In this emotionally charged, cautionary tale about faith and surrender Virtue’s commitment to God, her love for her boyfriend and her own hearts desires will all be tested. Examining the controversial topic of being single, saved and having sex, Not My Will tells the story of a love affair mired by an unexpected change of heart.
Having hooked up with her boyfriend Ty the same night they met in a club, two years ago, Virtue now wants to put a hold on their sexual relationship, but she is not sure how Ty will take it. Their relationship started with sex from day one so she is unsure of how to break the news to him. Ty is in love and committed to Virtue and doesn’t see the point in changing anything when they are both happy. In the midst of restoring her relationship with God, Virtue meets Terrance, an understanding new confidant who is everything she wishes Ty would be: a godly man.
Novelist, poet, and essayist Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ is an Assistant Professor of English at Cornell University. He was short listed for the Caine Prize for African writing in 2009. He has also been shortlisted for the 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing for his novel manuscript, The First and Second Books of Transition. Mũkoma is the son of world renowned African writer, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.
Dr. Ngũgĩ’s most recent novel, Black Star Nairobi, tells the story of two cops, one American and one Kenyan, who team up to track down a deadly terrorist. He will be reading from his work, with Kwei Quartey, on an AALBC.com sponsored reading during the National Black Writers Conference on March 29, 2014.
Naleighna Kai is the national bestselling author of Every Woman Needs a Wife, with a spin-off titled, The Pleasure’s All Mine and the provocative new novel—_Open Door Marriage_, the first fiction work to launch publisher, Brown Girls Publishing created by national bestselling authors, Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley.
Kai is a contributing author to a New York Times Bestseller, an award-winning author, and The E. Lynn Harris Author of Distinction. Naleighna pens contemporary fiction, erotica, and speculative fiction and is currently working on her next novels: Was it Good For You Too?, Rich Woman's Fetish, and Slaves of Heaven. Find her on the web at www.naleighnakai.com.
Dr. Joseph is a professor of history and Director of the Center for Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University. Earlier this month Peniel was spoke at Northeastern CSSH where he delivered a remarkable keynote, How Far to the Promised Land?: Civil Rights since Brown v. Board of Education. The video of that speech is well worth watching.
Peniel’s, latest book, Stokely: A Life, (Basic Civitas Books, March 4, 2014), tell the story of Stokely Carmichael, the charismatic and controversial black activist, stepped onto the pages of history when he called for “Black Power” during a speech one Mississippi night in 1966.
Kimberly, a native of Dallas, Texas is a graduate of Howard University and Texas Wesleyan School of Law. In addition to developing a successful corporate career, Kimberly has also become an accomplished author and a powerful speaker who leaves an indelible mark on all those who come in contact with her.
Degrees of Deception is Kimberly’s debut novel and series; however she is not a newcomer to the writing scene. She published her first non-fiction book entitled, The Making of the Joyful Mother as well as being a contributing writer for the Dallas Morning News and StreamingFaith.com.
Why is innocence automatically attributed to white children in the U.S. while black kids are just as easily presumed to be malevolent, almost as if good and evil are color-coded in each group’s DNA? That is the question explored by Robin Bernstein in Racial Innocence, an annotated, historical opus in search of an explanation for the lingering discrepancy.
The author, a Professor of African-American and Women’s Studies at Harvard University, blames a deep-rooted racism which can be traced all the way back to slavery. She suggests that the divergent attitude about black and white youngsters has been codified by the culture as reflected in literature, art, music and minstrelsy.
By any measure, Daniel Beaty had a pretty challenging childhood, starting even before his birth. He was almost born in prison, when his very pregnant mother was busted for possession of his dope-dealing dad’s heroin. She eventually had to raise him all alone when his trifling father finally abandoned the family after ping-ponging back and forth between home and the slammer.
That journey would include a BA in English and Music from Yale University and an MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater. Today, he’s quite an accomplished poet, playwright, actor, singer and motivational speaker.
Rosie Perez made a memorable screen debut in 1989 as Tina in Do the Right Thing. Spike Lee had cast the curvaceous Puerto Rican as his girlfriend in the picture after serendipitously spotting her shaking her protuberant derriere onstage in a big booty contest at a nightclub in L.A.
Rosie proceeded to parlay that bit of luck into an enviable career which has included an Academy Award nomination (for Fearless) along with over 50 other acting credits. Who would ever suspect that such an accomplished thespian had to overcome a challenging childhood en route to super stardom?
