and Fabiola continues to play gigs and travel around the country hoping for another shot at fame. She’s long forgotten the gangster named Casino who bailed out her family once upon a time. But when Casino is shot, Fabiola feels that she must help the man who helped her family during their lowest point.

As Fabiola climbs the ladder of success, she is pulled between the spotlight and the street, trying to resist industry moguls who find the allure of fresh meat irresistible and the thugs from the shadowy side of the ghetto who threaten to keep her close.


Click for more detail about Ghettonation: A Journey Into the Land of Bling and Home of the Shameless by Cora Daniels Ghettonation: A Journey Into the Land of Bling and Home of the Shameless

by Cora Daniels
Doubleday (Mar 20, 2007)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From the Introduction:

ghet-to n. (Merriam-Webster dictionary) Italian, from Venetian dialect ghèto island where Jews were forced to live; literally, foundry (located on the island), from ghetàr, to cast; from Latin jactare to throw
1: a quarter of a city in which Jews were formerly required to live
2: a quarter of a city in which members of a minority group live, especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure
3a: an isolated group b: a situation that resembles a ghetto especially in conferring inferior status or limiting opportunity

ghet-to adj. (twenty-first-century everyday parlance)
1a: behavior that makes you want to say “Huh?” b: actions that seem to go against basic home training and common sense
2: used to describe something with inferior status or limited opportunity. Usually used with “so.” ;
3: a quarter of a city in which members of a minority group live, especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure.
4: common misusage: authentic, Black, keepin’ it real

As current and all-consuming as “ghetto” is in these days of gold teeth, weaves (blond and red), Pepsi-filled baby bottles, and babymamas, ghetto has a long history. The original ghetto was in the Jewish quarter of Venice, a Catholic city. Before it became the Jewish quarter, this area contained an iron foundry or ghèto, hence the name. These days, ghetto no longer refers to where you live, but to how you live. It is a mindset, and not limited to a class or a race. Some things are worth repeating: ghetto is not limited to a class or a race. Ghetto is found in the heart of the nation’s inner cities as well as the heart of the nation’s most cherished suburbs; among those too young to understand (we hope) and those old enough to know better; in little white houses, and all the way to the White House; in corporate corridors, Ivy League havens, and, of course, Hollywood. More devastating, ghetto is also packaged in the form of music, TV, books, and movies, and then sold around the world. Bottom line: ghetto is contagious, and no one is immune, no matter how much we like to suck our teeth and shake our heads at what we think is only happening someplace else…From an award-winning journalist and cultural commentator comes a provocative examination of the impact of “ghetto” mores, attitudes, and lifestyles on urban communities and American culture in general.

Cora Daniels takes on one of the most explosive issues in our country today in this thoughtful critique of America’s embrace of a ghetto persona that demeans women, devalues education, celebrates the worst African American stereotypes, and contributes to the destruction of civil peace. Her investigation exposes the central role of corporate America in exploiting the idea of ghetto-ness as a hip cultural idiom, despite its disturbing ramifications, as a means of making money. She showcases Black rappers raised in privileged families who have taken on the ghetto persona and sold millions of albums, and non-Black celebrities, such as Paris Hilton, who have adopted ghetto attitudes and styles in pursuit of attention and notoriety. She explores, as well, her own relationship to the ghetto and the ways in which she is both part of and outside the Ghettonation.

Infused with humor and entertaining asides—including lists of events and people that the author nominates for the Ghetto Hall of Fame, and a short section written entirely in ghetto slang—Ghettonation is a timely and engrossing report on a controversial social phenomenon. Like Bill Cosby’s infamous, much-discussed comments about the problems within the Black community today, it is sure to trigger widespread interest and heated debate.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America

by Jill Leovy
Spiegel & Grau (Jan 27, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE,

USA TODAY,

AND CHICAGO TRIBUNE

A masterly work of literary journalism about a senseless murder, a relentless detective, and the great plague of homicide in America NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST

NAMED

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review The Washington Post The Boston Globe

The Economist The Globe and Mail

BookPage

Kirkus Reviews On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home, one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes. But as soon as the case is assigned to Detective John Skaggs, the odds shift. Here is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential, but mostly ignored, American murder—a ghettoside killing, one young black man slaying another—and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Ghettoside is a fast-paced narrative of a devastating crime, an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, and a surprising new lens into the great subject of why murder happens in our cities—and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped. Praise for Ghettoside A serious and kaleidoscopic achievement… [Jill

Leovy is] a crisp writer with a crisp mind and the ability to boil entire skies of information into hard journalistic rain.—Dwight Garner,

The New York Times Masterful… gritty reporting that matches the police work behind it.—Los Angeles Times Moving and engrossing.—San Francisco Chronicle Penetrating and heartbreaking…

Ghettoside

points out how relatively little America has cared even as recently as the last decade about the value of young black men’s lives.—USA Today Functions both as a snappy police procedural and—more significantly—as a searing indictment of legal neglect… Leovy’s powerful testimony demands respectful attention.—The Boston Globe Gritty, heart-wrenching… Everyone needs to read this book.—Michael Connelly Ghettoside is remarkable: a deep anatomy of lawlessness.—Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal [Leovy writes] with grace and artistry, and controlled—but bone-deep—outrage in her new book.…

The most important book about urban violence in a generation.—The Washington Post Riveting… This timely book could not be more important.—Associated Press Leovy’s relentless reporting has produced a book packed with valuable, hard-won insights—and it serves as a crucial, 366-page reminder that ‘black lives matter.’ —The New York Times Book Review A compelling analysis of the factors behind the epidemic of black-on-black homicide… an important book, which deserves a wide audience.—Hari Kunzru, The Guardian


Click for more detail about Giant talk: An anthology of Third World writings by Quincy Troupe Giant talk: An anthology of Third World writings

by Quincy Troupe
Vintage Books (May 28, 1975)
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Click for more detail about Gifts by Nuruddin Farah Gifts

by Nuruddin Farah
Penguin Books (Nov 01, 2000)
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Gifts is a beguiling tale of a Somali family, its strong matriarch, Duniya, and its past wounds that refuse to heal. As the story unfolds, Somalia is ravaged by war, drought, disease, and famine, prompting industrialized nations to offer monetary aid—"gifts" to the so-called Third World. Farah weaves these threads together into a tapestry of dreams, memories, family lore, folktales, and journalistic accounts.


Click for more detail about Giovanni's Room  by James Baldwin Giovanni’s Room

by James Baldwin
Vintage Books (Sep 12, 2013)
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Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin’s now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.


Click for more detail about Girls at War and Other Stories by Chinua Achebe Girls at War and Other Stories

by Chinua Achebe
Anchor (Aug 01, 1991)
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Twelve stories by the internationally renowned novelist which recreate with energy and authenticity the major social and political issues that confront contemporary Africans on a daily basis.


Click for more detail about Girls Most Likely: A Novel by Sheila Williams Girls Most Likely: A Novel

by Sheila Williams
One World (Jul 25, 2006)
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“We didn’t know then that the dramas we imagined weren’t even warm-ups for what real life held for us.”

From the fifth grade to their fifth decade, Vaughn, Reenie, Susan, and Audrey share secrets and dreams–their lives connected like silk threads through rich fabric, pulling but never breaking at life’s unexpected twists and turns. Meet the girls most likely

TO WRITE THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL: Vaughn has a flair for words that makes her the unofficial diplomat of the foursome. She’s great at keeping it together for everybody–but herself.

TO MARRY A PRINCE: Sassy Reenie can break hearts as easily as she can take out a bully without breaking a nail. But her live-for-today attitude leads to a tragic mistake that will haunt the girls for years.

TO BE FAMOUS: From the ashes of a ravaged home life, amid rumors and bad feelings, Susan rises to fame as a glamorous network anchorwoman, proving that success is the best revenge. But forgiveness is another matter.

TO RUN THE WORLD: Audrey is the ultimate overachiever, but this takes a devastating toll on her health, her career, and her family. Perfection is a race where the finish line keeps moving. What will she sacrifice to win?

Girls Most Likely is an emotional, uplifting, often hilarious glimpse into the lives of today’s ever-changing African American women, sustained by love, laughter, and sisterhood.

Don’t miss the reading group guide in the back of the book.


Click for more detail about Glitz by Philana Marie Boles Glitz

by Philana Marie Boles
Viking Books for Young Readers (Feb 03, 2011)
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Ann Michelle is tired of her boring, sheltered life. She longs for something real. Then she meets Raquel Marissa Diaz-Raq for short. Sassy, streetwise, and totally fearless, Raq is everything Ann Michelle isn’t. She has a voice to die for and the attitude to go with it, and she’ll stop at nothing to be a star. All Ann Michelle wants is to go along for the ride. Even if that means leaving home to go on the road with Piper, both girls’ favorite hip-hop artist. And shedding her identity along the way to become Glitz, a bolder- but not necessarily better-version of herself.

Crackling with authenticity, energy, and heart, Philana Marie Boles’s first young adult novel is about the true meaning of friendship and the pitfalls of fame.

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Click for more detail about Go And Tell Pharaoh by Al Sharpton Go And Tell Pharaoh

by Al Sharpton
Knopf (Mar 01, 1996)
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The personal memoirs of controversial figure Reverend Al Sharpton follow the tragedy that tore his family apart, his childhood ordination, his civil rights efforts, the Berhard Goetz subway incident, and more. 100,000 first printing. $100,000 ad/promo. Tour.


Click for more detail about Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin Go Tell It on the Mountain

by James Baldwin
Vintage Books (Sep 12, 2013)
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“Mountain,” Baldwin said, “is the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else.” Go Tell It on the Mountain, originally published in 1953, is Baldwin’s first major work, a novel that has established itself as an American classic. With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power, and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy’s discovery one Saturday in March of 1935 of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a Pentecostal storefront church in Harlem. Baldwin’s rendering of his protagonist’s spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle toward self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves.

Book Review

Click for more detail about God Help the Child: A Novel by Toni Morrison God Help the Child: A Novel

by Toni Morrison
Knopf (Apr 21, 2015)
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Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child is a searing tale about the way childhood trauma shapes and misshapes the life of the adult. At the center: a woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life; but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love until she told a lie that ruined the life of an innocent woman, a lie whose reverberations refuse to diminish . . . Booker, the man Bride loves and loses, whose core of anger was born in the wake of the childhood murder of his beloved brother . . . Rain, the mysterious white child, who finds in Bride the only person she can talk to about the abuse she's suffered at the hands of her prostitute mother . . . and Sweetness, Bride's mother, who takes a lifetime to understand that "what you do to children matters. And they might never forget."


Click for more detail about God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (Penguin Classics) by James Weldon Johnson God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (Penguin Classics)

by James Weldon Johnson
Penguin Classics (May 27, 2008)
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Introduced by Maya Angelou, the inspiring sermon-poems of James Weldon Johnson 

James Weldon Johnson was a leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance, and one of the most revered African Americans of all time, whose life demonstrated the full spectrum of struggle and success. In God’s Trombones, one of his most celebrated works, inspirational sermons of African American preachers are reimagined as poetry, reverberating with the musicality and splendid eloquence of the spirituals. This classic collection includes "Listen Lord (A Prayer)," "The Creation," "The Prodigal Son," "Go Down Death (A Funeral Sermon)," "Noah Built the Ark," "The Crucifixion," "Let My People Go," and "The Judgment Day."

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


Click for more detail about Goggles (Picture Puffins) by Ezra Jack Keats Goggles (Picture Puffins)

by Ezra Jack Keats
Puffin Books (Nov 01, 1998)
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Generations of children have read, re-read, and loved Ezra Jack Keats?s award-winning, classic stories about Peter and his neighborhood friends. Now, for the first time, Peter?s Chair, A Letter to Amy, and Goggles! are available in paperback exclusively from Puffin.?A well-loved character, a familiar childhood situation, and an urban setting are the components of this winning picture book, one of Keats?s best.? — BooklistEzra Jack Keats (1916?1983) was the beloved author and/or illustrator of over eighty-five books for children.


Click for more detail about Going Down South: A Novel by Bonnie J. Glover Going Down South: A Novel

by Bonnie J. Glover
One World/Ballantine (Jul 29, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From the author of The Middle Sister comes a heartwarming tale of second chances and the unparalleled love between mothers and daughters.

When fifteen-year-old Olivia Jean finds herself in the “family way,” her mother, Daisy, who has never been very maternal, springs into action. Daisy decides that Olivia Jean can’t stay in New York and whisks her away to her grandmother’s farm in Alabama to have the baby–even though Daisy and her mother, Birdie, have been estranged for years. When they arrive, Birdie lays down the law: Sure, her granddaughter can stay, but Daisy will have to stay as well. Though Daisy is furious, she has no choice.

Now, under one little roof in the 1960s Deep South, three generations of spirited, proud women are forced to live together. One by one, they begin to lose their inhibitions and share their secrets. And as long-guarded truths emerge, a baby is born–a child with the power to turn these virtual strangers into a real, honest-to-goodness family.

Praise for Going Down South:

“Long live Olivia Jean, Daisy, and Birdie! These three daughters, mothers, and women are smart, feisty, and funny. Their stories will break your heart in the very best way. I absolutely loved Going Down South!”
—Carleen Brice, author of Orange Mint and Honey

Book Review

Click for more detail about Going to Meet the Man: Stories by James Baldwin Going to Meet the Man: Stories

by James Baldwin
Vintage (Apr 25, 1995)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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""There’s no way not to suffer. But you try all kinds of ways to keep from drowning in it.” The men and women in these eight short fictions grasp this truth on an elemental level, and their stories, as told by James Baldwin, detail the ingenious and often desperate ways in which they try to keep their head above water. It may be the heroin that a down-and-out jazz pianist uses to face the terror of pouring his life into an inanimate instrument. It may be the brittle piety of a father who can never forgive his son for his illegitimacy. Or it may be the screen of bigotry that a redneck deputy has raised to blunt the awful childhood memory of the day his parents took him to watch a black man being murdered by a gleeful mob.

By turns haunting, heartbreaking, and horrifying—and informed throughout by Baldwin’s uncanny knowledge of the wounds racism has left in both its victims and its perpetrators—Going to Meet the Man is a major work by one of our most important writers.


Click for more detail about Gold Diggers: A Novel by Tracie Howard Gold Diggers: A Novel

by Tracie Howard
Knopf (Apr 17, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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ENTER THE WORLD OF “GUCCI, GLITZ, AND GLAMOUR”* IN THIS DELICIOUSLY DECADENT LOOK INTO THE LIVES OF THE YOUNG, THE RICH, THE BEAUTIFUL, AND THE CONNIVING

Paulette, Gillian, and Reese are three gold diggers who have dollar signs in their eyes and gold digging in their DNA. Lauren is Paulette’s pampered cousin who never fails to remind Paulette of how different their lives have always been—Lauren the daughter of wealthy black urbanites and Paulette the daughter of the family black sheep who married “beneath her family pedigree.” Paulette will stop at nothing—not even sleeping with her cousin Lauren’s husband—to gain the social status she feels she rightfully deserves. Gillian is a second-generation gold digger and, having learned from the best, strategically sleeps her way to Hollywood—but does she have the talent to be a lasting star? Reese is a career basketball groupie turned NBA trophy wife, and she wears it well, taking advantage of everything her new position affords; but when she finds out that DL may be more than just her husband’s best friend’s initials, she may be forced to realize that all that glitters isn’t gold. The stunningly beautiful, well-bred, but naïve Lauren is the secret envy of her friends. She seems to have all the creature comforts money can buy, but when she’s confronted with a crisis of her own, just how will she respond?


Click for more detail about Goony Goo-Goo And Ga-Ga Too by Kia Morgan Smith Goony Goo-Goo And Ga-Ga Too

by Kia Morgan Smith
AuthorHouse (May 28, 2010)
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Goony Goo-Goo and Ga-Ga Too! is a whimsical tale of two sisters, Selena and Celeste who are less than enthusiastic about their new baby brother. They plot and plan to communicate with him in a secret baby language in order to get the baby to do what THEY want! They tell the baby boy he has to earn his keep by doing some of their dirty work like taking out the trash! That is until mom figures out their presumptuous plot! The results are hilarious! But the sisters also learn to love and accept their new sibling—even if it means they can’t get their way. Children of all ages will enjoy the cadence, rhythm and rhyme of this book and soon you’ll find your child chanting Goony Goo-Goo and Ga-Ga Too!

Book Review

Click for more detail about Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara Gorilla, My Love

by Toni Cade Bambara
Vintage (Jun 30, 1992)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In these fifteen superb stories, written in a style at once ineffable and immediately recognizable, Toni Cade Bambara gives us compelling portraits of a wide range of unforgettable characters, from sassy children to cunning old men, in scenes shifting between uptown New York and rural North CaroLina. A young girl suffers her first betrayal. A widow flirts with an elderly blind man against the wishes of her grown-up children. A neighborhood loan shark teaches o white social worker a lesson in responsibility. And there is more. Sharing the world of Toni Cade Bambara’s "straight-up fiction" is a stunning experience.


Click for more detail about Grace: A Novel by Elizabeth Nunez Grace: A Novel

by Elizabeth Nunez
Ballantine Books (Feb 28, 2006)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Justin Peters is a Harvard-educated professor of British and classic literature who reads Shakespeare to his four-year-old daughter, Giselle. A native of Trinidad and the product of a strict, English-style education, Justin and his focus on the works of “Dead White Men” receive little professional respect at the public Brooklyn college where he teaches. But whatever troubles he might have at work are eclipsed when he realizes his wife, Sally, has begun to pull away from him, both physically and emotionally.

Harlem-born Sally Peters, a mother on the verge of turning forty, is a primary school teacher who believes that joy is a learned skill, and that it takes strength to be happy. After a life of tragic losses, Sally thought she had finally found that strength when she met Justin.

But now, Sally wants something more. And Justin is angered by her uncertainty about their life and frightened by the thought that perhaps Sally never stopped loving the ex-boyfriend for whom she wrote fierce poems. Is he, Justin wonders, responsible for helping Sally find meaning in her life—a life that seems to him most fortunate? If Sally and Justin’s union is to survive, both must face the crippling echoes of their own pasts before those memories forever cloud and alter their future.

Set in a snow-covered Brooklyn, Grace is a thoughtful and lovely meditation on trust, redemption, and family. Elizabeth Nunez’s delicate prose brings the struggles, aches, and tender moments of this contemporary urban love story into vivid focus.


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about Grandmama’s Joy by Eloise Greenfield Grandmama’s Joy

by Eloise Greenfield
Puffin Books (Jan 25, 1999)
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When Rhondy can’t seem to cheer Grandmama up with a song, a dance, or a gift from the backyard, she tries the one thing she’s sure will work. Rhondy reminds Grandmama what she said about her when they first came to live together: "That’s my joy, that’s Grandmama’s joy. Long as I got my joy, I’ll be all right." "As sometimes happens, the child is more resourceful than the adult.This is the portrait of a relationship, revealed less as a story than as the unfolding of love." — Booklist "A sensitive story that shows the loving relationship between Grandmama and Rhondy." — School Library Journal


Click for more detail about Grandpa’s Face by Eloise Greenfield Grandpa’s Face

by Eloise Greenfield
Puffin Books (May 07, 1996)
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This picture book tells the reassuring story of family love and the special bond between a grandparent and grandchild. The little girl knows her grandfather’s expressions until one day she sees him practising for the theatre, his appearance frightens her.


Click for more detail about Great Ideas Concerning Violence (Penguin Great Ideas) by Frantz Fanon Great Ideas Concerning Violence (Penguin Great Ideas)

by Frantz Fanon
Penguin UK (Sep 23, 2008)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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Angered by the racism he witnessed on Martinique during the Second World War, Fanon here examines the roles of class, culture and violence, and expresses his profound alienation from the idea of colonialism and its bloodshed. More than four decades on, Fanon’s work still inspires liberation movements today. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves – and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives – and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.


Click for more detail about Great Sky Woman: A Novel by Steven Barnes Great Sky Woman: A Novel

by Steven Barnes
One World/Ballantine (Jun 27, 2006)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Thirty thousand years ago, in the heart of the African continent and in the shadow of the largest freestanding mountain in the world, lived the Ibandi. For countless generations they nurtured their ancient tradition, and met survival’s daily struggle with quiet faith in their gods. But when brutal intruders arrived from the south, a few brave souls dared the ultimate quest–to climb the Great Mountain, seeking answers and a way into the future.

In this breathtaking blend of imagination, anthropology, and sheer storytelling magic, Steven Barnes takes us to the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro and into the realm of our own ancestors, who lived, hunted, celebrated, and died side by side with roaming herds of wild animals and great golden clouds of migrating butterflies. A people whose skin was the color and smell of the earth itself, the Ibandi formed a hierarchy based on strength of limb and spirit. In this extraordinary novel, we follow the adventures of two of the Ibandi’s chosen ones: T’Cori, an abandoned girl raised by the powerful and mysterious medicine woman Stillshadow, and Frog Hopping, a boy possessing a gift that is also a curse.

Though the live in different encampments, Frog and T’Cori are linked through the revered and powerful Stillshadow, who has sensed in them a destiny apart from others’.

Through the years, and on their separate life paths, T’Cori’s and Frog’s fates entwine as an inevitable disaster approaches from the south–from the very god they worship. For as long as there have been mountain, sky, and savannah, there has been a home for the Ibandi. Now, in the face of an enemy beyond anything spoken of even in legend, they must ask their god face-to-face: Do we remain or do we depart?

Great Sky Woman not only brings to life the world of prehistoric man but also shines a brilliant light on humanity itself. For here is a story of rivalries and alliances, of human fear and desire, of faith and betrayal . . . and, above all, a story of how primitive man, without words or machines, set in motion civilization’s long, winding journey to the present.


Click for more detail about Groove by Geneva Holliday Groove

by Geneva Holliday
Broadway Books (Jun 28, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Geneva Holliday’s juicy novel brings a lighter touch to African American erotica, setting the sexual escapades amid the real-life folly and drama of four very different friends during one incredibly hot summer in New York City. This funny, sexy book has something for everyone!


Click for more detail about Growing Up In The Nation’s Capital: We Made It, But It Took An Entire Village by Carrolyn Pichet Growing Up In The Nation’s Capital: We Made It, But It Took An Entire Village

by Carrolyn Pichet
AuthorHouse (Mar 29, 2013)
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Overview
The stories I’m about to tell you are true to the best of my ability—actually they’re true to the best of my memory. I’ve purposely included events only as far as my short-term memory goes. Yes, I know I seem to be going around in circles, but I can assure you that some of my stories can be considered as pure fiction. That could mean that I filled in the blanks with a reasonable facsimile of the truth, or that I simply fabricated my tales to liven up my life’s adventures. Of course the part about growing up in the nation’s capital is true because I am indeed a Washingtonian.

I’m going to tell you about my childhood. The places are real, but some of the characters’ names have been changed to protect myself. I certainly know my Miranda rights, and I readily acknowledge that anything I say can, and most certainly will be used against me. But I’ll remind you that most of my tales took place when we were merely innocent kids, just doing what kids do. You’ll be served up the most unimaginable deeds that any rag-tag gang could conjure up for your pleasure. Enjoy!

Greetings my friends, welcome back

Greetings to my new readers, to my family and to my “old” friends
(no pun intended), I’m sending a hearty welcome back to all of you.

Introduction

I am a native Washingtonian, but I did not “live” where most people want to go when they “visit” the nation’s capital. I’m hoping that in “my story” I can take you far beyond the ordinary tourist junkets and historic exhibits and include a taste of the world-famous eateries that salt and pepper the Washington, D.C. area. Actually, deep down inside, I believe that I can give you more than that. I hope that the combination of where I grew up, my childhood haunts and the places where I “hung out” and visited as a young girl will provide a unique perspective of my hometown. I’ll offer you the same magnificence I savored with my friends and family during field trips and cultural excursions. These scenic treasures were an intimate part of my learning experiences when I was growing up and they are what I lived and loved as a child. This is the Washington and these are the unforgettable pictures that I want to share with you.

As a child I lived within my own little comfort zone surrounded by African Americans and all of my activities and interactions took place among them. My Washington was segregated along very specific lines and we blacks had our way of life, our associations, communities and our own systems of protection. We did not have to compete with the white population for anything. We established our own infrastructure that was comfortable, efficient and self-sustaining. We operated our own shopping areas and hubs of communication. Everything we needed (I didn’t say everything we wanted) in our daily lives was available. I must admit I was somewhat shielded from the darker aspects of social life and didn’t really experience the full brunt of segregation. At any rate, although segregation and racial discrimination existed in my childhood, they were not severe enough to destroy my lovely childhood memories.

My goal and the purpose of this book are to share my childhood with you, to let you feel the pulse of that environment and to let you experience the good and the bad of growing up in survival mode. I also want to show you that even the meekest and poorest people on earth can come through rough times and thorny patches and can actually bloom into a garden of beautiful flowers. The ultimate goal of the families and friends living in the 40’s and 50’s was essentially to survive and thanks to our loving village community, we did just that.

I can’t wait to tell you how it was to live in such a wonderful place in the 40’s. The city has indeed changed a lot since I hit the scene in 1941. There were some good things and some not so good, but because I came through it all relatively unscathed, I can still let you in on an unknown secret or two. You’ll read later on that I love secrets. I’ve always been proud of my ancestry. I love who I am. In fact, I really think that although I never saw any semblance of that silver spoon that some folks are born with, my inheritance has made me one of the richest souls on this earth. The best place to start my story is with the ancestors I knew and loved in my childhood. I am proud to introduce you to the people at the root of my life’s journey in the nation’s capital.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Growing Up X by Ilyasah Al-Shabazz Growing Up X

by Ilyasah Al-Shabazz
One World/Ballantine (Jan 14, 2003)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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“Ilyasah Shabazz has written a compelling and lyrical coming-of-age story as well as a candid and heart-warming tribute to her parents. Growing Up X is destined to become a classic.”
–SPIKE LEE

February 21, 1965: Malcolm X is assassinated in Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom. June 23, 1997: After surviving for a remarkable twenty-two days, his widow, Betty Shabazz, dies of burns suffered in a fire. In the years between, their six daughters reach adulthood, forged by the memory of their parents’ love, the meaning of their cause, and the power of their faith. Now, at long last, one of them has recorded that tumultuous journey in an unforgettable memoir: Growing Up X.

Born in 1962, Ilyasah was the middle child, a rambunctious livewire who fought for–and won–attention in an all-female household. She carried on the legacy of a renowned father and indomitable mother while navigating childhood and, along the way, learning to do the hustle. She was a different color from other kids at camp and yet, years later as a young woman, was not radical enough for her college classmates. Her story is, sbove all else, a tribute to a mother of almost unimaginable forbearance, a woman who, “from that day at the Audubon when she heard the shots and threw her body on [ours, never] stopped shielding her children.”


Click for more detail about Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writing by E. Lynn Harris and Marita Golden
Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writing

by E. Lynn Harris and Marita Golden
Broadway Books (Dec 03, 2002)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A literary rent party to benefit the Hurston/Wright Foundation of African-American fiction, with selections to savor from bestselling authors as well as talented rising stars.

Not since Terry McMillan’s Breaking Ice have so many African-American writers been brought together in one volume. A stellar collection of works from more than fifty hot names in fiction, Gumbo represents remarkable synergy. Edited by bestselling luminaries Marita Golden and E. Lynn Harris, this collection spans new and previously published tales of love and luck, inspiration and violation, hip new worlds and hallowed heritage from voices such as:

Also featuring original stories by Golden and Harris themselves, Gumbo heralds the debut of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards for Published Black Writers (scheduled for October 2002), and all advances and royalties from the book will support the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Combining authors with a variety of flavorful writing, Gumbo will have readers clamoring for second helpings.


Click for more detail about Guys in Suits: A Novel by Van Whitfield Guys in Suits: A Novel

by Van Whitfield
Doubleday (Sep 04, 2001)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Bestselling author Van Whitfield is back with another hilarious peek into the romantic lives of today’s everyday Joes.

