Tony Rose is the Publisher and CEO, Amber Communications Group, Inc. Amber is the nation's largest African American publisher of self-help books and music biographies. They are the recipients of the 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature and the 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Awards for "African American Book Publisher of the Year".
We learn that “I Have a Dream” was not the planned focus of the speech, in fact, that divinely-inspired, emotional crescendo was substantially improvised on the spot as an afterthought. King’s intended theme merely revolved around an earnest explanation that blacks had descended on the District of Columbia “to cash a promissory note for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
While preparing his speech on the eve of the march, King had been advised by a colleague to cut out the lines about his having a dream. “It’s trite… It’s cliché,” Reverend Wyatt Tee Walker warned. But, the next day on the National Mall, as Dr. King came close to finishing reading from his prepared text, gospel great Mahalia Jackson started prompting him to go off script. “Tell them about the dream, Martin!” she shouted repeatedly, referring to a familiar refrain she’d heard her dear friend eloquently riff about in sermons several times before.
Rosa Parks’ (1913-2005) contribution to the Civil Rights Movement has been conveniently reduced by most historians to that fateful day in December of 1955 on which she inspired the Montgomery bus boycott by refusing to surrender her seat to a white person. According to legend, the revered heroine’s act of civil disobedience came as a consequence of her just being tired rather than as a result of any political strategy or sense of social conscious.
Truth be told, Rosa Parks had already been involved in the African-American struggle for equality for over a decade. Even as a child, she picked up a brick to defend herself when a racist boy tried to bully her. And as a teenager, she fought back against a white man who was sexually assaulting her, explaining, “If he wanted to kill me and rape a dead body, he was welcome, but he’d have to kill me first.”
In recent years, soul food has gotten a bad rap, basically because many folks have come to think of it as unhealthy. Some have even gone so far as to indict it as the leading cause of chronic diseases and early death among African-American men over 40.
But Adrian Miller would be more inclined to blame it on a shift in the black diet’s away from traditional cuisine in favor of processed and fast food. Miller, a certified barbecue judge from Denver, Colorado, does concede, however, that soul food dishes were originally higher in sugar and fat than their southern food counterparts, since these ingredients were needed to spice up what were the master’s leftovers which were generally starchier, blander and bonier.
Judging by Dr. Carl Hart’s background, it’s a little surprising he ever made it out of the ‘hood, let alone became one of the nation’s leading neuroscientists. After all, he grew up in a rough area of Miami, Florida where, as a teenager, he roamed the streets as a gun-toting, drug dealer.
Only after entering the military did he come to appreciate the value of an education, and eventually earn his BS, MS and PhD degrees. Today, he teaches at Columbia University where his work in pharmacology has uncovered some rather startling statistics, such as “85% of drug users aren’t addicted,” “the War on Drugs has “had no effect on daily use of marijuana, heroin or any type of cocaine,” and “around half of all people with drug addictions are employed full-time and many never commit crimes…”
Would the Batman trilogy have been as popular with mainstream audiences had the title character been portrayed by a black man instead of a Caucasian? In Monster’s Ball, Halle Berry played a wanton woman so desperate for sex and affection that she slept with her husband’s executioner. Why was that performance the first ever by a black female to win an Oscar in the Best Lead Actress category? Did it have anything to do with the role’s feeding the patriarchal fantasies of the Academy’s predominantly white male membership?
These are the sort of intriguing questions tackled in Race, Philosophy, and Film, a fascinating collection of essays compiled by Mary K. Bloodsworth-Lugo and Dan Flory, professors at Washington State and Montana State Universities, respectively. The other fourteen contributors to this enlightening opus are also professors, whether teaching film studies, philosophy, literature, critical culture, gender and race studies, or other disciplines.
