Anybody’s Daughter is a fast-paced thriller that goes deep inside the world of child sex trafficking. It could happen to anybody’s daughter—even yours. To read an excerpt, visit pamelasamuelsyoung.com. Anybody’s Daughter is available where books are sold.
“One of the best thrillers I have read in a long time.”
—Digna Dreibelbis, Autumn Blues Reviews
“I was in tears for most of the book and in shock for the rest! …This is a 5-star read and every parent needs to pick it up!” —Ella Curry, Black Pearls Magazine and BAN Radio Show
Dr. Marilyn Nelson is one of America’s most celebrated poets. She was the Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut (2001-2006) and a three-time National Book Award Finalist. She has won the Annisfield-Wolf Award and the 1999 Poets’ Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Winship Award and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize.
Nelson wrote The Freedom Business, Fortune and Carver: A Life in Poems, among other titles. She is a National Book Award finalist, a Newbery Honor Book winner and a Boston Globe—Horn Book award winner. She lives in Connecticut.
Guy was one of the first authors to join our online book club for a conversation back in 1999. I called him in California, from New York City (remember when long-distance calls cost more), and keyed his answers to the questions posted by the online participants. This sounds primitive by today’s standards. Guy’s novel, Standing at the Scratch Line, was one reason I became passionate about promoting books. Here are comments from a couple pals on social media
“I’d never read a book like Standing At The Scratch Line before in my life! Mr. Guy is one of my favorite writers.” —Ronald Gillum
“_Standing At The Scratch Line_ is one of my favorite books! I was hoping that it would be made into a movie.” —Nikkisha Robbins
Ayesha Harruna Attah was born in Accra, Ghana and published her first novel, Harmattan Rain, with a fellowship from Per Ankh Publishers and TrustAfrica. Harmattan Rain was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best First Book in 2010. Her upcoming novel was shortlisted for the Kwani? Manuscript Project. She has published short stories in Asymptote Magazine.
Visit AALBC.com to read an excerpt and to hear Ayesha Reading from Harmattan Rain.
Lisa Irby is from St. Louis, MO and a full time Internet “Info-preneur.” She earns a living teaching others about website creation and search engine optimization through her website, blog and YouTube channel.
Her website, 2 Create a Website, is a wealth of information and provides visitors with free information to help them learn to build websites and make money online. Lisa clearly mastered the subject; her website, 2 Create a Website, is one of the top Black owned websites online! Lisa shares her knowledge through her recently updated book, Niche Website Success. I think her book is a gold mine for authors interested in learning about building and monetizing websites.
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.
Traditionally, in America, if you were just a teeny-weeny bit black, you’d always been considered black. This arbitrary color line was even codified by the Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, an 1896 case brought by an octoroon light enough to pass who sued for the right to sit in the “white only” section of a segregated train traveling through the South.
Much to Homer Plessy’s chagrin, the Court sided with the State of Louisiana, taking judicial notice of the “one-drop rule,” ruling that “a Negro or black is any person with any black ancestry.” In other words, you could be black without looking black.
Who’d ever think that a black kid from South-Central Los Angeles could grow up to become the personal photographer of a Republican President of the United States? But that’s precisely the unlikely career path enjoyed by Eric Draper, who served as head White House shutterbug from 2001-2009.
Front Row Seat is an 11 by 12-inch coffee table book featuring hundreds of samples of Draper’s best work, including iconic images of Dubya campaigning in a cowboy hat, listening to secretary of State Condi Rice play piano, visiting wounded warriors in the hospital, and praying with Coretta Scott King and two of her children. Together, these intimate pictures combine to paint a poignant, behind-the-scenes portrait of our 43rd President, and to confirm that he was right in giving that ambitious kid from the ‘hood a spot on his staff.
“Black Poetry is not for Black People…it is for everybody.”
