This is an invitation to participate in a ground-breaking event for Sacramento: the First Annual Sacramento Black Book Fair (SBBF). The SBBF is an offshoot of Blue Nile Press, a Sacramento Publisher of Black Books. This historic event will take place from June 6 - June 8, 2014.
It will bring writers, publishers, readers and vendors from Sacramento, the state, the country, and the international community, to a celebration of reading and writing, here in the River City. The SBBF will take place in the heart of Oak Park, an important neighborhood for Black Sacramentans, where the city’s Mayor, and former NBA Star, Kevin Johnson was raised. The SBBF will be anchored by venues at the Women’s Civic Improvement Club, The Brickhouse Art Gallery, Evolve the Gallery, the Oak Park United Methodist Church, Underground Books, and the Guild Theater. For more information, and to contact us, please go to: sacramentoblackbookfair.com
Wanda Coleman was a bronze-medal finalist for the 2001 National Book Award for Poetry for Mercurochrome. A former medical secretary, magazine editor, journalist and scriptwriter, Coleman has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation for her poetry.
Read Coleman’s article, “Book Reviewing, African-American Style”, which appeared in the September 16, 2002 issue of The Nation. The article was written in response to the harsh reaction to her scathing review of Maya Angelou’s book, A Song Flung Up to Heaven which appeared in the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Coleman provided a historical perspective on the Black book scene. At the time, there were certainly signs of progress. However, If you ask me, we have regressed since that time, Coleman’s article was published. What do you think?
Baraka was one of the most prolific African American writers of the 20th century. He was an acclaimed poet and the Obie-winning playwright of Dutchman. Up until his passing, he continued to be active in the struggle against racism and capitalism, to organize artists and to participate in the struggle for Black Liberation.
In July of 2002, Baraka was appointed the 2nd Poet Laureate for the state of New Jersey. After a public reading of the poem “Somebody Blew Up America” at the September 2002 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. The poem was accused of being anti-Semitic (completely missing the point of the poem - judge for yourself). The outrage was so intense Baraka was asked to step down as Poet Laureate by the Governor. When Baraka refused, the state passed legislation to eliminate the Poet Laureate position.
Ann Lane Petry (1908-1997) was a novelist, short story writer, writer of books for young people and one of America’s most distinguished authors. Ann began by studying pharmacology, and in 1934, received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Connecticut College of Pharmacy.
The Street, her first novel, was published in 1946. She received the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship. Mrs. Petry wrote two more novels, Country Place and The Narrows, and numerous short stories, articles and children’s books. In addition, she was appointed visiting professor of English at the University of Hawaii (1944 - 45) and has lectured widely throughout the United States. Ann returned with her husband to Old Saybrook in 1947 and lived there until her death. They have one daughter.
Hendricks is one of today s most provocative and innovative commentators on the intersection of religion, politics and social policy. He is also a former Wall St. investment executive and past president of Payne Theological Seminary (the oldest African American theology seminary in the U.S.) and is currently Professor of Biblical Interpretation at NY Theological Seminary and Visiting Scholar in Religion and African American Studies at Columbia.
Hendricks nonfiction books include; The Universe Bends Toward Justice: Radical Reflections on the Bible, the Church, and the Body Politic; The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted; and the AALBC.com Best-selling novel, Living Water.
“For those who have forgotten my name, it’s Timmothy B. McCann and I was one of the first African American Male novelist to be signed to a major New York publisher [Avon/Harper Collins] in the new wave of contemporary fiction authors you now enjoy.
Believe it or not its been 12 years since my last novel was released. For the readers who followed my work in the past I thank you for the kind notes over the years. Many times I would often find myself looking back over your letters with a smile. And for this reason I felt I wanted to share a couple of works I’ve only shared with a few (and I do mean a few) select friends. Nine Faces Of Love (January 2014) and One Witness (July 2014). I pray you will enjoy both of them.”
A native New Yorker, Carey has family roots in the Caribbean and American South. She learned a keen ear for and appreciation of language from her grandmother and great aunts and honed the craft of writing with workshops with Algonkian Writers, Sewanee Writer’s Workshop, Hurston-Wright Foundation Writing Workshop, a residency with Voices of our Nation (VONA), and coursework at Grub Street in Boston. Near the Hope is her first novel.
