2012 marks the beginning of AALBC.com's 15th year of selling books on-line. We sold our first book on December 1997. The 2011 bestsellers list is based upon online sales, reported through Amazon.com's affiliate program
Wahida Clark has the most titles on the 2011 Best Sellers List (5)
Iyanla Vanzant and J. California Cooper are the only two authors to make both out our 1998 and 2011 Best Sellers list
Karrine Steffans is the only author to have a single title make the list seven years in a row. Confessions of a Video Vixen has been the #1 or #2 best selling book every year since 2005 and is AALBC.com's all time best selling book.
Carl Weber's The Choir Director book made the 2011 list despite being published (mass market paperback) on December 27th, 2011
The oldest book on the list is Ivan Van Sertima's classic They Came before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America
eBooks sales are not included in totals. eBooks are tracked on a separate list: best selling eBooks for 2011
1,651 different titles were sold in 2011 This is fewer titles than 2010. While the 2011 title count excludes eBook titles, the total would still be less than 2010. This is the first year we have seen in decline in the number of titles sold, year over year, since 1997 -- yikes!
Help AALBC.com sell more books and maybe even make our bestsellers list (Click here to learn how)
the Messenger: A Story of Radical Faith, Racism’s Backlash, and the
Assassination of a Journalist
Any Western journalist who’s honest will admit that they’re scared to
write anything critical about Islam, since it doesn’t take much to make
a mullah put a price on your head. Consider the recent history. Everyone
from novelist Salman Rushdie to Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard have
had to go into hiding because of all the death threats they received
after publishing material Muslims deemed offensive. And Dutch director
Theo van Gogh was stabbed to death by a disgruntled fundamentalist
because he made a movie about honor killings and other forms of violence
still being perpetrated against innocent females in the name of Allah.
Much closer to home, Chauncey Bailey, editor-in-chief of the Oakland Post, was shot dead on the morning of August 2, 2007. He was about to expose a store called Your Black Muslim Bakery as a front for a criminal operation dealing in drugs, sex slaves and murder.
Chauncey’s assassination touched me [Kam Williams] personally, since he was an editor of mine at the time. In fact, the two of us had spoken just a couple of days before he was gunned down on the street by a Muslim goon squad on orders from their imam, a madman known as Yusuf Bey IV.
Cross & the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone
It has been said that Sunday morning is still the most segregated time
in America. An explanation for that phenomenon might rest in the fact
that the white Church remains in denial about the country’s ugly legacy
of lynching, while the black Church was on the front lines in the battle
against that despicable form of state-sanctioned terrorism.
This is the thesis of James H. Cone in The Cross & the Lynching Tree, a scathing indictment of the silence of Caucasian clerics in the pulpit about the perilous plight of generations of African-Americans. The author, a Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York, points out the obvious parallels between, “the crucifixion by the Romans in Jerusalem and the lynching of blacks by whites in the United States” before wondering “What blocks the American Christian imagination from seeing the connection?”
in language & sound: or how i found my way to the arts:essays by
Readers who may not be familiar with the author would get quite a bit of
information behind the scenes as she writes poignantly her emanation
from minor to major. As such, the book reads like an autobiographical
sketch exploring and expounding on how linguistic fortitude and specific
aspects of the humanities has shaped her voice and virtue. It's much
more prolific as she gives a profound personal look at the reflections
through flashbacks on what it means to be artistic without compromise, a
woman of worth, while allowing her blackness to be all that the race
The book is unique in the fact that it's descriptive in how she got from point A to B and all other points in between! I like the fact that she wrote it in the style that is uniquely hers (i.e., writing in lower case and using backslashes throughout), and with a sense of continuity that doesn’t lose the reader. Written with three distinct themes, the chapters are short but inspiring, each with reasons for all things relative to the craft. If anything, the sheer stylistic rendering forces you to keep up with the pace without losing insight.
Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina: A
Biohistory of American Performance by Brenda Dixon Gottschild
The book was written by Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Professor Emeritus of
Dance Studies at Temple University, a brilliant scholar who is
passionate about her field of endeavor. Consequently, the enlightening
text might be best described as a combination history lesson about the
talented Brown (including her mentors and protégés as well) and a labor
of love undertaken by a sage elder determined to remind future
generations in vivid detail about the many hardships endured by their
African-American ancestors on the long, hard road to racial equality.
A timely testament to a legendary role model who inspired generations of little black girls to reach for the stars in the face of a racist society that would just as soon crush their prima ballerina dreams.