These poems, this book, admit I cheated [by including more than 100 poems]. The idea of this and no more would simply not work for me. I needed these plus those. My mother's favorite poem by Robert Hayden, plus James Weldon Johnson beginning a world that included the longing of the unfree for a loving God. My own fun “Tripping” reaching to embrace Margaret Walker’s “My People.” “Rides” and “Rosa” read by old and loving friends. But also the newness: Novella Nelson lending that sultry voice to the youngsters; Ruby Dee bringing her brilliance to the Gwendolyn Brooks cycle. My Virginia Tech Family wanted to participate: our president Dr. Charles Steger reading “Negro Speaks of Rivers,” recognizing all our souls “have grown deep like the rivers.” We celebrate our Hips; we See A Negro Lady at a birthday celebration. Our friends from James Madison University and West Virginia University came to celebrate poetry with us, too. I love these poems so much. The only other thing I would have loved is Caroline Kennedy reading “Clean Slate.” —Nikki Giovanni
AALBC.com has teamed up with MahoganyBooks to provide readers with terrific deals on books. Look out for new deals, on our homepage, each month.
A limited number of autographed copies of Victoria Christopher Murray’s, Power List best-selling novel, Friends & Foes and Never Say Never are being sold at 20% off. Just use discount code “AALBC” when ordering.
Richard Pryor was arguably the single most influential performer of the second half of the twentieth century, and certainly he was the most successful black actor/comedian ever. Controversial and somewhat enigmatic in his lifetime, Pryor’s performances opened up a new world of possibilities, merging fantasy with angry reality in a way that wasn’t just new it was heretofore unthinkable.
It’s so much easier for me to talk about my life in front of two thousand people than it is one-to-one. I’m a real defensive person, because if you were sensitive in my neighborhood, you were something to eat.
Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations: 5,000 Years of Literature, Lyrics, Poems, Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs from Voices Around the World edited by Retha Powers paints a rich canvas of Black history through time. Five thousand quotes are culled from the time of Ancient Egypt through American slavery, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Era, Apartheid, to the present day. With a foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and passages from authors, artists, scientists, philosophers, theologians, activists, politicians, and many others. A wonderful reference tool and gift.
Kalyani Magazine goes beyond literature–it’s about history. Women of color make up over 40% of the world’s population, and yet men make up most of the published writing – when we look back at the 21st century, who will be represented?
Although there are magazines out there for women, and for specific ethnicities, there isn’t one for all women of color. We have had authors from Africa, Southeast Asia, India, the US and Canada, writing to diverse audiences. Not only does this preserve the voices, but it enables our readers to learn more about the true experiences that exist around the world.
I’m a strong advocate of the idea that people should be compensated for the vast wealth we collectively generate for corporations through our activity on the world wide web. Our personal information, browsing habits, social media activity and transactions are far more valuable than what we get in return.
The folks at Bing have taken a step in the right direction, by offering people gift cards in exchange for using their search engine. You even earn rewards for referring others. Your activity is valuable; you deserve to be compensated. More importantly, Bing's results are, relatively speaking, pretty darn good. Compare Bing’s search results, against their biggest competitor, yourself..
A proven talent as an actress, writer and director, Kasi Lemmons continues to tantalize creatively with her thought provoking body of work. Her work as an actress includes roles in Silence of the Lambs opposite Jodie Foster, and Spike Lee’s School Daze, as well as Hard Target, Fear of a Black Hat, Candyman and Vampire’s Kiss.
Here, she talks about her adaptation of the Langston Hughes musical Black Nativity, which stars Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Mary J. Blige, Nas, Tyrese, and her husband, Vondie Curtis-Hall.
As a critically acclaimed actress in film, television, and theatre, Naomie Harris is making more of a name for herself with each of her successive, luminous performances. Last year, she starred as Bond girl ‘Eve’ opposite Daniel Craig in the 007 feature Skyfall.
After earning a degree in social and political science with honors from Cambridge University, Naomie trained at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Here, she talks about her latest outing as ‘Winnie Mandela’ opposite Idris Elba in Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom.
This year alone, Cumberbatch has starred in The Fifth Estate, 12 Years a Slave, August: Osage County, Star Trek into Darkness and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. And on television, he reprised his title role in the PBS Masterpiece series Sherlock Holmes.