Readers across the country are discovering the marvelously original voice of Van Whitfield as he champions the romantic trials and tribulations of today’s everyman. In Guys in Suits, a laugh-out-loud expos? of how differently women treat blue-collar guys and white-collar “suitors,” Whitfield shines the spotlight on the desperate bus-driving Simon and his stockbroker best friend Stuart, D.C.’s consummate ladies’ man.

Having just turned thirty, Simon is in search of his soul mate and determined to settle down. Stuart has different plans. He subscribes to the “Quintessential Male Manifesto,” the 60-day rule–a theory that suggests men are inherently bound to successfully coexist in relationships for just 60 days!

Weeks 1—2 are the “Glory Days,” when a man actually looks forward to “communicating” with a potential mate. Weeks 2—4 are known as the “Realm of Reality,” the period in which the gloss wears off. The “Prozac Period,” weeks 5—6, is a time of high anxiety because the woman thinks she’s found Mr. RightÉbut the guy knows he’s in too deep. And the “Dawn of Destruction,” the final era of the 60-day rule, is when the guy is ready to bail, but unfortunately, the woman isn’t!

As Simon and Stuart’s annual New Year’s Eve investment group vacation approaches (with their two “happily” married buddies and their wives, no less) they’re in a mad dash to find dates. As the deadline for this fun-in-the-sun extravaganza approaches both Simon and Stuart have met potential Ms. Rights and are confident that for the first time, they’ll take their dream dates on their annual island getaway. Everything looks good, but just before the tickets are booked a staggering discovery threatens to upset Simon and Stuart’s seemingly perfect plan.

With all the laughs and hubris of a sweet old-fashioned comedy, Van Whitfield takes readers on a madcap romp through the rocky terrain of today’s relationships.


Click for more detail about Haarlem: A Novel by Heather Neff Haarlem: A Novel

by Heather Neff
Broadway Books (Jul 05, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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“The only thing that’ll last forever is my Thirst . . . .”

So says Abel Crofton as he explores the streets and canals of Amsterdam. A New York tunnel worker who’s struggling to stay sober after years of alcoholism, Abel is searching for the mother he’s never known. Despite having few clues as to her whereabouts, he soon finds a bureaucratic trail that takes him to Haarlem, the Dutch town from which the famed African-American neighborhood takes its name.

As Abel ventures into more new territory, he also takes on his identity as a Black man, his rough childhood in Harlem, New York, his relationship to his bitter father, and his battle with addiction. The questions around his life only get more complicated after he meets a coldly direct waitress and a ragged jazz musician, both also bearing major scars from their pasts. The road leads to Haarlem for them as well.

Welcome to Abel’s search for salvation in another tight page turner from Heather Neff.


Click for more detail about Hail the Conquering Hero by Frank Yerby Hail the Conquering Hero

by Frank Yerby
Dell Publishing (Jun 01, 1980)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Click for more detail about Halfway To Perfect: A Dyamonde Daniel Book by Nikki Grimes Halfway To Perfect: A Dyamonde Daniel Book

by Nikki Grimes
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Jul 05, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Dyamonde knows it’s what’s on the inside that counts!

Dyamonde loves eating her mom’s pancakes. Free loves eating . . . period. But lately Damaris just pushes her food around her plate, and Dyamonde suspects it has something to do with the mean things classmates have been saying about people’s weight. Damaris wonders if they might be talking about her too. Dyamonde knows that Damaris doesn’t have a weight problem and is perfect just the way she is—so now it’s time for her to make sure Damaris knows that, too.

In this fourth installment of the award-winning series, Coretta Scott King Award winner Nikki Grimes’s lovable Dyamonde Daniel is back, with a timely message about self-acceptance and healthy eating habits—delivered with her trademark spunk.


Click for more detail about Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes by Maya Angelou Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes

by Maya Angelou
Random House (Sep 21, 2004)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Throughout Maya Angelou’s life, from her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas, to her world travels as a bestselling writer, good food has played a central role. Preparing and enjoying homemade meals provides a sense of purpose and calm, accomplishment and connection. Now in Hallelujah! The Welcome Table, Angelou shares memories pithy and poignant–and the recipes that helped to make them both indelible and irreplaceable.

Angelou tells us about the time she was expelled from school for being afraid to speak–and her mother baked a delicious maple cake to brighten her spirits. She gives us her recipe for short ribs along with a story about a job she had as a cook at a Creole restaurant (never mind that she didn’t know how to cook and had no idea what Creole food might entail). There was the time in London when she attended a wretched dinner party full of wretched people; but all wasn’t lost–she did experience her initial taste of a savory onion tart. She recounts her very first night in her new home in Sonoma, California, when she invited M. F. K. Fisher over for cassoulet, and the evening Deca Mitford roasted a chicken when she was beyond tipsy–and created Chicken Drunkard Style. And then there was the hearty brunch Angelou made for a homesick Southerner, a meal that earned her both a job offer and a prophetic compliment: “If you can write half as good as you can cook, you are going to be famous.”

Maya Angelou is renowned in her wide and generous circle of friends as a marvelous chef. Her kitchen is a social center. From fried meat pies, chicken livers, and beef Wellington to caramel cake, bread pudding, and chocolate éclairs, the one hundred-plus recipes included here are all tried and true, and come from Angelou’s heart and her home. Hallelujah! The Welcome Table is a stunning collaboration between the two things Angelou loves best: writing and cooking.


Click for more detail about Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes by Maya Angelou Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes

by Maya Angelou
Random House Trade Paperbacks (Oct 09, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Throughout Maya Angelou’s life, from her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas, to her world travels as a bestselling writer, good food has played a central role. Preparing and enjoying homemade meals provides a sense of purpose and calm, accomplishment and connection. Now in Hallelujah! The Welcome Table, Angelou shares memories pithy and poignant–and the recipes that helped to make them both indelible and irreplaceable.

Angelou tells us about the time she was expelled from school for being afraid to speak–and her mother baked a delicious maple cake to brighten her spirits. She gives us her recipe for short ribs along with a story about a job she had as a cook at a Creole restaurant (never mind that she didn’t know how to cook and had no idea what Creole food might entail). There was the time in London when she attended a wretched dinner party full of wretched people; but all wasn’t lost–she did experience her initial taste of a savory onion tart. She recounts her very first night in her new home in Sonoma, California, when she invited M. F. K. Fisher over for cassoulet, and the evening Deca Mitford roasted a chicken when she was beyond tipsy–and created Chicken Drunkard Style. And then there was the hearty brunch Angelou made for a homesick Southerner, a meal that earned her both a job offer and a prophetic compliment: “If you can write half as good as you can cook, you are going to be famous.”

Maya Angelou is renowned in her wide and generous circle of friends as a marvelous chef. Her kitchen is a social center. From fried meat pies, chicken livers, and beef Wellington to caramel cake, bread pudding, and chocolate éclairs, the one hundred-plus recipes included here are all tried and true, and come from Angelou’s heart and her home. Hallelujah! The Welcome Table is a stunning collaboration between the two things Angelou loves best: writing and cooking.


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about Handbook For An Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata And My Crazy Mother, And Still Came Out Smiling (With Great Hair) by Rosie Perez Handbook For An Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata And My Crazy Mother, And Still Came Out Smiling (With Great Hair)

by Rosie Perez
Knopf (Feb 25, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez’s never-before-told story of surviving a harrowing childhood and of how she found success—both in and out of the Hollywood limelight.
 
Rosie Perez first caught our attention with her fierce dance in the title sequence of Do the Right Thing and has since defined herself as a funny and talented actress who broke boundaries for Latinas in the film industry. What most people would be surprised to learn is that the woman with the big, effervescent personality has a secret straight out of a Dickens novel. At the age of three, Rosie’s life was turned upside down when her mentally ill mother tore her away from the only family she knew and placed her in a Catholic children’s home in New York’s Westchester County. Thus began her crazily discombobulated childhood of being shuttled between “the Home,” where she and other kids suffered all manners of cruelty from nuns, and various relatives’ apartments in Brooklyn.
 
Many in her circumstances would have been defined by these harrowing experiences, but with the intense determination that became her trademark, Rosie overcame the odds and made an incredible life for herself. She brings her journey vividly to life on each page of this memoir—from the vibrant streets of Brooklyn to her turbulent years in the Catholic home, and finally to film and TV sets and the LA and New York City hip-hop scenes of the 1980s and ‘90s. 
 
More than a page-turning read, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life is a story of survival. By turns heartbreaking and funny, it is ultimately the inspirational story of a woman who has found a hard-won place of strength and peace.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Harlem Girl Lost: A Novel by Treasure Blue Harlem Girl Lost: A Novel

by Treasure Blue
One World (Sep 26, 2006)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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“A true urban novel filled with vivid images of the street.”
–Black Issues Book Review


Treasure E. Blue, street lit’s hottest newcomer, crafts characters that fly off the page and a story that burns with intensity. Set in Harlem, this searing novel is a poignant and gritty portrait of urban survival of the ghetto’s fittest . . . and most fierce.

Silver Jones knows just how cruel life can be. Her mother was chewed up and spit out by its dark side–brutally murdered while turning a trick. Rather than live with her abusive grandmother, Silver runs away.

Determined to escape the mean streets, Silver longs for an education. But after running into an old friend, a homeless youth named Chance whom she’d taken under her wing once upon a time, Silver puts her dreams of college on hold. Chance is grown now–and he’s a powerful drug overlord. But underneath the cool exterior is the same innocent boy Silver once loved.

As they begin an affair, Silver tries to convince Chance to give up the lethal way of life that ruined both their childhoods. But Chance knows that walking away from the game means having to pay a deadly price. Silver won’t take no for an answer–even if it means delving into a seedy underworld and outscheming some of its most vicious drug-dealers and cold-blooded murderers.

“Even in Blue’s world of double-crossing, misogyny, drugs and brutality, an against-all-odds fairy tale can come true.”
–Publishers Weekly


Click for more detail about Harlem’s Little Blackbird by Renée Watson Harlem’s Little Blackbird

by Renée Watson
Random House Books for Young Readers (Oct 23, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Zora and Langston. Billie and Bessie. Eubie and Duke. If the Harlem Renaissance had a court, they were its kings and queens. But there were other, lesser known individuals whose contributions were just as impactful, such as Florence Mills. Born to parents who were former-slaves Florence knew early on that she loved to sing. And that people really responded to her sweet, bird-like voice. Her dancing and singing catapulted her all the way to the stages of 1920s Broadway where she inspired songs and even entire plays! Yet with all this success, she knew firsthand how bigotry shaped her world. And when she was offered the role of a lifetime from Ziegfeld himself, she chose to support all-black musicals instead.

Fans of When Marian Sang and Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa will jump at the chance to discover another talented performer whose voice transcended and transformed the circumstances society placed on her.


Click for more detail about He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands by Kadir Nelson He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands

by Kadir Nelson
Dial Books for Young Readers (Aug 08, 2005)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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What began as a spiritual has developed into one of America’s best-known songs, and now for the first time it appears as a picture book, masterfully created by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson.Through sublime landscapes and warm images of a boy and his family, Kadir has created a dazzling, intimate interpretation, one that rejoices in the connectedness of people and nature.Inspired by the song’s simple message, Kadir sought to capture the joy of living in and engaging with the world. Most importantly, he wished to portray the world as a child might see it—vast and beautiful.


Click for more detail about He-motions: Even Strong Men Struggle by T. D. Jakes He-motions: Even Strong Men Struggle

by T. D. Jakes
G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Jul 15, 2004)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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T. D. Jakes has helped millions of women discover the glorious truth of who they are. His bestseller The Lady, Her Lover and Her Lord was a groundbreaking look at a woman’s most important relationships-with God, with the man in her life, and with herself-and was the first step toward hope and healing for women across the nation.

Now Bishop Jakes brings his unique perspective to this revealing look into the heart and mind of a man.

Men feel the pressure of fulfilling many roles in life: husband, father, son, businessman, and leader. Now Bishop Jakes comes to their aid with this guidebook to help every man understand his own emotional inner workings, and to offer biblically inspired direction toward being the man God wants him to be.

Practical, inspirational, and refreshingly honest, He-Motions is also the ultimate source for women who seek to comprehend and care for the men in their lives. It will help them decode men’s often-baffling behavior and will offer eye-opening insights that will bring greater intimacy and healing to their relationships.

He-Motions will bring clarity and hope to men and help them strengthen their relationships with themselves, with the women in their lives, and ultimately, with their God. It is the book that millions of men and women have been waiting for.


Click for more detail about Heartbreak Of A Hustler’s Wife: A Novel by Nikki Turner Heartbreak Of A Hustler’s Wife: A Novel

by Nikki Turner
One World/Ballantine (Apr 05, 2011)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Long live the Queen of Hip Hop Lit! 
 
Nikki Turner is back with another explosive, page-turning sequel to her #1 bestselling novels A Hustler’s Wife and Forever a Hustler’s Wife.
 
Yarni Taylor is a successful corporate attorney who wants nothing more than for her husband, Des, to renounce his hustlin’ ways and commit to his life as a pastor—especially after someone tries to kill him. But Des isn’t ready to abandon his old habits just yet. He has to find out who is behind the murder attempt, and he wonders if the brazen robbery that took place during one of his church services is related in any way. But before he or Yarni can regain their footing, a young woman shows up on their doorstep—Desember Day, the eighteen-year-old daughter Des never knew he had. And, unfortunately, she takes after her father, so trouble isn’t far behind. 

With their lives on the line, Yarni must sacrifice everything and take it out of the office and back to the streets to save her husband and her family from their checkered but intricately connected pasts.


Click for more detail about Heat by Geneva Holliday Heat

by Geneva Holliday
Knopf (Jun 26, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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It’s spring in New York City, but in the lives of these four friends there’s already plenty of HEAT


Geneva Holliday got your Groove on, gave you Fever, and now she turns up the Heat, in her wildest novel yet. Between their bedroom antics and their busy lives, Crystal, Geneva, Chevy, and Noah are all faced with situations that are way too hot to handle . . .

Crystal’s finding it hard to concentrate at work, and no wonder—she’s got a stud in Antigua who’s beginning to mean more to her than just steamy sex.

While things are red-hot with Geneva and her sexy young man, Deeka, her new diet pills stir up more trouble than her collection of slinky lingerie ever did.

Chevy’s out-of-control spending has finally caught up with her; when her paycheck is almost entirely garnished, she is forced to resort to sex with an ex to keep a roof over her head.

Noah and his partner can’t come to an agreement about adopting children, but one thing’s for sure: A blast from his little-known past with a woman is about to rock his world.


Click for more detail about Heroes of Black History by Bonnie Bader Heroes of Black History

by Bonnie Bader
Grosset & Dunlap (Dec 29, 2015)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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 A true hero not only rises to the occasion, but helps others rise with them. Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson, and Rosa Parks are five extraordinary people who overcame adversity to claim their places in modern history. In this box set, discover the life and times of five icons of black history and celebrate the difference they made in the world. Over 560 pages and 400 illustrations.


Click for more detail about Hiding in Plain Sight: A Novel by Marita Kinney Hiding in Plain Sight: A Novel

by Marita Kinney
Riverhead Books (Oct 30, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From an acclaimed African writer, a novel about family, freedom, and loyalty.
 
When Bella learns of the murder of her beloved half brother by political extremists in Mogadiscio, she’s in Rome. The two had different fathers but shared a Somali mother, from whom Bella’s inherited her freewheeling ways. An internationally known fashion photographer, dazzling but aloof, she comes and goes as she pleases, juggling three lovers. But with her teenage niece and nephew effectively orphaned – their mother abandoned them years ago—she feels an unfamiliar surge of protective feeling. Putting her life on hold, she journeys to Nairobi, where the two are in boarding school, uncertain whether she can—or must—come to their rescue. When their mother resurfaces, reasserting her maternal rights and bringing with her a gale of chaos and confusion that mirror the deepening political instability in the region, Bella has to decide how far she will go to obey the call of sisterly responsibility.
 
A new departure in theme and setting for “the most important African novelist to emerge in the past twenty-five years” (The New York Review of Books) Hiding in Plain Sight, is a profound exploration of the tensions between freedom and obligation, the ways gender and sexual preference define us, and the unexpected paths by which the political disrupts the personal.


Click for more detail about High Cotton (Contemporary American Fiction) by Darryl Pinckney High Cotton (Contemporary American Fiction)

by Darryl Pinckney
Penguin Books (Feb 01, 1993)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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High Cotton is an extraordinarily rich account of the dreams and inner turmoils of a new generation of the black upper middle class, capturing the essence of a part of American society that has mostly been ignored in literature. The novel’s protagonist journeys from his childhood home in the midwest to college, a stint in New York publishing, and Europe, yet the issue of his "blackness" remains at the heart of his being.


Click for more detail about Higher Ground by Caryl Phillips Higher Ground

by Caryl Phillips
Vintage (Oct 31, 1995)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Covering three ages, this novel begins in the Caribbean with the slave trade at its height and moves into the 1960s with a series of letters from prison of a black American convict to his family. The final part, set in England, tells of a West Indian who is determined to leave for his native land.


Click for more detail about Hip Hop America by Nelson George Hip Hop America

by Nelson George
Penguin Books (Apr 26, 2005)
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Now with a new introduction by the author, Hip Hop America is the definitive account of the society-altering collision between black youth culture and the mass media.


Click for more detail about Hip Logic (National Poetry Series) by Terrance Hayes Hip Logic (National Poetry Series)

by Terrance Hayes
Penguin Books (May 28, 2002)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The second collection of poetry from the author of Lighthead, winner of the 2010 National Book Award

Terrance Hayes is a dazzlingly original poet, interested in adventurous explorations of subject and form. His new work, Hip Logic, is full of poetic tributes to the likes of Paul Robeson, Big Bird, Balthus, and Mr. T, as well as poems based on the anagram principle of words within a word. Throughout, Hayes’s verse dances in a kind of homemade music box, with notes that range from tender to erudite, associative to narrative, humorous to political. Hip Logic does much to capture the nuances of contemporary male African American identity and confirms Hayes’s reputation as one of the most compelling new voices in American poetry.


Click for more detail about Holly by Albert French Holly

by Albert French
Viking Press (May 01, 1995)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A poor, white girl in 1944 North Carolina finds her lonely life transformed by a handsome, educated black soldier, but their romance is met by turmoil and hostility from the girl’s hometown. 30,000 first printing. $30,000 ad/promo. Tour.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Home by Toni Morrison Home

by Toni Morrison
Knopf (Jan 01, 2013)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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America’s most celebrated novelist, Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison extends her profound take on our history with this twentieth-century tale of redemption: a taut and tortured story about one man’s desperate search for himself in a world disfigured by war. Frank Money is an angry, self-loathing veteran of the Korean War who, after traumatic experiences on the front lines, finds himself back in racist America with more than just physical scars. His home may seem alien to him, but he is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from and that he’s hated all his life. As Frank revisits his memories from childhood and the war that have left him questioning his sense of self, he discovers a profound courage he had thought he could never possess again. A deeply moving novel about an apparently defeated man finding his manhood—and his home.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Home by Toni Morrison Home

by Toni Morrison
Knopf (May 08, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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America’s most celebrated novelist, Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison extends her profound take on our history with this twentieth-century tale of redemption: a taut and tortured story about one man’s desperate search for himself in a world disfigured by war.
Frank Money is an angry, self-loathing veteran of the Korean War who, after traumatic experiences on the front lines, finds himself back in racist America with more than just physical scars. His home may seem alien to him, but he is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from and that he’s hated all his life. As Frank revisits his memories from childhood and the war that have left him questioning his sense of self, he discovers a profound courage he had thought he could never possess again.
A deeply moving novel about an apparently defeated man finding his manhood—and his home.


Click for more detail about Homegoing: A Novel by Yaa Gyasi Homegoing: A Novel

by Yaa Gyasi
Random House (Jun 07, 2016)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Yaa Gyasi’s London Book Fair 2015: In Pre-Fair Deals, Debut Sells to Knopf for Rumored 7 Figures

A riveting, kaleidoscopic debut novel and the beginning of a major career: a novel about race, history, ancestry, love, and time that traces the descendants of two sisters torn apart in eighteenth-century Africa across three hundred years in Ghana and America.

Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into different tribal villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and will live in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising half-caste children who will be sent abroad to be educated before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the empire. Esi, imprisoned beneath Effia in the Castle's women's dungeon and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, will be sold into slavery. Stretching from the tribal wars of Ghana to slavery and the Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the American South to the Great Migration to twentieth-century Harlem, Yaa Gyasi's novel moves through histories and geographies and captures&Mdash;with outstanding economy and force&Mdash;the troubled spirit of our own nation. She has written a modern masterpiece.


Click for more detail about Hope’s Gift by Kelly Starling Lyons Hope’s Gift

by Kelly Starling Lyons
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Dec 27, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A poignant story celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation ProclamationIt’s 1862 and the Civil War has turned out to be a long, deadly conflict. Hope’s father can’t stand the waiting a minute longer and decides to join the Union army to fight for freedom. He slips away one tearful night, leaving Hope, who knows she may never see her father again, with only a conch shell for comfort. Its sound, Papa says, echoes the promised song of freedom. It’s a long wait for freedom and on the nights when the cannons roar, Papa seems farther away than ever. But then Lincoln finally does it: on January 1, 1863, he issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves, and a joyful Hope finally spies the outline of a familiar man standing on the horizon.Affectingly written and gorgeously illustrated, Hope’s Gift captures a significant moment in American history with deep emotion and a lot of charm.


Click for more detail about Hot Johnny (And The Women Who Loved Him) by Sandra Jackson-Opoku Hot Johnny (And The Women Who Loved Him)

by Sandra Jackson-Opoku
One World/Ballantine (Jan 02, 2002)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Like a ray of sun that can warm your skin for a moment but can’t be captured, John the Baptist Wright has touched the lives of many women–heart, body, and soul. Now, in this enthralling new novel by award-winning author Sandra Jackson-Opoku, we hear from the women who gave Hot Johnny his heat.

Each woman has a distinct voice and her own point of view. Among them is Destiny, the damaged young woman he married, but cannot save; Lola Belle, the white lesbian with something to prove and nothing to lose; Tree, the college soulmate, whose first taste of tenderness came from Hot Johnny’s touch; Peaches, the prostitute who gave the boy his name and sealed his reputation; and Gracita Reina “Queen of Grace,” his great-grandmother, who holds the key to Johnny’s salvation. Each woman provides a piece of the puzzle that is Hot Johnny–the result is a captivating portrait of a complex man who is both saint and sinner, hero and villain, and all the shadings in between.

A deeply felt and emotionally involving tale, Sandra Jackson-Opoku has done nothing less than illuminate the secret places of a man’s soul–and created a powerful novel of destiny and redemption. . . .

Book Review

Click for more detail about Hottentot Venus: A Novel by Barbara Chase-Riboud Hottentot Venus: A Novel

by Barbara Chase-Riboud
Anchor (Nov 09, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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It is Paris, 1815. An extraordinarily shaped South African girl known as the Hottentot Venus, dressed only in feathers and beads, swings from a crystal chandelier in the duchess of Berry’s ballroom. Below her, the audience shouts insults and pornographic obscenities. Among these spectators is Napoleon’s physician and the most famous naturalist in Europe, the Baron George Cuvier, whose encounter with her will inspire a theory of race that will change European science forever.

Evoking the grand tradition of such “monster” tales as Frankenstein and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Barbara Chase Riboud, prize-winning author of the classic Sally Hemings, again gives voice to an “invisible” of history. In this powerful saga, Sarah Baartman, for more than 200 years known only as the mysterious lady in the glass cage, comes vividly and unforgettably to life.


Click for more detail about House Arrest and Piano: Two Plays by Anna Deavere Smith House Arrest and Piano: Two Plays

by Anna Deavere Smith
Anchor (Nov 30, -0001)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From the award-winning actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith, two teeming, pungent cross-sections of the American experience.

In the provocative and at times bitterly funny play House Arrest, Smith examines the relationships between a succession of American presidents and their observers in and out of the press. Arcing from Clinton and Monica Lewinsky to Jefferson and Sally Hemings and alive with the voices of such real-life figures as Ed Bradley, George Stephanopoulos, Anita Hill, and Abraham Lincoln, the result is a priceless examination of the intersection of public power and private life.

In Piano, Smith casts her gaze back a century as she follows the tangled lines of race, sex, and exploitation in a prosperous Cuban household on the eve of the Spanish-American War. Deftly and suspensefully, Smith tells a story of ruptured allegiances and ramifying deceptions in which no one—master or servant, friend or enemy—is what he or she pretends to be. Together these two plays are further proof that Anna Deavere Smith is one of the most searing and revelatory voices in the American theater.


Click for more detail about How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson How I Discovered Poetry

by Marilyn Nelson
Dial Books for Young Readers (Jan 14, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 12 and up
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A powerful and thought-provoking Civil Rights era memoir from one of America’s most celebrated poets.

Looking back on her childhood in the 1950s, Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Marilyn Nelson tells the story of her development as an artist and young woman through fifty eye-opening poems. Readers are given an intimate portrait of her growing self-awareness and artistic inspiration along with a larger view of the world around her: racial tensions, the Cold War era, and the first stirrings of the feminist movement.

A first-person account of African-American history, this is a book to study, discuss, and treasure.


Click for more detail about how i got ovah by Carolyn Marie Rodgers how i got ovah

by Carolyn Marie Rodgers
Anchor (Jan 01, 1975)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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The idea of crossing over to a new way of life provides the substance that Rodgers explicitly longed for in several poems of self-doubt about her writing. Her third book takes its title from this concern: How I Got Ovah (1975) collects new and selected poems in a volume that marks a turning point in Rodgers's career. Like Giovanni and Sanchez, Rodgers rejects the official hatred of the liberation movement and embraces love. "Some of Me Beauty" (53) recalls and dismisses her revolutionary persona:

the fact is
that i don't hate any body any more
i went through my mean period.

Now, however, she awakes to find herself

carolyn
not imani man jua or soul sister poetess of
the moment
i saw more than a "sister". . .
i saw a Woman. human.
and black.
i felt a spiritual transformation
a root revival of love.

The correlation between a spiritual transformation and the revival of love is critical.  Read the full review and more written about by Karen Ford.


Click for more detail about How To Read The Air by Dinaw Mengestu How To Read The Air

by Dinaw Mengestu
Riverhead Hardcover (Oct 14, 2010)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From the prizewinning international literary star: the searing and powerful story of one man’s search for redemption. Dinaw Mengestu’s first novel, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, earned the young writer comparisons to Bellow, Fitzgerald, and Naipaul, and garnered ecstatic critical praise and awards around the world for its haunting depiction of the immigrant experience. Now Mengestu enriches the themes that defined his debut with a heartbreaking literary masterwork about love, family, and the power of imagination, which confirms his reputation as one of the brightest talents of his generation.One early September afternoon, Yosef and Mariam, young Ethiopian immigrants who have spent all but their first year of marriage apart, set off on a road trip from their new home in Peoria, Illinois, to Nashville, Tennessee, in search of a new identity as an American couple. Soon, their son, Jonas, will be born in Illinois. Thirty years later, Yosef has died, and Jonas needs to make sense of the volatile generational and cultural ties that have forged him. How can he envision his future without knowing what has come before? Leaving behind his marriage and job in New York, Jonas sets out to retrace his mother and father’s trip and weave together a family history that will take him from the war-torn Ethiopia of his parents’ youth to his life in the America of today, a story—real or invented—that holds the possibility of reconciliation and redemption.Watch a Video


Click for more detail about Humble Obedience Leverages Your Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: A Compliment To Your Daily Bible Study by Wesley J. Malcolm Humble Obedience Leverages Your Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: A Compliment To Your Daily Bible Study

by Wesley J. Malcolm
AuthorHouse (Jan 12, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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This book is intended to provide you with common sense and sound advice about life from an everyday perspective. The true value and meaning of life can only be found through God. It is my attempt to convey in this book the impact that disobedience to God’s word, as revealed in the Bible, have on our ordinary lives. This book will encourage us to develop authentic lives, connecting with each other in this great world God has given to us, and establish unity with one another through moral standards of conduct. You will come to realize that God is indeed Omniscience, Omnipresence, and Omnipotent when you ponder and meditate on his word. You will find in this book clear guidance for correct behavior, helpful points of views on the value of resisting destructive influences in life. You will develop an understanding of not only why but how God is unrelenting towards those who keep opposing him. You will understand the many ways God shows us mercy and forgiveness when we repent because of his compassion for us. We need to keep God first in our life even during our trying times because there is always hope when we maintain a meaningful relationship with God. Finally, this book is intended to encourage one to strive toward perfection with their life. Although we may never reach perfection; because no one is perfect but God; we should be thankful for the mercy and grace that he provided and affords to us in spite of our imperfections.


