Celebrating Our Literary Legacy Since 1998
Three Days Before the Shooting by Ralph
Following a much-publicized controversy over the heavily edited
second novel, Juneteenth
in 1999, Ellison's fans and critics
demanded to see the Master's intended text, not "a patchwork"
reconstructed by John F. Callahan, a professor of humanities at
Lewis & Clark College. Now, a reasonably complete manuscript, pieced
together by Callahan and Adam Bradley, an associate professor at the
University of Colorado at Boulder.
This latest Ellison product, Three Days Before The Shooting
over 1,100 pages, and is full of the kind of narrative alchemy
expected by the man who was lionized by the literary world.
Sins of the Mother: A Novel by Victoria Christopher Sins
Victoria Christopher Murray is the best selling author of several
contemporary novels that touch on hot topics that church people
aren't too eager to disclose. Her infamous character, Jasmine Larson
has been featured in three of those novels and she is certainly the
character I have loved to hate. What else can Jasmine be up to this
time? You would never guess.
Take Your Pleasure Where You Find It by J. D. Mason
In my humble opinion, J.D. Mason is a master storyteller, as they
say. From the very first novel, And on the Eighth Day She Rested
this author has consistently turned out one great read after
another. Each storyline has been different, appealing to a broad
audience of readers. Her latest release, Take Your Pleasure Where You
is a story about women and the power of sisterhood. It is
also about secrets, regrets and doing what one has to do, just to
Samson by Jacquelin Thomas
Jacquelin Thomas has crafted a new novel with a contemporary twist
on the love story of the Biblical characters, Samson and Delilah.
Her modern day Sampson is the Assistant Pastor of Hillside Baptist
Church in North Carolina where his uncle Zachariah is the senior
pastor. Samson Taylor was born into a family of pastors beginning
with his great grandfather who founded the church. He indeed had
some big shoes to fill.
The Secrets of Newberry by Victor McGlothin
The Secrets of Newberry
is the latest novel by McGlothin and with
the exceptions of a few minor issues, I LOVED IT! The novel which
begins in late 1950s Louisiana, in a town called Newberry, just
outside of New Orleans; centers around a young black man and how his
involvement with a white hustler changed his life.
The Secrets of
is the sort of novel that I could suck up through a straw.
It is filled with drama, secrets, with likeable characters and has
an intoxicating narrative that flowed like a boulder rolling down
hill. The Secrets of Newberry
is a damn good book.
The First Leonid McGill
Mystery by Walter Mosley
I did not ever think that I would feel anxious or excited about
Mosley again since he ended his Easy Rawlins series. Yes, I was one
of those diehard fans of the Easy Rawlins mysteries. As illogical as
it may seem, I took the completion of the series rather hard. I
admit I backed away from Mosley for a minute. When
The Long Fall
made its debut, I did not know that the novel existed and did not
care. When I saw the sequel of The Long Fall
Known to Evil
to come out, I decided to give Mosley another shot. Before I got off
into Known to Evil, I had to read The Long Fall first. I hate
starting a series in the middle or tail end of it, so I had to get a
copy of The Long Fall
and read it first. Man, am I glad that I did.
In short, the novel is brilliant! I have never been so in love with
Mosley as I am right now. The Long Fall
is a diamond of a novel
Jesus Boy by Preston L. Allen
is a novel of greatness. If I had to
choose the novels that I would classify as examples of the mythical
Great American Novel, I would throw Jesus Boy
the ring of consideration. I had not read or heard of the author
Allen before, but this novel places Allen in the company of
, as a literary genius. I cannot say this any plainer;
get Jesus Boy
and Read It!
In The Falling Snow by Caryl Phillips
In the Falling Snow
is a wonderful book. As I
stated earlier, I had not read any of Caryl Phillips works before
and I’m feeling a little foolish about it. Phillips did more than
create a storyline with a few interesting characters; he produced a
story that had a mood, a rhythm, that was damn near hypnotic, as if
John Coltrane’s saxophone blowing a ballad was the soundtrack to a
gray, cold winter city scene. I’ve always loved gray winter days.
Phillips wrote a drama that did not have grand dramatic scenes with
grand dramatic gestures instead there were small decisions, in an
average, everyday life that altered the stream of it.
Unzipped: An Urban Erotic Tale by Noire
One of my favorite urban authors, Noire, is back with a new novel,
. In case you don’t know, I love LOVE Noire’s books! Noire
has reached the ultimate plateau of authors, when a new Noire book
cross my desk, I will drop whatever I’m reading in order to get up
in Noire’s book. When Unzipped crossed my desk, I did my little off
beat version of the Cabbage Patch, dropped the novel in my bag so
that I could start reading it at work the next day. I liked
even though I had a few issues with the novel. I did not LOVE it
like I LOVED Noire’s earlier novels, Thug-A-Licious
is a nice read. Well, I guess Noire can’t hit it out of the
park, all the time?