Anyone of faith will cheer her when she writes: “Devil, you can do what you want to me, but you can’t stop me. I gave my life to God, and He will do with it what He wants and you can’t take anything from me that He won’t give back.” (pp. 183)
In the end, readers will applaud her for her steadfast faith, patience, determination, and commitment to her profession. Despite some gaps in her personal journey, Avalon Brown’s memoir will appeal to the courage and dedication of the elders who made it possible for the younger set to thrive.
Did you know that Guatemala once had both an English and Spanish-speaking black community? The latter group, known as Garifuna, arrived from Nigeria by way of St. Vincent where they blended with Carib Indians beginning in 1635 before migrating to Guatemala.
By contrast, the former group was brought there to work the fields only about a hundred years ago by the United Fruit Company, settling in an area called Colonia. These English-speaking Afro-Jamaicans, or Guiou, gradually disappeared over the intervening decades, but not before making a lasting impression upon their adopted homeland and elsewhere.
If what we are losing from independent websites was compensated by equivalent content on social media, it would not be so completely tragic. Not surprisingly, social media has failed miserably in delivering the richness and variety offered by individual websites. This is understandable as the goal of social media is to maximize revenue for their owners. Independent websites, on the other hand, are primarily driven by their mission.
As writers and owners of websites we can not continue to exacerbate the problem by fueling our competition with content and sending traffic directly to social media with every “Follow me on Facebook” request. The trick is to exploit social media, not to allow social media to exploit us.
The country’s oldest African-American bookstore, Marcus Books in San Francisco (open for 44 years), is in rough financial straits. The Shrine of the Black Madonna liquidated its Detroit store earlier this month, according to the Detroit Free Press, and its Houston store is closed for “restructuring.”
The number of black bookstores has declined precipitously since 2002, when the American Booksellers Association counted 300 members. Today there are fewer than 100, according to Troy Johnson, president of the African American Literature Book Club (AALBC.com), who maintains a list by state. But with the opening of Black Stone Bookstore and Cultural Center in Ypsilanti, Mich., in November, the projected opening of Ancestry Books in Minneapolis in June, and MahoganyBooks.com looking to open a physical bookstore by 2016, it’s possible that things are changing.
Why on Earth would Wikipedia choose to include, “In 2014, she was cited by Comptroller of Maryland Peter Franchot as one of Maryland’s top tax cheats, owing the state $340,833.58,” in an encyclopedic reference of Zane? Not only is this so called citation inappropriate, the use of the phase “tax cheats” is rude, insulting and reads more like copy from the National Inquirer, rather than an encyclopedia.
The best-selling author James Patterson has started a program to give away $1 million to independent bookstores. In the first round 55 stores will benefit from James’ largess, and share at total $267,000.
In addition, to returning the support he has received from independent booksellers throughout his career, James is also raising awareness of the fact these bookstores are at risk. While I don’t know if James’ support will reach a Black owned store, perhaps his initiative will inspire Black folks of means to follow his lead.
The memoir Twelve Years A Slave by Solomon Northup, which was published in 1853 and sold 30,000 copies before going out of print, is on The New York Times Best Sellers list thanks to an award-winning Hollywood blockbuster similar in name.
The New York Times Book Review reported on Sunday that Twelve Years A Slave was number three on its nonfiction bestseller list, moving up last week from number four. The book has been on The New York bestseller list nine weeks.
Gibran Tariq is a longtime supporter of AALBC.com—even while incarcerated. I have been following his career for over a decade and am inspired by his love and devotion to writing. Here is explains the source of his motivation. His most recent novel is, When I Say Jump (SoulFire Books, February 10, 2014).
“I was a whiz at Scrabble while most of the other children on my block struggled with spelling their own names, and I had completed my first novel by the time I was twelve. Yeah, I could have been something special, but when I was thirteen, the lure of the streets become so alluring that I adopted it as my new home. A year later, I was in reform school for assaulting a police officer.”
Forest Whitaker is a distinguished artist and humanist. He is the founder of PeaceEarth Foundation, co-founder and chair of the International Institute for Peace and is the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation. He is also a talented, versatile performer and one of Hollywood's most accomplished figures. He has received prestigious artistic distinctions including the 2006 Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Last King of Scotland as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.