Click for more detail about Hung: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America by Scott Poulson-Bryant Hung: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America

by Scott Poulson-Bryant
Doubleday (Oct 25, 2005)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Following in the footsteps of such bestselling, taboo-breaking books as Randall Kennedy’s Nigger and J. L. King’s On the Down Low, Hung brings a topic previously discussed only in intimate settings out into the open. In a brilliant, multilayered look at the pervasive belief that African American men are prodigiously endowed, Scott Poulson-Bryant interweaves his own experiences as a black man in America with witty analyses of how black male sexuality is expressed in books, film, television, sports, and pornography.

“Hung” is a double entendre, referring not only to penis size but to the fact that black men were once literally hung from trees, often for their perceived sexual prowess and the supposed risk it posed to white women. As a poignant reminder, he begins his book with a letter to Emmett Till, the teenager who was lynched in Mississippi in the mid-1950s for whistling at a white woman.

For Poulson-Bryant and other men of his generation, society’s deep-seated obsession with the sexual powers of black men has had an enormous, if often deceptive, influence on how they perceive themselves and on the assumptions made by others. His tales of his sexual encounters with both sexes, along with anecdotes about the lives of various friends and colleagues, are wryly and at times shockingly revealing. Enduring racial perceptions have shaped popular culture as well, and Poulson-Bryant offers a thorough, thought-provoking look at media-created images of the “Well-Hung Black Male.” He deftly deconstructs movies like Mandingo and Shaft, articles in the popular press, and edgy works like Robert Mapplethorpe’s Black Book, while also providing distinctive profiles of icons like porn star Lexington Steele and rapper L.L. Cool J.

A scintillating mixture of memoir and cultural commentary, Hung is the first and only book to take on phallic fixation and uncover what lies below. Readers may be scandalized, but they’ll also have plenty to ponder about America’s views on how black men measure up.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Hush by Jacqueline Woodson Hush

by Jacqueline Woodson
Speak (Jun 23, 2003)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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Toswiah Green’s life ended the moment her policeman father decided to testify against a fellow officer. The Greens have had to change their identities and move to a different city. Now Toswiah is Evie Thomas, and that is the least of the changes. Her defeated father spends his days sitting by the window. Since her mother can no longer work as a teacher, she puts her energy into their new church. Her only sister is making secret plans to leave. And Evie, struggling to find her way, wonders who she is now and how she can make her future as bright as her past once was.


Click for more detail about I Almost Forgot about You by Terry McMillan I Almost Forgot about You

by Terry McMillan
Crown Publishing Group (Jun 07, 2016)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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#1 AALBC.com bestselling author, Terry McMillan is back with an inspiring story of a woman who shakes things up in her life to find greater meaning.

In I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young’s wonderful life—great friends, family, and successful career—aren’t enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, quitting her job as an optometrist, and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Like Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, I Almost Forgot About You will show legions of readers what can happen when you face your fears, take a chance, and open yourself up to life, love, and the possibility of a new direction.

“The warmth and wisdom we have come to expect from Terry McMillan are on full display and you won’t be able to walk away from Georgia and her exuberant life. This is that thrilling kind of novel that reminds us how sometimes, fairy tales happen when we least expect them, if only we open ourselves to possibility.” —Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist and An Untamed State


Click for more detail about I Am Jackie Robinson by Brad Meltzer I Am Jackie Robinson

by Brad Meltzer
Dial Books for Young Readers (Jan 08, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 5 - 8 years
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This New York Times Bestselling picture book biography series by Brad Meltzer has an inspiring message: “We can all be heroes.”

Jackie Robinson always loved sports, especially baseball. But he lived at a time before the Civil Rights Movement, when the rules weren't fair to African Americans. Even though Jackie was a great athlete, he wasn't allowed on the best teams just because of the color of his skin. Jackie knew that sports were best when everyone, of every color, played together. He became the first black player in Major League Baseball, and his bravery changed African-American history and led the way to equality in all sports in America.

This engaging series is the perfect way to bring American history to life for young children, providing them with the right role models, supplementing Common Core learning in the classroom, and best of all, inspiring them to strive and dream.

Book Review

Click for more detail about I am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer I am Martin Luther King, Jr.

by Brad Meltzer
Dial Books for Young Readers (Jan 05, 2016)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this New York Times Bestselling picture book biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer.
 
Even as a child, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shocked by the terrible and unfair way African-American people were treated. When he grew up, he decided to do something about it—peacefully, with powerful words. He helped gather people together for nonviolent protests and marches, and he always spoke up about loving other human beings and doing what’s right. He spoke about the dream of a kinder future, and bravely led the way toward racial equality in America.

This lively, New York Times Bestselling biography series inspires kids to dream big, one great role model at a time. You’ll want to collect each book.


Click for more detail about I Am Not Your Negro: A Companion Edition to the Documentary Film by James Baldwin and Raoul Peck I Am Not Your Negro: A Companion Edition to the Documentary Film

by James Baldwin and Raoul Peck
Vintage International Series (Feb 07, 2017)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Learn about the Oscar-Nominated documentary film I Am Not Your Negro on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript entitled Remember This House.


To compose his stunning documentary film I Am Not Your Negro, acclaimed filmmaker Raoul Peck mined James Baldwin’s published and unpublished oeuvre, selecting passages from his books, essays, letters, notes, and interviews that are every bit as incisive and pertinent now as they have ever been. Weaving these texts together, Peck brilliantly imagines the book that Baldwin never wrote. In his final years, Baldwin had envisioned a book about his three assassinated friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King. His deeply personal notes for the project have never been published before. Peck’s film uses them to jump through time, juxtaposing Baldwin’s private words with his public statements, in a blazing examination of the tragic history of race in America.
 
This edition contains more than 40 black-and-white images from the film.

James Baldwin with Medgar Evers

I watched two men, coming from unimaginably different backgrounds, whose positions, originally, were poles apart, driven closer and closer together.

By the time each died, their positions had become virtually the same position. It can be said, indeed, that Martin picked up Malcolm’s burden, articulated the vision which Malcolm had begun to see, and for which he paid with his life. And that Malcolm was one of the people Martin saw on the mountaintop.

Medgar was too young to have seen this happen, though he hoped for it, and would not have been surprised; but Medgar was murdered first. I was older than Medgar, Malcolm, and Martin. I was raised to believe that the eldest was supposed to be a model for the younger, and was, of course, expected to die first.

Not one of these three lived to be forty.

Excerpted from I Am Not Your Negro by James Baldwin and Raoul Peck. Copyright © 2017 by The James Baldwin Estate. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


Click for more detail about I am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer I am Rosa Parks

by Brad Meltzer
Dial Books for Young Readers (Jun 17, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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"We can all be heroes" is the message entertainingly told in this picture-book biography series from #1 New York Times Bestselling author Brad Meltzer.

“Kids always search for heroes, so we might as well have a say in it,” Brad Meltzer realized, and so he envisioned this friendly, fun approach to biography – for his own kids, and for yours. Each book tells the story of one of America’s icons in a vivacious, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers, those who aren’t quite ready for the Who Was biography series. Each book focuses on a particular character trait that made that role model heroic. For example, Rosa Parks dared to stand up for herself and other African Americans by staying seated, and as a result she helped end public bus segregation and launch the country’s Civil Rights Movement.
 
This engaging series is the perfect way to bring American history to life for young children, providing them with the right role models, supplementing Common Core learning in the classroom, and best of all, inspiring them to strive and dream.


Click for more detail about I Am Rosa Parks (Penguin Young Readers, Level 4) by Rosa Parks and Jim Haskins I Am Rosa Parks (Penguin Young Readers, Level 4)

by Rosa Parks and Jim Haskins
Penguin Young Readers Group (Dec 01, 1999)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man on December 1, 1955, she made history. Her brave act sparked the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott and brought the civil rights movement to national attention. In simple, lively language, Rosa Parks describes her life from childhood to the present and recounts the events that shook the nation. Her story is powerful, inspiring and unforgettable.An NCSS-CBC Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies


Click for more detail about I Beat The Odds: From Homelessness, To The Blind Side, And Beyond by Michael Oher I Beat The Odds: From Homelessness, To The Blind Side, And Beyond

by Michael Oher
Knopf (Feb 08, 2011)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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The football star made famous in the hit film The Blind Side reflects on how far he has come from the circumstances of his youth.

Michael Oher is the young man at the center of the true story depicted in The Blind Side movie (and book) that swept up awards and accolades. Though the odds were heavily stacked against him, Michael had a burning desire deep within his soul to break out of the Memphis inner-city ghetto and into a world of opportunity. While many people are now familiar with Oher’s amazing journey, this is the first time he shares his account of his story in his own words, revealing his thoughts and feelings with details that only he knows, and offering his point of view on how anyone can achieve a better life.

Looking back on how he went from being a homeless child in Memphis to playing in the NFL, Michael talks about the goals he had for himself in order to break out of the cycle of poverty, addiction, and hopelessness that trapped his family for so long. He recounts poignant stories growing up in the projects and running from child services and foster care over and over again in search of some familiarity. Eventually he grasped onto football as his ticket out of the madness and worked hard to make his dream into a reality.

But Oher also knew he would not be successful alone. With his adoptive family, the Touhys, and other influential people in mind, he describes the absolute necessity of seeking out positive role models and good friends who share the same values to achieve one’s dreams.

Sharing untold stories of heartache, determination, courage, and love, I Beat the Odds is an incredibly rousing tale of one young man’s quest to achieve the American dream.

Book Review

Click for more detail about I Can’t Wait on God by Albert French I Can’t Wait on God

by Albert French
Doubleday (Aug 17, 1998)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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The crowded joys and familiar despair of poor, back-alley life in postwar Pittsburgh have a hold on most people there. Still, there are those who need to escape. Jeremiah Henderson and his woman, Willet Mercer, who keep to themselves and look far too pretty for their own good, have set their sights on New York City. As they learn, however, making good is easier said than done. Left with no choice but to give in to the pimp who’d like to try Willet on for size before selling her to his clientele, Jeremiah and Willet try to focus on the future. But in the last moments before letting the pimp have his way with her, Willet balks, stabbing him to death in the back of his parked Buick. If they are both horrified by what she’s done, Jeremiah and Willet are nonetheless now flush with the pimp’s fat wad of cash, his heavy rings, and his fancy car. And for a moment, it looks as if their dreams may finally come true. With New York on their minds and Pittsburgh behind them, they drive south to make one last stop outside Wilmington, North Carolina, where Willet intends to see the little boy she long ago abandoned.

Told over the course of five days and nights in the summer of 1950, as the Korean War is brewing, this is a story of crime, punishment, and loss that will never be forgotten. Carried along by the same voice and insight that have earned Albert French so much praise already, I Can’t Wait on God is his most beautiful and important book to date.


Click for more detail about I Get So Hungry by Bebe Moore Campbell I Get So Hungry

by Bebe Moore Campbell
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (May 29, 2008)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Beloved author Bebe Moore Campbell?s last book shines light on childhood obesity. Once Nikki starts eating, it?s hard for her to stop. She snacks when she is upset, angry or bored. But when her teacher, Mrs. Patterson, is taken to the hospital because of her weight, Nikki realizes that she wants to live a healthier lifestyle. She and Mrs. Patterson work together to help each other succeed, and Nikki even convinces her mom to get involved and exercise too. Acclaimed author Bebe Moore Campbell said she wrote this as she felt strongly about the worth and necessity of this story. She hoped to touch kids and parents and help them make changes in their lives. Amy Bates? charming illustrations bring to life this important story of one young girl?s struggle with weight gain, an all-too-familiar problem for children today.


Click for more detail about I Got Your Back: A Father and Son Keep It Real About Love, Fatherhood, Family, and Friendship by Eddie Levert, Gerald Levert, and Lyah Beth LeFlore I Got Your Back: A Father and Son Keep It Real About Love, Fatherhood, Family, and Friendship

by Eddie Levert, Gerald Levert, and Lyah Beth LeFlore
Crown Archetype (Jun 05, 2007)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Check out Photos from the Book Launch Party for I Got Your Back


The final collaboration from Eddie and Gerald Levert: an intimate glimpse into their lives, their passions, and their musical legacy. But most important, I Got Your Back gets inside the special and rare father-son bond that these two R&B legends shared. Eddie and Gerald put their hearts and souls on the line and talk about their failures, concerns, fears, and triumphs as father and son. With a powerful message of reconciliation for broken families, Eddie and Gerald explore the themes of fatherhood, male bonding and male-female relationships. The book includes moving tributes from Eddie, Patti LaBelle, Steve Harvey and others, as well as treasured family photographs.


Click for more detail about I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This

by Jacqueline Woodson
Puffin Books (Nov 11, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Twelve-year-old Marie is a leader among the popular black girls in Chauncey, Ohio, a prosperous black suburb. She isn’t looking for a friend when Lena Bright, a white girl, appears in school. Yet they are drawn to each other because both have lost their mothers. And they know how to keep a secret. For Lena has a secret that is terrifying, and she’s desperate to protect herself and her younger sister from their father. Marie must decide whether she can help Lena by keeping her secret…or by telling it.


Click for more detail about I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr. I Have a Dream

by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Random House Children’s Books (Oct 09, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 5 - 9
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From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King: “My father’s dream continues to live on from generation to generation, and this beautiful and powerful illustrated edition of his world-changing "I Have a Dream" speech brings his inspiring message of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us—those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone.”

On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation's history. His words, paired with Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson's magnificent paintings, make for a picture book certain to be treasured by children and adults alike. The themes of equality and freedom for all are not only relevant today, 50 years later, but also provide young readers with an important introduction to our nation's past. Included with the book is an audio CD of the speech.


Click for more detail about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou
Ballantine Books (Apr 21, 2009)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age–and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns about love for herself and the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a modern American classic that will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.

Superbly told, with the poet's gift for language and observation, Angelou's autobiography of her childhood in Arkansas.


Click for more detail about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou
Random House (Mar 05, 2002)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.
 
Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.
 
Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.
 
“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity.”—James Baldwin


Click for more detail about I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It by Charles Barkley I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It

by Charles Barkley
Random House (Oct 01, 2002)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Charles Barkley has never been shy about expressing his opinions. Michael Jordan once said that we all want to say the things that Barkley says, but we don’t dare. But even die-hard followers of the all-time NBA great, the star of TNT’s Inside the NBA and CNN’s TalkBack Live, will be astonished by just how candid and provocative he is in this book—and just how big his ambitions are. Though he addresses weighty issues with a light touch and prefers to stir people to think by making them laugh, there’s nothing Charles Barkley shies away from here—not race, not class, not big money, not scandal, not politics, not personalities, nothing. “Early on,” says Washington Post columnist and ESPN talk show host Michael Wilbon in his Introduction, “Barkley made his peace with mixing it up, and decided the consequences were very much worth it to him. And that makes him as radically different in these modern celebrity times as a 6-foot-4-inch power forward.”

If there’s one thing Charles Barkley knows, it’s the crying need for honest, open discussion in this country—the more uncomfortable the subject, the more necessary the dialogue. And if the discussion leader can be as wise, irreverent, (occasionally) profane and (consistently) funny as Charles Barkley, so much the better. Many people are going to be shocked and scandalized by I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It, but many more will stand up and cheer. Like Molly Ivins or Bill O’Reilly, Charles Barkley is utterly his own thinker, and everything he says comes from deep reflection. One way or another, if more blood hasn’t reached your brain by the time you’ve finished this book, maybe you’ve been embalmed.


Click for more detail about I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti, Edward W. Said, and Ahdaf Soueif I Saw Ramallah

by Mourid Barghouti, Edward W. Said, and Ahdaf Soueif
Anchor (May 13, 2003)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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WINNER OF THE NAGUIB MAHFOUZ MEDAL FOR LITERATURE

A fierce and moving work and an unparalleled rendering of the human aspects of the Palestinian predicament.

Barred from his homeland after 1967’s Six-Day War, the poet Mourid Barghouti spent thirty years in exile—shuttling among the world’s cities, yet secure in none of them; separated from his family for years at a time; never certain whether he was a visitor, a refugee, a citizen, or a guest. As he returns home for the first time since the Israeli occupation, Barghouti crosses a wooden bridge over the Jordan River into Ramallah and is unable to recognize the city of his youth. Sifting through memories of the old Palestine as they come up against what he now encounters in this mere “idea of Palestine,” he discovers what it means to be deprived not only of a homeland but of “the habitual place and status of a person.” A tour de force of memory and reflection, lamentation and resilience, I Saw Ramallah is a deeply humane book, essential to any balanced understanding of today’s Middle East.


Click for more detail about I Saw Your Face by Kwame Dawes I Saw Your Face

by Kwame Dawes
Dial Books for Young Readers (Dec 29, 2004)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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“Wow! This is still one of the greatest honors of my life—to work with Tom Feelings”Kwame Dawes

Before Tom Feelings passed away in August of 2003, he had been working on a picture book with his friend, poet Kwame Dawes. As Kwame explains, "One day, Tom gave me a folder of drawings of young people from his journeys around the world. I saw a story of resilience and pride, and wrote my poem as a response." These wonderful drawings, paired with lyrical text, offer a fresh encounter with one of our most evocative illustrators.


Click for more detail about I Say a Little Prayer: A Novel by E. Lynn Harris I Say a Little Prayer: A Novel

by E. Lynn Harris
Doubleday (May 02, 2006)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Bestselling author E. Lynn Harris is back with another sexy, shocking, and immensely satisfying novel that explores some of today’s toughest and most timely issues.

Chauncey Greer is the owner of Cute Boy Card Company, a thriving company in Atlanta. As a teenager, he was a member of a popular boy band, but left in disgrace when word got out that he and his bandmate D were more than good friends. Chauncey is a free spirit, on the brink of forty with a body admired by both men and women. Not into being categorized, Chauncey’s been known to hook up with men and women, but now in the age of the “down low,” he’s found that women ask too many questions, so he’s just focusing on the fellas.

After one too many bad dates, Chauncey finds himself in church, where the minister’s message inspires him to follow his dream of a singing career once again. Although he’s lost touch with D, as he starts writing songs his thoughts inevitably turn to his former lover. Chauncey’s powerful performance at the church earns him a standing ovation and an invitation to participate in an upcoming revival. But Chauncey soon discovers that an ambitious fundamentalist preacher plans to use the revival to speak out against gays and gay marriage. Feeling angry and betrayed, Chauncey and other gay members of the church decide to take a stand against the church’s homophobia by staging a “Day of Absence” when all of the gay members and their friends and family stay home. Everything is going as planned… until D appears on the scene and Chauncey has to confront his past and make some hard decisions about his future.

I Say A Little Prayer is filled with the delicious plot twists, humor, compassion, and up-to-the-minute controversy fans expect from their beloved “E. Lynn.” Harris has returned with another gem of a novel that will rocket to the top of bestseller lists nationwide.


Click for more detail about I Shall Not Be Moved by Maya Angelou I Shall Not Be Moved

by Maya Angelou
Bantam (Oct 01, 1991)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In her first book of poetry since Why Don’t You Sing? Maya Angelou, bestselling author of the classic autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, writes with lyric, passionate intensity that reaches out to touch the heart and mind. This memorable collection of poems exhibits Maya Angelou’s unique gift for capturing the triumph and pain of being black and every man and woman’s struggle to be free. Filled with bittersweet intimacies and ferocious courage, these poems are gems–many-faceted, bright with wisdom, radiant with life.


Click for more detail about I Think of You: Stories by Ahdaf Soueif I Think of You: Stories

by Ahdaf Soueif
Anchor (Mar 13, 2007)
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Ahdaf Soueif, the bestselling author of The Map of Love, writes poignantly and beautifully about love, and about finding one’s place in the world. Achingly lyrical, resonant and richly woven, and with a spark of defiance, these stories explore areas of tension–where women and men are ensnared by cultural and social mores and prescribed notions of “love,” where the place you are is not the place you want to be. Soueif draws her characters with infinite tenderness and compassion as they inhabit a world of lost opportunities, unfulfilled love, and remembrance of times past.


Click for more detail about I Want You To Shut The F#Ck Up: How The Audacity Of Dopes Is Ruining America by D.L. Hughley and Michael Malice I Want You To Shut The F#Ck Up: How The Audacity Of Dopes Is Ruining America

by D.L. Hughley and Michael Malice
Knopf (Jul 31, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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“Let us begin by committing ourselves to the truth to see it like it is, and tell it like it is.” —Richard Nixon
 
“I believe America is the solution to the world’s problems.” —Rush Limbaugh
 
“SHUT THE F#CK UP.” —D. L. Hughley

The American dream is in dire need of a wake-up call. A f*cked up society is like an addict: if you are in denial, then things are going to keep getting worse until you hit bottom. According to D. L. Hughley, that’s the direction in which America is headed.

In I Want You to Shut the F*ck Up, D.L. explains how we’ve become a nation of fat sissies playing Chicken Little, but in reverse: The sky is falling, but we’re supposed to act like everything’s fine. D.L. just points out the sobering facts: there is no standard of living by which we are the best. In terms of life expectancy, we’re 36th—tied with Cuba; in terms of literacy, we’re 20th—behind Kazakhstan. We sit here laughing at Borat, but the Kazakhs are sitting in their country reading.

Things are bad now and they’re only going to get worse. Unless, of course, you sit down, shut the f*ck up, and listen to what D. L. Hughley has to say. I Want You to Shut the F*ck Up is a slap to the political senses, a much needed ass-kicking of the American sense of entitlement.  In these pages, D. L. Hughley calls it like he sees it, offering his hilarious yet insightful thoughts on:

- Our supposedly post-racial society
- The similarities between America the superpower and the drunk idiot at the bar
- Why Bill Clinton is more a product of a black upbringing than Barack Obama
- That apologizing is not the answer to controversy, especially when you meant what you said 
- Why civil rights leaders are largely to blame for black people not being represented on television
- Why getting your ghetto pass revoked should be seen as a good thing, not something to be ashamed of 
- And how hard it is to be married to a black woman

Book Review

Click for more detail about I’m Your Peanut Butter Big Brother by Selina Alko I’m Your Peanut Butter Big Brother

by Selina Alko
Knopf Books for Young Readers (Mar 10, 2009)
Format: Library Binding, Age Range: 
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In this delightfully engaging picture book, our narrator, big brother, uses his boundless imagination to wonder what his new sibling will look like.

Baby brother or sister, will you look like me? I blend from semisweet dark
Daddy chocolate bar and strawberry cream Mama’s milk.
My hair is soft crunchy billows of cotton candy.
I’m your peanut butter big-brother-to-be.

Selina Alko’s lyrical and jazz-like text, matched with the vibrant energy of her illustrations, perfectly captures the excitement of a new baby for an older sibling, while celebrating the genuine love of family.

Selina Alko is the illustrator of My Taxi Ride and My Subway Ride. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts and lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Sean Qualls, who is also an illustrator, and their two children.


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about I, Tituba, Black Witch Of Salem by Maryse Conde I, Tituba, Black Witch Of Salem

by Maryse Conde
Ballantine Books (Jan 03, 1994)
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"Stunning…Maryse Conde’s imaginative subversion of historical records forms a critque of contemporary American society and its ingrained racism and sexism."
THE BOSTON SUNDAY GLOBE
At the age of seven, Tituba watched as her mother was hanged for daring to wound a plantation owner who tried to rape her. She was raised from then on by Mama Yaya, a gifted woman who shared with her the secrets of healing and magic. But it was Tituba’s love of the slave John Indian that led her from safety into slavery, and the bitter, vengeful religion practiced by the good citizens of Salem, Massachusetts. Though protected by the spirits, Tituba could not escape the lies and accusations of that hysterical time.
As history and fantasy merge, Maryse Conde, acclaimed author of TREE OF LIFE and SEGU, creates the richly imagined life of a fascinating woman.


Click for more detail about If I Should Die by Grace Edwards If I Should Die

by Grace Edwards
Doubleday (Apr 14, 1997)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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On her way to pick up her orphaned nephew Alvin at the world-renowned Uptown Children’s Chorus, ex-cop Mali Anderson hears the screams of a terrified child. As she and her Great Dane Ruffin race to the rescue, a car speeds away, leaving a young boy dazed on the sidewalk and a man lying in the street with a bullet in his forehead. The victim is her friend, Erskin Harding, tour director of the Chorus and a man without an enemy in the world. Could he have been the target, or was he an innocent bystander gunned down as he tried to prevent the kidnapping of young Morris Johnson? Starring a stunning and savvy ex-cop who’s tough and compassionate, this new series takes the readers into the heart of Harlem, from the stylish townhouses of Strivers Row to the clubs where jazz immortals jam the night away to the vicious crack houses of New York. It’s the debut of a heroine who’s sure to take her place in the bestselling company of V.I. Warshawski and Kinsey Millhone."


Click for more detail about If You Can’t Be Free, Be A Mystery: In Search Of Billie Holiday by Farah Jasmine Griffin If You Can’t Be Free, Be A Mystery: In Search Of Billie Holiday

by Farah Jasmine Griffin
One World/Ballantine (Apr 30, 2002)
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More than four decades after her death, Billie Holiday remains one of the most gifted artists of our time–and also one of the most elusive. Because of who she was and how she chose to live her life, Lady Day has been the subject of both intense adoration and wildly distorted legends. Now at last, Farah Jasmine Griffin, a writer of intellectual authority and superb literary gifts, liberates Billie Holiday from the mythology that has obscured both her life and her art.

An intimate meditation on Holiday’s place in American culture and history, If You Can’t Be Free, Be A Mystery reveals Lady Day in all her complexity, humor and pain–a true jazz virtuoso whose passion and originality made every song she sang hers forever. Celebrated by poets, revered by recording artists from Frank Sinatra to Macy Gray, Billie Holiday is more popular and influential today than ever before. Now, thanks to this marvelous book, Holiday’s many fans can finally understand the singer and the woman they love.


Click for more detail about If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson If You Come Softly

by Jacqueline Woodson
Speak (Jan 07, 2010)
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A heartbreaking contemporary romance from a three-time Newbery Honor winning author

Jeremiah feels good inside his own skin. That is, when he’s in his own Brooklyn neighborhood. But now he’s going to be attending a fancy prep school in Manhattan, and black teenage boys don’t exactly fit in there. So it’s a surprise when he meets Ellie the first week of school. In one frozen moment their eyes lock and after that they know they fit together — even though she’s Jewish and he’s black. Their worlds are so different, but to them that’s not what matters. Too bad the rest of the world has to get in their way. Reviewers have called Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson’s work "exceptional" (Publishers Weekly) and "wrenchingly honest" (School Library Journal), and have said "it offers a perspective on racism and elitism rarely found in fiction for this age group" (Publishers Weekly). In If You Come Softly, she delivers a powerful story of interracial love that leaves readers wondering "why" and "if only…."


Click for more detail about In My Father’s House by Ernest Gaines In My Father’s House

by Ernest Gaines
Vintage (Jun 30, 1992)
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A compelling novel of a man brought to reckon with his buried past. In a small rural black community in Louisiana, Reverend Martin—a respected minister and civil rights leader, devoted husband and father, a man of strength and rectitude—comes face to face with the sins of his youth when a sinister stranger, in the person of “meeting” with the Reverend.