“...a clever, wise, and timely fictional measure of our contemporary times.” —Robert Fleming, AALBC.com
The book opens with Godiva, an unruly 15-year-old waif on probation for a series of petty crimes, escaping from the window of the women’s bathroom at the Washtenow County Juvenile Court. She immediately reteams with her sidekicks, David, a raunchy Jewish kid, and Saigon, a thin Vietnamese urchin to raise hell. With choice commentary on economic wasteland of Detroit, once the pride of the Midwest boom and home of America’s automotive industry, Jackson gives the reader a candid survey of the city as this trio try to evade the law. He writes about the depth of the city’s money struggles and its hopes when he spotlights a billboard reading: “Something To Get Excited About Right Here In Detroit.”
Impressed by My’s drive and talent, Alex Haley gave her a major assignment—to assist him in writing the remaining two-thirds of a book that was long overdue to his publisher. Within a matter of months together they completed the work and that book, Roots: The Saga of An American Family, catapulted Alex Haley to international fame. My and Alex married in 1977, and over the years collaborated on many projects, including the miniseries Roots: The Next Generation. After Alex's death, My Haley immersed herself in writing pieces based upon her growing up with her grandmother, other novels, and many screenplays for feature film and TV.
Haley’s latest novel, The Treason of Mary Louvestre (Koehler Books, February 1, 2013) is based on the true story of a seamstress slave from the Confederate town of Norfolk, Virginia. When her owner gets involved with modifications to the ironclad CSS Virginia, Mary copies the plans and sets out to commit treason against the South. Facing certain death as a spy if caught, she treks two hundred miles during the bitter winter of 1862 to reach the office of Union Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, where she hands over the plans.
Michelle Donice was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. She earned her undergraduate degree from Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida, received a master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and a Ph.D. from The University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. She teaches English and creative writing, and lives in Florida with her husband and children.
Michelle wrote The Other Side of Through after hearing so many women talk about marital issues, but it took a few years for her to put pen to paper. Her most difficult challenge in writing the book was staying true to her characters’ stories, and not succumbing to the pressure of censoring things based on what people would say or think. Today she looks forward to talking about these issues with her readers and supporters.
Watts-Hicks is a contributing writer for Harlem World Magazine’s blog site. She has written for TheUrbanBookSource.com and several other online publications, as well as having served two terms as director of publications for Cultivating Our Sisterhood International Association, a 501(c)(3).
Eartha is also a member of the acclaimed Harlem Writers Guild, an exclusive network of writers whose roster has included Lorraine Hansberry, Sarah Elizabeth Wright, Audrey Lorde, Grace F. Edwards, Walter Dean Myers, Ruby Dee, Paul Robeson, Maya Angelou, and Terry McMillan. In June of 2013, Eartha Watts-Hicks received the Just R.E.A.D. 'literary game changers' Award by the NYCHA branch of the NAACP.
In April 2013 C&B Distribution published its first issue of Writers’ World Newspaper. This publication is a resource for self-published and established authors to exchange opinions on literature. Readers are provided with unique and motivational articles, ideas and resources to further enhance their lives.
This paper is distributed every three months to different venues such as “April is Book Month in Queens” & The Harlem Book Fair, The Queens Book & Health Fair Events, various libraries, high schools, colleges, banks, book stores, supermarkets, restaurants, newsstands, and grocery stores. C&B Distribution distributes 750 - 1000 printed copies to reach the population of Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Jamaica, some areas of Brooklyn, Bronx and Manhattan. More Areas to come! Discover more independent, Black owned newspapers.
BLACKBERRY: a magazine aims to be a premier literary magazine featuring black women writers and artists. Its goal is to expose readers to the diversity of the black woman’s experience and strengthen the black female voice in both the mainstream and independent markets. Exceptional literature and art continues to be birthed by black women. They hope to illuminate the work of a newer generation while reaching back to those whose words may have been ignored.
They are published 4 times a year on the first of March, June, September, and December. Each issue contains poetry, fiction, non-fiction, art, and photography by well-established and new voices. In the future, the website will contain excerpts from each issue, as well as fresh material from contributors, occasional spoken word features and author interviews. Discover more black owned independent magazines.