Here, he talks about his latest movie, Repentance, a psychological thriller co-starring Anthony Mackie, Sanaa Lathan, Nicole Ari Parker and Mike Epps. Repentance Opens, Feb 28, 2014 (limited).
Here Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, hosts Marva Allen of Hue-Man Bookstore and several other Harlem, NY based business owners during the New York City leg of their national, Let’s Talk Tour, designed to bring business owners together to collaborate, connect and strengthen their communities. Marva describes the challenges Hue-Man Bookstore faced and how it is evolving.
This recording also includes footage of NY Congressman Charlie Rangel. The other panelists were; Manny Pena, Astor Row Cafe; Seven Brown, Harlem Skin Clinic; and Erika Dilday, The Maysles Documentary Center.
In her memoir From Seoul To Soul a Robinson describes her struggle with an identity crisis because of her Asian features. She overcomes and embraces her lost past, when her supermodel daughter takes her back to her roots in an unexpected yet victorious style.
China Robinson’s, main purpose for writing her books is to help others. She candidly shares life experiences through her works. The dynamic speaker focuses on inspiring her audience to see their ability to be self-empowered and be in control of their own choices while overcoming obstacles blocking one's destinations in life.
"Most of us spend our lives looking for approval from white people, and white institutions and white corporations." —The Cut Man
Charles “The Cut Man” Etheridge, relates important information regarding Black leadership, the Michael Dunn verdict, the merger of Time Warner and Comcast and more during the WBLS 107.5 FM's (New York City), OPEN LINE The 2nd Hour online, Feb 9, 2014. To watch the full broadcast and the archives of previous shows visit WBLS.
Alicia and Arianne Suggs are the editors of 1966 Magazine and they describe it best: The essential guide to the very best in life for black women, 1966 Magazine runs the gamut on sound advice, from hair care and styles to a full range of beauty and health tips, from international fashion highlighting high energy runways and fabulous models to exotic travel. 1966 Magazine has unique access to the world’s most glamorous people and Hollywood celebrity, the out of the ordinary places they frequent and the desirable possessions they own. The magazine gives you an insider’s look via exclusive features that are perceptive, entertaining and presented with style. Discover more independent, Black-owned magazines.
Go On Girl! Book Club is now seeking entries for these two prizes. The entry deadline is Saturday, March 15th. Since 2000, Go On Girl! Book Club has been discovering and encouraging future generations of Black literary talent through our Unpublished Writer Award and Aspiring Writer's Educational Scholarship.
Each winner will receive a monetary prize of $500, presentation of their awards at the 22nd Annual Author Awards dinner on Saturday, June 7th at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland and a feature article in GOG's literary magajournal. Winning entries will also be published on AALBC.com. Read the Diana Veiga's winning entry for the Unpublished Writer Award from last year.
Brown Girls Publishing
Brown Girls Publishing, the brainchild of Simon & Schuster’s national bestselling authors, Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley, launched their new boutique publishing outfit on February 3, 2014.
Brown Girls Publishing will focus primarily on digital content, while still providing printed books and other outlets. The founders, aptly named, the publishing industry’s “dynamic duo,” have more than two million books in print between them. This new endeavor is something near and dear to their hearts—helping to build the next generation of writers, while at the same time, spotlighting some fan favorites such as national bestselling authors: Naleighna Kai and Dwayne Joseph, both former Simon & Schuster authors who have the first titles releasing with Brown Girls Publishing.
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
Onyxcon is an event focused on celebrating the impact, contributions, and presence of the African Diaspora in realms of imagination (Popular Arts- comics, gaming, tv/film, novels, related culture, etc.)
Four women writers, Misty Copeland (Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina), Deborah Johnson (The Secret of Magic), Sujata Massey (The Sleeping Dictionary) and Lauren Francis-Sharma ('Til the Well Runs Dry) will discuss the intersection of place, time and culture in literature and in the lives of women.
The Virginia Festival of the Book is a 5-day festival of mostly free literary events that are open to the public as we honor book culture and promote reading and literacy.
Featuring: Kwame Alexander, poet and children’s writer; Rita Mae Brown, author of the Sneaky Pie Brown series; Sonia Manzano, children’s writer and “Maria” on Sesame Street; E. Ethelbert Miller, poet and literacy advocate; Lee Smith, acclaimed Southern writer; and moderated by Dr. Joanne Gabbin, founder and director of Furious Flower Poetry Center.
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.
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