eNewsletter - December 20, 2011 - Issue #189

The African American Literature Book Club - Celebrating Our Literary Legacy Since 1997

Visit our eNewsletter archives going back over a decade!


Thank You from AALBC.com Founder and Webmaster

A "Thank You" from AALBC.com, LLC's President, Founder and Webmaster


Authors You Should Know

Teju Cole - Art Historian, Street Photographer


Cole's novel Open City has been named to numerous 2011 “Best Books of the Year” lists, including the New York Times, the New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, National Public Radio, Seattle Times, Dallas Morning News, GQ, the Guardian, the New Statesman, and the Atlantic.

“An indelible novel. Does precisely what literature should do: it brings together thoughts and beliefs, and blurs borders…A compassionate and masterly work.” --The New York Times

Regina Brooks

Regina Brooks - Serendipity Literary Agency LLC


Ms. Regina Brooks is the founder and President of Serendipity Literary Agency LLC. Equally at home in the technical world of engineering as in the literary world of writing and editing, Ms. Brooks has over a decade of experience in senior positions at major publishing houses including John Wiley & Sons Inc. and the McGraw-Hill Companies. She is a graduate of the Howard University Publishing Institute in Washington DC. Prior to her publishing career she worked as an aerospace engineer for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, and made history as the first African American woman to receive a Bachelors of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Ohio State University. She is also a graduate of The School of the Arts High School in Rochester, NY.

Anthony T. Browder - Kemetologist, Master Teacher


"Tony" Browder is an author, publisher, cultural historian, artist and an educational consultant. He has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Mexico, Africa, Japan, and Europe, on topics pertaining to African and African American History and Culture.

Mr. Browder is the founder and director of the Institute of Karmic Guidance, a culturally oriented organization which is dedicated to the dissemination of “ancient Egyptian history and metaphysics.” Mr. Browder holds fast to the beiefs that ancient Africans were the architects of civilization and that they developed the rudiments of what has become the scientific, religious, and philosophical backbone of mankind. It is from this framework that IKG has concentrated its research and disseminated its findings.


Fiction Book Reviews

I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


I loved this story for many different reasons. Namely because I’m a history buff, and secondly, Mr. Gaiter goes deep into the psyches of Rufus, the Judge and the victims offering poignant and believable angst that gives the impression that you could’ve been there to witness any scene in the book. It does a great job in delving into a few of the harsh realities of the West that yearns to break into the 20th century unscathed. Instead, the Rufus Buck gang exposed yet, a bit of history that few imagined but turned out to be real. Sadly to say, the violence and injustice that shaped America's westward expansion was but a small part of why native Americans in general, and people of color specifically suffered but didn’t stand still to allow status quo.

Zone One: A Novel by Colson Whitehead


As one of the finest word craftsmen of his generation, Colson Whitehead has shown a high degree of imaginative skill and creativity, turning each genre inside out to meet his purposes. He never writes the same book over, improvising and tinkering within the boundaries of each fictional setting like a master jazz musician.

A MacArthur Fellow, Whitehead, a literary novelist with acclaimed six books to his credit, tackles the horror realm and the popular zombie fad with his latest book, Zone One. Influenced by horror wizards George Romero, Max Brooks, Stephen King, and David Wellington, the novel features Mark Spitz, an ordinary bloke who has survived the deadly "Last Night" event that has transformed the world population into a legion of walking dead, dodging chaos. The zombies or skels, a term often used by cops to describe perps, have overrun the earth with their bad flesh-devouring appetites and unruly behavior.


Nonfiction Book Reviews

My Song: A Memoir by Harry Belafonte with Michael Shnayerson


"I believe my time was a remarkable one," Belafonte writes. "I am aware that we now live in a world overrun by cruelty and destruction, and our earth disintegrates and our spirits numb, we lose moral purpose and creative vision. But still I must believe, as I always have, that our best times lie ahead, and that in the final analysis, along the way we shall be comforted by one another. That is my song."

Spiritual, lucid, realistic, Belafonte's memoir should be on everybody's must-read list. It's not only the shining story of a masterful Black man, but a human being who has spent his days in thankless service to those poor, neglected and unfortunate. What an incredible life!

This Is Herman Cain: My Journey to the White House by Herman Cain


One criticism leveled at Herman Cain by a lot of TV pundits is that he isn’t really a serious presidential candidate because he’s devoted so much time during the campaign to promoting his autobiography. Well, anybody who’s actually bothered to read the book would see that it really devotes as much attention to his political platform as it does to his private life.

One thing’s for certain, whether he’s reflecting on his childhood or addressing the issues, the charismatic businessman has a knack for driving home his point in readily-digestible layman’s terms. In fact, he’s able to break down any topic of conversation into a slogan with 3 simple tenets.


Film Reviews

Kinyarwanda - Rwandan Tragedy Revisited in "Crash"-Like Ensemble Drama


"The funny thing about genocide, you never know who’s knocking." That chilling voiceover just past the opening credits sets the tone for Kinyarwanda, a moving series of vignettes revisiting the 1994 Rwandan Civil War from the inside out. The movie marks the brilliant directorial debut of recent NYU film school grad Alrick Brown, whose emotionally-engaging ensemble drama made quite a splash at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year where it won the Audience Award in the World Cinema category.