National Book Award for winner, Jesmyn Ward grew up in poverty with a family struggling to stay together and survive in the rural South. All around her were black men facing dangers and social ills that are usually only talked about in the context of inner cities. Men We Reaped: A Memoir (Bloomsbury USA, September 17, 2013) lays bare all the trials, mourning, and unmatched spirit of her world in a way that only she can. She breaks your heart with words that sing and cry from the page.
In four years Ward lost five men from her hometown area, including her brother. They died from drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty. Dealing with these losses one after another made Jesmyn question the world around her. And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the stunning truth: her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they came from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships.
Terry McMillan has touched millions of readers. Now, in her eighth novel, McMillan gives exuberant voice to characters who reveal how we live now—at least as lived in a racially diverse Los Angeles neighborhood.
Filled with McMillan’s inimitable humor, Who Asked You? opens as Trinetta leaves her two young sons with her mother, Betty Jean, and promptly disappears. BJ, a trademark McMillan heroine, already has her hands full dealing with her other adult children, two opinionated sisters, an ill husband, and her own postponed dreams—all while holding down a job as a hotel maid. Her son Dexter is about to be paroled from prison; Quentin, the family success, can’t be bothered to lend a hand; and taking care of two lively grandsons is the last thing BJ thinks she needs. The drama unfolds through the perspectives of a rotating cast of characters, pitch-perfect, each playing a part, and full of surprises. (Viking Adult, September 17, 2013)
This thrilling page-turner introduces the story of the black dahlia and her bloodstained ascent to power. After establishing a connection with “the five families,” dahlia becomes literally untouchable. Her brazen tactics and mafia-style antics become infamous as she is set to take over the country’s black market. But there is only one thing still standing in her way - she is a woman. The competition doesn’t respect her so dahlia sets out on a bloody mission to ensure the protection of her new kingdom.
Liberty has relocated to her hometown only to get a knock on the door by a man she hasn’t seen in years. She reacquaints herself with the past and gets connected with some of the biggest bosses in the country. When fate brings her face-to-face with dahlia, who will end up victorious? Will dahlia’s newfound power make her invincible? or, will liberty finally get the revenge she deserves? What happens next is the most shocking ending that Ashley & Jaquavis have ever created. this is storytelling at its greatest (Cash Money Content, September 3, 2013).
In September 1967, after three years of landmark civil rights laws and three months of devastating urban riots, the football season began at Louisiana’s Grambling College and Florida A&M. The teams were led by two extraordinary coaches, Eddie Robinson and Jake Gaither, and they featured the best quarterbacks ever at each school, James Harris and Ken Riley.
Breaking the Line brings to life the historic saga of the battle for the 1967 black college championship, culminating in a riveting, excruciatingly close contest. Samuel G. Freedman traces the rise of these four leaders and their teammates as they storm through the season. Together they helped compel the segregated colleges of the South to integrate their teams and redefined who could play quarterback in the NFL, who could be a head coach, and who could run a franchise as general manager. (Simon & Schuster, August 8, 2013)
The Digital Divide, or the disparity between internet adoption rates between various groups, has been a topic of conversation since the internet became a commercial entity two decades ago. There is a great deal of warranted concern about the long term impact on those unable to easily gain access to the internet. In recent years, due in part to smart phone use, the disparity in internet access has narrowed. However, there are problems looming which makes the Digital Divide look like a minor inconvenience.
The most pernicious problem is the lack of diversity in the information we can easily discover online. For a casual observer, or someone new to the web, this may not appear to be a significant problem because one can't know what is unknown. However, as a keen observer of the World Wide Web for almost 20 years the impact has been devastating — particularly when it comes to independent publishers.
Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on March 1, 1966, Don Lemon anchors CNN Newsroom during weekend prime-time and serves as a correspondent across CNN/U.S. programming. Based out of the network's New York bureau, Don joined CNN in September 2006.
Don recently caught a lot of flak from a number of African-American pundits for agreeing with Bill O’Reilly’s criticisms of the black community, especially since he even suggested that the conservative talk show host hadn’t gone far enough.