Learning about the Africans That Came to the Americas! by L.E. Chavous
After Lee Chavous became a father a few years ago, he soon found himself
worrying about his son’s prospective education. He knew that the
formative years are critical, and that the history books tend to
marginalize, overlook, or inaccurately recount the contributions of
Wanting his little boy to grow up fully aware not only of his ancestors’ centuries-long struggle for equality but of how they also helped shape the country in myriad ways, Lee decided to write his own illustrated texts. Aimed at kids aged 8-11, the first in his very informative series, Learning about the Africans That Came to the Americas, offers an impressive overview of slavery from the black perspective.
For black youth, one of the unfortunate aspects of learning is having to unlearn misinformation, like the fact that John Brown was actually a hero who freed slaves, not an insurrectionist hung for stealing plantation owners’ property. That’s why it was refreshing to see that this book describes Brown as an “abolitionist.”
Important Writers of the 20th Century
I [Troy Johnson] had the pleasure of speaking in a couple of the short video
biographies, on American novelists, created by
Bio.com, which is part of the
A+E Television Networks. I spoke briefly about James Baldwin and
There were several more videos created. I’ve posted a seven of my favorite ones; James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison, Harper Lee, Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck, and Kurt Vonnegut.
Book Look on AALBC.com
Please join us in welcoming The Book Look,
AALBC.com's newest addition. The Book Look is an engaging and fast-paced
video segment that tackles the latest in books and book news relevant to
our community. The weekly program is hosted by beautiful book-lover and
2011 Miss Black America-Baltimore, Alexandra Morton. It also features
original music by talented and Atlanta-based artist/producer, Zion
With its music, humor and entertainment value, The Book Look is unlike any other show on the Web and remember, episodes will be available here on AALBC.com! So get ready to look at books in a whole different light.
Blacktrospective 2011 - Kam William's Annual Assessment of the
Best in Black Cinema
2011 proved to be another banner year in black cinema, with The Help
emerging as the cream of the crop. Even though the adaptation of the
Kathryn Stockett best-seller had detractors like Professor
Harris-Perry questioning the
historical accuracy of its depiction of
African-American maids, there’s no denying that Viola Davis delivered an
Oscar-worthy performance as the movie’s lead character, Aibileen Clark.
In terms of male leads, Vin Diesel was the best of the bunch, I just
hope the ethnically-ambiguous matinee idol doesn’t mind being branded a
A number of excellent films were shot in Africa, most notably Kinyarwanda and Life, Above All. Then there’s Pariah, a gritty, New York City, dysfunctional family drama ostensibly inspired by the success of Precious in 2009, and featuring a comedienne (Kim Wayans) playing it very serious as an abusive mother.
Safe House - Rookie and Rogue Agents Make Strange Bedfellows in High
Body-Count Spy Thriller
The movie marks the English-language directorial debut of Sweden’s
Daniel Espinosa, who must be credited for coaxing yet another vintage
outing from two-time, Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington (for Glory
and Training Day). In addition, he simultaneously allowed romantic
comedy regular Ryan Reynolds to prove himself capable of playing more
the handsome hunk opposite the blonde-of-the-moment.
The talented co-stars not only acquit themselves well in the convincingly-choreographed fight sequences, but their credible chemistry cultivated during downtime enables the audience to forgive the periodic holes in the picture’s Swiss cheese script. They are helped immeasurably in that endeavor by equally-powerful, support performances on the part of several consummate thespians, including Oscar-nominees Vera Farmiga (for Up in the Air) and Sam Shepard (for The Right Stuff) as well as Brendan Gleeson and Ruben Blades.
Likable unlikely buddies enmeshed in a pyrotechnics-driven, political potboiler with more twists than a Chubby Checker concert make for a cinematic experience that’s more than worth the price of admission.
Red Tails - WWII Saga Recounts Heroic Exploits of Tuskegee Airmen
Aside from raising the question of the arbitrary color line, the plot
reads like a typical, cliché-ridden war flick revolving around a
tight-knit, motley crew of colorful characters. Each is based on a
simplistically-drawn archetype, like the ill-fated pilot you know isn’t
long for this world the moment he’s shown sitting in his cockpit gazing
fondly at a picture of his fiancée right before takeoff.
Nonetheless, Red Tails amounts to a worthy, overdue tribute to a group of intrepid, World War II heroes who never let their second-class status diminish their patriotism even one iota.