Thus, it should come as no surprise that busy Benedict was just named Artist of the Year by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. In addition, he was on the cover of Time Magazine in October and was ranked #1 by Empire Magazine on its 2013 list of the 100 Sexiest Movie Stars.
If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose? Most people we ask this question respond with, “the ability to fly” or “invisibility.” Ann's response, “USA.” I think Ann is funny. However others have a different point of view.
“The right-wing Republican-oriented media is bogged down with blonde, blue-eyed ditzes like Ann Coulter and ex-view airhead Elizabeth Hasselbeck. The latest example of the absurdity that exists in the ranks of this sisterhood comes out of the mouth of Fox TV host, Megyn Kelly. She is who broke the news to anyone who was misguided enough to think differently, that Santa Claus and Jesus were white.” —Cynique (read the rest of her comments)
Mabel “Madea” Simmons is the moralizing, motor-mouthed senior citizen created and first introduced on stage by the incomparable Tyler Perry. The compulsive granny is a self-righteous vigilante who can’t help but intervene on the spot whenever she sees an innocent victim being bullied by a sadistic villain.
At the point of departure in A Madea Christmas, the eighth screen adventure in the popular film series, we find her working as Mrs. Santa Claus in a downtown Atlanta department store. The seasonal job affords the politically-incorrect impersonator an opportunity to shock kids and their ears-covering parents with a profusion of her trademark off-color asides and English-mangling malapropisms.
Naima (Jennifer Hudson) is a single-mom struggling to pay the rent on the apartment she shares with son Langston (Jacob Latimore), 15, who’s the same age she was when she had him. Back then, she was as headstrong as he is now, which explains why she ran away from a good home in Harlem to raise him alone in Baltimore.
Today, upon receiving an eviction notice, cash-strapped Naima reluctantly sends the rebellious adolescent in need of a father figure to New York to live with her parents, Aretha (Angela Bassett) and Reverend Cornell Cobbs (Forest Whitaker), prominent members of the black community. But Langston lands in trouble even before they have a chance to pick him up at the bus station, so they end-up having to bail him out of jail.
Idris Is Impressive in Inspirational Adaptation of Revered Icon’s Autobiography Nelson “Madiba” Mandela (Idris Elba) secretly started writing his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” while still serving what he had every reason to believe might very well be a life sentence on Robben Island. The lawyer-turned-spokesman for the outlawed African National Congress had been convicted of treason for trying to dismantle South Africa’s racist regime.
But he was indeed freed following 27 years in prison of imprisonment when the bloody civil war was on the brink of bringing an end to Apartheid. At that point, Mandela assured the apprehensive white minority that despite the fact that, “Fear has made you an unjust and brutal people, when we come to power, there will be no revenge.”
The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) has named 12 Years a Slave as the Best Picture of 2013. The Fox Searchlight film’s also earned Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Newcomer honors for Steve McQueen, John Ridley and Lupita Nyong'o. The organization, which represents the leading African-American film critics nationwide, will formally present its awards during a private ceremony on Friday, January 31, 2014 hosted by Orlando Jones at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, CA.
In the acting categories, Forest Whitaker won Best Actor for his performance in Lee Daniels: The Butler and Sandra Bullock was named Best Actress for Gravity. Oprah Winfrey received Best Supporting Actress 2013 for her role in The Butler and Jared Leto earned Best Supporting Actor 2013 for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club.