“…This novel runs just like a strong locomotive, from the beginning until the devastating—but amazing and redemptive—end. Unlike A Gathering of Old Men, which lands plenty of humor amid the drama, this novel’s tone comes across more like a Greek tragedy’s. A plus is that the novel conveys the disarray Blacks nationwide were undergoing after Martin Luther King's assassination. An amazing read, with amazing characters.”—Goodreads


Click for more detail about In Search Of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. In Search Of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Crown (Jan 27, 2009)
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Unlike most white Americans who, if they are so inclined, can search their ancestral records, identifying who among their forebears was the first to set foot on this country’s shores, most African Americans, in tracing their family’s past, encounter a series of daunting obstacles. Slavery was a brutally efficient nullifier of identity, willfully denying black men and women even their names. Yet, from that legacy of slavery, there have sprung generations who’ve struggled, thrived, and lived extraordinary lives.

For too long, African Americans’ family trees have been barren of branches, but, very recently, advanced genetic testing techniques, combined with archival research, have begun to fill in the gaps. Here, scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., backed by an elite team of geneticists and researchers, takes nineteen extraordinary African Americans on a once unimaginable journey, tracing family sagas through U.S. history and back to Africa.

Those whose recovered pasts collectively form an African American “people’s history” of the United States include celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Don Cheadle, Chris Tucker, Morgan Freeman, Tina Turner, and Quincy Jones; writers such as Maya Angelou and Bliss Broyard; leading thinkers such as Harvard divinity professor Peter Gomes, the Reverend T. D. Jakes, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and sociologist Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot; and famous achievers such as astronaut Mae Jemison, media personality Tom Joyner, decathlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Ebony and Jet publisher Linda Johnson Rice.

More than a work of history, In Search of Our Roots is a book of revelatory importance that, for the first time, brings to light the lives of ordinary men and women who, by courageous example, blazed a path for their famous descendants. For a reader, there is the stirring pleasure of witnessing long-forgotten struggles and triumphs–but there’s an enduring reward as well. In accompanying the nineteen contemporary achievers on their journey into the past and meeting their remarkable forebears, we come to know ourselves.


Click for more detail about In Search of Satisfaction by J. California Cooper In Search of Satisfaction

by J. California Cooper
Anchor (Sep 01, 1995)
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The folk flavor of her storytelling has earned her  constant comparison to Langston Hughes and Zora  Neale Hurston, but through four collections of  short stories and two novels, J. California Cooper  has proven that hers is a wholly original talent  —one that embraces readers in an ever-widening  circle from one book to the next. With In  Search Of Satisfaction, Cooper  gracefully portrays men and women, some good and others  wickedly twisted, caught in their individual  thickets of want and need. On a once-grand plantation  in Yoville, "a legal town-ship founded by the  very rich for their own personal use," a  freed slave named Josephus fathers two daughters,  Ruth and Yinyang, by two different women. His  desire, to give Yinyang and himself money and  opportunities, oozes through the family like an elixir,  melding with the equally strong yearnings of  Yoville’s other residents, whose tastes don’t  complement their neighbors’. What Josephus buries in his  life affects generations to come. J. California  Cooper’s unfettered view of sin, forgiveness, and  redemption gives In Search Of  Satisfaction a singular richness that belies its  universal themes.


Click for more detail about In the Arms of One Who Loves Me by Jacqueline Jones LaMon In the Arms of One Who Loves Me

by Jacqueline Jones LaMon
One World/Ballantine (Jun 25, 2002)
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From fabulous new author Jacqueline Jones LaMon, a sexy page-turner that follows the lives of two young, black professionals as they navigate career and romance, ambition and heartbreak. Two paths that meet by serendipity.

Nia Benson, a college graduate who dreams someday of running her own public relations firm, believes the world is her oyster. But Nia runs up against the harsh realities of corporate life and office politics when she is fired from a job she loves. For someone who has always had a plan and a purpose, Nia feels suddenly adrift, questioning her aspirations and sense of self. It doesn’t help her state of mind when Nia learns her long-time love is seeing someone else. She finds emotional release, however, in an unexpected place.

Seth Jackson is trying to make his way in the cutthroat music industry. After years of chasing one woman after another, he is finally ready to settle down. When he meets the mysterious, captivating Lauren at his best friend’s wedding, Seth falls hard and fast. He has no doubt: Here is the woman with whom he is destined to spend the rest of his life. Until a twist of fate and painful secrets threaten to tear them apart.

Facing the collapse of all that they believe in, Nia and Seth set out on separate journeys to find themselves. Along the way, their paths will criss then cross, through tears and laughter, as they uncover deep truths about who they are, what they need, and where their hearts really belong.


Click for more detail about In the Company of My Sisters by Julia A. Boyd In the Company of My Sisters

by Julia A. Boyd
Plume (Feb 01, 1997)
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"This is the first self-help book by a psychotherapist to examine the realities of black women’s lives and their shared problems." Midwest Book Reveiw.


Click for more detail about In the Eye of the Sun by Ahdaf Soueif In the Eye of the Sun

by Ahdaf Soueif
Anchor (Apr 03, 2000)
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Set amidst the turmoil of contemporary Middle Eastern politics, this vivid and highly-acclaimed novel by an Egyptian journalist is an intimate look into the lives of Arab women today. Here, a woman who grows up among the Egyptian elite, marries a Westernized husband, and, while pursuing graduate study, becomes embroiled in a love affair with an uncouth Englishman.


Click for more detail about In The Falling Snow by Caryl Phillips In The Falling Snow

by Caryl Phillips
Knopf (Sep 01, 2009)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From one of our most admired fiction writers: the searing story of breakdown and recovery in the life of one man and of a society moving from one idea of itself to another.

Keith—born in England in the early 1960s to immigrant West Indian parents but primarily raised by his white stepmother—is a social worker heading a Race Equality unit in London whose life has come undone. He is separated from his wife of twenty years (whose family “let her go” when she married a black man), kept at arm’s length by his seventeen-year-old son, estranged from his father, and accused of harassment by a co-worker. And beneath it all, he has a desperate feeling that his work—even in fact his life—is no longer relevant.

Moving deftly between past and present, the narrative uncovers the particulars of class, background, temperament, and desire that have brought Keith to this moment, and reveals how, often unwittingly, his wife, his son, and, ultimately, his father help him grasp the breadth of the changes that have occurred around him—and what these changes will require of him.

At once intimate and expansive, deeply moving in its portrayal of the vagaries of familial love and bold in its scrutiny of the personal and societal politics of race, this is Caryl Phillips’s most powerful novel yet.

Book Review

Click for more detail about In the Falling Snow by Caryl Phillips In the Falling Snow

by Caryl Phillips
Vintage (Nov 02, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From one of our most admired fiction writers: the searing story of breakdown and recovery in the life of one man and of a society moving from one idea of itself to another.
 
Keith—born in England in the early 1960s to immigrant West Indian parents but primarily raised by his white stepmother—is a social worker heading a Race Equality unit in London whose life has come undone. He is separated from his wife of twenty years, kept at arm’s length by his teenage son, estranged from his father, and accused of harassment by a coworker. And beneath it all, he has a desperate feeling that his work—even in fact his life—is no longer relevant.
 
Deeply moving in its portrayal of the vagaries of family love and bold in its scrutiny of the personal politics of race, this is Caryl Phillips’s most powerful novel yet.


Click for more detail about In The House Of The Interpreter: A Memoir by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o In The House Of The Interpreter: A Memoir

by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
Pantheon Books (Nov 06, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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With black-and-white illustrations throughout

World-renowned Kenyan novelist, poet, playwright, and literary critic Ng˜ug˜ý wa Thiong’o gives us the second volume of his memoirs in the wake of his critically acclaimed Dreams in a Time of War.
 
In the House of the Interpreter richly and poignantly evokes the author’s life and times at boarding school—the first secondary educational institution in British-ruled Kenya—in the 1950s, against the backdrop of the tumultuous Mau Mau Uprising for independence and Kenyan sovereignty. While Ng˜ug˜ý has been enjoying scouting trips, chess tournaments, and reading about the fictional RAF pilot adventurer Biggles at the prestigious Alliance High School near Nairobi, things have been changing rapidly at home. Poised as he is between two worlds, Ng˜ug˜ý returns home for his first visit since starting school to find his house razed and the entire village moved up the road, closer to a guard checkpoint. Later, his brother Good Wallace, a member of the insurgency, is captured by the British and taken to a concentration camp. As for Ng˜ug˜ý himself, he falls victim to the forces of colonialism in the person of a police officer encountered on a bus journey, and he is thrown into jail for six days. In his second year at Alliance High School, the boarding school that was his haven in a heartless world is shattered by investigations, charges of disloyalty, and the politics of civil unrest.
 
In the House of the Interpreter hauntingly describes the formative experiences of a young man who would become a world-class writer and, as a political dissident, a moral compass to us all. It is a winning celebration of the implacable determination of youth and the power of hope.

Book Review

Click for more detail about In the Place of Justice: A Story of Punishment and Deliverance by Wilbert Rideau In the Place of Justice: A Story of Punishment and Deliverance

by Wilbert Rideau
Knopf (Apr 27, 2010)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From Wilbert Rideau, the award-winning journalist who spent forty-four years in Louisiana prisons working against unimaginable odds to redeem himself, the story of a remarkable life: a crime, its punishment, and ultimate triumph.

After killing a woman in a moment of panic following a botched bank robbery, Rideau, denied a fair trial, was improperly sentenced to death at the age of nineteen. After more than a decade on death row, his sentence was amended to life imprisonment, and he joined the inmate population of the infamous Angola penitentiary. Soon Rideau became editor of the prison newsmagazine The Angolite, which under his leadership became an uncensored, daring, and crusading journal instrumental in reforming the violent prison and the corrupt Louisiana justice system.

With the same incisive feel for detail that brought Rideau great critical acclaim, here he brings to vivid life the world of the prison through the power of his pen. We see Angola’s unique culture, encompassing not only rivalries, sexual slavery, ingrained racism, and daily, soul-killing injustices but also acts of courage and decency by keeper and kept alike. As we relive Rideau’s remarkable rehabilitation—he lived a more productive life in prison than do most outside—we also witness his long struggle for justice.

In the Place of Justice goes far beyond the confines of a prison memoir, giving us a searing exposé of the failures of our legal system framed within the dramatic tale of a man who found meaning, purpose, and hope in prison. This is a deeply moving, eloquent, and inspirational story about perseverance, unexpected friendships and love, and the possibility that good can be forged under any circumstances.


Click for more detail about Incidents At The Shrine by Ben Okri Incidents At The Shrine

by Ben Okri
Vintage (Jan 01, 1999)
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Incidents at the Shrine is the first collection of stories by the author of 1991 Booker Prize-winning novel, The Famished Road. Whether the subject is a child’s eye view of the Nigerian Civil War, Lagos and the spirit world or dispossession in a decaying British inner city, Okri’s lyrical, poetic and humorous prose recreates the known and the unknown world with startling power.


Click for more detail about Inner City Miracle by Greg Mathis Inner City Miracle

by Greg Mathis
One World/Ballantine (Oct 01, 2002)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Millions have seen him on his nationwide TV show, dispensing justice in his own charismatic style. But Judge Greg Mathis’s own rise to success has been a trial by fire. In this truly candid memoir, his harrowing life on both sides of the law is revealed for the first time.

It starts in Detroit—but far from the court where Greg would one day preside. Raised in the hell of the Herman Garden Projects, he grows to become a “bad-ass, cool-dressing, do-anything gangsta.” His father gone, his mother juggling two jobs, he falls in with the Errol Flynns—“funkified English gentlemen” in three-piece suits and Borsalino hats, urban Robin Hoods who are truly stylish as they steal from everyone and give to themselves.

Considered bright but incorrigible, Greg is sent to stay in his middle-class cousin’s mixed neighborhood, where he enlists the local white youth in wrongdoing. Even jail can’t keep him from going bad again once he gets out. Then a threat to his beloved mother causes a shaken Greg to make a promise in a prayer to God: save my mother and I will straighten up.

To his and everyone else’s surprise, he keeps his side of the bargain. Inspired by The Autobiography of Malcolm X, working at McDonald’s by day and attending classes by night, Greg pulls himself through high school and college and then law school, using in positive ways the innate intelligence that made him a master at crime. Soon he becomes the youngest judge in Michigan history, a District Court judge and, at last, undaunted by the odds and propelled by his personal story, a sought-after and highly paid TV star.

In its blunt, bold, and sometimes hair-raising honesty, Inner City Miracle is both a cautionary and an inspiring story, one sure to stun all those who come to Judge Mathis’s TV courtroom every day.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Inside the Helmet: My Life as a Sunday Afternoon Warrior by Michael Strahan Inside the Helmet: My Life as a Sunday Afternoon Warrior

by Michael Strahan
Gotham (Oct 09, 2007)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Just in time for the 2007 season: One of the finest defensive players ever to wear an NFL uniform delivers the first truly authentic, hard-hitting, revelatory portrait of America’s most popular sport—including the brutality, the vicious fights, and the high price of gridiron glory.

Michael Strahan is one of the NFL’s most talented players, and he is also one of the game’s most vocal personalities. So it’s no surprise that his first book would be a no-holds-barred, hard-hitting account of life in the league, venturing into territory no previous football authors had the nerve to tread. Inside the Helmet is not a self-serving memoir or a collection of triumphant feel- good anecdotes. Yes, Strahan recounts exhilarating victories in vivid detail, but not without the hair-raising details of the ruthless grit required for every win.

Sure to be controversial, Strahan’s account reveals never-before-seen details about the truth of life in the NFL, including the names of the dirtiest players, what it feels and sounds like to crush another player, which potent painkillers players take in order to return to the battlefield, the wild parties such as the Vikings’ infamous Love Boat romp, the pressure to live up to a multimillion- dollar salary, the intense and sometimes volatile relationship between player and coach, and the violent blowups that occur when that pressure gets too intense. For the 21.7 million fans who attend NFL football games, Inside the Helmet is an all-access pass into the huddle, the locker room, and even the minds of some of the most legendary players on the field today.


Click for more detail about Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, And Adoption by Randall Kennedy Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, And Adoption

by Randall Kennedy
Vintage (Jan 06, 2004)
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In Interracial Intimacies, Randall Kennedy hits a nerve at the center of American society: race relations and our most intimate ties to each other. Writing with the same piercing intelligence he brought to his national bestseller Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word, Kennedy here challenges us to examine how prejudices and biases still fuel fears and inform our sexual, marital, and family choices.

Analyzing the tremendous changes in the history of America’s racial dynamics, Kennedy takes us from the injustices of the slave era up to present-day battles over race matching adoption policies, which seek to pair children with adults of the same race. He tackles such subjects as the presence of sex in racial politics, the historic role of legal institutions in policing racial boundaries, and the real and imagined pleasures that have attended interracial intimacy. A bracing, much-needed look at the way we have lived in the past, Interracial Intimacies is also a hopeful book, offering a potent vision of our future as a multiracial democracy.


Click for more detail about Interventions: A Life in War and Peace by Kofi Annan Interventions: A Life in War and Peace

by Kofi Annan
Penguin Press (Sep 04, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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""[A] resolute, detailed, and unflinching review of [Annan’s] most difficult hours

€¦No one ever came closer to being the voice of “we the peoples” and no one paid a higher price for it. The world still needs such a voice, but the next person who tries to fill that role will want to reflect long and hard on the lessons of this candid, courageous, and unsparing memoir."" --Michael Ignatieff, The New York Review of Books

Receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2001, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke to a world still reeling from the terrorist attacks of September 11. “Ladies and Gentlemen,” proclaimed Annan, “we have entered the third millennium through a gate of fire. If today, after the horror of 11 September, we see better, and we see further we will realize that humanity is indivisible. New threats make no distinction between races, nations, or regions.” Yet within only a few years the world was more divided than ever polarized by the American invasion of Iraq, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the escalating civil wars in Africa, and the rising influence of China.

Interventions: A Life in War and Peace is the story of Annan’s remarkable time at the center of the world stage. After forty years of service at the United Nations, Annan shares here his unique experiences during the terrorist attacks of September 11; the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan; the war between Israel, Hizbollah, and Lebanon; the brutal conflicts of Somalia, Rwanda, and Bosnia; and the geopolitical transformations following the end of the Cold War. With eloquence and unprecedented candor, Interventions finally reveals Annan’s unique role and unparalleled perspective on decades of global politics.

The first sub-Saharan African to hold the position of Secretary-General, Annan has led an extraordinary life in his own right. His idealism and personal politics were forged in the Ghanaian independence movement of his adolescence, when all of Africa seemed to be rising as one to demand self-determination. Schooled in Africa, Europe, and the United States, Annan ultimately joined the United Nations in Geneva at the lowest professional level in the still young organization. Annan rose rapidly through the ranks and was by the end of the Cold War prominently placed in the dramatically changing department of peacekeeping operations. His stories of Presidents Clinton and Bush, dictators like Saddam Hussein and Robert Mugabe, and public figures of all stripes contrast powerfully with Annan’s descriptions of the courage and decency of ordinary people everywhere struggling for a new and better world. Showing the successes of the United Nations, Annan also reveals the organization’s missed opportunities and ongoing challenges inaction in the Rwanda genocide, continuing violence between Israelis and Palestinians, and the endurance of endemic poverty. Yet Annan’s great strength in this book is his ability to embed these tragedies within the context of global politics, demonstrating how, time and again, the nations of the world have retreated from the UN’s founding purpose. From the pinnacle of global politics, Annan made it his purpose to put the individual at the center of every mission for peace and prosperity.

A personal biography of global statecraft, Annan’s Interventions is as much a memoir as a guide to world order past, present, and future.


Click for more detail about Invented Lives: Narratives of Black Women 1860-1960 by Mary Helen Washington Invented Lives: Narratives of Black Women 1860-1960

by Mary Helen Washington
Anchor (Sep 01, 1988)
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Concentrating on carefully chosen selections from ten writers, Mary Helen Washington explores the work, the realities, and the hopes of black women writers between 1860 and 1960.
 
Featuring works by Harriet Jacobs, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Pauline E. Hopkins, Fannie Barrier Williams, Marita O. Bonner, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Ann Petry, Dorothy West, and Gwendolyn Brooks.
 
Praise for Invented Lives
 
“Mary Helen Washington has done more than any other single critic to expand the Afro-American and Anglo-American feminist canons.”—The Women’s Review of Books
 
“This collection is, in fact, two fine books in one: at once an anthology and a critical study.”—New York Times Book Review
 
“The forceful, uncompromising, and distinctive voice of Mary Helen Washington brings together foremothers and daughters . . . in a volume that presents . . . a century of black women’s writing along with a vital new tradition of black feminist criticism.”—Marianne Hirsch, Ms. Magazine


Click for more detail about Invisible Life: A Novel by E. Lynn Harris Invisible Life: A Novel

by E. Lynn Harris
Anchor (Feb 15, 1994)
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The re-issue of a remarkable first novel by a young, gay, black author who has fashioned a deeply moving and compelling coming of age story out of the highly controversial issues of bisexuality and AIDS.


Click for more detail about Invisible Life: Special edition by E. Lynn Harris Invisible Life: Special edition

by E. Lynn Harris
Doubleday (Mar 16, 1999)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Available at last, E. Lynn Harris’s beloved first novel in a hardcover edition.

Just a few years ago, E. Lynn Harris was selling his self-published novel Invisible Life out of the back of his car. Today he is a bestselling publishing sensation, with more than one million copies of his four novels sold. To celebrate Harris’s incredible success, and offer his fans the opportunity to own, at last, a hardcover version of Invisible Life, Doubleday is proud to announce a special edition of the book so many have cherished.

Invisible Life is the story of a young man’s coming of age. Law school, girlfriends, and career choices were all part of Raymond Tyler’s life, but there were other, more terrifying issues for him to confront. Being black was tough enough, but Raymond was becoming more and more conscious of  sexual feelings that he knew weren’t "right." He was completely committed to Sela, his longtime girlfriend, but his attraction to Kelvin, whom he had met during his last year in law school, had become more than just a friendship. No matter how much he tried to suppress them, his feelings were deeply sexual.

Fleeing to New York to escape both Sela and Kelvin, Raymond finds himself more confused than ever before. New relationships—both male and female—give him enormous pleasure but keep him from finding the inner peace and lasting love he so desperately desires. The horrible illness and death of a friend force Raymond, at last, to face the truth.

Invisible Life has been hailed as "one of the most thought-provoking books—since James Baldwin’s Another Country" (Richmond Voice), and Harris’s "stories have become the toast of bookstores, reading groups, men, women, and gay and straight people" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

Proceeds from the sale of this special fifth anniversary edition will go to the E. Lynn Harris Foundation, a charitable organization that gives young people across the country the opportunity to study writing with established authors, and also aids emerging artists.


Click for more detail about Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison Invisible Man

by Ralph Ellison
Vintage Books (Mar 14, 1995)
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Invisible Man is a milestone in American literature, a book that has continued to engage readers since its appearance in 1952. A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century. The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood", and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. The book is a passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.


Click for more detail about Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison Invisible Man

by Ralph Ellison
Modern Library (Jun 14, 1994)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

Invisible Man is a milestone in American literature, a book that has continued to engage readers since its appearance in 1952.  A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century.  The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood", and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be.  The book is a passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.


Click for more detail about Is Marriage For White People?: How The African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone by Ralph Richard Banks Is Marriage For White People?: How The African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone

by Ralph Richard Banks
Dutton (Sep 01, 2011)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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During the past half century, African Americans have become the most unmarried people in our nation. More than two out of every three black women are unmarried, and they are more than twice as likely as white women never to marry. The racial gap in marriage extends beyond the poor. Affluent and college educated African Americans are also less likely to marry or stay married than their white counterparts. That harms black children and adults, and imperils the growth and stability of the black middle class.

One reason that marriage has declined is that as black women have advanced economically and educationally, black men have fallen behind. Nearly twice as many black women as black men graduate from college each year.Thus, not only are many college-educated black women unmarried, they are more likely than any other group of women to marry less educated and lower earning men. Half of college-educated black wives are more educated than their husbands.

Yet black women rarely marry men of other races. They are less than half as likely as black men, and only a third as likely as Latinos or Asian Americans, to wed across group lines. Is Marriage for White People? traces the far-reaching consequences of the African American marriage decline. It also explains why black women marry down rather than out. Its provocative conclusion is that black women would benefit both themselves and the black race if they crossed class lines less and race lines more.

As particular as this inquiry may seem, it is also universal. Americans of all races are more unmarried now than ever. And as women surpass men educationally, wives increasingly earn more than their husbands. In illuminating the lives of African Americans, Is Marriage for White People? thus probes cultural and economic trends that implicate everyone, highlighting the extent to which the experience of black women may become that of all women.

This book both informs and entertains. The culmination of a decade of research by a distinguished Stanford law professor, it melds scholarly theory and data with the poignant stories shared by black women throughout the nation. This unforgettable book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the shifting terrain of intimacy in American society.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Is the Bitch Dead, Or What?: The Ritz Harper Chronicles Book 2 by Wendy Williams and Karen Hunter Is the Bitch Dead, Or What?: The Ritz Harper Chronicles Book 2

by Wendy Williams and Karen Hunter
Broadway Books (Feb 13, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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DJ Ritz Harper used every trick in the book to become a media darling in Drama Is Her Middle Name, shock-jock Wendy Williams’s exposé of a life she knows better than anyone. Playing a clever trick of her own, Williams left her heroine on the brink of death at the end of the novel. Now the second installment of the chronicles reveals what Williams’s readers are dying to know: Is the Bitch Dead, or What?

The drive-by shooting that brought her down forces Ritz to look back on her climb to the top and the people she loved, lost, used, and abused along the way. There’s the brief dalliance with Tracee, her best friend, and the romance with a man with some secrets of his own; the loss of her beloved Aunt M; and the recent appearance of the father who abandoned her and is now demanding a financial payoff and fifteen minutes of fame. At the heart of it all is Ritz’s need to figure out where the real-life Ritz ends and the radio bitch begins.

For the huge audience hooked on The Wendy Williams Experience and readers itching to find out what happens to the over-the-top star of Drama Is Her Middle Name, Is the Bitch Dead, or What? is packed with all the irresistible shocks and insider dish that make Williams the hottest voice in America today.


Click for more detail about Islandborn by Junot Diaz Islandborn

by Junot Diaz
Dial Books for Young Readers (Mar 13, 2018)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 5-8
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From AALBC.com bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz comes a debut picture book about the magic of memory and the infinite power of the imagination.

Every kid in Lola's school was from somewhere else.
Hers was a school of faraway places.

An illustration from Islandborn by Leo Espinosa written by Junot Diaz

So when Lola's teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can't remember The Island—she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories—joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening—Lola's imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island. As she draws closer to the heart of her family's story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela's words: “Just because you don't remember a place doesn't mean it's not in you.”

Gloriously illustrated and lyrically written, Islandborn is a celebration of creativity, diversity, and our imagination's boundless ability to connect us—to our families, to our past and to ourselves.


Click for more detail about Israel on the Appomattox: A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom from the 1790s Through the Civil War by Melvin Patrick Ely Israel on the Appomattox: A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom from the 1790s Through the Civil War

by Melvin Patrick Ely
Vintage (Aug 16, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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WINNER OF THE BANCROFT PRIZEA New York Times Book Review and Atlantic Monthly Editors’ ChoiceThomas Jefferson denied that whites and freed blacks could live together in harmony. His cousin, Richard Randolph, not only disagreed, but made it possible for ninety African Americans to prove Jefferson wrong. Israel on the Appomattox tells the story of these liberated blacks and the community they formed, called Israel Hill, in Prince Edward County, Virginia. There, ex-slaves established farms, navigated the Appomattox River, and became entrepreneurs. Free blacks and whites did business with one another, sued each other, worked side by side for equal wages, joined forces to found a Baptist congregation, moved west together, and occasionally settled down as man and wife. Slavery cast its grim shadow, even over the lives of the free, yet on Israel Hill we discover a moving story of hardship and hope that defies our expectations of the Old South.


Click for more detail about It’s All Love: Black Writers On Soul Mates, Family And Friends by Marita Golden It’s All Love: Black Writers On Soul Mates, Family And Friends

by Marita Golden
Knopf (Feb 03, 2009)
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In It’s All Love, Black writers celebrate the complexity, power, danger, and glory of love in all its many forms: romantic, familial, communal, and sacred. Editor Marita Golden recounts the morning she woke up certain that she would meet her soul mate in “My Own Happy Ending”; memoirist Reginald Dwayne Betts, in a piece he calls “Learning the Name Dad,” writes stirringly about serving time in prison and how that transformed his life for the better; New York Times bestselling author Pearl Cleage is at her best in the delicate, touching “Missing You”; award-winning author David Anthony Durham enraptures readers with his “An Act of Faith”; New York Times bestselling author L. A. Banks is both funny and wise in her beautiful essay on discovering love as a child, “Two Cents and a Question.” And the poetry of love is here, too—from Gwendolyn Brooks’s classic “Black Wedding Song” to works by Nikki Giovanni, E. Ethelbert Miller, and Kwame Alexander. It’s All Love is a dazzling, delightfully diverse exploration of the wonderful gift of love.

Book Review

Click for more detail about It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be): A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love by Paul Carrick Brunson It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be): A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love

by Paul Carrick Brunson
Avery (Oct 11, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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The “Modern Day Matchmaker” presents a refreshingly optimistic and plainspoken dating guide to finding romance both on- and off-line. Finding and keeping a mate has never been harder. New rules are needed to navigate the complicated and changing modern-love landscape. If someone wants to find “the one,” what are the guidelines he or she needs to know, now that online dating and Google-searching a prospective love interest are the norm? Happily married for ten years, Paul Carrick Brunson is a husband, a father, and a rising star in the matchmaking world. In It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be), Brunson tackles relevant questions such as: Is marriage right for my personality type? Do the rules of chivalry still apply? How can I date more than one person without hurt feelings? What is the best mode of communication (text messages, phone, e-mail, etc.) for asking someone out? With an appealing mix of humor, candor, and real-world examples, It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be)

  is a breath of fresh air in the dating guide category, offering a message of eternal optimism from a man who believes in true love and practices what he preaches.