Here, he talks about We Were There, an oral history of The March on Washington, which features the only surviving speaker Congressman John Lewis as well as Harry Belafonte, U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, and other attendees.
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 the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation. A versatile talent, Forest is one of Hollywood’s most accomplished performers, receiving such prestigious honors as a Best Actor Academy Award for his performance in The Last King of Scotland, as well as a Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival for Bird.
Here, he talks about his latest outing as the title character in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, a decades-spanning sage chronicling the life and career of an African-American who served eight presidents in the White House.
Cloves C. Campbell, Jr., is the Publisher of the Arizona Informant, a family owned and operated newspaper that provides an important voice for the African-American community in Arizona. This year it celebrates 42 years of publishing. Currently, he serves as Board Chair of the National Newspaper Publishers’ Association (NNPA).
Here he talks about the legacy of the iconic Arizona Informant and being reelected Chairman of the NNPA.
Calvin Cordozar Broadus was born on October 20, 1971 in Long Beach, California where he was nicknamed Snoopy by his parents because of a striking resemblance to the Peanuts cartoon character. A promising rapper from an early age, he began performing in the 6th grade but was waylaid by brushes with the law in high school.
A talented thespian, he’s also acted in a score of movies, most notably, Training Day, Baby Boy, Old School, Starsky & Hutch and, most recently, Scary Movie 5. Here, he talks about his latest screen outing as Smooth Move in Turbo, an animated adventure about a snail who dreams of entering the Indianapolis 500.
JT: Do you think the mainstream book business is doing a good job of reaching out to African American readers?
TJ: No, publishers generally leave that task up to the individual authors which, as I mentioned earlier, is terribly inefficient. With the individual author promoting his or her own books, the author often reinvents the wheel by trying to determine the right platforms and manners of promotion. The publishers lose economies of scale they could achieve by advertising multiple books and securing rates an individual author could not obtain. Publishers also forgo the tremendous amount of data they could collect by advertising on various platforms for multiple authors.
The story of Janet Mino who teaches at JFK High in Newark, a public school for students with special education needs. By 2012, she had been working with the same small group of autistic boys for four years, which meant that they would all be graduating together in the spring.
Understandably, Ms. Mino had grown quite fond and rather protective of her class, given how autistic kids are generally sweet souls of unfathomable innocence. In addition, she knew that upon aging out of the system and receiving their diplomas, they would essentially be forced to fend for themselves in a hard, cruel world not inclined to lend a helping hand. For that reason, she devoted much of their senior year to preparing them for life beyond the protective cocoon that she had so lovingly created.
Directed by Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller and Jeremy Newberger, Evocateur is a mix of archival footage and reflections by family, friends, fans and folks who made appearances on the program like Reverend Al Sharpton, Pat Buchanan and Gloria Allred. The old videos of Mort, who succumbed to lung cancer in 2001, remain every bit as compelling today as they were in his heyday.
A riveting biopic about a rich kid-turned-rabid bully and pathological liar desperate enough for the limelight to sell his soul to the devil.
“When the history books are written in the future,” he predicted that evening that “somebody will have to say, ‘There lived a race of people, of black people, who had the moral courage to stand up for their rights.’” After citing both the Constitution and the Bible as the source of inspiration, the 26 year-old pastor explained to the congregation that embracing a philosophy of non-violent resistance was critical in order to be able to live with white people as brothers “when the day comes that segregation is completely crumbled.”
And with that, the Civil Rights Movement was launched. A wave of Ku Klux Klan bombings simultaneously ensued, but Dr. King remained confident about his prospects for success, even after his own home had been blown up. He did hope, however, that future generations would appreciate “that these new privileges did not come without somebody suffering for them.”
Eugene Allen (1919-2010) served eight presidents over the course of an enduring career in the White House during which he rose from the position of Pantry Man to Head Butler by the time he retired in 1986. In that capacity, the African-American son of a sharecropper felt privileged to be an eyewitness to history, since his tenure coincided with the implementation of most of the landmark pieces of legislation dismantling the Jim Crow system of racial segregation.