Glorious by Bernice L. McFadden
Bernice McFadden's long awaited release, is pure poetry. This novel
sings to you through the eyes of Easter Bartlett who runs away as a
young girl when her life requires that she don her "big girl
panties" and find a better way. After her mother's sudden death and
the arrival of her father's new, young wife; Easter leaves Waycross,
Georgia in 1910. Taking flight by foot down the dusty Georgia road
she is determined to survive. Jack Johnson's victory in the ring
has made the South an even more dangerous place for people of color.
Whites are both resentful and afraid of the new-found pride in the
Powder Necklace: A Novel by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
I was trying not to like Powder Necklace
, the debut novel by Nana Ekua
Brew-Hammond. I had had my fill of the black girl coming-of-age story. A
few years ago, these types of books were one of the few constantly
thrown in my direction. While I can appreciate it on a certain level of
humanity, it started to get on my nerves because how many times can I
hear the same ole blues without losing my mind: wondering when a flat
chest is finally going to start growing breasts; or the experience, and
accompanying embarrassment, of getting the first period, and where the
womanly deed happened, and who was there, and what color underwear the
girl character was wearing when she got it. I am a man, damn it! I don’t
have periods. I never had a period, nor had I ever wished to. Frankly, I
don’t give three shakes of a rat’s ass about ‘em. It was time for ol’
Thump to make his move and leave the girl coming of age books alone.
Years later, Powder Necklace
crossed my desk and I stepped out on faith
and gave it a chance. Sure enough, I was subjected to the ever present
the “got my first period” episode; *rolling my eyes* but, the novel is
wonderful! I wasn’t meaning to, but I came to love Powder Necklace.
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky
by Heidi W. Durrow is the most remarkable
debut novel that I have read in years! The small novel about a young
girl, a lone survivor of a family tragedy, is stunning. The novel hit me
with the force of a hurricane strength wind knocking the air out my
lungs. When I finished the novel, I just sat; quiet and mesmerized with
my mouth wide open. Durrow, in her first outing, come the closest of
reaching the great mythical plateau – The Great American Novel.
Who Fell from the Sky
is an ass wiper!
Devil’s Dream: A Novel about Nathan Bedford Forrest by Madison Smartt Bell
I had no idea, when I got the book, what I had
gotten myself into. I was initially pissed that I had subjected
myself to read a novel about a freaking Confederate. Although, I
love southern literature, southern food, and admittedly have a
non-comprehensible attachment to
Gone with the Wind;
I’m not a fan of the South, its Confederate Army and government, its
ingrained racism or its death grip unwillingness to accept the fact
that the South LOST the war! The fools need to take some of that
Obama stimulus money and build a bridge in order to GET OVER IT! The
last thing I wanted to do was read a book, any book that glorified
the South. Imagine MY surprise when I became enamored with the novel
and Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Poetic Perceptions by D Phil
Some African-American critics yearn for a return to the fire and
passion of the revolutionary fervor of the 1960s
, but there are many clear, perceptive voices such as D
Phil, who are now concocting wise, practical poetic cures for
today's Black community in this supposedly post-racial America. His
book of poetry, Poetic Perceptions
addresses head-on the challenges and obstacles of daily life, the
inner soul, parenting, family, and the responsibilities of
relationships in this confused society.
One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life-A Story of
Race and Family Secrets by Bliss Broyard
is a big book. It is also
thought provoking and a delightfully knowledgeable read. It is not often
that I read a non-fiction book and don’t look at the page number as I’m
reading. Broyard has an appealing voice, custom made for storytelling.
She made history come alive. I feel somewhat smarter because I read
The Nat Turner Insurrection Trials by Walter L. Gordon, III
Fans of American history will love Gordon’s work. The book is
meticulously researched, thought-provoking, and simply fascinating. It
deserves a place on the shelves next to work such as
and The Autobiography of Frederick Douglas
. Though the
case for parallels between the slave insurrections and the 9/11 attacks
seemed a bit weak and should have been explored more thoroughly, it does
not take away from this great work. You will not be able to put it down.
The Porn Star Guide to Great Sex by Mr. Marcus
Marcus’ literary style might best be assessed as a playful mix of
creative and clinical as he sets about describing the path to maximum
satisfaction via a variety of increasingly adventurous positions.