Pariah - Latent Lesbian Summons Courage in Out-of-the-Closet Drama
17 year-old Alike (Adepero Oduye) has been hiding a big secret from her
parents, namely, that she’s gay. But that fact is becoming more and more
difficult for the latent lesbian to suppress, given the raging hormones
which have her yearning for a girlfriend.
Is it any wonder then that she might feel like a pariah, a social outcast struggling to find acceptance. Pariah is also the title of this semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age drama directed by Dee Rees. Although the picture does feature a number of superficial parallels to Precious, it is in no way derivative, and addresses a very different theme of equal import to the black community.
Joyful Noise - Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton Co-Star in Gospel-Driven Musical Drama
Joyful Noise, a faith-based mix of modern morality play and musical
numbers. The soulful singing performances are the film’s forte, from
Dolly Parton and Kris Kristofferson’s heartfelt duet on “From Here to
the Moon and Back” to Keke Palmer and Jeremy Jordan’s equally-evocative
interpretation of “Maybe I’m Amazed” to Ivan Kelley, Jr.’s spirited
rendition of “That’s the Way God Planned It.”
As for the pat plotline, the point of departure finds Vi Rose with her hands full and dividing her time from trying to raise two teenagers alone because her husband (Jesse L. Martin) abandoned the family for the military on account of the lack of local jobs. Their son, Walter (Dexter Darden), is in need of help handling his Asperger’s Syndrome while boy-crazy daughter, Olivia (Palmer), sure could use a more appropriate suitor than the thug (Paul Woolfolk) who’s been courting her lately.
Perry - The “Good Deeds” Interview
Tyler Perry’s inspirational journey from the hard streets of New
Orleans to the heights of Hollywood's A-list is the stuff of American
legend. Born into poverty and raised in a household scarred by abuse,
Tyler fought from a young age to find the strength, faith and
perseverance that would later form the foundations of his much-acclaimed
plays, films, books and TV shows.
Obviously, Tyler practices what he preaches, and what he preaches has endeared him to millions of fans drawn by that unique blend of spiritual hope and down-home humor that continues to shape his inspiring life story and extraordinary body of work. Here, he talks about his new film, Good Deeds, a relationship drama which he wrote, directed and stars in opposite an A-list cast which includes Thandie Newton, Gabrielle Union, Phylicia Rashad, Rebecca Romijn, Jamie Kennedy, Beverly Johnson and Brian White.
Cuba Gooding, Jr.: Oscar-Winner Opines on Playing Tuskegee Airman
Cuba Gooding, Jr. was born in the Bronx, New York on January 2, 1968, to
Shirley and Cuba, Sr., the lead singer of the R&B group The Main
Ingredient. After his deadbeat dad abandoned the family in 1974, Jr. and
his siblings were raised in L.A. by his struggling single-mom. He ended
up attending four different high schools, but was still popular enough
to be voted class president at three of them.
A born-again Christian since the age of 13, Cuba married his childhood sweetheart, Sara Kapfer, whom he started dating in high school. They have three kids, Spencer, Mason and Piper. Here, he talks about his latest outing as Major Emanuelle Stance in Red Tails, a World War II epoch about the legendary Tuskegee Airmen.
Ne-Yo: The “Red Tails” Interview
Shaffer Chimere Smith, aka Ne-Yo, was born in Camden, Arkansas, but
raised in Las Vegas, Nevada by his mom, a musician of Chinese and
He began making a name for himself as a singer/songwriter in 1999, going on to compose hits for Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans, Christina Milian, B2K, Mario and others, and also to record four solo albums.
In 2006, he added acting to his repertoire, making his screen debut in Save the Last Dance, later appearing in Stomp the Yard and, more recently, in Battle: Los Angeles. Here, he talks about his co-starring opposite Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Terrence Howard as Andrew “Smoky” Salem in Red Tails, a World War II saga recounting the daring exploits of the Tuskegee Airmen in the skies over Europe.
Vernon Davis: The NFL Playoffs Interview
San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is a game-changer who
embodies the ethos of leadership both on and off the field. Picked 6th
overall in the 1st round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of the University of
Maryland, Vernon had already been an All-American football star in high
school and a multi-award winner setting records for speed, strength and
A philanthropist off the field, Vernon represented the NFL by traveling to Afghanistan to spend time with U.S. troops on the invitation of the USO. Last year, he traveled with his brother to Uganda and Rwanda on a mission with PROS FOR AFRICA.
