AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books
For January 1st through February 28th 2011
#1 - For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the
Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange
#2 - Farther Than I Meant to Go, Longer Than I Meant to Stay by
Tiffany L. Warren
#3 - What a Sista Should Do by Tiffany L. Warren
#4 - Some Sing, Some Cry: A Novel by Ntozake Shange, Ifa
#5 - The Choir Director by Carl Weber
#6 - Every Thug Needs A Lady by Wahida Clark
#7 - Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan
#1 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're
Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
AALBC.com's 25 Bestselling Books for
AALBC.com's 25 Bestselling eBooks for
2010 (new list)
#2 - True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself by
#3 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#4 - Critical Affinities (Suny Series, Philosophy and Race)
by Jacqueline Scott
#5 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson
#6 - The Ditchdigger's Daughters: A Black Family's Astonishing
Success Story by Yvonne S. Thornton
#7 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Dr. Frances
The Savion Sequence by D. Amari Jackson
Last year I posted a review of The Lost Symbol
by Dan Brown, and upon
completing The Savion Sequence
, I found myself suspended in the realm
of de ja vu as once again I had completed a book that delves into the
esoteric and deals with the interpretation of cryptic paradoxes. What
was different this time is that The Savion Sequence
mysteries of the Sahara desert and the meandering of the Nile river, and
is told from the Afro-centric perspective, a slant that advances a
revisionist version of who the ancient Egyptians really were. Who,
indeed. Certainly not the Arabs just recently seen rioting in the
streets of Cairo since, according to D. Amari Jackson, proof exists that
these Semites usurped the Kemets, - the true Egyptians who were actually
black by virtue of the fact that Egypt is in Africa.
Unmasked & Undressed: A Memoir by Lillian McEwen
When Clarence Thomas’ wife, Ginni, placed a phone call to Anita Hill
last fall asking for an apology for the tawdry testimony during the
Supreme Court confirmation hearings which had almost torpedoed her
husband’s candidacy, little did she know the extent to which the
ill-advised request would only open up a can of worms. For, not only did
Dr. Hill reaffirm her allegations of sexual harassment, but the
rekindled controversy inspired another credible witness to step forward
finally in defense of the sister.
That would be Lillian McEwen, a retired federal judge who broke a
20-year silence to announce that she’d dated Justice Thomas for many
years and that her esteemed colleague and boyfriend had indeed been
addicted to pornography as alleged by Anita under oath. In fact, Lillian
even went further, confessing that she and Clarence had both been sex
freaks back in the day, indulging in threesomes together, and even
copulating in front of strangers at swingers’ clubs like the legendary
on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America by Jessica B.
This seminal contribution to the field’s literature is designed to feed
your mind as much as your tummy, for it brilliantly combines an array of
fascinating history lessons with some easy-to-follow, mouth-watering
recipes. Among the delectable dishes the opus shows how to prepare are
Possum, Porgies, Grits, Gumbo and Summer Southern Succotash.
A dessert called Snow Eggs is attributed to James Hemings, Thomas
Jefferson’s chef at Monticello and an elder brother of Sally Hemings,
the President’s longtime mistress and mother of six of his offspring.
I’m inspired by nostalgia to try Bean Pie, a childhood favorite from the
Nation of Islam I had completely forgotten about.
Hood Health Handbook: Volume One Edited by C’BS Alife Allah and Supreme
Edited by C’BS Alife Allah and Supreme Understanding, “The Hood
Health Handbook” features contributions from over 20 experts in fields
ranging from diet to hygiene to exercise to psychology to massage to
reproduction to money management to pollution and beyond.
Weighing in at a hefty 480 pages, pound-for-pound, this encyclopedic
manual for urban survival in the 21st Century just might be the best
investment you could make this year in your mental and physical health.