Leaving nothing to the imagination, he augments his words with
fairly-graphic illustrations reminiscent of those contained in
The Joy of Sex
. And he had the good sense to devote the final
chapter to promoting safe sex and AIDS prevention, which is a good idea
if you’re considering some of his kinkier suggestions involving multiple
Oprah: A Biography by Kitty Kelly
. . . .despite the fact that Oprah is very rich and famous, she’s still
a human being with feelings, too. Who knows how many of the unflattering
revelations in this unauthorized tome are accurate, even if the author
brags about never having been successfully sued for libel before?
I’ll say this, it certainly doesn’t seem as though anybody very close to
Oprah cooperated with the project. But that didn’t prevent Kitty Kelley
from coming up with enough scandalous material to keep you on the edge
of your seat for the duration of her shocking 500+ page-turner
Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture by Thomas Chatterton Williams
Williams, whose mother is white and father is black, credits his dad’s
emphasis on education with ultimately enabling him to appreciate the
value of a college degree as a ticket out of the hood, as opposed to
music, sports or illegal activities. This would prove to be no mean
feat, however, for as a teenager the author found the materialist
trappings and anti-social attitudes of the thug lifestyle ever so
seductive. Thus, he cared little about grades and attending classes,
while considering the conspicuous consumption and general degeneracy
celebrated in gangsta’ rap videos worthy of emulation.
Moses and the Monster and Miss Anne by Carole C. Marks
I began this book somewhat arrogantly because I already know about
Harriet Tubman. Tubman is one of the staples of Black History Month. I
began this book smugly believing I knew enough about Tubman that I did
not need to read this book to become more knowledgeable. I wrongly
believed that Marks could not tell me anything new about Tubman. I was
WRONG. I learned a great deal about Harriet Tubman from this book. For
example, I did not know that Tubman had a working relationship with John
Brown, the abolitionist; nor the role she played during the Civil War as
a military strategist and as a nurse; and how she was NOT paid for the
work she did for the Union Army. I did not know that after the war
Tubman lived in poverty, but had a generous and giving nature. The
Tubman biography shined like new money in water.
and Mosaicbooks.com Founders Discuss Social Media
Also catch Kara Smith, the founder and president of Karasma
Media, a Harlem based public relations boutique specializing in social
media campaigns, and brand development for legal marketers and small to
mid-size businesses. Kara and AALBC.com's founder, Troy Johnson will
be giving four workshops on different aspects of Social Media Marketing Workshops
as part of Publishing You-niversity the 2010 Harlem Book Fair THIS
Saturday July 17th. Click
here for more information.
Nathan Henrion talks Baker Publishing Group's titles
Nathan Henrion & Carol Hill-Mackey talk about titles from Baker
Publishing Group During BookExpo America 2010 including Mackey's #1
AALBC.com bestseller Sistergirl Devotion
Burnett Discusses her book Adam's Belle
, is the memoir of Isabel Washington Powell who married the late Congressman Adam Clayton Powell.
Manie Barron on the roles of the Literary Agent and Author
Manie Barron, Partner at the Menza Barron Agency, speaking about the
roles and responsibilities of the literary agent and author at the
National Black Book Conference, sponsored by CushCity.com in Houston TX
Weber Talks about his Novels
Carl Weber talks about how he came up with the themes for his novels.
Fans of Weber will enjoy this video as his talk is delivered with the
same drama and humor they’ve come to expect from his books.
Tinesha Davis with Victoria Christopher Murray
& Kwame Alexander
Tinesha Davis talks about the success of here novel. Victoria
Christopher Murray gives a tip on character development. Kwame Alexander
tells how he got started publishing poetry and he read a couple of poems
too! The conversation took place at Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe in Harlem
Literamed Publications is a 40 year-old International children's book
publisher based in Lagos Nigeria
Stephanie Robinson talks about her book: Post Racial? The Paradox of
Color in 21st Century America
during BookExpo America 2010
Author J.M. Benjamin talks about his work at the National Black Book
Festival in Houston TX May 22nd 2010
Pam Grier talks about her memoir Foxy
during a book signing at Barnes
and Noble in NYC on May 4th 2010
Okri Read's a Poem Which Describes What One Must Read
Ben reading his poem 10 ½ Intonations during the PEN World Voices
Festival of International Literature at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in
NYC on May 2nd 2010
McFadden describes how, her novel, Glorious
was published after more the
40 rejection letters.
Robinson The "A Game of Character" Interview
Craig Robinson was born in Chicago on April 21, 1962, to Fraser and
Marian Robinson and raised in a modest home where he had to share a room
with his younger sister, Michelle. With help of devoted parents, who
made major sacrifices on their behalf, both children were inspired to
excel academically and were admitted to Princeton University.