Brown grew up in Newark, New Jersey and has worked as a nurse for thirty years. She graduated from Essex County College Nursing Program in Newark, New Jersey. “
Her debut novel, It Was the Devil All Along, tells the story of her working as a nurse for many years, climbing the management ladder and proving she was capable to those who criticized her. Often her struggles seemed unfair, but what Avalon came to realize is that those trails only made her stronger and the problem is neither her or her peers: It Was the Devil All Along.
Barack Obama was so uniformly admired when he became president, that he won the Nobel Peace Prize during his first year in office, even before he had a chance to prove himself on the world stage. And just last month, he received the warmest reception of any of the heads of state in attendance at the funeral of Nelson Mandela.
The book simultaneously serves as a logical follow-up to Barack Obama in Hawai'i and Indonesia, a painstakingly-researched biography of the President’s formative years published in 2011 by Sharma, a Professor of Global Cultural Studies at SUNY-Binghampton. Here, the focus is on the charismatic role model’s image as perceived by folks on five continents.
He opens with a discussion of the classic showdown from which the opus borrows its Biblical title. There, he suggests that, contrary to legend, diminutive David might not really have been at a disadvantage to the giant Philistine at all. For, the author points out that even a muscle-bound soldier armed with a sword and a shield would probably still be no match for a civilian skilled at hurling rocks with a sling from a safe distance.
The balance of the book is basically an exploration of illustrative examples of the triumphs of real-life underdogs in supposedly lopsided conflicts. Again and again, in case studies ranging from the African-American fight for civil rights in the segregated South to the Irish Catholic struggle for freedom from the British, we learn that military might was no predictor of the eventual outcome.
In an era of racial strife, rollbacks on affirmative action and voting rights legislation, and a general hardening of the arteries of our nation’s moral conscience, it’s a welcome sight to read something that stresses tolerance, reconciliation, and healing. Rosalie Turner’s novel, March With Me, chronicles the controversial Children’s March in Birmingham, Alabama in May, 1963, led by those fearless leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, and Rev. James Bevel. At the time, Birmingham was one of the hot spots in the segregated South, with a slew of beatings, killings, bombings, and other hate mayhem.
Remarkably, Turner, a writer of nearly 30 years, conjures up the social, cultural, and political divide that defined the southern steel city a half century ago. She uses the narrative concept of viewing that turbulent time through the eyes of two girls, one black and one white, both affected by the rigid, restrictive cage of Jim Crow and racial prejudice.
During the month of February you can purchase the paperback version of Kimberla Lawson Roby's best selling novel A House Divided for 30% off the original price--$1.56 less than Amazon’s price!
In order to take advantage of this deal you must use discount code AALBC to get the lowest price on the online courtesy of our partners MahoganyBooks.com. Not only do you get a great book at the lowest price online, you are supporting entities that are striving to keep Black literature alive and thriving.
Alice Walker has been defined as one of the key international writers of the 20th Century. She made history as the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction as well as the National Book Award in 1983 for her novel The Color Purple — one of the few literary books to capture the popular imagination and leave a permanent imprint. The award-winning novel served as the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film and was adapted for the stage, opening at New York City’s Broadway Theater in 2005, and capturing a Tony Award for best leading actress in a musical in 2006.
Here, she talks about her career and about the documentary “Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth” which premieres on PBS’ American Masters series on Friday, February 7th.
Shirley Sherrod is best known as the African-American government official fired in 2010 by the Obama administration for allegedly making racist remarks about a white farmer. However, a right-wing blogger had edited a video of her remarks to create that false impression.
Here, Shirley talks about the tarnishing and restoration of her reputation, and also about delivering the keynote speech at the 26th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Dinner in Glen Burnie, MD on Friday, January 17.
Flo Anthony is a syndicated celebrity radio host, columnist. The first African-American woman to work in the sports, entertainment and the renowned “Page Six” departments of the New York Post, as well as the first African-American to pen a column in the National Examiner, her work currently appears in the New York Daily News, Resident Magazine, the New York Amsterdam News and other newspapers.
A graduate of Howard University, Flo resides in the East Harlem section of New York City. Here, she talks about her new novel, Deadly Stuff Players.
Up Coming Events
Visit our Events section to learn more about upcoming book events and review our archival coverage of past events going back almost 15 years
Literary consultant and multicultural children’s literature advocate Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati will host the 22nd African American Children’s Book Fair at the Community College of Philadelphia. It’s a stand-out event that attracts thousands of readers who want to celebrate black children’s book creators and purchase books for their schools, libraries and homes.