With AALBC.comhe talked about life and about his team’s prospects as the 49ers enter the playoffs.
A fateful encounter with a savvy young producer lands aspiring writer
Olena Day the role of America’s bachelorette on the new reality show The
One. There are just two problems: Olena despises reality TV, and
technically she’s not single. What could she possibly hope to gain? A
book deal? But Olena’s made it clear; she won’t resort to the
stereotypical antics often portrayed by women on reality TV. But ratings
rule and the producers have plans of their own to assure the show’s
success—even if it means exposing some of Olena’s long-held and most
Step behind the scenes of the highly competitive and unique world of reality dating shows, in this relationship-driven page-turner that keeps delivering surprises. To learn more and to enter the 14 Days of Valentines Contest, visit the author’s website: www.cherylrobinson.com
Neworldreview is an online magazine that reviews books, theater and movies. It also features, memoirs, short stories poems and books."neworldreview is an online magazine that reviews books, theater and movies. It also features, memoirs, short stories poems and books.
Editor-in Chief and Publisher Fred Beauford founded Neworld: The Multi-Cultural Magazine of the Arts, and Black Creation magazine. He also served for eight years as the editor of The Crisis magazine. He has taught at The University of Southern California, UC Berkeley, N.Y.U. and SUNY Old Westbury.
http://bit.ly/ujammadeals (share the link!)
The Ujamaa Difference for Black-owned Businesses
Lower fees and discounts, so your business makes and keeps more money from each sale
Our subscribers actually care about supporting Black-owned businesses. They're not just looking for a discount.
Rewards program coming soon to encourage repeat customers.
Celebrating the 75th Anniversary
of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God
Celebrate this seminal work from the
American literary canon with live theater, conversations and more this
season from TThe Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, 44 Charlton Street in SoHo,
New York City. Tickets and information at
I, Too, Sing America: Langston And Zora’s Unsung Collaboration Host Terrance McKnight explores the music of the era through the lens of Langston Hughes and his close and controversial relationship with Zora Neale Hurston. FRI FEB 24 AT 7 PM
Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Radio Drama Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson Starring Brandon Dirdon, Phylicia Rashad, Roslyn Ruff, Leslie Uggams and others. Radio drama adapted by Arthur Yorinks. WED FEB 29 AND THU MAR 1 AT 7 PM
A Literary Salon Mix and mingle and enjoy readings from Their Eyes Were Watching God by poet and actor Carl Hancock Rux. WED MAR 14 AT 6 PM
Women Writers on the Horizon A conversation with Alice Walker, Sonia Sanchez and Ruby Dee, moderated by Zora Neale Hurston’s niece, Lucy Anne Hurston. WED MAR 28 AT 7 PM
As our society becomes increasingly globalized, the themes in the
literary texts and literature created by black writers throughout the
African diasporic communities of the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe
are shifting and expanding in varying ways. There is recognition of the
importance and value of preserving cultural memory and identity and of
cultivating and nurturing cultural and geographical spaces. At the same
time, there is also a recognition that politics and popular culture
shape what we respond to, what we read, what gets published, what we
teach, and what conversations we have in our literary communities, in
the media, in our educational institutions, in our work environments,
and in our homes.
Through novels, stories, poems, plays, memoirs, and essays, black writers have explored the importance of memory on our concepts of self and family. They have examined the impact of popular culture on our personal lives, belief systems, values, and traditions. And they have chronicled what happens when we neglect and do not nurture our natural environment. In essence, they have used the power of words and the literary arts to stir our imagination and to motivate us to affirm, critique, and reflect on our responses to personal, societal, and environmental issues in our lives. The Eleventh National Black Writers Conference will provide writers, scholars, literary professionals, students, and the general public with a forum for engaging in dynamic and spirited conversations, panel discussions, readings, workshops, and performances on themes related to migration, cultural memory, popular culture, and the natural environment.
Purchase your tickets for The Eleventh National Black Writers Conference today at http://aalbc.it/regnbwc
Writing Workshops Sponsered by African Voices Communications,
Begin Your Journey Now!
Novel Writing Workshop (8 Sessions Online)
Enjoy a writing workshop from the convenience of your own home! Get the help you need to begin, revise or complete your novel from a professional editor and published author. Writing a novel requires a solid understanding of all the tools that a fiction writer must use to hold a reader's interest. In this course, you will learn the basics of plot, characterization, point of view, voice, theme, dialogue, pacing and exposition. Using a combination of lecture, exercise and critique from the instructor, you will sharpen your skills and complete the first fifty pages of your book.