6’6” Craig was also a basketball phenom who was twice voted the Ivy
League Player of the Year during his college tenure. This meant that
Michelle grew up in the shadow of her protective big brother. But today,
those roles are reversed with Craig in the shadow of his world famous
sibling, since she’s now the First Lady of the United States.
Ice Cube: The “Are We There Yet?” Interview
O’Shea Jackson was born on June 15, 1969, and adopted the cool alias “Ice Cube” before founding N.W.A. in the late 1980s. As the lyrical mastermind behind the legendary group's Straight Outta Compton album, he literally launched the gangster rap revolution. And his subsequent solo material, including such early Nineties classic CDs as AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted and Death Certificate, solidified his place in the pantheon of the genre's more socially-aware artists.
Al B. Sure! “The Ultimate Merger” Interview
Albert Joseph Brown, III was born in Boston, Massachusetts on June 4,
1968 but raised in Mount Vernon, New York where he was the star
quarterback on the high school football team. Still, he turned down a
full scholarship to the University of Iowa to pursue his love of music
under the alias Al B. Sure! In 1987, he was tapped by Quincy Jones as
the winner of a Sony Records talent search and, found fame while still
in his teens with the spectacular debut album “In Effect Mode” featuring
numerous hits, including such instant R&B classics as Rescue Me and Nite
Roland Martin “The First” Interview
Between Barack Obama’s declaring his candidacy for the Presidency and
Election Day 2008, Roland Martin filed hundreds of reports about the
campaign in his capacity as a political correspondent for CNN and TV-One
Networks, as well as a radio talk show host and a nationally-syndicated
columnist. Furthermore, Martin was also occasionally afforded access to
Obama for intimate, 1-on-1 interviews. So, it only makes sense that he
would decide to publish The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the
White House as Originally Reported by Roland S. Martin
, a book
recounting Obama’s historic run for the White House.
Director Hisani DuBose
DuBose has been very busy since this critic dubbed her the best black director of 2005, while naming her movie, The Vanishing Black Male, the best black documentary of the year. The picture has since been screened at eleven film festivals around the country, and won a Broader Vision Award. And clips from the documentary can presently be seen on the cable network TV One's broadband channel.
Ms. DuBose is presently in post-production for a new documentary, Adrenaline Security: A Bouncer's Life which examines the world of nightclub bouncers. Meanwhile, she's also working to raise money for two feature movie projects.
Soledad O’Brien’s Follow-Up Report about the Haitian Relief Effort
Since Haiti’s no longer front-page news, it’s very easy to forget about
the fact that there’s an ongoing crisis there in the wake of the
devastating earthquake which hit the island on January 12th.
Fortunately, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien stands out as a journalist who has
remained very committed to keeping the story of the country’s recovery
on the front burner.
Here, she talks about the riveting documentary, which will be
voiceovered by Wyclef Jean and Edwidge Danticat and told from the
perspectives of 6 year-old orphan Candy Jeune and a freed slave named
Marc Kenson Oliphi.
Common The “Just Wright” Interview
Common was born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. in Chicago on March 13, 1972 to
Lonnie, Sr. a former pro basketball player, and Dr. Mahila Ann Hines, an
educator. He started rapping while still in high school, forming a trio
called C.D.R. which opened for acts like N.W.A. and Big Daddy Kane. He
adopted the alias Common Sense by 1992 which is when he released his
first CD, entitled “Can I Borrow a Dollar?” He shortened his name to
just Common after a lawsuit by a band claiming to have the exclusive
trademark for “Common Sense.”
Sheila Johnson “The Other City” Interview
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheila Crump Johnson is the only
African-American female to enjoy ownership in three professional sports
teams: the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the NBA’s Washington Wizards and
the NHL’s Washington Capitals. Furthermore, as CEO of Salamander
Hospitality, a company she founded in 2005, Ms. Johnson oversees a
growing portfolio of luxury properties, including Woodlands Inn, in
Summerville, SC, which is one of only a handful of properties to receive
both a prestigious Forbes Five Star rating and a AAA Five Diamond rating
for lodging and dining.
Here, she talks about her new film, The Other City, an expose’ about the
HIV/AIDS crisis in Washington, DC which recently premiered at the 2010
TriBeCa Film Festival.