The National Black Writers Conference was first presented in 1986 as a result of the visionary leadership of the late John O. Killens. Past Honorary Chairs have included Toni Morrison, Susan L. Taylor, Merlie Evers–Williams (widow of the slain civil rights leader), and many others.
Black writers come from throughout America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa to participate in panel discussions, roundtables, author readings and storytelling. The National Black Writers Conference examines the historical representation of the literature of Black writers and the representation of new and future directions for contemporary and emerging literary voices.
Each year we publish our annual list of the best in Black cinema. This list is unique in that it assesses each film not just how good it is as a film, but how good it is for the Black community in general. This list is compiled by prominent film critic and AALBC.com contributor, Kam Williams.
Troy’s Note: I'll go out on a limb here and say, “2013 was the best year for Black film ever.” The only problem was too many of these terrific films had a limited release. First lady, Michelle Obama describes The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete as follows, “This is truly one of my favorite films this year.” Unfortunately, too many people were unaware of or had no opportunity to see the film (now on DVD).
Written and directed by Jake Goldberger, Life of a King is a warts-and-all biopic based on the downfall and resurrection of the real Eugene Brown. As raw and realistic as it is predictable and cliché-ridden, this modern morality play does at least drive home a pertinent message for adolescents in the targeted demographic.
A Sunday school-style parable which makes very effective use of chess mastery as a metaphor for negotiating the perilous gauntlet of possible ghetto pitfalls.
Robert’s (Darrin Dewitt Henson) whole world collapses the day he’s fired from the business founded by his late father only to come home to an unsympathetic girlfriend (Erica Hubbard) who has decided to dump him because he can’t afford to take care of her. To add insult to injury, Mita drops the bomb that she’s been cheating on him with Nate (Josh Ventura), the guy who just terminated him.
But the jilted house painter isn’t down in the dumps for long, since he soon crosses paths with Morgan (Gabrielle Dennis), a gorgeous attorney he falls head-over-heels for at first sight. The available divorcee happens to be moving into a drab office that’s crying out for a makeover, a condition which conveniently dovetails with house painter Robert’s need for a job.
I noticed a surge in the number of books sold, over the last two months, that dealt with issues of mixed race people. Forty percent of the fiction titles, lead by Garcelle Beauvais' I Am Mixed, addressed this complicated and often sensitive issue. The bulk of these titles were targeted to children.
The concept of “race” has no basis in science and is arbitrarily applied. Unfortunately, because of America’s twisted notion of race, many so called “mixed-raced” children suffer from problems of self-esteem due to confusion of identity and belonging. These books can help.
Please answer our quick five question survey which attempts to gauge readers opinion on a few basic questions including, how did you discover the last book you read and which book format do you prefer electronic or physical.
Please share the questionnaire with others. We need a few hundred responses for the data to be meaningful.
Many authors invest a great deal of time managing their Twitter accounts. Hours a day are spent attracting new followers and keeping them engaged with pithy wisdom, personal minutiae and the occasional sales pitch. There is nothing more deceiving than having a lot of followers if they are not following your links or buying your books.
Twitter skews to celebrity and entities that are already well known. I wrote the article not to slam Twitter; which is great at letting people follow the antics of celebrities. My goal is to caution aspiring authors from investing too much time using the platform to attract new readers.
Here is a summary of AALBC.com’s sales from 2009 through 2013. The graph does not reveal revenue generated or units sold, but it does show the mix of book, ebooks and everything else sold, via our Amazon affiliate program.
After four years of strong growth eBook sales relative to everything else sold has leveled off. During the same period the average price of a physical has come down while the average eBook price has increased.
Also, initial indications from our survey show a strong preference (2 to 1) for physical book over ebooks. This result is striking given the surveys bias; the readers surveyed are online and presumably more likely to embrace eBook technology, compared to readers who are not online.
This article by Frederick H. Lowe of The NorthStar News & Analysis reports that the number of African-American-owned bookstores has dropped significantly since the late 1970s and 1980s due to a variety of factors, including corporate control of the Internet, waning literacy and fiscal mismanagement.
In the 1970s and 1980s, more than 1,000 black-owned bookstores were in business in the United States. Now only slightly more than 100, possibly 116 to 117, if that many, remain open, according to Troy Johnson, founder of the African American Literature Book Club (AALBC.com).
Promote your book, for two full months, for only $99! Your book cover will appear on AALBC.com’s Home Page and the main page of our Books section, for any 62 consecutive days. This is a terrific value. But act now, because this deal is only available until February 15th or until all the available positions are sold. You may also use this deal to promote two books for 31 days.