Click for more detail about It&rsqupo;s OK if You’re Clueless: and 23 More Tips for the College Bound by Terry McMillan It&rsqupo;s OK if You’re Clueless: and 23 More Tips for the College Bound

by Terry McMillan
Viking (Apr 25, 2006)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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When her son Solomon graduated from high school, Terry McMillan was asked to be the guest speaker at the commencement ceremony. Determined not to be dull or redundant, Terry thought back to when she was stepping out into the world for the first time and the things she wished people had told her. Printing up what she thought were the most important tips for these new graduates, Terry was surprised to find that not only were these homemade pamphlets a hit with the students, but their parents clamored for copies too.

Now with It’s Ok If You’re Clueless, Terry McMillan brings her trademark wit and sass to every son and daughter about to take their first tentative steps into adulthood. Offering such nuggets as “Sit up straight,” “Don’t listen to your parents,” and “Bring your laundry home,” as well as “See the world” and “Read anything and everything,” It’s Ok If You’re Clueless is packed with the commonsense advice and conversational tone that have made her novels classic bestsellers. Equal parts witty and wise, It’s Ok If You’re Clueless is the perfect gift for the college bound.


Click for more detail about Jackie Robinson: A Biography by Arnold Rampersad Jackie Robinson: A Biography

by Arnold Rampersad
Ballantine Books (Sep 01, 1998)
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The extraordinary life of Jackie Robinson is illuminated as never before in this full-scale biography by Arnold Rampersad, who was chosen by Jack’s widow, Rachel, to tell her husband’s story, and was given unprecedented access to his private papers. We are brought closer than we have ever been to the great ballplayer, a man of courage and quality who became a pivotal figure in the areas of race and civil rights.

Born in the rural South, the son of a sharecropper, Robinson was reared in southern California. We see him blossom there as a student-athlete as he struggled against poverty and racism to uphold the beliefs instilled in him by his mother—faith in family, education, America, and God.

We follow Robinson through World War II, when, in the first wave of racial integration in the armed forces, he was commissioned as an officer, then court-martialed after refusing to move to the back of a bus. After he plays in the Negro National League, we watch the opening of an all-American drama as, late in 1945, Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers recognized Jack as the right player to break baseball’s color barrier—and the game was forever changed.

Jack’s never-before-published letters open up his relationship with his family, especially his wife, Rachel, whom he married just as his perilous venture of integrating baseball began. Her memories are a major resource of the narrative as we learn about the severe harassment Robinson endured from teammates and opponents alike; about death threats and exclusion; about joy and remarkable success. We watch his courageous response to abuse, first as a stoic endurer, then as a fighter who epitomized courage and defiance.

We see his growing friendship with white players like Pee Wee Reese and the black teammates who followed in his footsteps, and his embrace by Brooklyn’s fans. We follow his blazing career: 1947, Rookie of the Year; 1949, Most Valuable Player; six pennants in ten seasons, and 1962, induction into the Hall of Fame.

But sports were merely one aspect of his life. We see his business ventures, his leading role in the community, his early support of Martin Luther King Jr., his commitment to the civil rights movement at a crucial stage in its evolution; his controversial associations with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Humphrey, Goldwater, Nelson Rockefeller, and Malcolm X.

Rampersad’s magnificent biography leaves us with an indelible image of a principled man who was passionate in his loyalties and opinions: a baseball player who could focus a crowd’s attention as no one before or since; an activist at the crossroads of his people’s struggle; a dedicated family man whose last years were plagued by illness and tragedy, and who died prematurely at fifty-two. He was a pathfinder, an American hero, and he now has the biography he deserves.


From the Hardcover edition.


Click for more detail about Jake the Fake Keeps it Real by Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach Jake the Fake Keeps it Real

by Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach
Crown Books for Young Readers (Mar 28, 2017)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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For fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate comes a new side-splitting series from comedian and film star Craig Robinson, #1 New York Times bestselling author Adam Mansbach, and NAACP History Maker recipient and cartoonist Keith Knight.
 
Jake can barely play an instrument, not even a kazoo. And his art? It’s better suited for Pictionary than Picasso. Which is a real problem because Jake just faked his way into the Music and Art Academy for the gifted and talented (and Jake is pretty sure he is neither). More jokester than composer, Jake will have to think of something quick before the last laugh is on him.
 
Featuring more than 160 illustrations, Jake the Fake is sure to bring the laughs with his hilarious high jinks!


Click for more detail about Jambo Means Hello: Swahili Alphabet Book (Picture Puffin Books) by Muriel Feelings Jambo Means Hello: Swahili Alphabet Book (Picture Puffin Books)

by Muriel Feelings
Puffin Books (Jul 15, 1992)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"The beautiful vision of African life in the text merely hints of the community breathtakingly captured in the illustrations. . . . The space has been filled with monumental figures that glorify the power and beauty of man."—Horn Book. Full color. Caldecott Honor Medal; ALA Notable Book.


Click for more detail about Japanese by Spring by Ishmael Reed Japanese by Spring

by Ishmael Reed
Penguin Books (Aug 01, 1996)
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Benjamin "Chappie" Puttbutt, a black juior professor at the overwhelmingly white Jack London College, lusts after tenure and its glorious perks (including a house in the Oakland Hills). He spends most of his time trying to divine the ideological climate of the school and obligingly adapting his beliefs to it. When Puttbutt’s mysterious Japanese tutor, who promises to teach him Japanese by spring, suddenly becomes the school’s new president and appoints Puttbutt as academic dean, the fun really begins—for Puttbutt sets out to stir things up and settle old scores.Turning every contemporary political and social movement on its head—from feminism to nationalism to jingoism—this boistrois and irreverent novel manages to be by turns hilarious and totally serious."One of the funniest satires of university politics I’ve ever read. Ishmael Reed is funnier than Norman Mailer or Gore Vidal." —Leslie Marmon Silko"Reed is, as always, an American original; a wiseguy whose wisdom is the real thing," —The Boston Sunday Globe


Click for more detail about Jazmin’s Notebook by Nikki Grimes Jazmin’s Notebook

by Nikki Grimes
Penguin Young Readers Group (Jan 28, 2000)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 8 - 12
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Jazmin Shelby was "born with clenched fists"-which is okay, since she’s got a lot of fighting ahead of her. Her dad died a couple of years back, and now that her mom’s in the hospital, it’s just her and her big sister, CeCe. But that’s fine by Jazmin. She’s got her friends, her school, lots of big plans for the future-and a zest for life and laughter that’s impossible to resist.

A Booklist Editors’ Choice Book
A Child Study Children’s Book Committee Children’s Book of the Year


Click for more detail about Jazz by Toni Morrison Jazz

by Toni Morrison
Vintage Books (Jun 08, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In the winter of 1926, when everybody everywhere sees nothing but good things ahead, Joe Trace, middle-aged door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, shoots his teenage lover to death. At the funeral, Joe’s wife, Violet, attacks the girl’s corpse. This passionate, profound story of love and obsession brings us back and forth in time, as a narrative is assembled from the emotions, hopes, fears, and deep realities of black urban life.


Click for more detail about Jelly Roll: A Blues by Kevin Young Jelly Roll: A Blues

by Kevin Young
Knopf (Jan 14, 2003)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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In this jaunty and intimate collection, Kevin Young invents a language as shimmying and comic, as low-down and high-hearted, as the music from which he draws inspiration. With titles such as “Stride Piano,” “Gutbucket,” and “Can-Can,” these poems have the sharp completeness of vocalized songs and follow a classic blues trajectory: praising and professing undying devotion (“To watch you walk / cross the room in your black / corduroys is to see / civilization start”), only to end up lamenting the loss of love (“No use driving / like rain, past / where you at”). As Young conquers the sorrow left on his doorstep, the poems broaden to embrace not just the wisdom that comes with heartbreak but the bittersweet wonder of triumphing over adversity at all.

Sexy and tart, playfully blending an African American idiom with traditional lyric diction, Young’s voice is pure American: joyous in its individualism and singing of the self at its strongest.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Jews and Blacks: Let the Healing Begin by Cornel West Jews and Blacks: Let the Healing Begin

by Cornel West
Putnam Adult (Apr 06, 1995)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Examining the issues that have united Blacks and Jews in the past and now separate them, two long-time friends and leading intellectuals try to restore the special relationship between the two groups in a hard-hitting and worthwhile exchange.


Click for more detail about Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (1910s Century Cycle) by August Wilson Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (1910s Century Cycle)

by August Wilson
Plume (Jan 01, 1984)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fences and The Piano Lesson
Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play
 
“The glow accompanying August Wilson’s place in contemporary American theater is fixed.” –Toni Morrison
 
When Harold Loomis arrives at a black Pittsburgh boardinghouse after seven years’ impressed labor on Joe Turner’s chain gang, he is a free man—in body. But the scars of his enslavement and a sense of inescapable alienation oppress his spirit still, and the seemingly hospitable rooming house seethes with tension and distrust in the presence of this tormented stranger. Loomis is looking for the wife he left behind, believing that she can help him reclaim his old identity. But through his encounters with the other residents he begins to realize that what he really seeks is his rightful place in a new world—and it will take more than the skill of the local "People Finder" to discover it.
 
This jazz-influenced drama is a moving narrative of African-American experience in the 20th century.


Click for more detail about John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead John Henry Days

by Colson Whitehead
Anchor (May 14, 2002)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Colson Whitehead’s eagerly awaited and triumphantly acclaimed new novel is on one level a multifaceted retelling of the story of John Henry, the black steel-driver who died outracing a machine designed to replace him. On another level it’s the story of a disaffected, middle-aged black journalist on a mission to set a record for junketeering who attends the annual John Henry Days festival. It is also a high-velocity thrill ride through the tunnel where American legend gives way to American pop culture, replete with p. r. flacks, stamp collectors, blues men , and turn-of-the-century song pluggers. John Henry Days is an acrobatic, intellectually dazzling, and laugh-out-loud funny book that will be read and talked about for years to come.


Click for more detail about Joker, Joker, Deuce by Paul Beatty Joker, Joker, Deuce

by Paul Beatty
Penguin Books (Mar 01, 1994)
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His second book of poetry.


Click for more detail about Journey To Justice by Johnnie Cochran Journey To Justice

by Johnnie Cochran
One World/Ballantine (Sep 30, 1996)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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He’s become a household name: Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., the brilliant orator and legal strategist who captained the Dream Team in the trial of the century. But behind the man the media created is a story of a life spent in the trenches of the American legal system, fighting not for clients as high-profile as O. J. Simpson, but for individuals whose voices are too often silenced. Journey to Justice  is an unflinching portrait of Johnnie Cochran and the legal system that he has so profoundly influenced. It will forever change our understanding of what works and what doesn’t in America’s most noble and troubling institution.


From the Paperback edition.


Click for more detail about Joy by Marsha Hunt Joy

by Marsha Hunt
Dutton Adult (Jan 01, 1991)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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As the Bang family gathers for Joy Bang’s funeral, Baby Palatine, the elderly woman who raised the Bang girls and who has an idealized image of the Bangs, realizes that their’s is not a perfect family. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.


Click for more detail about Juba to Jive: A Dictionary of African-American Slang by Clarence Major Juba to Jive: A Dictionary of African-American Slang

by Clarence Major
Viking (Feb 01, 1994)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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African-American slang cuts through logic and arrives at a quick, efficient interpretive solution to situations and things otherwise difficult to articulate. This reference book looks at the dazzling spectrum of this vibrant, humorous language, selecting and presenting over 2000 slang words and phrases, giving definitions and dates of origin.


Click for more detail about Judas My Brother by Frank Yerby Judas My Brother

by Frank Yerby
Dell Publishing (Mar 01, 1978)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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novel


Click for more detail about Jump!: From the Life of Michael Jordan by Floyd Cooper Jump!: From the Life of Michael Jordan

by Floyd Cooper
Philomel Books (Oct 21, 2004)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Michael Jordan was once just an ordinary little boy growing up in a North Carolina suburb, trying to keep up with his older brother Larry. Michael was always good at sports, but it seemed like Larry was always going to be bigger, quicker, and luckier. But Michael never gave up, and his practicing began to pay off. Then one summer day during a backyard game of one-on-one, Larry Jordan’s "little" brother took him—and the whole family—by surprise!
Based on actual events, this story of a friendly sibling rivalry is enhanced by Floyd Cooper’s stunning two-tone art. Jump! even features a gate-fold depicting Michael Jordan’s trademark leap that will send young readers soaring.


Click for more detail about Juneteenth: A Novel by Ralph Ellison Juneteenth: A Novel

by Ralph Ellison
Random House (May 29, 1999)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Juneteenth, the Senator said, closing his eyes, his bandaged head resting beneath his hands. Words of Emancipation didn’t arrive until the middle of June, so they called it Juneteenth. . . .

In Washington, D.C., in the 1950s, Adam Sunraider, a race-baiting senator from a New England state, is mortally wounded by an assassin’s bullet while making a speech on the Senate floor. To the shock of all who think they know him, Sunraider calls out from his deathbed for Hickman, an old black minister, to be brought to his side. The Reverend is summoned; the two are left alone. Out of their conversation, and the inner rhythms of memories whose weight has been borne in silence for many long years, a story emerges. For this United States senator, once known as Bliss, was raised by Reverend Hickman in a religion- and music-steeped black community not unlike Ralph Ellison’s own childhood home.    He was brought up to be a preaching prodigy in a joyful black Baptist ministry that traveled throughout the South and the Southwest. Together one last time, the two men retrace the course of their shared life in "an anguished attempt," Ellison once put it, "to arrive at the true shape and substance of a sundered past and its meaning." In the end the two men arrive at their most painful memories, memories that hold the key to understanding the mysteries of kinship and race that bind them, and to the senator’s confronting how deeply estranged he has become from his true identity.
    
Juneteenth draws on the full richness of America’s black cultural heritage, from the dazzling range of vernacular sources in its language to the way its structure echoes the call-and-response pattern of the black church and the riffs and bass lines of jazz. It offers jubilant proof that whatever else it means to be a true American, it means to be "somehow black," as Ellison once wrote. For even as Senator Sunraider was bathed from birth in the deep and nourishing waters of African-American folkways, so too are all Americans.
    
That idea is the cause for which Ralph Ellison gave the last full measure of his devotion. At the time of his death, he was still expanding his novel in other directions, envisioning a grand, perhaps multivolume, story cycle. Always, in Ellison’s mind, the character Hickman and the story of Sunraider’s life from birth to death were the dramatic heart of the narrative. And so, with the aid of Ellison’s widow, Fanny, his literary executor, John Callahan, has edited this magnificent novel at the center of Ralph Ellison’s forty-year work-in-progress—Juneteenth, its author’s abiding testament to the country he so loved and to its many unfinished tasks.


Click for more detail about Just As I Am: A Novel by E. Lynn Harris Just As I Am: A Novel

by E. Lynn Harris
Anchor (Feb 15, 1995)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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E. Lynn Harris’s blend of rich, romantic  storytelling and controversial contemporary issues like  race and bisexuality have found an enthusiastic and  diverse audience across America. Readers celebrate  the arrival in paperback of his second novel,  Just As I Am, which picks up where  Invisible Life left off,  introducing Harris’s appealing and authentic characters to a  new set of joys, conflicts, and choices. Raymond,  a young black lawyer from the South, struggles to  come to terms with his sexuality and with the grim  reality of AIDS. Nicole, an aspiring  singer/actress, experiences frustration in both her career and  in her attempts to find a genuine love  relationship. Both characters share an eclectic group of  friends who challenge them, and the reader, to look at  themselves and the world around thern through  different eyes. By portraying Nicole’s and Raymond’s  joys, as well as their pain, Harris never ceases to  remind us that life, like love, is about  self-acceptance. In this vivid portrait of contemporary  black life, with all its pressures and the  complications of bisexuality, AIDS, and racism, Harris  confirms a faith in the power of love — love of all  kinds — to thrill and to heal, which will warm the  hearts of readers everywhere.


Click for more detail about Just Family by Tonya Bolden Just Family

by Tonya Bolden
Dutton (Feb 01, 1996)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Participating in a special anniversary celebration for her parents in 1965 Harlem, ten-year-old Beryl is shocked and hurt when she learns that her older sister, Randy, is really her half-sister.


Click for more detail about Just Like Martin by Ossie Davis Just Like Martin

by Ossie Davis
Puffin Books (Jan 01, 1995)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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Joining the local efforts for Civil Rights in their 1960s Deep South community, fourteen-year-old Ike Stone and his companions are proud of their part in the movement until two of their friends are killed in a racial bombing incident. Reprint. PW. AB.


Click for more detail about Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

by Bryan Stevenson
Knopf (Oct 21, 2014)
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A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.


Click for more detail about Just My Luck: A Novel by Tajuana “TJ” Butler Just My Luck: A Novel

by Tajuana “TJ” Butler
One World/Ballantine (Mar 29, 2005)
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Today is no ordinary day for thirty-eight-year-old Lanita Lightfoot. Today represents the culmination of years of struggle and sacrifice. Today she graduates from college. But first, Lanita’s husband treats her to a day of beauty at an upscale black salon in Los Angeles, during which she shares her story with the staff and the other customers–and what a story it is. . .

Talk about an entrance. Lanita was born in a little corner store in the thick of the Watts riots. Her untimely entry into the world saved the joint from being sacked by looters–and the shop owner showed his gratitude by giving Lanita’s mother, Aretha, a decade of rent-free residence. But when the reward dries up and Aretha takes to the bottle and a no-good loser boyfriend, Lanita’s life takes a sharp turn for the worse. Forced to live in a cramped, dingy apartment, Lanita longs for her real daddy to ride to the rescue. But when he finally shows up, she finds he isn’t quite the knight she’s dreamed of.

Still, Lanita is determined to make something of herself. A straight-A student throughout high school, she is accepted to Howard University in Washington, D.C., and marvels that she’s finally escaped the ghetto. As Lanita embarks on the journey of becoming a woman, she encounters icons including Michael Jackson and Todd Bridges, who help transform her perception of her own life. But one year short of graduation, she must return to Los Angeles to care for the ailing Aretha–an unpleasant reality that leads her to join in a sordid West Hollywood strip club and farther away from her dreams–until the fateful night her high school heart throb shows up at the club and shows her that the easy money she makes comes with a high price.

The bestselling author of The Night Before Thirty, Tajuana “TJ” Butler delivers one of her most richly imagined, complex, and beloved characters yet–and delves into the void that many young women spend their lifetime trying to fill: the one left by a father’s absence.


Click for more detail about Just Too Good to Be True: A Novel by E. Lynn Harris Just Too Good to Be True: A Novel

by E. Lynn Harris
Anchor (Jun 30, 2009)
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A New York Times Bestseller Brady Bledsoe and his mother, Carmyn, have a strong relationship. A single mother, faithful churchgoer, and the owner of several successful Atlanta beauty salons, Carmyn has devoted herself to her son and his dream of becoming a professional football player. Brady has always followed her lead, including becoming a member of the church’s "Celibacy Circle." Now, in his senior year at college, the smart and very handsome Brady is a lead contender for the Heisman Trophy and a spot in the NFL. As sports agents hover around Brady, a beautiful and charming cheerleader named Barrett enters the picture. Barrett is set on seducing Brady and getting a piece of his multimillion-dollar future. But is that all she wants from him? Is she acting alone? In a story that combines football, family, faith and secrets, Just Too Good to Be True is a sweeping novel that proves once and again why E. Lynn Harris is a bestselling author.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Just Wanna Testify: A Novel by Pearl Cleage Just Wanna Testify: A Novel

by Pearl Cleage
One World/Ballantine (May 10, 2011)
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Familiar faces and places meet fresh twists and turns in this enthralling novel from acclaimed author Pearl Cleage.
 
Atlanta’s West End district has always been a haven and home to a coterie of unique characters—artists and thinkers, dreamers and doers. Folks here know one another’s names, keep their doors unlocked, and look out for their neighbors. Anyone planning to sell drugs, vandalize, or rob a little old lady should think twice before hitting this part of town. And Blue Hamilton, West End’s unofficial mayor and longtime protector, will see to it that you do. Blue wears many hats here, including adored husband to Regina, dear nephew to Abbey, and doting father to Sweetie and another little one on the way.

Blue is also the man you pay your respects to if you’re looking to set up shop in this urban enclave—just ask Serena Mayflower, whom Blue sees striding down Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard wearing skin-tight black leather pants, thigh-high boots, and bright red lipstick. This tall, slender, ethereally beautiful woman and her four equally striking sisters make up the Too Fine Five, a quintet of international supermodels who have arrived in town for an Essence magazine photo shoot.
        
But Blue’s gut tells him that there’s more to these Mayflower mademoiselles than their affection for full moons and Bloody Marys. With the help of his beloved Regina and their close friends and relations in West End, Blue vows to uncover the women’s secret intentions—and prove once and for all that there is no greater force on earth than the power of love.

A mesmerizing slice of not-so-everyday life, brimming with wicked wit and spiced with a few supernatural surprises, Just Wanna Testify showcases Pearl Cleage’s masterly storytelling at its soulful and satisfying finest.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Keena Ford and the Field Trip Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson Keena Ford and the Field Trip Mix-Up

by Melissa Thomson
Puffin Books (Aug 12, 2010)
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Keena Ford is so excited to go on a field trip to the United States Capitol with her second-grade class! At school, she is running for a spot on the student council, and on the field trip she’s going to meet a real live U.S. representative. The only trouble is, mean Tiffany Harris keeps teasing Keena and taking the best place in line. Keena doesn’t mean to get into trouble, but trouble seems to find her anyway!


Click for more detail about Keepin’ It Real: Post-MTV Reflections on Race, Sex, and Politics by Kevin Powell Keepin’ It Real: Post-MTV Reflections on Race, Sex, and Politics

by Kevin Powell
One World/Ballantine (Apr 07, 1998)
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In Keepin’ It Real, writer, poet, and cultural critic Kevin Powell puts both himself and society under a microscope and creates a searingly honest collection that is at once powerful and disturbing. Within this rich weave of musings, confession, and sometimes painful introspection, he confronts such issues as racism, black self-hatred, gender violence in the ’90s, and his own anguished revelations about sex, love, and misogyny. He also explores the meaning and myths of the Million Man March and the influential and threatening presence of rap music. Like that musical movement, Kevin Powell samples the sights and sounds and scenarios of American life, then reshapes them into a provocative soundtrack for our times.


Click for more detail about Keeping the Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing, and Hope from Black America by Tavis Smiley Keeping the Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing, and Hope from Black America

by Tavis Smiley
Anchor (Jan 06, 2004)
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In Keeping the Faith, nationally acclaimed author and commentator Tavis Smiley, host of NPR’s The Tavis Smiley Show, weaves stories of over one hundred African Americans into a rich tapestry of intimate testimonies about life, love, and inner strength. In Smiley’s affirming collection, black Americans from all walks of life join with well known figures such as Iyanla Vanzant, Cornel West, and Danny Glover to offer insights about the moments that challenged them to learn, the teachers who inspired them to grow, and the sources of hope and courage they draw on in their daily lives. Certain to be of abiding value to readers everywhere, Keeping the Faith offers rich lessons about loss and healing, wisdom and fulfillment, perseverance and the wellsprings of joy.


Click for more detail about Keyshia And Clyde: A Novel by Treasure Blue Keyshia And Clyde: A Novel

by Treasure Blue
One World/Ballantine (Aug 26, 2008)
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Treasure E. Blue–acclaimed author of Harlem Girl Lost and A Street Girl Named Desire–is back with a heartbreaking urban love story of two star-crossed lovers up against the dirtiest dealer Harlem has ever seen.

Knocked up by a Southern preacher, Keyshia is sent to live with her aunt in New York, but after a horrific act of violence, the timid young woman becomes ice-cold–turning tricks and finding comfort in a crack vial.

Clyde and his two brothers find themselves living with a family friend after their mother is shot by their own father–leaving her institutionalized and unable to communicate, and him behind bars. Clyde’s older brother leads a decent life, working as a bank manager and trying to keep Clyde off the streets, but Clyde’s younger bro is the coldest killer in Harlem and takes every opportunity to involve Clyde in his infamous robberies-turned-blood baths.

When Keyshia and Clyde meet, they are instantly drawn to each other. Forced to pay back a large sum of cash to one nasty Harlem kingpin or risk the lethal consequences, Keyshia and Clyde use their tight game and their loyalty to pull off the impossible. And when Clyde is falsely accused of a bank hit, Keyshia vows to stick by her man–no matter the cost.

Praise for Treasure E. Blue’s A Street Girl Named Desire:

“Treasure Blue continues and solidifies his position as the true heir to Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines. A book full of gritty realism, violence, drug abuse, and hope; the book is simply off the damn hook!”
–African American Literary Book Club

“Drenched in drama, drugs, vengeance, power, pain, envy, love and hope . . . all the elements needed to satisfy [the] desire for a good read.”
–Urban Reviews


Click for more detail about Kill ’Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul by James McBride Kill ’Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul

by James McBride
Spiegel & Grau (Apr 05, 2016)
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National Book Award winner James McBride goes in search of the “real” James Brown after receiving a tip that promises to uncover the man behind the myth. His surprising journey illuminates not only our understanding of this immensely troubled, misunderstood, and complicated soul genius but the ways in which our cultural heritage has been shaped by Brown’s legacy.

Kill ’Em and Leave is more than a book about James Brown. Brown’s rough-and-tumble life, through McBride’s lens, is an unsettling metaphor for American life: the tension between North and South, black and white, rich and poor. McBride’s travels take him to forgotten corners of Brown’s never-before-revealed history: the country town where Brown’s family and thousands of others were displaced by America’s largest nuclear power bomb-making facility; a South Carolina field where a long-forgotten cousin recounts, in the dead of night, a fuller history of Brown’s sharecropping childhood, which until now has been a mystery. McBride seeks out the American expatriate in England who co-created the James Brown sound, visits the trusted right-hand manager who worked with Brown for forty-one years, and interviews Brown’s most influential nonmusical creation, his “adopted son,” the Reverend Al Sharpton. He describes the stirring visit of Michael Jackson to the Augusta, Georgia, funeral home where the King of Pop sat up all night with the body of his musical godfather, spends hours talking with Brown’s first wife, and lays bare the Dickensian legal contest over James Brown’s estate, a fight that has consumed careers; prevented any money from reaching the poor schoolchildren in Georgia and South Carolina, as instructed in his will; cost Brown’s estate millions in legal fees; and left James Brown’s body to lie for more than eight years in a gilded coffin in his daughter’s yard in South Carolina.

James McBride is one of the most distinctive and electric literary voices in America today, and part of the pleasure of his narrative is being in his presence, coming to understand Brown through McBride’s own insights as a black musician with Southern roots. em>Kill ’Em and Leave is a song unearthing and celebrating James Brown’s great legacy: the cultural landscape of America today.

Review

Here are some further examples of Brown’s isolation, as McBride describes them: Late in life James Brown directed his children (the ones he acknowledged) to make appointments when they ­wanted to see him. When he was finished with a gig, he would routinely have his hair done for two or three hours, before seeing anyone backstage, and then he would often leave, rather than undertake the glad-handing typically associated with the entertainment profession. He left Zaire, after performing on the occasion of the Ali-­Foreman “Rumble in the Jungle” prizefight, rather than receive a bag of diamonds offered by the despot in charge of that nation. And so on. This book’s title itself refers to Brown’s avowed philosophy in regard to interacting with fans.

It is McBride’s heavy burden to know this about Brown — his evasiveness, his secrecy — and to fashion a credible story that leads us from Page 1 to Page 232 according to what they call, in writing workshops, a “narrative arc.” The narrative arc is not a thing wanting in McBride’s best-known works. “The Good Lord Bird,” for example, has not only John Brown the abolitionist to drive it along, but a surprising case of gender imposture at its heart as well. And where “The Color of Water” deals with isolation in many of the ways that “Kill ’Em and Leave” does, it is essentially a bildungsroman, a tale of the derivation of its narrator. This is an especially effective idea of “narrative arc.”