Why We Laugh - Reverential Documentary Pays Homage to Black Pioneers of
This alternately hilarious and enlightening documentary is designed to
pay homage to the trailblazing pioneers of black comedy. The film also
simultaneously recounts the evolution of the art form in light of the
prevailing African-American political and cultural experience. The film
was directed by Robert Townsend who compiled a most impressive cast to
contribute to the project via a combination of present-day interviews
and archival footage, including the posthumous performances and
reflections of such late great entertainers as Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley,
Richard Pryor, Flip Wilson, Mantan Moreland, Stepin’ Fetchit, Bernie Mac
and Robin Harris.
To Live & Die in Amerikkka - Shocking Documentary Bemoans Skyrocketing
Homicide Rate in Baton Rouge
Looks like Baton Rouge has really been living up to its name lately,
which is French for “bloody stick,” although “bloody bullets” might be
more apropos nowadays. For the Louisiana capital city’s homicide rate
has skyrocketed in recent times, leading a local official to explain
that the coroner had to hire a couple of new examiners in order to “get
the bodies off the street faster.”
Not surprisingly, most of the victims as well as the perpetrators of
this senseless violence have been young black males, a fact which
inspired gang member-turned-filmmaker Arthur “Silky Slim” Reed to make a
movie about the tragic situation in his hometown. The upshot of that
effort is To Live & Die in Amerikkka , one of the most shocking,
graphic, and heartbreaking, in your face documentaries you could ever
hope to see.
Harlem Book Fair
- Harlem New York - July 17th, 2010
Download Complete Program Guide:
Also check out the Publishing You-niversity
Social Media Workshops
On-line registration for the Social Media Workshops is available using
the links below. Each workshop is $10. On-site registration
is available based upon availability. All workshop will take place
in classroom 211 at Thurgood Marshall Academy (214
West 135th Street
Using a Website to Generate Business (Workshop I)
- 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
How to Use Facebook to Build Your
Personal and Professional Brand (Workshop II) - 1:30 PM
- 2:45 PM
What is Twitter All About? (Workshop III) -
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Social Media Beyond Facebook and Twitter (Workshop IV)
- 4:30 PM - 5:45 PM
People who register for all 4 workshops (I - IV), will receive a free
copy of the Whitepaper: "How to Jumpstart Your Social Media".
Child Rearing - 1950s style
BaBack then, kids were kids. Having a baby was just a routine part of
life. You got married in your early twenties and in a couple of years
started a family. Children were kept in perspective. You had em, you
raised em and tried to teach em right from wrong. You often made
sacrifices for them. If they were ambitious enough to want to go to
college, you got a second job and sent them off to an institution of
higher learning. You might have even exhausted your bank account to give
your daughter a big wedding. Then, you cut them loose, dutifully
assuring them that you’d always be there for them, hoping they didn’t
take you up on the offer.
Facebook is a Drug
I I agree. Some people seem to be on Facebook all day long, idly chatting
about trivial things, keeping friends posted on their every move. Doing
this apparently fills a void in their life, and satisfies a need to
validate their existence. Why are people so seduced by the technology of
communication nowadays? It's kind of scary to contemplate what this
bodes for the future.
Visit Daily to Get the Latest News in the World of Books
AALBC.com Advertising Take Advantage of our Summer Time Special while they last!
Large Book Cover Graphic
Place a large book cover on AALBC.com for only $399. Your book appears on appears on every AALBC.com Content Page (including the homepage)
for two full months!
The novel Chasing the Avatar
by Jovan Jones, shown here, is the
actual size of a previous Large Book Cover Ad.
OnOnly 3 slot are sold for this position.
This is a great deal! Your book will be displayed hundreds of
times and receive a high click through ratio.
This Special ends July 31st 2010
Large Book Cover Graphic
For $249 (38% off) your video will be embedded (including the homepage) for 1 full month!
The image shown in the left shows how you video will look
ThThe video will play directly on the page. The link below can send visitors to any website you like.
You've spent the time, energy, money to have your video created; why now place it where you audience will actually
watch it. Hundreds of thousands of
visitors will have the opportunity to view your video.
This Special ends August 31st 2010
AALBC.com eNewsletter Management
President, AALBC.com, LLC
Toll Free: 866-603-8394
p.s. Long term subscribers to the AALBC.com eNewsletter will have
noticed an unusually long time between issues. In the almost 12
years I've published this eNewsletter, this has been our longest time
between issues. The last eNewsletter was published on
Part of the delay was due to my migration from constant contact to Madmimi
for managing my mailing list. The large number of off-line events
I participated in (as evidenced by all the videos I shot), also made it
difficult to get an eNewsletter out sooner.
I don't plan to go 3 months between eNewsletters again; so look out for
the next eNewsletter in Late August and roughly every 4 weeks after