Employing a cinematic technique effectively employed in Crash, the picture revisits the genocide in Rwanda from the perspectives of individuals hopelessly immersed in the conflict. The net result is an absorbing adventure which forces the audience to invest emotionally in the diverging fates of a variety of complex characters as opposed to the narrowly-drawn, one-dimensional characters usually served up in war flicks.


AALBC.com Articles

What Happened to the Best African American Literary Magazines?


Like an old photograph, each of these 1st issues conjures up a wide range of memories and nostalgic feelings. When I look at these magazines today I still experience the hope and promise they offered. The hope came from an understanding that the coverage of books and stories written by Black people was a very rare thing. Each of these magazines covered the wealth, and depth of our stories. For me they were, and still are, a source of pride.


AALBC.com Videos

Dr. Daniel Omotosho Black


I've been to a many author signings over the years Rarely have I witnessed such a passionate group of fans rave over an authors work. Several people told me, "You have to read Perfect Peace". Of course I like to share information about great reads so I pass this information on to you.


AALBC.com Interviews

Russell Simmons - Hip-Hop Pioneer Shares His Vision for the Occupy Wall Street Movement


Why did you join the Occupy Wall Street Movement?

"Well, I have certainly been one of the people who’s been very vocal about the government’s being more concerned about special interests than the needs of the people who elected the officials. There’s always been talk about this, and now we have a chance to have a real dialogue. Wall Street controlled the future of the people participating in the occupation. A lot of pundits keep asking, “What do they want?” It’s so clear to me what the protesters’ rap is all about. They’re occupying Wall Street and carrying picket signs that say things like, “I couldn’t afford a politician, so I made this sign.” You can trace their grievances and discontent back to all the corporate influence which has had a huge impact in terms of all the inequalities that people are suffering from. If you talk about the prison-industrial complex, I’ve fought against the prison-industrial complex when I called for a repeal of the Rockefeller drug laws. The biggest impediment to get the laws changed was the lobbyists. Whether you’re talking about healthcare, jobs going overseas, or tax reform, you’re always coming up against lobbyists. Hello! So that issue is critical. And this dialogue is bringing a lot more attention to it"


AALBC.com Recommends

Ujama Deals


Ujamaa Deals is a daily deals site that provides discounts to different Black-owned businesses every week. By signing up you will receive emails with these deals that will not only expose you to great Black-owned companies, but will also give you a discount as an added incentive to support them. One of the major excuses for not supporting Black-owned companies is not being able to find them. Ujamaa Deals will help eliminate this excuse first with national deals from Black businesses that can sell their products/services online, and then by launching local deals in various cities with large Black populations like Atlanta, DC, Chicago, LA, Philadelphia, New York, etc.



The Eleventh National Black Writers Conference - Brooklyn, NY - Thursday, March 29 - Sunday, April 1, 2012


2012 NBWC Honorees

Ishmael Reed – John Oliver Killens Lifetime Achievement Award, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o – W. E. B. Du Bois Award, Nikki Giovanni - Gwendolyn Brooks Award and Dr. Howard Dodson – Ida B. Wells Institutional Leadership Award

Register by Feb. 1st and get 10% off!


Huria Search - Discover the Global Black Community

Huria Search


"Imagine, a search engine where independent sites of the African Diaspora have priority."

Huria Search was launched in November of 2011 and continues to grow. The index of websites continues to grow and evolve.

We are also add a directory of websites, which will allow you to obtain list of sites based upon type. Visit http://huria.org/d for a preview.



Win A Twisted Sista Prize Pack

Click here to enter Twisted Sista Contest for a chance to win a complete set of all six Twisted Sista products.

Win the Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Prize Pack

Click here to enter Shrlock Holmes ContestClick here to enter Shrlock Holmes Contest for a chance to win a prize pack which inlcudes pair of Movie Money tickets, a Wooden 7-in-1 Desktop Game Set and more.

Click here for a list of all active contests


Coming in 2012

AALBC.com & The Ink Spot's Host Stanley Robinson will Launch an online book club whose working name is The Ink Spot on AALBC.com. We will read non-fiction books. The conversation will take place on AALBC.com, on WVON 1690 AM Chicago radio program and a cable TV program. The Ink Spot on AALBC.com book club has a planned launch for February 2012.

The Best Book Trailer for 2011 Judges will select the top 10 videos from all the submitted entries. Visitors will vote on the top 3 videos. We plan to begin accepting entries very soon.

The Best Selling Books for 2011. Will Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans be dethroned after being the best selling nonfiction book for 5 years in a row?

Stay tuned for much, much, more!


A Question for eNewsletter Subscribers

I was wondering if you preferred #1 or #2 below;

  1. Longer and less frequently emailed Newsletters. Historically we have been writing eNewsletters that are approximately 6,000 words, which are mailed about once every 7 weeks
  2. Shorter more frequently emailed enewsletters. This newsletter is about 2,000 words. I would email a newsletter of this length about once every 3 weeks.

Which do your prefer? Email me at troy@aalbc.com and let me know. Feel free to provide any other suggestions that you might have as well.


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