Letter: Real Talk, Real Advice, Because Bitterness Isn't Sexy by Shirley
Strawberry & Lyah Beth LeFlore
Comedian/actor/deejay/author Steve Harvey
spawned a veritable cottage industry of black love advice books when he
Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
” back in 2009. But none of those
imitators which have come along since has matched the success of that
runaway #1 best-seller. However, he now has serious competition in “The
Strawberry Letter“ which was coincidentally written by Shirley
Strawberry, co-host of Steve’s nationally-syndicated radio program.
Highlights range from a promiscuous 21 year-old who admits that “I
always jump into bed too soon with men,” to a kissin’ cousin wondering
whether it’s wrong that she’s sleeping with a relative she’s had a crush
on “since I was a young girl,” to a guilt-ridden cougar who is pregnant
by a nephew of her husband about half her age. Even if you can’t exactly
imagine yourself in such kinky predicaments this well-reasoned how-to is
nonetheless worth its while for the entertainment factor alone.
Gotham: A Family History of African-Americans in 19th Century New York
City by Carla L. Peterson
Among the surprising data unearthed by the author in the course of her
study was that she had descended from New York City’s black upper class,
a cosmopolitan community comprised not only of doctors, businessmen and
other professionals but of writers, artists and musicians, too. This
information flies in the face of the conventional wisdom which would
suggest that the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s represented
the first flowering of black culture in the city.
While Professor’s Peterson’s family tree certainly proves fascinating,
what makes her seminal opus so significant is how she painstakingly
reconstructs her forefathers’ past in light of the overall
African-American struggle for emancipation and equality in the 1800s.
Thus, we learn here about the collective, New York City black lobby for
everything from abolition to quality education to the right to vote to
the protection of fugitive slaves.
Publisher Akashic Books
Johnny Temple is the publisher of Akashic Books. Here he talks about two
of his authors Kola Boof and Persia Walker.
Akashic Books is a Brooklyn-based independent company dedicated to
publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction by authors
who are either ignored by the mainstream, or who have no interest in
working within the ever-consolidating ranks of the major corporate
Strawberry - Book Launch Party for The Strawberry Letter
"[Shirley is] one of the kindest, most spiritual people that I know. She
will admit when she has a fault, and that makes it okay for me to show
her mine. She laughs at me. She laughs with me. She has cried with me,
all of it, but it's truly because she cares as a person. And that
caring, sharing, good-hearted perspective is exactly what you will find
in her book The Strawberry Letter
. I hope you enjoy this book as much as
I've enjoyed sitting next to Shirley over the years."
--Steve Harvey, from the foreword
Riders: Q&A with Director Stanley Nelson & Stacey L. Holman
Parents of C.A.F.E. of the Nightingale-Bamford School Hosted a special
screening of American Experience: Freedom Riders, "A riveting new
documentary" from director Stanley Nelson which premiers on PBS on May
16, 2011. This video is a portion of the Q&A with Director Stanley
Nelson and Associate Producer Stacey L. Holman Recorded April 5, 2011.
Two writers with two very different
perspectives on President Barack
Obama; read what they have to say and vote on which opinion most closely
I suppose we, the nation, will get a clearer sense of
Mr. Obama between now and November 2012. Much more so than what we thought we knew
and understood before November 2008. Or at least what we refused to
acknowledge, that is, excessive racial pride can blind one to the truth
of things. The Greeks warned us so long ago that hubris was a fault.
They passed down to us kindly through the ages the character Oedipus as
a poetic reminder. Here I do not propose to be Mr. Obama's analyst. I
possess no talent and training for what is Oedipal and what is not
Oedipal. Read the rest of this
article by Rudolph Lewis
Before Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United
States, our country faced major challenges, domestically and abroad.
Economists said we were on the brink of a second Great Depression.
Abroad, the United States was viewed mostly unfavorably. Even before
taking office, President Obama began working to stop the excessive
bleeding of jobs, collapse of companies and financial institutions, and
afterward, attempted to repair the distrust and to reset relations with
people around the world.
Read the rest of this
article by Vanessa Davis Griggs
Thoughts About Facebook
Facebook became available to the general public on September 26, 2006.