—Rick Moody, The New York Times Book Review


Click for more detail about Killing The Messenger: A Story Of Radical Faith, Racism’s Backlash, And The Assassination Of A Journalist by Thomas Peele Killing The Messenger: A Story Of Radical Faith, Racism’s Backlash, And The Assassination Of A Journalist

by Thomas Peele
Crown (Feb 07, 2012)
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When a nineteen-year-old member of a Black Muslim cult assassinated Oakland newspaper editor Chauncey Bailey in 2007—the most shocking killing of a journalist in the United States in thirty years—the question was, Why? “I just wanted to be a good soldier, a strong soldier,” the killer told police.   A strong soldier for whom?

Killing the Messenger is a searing work of narrative nonfiction that explores one of the most blatant attacks on the First Amendment and free speech in American history and the small Black Muslim cult that carried it out. Award-winning investigative reporter Thomas Peele examines the Black Muslim movement from its founding in the early twentieth century by a con man who claimed to be God, to the height of power of the movement’s leading figure, Elijah Muhammad, to how the great-grandson of Texas slaves reinvented himself as a Muslim leader in Oakland and built the violent cult that the young gunman eventually joined. Peele delves into how charlatans exploited poor African Americans with tales from a religion they falsely claimed was Islam and the years of bloodshed that followed, from a human sacrifice in Detroit to police shootings of unarmed Muslims to the horrible backlash of racism known as the “zebra murders,” and finally to the brazen killing of Chauncey Bailey to stop him from publishing a newspaper story. 
 
Peele establishes direct lines between the violent Black Muslim organization run by Yusuf Bey in Oakland and the evangelicalism of the early prophets and messengers of the Nation of Islam.  Exposing the roots of the faith, Peele examines its forerunner, the Moorish Science Temple of America, which in the 1920s and ’30s preached to migrants from the South living in Chicago and Detroit ghettos that blacks were the world’s master race, tricked into slavery by white devils. In spite of the fantastical claims and hatred at its core, the Nation of Islam was able to build a following by appealing to the lack of identity common in slave descendants. 

In Oakland, Yusuf Bey built a cult through a business called Your Black Muslim Bakery, beating and raping dozens of women he claimed were his wives and fathering more than forty children.  Yet, Bey remained a prominent fixture in the community, and police looked the other way as his violent soldiers ruled the streets.
 
An enthralling narrative that combines a rich historical account with gritty urban reporting, Killing the Messenger is a mesmerizing story of how swindlers and con men abused the tragedy of racism and created a radical religion of bloodshed and fear that culminated in a journalist’s murder.

THOMAS PEELE is a digital investigative reporter for the Bay Area News Group and the Chauncey Bailey Project. He is also a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism.  His many honors include the Investigative Reporters and Editors Tom Renner Award for his reporting on organized crime, and the McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage. He lives in Northern California.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Kinfolks by Kristin Hunter Kinfolks

by Kristin Hunter
One World/Ballantine (Sep 08, 1997)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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""A BLACK FIRST WIVES CLUB … SIT BACK, RELAX, AND ENJOY."" —The Charlotte Post

Now swinging on the far side of forty, best friends Patrice Barber and Cherry Hopkins came of age in the sixties, becoming single mothers by choice. So who would have dreamed that these two ex-revolutionaries would find themselves trying to compose a la-de-dah wedding invitation for their soon-to-be-married children?

But a shattering truth from their radical past is about to rear its head and alter the course of their lives, forcing Patrice and Cherry to hit the road on an urgent mission of forgiveness and compassion, of making amends and letting go… .


Click for more detail about Kinship: A Family’s Journey in Africa and America by Philippe E. Wamba Kinship: A Family’s Journey in Africa and America

by Philippe E. Wamba
Dutton/Penguin (Apr 01, 1999)
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When Philippe Wamba’s African American mother married his Congolese father in 1964, the family they would raise in Boston, MA, & Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, would become a test case of the pan-African ideal: that black people around the world share common interests, common goals, & a common destiny. In this deeply felt book, Wamba uses his personal background as a lens through which to view three centuries of shared history between Africans & African Amer. It is at once a vividly detailed memoir & a richly researched work of scholarship that deftly weaves accounts of Wamba’s multinational childhood with enlightening analyses of history, music, literature, religion, & politics.


Click for more detail about Knockin’ Boots: A Novel by Tracy Price-Thompson Knockin’ Boots: A Novel

by Tracy Price-Thompson
One World (Oct 25, 2005)
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Bestselling author Tracy Price-Thompson returns with another steamy novel, packed with wife swapping, down-low desires, racial self-hatred, and sexual swinging. . . .

Kevin Lawson has a secret. This hard-charging army sergeant is drawn to seedy sex dens, adult bookstores, and kinky encounters with multiple partners. To hide his cravings, Kevin uses his wife to solicit bedroom playmates and to indulge his ever-growing fantasies.

A preacher’s daughter, college graduate, and ex-stripper, “Freak Nasty” Fancy Lawson has done it all and loved every moment of it. But now Fancy must face the truth of her husband’s sexual addiction or risk losing the one constant in her ever-changing world.
Emile Pinchback is a dark-skinned brotha with issues, especially when it comes to his bootylicious, ghetto-fabulous nubian sistahs. He worships at the feet of the slender, blond-haired Becky Ann. But once he looks past her milky skin and into her heart, his racial stereotypes are blown wide open.

Sexy and full of Brooklyn spice, Sparkle Henderson loves on the black-hand side or not at all. Just a whiff of jungle fever can send her flying into a rage, but when she’s caught in a web of sexual trickery, she finds love in a strange place and is forced to reexamine her beliefs.

With a fresh look at love and lust in uniform, Tracy Price-Thompson’s sensual characters come alive in this erotically-charged page-turner of urban life.


Click for more detail about Knots by Nuruddin Farah Knots

by Nuruddin Farah
Penguin Books (Mar 25, 2008)
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From the internationally revered author of Links comes "a beautiful, hopeful novel about one woman’s return to war-ravaged Mogadishu" (Time)

Called "one of the most sophisticated voices in modern fiction" (The New York Review of Books), Nuruddin Farah is widely recognized as a literary genius. He proves it yet again with Knots, the story of a woman who returns to her roots and discovers much more than herself. Born in Somalia but raised in North America, Cambara flees a failed marriage by traveling to Mogadishu. And there, amid the devastation and brutality, she finds that her most unlikely ambitions begin to seem possible. Conjuring the unforgettable extremes of a fractured Muslim culture and the wayward Somali state through the eyes of a strong, compelling heroine, Knots is another Farah masterwork.


Click for more detail about Known and Strange Things: Essays by Teju Cole Known and Strange Things: Essays

by Teju Cole
Random House Trade Paperbacks (Aug 09, 2016)
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A blazingly intelligent first book of essays from the award-winning author of Open City and Every Day Is for the Thief

With this collection of more than fifty pieces on politics, photography, travel, history, and literature, Teju Cole solidifies his place as one of today’s most powerful and original voices. On page after page, deploying prose dense with beauty and ideas, he finds fresh and potent ways to interpret art, people, and historical moments, taking in subjects from Virginia Woolf, Shakespeare, and W. G. Sebald to Instagram, Barack Obama, and Boko Haram. Cole brings us new considerations of James Baldwin in the age of Black Lives Matter; the African American photographer Roy DeCarava, who, forced to shoot with film calibrated exclusively for white skin tones, found his way to a startling and true depiction of black subjects; and (in an essay that inspired both praise and pushback when it first appeared) the White Savior Industrial Complex, the system by which African nations are sentimentally aided by an America “developed on pillage.”

Persuasive and provocative, erudite yet accessible, Known and Strange Things is an opportunity to live within Teju Cole’s wide-ranging enthusiasms, curiosities, and passions, and a chance to see the world in surprising and affecting new frames.


Click for more detail about Known To Evil (Leonid Mcgill, Book 2) by Walter Mosley Known To Evil (Leonid Mcgill, Book 2)

by Walter Mosley
Riverhead Hardcover (Mar 23, 2010)
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The Walter Mosley and his new hero, Leonid McGill, are back in the new New York Times-bestselling mystery series that’s already being hailed as a classic of contemporary noir.

Leonid McGill—the protagonist introduced in The Long Fall, the book that returned Walter Mosley to bestseller lists nationwide—is still fighting to stick to his reformed ways while the world around him pulls him in every other direction. He has split up with his girlfriend, Aura, because his new self won’t let him leave his wife—but then Aura’s new boyfriend starts angling to get Leonid kicked out of his prime, top-of-the­skyscraper office space. Meanwhile, one of his sons seems to have found true love—but the girl has a shady past that’s all of a sudden threatening the whole McGill family—and his other son, the charming rogue Twilliam, is doing nothing but enabling the crisis.

Most ominously of all, Alfonse Rinaldo, the mysterious power-behind-the-throne at City Hall, the fixer who seems to control every little thing that happens in New York City, has a problem that even he can’t fix—and he’s come to Leonid for help. It seems a young woman has disappeared, leaving murder in her wake, and it means everything to Rinaldo to track her down. But he won’t tell McGill his motives, which doesn’t quite square with the new company policy—but turning down Rinaldo is almost impossible to even contemplate.

Known to Evil delivers on all the promise of the characters and story lines introduced in The Long Fall, and then some. It careens fast and deep into gritty, glittery contemporary Manhattan, making the city pulse in a whole new way, and it firmly establishes Leonid McGill as one of the mystery world’s most iconic, charismatic leading men.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat Krik? Krak!

by Edwidge Danticat
Vintage Books (Apr 02, 1996)
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When Haitians tell a story, they say "Krik?" and the eager listeners answer "Krak!" In Krik? Krak! In her second novel, Edwidge Danticat establishes herself as the latest heir to that narrative tradition with nine stories that encompass both the cruelties and the high ideals of Haitian life. They tell of women who continue loving behind prison walls and in the face of unfathomable loss; of a people who resist the brutality of their rulers through the powers of imagination. The result is a collection that outrages, saddens, and transports the reader with its sheer beauty.


Click for more detail about Ladivine: A novel by Marie NDiaye Ladivine: A novel

by Marie NDiaye
Knopf (Apr 26, 2016)
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From the hugely acclaimed author of Three Strong Women—“a masterpiece of narrative ingenuity and emotional extremes” (The New York Times)—here is a harrowing and subtly crafted novel of a woman captive to a secret shame.

On the first Tuesday of every month, Clarisse Rivière leaves her husband and young daughter and secretly takes the train to Bordeaux to visit her mother, Ladivine. Just as Clarisse’s husband and daughter know nothing of Ladivine, Clarisse herself has hidden nearly every aspect of her adult life from this woman, whom she dreads and despises but also pities. Long ago abandoned by Clarisse’s father, Ladivine works as a housecleaner and has no one but her daughter, whom she knows as Malinka.

After more than twenty-five years of this deception, the idyllic middle-class existence Clarisse has built from scratch can no longer survive inside the walls she’s put up to protect it. Her untold anguish leaves her cold and guarded, her loved ones forever trapped outside, looking in. When her husband, Richard, finally leaves her, Clarisse finds comfort in the embrace of a volatile local man, Freddy Moliger. With Freddy, she finally feels reconciled to, or at least at ease with, her true self. But this peace comes at a terrible price. Clarisse will be brutally murdered, and it will be left to her now-grown daughter, who also bears the name Ladivine without knowing why, to work out who her mother was and what happened to her.

A mesmerizing and heart-stopping psychological tale of a trauma that ensnares three generations of women, Ladivine proves Marie NDiaye to be one of Europe’s great storytellers.

Translated from the French by Jordan Stump


Click for more detail about Land Of Love And Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique Land Of Love And Drowning

by Tiphanie Yanique
Knopf (Jul 10, 2014)
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Recipient of the 2014 American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Foundation Award

A major debut from an award-winning writer—an epic family saga set against the magic and the rhythms of the Virgin Islands.

In the early 1900s, the Virgin Islands are transferred from Danish to American rule, and an important ship sinks into the Caribbean Sea. Orphaned by the shipwreck are two sisters and their half brother, now faced with an uncertain identity and future. Each of them is unusually beautiful, and each is in possession of a particular magic that will either sink or save them.

Chronicling three generations of an island family from 1916 to the 1970s, Land of Love and Drowning is a novel of love and magic, set against the emergence of Saint Thomas into the modern world. Uniquely imagined, with echoes of Toni Morrison, Gabriel García Márquez, and the author’s own Caribbean family history, the story is told in a language and rhythm that evoke an entire world and way of life and love. Following the Bradshaw family through sixty years of fathers and daughters, mothers
and sons, love affairs, curses, magical gifts, loyalties, births, deaths, and triumphs, Land of Love and Drowning is a gorgeous, vibrant debut by an exciting, prizewinning young writer.


Click for more detail about Last Man Standing: The Tragedy and Triumph of Geronimo Pratt by Jack Olsen Last Man Standing: The Tragedy and Triumph of Geronimo Pratt

by Jack Olsen
Doubleday (Sep 19, 2000)
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With the epic scope of A Civil Action, Last Man Standing is an unforgettable chronicle of the twenty-seven-year struggle to break a conspiratorial abuse of power and free one of America’s most famous political prisoners.

In 1968, twenty-year-old Elmer Gerard "Geronimo" Pratt returned from Vietnam with a chest full of medals and a Purple Heart into the most heated racial climate in American history. Taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, Pratt enrolled at UCLA, where the Black Panther Party was busy recruiting. Propelled by a diverse group of African Americans, the Panther agenda was a volatile mix of black rage, black pride, altruism, idealism, and violence. Under the charismatic leadership of Eldridge Cleaver, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, and Bunchy Carter, Pratt rose to the rank of Deputy Minister of Defense and became leader of the Los Angeles Chapter. The Panthers did not go unnoticed by J. Edgar Hoover. In the era of enemies’ lists, his FBI drew up its own list of Panthers to be "neutralized" and began a systematic counterintelligence program to undermine black solidarity. Geronimo Pratt headed Hoover’s list. When an FBI informer within the Panther party agreed to testify that Pratt murdered a young woman at a Santa Monica tennis court, his days as a free citizen came to an end.

If not for the unlikely alliance of a brash African American defense attorney (Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr.), a radical Irish Jewish law student (Stuart Hanlon), a Protestant minister (Rev. James McCloskey), and the indefatigable Pratt-his spirit unbroken by eight years in solitary confinement-a horrifying miscarriage of justice would never have been rectified. As riveting biography, courtroom drama, and just plain narrative nonfiction, Last Man Standing is certain to take its place among the finest works of American judicial history.


Click for more detail about Last Man Standing: The Tragedy and Triumph of Geronimo Pratt by Jack Olsen Last Man Standing: The Tragedy and Triumph of Geronimo Pratt

by Jack Olsen
Anchor (Nov 06, 2001)
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Jack Olsen’s Last Man Standing is the gripping story of Geronimo Pratt, war hero and community leader, who was framed by the FBI in one of the greatest travesties of justice in American history.

Geronimo Pratt did not commit the murder for which he served twenty-seven nightmarish years. As a UCLA student, though, he had led the Los Angeles Chapter of the Black Panther Party, and became a target of the FBI. Here is the spellbinding saga of Pratt, his heroic lawyers, Johnnie Cochran and Stuart Hanlon, and the Reverend James McCloskey, who overcame all the odds to bring the truth to light and free Geronimo.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña Last Stop on Market Street

by Matt De La Peña
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Jan 08, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 3 - 5 years
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A New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2015
A Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book of 2015

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.

This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pena’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.


Click for more detail about Laughing in the Dark: From Colored Girl to Woman of Color—A Journey from Prison to Power by Patrice Gaines Laughing in the Dark: From Colored Girl to Woman of Color—A Journey from Prison to Power

by Patrice Gaines
Crown (Sep 13, 1994)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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An award-winning Washington Post reporter explores the twisted path she traveled to find her place as a confident black female in a world that values whiteness and maleness. Here is a rich and insightful story of a life lived on the edge by a woman formerly preoccupied with pleasing everyone but herself.


Click for more detail about Leaving Tangier: A Novel by Tahar Ben Jelloun Leaving Tangier: A Novel

by Tahar Ben Jelloun
Penguin Books (Mar 31, 2009)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From one of the world’s great writers, a breakthrough novel about leaving home for a better life

In his new novel, award-winning, internationally bestselling author Tahar Ben Jelloun tells the story of a Moroccan brother and sister making new lives for themselves in Spain. Azel is a young man in Tangier who dreams of crossing the Strait of Gibraltar. When he meets Miguel, a wealthy Spaniard, he leaves behind his girlfriend, his sister, Kenza, and his mother, and moves with him to Barcelona, where Kenza eventually joins them. What they find there forms the heart of this novel of seduction and betrayal, deception and disillusionment, in which Azel and Kenza are reminded powerfully not only of where they’ve come from, but also of who they really are.


Click for more detail about Lemon City: A Novel by Elaine Meryl Brown Lemon City: A Novel

by Elaine Meryl Brown
One World/Ballantine (Feb 24, 2009)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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In this wry fiction debut, Elaine Meryl Brown plunges lucky readers into a gripping narrative of small-town hijinks and big-time hearts.

Rule Number One: Never marry an Outsider. If you do, the boll weevil will bite you back. Rule Number Two: If you can’t be honest, you might as well be dead.

Nestled in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountains, Lemon City has ten rules, all designed in the best interests of its tight-knit black community. Granddaddy Dunlap knows all too well what can happen to folks who venture beyond Lemon City’s protective borders. He once had to venture outside town to identify his best friend’s body. So when his firebrand granddaughter Faye, returns from college married to an Outsider, he must act fast to keep her in Lemon City’s safe embrace.

It proves to be a challenge–and not just because the patriarch is distracted by the tensions arising from the heated tomato-growing contest for the annual county fair. Faye’s new husband, Harry, is a slick talker with a roving eye. Faye sees him as her ticket to New York City, where she hopes to fulfill big business dreams, but even the best-laid plans can be thwarted, as Faye discovers that marriage itself isn’t much of a honeymoon. No matter. She packs her bags, fully prepared to head north with or without her husband, when Harry turns up dead. Now the Dunlap family is trying to figure out–before the Thanksgiving turkey gets cold–who did the deed.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Click for more detail about Les Blancs: The Collected Last Plays: The Drinking Gourd/What Use Are Flowers? by Lorraine Hansberry Les Blancs: The Collected Last Plays: The Drinking Gourd/What Use Are Flowers?

by Lorraine Hansberry
Vintage (Dec 13, 1994)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Here are Lorraine Hansberry’s last three plays—Les Blancs, The Drinking Gourd, and What Use Are Flowers?—representing the capstone of her achievement. Includes a new preface by Jewell Gresham Nemiroff and a revised introduction by Margaret B. Wilkerson.


Click for more detail about Lessons In Living by Susan L. Taylor Lessons In Living

by Susan L. Taylor
Anchor (Jan 20, 1998)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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At long last, here is the paperback edition of beloved columnist and author Susan L. Taylor’s bestselling collection of spiritual writings on overcoming the challenges of everyday life.

Revealing the spiritual lessons Susan has learned first-hand from grappling with the challenges and difficulties in her own life, Lessons in Living is a celebration of the journey of life that has already become a classic. Written in the anecdotal style that has made Susan’s "In the Spirit" column the most popular feature of Essence magazine, Lessons in Living addresses the themes that have been her unique territory for over a decade: self empowerment, the exploration of love and self-worth, and issues of faith and commitment.


Click for more detail about Lest We Forget: The Passage from Africa to Slavery and Emancipation: A Three-Dimensional Interactive Book with Photographs and Documents from the Black Holocaust Exhibit by Velma Maia Thomas Lest We Forget: The Passage from Africa to Slavery and Emancipation: A Three-Dimensional Interactive Book with Photographs and Documents from the Black Holocaust Exhibit

by Velma Maia Thomas
Crown (Oct 07, 1997)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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This richly designed historical document is an ingenious, interactive, three-dimensional experience that dramatically addresses the painful history of America and the slave trade. Based on the Black Holocaust Exhibit, Lest We Forget is history brought to life by Velma Maia Thomas, curator. Accompanying the book’s documents, Thomas’ exquisite prose is interwoven with the moving words of slaves themselves.


Click for more detail about Let It Rain by Patricia A. Saunders Let It Rain

by Patricia A. Saunders
AuthorHouse (Oct 29, 2014)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The third book of poetry will have fans laughing, crying and shaking their heads in agreement. The storms might bring you Through the Fire to appreciate Loving Me but when it rains it pours. You can’t look at just the bad but look at it as a cleansing preparing you for the next chapter. When prayers go up blessings come down. I say Let It Rain!


Click for more detail about Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor Let the Circle Be Unbroken

by Mildred D. Taylor
Puffin Books (Jan 01, 1981)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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"This dramatic sequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a powerful novel . . .capable of touching readers of any age." —The Christian Science Monitor


Click for more detail about Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou Letter to My Daughter

by Maya Angelou
Knopf (Oct 27, 2009)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou’s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Here in short spellbinding essays are glimpses of the tumultuous life that taught Angelou lessons in compassion and fortitude: how she was brought up by her indomitable grandmother in segregated Arkansas, taken in at thirteen by her more worldly and less religious mother, and grew to be an awkward six-foot-tall teenager whose first experience of loveless sex paradoxically left her with her greatest gift, a son.

Whether she is recalling lost friends such as Coretta Scott King and Ossie Davis, extolling honesty, decrying vulgarity, explaining why becoming a Christian is a “lifelong endeavor,” or simply singing the praises of a meal of red rice, Maya Angelou writes from the heart to millions of women she considers her extended family.


Click for more detail about Letters to a Young Artist: Straight-up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts-For Actors, Performers, Writers, and Artists of Every Kind by Anna Deavere Smith Letters to a Young Artist: Straight-up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts-For Actors, Performers, Writers, and Artists of Every Kind

by Anna Deavere Smith
Anchor (Nov 30, -0001)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From the most exciting individual in American theater” (Newsweek), here is Anna Deavere Smith’s brass tacks advice to aspiring artists of all stripes. In vividly anecdotal letters to the young BZ, she addresses the full spectrum of issues that people starting out will face: from questions of confidence, discipline, and self-esteem, to fame, failure, and fear, to staying healthy, presenting yourself effectively, building a diverse social and professional network, and using your art to promote social change. At once inspiring and no-nonsense, Letters to a Young Artist will challenge you, motivate you, and set you on a course to pursue your art without compromise.


Click for more detail about Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny

by Hill Harper
Gotham (Apr 20, 2006)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Most people associate Hill Harper with Hollywood, as he’s appeared in dozens of films and television shows. But he is just as comfortable in a school auditorium, rousing groups of students with his unique style of real-life wisdom. Having addressed thousands of high-school and middle- school students over the years, Hill is ready to take his message to an even wider audience. Letters to a Young Brother is drawn from the humbling life lessons he learned on the road to his Ivy League education and beyond. Inspired by the countless letters and e-mails he has received from teens, Hill Harper set out to write a series of letters to young people that would catch the attention of even the most reluctant readers. The result is a motivational but approachable book full of encouragement on a wide array of hot topics, particularly among young African-American and Hispanic men. From the challenges of getting a good education and making it through college to the media’s destructive emphasis on material wealth, Letters to a Young Brother delivers eye-opening answers. Reminiscent of Marian Wright Edelman’s New York Times bestseller, The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours, Hill Harper’s words will resonate for years to come.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Letters to a Young Brother: Manifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper Letters to a Young Brother: Manifest Your Destiny

by Hill Harper
Avery (Apr 19, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Offering inspirational advice in a down-to-earth style, this unique compilation of letters provides wisdom, guidance, and heartfelt insight to help the reader chart their own path to success. Based on the author’s motivational speaking at inner-city schools across the country, the letters deal with the tough issues that face young people today. Bombarded with messages from music and the media, Harper set out to dispel the stereotypical image of success that young people receive today and instead emphasizes alternative views of what it truly means to be a successful male, such as educational and community achievements and self-respect. Intended to provide this frequently regarded “lost generation” of young men with words of encouragement and guidance, Harper’s deep-rooted passion regarding the plight of today’s youth drove him to write this book, sure to change the lives of readers for years to come.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny by Hill Harper Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny

by Hill Harper
Gotham (Jun 03, 2008)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Now in paperback: the New York Times bestselling book of inspirational advice and wisdom for young women from the powerhouse public speaker, star of CSI: NY, and bestselling author of Letters to a Young Brother

* Does life sometimes seem so much harder for girls?
* Do you ever feel insecure, pressured, or confused?
* Do you wish you had someone to give you honest advice on topics like boys, school, family, and pursuing your dreams?
* Do you want to make a positive impact on the world, but don’t even know how to begin?

In the follow-up to his award winning national bestseller, Letters to a Young Brother, actor and star of CSI: NY shares powerful wisdom for young women everywhere, drawing on the courageous advice of the female role models who transformed his life.

Letters to a Young Sister unfolds as a series of letters written by older brother Hill to a universal young sister. She’s up against the same challenges as every young woman: from relating to her parents and dealing with peer pressure, to juggling schoolwork and crushes and keeping faith in the face of heartache. Hill offers guidance, encouragement, personal stories, and asks his female friends to help answer some truly tough questions. Every young sister needs to know that it’s okay to dream big and to deFINE her own destiny. This is a book that will educate, uplift and inspire.

Including original contributions from:
Michelle Obama * Angela Basset * Ciara * Tatyana Ali * Eve * Malinda Williams * Chanel Iman * Kim Porter * and many more.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny by Hill Harper Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny

by Hill Harper
Avery (May 05, 2009)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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• Does life sometimes seem so much harder for girls?

• Do you ever feel insecure, pressured, or confused?

• Do you wish you had someone to give you honest advice on topics like boys, school, family, and pursuing your dreams?

• Do you want to make a positive impact on the world, but don't even know how to begin?

In the follow-up to his award winning national bestseller, Letters to a Young Brother, actor and star of CSI: NY shares powerful wisdom for young women everywhere, drawing on the courageous advice of the female role models who transformed his life.

Letters to a Young Sister unfolds as a series of letters written by older brother Hill to a universal young sister. She's up against the same challenges as every young woman: from relating to her parents and dealing with peer pressure, to juggling schoolwork and crushes and keeping faith in the face of heartache. Hill offers guidance, encouragement, personal stories, and asks his female friends to help answer some truly tough questions. Every young sister needs to know that it's okay to dream big and to deFINE her own destiny. This is a book that will educate, uplift and inspire.


Click for more detail about Letters to an Incarcerated Brother: Encouragement, Hope, and Healing for Inmates and Their Loved Ones by Hill Harper Letters to an Incarcerated Brother: Encouragement, Hope, and Healing for Inmates and Their Loved Ones

by Hill Harper
Knopf (Nov 05, 2013)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Click for more detail about Life Is Short but Wide by J. California Cooper Life Is Short but Wide

by J. California Cooper
Knopf (Apr 06, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Like the small towns J. California Cooper has so vividly portrayed in her previous novels, Wideland, Oklahoma, is home to ordinary Americans with big hearts. Among them are newlyweds Irene and Val, who graciously allow their neighbors, Bertha and Joseph, to build a house on their land. Together the couples have three daughters, all who struggle to find love and success in the changing world. But although the years may bring hardship and heartache, they also teach the importance of living one’s life boldly and squeezing out every possible moment of joy. An irresistible story of faith and family, Life Is Short But Wide proves that no matter who you are or what you do, you are never too old to chase your dreams.