Directed by two-time Oscar-nominee Lee Daniels, The Butler is a father-son biopic relating events in Allen’s life as they unfolded against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. This fictionalized account features Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker in the title role as Cecil Gaines, and his A-list supporting cast includes fellow Oscar-winners Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Robin Williams and Melissa Leo, as well as nominees Terrence Howard and Oprah Winfrey. Read a different perspective from Cynique.
The Happy Sad, a gender-bending romantic romp directed by Rodney Evans (Brother to Brother). You almost need a score card to keep track of all the coupling, uncoupling, and re-coupling, but the out-of-the-closet antics are amusing enough to intrigue.
Who will end up with whom? The possibilities are endless when the players are this open-minded and so confused about their identities!
The hit online show, The Book Look, opens up with; Stephanie Robinson, political commentator for the Tom Joyner Morning Show; takes on The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates; hangs out in California with the "Sisters with Books" book club; and sits down with Paul Coates who discusses the 35th Anniversary of Black Classic Press.
Host Monda Webb and contributors Charisse Carney-Nunes, Kwame Alexander and CiCi Foster keep the pages turning.
Writing a novel requires a solid understanding of all the tools that a fiction writer must use to hold a reader’s interest. The introduction will offer an overview of the 8 session novel writing workshop. You will learn the basics of plot, characterization, point of view, voice, theme, dialogue, pacing and exposition. Bring writing samples for review. Sessions: 1. Date: Fri., Sept. 13, 2013. Registration Fee: $20. Instructor: Anita Diggs.
Books to Screen: Realizing the Vision Workshop: Award-winning author Tananarive Due will share her recent journey in adapting a novel into a screenplay to produce her first short film. Be the first to preview Ms. Due’s Danger Word, a short horror film directed by Luchina Fisher and adapted for the screen by Ms. Due and her husband/writing partner Steven Barnes. The workshop is open to all and will be done in a lecture demonstration style so writers and filmmakers can learn the process of turning a short or long fiction manuscript into a screenplay. Ms. Due will discuss everything from raising funds for an independent film project to the challenges of translating a literary work for a visual audience. Sunday, Oct. 13, 2012, 3 pm-4:30 pm, Registration Fee: $35. Instructor: Tananarive Due.
Black Authors & Readers Rock Weekend
Friday evening we will kick off the weekend with "Men In Literature" a panel discussion featuring Solomon Jones, Leonard Pitts, Jr., and Austin Camacho, Norwood Holland and Harold Fisher
Our keynote speakers for the Saturday Luncheon are the incomparable award winning Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley Visit www.realdivasread.com - Authors Rock for a complete list of participating authors & info on panel discussions.
Mrs. Consuelo Divers Bradley a.k.a has “Cynique” has been a contributor to AALBC.com's website for well over a decade. I thoroughly enjoy reading her insights on virtually any subject. She is smart, insightful, funny and gives us wisdom that can only come from 80 years of a life well lived.
Several years ago our Culture, Race & Economy Discussion Forum was named "Cynique’s Corner" in recognition of her impressive contributions to the our online community. In a culture dominated by the worship of youth, it is refreshing, an honor really, to be able to provide a platform for Cynique's wonderful words.
The African American Literary Awards Show is an entertainment event production company with a focus on writers and authors. AALAS produces an annual literary awards show to recognize, honor, celebrate and promote the outstanding achievements and contributions that African-American authors and writers make to the publishing, arts and entertainment industries.
Place a very large image of your book cover at the very top of the AALBC.com homepage and on virtually every AALBC.com content page. The rate is only $249 for 31 days. No more than 3 books rotate in this position. This unique type of prominent placement is not available on any other website, with AALBC.com's demographics. Join Grand Central Publishing, Kimberla Lawson Roby, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, SmileyBooks, Trice Hickman, Earl Sewell, Pat Tucker and many others, by taking advantage of our large book cover placement today.