Other than Google I would argue Facebook has had the most significant
impact on how we use the Internet than any other website.
I created my Facebook account on October 21st 2007. The 4th post on my
wall came almost a year later, in September of 2008. The message was my
from my friend Ron Kavanaugh who wrote: “post something!” It took
another 6 months before I began to actively use Facebook. That was two
years ago and I’ve been an active user ever since. Today I spend about
an hour a day on Facebook; it is part of my daily routine and an
integral part of my business.
Vanzant’s Book An AALBC.com Bestseller, Now a #1 New York Times Best
In 1998, Iyanla Vanzant was AALBC.com’s first #1 best selling author.
Vanzant had three titles on our
1998 Best Sellers list
including our #1 best selling book for the year, One Day My Soul Just
Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Towards Spiritual Strength and Personal
Iyanla also holds another distinction: she, along with Terry McMillan,
and Maya Angelou are the only authors to appear on both our 1998 and
2010 Best Sellers lists. Vanzant’s latest title, Peace from Broken
Pieces, came in as the
10th best selling
book on AALBC.com for 2010
— even though it was not released until
the middle of November 2010. Iyanla’s personal stories of triumph over
tragedy resonate with many AALBC.com visitors.
Book Websites Need Love Too
Over the last decade there has been a great deal of lamenting over the
closing of Black owned, independent brick and mortar book stores.
Recently this anguish has even extended to the large chain retailer,
Borders Books and Music, which many Black authors say are responsible
for a large percentage of their sales nationwide.
Throughout this turmoil Black owned book websites go largely ignored.
When we do get attention it is often in the context of contributing to
the demise of the physical book store.
As the owner and sole operator of the largest website dedicated to Black
books I feel it is time to emphasize why websites dedicated to Black
books are just as important as physical stores. If these websites are
taken for granted they too will disappear, and we will have lost another
important platform for celebrating and showcasing books by and about
people of African descent.
& Share Your Family History - Parts 2 & 3
Today’s blog post is by guest
Cheryl, a television news anchor and reporter, has extensively
researched her family’s history. She has generously agreed to share a
story about her grandmother’s perspective on skin color.
Opal’s Jim Crow
Blues – Research & Share Your Family History (Part 2)
The author of the next installment of “Research & Share Your History” is
my virtual friend
. I’ve known Connie for the better part of a decade
and have enjoyed reading her opinions, musings and observations of our
culture the entire time. She writes on many subjects, but I enjoy her
perspective on historical events the most. Here she shares a little
about her parents
Visitor’s day at Camp
Grant – Research & Share Your Family History (Part 3)
For some reason, most movies aimed at African-American audiences tend to
be either over-the-top comedies or morality plays too melodramatic in
tone to be taken very seriously. Flying in the face of that trend is
I Will Follow
, one of those refreshingly rare treats which
simply presents black folks in a recognizably realistic fashion, ala
such similarly understated classics as
Nothing But a Man
Written and directed by Ava DuVernay (This Is the Life), the picture
stars Salli Richardson-Whitfield as Maye Fisher, a successful makeup
artist who put her career and her man (Blair Underwood) on hold to
attend to a beloved Aunt (Beverly Todd) battling cancer. Amanda had
served as an inspirational role model for Maye during childhood, which
made it easy for the grateful niece to resolve to return the favor at
her hour of need.
Richardson-Whitfield - The “I Will Follow” Interview
Born in Chicago on November 23, 1967, Salli Richardson-Whitfield burst
onto the silver screen in 1993 in 'Posse, an African-American Western
directed by and co-starring Mario Van Peebles. Her resume’ reveals
extensive work since then in television, film and theater. Salli starred
opposite both Denzel Washington and Will Smith, playing their wives in
the films "Antwone Fisher" and “I Am Legend," respectively. And she
happily juggles such big studio assignments with interesting independent
features like “Black Dynamite," "Pastor Brown" and "We the Party."