Click for more detail about Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper Life Is Short But Wide

by J. California Cooper
Knopf (Mar 24, 2009)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Beloved writer J. California Cooper has won a legion of loyal fans and much critical acclaim for her powerful storytelling gifts. In language both spare and direct yet wondrously lyrical, LIFE IS SHORT BUT WIDE is an irresistible story of family that proves no matter who you are or what you do, you are never too old to chase your dreams.
Like the small towns J. California Cooper has so vividly portrayed in her previous novels and story collections, Wideland, Oklahoma, is home to ordinary Americans struggling to raise families, eke out a living, and fulfill their dreams. In the early twentieth century, Irene and Val fall in love in Wideland. While carving out a home for themselves, they also allow neighbors Bertha and Joseph to build a house and live on their land. The next generation brings two girls for Irene and Val, and a daughter for Bertha and Joseph. As the families cope with the hardships that come with changing times and fortunes, and people are born and pass away, the characters learn the importance of living one’s life boldly and squeezing out every possible moment of joy.
Cooper brilliantly captures the cadences of the South and draws a picture of American life at once down-to-earth and heartwarming in this-as her wise narrator will tell you-“strange, sad, kind’a beautiful, life story.” It is a story about love that leads to the ultimate realization that whoever you are, and whatever you do, life is short, but it is also wide.


Click for more detail about Life Upon These Shores: Looking At African American History, 1513-2008 by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Life Upon These Shores: Looking At African American History, 1513-2008

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Knopf (Nov 22, 2011)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Henry Louis Gates, Jr., gives us a sumptuously illustrated landmark book tracing African American history from the arrival of the conquistadors to the election of Barack Obama.

Informed by the latest, sometimes provocative scholarship and including more than seven hundred images—ancient maps, fine art, documents, photographs, cartoons, posters—Life Upon These Shores focuses on defining events, debates, and controversies, as well as the signal achievements of people famous and obscure. Gates takes us from the sixteenth century through the ordeal of slavery, from the Civil War and Reconstruction through the Jim Crow era and the Great Migration; from the civil rights and black nationalist movements through the age of hip-hop to the Joshua generation. By documenting and illuminating the sheer diversity of African American involvement in American history, society, politics, and culture, Gates bracingly disabuses us of the presumption of a single “black experience.”

Life Upon These Shores is a book of major importance, a breathtaking tour de force of the historical imagination.


Click for more detail about Lifelines: The Black Book Of Proverbs by Askhari Johnson Hodari and Yvonne Mccalla Sobers Lifelines: The Black Book Of Proverbs

by Askhari Johnson Hodari and Yvonne Mccalla Sobers
Knopf (Nov 10, 2009)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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This little book contains the wisdom of the ages, and is guaranteed to produce a smile of appreciation at the sheer sense of the proverbs you will find inside. From advice you wish your mother had given you, to things you probably suspected, but had never put into words, Lifelines is a book to be read, absorbed and treasured.—Pearl Cleage, New York Times best selling author of What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day

This illustrated treasury of proverbs unites the timeless wisdom of Black communities in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas, while speaking to the triumphs and challenges of everyday life.

Lifelines: The Black book of Proverbs travels to all corners of the globe to reclaim and preserve African wisdom. This book offers the remarkably wise heart of Africa and her children to readers experiencing career changes, new births, weddings, death, and other rites of passage. Readers will find truth in the African saying, “When the occasion arises, there is a proverb to suit it.”

Proverbs are presented in vibrant story-poem form; and are uniquely arranged by key life cycle events such as birth, initiation, marriage, and death. The proverbs can be found under themes such as “wealth”, “parenting”, “change” and “strength.” Inspired illustrations introduce each section along with beautiful vignettes showing how African proverbs comfort, inspire and instruct during different phases of life.

Lifelines illuminates how traditions, civilization and spirit survive and thrive, despite centuries of loss of freedom, family, identity, language, land, and wealth. The proverbs offer wisdom for every stage of our lives. Collected in one place as never before, it is the perfect addition to the book shelves of families large and small, from Nairobi to New Orleans and every city in between.

From Birth:
Every cackling hen was an egg at first.
-Rwanda
to Marriage:

A woman’s clothes are the price her husband pays for peace.
-Central Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa (Bantu)
and Elderhood:
Every time an old man dies it is as if a library has burnt down.
-West Africa

as well as every stage of life in between, the proverbs found in Lifelines offer the guidance and wisdom to last a life time.

Unlike other collections of proverbs, Lifelines hews closely to the cycle of life and draws inspiration from the authors combined 110 years of experience. Askhari Johnson Hodari and Yvonne McCalla Sobers have set out to let their proverbs both tell a story and stand alone. So whether you flip it open to a random page, read it through from start to finish, or go searching for a proverb to match your unique circumstance, you’ll find just the right lifeline to provide the comfort and guidance you’re looking for.


Click for more detail about Lighthead (Poets, Penguin) by Terrance Hayes Lighthead (Poets, Penguin)

by Terrance Hayes
Penguin Books (Mar 30, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Winner of the 2010 National Book Award for Poetry

In his fourth collection, Terrance Hayes investigates how we construct experience. With one foot firmly grounded in the everyday and the other hovering in the air, his poems braid dream and reality into a poetry that is both dark and buoyant. Cultural icons as diverse as Fela Kuti, Harriet Tubman, and Wallace Stevens appear with meditations on desire and history. We see Hayes testing the line between story and song in a series of stunning poems inspired by the Pecha Kucha, a Japanese presenta­tion format. This innovative collection presents the light- headedness of a mind trying to pull against gravity and time. Fueled by an imagination that enlightens, delights, and ignites, Lighthead leaves us illuminated and scorched.


Click for more detail about Like No Other by Una LaMarche Like No Other

by Una LaMarche
Razorbill (Jul 14, 2015)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Fitting seamlessly alongside current bestsellers like Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park, and John Green’s Paper Towns, LIKE NO OTHER provides a thoroughly modern take on romance that will inspire laughter, tears, and the belief that love can happen when you least expect it. 

"Electrifying…surprisingly seductive. LaMarche expertly conjures up what high-stakes infatuation feels like." —The New York Times Book Review
 
"[A] refreshing tale of forbidden love."—People Magazine

“One of the most poignant and star-crossed love stories since The Fault in Our Stars.” —Entertainment Weekly

Fate brought them together. Will life tear them apart? Devorah is a consummate good girl who has never challenged the ways of her strict Hasidic upbringing. Jaxon is a fun-loving, book-smart nerd who has never been comfortable around girls (unless you count his four younger sisters). They’ve spent their entire lives in Brooklyn, on opposite sides of the same street. Their paths never crossed…until one day, they did. 

When a hurricane strikes the Northeast, the pair becomes stranded in an elevator together, where fate leaves them no choice but to make an otherwise risky connection. Though their relationship is strictly forbidden, Devorah and Jaxon arrange secret meetings and risk everything to be together. But how far can they go? Just how much are they willing to give up?


Click for more detail about Like Sisters On The Homefront by Rita Williams-Garcia Like Sisters On The Homefront

by Rita Williams-Garcia
Puffin Books (Feb 01, 1998)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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When Gayle gets into trouble with her boyfriend, her mother sends the street-smart 14-year-old?and her baby, Jose?down to Georgia, to live with Uncle Luther and his family. There?s nothing to do, nowhere to go, and no one around except kneesock-wearing, Jesus-praising cousin Cookie. Then Gayle meets Great, the family matriarch?and her stories of the past begin to change how Gayle sees her future.?Williams-Garcia has surpassed herself.?She has set these fictional characters? firmly in the real world while still allowing them to rise from the pages and into readers? hearts and imaginations.? ?The Horn Book, starred review


Click for more detail about Linden Hills (Contemporary American Fiction Series) by Gloria Naylor Linden Hills (Contemporary American Fiction Series)

by Gloria Naylor
Penguin Books (Mar 04, 1986)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A powerful look at an affluent black community from Gloria Naylor (1950-2016), the National Book Award-winning author of The Women of Brewster Place

A world away from Brewster Place, yet intimately connected to it, lies Linden Hills. With its showcase homes, elegant lawns, and other trappings of Wealth, Linden Hills is not unlike other affluent black communities. But residence in this community is indisputable evidence of "making it." Although no one knows what the precise qualifications are, everyone knows that only certain people get to live there - and that they want to be among them. In a resonant novel that takes as it’s model Dante’s Inferno, Gloria Naylor reveals the truth about the American dream - that the price of success may very well be on a journey down to the lowest circle of hell.

"With Linden Hills, Naylor has constructed a place for herself among the leading contemporary writers of fiction." -Los Angeles Times Book Review


Click for more detail about Links by Nuruddin Farah Links

by Nuruddin Farah
Penguin Books (Mar 29, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Gripping, provocative, and revelatory, Links is a novel that will stand as a classic of modern world literature. Jeebleh is returning to Mogadiscio, Somalia, for the first time in twenty years. But this is not a nostalgia trip—his last residence there was a jail cell. And who could feel nostalgic for a city like this? U.S. troops have come and gone, and the decimated city is ruled by clan warlords and patrolled by qaat-chewing gangs who shoot civilians to relieve their adolescent boredom. Diverted in his pilgrimage to visit his mother’s grave, Jeebleh is asked to investigate the abduction of the young daughter of one of his closest friend’s family. But he learns quickly that any act in this city, particularly an act of justice, is much more complicated than he might have imagined.


Click for more detail about Listen Up! by Zoe Angelsey Listen Up!

by Zoe Angelsey
One World/Ballantine (Mar 30, 1999)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"Today, the poetry scene flourishes at New York open-mic spots like the Nuyorican Poets Café, Brooklyn’s YWCA Tea Party and Harlem’s Sugar Shack. Progeny of hip poets—the Beats of the 50s and protest poets of the 60s and 70s—these up-and-coming literati cast their diverse spells of word beats inspiring young contemporaries in Cleveland, Ohio, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta; later branching out internationally to poetry circuit venues in Tokyo, Rio de Janiero, London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Istanbul."
—Zoë Anglesey
   Editor, Listen Up!

Spoken word poetry is a cross-cultural phenomenon. Here for the first time in one hot volume are poems from the nation’s top spoken word artists. Listen Up! features nine brilliant award-winning scribes who have ignited audiences worldwide with their soulful verse, bold alliterations, and sultry fusion of rhythm and rhyme—electrifying audiences as they chant, sing, recite, and improvise their poetry and powerful point of view.

Among these nine literary luminaries are Carl Hancock Rux, named by The New York Times as one of thirty young artists "most likely to change the culture in the next thirty years"; Jessica Care Moore, a record-breaking five-time winner of the Apollo competition; and Saul Williams, co-scriptwriter and star of the feature film Slam, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the prestigious Camera D’Or at Cannes.

Packed with penetrating interviews on the craft of writing poetry, insight into the art of performance, and on-target, off-guard photos of the poets in action at history-making poetry slams, this unforgettable collection is the next best thing to being there live.


Click for more detail about Little Eight John (Picture Puffins) by Jan Wahl Little Eight John (Picture Puffins)

by Jan Wahl
Puffin Books (Feb 01, 1998)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Little Eight John’s mother warns him that mischief—like sitting backwards in his chair and kicking frogs—means bad luck for the family. But what his mother warns him not to do, he does, and when he baby gets sick and the potatoes don’t grow, Little Eight John just laughs. Then, one day, trouble come looking for him. Full color .


Click for more detail about Little Green by Walter Mosley Little Green

by Walter Mosley
Knopf (May 14, 2013)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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When Walter Mosley burst onto the literary scene in 1990 with his first Easy Rawlins mystery, Devil in a Blue Dress—a combustible mixture of Raymond Chandler and Richard Wright—he captured the attention of hundreds of thousands of readers (including future president Bill Clinton). Eleven books later, Easy Rawlins is one of the few private eyes in contemporary crime fiction who can be called iconic and immortal. In the incendiary and fast-paced Little Green, he returns from the brink of death to investigate the dark side of L.A.’s 1960s hippie haven, the Sunset Strip. We last saw Easy in 2007’s Blonde Faith, fighting for his life after his car plunges over a cliff. True to form, the tough WWII veteran survives, and soon his murderous sidekick Mouse has him back cruising the mean streets of L.A., in all their psychedelic 1967 glory, to look for a young black man, Evander “Little Green” Noon, who disappeared during an acid trip. Fueled by an elixir called Gator’s Blood, brewed by the conjure woman Mama Jo, Easy experiences a physical, spiritual, and emotional resurrection, but peace and love soon give way to murder and mayhem. Written with Mosley’s signature grit and panache, this engrossing and atmospheric mystery is not only a trip back in time, it is also a tough-minded exploration of good and evil, and of the power of guilt and redemption. Once again, Easy asserts his reign over the City of (Fallen) Angels.


Click for more detail about Living and Dying in Brick City: An E.R. Doctor Returns Home  by Sampson Davi and Lisa Frazier Page Living and Dying in Brick City: An E.R. Doctor Returns Home

by Sampson Davi and Lisa Frazier Page
Knopf (Feb 12, 2013)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Sampson Davis is best known as one of three friends from inner-city Newark who made a pact in high school to become doctors. Their book The Pact and their work through the Three Doctors Foundation have inspired countless young men and women to strive for goals they otherwise would not have dreamed they could attain. In this book, Dr. Davis looks at the healthcare crisis in the inner city from a rare perspective: as a doctor who works on the front line of emergency medical care in the community where he grew up, and as a member of that community who has faced the same challenges as the people he treats every day. He also offers invaluable practical advice for those living in such communities, where conditions like asthma, heart disease, stroke, obesity, and AIDS are disproportionately endemic. Dr. Davis’s sister, a drug addict, died of AIDS; his brother is now paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair as a result of a bar fight; and he himself did time in juvenile detention—a wake-up call that changed his life. He recounts recognizing a young man who is brought to the E.R. with critical gunshot wounds as someone who was arrested with him when he was a teenager during a robbery gone bad; describes a patient whose case of sickle-cell anemia rouses an ethical dilemma; and explains the difficulty he has convincing his landlord and friend, an older woman, to go to the hospital for much-needed treatment. With empathy and hard-earned wisdom, Living and Dying in Brick City presents an urgent picture of medical care in our cities. It is an important resource guide for anyone at risk, anyone close to those at risk, and anyone who cares about the fate of our cities.


Click for more detail about Living Healthy with Hepatitis C: Natural and Conventional Approaches to Recover Your Quality of Life by Harriet A. Washington Living Healthy with Hepatitis C: Natural and Conventional Approaches to Recover Your Quality of Life

by Harriet A. Washington
Dell Publishing (Nov 07, 2000)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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As many as four million Americans suffer from the hepatitis C virus (HCV), but most don’t even know they’re infected. Here at last is the unprecedented book that smashes the myths about the disease as it offers authoritative, lifesaving information you won’t find anywhere else. Living Healthy with Hepatitis C is your ultimate weapon against the biggest killer of all: fear. Discover new hope and help in its pages as you learn a comprehensive approach that puts you back in control of your life!

Protect yourself from acquiring HCV
Protect your loved ones from contracting it if you are infected
Benefit from the latest medical treatments, including interferon, ribavirin, and other drugs
Learn the pros and cons of alternative treatments, including herbs, supplements, and acupuncture
Use diet, lifestyle, and exercise as potent weapons against HCV
Avoid its worst consequences, including cancer and liver failure
Understand HCV, the medical treatments, lab tests, clinical trials, and much more
Take advantage of the latest breakthroughs, including a possible "magic bullet" leading to a cure

PLUS extensive resources, including books, organizations, websites, periodicals, and more


Click for more detail about Living to Tell the Tale by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Living to Tell the Tale

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Knopf (Nov 04, 2003)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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In this long-awaited first volume of a planned trilogy, the most acclaimed and revered living Nobel laureate begins to tell us the story of his life.

Like all his work, Living to Tell the Tale is a magnificent piece of writing. It spans Gabriel García Márquez’s life from his birth in 1927 through the start of his career as a writer to the moment in the 1950s when he proposed to the woman who would become his wife. It has the shape, the quality, and the vividness of a conversation with the reader—a tale of people, places, and events as they occur to him: the colorful stories of his eccentric family members; the great influence of his mother and maternal grandfather; his consuming career in journalism, and the friends and mentors who encouraged him; the myths and mysteries of his beloved Colombia; personal details, undisclosed until now, that would appear later, transmuted and transposed, in his fiction; and, above all, his fervent desire to become a writer. And, as in his fiction, the narrator here is an inspired observer of the physical world, able to make clear the emotions and passions that lie at the heart of a life—in this instance, his own.

Living to Tell the Tale is a radiant, powerful, and beguiling memoir that gives us the formation of Gabriel García Márquez as a writer and as a man.


Click for more detail about Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson Locomotion

by Jacqueline Woodson
Speak (Jan 07, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Finalist for the National Book Award

When Lonnie was seven years old, his parents died in a fire. Now he’s eleven, and he still misses them terribly. And he misses his little sister, Lili, who was put into a different foster home because "not a lot of people want boys-not foster boys that ain’t babies." But Lonnie hasn’t given up. His foster mother, Miss Edna, is growing on him. She’s already raised two sons and she seems to know what makes them tick. And his teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper.

Told entirely through Lonnie’s poetry, we see his heartbreak over his lost family, his thoughtful perspective on the world around him, and most of all his love for Lili and his determination to one day put at least half of their family back together. Jacqueline Woodson’s poignant story of love, loss, and hope is lyrically written and enormously accessible.


Click for more detail about Loki & Alex: Adventures of a Dog and His Best Friend by Charles R. Smith Jr. Loki & Alex: Adventures of a Dog and His Best Friend

by Charles R. Smith Jr.
Dutton Juvenile (Jun 04, 2001)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Alex and his dog, Loki, are best friends. Alex believes he knows exactly what his pal is thinking, but does Loki always agree? Each playful spread contains a full-color photograph illustrating Alex’s point of view, while the facing page shows the world from Loki’s perspective with a black-and-white photograph. Funny, simple dialogue highlights their differing views on everything from saying hello and digging in plastic bags to going down slides and playing tug-of-war. But in the end, Loki and Alex are in perfect agreement-a hug between friends is the best treat of all!


Click for more detail about Long Distance Life by Marita Golden Long Distance Life

by Marita Golden
Doubleday (Mar 01, 1995)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"A novel of impressive artistry and power." The Washington Post
Caught in the web of history, generations of an African-American family play out their parts on a world stage that constantly changes, protected always by the love of one another, which never will.


Click for more detail about Looking For Lincoln: The Making Of An American Icon by Philip B. Kunhardt III, Peter W. Kunhardt and Peter W. Kunhardt Jr. Looking For Lincoln: The Making Of An American Icon

by Philip B. Kunhardt III, Peter W. Kunhardt and Peter W. Kunhardt Jr.
Knopf (Nov 18, 2008)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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An extensively researched, lavishly illustrated consideration of the myths, memories, and questions that gathered around our most beloved—and most enigmatic—president in the years between his assassination and the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922.
 
Availing themselves of a vast collection of both published and never-before-seen materials, the authors—the fourth and fifth generations of a family of Lincoln scholars—bring into focus the posthumous portrait of Lincoln that took hold in the American imagination. Told through the voices of those who knew the man—Northerners and Southerners, blacks and whites, neighbors and family members, adversaries and colleagues—Looking for Lincoln charts the dramatic epilogue to Lincoln’s extraordinary life.
 
During these years, as Americans struggled to understand their loss and rebuild their country, Lincoln’s legacy was still hotly debated. The authors take us through the immediate aftermath of the assassination; the private memories of those closest to the slain president; the difficult period between 1876 and 1908, when a tired nation turned its back on the former slaves and betrayed Lincoln’s teachings; and the early years of the twentieth century when Lincoln’s popularity soared as African Americans fought to reclaim the ideals he espoused.
 
Looking for Lincoln will deeply enhance our understanding of the statesman and his legacy, at a moment when the timeless example of his leadership is more crucial than ever.


Click for more detail about Losing My Cool: How A Father’s Love And 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture by Thomas Chatterton Williams Losing My Cool: How A Father’s Love And 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture

by Thomas Chatterton Williams
Penguin Press (Apr 29, 2010)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A pitch-perfect account of how hip-hop culture drew in the author and how his father drew him out again-with love, perseverance, and fifteen thousand books.

Into Williams’s childhood home-a one-story ranch house-his father crammed more books than the local library could hold. "Pappy" used some of these volumes to run an academic prep service; the rest he used in his unending pursuit of wisdom. His son’s pursuits were quite different-"money, hoes, and clothes." The teenage Williams wore Medusa- faced Versace sunglasses and a hefty gold medallion, dumbed down and thugged up his speech, and did whatever else he could to fit into the intoxicating hip-hop culture that surrounded him. Like all his friends, he knew exactly where he was the day Biggie Smalls died, he could recite the lyrics to any Nas or Tupac song, and he kept his woman in line, with force if necessary.

But Pappy, who grew up in the segregated South and hid in closets so he could read Aesop and Plato, had a different destiny in mind for his son. For years, Williams managed to juggle two disparate lifestyles- "keeping it real" in his friends’ eyes and studying for the SATs under his father’s strict tutelage. As college approached and the stakes of the thug lifestyle escalated, the revolving door between Williams’s street life and home life threatened to spin out of control. Ultimately, Williams would have to decide between hip-hop and his future. Would he choose "street dreams" or a radically different dream- the one Martin Luther King spoke of or the one Pappy held out to him now?

Williams is the first of his generation to measure the seductive power of hip-hop against its restrictive worldview, which ultimately leaves those who live it powerless. Losing My Cool portrays the allure and the danger of hip-hop culture like no book has before. Even more remarkably, Williams evokes the subtle salvation that literature offers and recounts with breathtaking clarity a burgeoning bond between father and son.

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Click for more detail about Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America by Bob Herbert Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America

by Bob Herbert
Doubleday (Oct 07, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From longtime New York Times columnist Bob Herbert comes a wrenching portrayal of ordinary Americans struggling for survival in a nation that has lost its way

In his eighteen years as an opinion columnist for The New York Times, Herbert championed the working poor and the middle class. After filing his last column in 2011, he set off on a journey across the country to report on Americans who were being left behind in an economy that has never fully recovered from the Great Recession. The portraits of those he encountered fuel his new book, Losing Our Way. Herbert’s combination of heartrending reporting and keen political analysis is the purest expression since the Occupy movement of the plight of the 99 percent.
     The individuals and families who are paying the price of America’s bad choices in recent decades form the book’s emotional center: an exhausted high school student in Brooklyn who works the overnight shift in a factory at minimum wage to help pay her family’s rent; a twenty-four-year-old soldier from Peachtree City, Georgia, who loses both legs in a misguided, mismanaged, seemingly endless war; a young woman, only recently engaged, who suffers devastating injuries in a tragic bridge collapse in Minneapolis; and a group of parents in Pittsburgh who courageously fight back against the politicians who decimated funding for their children’s schools.
     Herbert reminds us of a time in America when unemployment was low, wages and profits were high, and the nation’s wealth, by current standards, was distributed much more equitably. Today, the gap between the wealthy and everyone else has widened dramatically, the nation’s physical plant is crumbling, and the inability to find decent work is a plague on a generation. Herbert traces where we went wrong and spotlights the drastic and dangerous shift of political power from ordinary Americans to the corporate and financial elite. Hope for America, he argues, lies in a concerted push to redress that political imbalance. Searing and unforgettable, Losing Our Way ultimately inspires with its faith in ordinary citizens to take back their true political power and reclaim the American dream.


Click for more detail about Love by Toni Morrison Love

by Toni Morrison
Knopf (Oct 28, 2003)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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May, Christine, Heed, Junior, Vida–even L: all women obsessed with Bill Cosey. The wealthy owner of the famous Cosey’s Hotel and Resort, he shapes their yearnings for father, husband, lover, guardian, and friend, yearnings that dominate the lives of these women long after his death. Yet while he is either the void in, or the center of, their stories, he himself is driven by secret forces–a troubled past and a spellbinding woman named Celestial.

This audacious exploration into the nature of love–its appetite, its sublime possession, its dread–is rich in characters, striking scenes, and a profound understanding of how alive the past can be.

A major addition to the canon of one of the world’s literary masters.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Love and Death in Brooklyn (Blades Overstreet Mystery) by Glenville Lovell Love and Death in Brooklyn (Blades Overstreet Mystery)

by Glenville Lovell
Putnam Adult (Jul 22, 2004)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Blades Overstreet returns in an atmospheric crime novel set in that mysterious world known as Brooklyn.

Glenville Lovell’s first mystery, Too Beautiful to Die, was called a "page-turner" (New York Daily News) and "stylish entertainment" (Booklist). Now he’s back with a story ripped from today’s headlines-a brilliant young African-American politician gunned down as his career is about to take off.

Ex-cop Blades Overstreet is finally at peace. His case against the NYPD has been resolved, his estranged wife has come back, and the two of them, along with Blades’s young daughter, have settled into a nice home and a nice life. But peace is ephemeral on the mean streets of Brooklyn, and when the son of a good friend and mentor is murdered right before his eyes, Blades knows he won’t be able to rest until the killer is brought to justice.


Click for more detail about Love And Marriage by Bill Cosby Love And Marriage

by Bill Cosby
Bantam (Apr 01, 1990)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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The reigning King of Comedy demonstrates warmth, wit, and wisdom as he takes on two subjects close to us all. Cosby shares his thoughts on everything from childhood romances and adolescent crushes to first lovers, dating, and the rewards of marriage.


Click for more detail about Love Don’t Live Here Anymore by Denene Millner and Nick Chiles Love Don’t Live Here Anymore

by Denene Millner and Nick Chiles
Dutton (Mar 01, 2002)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Randy Murphy and Mikki Chance-Murphy are a contemporary couple whose marital bond is tested by the demands of their emerging professional lives. He is an ad executive who has temporarily relocated to Paris to pursue a prestigious account. She is a fashion designer living in Brooklyn, trying to move her struggling bridal boutique into the black. Unfolding in alternating chapters from each of their points of view, Love Don’t Live Here Anymore tells the story of what happens to a marriage when infidelity and distance-both physical and emotional-enter the equation. As Mikki finds herself powerfully drawn to her husband’s best friend, it will take some major shaking up-not to mention faith, understanding, and lots of love-to put the pieces of their marriage back together. If it’s not too late. A novel about the choices that shape our lives and relationships, this is a moving and captivating addition to contemporary African-American fiction.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Love in the Time of Cholera

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Vintage (Oct 05, 2007)
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"A love story of astonishing power." - Newsweek
the International Bestseller and modern literary classic by Nobel Prize-Winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs—yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.


Click for more detail about Love Unlimited: Insights on Life and Love by Barry White Love Unlimited: Insights on Life and Love

by Barry White
Broadway Books (Oct 19, 1999)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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"I see a world of beauty and perfection, and I strive through my music to spread that vision, to help make this planet we call home a better, more desirable place for us to love one another, to procreate, and to keep our spirits renewed."

In his much anticipated memoir, Barry White, the international pop and R&B legend whose music has carried countless couples from first kisses to the walk down the aisle, takes his legendary singing voice from the airwaves to the page.

With honesty, warmth, and his signature sensuality, White recounts his rough road to superstardom and shares his deepest feelings and wise philosophy. Born into the tough streets of South Central Los Angeles to a single mother, Barry ran with the "oldest, baddest, and most envied" gang and was hooked on fighting, drinking, and stealing when he wound up in Juvenile Hall at age sixteen. While behind bars, he had a life-shaking epiphany that changed the direction of his life. From that moment on Barry vowed to get and stay on a straight, hardworking path and fulfill his dream of making music. He dropped out of school and literally walked to Hollywood to make his fortune.

Love Unlimited follows Barry from his hungry years as a jack of all trades, struggling to support a wife and four small children, to his first professional gig in the music business as a talent spotter; from his breakthrough producing the girls he named Love Unlimited to his own emergence into the international spotlight as a producer, songwriter, and singer renowned for his deep bass and gift for articulating the needs and desires of both men and women. At every step, the Maestro offers heartfelt reflections on self-pride and perseverance, the bonds of family and friendship, the key elements to keeping a lover happy, and the true meaning of ecstasy.