Sessions: 8. Registration Fee: $200. Instructor: Anita Diggs. The first online session will begin Monday, March 5, 2012. Please submit writing samples to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online Lecture Dates: 3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23.
Book Making for Poets (Tuesdays, March 13-May 1, 2012, 6 PM - 8 PM)
Are you interested in completing a chapbook or publishing your first poetry collection? Through exercises, readings and discussions workshop participants will explore the process of compiling and writing a poetry manuscript. This will be a hands-on workshop with special attention paid to crafting manuscript beginnings and endings and organizing themes and various aspects of creating the poem. Keen attention will be paid to revision. Participants can expect to explore current trends in publishing and self-publishing including the opportunities in digital publishing.
Sessions: 8. Registration Fee: $200. Instructor: Jacqueline Johnson. Please submit writing samples to: email@example.com.
Dates: 3/13, 3/20, 3/27, 4/3, 4/10, 4/17, 4/24, 5/1
Writing for Blogs & Digital Magazines (Thursdays, March 15 - May 3, 2012, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM)
A fun, fast-paced workshop designed to introduce you to the fine art of writing for blogs and digital magazines. Whether you want to create a blog to promote your novel or business, this workshop will get you started on the process. Writers in the class will start a group blog and be guided in creating and editing work for digital media. Participants will use all the digital tools at hand to make their work engaging to online readers — this may include using one’s cell phone to include short videos and photos that can be embedded in free blog applications. Learn to build an audience for your writing.
Sessions: 8. Registration Fee: $200. Instructor: Troy Johnson. Workshop hosted and
Course Dates: 3/15, 3/22, 3/29, 4/5, 4/12, 4/19, 4/26, 5/3.
Memoir Writing: Telling the World Your Story (Mondays, March 12 - April 30, 2012, 6 PM - 8:30 PM)
Do you have a story to tell the world? This eight-week workshop is for anyone interested in writing everything from autobiographies to the intimately personal memoir. Research, interviews and soul searching are some of the ingredients that make-up the journey of a good memoir or biography. You will be guided in the process of crafting a well-told story that resonates with readers. Specific writing exercises will be used to help you tap into your creativity and work past writer's block. The workshop's goal is to get you started on working on the first draft of your memoir, create an outline for your book or revise previously written work in a nurturing environment with your peers.
Sessions: 8. Registration Fee: $200. Instructor: Michel Marriot. Please submit writing samples to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Course Dates: 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30.
Culture, Race & Economy Discussion Forum - Cynique's Corner
The are so many interesting subjects being discussed I decided to just
list a few of the more popular conversations. Check out, "Where Are All The
Good Single Black Men?", "Occupy Wall Street - Is Real
Change Coming?", "The New Film Red Tails Will it be Any Good? Does it
Matter?", "Sex and Black Women", and "An Open Letter to the Financial Press
[from Russell Simmons]: Is It Because I’m Hip Hop?"
African-American Literature Discussion Forum
- Thumper's Corner
A couple of white authors who have written novels with Black characters stop by and introduce their work. "White author writes novel with mainly African-American characters", and "Another new author with a lot of African characters saying hello".
Visit Daily to Get the Latest News in the World of Books
The Subconscious Shelf by Leah Price
In my college dorm, a volume of Sartre was casually spread-eagled across the futon when I expected callers. We display spines that we’ll never crack; we hide the books that we thumb to death. Emily Post disapproved: her 1930 home decorating manual compared “filling your rooms with books you know you will never open” to “wearing a mask and a wig.”
review: A Slave in the White House, by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor - The
Dallas Morning News
Published: 10 February 2012 06:09 PM
The former director of education at James Madison’s Montpelier debuts
with the biography of Paul Jennings, a slave who grew up with the
Madisons, and was with the former president when he died.
Because Jennings for much of his life was considered merely property, Taylor had to be satisfied with a skeleton of fact, which she fleshes out with imaginative and thorough research, careful supposition and heavy contextual description. Jennings himself contributed a slim document, included as an appendix, A Colored Man’s Reminiscences of James Madison, which originally appeared in 1863. Throughout, Taylor reminds us of the moral failures of the Founding Fathers, especially their unwillingness to accept the notion that black people should enjoy the benefits of freedom so eloquently expressed in the nation’s founding documents.
AALBC.com is Looking for a Magazine Layout Designer
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A.B.L.E. - The Alliance for Black Literature and Entertainment
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