For the publication of Black Arts creative literature, no magazine was more important than the Chicago-based Johnson publication Negro Digest / Black World. Johnson published America's most popular Black magazines, Jet and Ebony. Hoyt Fuller, who became the editor in 1961, was a Black intellectual with near-encyclopedic knowledge of Black literature and seemingly inexhaustible contacts. Because Negro Digest, a monthly, ninety-eight-page journal, was a Johnson publication, it was sold on newsstands nationwide. Originally patterned on Reader’s Digest, Negro Digest changed its name to Black World in 1970, indicative of Fuller’s view that the magazine ought to be a voice for Black people everywhere. The name change also reflected the widespread rejection of “Negro” and the adoption of “Black” as the designation of choice for people of African descent and to indicate identification with both the diaspora and Africa. The legitimation of “Black” and “African” is another enduring legacy of the Black Arts Movement. —Kalamu ya Salaam
“[If you] are looking for a different gift for either the guy or the gal in your life, you might want to pick up Beyoncé’s new album which just dropped unannounced and will go on sale next week It's proclaimed to be a real blockbuster, featuring an endless roster of new songs featuring guest appearances by a host of celebrity artists, not to mention husband, Jay Z and daughter, Blue Ivy. But, wait. There's more. A panorama of videos wherein Beyoncé’s whole life passes before your eyes will also be available. Who would not want to put, at the top of their to-do list, the purchasing of Mrs. Carter’s self indulgent love letter to herself. Oops. Sorry. Beyoncé insists this monumental exercise in narcissism is a gift to her fans who apparently can't get enough of her. Thank you, thank you. Merry Christmas.
Super couple that they are, Jay Z and his royal consort Beyonce are so over the top that they overwhelm me to the point of getting on my nerves. Who needs Prince William and Duchess Kate to be bored by when we have the king and queen of hip-hop right in our midst.” —Cynique (read the rest and tell us what you think)
Black Issues Book Review (BIBR) was founded in 1998 by William E. Cox, Adrienne Ingrum, and Susan McHenry.
BIBR’s first issue (Jan/Feb 1997) featured the legendary author Octavia Butler. BIBR did not pick some over exposed celebrity, or trendy rapper, to grace the cover. They selected a talented writer (the author of one of my favorite book’s, Kindred). This signaled to me that BIBR was serious about showcasing talent. In fact, in 1999, Black Issues Book Review was named one of “the ten best new magazines” by The American Library Journal from more than a thousand new publications.
The final issue (Sept/Oct 2007) was published by Target Market News and featured Edwidge Danticat.
This film stars Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis and Terrence Howard. How far would you go to protect your family? Keller Dover (Jackman) is facing every parent’s worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces his release.
The Killens Review of Arts & Letters, a highly regarded literary journal, is seeking short stories, creative nonfiction, essays, poetry, and artwork for its Spring/Summer 2014 issue. The nationally-known journal is requesting submissions related to the various cultural, sociopolitical, and historical experiences of writers and people of color from the African diaspora. Interested writers, faculty, scholars and students are urged to submit material by January 17, 2014.
Interested writers should submit their materials to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Killens Review” in the subject heading. Your submission should include a brief bio and a synopsis of the work being submitted. Unfortunately, the Killens Review of Arts & Letters Submission Committee will not accept book manuscripts.
The National Book Foundation hosted their 64th National Book Awards on November 20, 2013 at Cipriani in New York City NY.
Toni Morrison gave a moving tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou and presented her with the 2013 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. Victor Navasky Presented E.L. Doctorow with the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
James McBride surprised a few folks, including himself, by winning the National Book Award for his novel, The Good Lord Bird. Other winners included George Packer, in Nonfiction, for The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America; Cynthia Kadohata, in Young People’s Literature, for The Thing About Luck; and Mary Szybist, for her book of poems, Incarnadine.
Of course the highlight of my evening was taking a photo with Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, prompting the L.A. Times Books to launch the Twitter hashtag #nobelselfie
The Book Look traveled to the elegant Highlawn Pavilion in West Orange, NJ to celebrate with the Bibliophiles, an African-American reading group, in honor of their 25th anniversary. Amidst the sweeping, panoramic view of the New York City skyline, Book Look correspondents Charisse Carney-Nunes and Sadeqa Johnson, mingled with the Bibliophiles and their guests, including authors Nell Irvin Painter (The History of White People), Benilde Little (Good Hair), and Valerie Wilson Wesley (The Tamara Hayle Mystery Series), NJ State Senator Ronald L. Rice, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Historic Preservationist and Rutgers Professor Dr. Clem Price, and a long list of Who’s Who in the NJ political, social/cultural and literary community.
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