Barry also explores the relationships that have inspired him—from his profound love of his mother, who bought him his first piano, his brother, who didn’t have music to save him, his love Glodean, and his children, to his ultimate love, Lady Music. He also discusses his relationships with such legends and luminaries as Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Muhammed Ali, and Maxine Waters.

Featuring intimate, behind-the-scenes photographs, a complete discography, and some of his favorite lyrics, Love Unlimited is Barry’s ultimate love song for his fans.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Love, Anger, Madness: A Haitian Triptych (Modern Library Classics) by Marie Vieux-Chauvet Love, Anger, Madness: A Haitian Triptych (Modern Library Classics)

by Marie Vieux-Chauvet
Modern Library (Mar 30, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Available in English for the first time, Marie Vieux-Chauvet’s stunning trilogy of novellas is a remarkable literary event. In a brilliant translation by Rose-Myriam Réjouis and Val Vinokur, Love, Anger, Madness is a scathing response to the struggles of race, class, and sex that have ruled Haiti. Suppressed upon its initial publication in 1968, this major work became an underground classic and was finally released in an authorized edition in France in 2005.

In Love, Anger, Madness, Marie Vieux-Chauvet offers three slices of life under an oppressive regime. Gradually building in emotional intensity, the novellas paint a shocking portrait of families and artists struggling to survive under Haiti’s terrifying government restrictions that have turned its society upside down, transforming neighbors into victims, spies, and enemies.

In “Love,” Claire is the eldest of three sisters who occupy a single house. Her dark skin and unmarried status make her a virtual servant to the rest of the family. Consumed by an intense passion for her brother-in-law, she finds redemption in a criminal act of rebellion.

In “Anger,” a middle-class family is ripped apart when twenty-year-old Rose is forced to sleep with a repulsive soldier in order to prevent a government takeover of her father’s land.

And in “Madness,” René, a young poet, finds himself trapped in a house for days without food, obsessed with the souls of the dead, dreading the invasion of local military thugs, and steeling himself for one final stand against authority.

Sympathetic, savage and truly compelling with an insightful introduction by Edwidge Danticat, Love, Anger, Madness is an extraordinary, brave and graphic evocation of a country in turmoil.


From the Hardcover edition.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Love: What Life Is All About by Leo F. Buscaglia Love: What Life Is All About

by Leo F. Buscaglia
Ballantine Books (Aug 27, 1996)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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This book is about love. What it is and what it isn’t. It is about you—and about everybody who has ever reached out to touch the heart of another. Among many other lessons of the heart, Leo Buscaglia reminds us: Love is open arms. If you close your arms about love you will find that you are left holding only yourself.


From the Paperback edition.


Click for more detail about Lover Man by Geneva Holliday Lover Man

by Geneva Holliday
Knopf (Jun 09, 2009)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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LOVER MAN finds two of our girls lusting for Mr. Right… but the trouble comes when there’s more than enough of him to go around.

After two years in Antigua, Crystal has had enough. Neville is her son’s father, her best friend, and her sometime lover, but Crystal realizes she wants more. And that “more” struts into her life at just the right moment. Claude Justine, widowed with a three-year-old daughter, has movie-star good looks, an athlete’s body, and cash to spare. After a short and steamy long-distance courtship, Claude lures Crystal to his lavish New Jersey mansion and introduces her to a jet-setting world where no pleasure is spared and every desire is met.

Karma Jackson, newly made over and back in New York after a scandalous affair in Europe, secures a position as an assistant to the president of a hedge fund. On the prowl for someone who can give her what she wants, the way she wants it, Karma falls for the cocky and irresistible C.J., and the two begin a secret fling.

Geneva, now living in Brooklyn, listens to both women’s tales of impromptu helicopter rides and lingerie sprees, failing to make the connection between the two men. But when Claude’s web of lies starts to unravel, the truth is even more outrageous than any of them could have imagined…


Click for more detail about Loving Day: A Novel by Mat Johnson Loving Day: A Novel

by Mat Johnson
Spiegel & Grau (May 26, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle • NPR • Men’s Journal • The Denver Post • Slate • Time Out New York

From the author of the critically beloved Pym (“Imagine Kurt Vonnegut having a beer with Ralph Ellison and Jules Verne.”—Vanity Fair) comes a ruthlessly comic and moving tale of a man discovering a lost daughter, confronting an elusive ghost, and stumbling onto the possibility of utopia.

“In the ghetto there is a mansion, and it is my father’s house.”

Warren Duffy has returned to America for all the worst reasons: His marriage to a beautiful Welsh woman has come apart; his comics shop in Cardiff has failed; and his Irish American father has died, bequeathing to Warren his last possession, a roofless, half-renovated mansion in the heart of black Philadelphia. On his first night in his new home, Warren spies two figures outside in the grass. When he screws up the nerve to confront them, they disappear. The next day he encounters ghosts of a different kind: In the face of a teenage girl he meets at a comics convention he sees the mingled features of his white father and his black mother, both now dead. The girl, Tal, is his daughter, and she’s been raised to think she’s white.

Spinning from these revelations, Warren sets off to remake his life with a reluctant daughter he’s never known, in a haunted house with a history he knows too well. In their search for a new life, he and Tal struggle with ghosts, fall in with a utopian mixed-race cult, and ignite a riot on Loving Day, the unsung holiday for interracial lovers.

A frequently hilarious, surprisingly moving story about blacks and whites, fathers and daughters, the living and the dead, Loving Day celebrates the wonders of opposites bound in love.

Praise for Loving Day

“Incisive . . . razor-sharp . . . that rare mélange: cerebral comedy with pathos. The vitality of our narrator deserves much of the credit for that. He has the neurotic bawdiness of Philip Roth’s Alexander Portnoy; the keen, caustic eye of Bob Jones in Chester Himes’s If He Hollers Let Him Go; the existential insight of Ellison’s Invisible Man.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Exceptional . . . To say that Loving Day is a book about race is like saying Moby-Dick is a book about whales. . . . [Mat Johnson’s] unrelenting examination of blackness, whiteness and everything in between is handled with ruthless candor and riotous humor. . . . Even when the novel’s family strife and racial politics are at peak intensity, Johnson’s comic timing is impeccable.”—Los Angeles Times

“Loving Day is about being blackish in America, a subject about which Johnson has emerged as satirist, historian, spy, social media trickster (follow him on Twitter) and demon-fingered blues guitarist. . . . Johnson, at his best, is a powerful comic observer [and] a gifted writer, always worth reading on the topics of race and privilege.’”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times


Click for more detail about Loving Me by Patricia A. Saunders Loving Me

by Patricia A. Saunders
AuthorHouse (Mar 29, 2013)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The book was inspired by seeing in the media events with youth being bullied, increase with women wanting to change their looks to fit a certain body image, others trying to find balance in their lives between work, family, and life. The sacrifices that we make and the pressure that society puts on people what is acceptable from skin tone, hair, and ethnicity. There were emotions that I felt, experiences that I remembered, and the writing began. Loving Me starts from within and everyone should have the belief to love themselves first before expecting others to love them. Loving Me has poems that span love, relationships, self-esteem, self-image, and empowerment. It is inspirational, reflective, and have you saying it’s my turn to start Loving Me.


Click for more detail about Lust And Basketball by Jeannie Eneh Lust And Basketball

by Jeannie Eneh
AuthorHouse (Feb 11, 2014)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The beautiful and talented Author Jazz Halster of Atlanta, Georgia was dying to be loved. Jazz was at a point in her life where she had serious doubts about finding that special man. Then she meets former NBA baller and now the iconic head coach of the Panthers in Atlanta, Coach Clayton Dewberry. However; Clayton was enjoying the game of basketball and not looking for love until he crosses path with Jazz. Everything changes within a blink of an eye. Will Jazz find the love she so desired; will Clayton’s heart be filled with lust or love for the beautiful Jazz Halster? Author Jazz Halster has no idea that her life would be scripted this way . . . The stunning and brilliant superstar agent to the stars Liz James had it all, wealth, a business empire, great kids, and a wonderful husband or so she thought she had it all until one night she meets former NBA baller now head coach at University of Miami Kyle Williams. Was it possible to meet someone once and know that you love them? Kyle Williams thought he had the perfect life, money, played in the NBA, now a head coach in Miami; the other sin city, no nagging wife, and free to come and go as he pleases. That is until he meets Liz James. Was it possible to love someone so deep that you were willing to step into another man’s territory?


Click for more detail about Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (1920s Century Cycle) by August Wilson Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (1920s Century Cycle)

by August Wilson
Plume (Apr 24, 1985)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fences and The Piano Lesson
Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play

The time is 1927. The place is a run-down recording studio in Chicago. Ma Rainey, the legendary blues singer, is due to arrive with her entourage to cut new sides of old favorites. Waiting for her are her black musician sidemen, the white owner of the record company, and her white manager. What goes down in the session to come is more than music. It is a riveting portrayal of black rage, of racism, of the self-hate that racism breeds, and of racial exploitation.


Click for more detail about Maizon at Blue Hill by Jacqueline Woodson Maizon at Blue Hill

by Jacqueline Woodson
Puffin Books (Sep 30, 2002)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Maizon takes the biggest step in her life when she accepts a scholarship to boarding school and says good-bye to her grandmother and her best friend, Margaret. Blue Hill is beautiful, and challenging-but there are only five black students, and the other four are from wealthy families. Does Maizon belong at Blue Hill after all?

"Simply told and finely crafted." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)


Click for more detail about Make It Messy: My Perfectly Imperfect Life by Marcus Samuelsson Make It Messy: My Perfectly Imperfect Life

by Marcus Samuelsson
Delacorte Press (Jun 09, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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In this inspirational autobiography, world-famous chef Marcus Samuelsson tells his extraordinary story and encourages young people to embrace their mistakes and follow their dreams. Based on his highly praised adult memoir, Yes, Chef, this young adult edition includes an 8-page black-and-white family photo insert.

Marcus Samuelsson’s life and his journey to the top of the food world have been anything but typical. Orphaned in Ethiopia, he was adopted by a loving couple in Sweden, where his new grandmother taught him to cook and inspired in him a lifelong passion for food. In time, that passion would lead him to train and cook in some of the finest, most demanding kitchens in Europe.

Samuelsson’s talent and ambition eventually led him to fulfill his dream of opening his own restaurant in New York City: Red Rooster Harlem, a highly acclaimed, multicultural dining room, where presidents rub elbows with jazz musicians, aspiring artists, and bus drivers. A place where anyone can feel at home.

"’Step up to the challenge; don’t avoid it. Win or lose, take the shot.’ Samuelsson neatly serves up inspiration and food for thought."—Kirkus Reviews

"The perfect book for teen foodies and a great choice for others, thanks to its . . .  compelling story . . .  and sound advice."—VOYA

"A delightful read. . . .Samuelsson effectively connects his love of food to his personal journey."—School Library Journal


Click for more detail about Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man In America by Nathan McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man In America

by Nathan McCall
Vintage (Jan 31, 1994)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Examining the complexities of the problems of black youths from an insider’s perspective, an African-American journalist recalls his own troubled childhood, his rehabilitation while in prison, and his successful Washington Post career. Reprint. 150,000 first printing.


Click for more detail about Malcolm X: A Life Of Reinvention by Manning Marable Malcolm X: A Life Of Reinvention

by Manning Marable
Knopf (Apr 04, 2011)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Years in the making—the definitive biography of the legendary black activist.

Of the great figure in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins’ bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.

Manning Marable’s new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties. Reaching into Malcolm’s troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents’ activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.

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Click for more detail about Malcolm X: Make It Plain by William Strickland and Malcolm X Documentary Prod. Malcolm X: Make It Plain

by William Strickland and Malcolm X Documentary Prod.
Knopf (Jan 26, 1994)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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draws on hundreds of sources to explore Malcolm X’s multi-faceted character through rare photographs, personal memories, and an historical text. TV tie-in. 35,000 first printing. $40,000 ad/promo.


Click for more detail about Mama Day by Gloria Naylor Mama Day

by Gloria Naylor
Vintage Books (Apr 23, 1989)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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On the island of Willow Springs, off the Georgia coast, the powers of healer Mama Day are tested by her great niece, Cocoa, a stubbornly emancipated woman endangered by the island’s darker forces. A powerful generational saga at once tender and suspenseful, overflowing with magic and common sense.


Click for more detail about Mama Made the Difference by T. D. Jakes Mama Made the Difference

by T. D. Jakes
G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Apr 25, 2006)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From the bestselling author of He-Motions comes a positive and inspirational book of lessons learned from his mother.

In the bestselling The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord, Bishop T. D. Jakes examined a woman’s most important relationships in life: with God, with her man, and with herself. In the smash hit He-Motions, he turned his gaze to the hearts and minds of the other sex, offering both insight and empowerment to men and the women who love them.

Now, just in time for Mother’s Day 2006, Bishop Jakes brings us a book that celebrates motherhood and promises to be his most intensely personal book yet.

Mama Made the Difference comes straight from the heart of the Jakes family to yours. In his uplifting and powerful voice, Bishop Jakes shares personal stories about growing up in his mother’s home, revealing the time-honored lessons and values she taught him. Woven into his personal vignettes are inspirational biblical stories about mothers, heartfelt advice for modern-day moms, and testimonials from other prominent African-American figures about the importance of motherhood.

Driven by the Bible and stories straight from his own life and offering praise, inspiration, and instruction, T. D. Jakes has written a must-have for daughters and sons, brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents-and anyone else who has ever felt the mighty power of a mother’s love.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Mama’s Girl by Veronica Chambers Mama’s Girl

by Veronica Chambers
Riverhead Books (May 01, 1997)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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On the streets of Brooklyn in the 1970s, Veronica Chambers mastered the whirling helixes of a double-dutch jump rope with the same finesse she brought to her schoolwork, her often troubled family life, and the demands of being overachieving and underprivileged. Her mother—a Panamanian immigrant—was too often overwhelmed by the task of raising Veronica and her difficult younger brother on her meager secretary’s salary to applaud her daughter’s achievements. From an early age, Veronica understood that the best she could do for her mother was to be a perfect child—to rewrite her Christmas wish lists to her mother’s budget, to look after her brother, to get by on her own.Though her mother seemed to bear out the adage that "black women raise their daughters and mother their sons," Veronica never stopped trying to do more, do better, do it all. And now, as a successful young woman who’s achieved more than her mother dared hope for her, she looks back on their mother-daughter bond. The critically acclaimed Mama’s Girl is a moving, startlingly honest memoir, in which Chambers shares some important truths about what we all really want from our mothers—and what we can give in return.


Click for more detail about Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation by Edwidge Danticat Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation

by Edwidge Danticat
Dial Books for Young Readers (Sep 01, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A touching tale of parent-child separation and immigration, from a National Book Award finalist

After Saya’s mother is sent to an immigration detention center, Saya finds comfort in listening to her mother’s warm greeting on their answering machine. To ease the distance between them while she’s in jail, Mama begins sending Saya bedtime stories inspired by Haitian folklore on cassette tape. Moved by her mother’s tales and her father’s attempts to reunite their family, Saya writes a story of her own—one that just might bring her mother home for good.

With stirring illustrations, this tender tale shows the human side of immigration and imprisonment—and shows how every child has the power to make a difference.


Click for more detail about Manchild in the Promised Land  by Claude Brown Manchild in the Promised Land

by Claude Brown
New American Library (Oct 01, 1966)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, Age Range: 
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With more than two million copies in print, Manchild in the Promised Land is one of the most remarkable autobiographies of our time—the definitive account of African-American youth in Harlem of the 1940s and 1950s, and a seminal work of modern literature.

Published during a literary era marked by the ascendance of black writers such as Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Alex Haley, this thinly fictionalized account of Claude Brown’s childhood as a hardened, streetwise criminal trying to survive the toughest streets of Harlem has been heralded as the definitive account of everyday life for the first generation of African Americans raised in the Northern ghettos of the 1940s and 1950s.

When the book was first published in 1965, it was praised for its realistic portrayal of Harlem—the children, young people, hardworking parents; the hustlers, drug dealers, prostitutes, and numbers runners; the police; the violence, sex, and humor.

The book continues to resonate generations later, not only because of its fierce and dignified anger, not only because the struggles of urban youth are as deeply felt today as they were in Brown’s time, but also because of its inspiring message. Now with an introduction by Nathan McCall, here is the story about the one who “made it,” the boy who kept landing on his feet and grew up to become a man.


Click for more detail about Mandela, Mobutu, and Me: A Newswoman’s African Journey by Lynne Duke Mandela, Mobutu, and Me: A Newswoman’s African Journey

by Lynne Duke
Doubleday (Jan 21, 2003)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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In this stunning memoir, veteran Washington Post correspondent Lynne Duke takes readers on a wrenching but riveting journey through Africa during the pivotal 1990s and brilliantly illuminates a continent where hope and humanity thrive amid unimaginable depredation and horrors.

For four years as her newspaper’s Johannesburg bureau chief, Lynne Duke cut a rare figure as a black American woman foreign correspondent as she raced from story to story in numerous countries of central and southern Africa. From the battle zones of Congo-Zaire to the quest for truth and reconciliation in South Africa; from the teeming displaced person’s camps of Angola and the killing field of the Rwanda genocide to the calming Indian Ocean shores of Mozambique. She interviewed heads of state, captains of industry, activists, tribal leaders, medicine men and women, mercenaries, rebels, refugees, and ordinary, hardworking people. And it is they, the ordinary people of Africa, who fueled the hope and affection that drove Duke’s reporting. The nobility of the ordinary African struggles, so often absent from accounts of the continent, is at the heart of Duke’s searing story.

MANDELA, MOBUTU, AND ME is a richly detailed, clear-eyed account of the hard realities Duke discovered, including the devastation wrought by ruthless, rapacious dictators like Mobutu Sese Seko and his successor, Laurent Kabila, in the Congo, and appalling indifference of Europeans and Americans to the legacy of their own exploitation of the continent and its people. But Duke also records with admiration the visionary leadership and personal style of Nelson Mandela in south Africa as he led his country’s inspiring transition from apartheid in the twilight of his incredible life.

Whether it was touring underground gold and copper mines, learning to carry water on her head, filing stories by flashlight or dodging gunmen, Duke’s tour of Africa reveals not only the spirit and travails of an amazing but troubled continent — it also explores the heart and fearlessness of a dedicated journalist.


Click for more detail about Map to the Stars by Adrian Matejka Map to the Stars

by Adrian Matejka
Penguin Books (Mar 28, 2017)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A resonant new collection of poetry from Adrian Matejka, author of The Big Smoke, a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award 

Map to the Stars, the fourth poetry collection from National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist Adrian Matejka, navigates the tensions between race, geography, and poverty in America during the Reagan Era. In the time of space shuttles and the Strategic Defense Initiative, outer space is the only place equality seems possible, even as the stars serve to both guide and obscure the earthly complexities of masculinity and migration. In Matejka’s poems, hope is the link between the convoluted realities of being poor and the inspiring possibilities of transcendence and escape whether it comes from Star Trek, the dream of being one of the first black astronauts, or Sun Ra’s cosmic jazz.


Click for more detail about Maps by Nuruddin Farah Maps

by Nuruddin Farah
Penguin Books (Nov 01, 2000)
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This first novel in Nuruddin Farah’s Blood in the Sun trilogy tells the story of Askar, a man coming of age in the turmoil of modern Africa. With his father a victim of the bloody Ethiopian civil war and his mother dying the day of his birth, Askar is taken in and raised by a woman named Misra amid the scandal, gossip, and ritual of a small African village. As an adolescent, Askar goes to live in Somalia’s capital, where he strives to find himself just as Somalia struggles for national identity.


Click for more detail about Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis Mare’s War

by Tanita S. Davis
Knopf Books for Young Readers (Jan 25, 2011)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 12 - 17
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Meet Mare, a World War II veteran and a grandmother like no other. She was once a willful teenager who escaped her less than perfect life in the deep South and lied about her age to join the African American Battalion of the Women’s Army Corps. Now she is driving her granddaughters—two willful teenagers in their own rite—on a cross-country road trip. The girls are initially skeptical of Mare’s flippy wigs and stilletos, but they soon find themselves entranced by the story she has to tell, and readers will be too.

Told in alternating chapters, half of which follow Mare through her experiences as a WAC and half of which follow Mare and her granddaughters on the road in the present day, this novel introduces readers to a larger-than-life character and a fascinating chapter in African American history.


Click for more detail about Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis Mare’s War

by Tanita S. Davis
Knopf Books for Young Readers (Jun 09, 2009)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Meet Mare, a grandmother with flair and a fascinating past.

Octavia and Tali are dreading the road trip their parents are forcing them to take with their grandmother over the summer. After all, Mare isn’t your typical grandmother. She drives a red sports car, wears stiletto shoes, flippy wigs, and push-up bras, and insists that she’s too young to be called Grandma. But somewhere on the road, Octavia and Tali discover there’s more to Mare than what you see. She was once a willful teenager who escaped her less-than-perfect life in the deep South and lied about her age to join the African American battalion of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II.

Told in alternating chapters, half of which follow Mare through her experiences as a WAC member and half of which follow Mare and her granddaughters on the road in the present day, this novel introduces a larger-than-life character who will stay with readers long after they finish reading.


Click for more detail about Martin Luther King Jr.:  Man of Peace by Lillie Patterson Martin Luther King Jr.: Man of Peace

by Lillie Patterson
Dell Publishing (Jun 01, 1969)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A biography of the minister, orator, and crusader for equal civil rights who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.


Click for more detail about Max and the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper Max and the Tag-Along Moon

by Floyd Cooper
Philomel Books (Jun 13, 2013)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Has the moon ever followed you home at night?

Max loves his grandpa. When they must say good-bye after a visit, Grandpa reminds Max that the moon above them at Grandpa’s house is the same moon that will follow him all the way home. And on that swervy-curvy car ride back home Max smiles as the moon tags along, thinking of Grandpa. But when the sky darkens and the moon disappears behind clouds, Max worries that it did not follow him home after all. Yet when the clouds part and light streams through his window, he realizes that Grandpa was right—the moon was with him all along.Floyd Cooper received the Coretta Scott King Award for The Blacker the Berry, two Coretta Scott King Honors for Honey in Broomwheat Tea and I Have Heard of a Land, and an NAACP image award. His books have also been named to numerous best books list and been given many Parents Choice Awards. In Max and the Tag-Along Moon, his lush paintings perfectly capture the wonder of the moon, the love between grandfather and grandson, and that feeling of magic every child experiences when the moon follows him home.


Click for more detail about McKenzie’s Hundred by Frank Yerby McKenzie’s Hundred

by Frank Yerby
Doubleday (Aug 01, 1985)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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McKenzie’s Hundred [Aug 01, 1985] Yerby, Frank …


Click for more detail about Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

by Harriet A. Washington
Doubleday (Jan 09, 2007)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment.

Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.

The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused black Americans to view researchers—and indeed the whole medical establishment—with such deep distrust. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read Medical Apartheid, a masterful book that will stir up both controversy and long-needed debate.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

by Harriet A. Washington
Anchor (Jan 08, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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National Book Critics Circle Award Winner (Nonfiction)
PEN/Oakland Award Winner
BCALA Nonfiction Award Winner
Gustavus Meyers Award Winner

From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment.

Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.
The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused black Americans to view researchers—and indeed the whole medical establishment—with such deep distrust. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read Medical Apartheid, a masterful book that will stir up both controversy and long-needed debate.


Click for more detail about Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Memories of My Melancholy Whores

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Vintage (Nov 14, 2006)
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A New York Times Notable Book

On the eve of his ninetieth birthday a bachelor decides to give himself a wild night of love with a virgin. As is his habit–he has purchased hundreds of women–he asks a madam for her assistance. The fourteen-year-old girl who is procured for him is enchanting, but exhausted as she is from caring for siblings and her job sewing buttons, she can do little but sleep. Yet with this sleeping beauty at his side, it is he who awakens to a romance he has never known.

Tender, knowing, and slyly comic, Memories of My Melancholy Whores is an exquisite addition to the master’s work.


Click for more detail about Memory of Kin: Stories About Family by Black Writers by Mary Helen Washington Memory of Kin: Stories About Family by Black Writers

by Mary Helen Washington
Anchor (Dec 01, 1990)
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Critic, essayist, and anthologist Mary Helen Washington has chosen as the theme of her newest collection "the family as a living mystery." She selected nineteen stories and twelve poems by some of this century’s leading black authors that oblige the reader to observe the complexities of the family in new and provocative ways.


Click for more detail about Men We Cherish by Brooke Stephens Men We Cherish

by Brooke Stephens
Anchor (Oct 06, 1997)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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One evening in 1994, writer Brooke Stephens was listening to the news while working on a tribute to her grandfather for an upcoming family reunion. The evening’s newscast began with three negative reports about black men—as rapists, muggers and murderers. The contrast between the black men on the news and the black man she was writing about suddenly seemed enormous. Where were the black men she knew? Stephens wondered. Why were they never featured on the evening news? Never publicly discussed or shown? From these questions, the idea for Men We Cherish was born.

Waiting to Exhale and the Million Man March to the contrary, good black men are neither fantasy nor unanswered prayer. In Men We Cherish, thirty African American women celebrate these everyday heroes: fathers and grandfathers, brothers and best friends, sons and husbands. These essays, memoirs, and love letters offer moving portraits of the three-out-of-four black men who never make the headlines. The men in the lives of established black women writers, including Bebe Moore Campbell, Gloria Wade-Gayles, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, and the Delany sisters, reflect the diversity, honesty, generosity and depth that is the reality of African American men.

With Men We Cherish, Brooke Stephens has created a groundbreaking collection that stands alone in the market as a literary memoir, a social critique, and an affirmation of faith.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground by Ahdaf Soueif Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground

by Ahdaf Soueif
Anchor (Oct 11, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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From the bestselling author of the Booker Prize finalist The Map of Love–an incisive collection of essays on Arab identity, art, and politics that seeks to locate the mezzaterra, or common ground, in an increasingly globalized world.
The twenty-five years’ worth of criticism and commentary collected here have earned Ahdaf Soueif a place among our most prominent Arab intellectuals. Clear-eyed and passionate, and syndicated throughout the world, they are the direct result of Soueif’s own circumstances of being “like hundreds of thousands of others: people with an Arab or a Muslim background doing daily double-takes when faced with their reflection in a western mirror.” Whether an account of visiting Palestine and entering the Noble Sanctuary for the first time, an interpretation of women who choose to wear the veil, or her post—September 11 reflections, Soueif’s intelligent, fearless, deeply informed essays embody the modern search for identity and community.


Click for more detail about Michelle Obama: A Life by Peter Slevin Michelle Obama: A Life

by Peter Slevin
Knopf (Apr 07, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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An inspiring story of a modern American icon, here is the first comprehensive account of the life and times of Michelle Obama. With disciplined reporting and a storyteller’s eye for revealing detail, Peter Slevin follows Michelle to the White House from her working-class childhood on Chicago’s largely segregated South Side. He illuminates her tribulations at Princeton University and Harvard Law School during the racially charged 1980s and the dilemmas she faced in Chicago while building a high-powered career, raising a family and helping a young community organizer named Barack Obama become president of the United States. From the lessons she learned in Chicago to the messages she shares as one of the most recognizable women in the world, the story of this First Lady is the story of America. Michelle Obama: A Life is a fresh and compelling view of a woman of unique achievement and purpose.

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Click for more detail about Migrations Of The Heart: An Autobiography by Marita Golden Migrations Of The Heart: An Autobiography

by Marita Golden
Anchor (Jan 04, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In her classic memoir, distinguished author, television executive, and activist Marita Golden beautifully recounts an astounding journey to Africa and back.

Marita Golden was raised in Washington, D.C., by a mother who was a cleaning woman and a father who was taxi-driver. For all their struggles, with life and each other, her parents instilled her with spirit and aspirations. Swept up in the heady Black Power movement of the sixties, Marita moved to New York to study journalism at Columbia—and fell in love with Femi Ajayi, a Nigerian architecture student..
Their passion led them to start a life together in Africa—a place Marita was eager to understand. Exhilarat