Salli resides in Los Angeles with her husband, actor Dondre Whitfield,
and their two children, Parker and Dre. Here, she talks about her new
film, “I Will Follow,” an ensemble drama directed by Ava DuVernay.
Gossett, Jr. “The Grace Card” Interview
Louis Cameron Gossett, Jr. was born in Coney Island, Brooklyn on May 27,
1936 to Helen Rebecca Wray, a nurse, and Lou, Sr. a Pullman porter.
Lou’s stellar career started in 1953 while he was still in high school,
when he landed a role in the Broadway production of Take a Giant Step.
One of a select group of actors to win both an Academy and Emmy Award,
he is best known for his Oscar-winning performance as a gunnery sergeant
in the film classic, An Officer and a Gentleman and for his Emmy-winning
portrayal of the character Fiddler in the historic TV-miniseries
"Roots." Last year, Lou published his aptly entitled autobiography, “An
Actor and a Gentleman.” Here, he talks about his new movie, “The Grace
Card,” a faith-based tale of reconciliation and redemption.
Can Finish College by Marcia Y. Cantarella, PhD
Marcia Y. Cantarella, PhD, has held positions at Hunter College,
Princeton University, New York University, and Metropolitan College of
New York during her distinguished career as a dean and vice president of
student affairs. Through her expertise in delivering student services
and strategies, she has enhanced the academic experiences of and
outcomes for generations of students. She is now president of
in New York City, where she
works with colleges and organizations on issues of higher education
pipelines, access, diversity, and student success.
"I launched the Free Black Space Blog a few years ago as a clearing
house for Black Thought. For in essence, African American Consciousness
is Black Thought. As a community African Americans experience the world
from a particular perspective. This perspective of course informs our
Although Free Black Space refers to Black Thought, the concept also
refers to space or location. The spots which are most easily identified
are the barber shop, the salon, the club, the Church, the corner and the
bookstore. For those of you who know me(and my history with Karibu
Books) the last location comes from my experience as a bookseller for
over 15 years. These locations are important because within them African
Americans can "speak freely" and the diversity of the members of our
community is often represented. Most importantly, the language used to
articulate our experience and exchange ideas is not dominated or
controlled by the commercial, the academic or the street. Within Free
Black Space the exchange of opinions is as important as the particulars
of the ideas."
Harlem Travel Guide by Carolyn D. Johnson and Valerie Jo Bradley
Presenting the definitive guide to one of New York City's most
fascinating and unsung places-the new Harlem. From West Harlem to
Central Harlem to East Harlem, the Harlem Travel Guide is your ticket to
all things cultural, historical, entertaining, and delicious. With a
rich 350-year history, Harlem has been host to some of the most
creative, influential, and captivating people of our times, and its
ethnic diversity and wealth of talent make Harlem an experience not to
be missed. In the Harlem Travel Guide, you'll discover where to find:
Studies show that a child’s perceived image of himself or herself
will guide that child’s academic achievement. Although there are other
external factors, children with negative self-images believe academic
achievement is unlikely, and give up quickly when faced with a difficult
Needless to say the media has portrayed many negative images of blacks
in today’s society and inadequate historical representations. The images
portrayed develop their understanding of the world around them and where
they fit in. It is also noted that the illustrations in children’s books
capture their attention and have life long impressions.
The most important part of our lives is our spirituality. Knowing this,
it is important to show the relationship between our children and the
historical figures of the bible that are so prevalent today and in world
history. Since the days of the Roman Empire, biblical figures were
visually depicted in a euro-centric way in order to effectively convert
the Empire’s religion. Today, it has now become of greater importance to
accurately portray these historical figures to help rebuild the state of
A Chapter A Month
"You asked for us, you got us! Authors...all...the...time. No more
waiting for a year to hear from your favorite author. Now you have us
inside this amazing new experience where reading meets the brave new
digital world. As a reader, you will enjoy fresh, exciting chapters
every month as we reveal our stories to you one chapter at a time. You
will travel with us on our writing journeys and watch our novels come to
life on paper...and beyond. Each month the authors will offer you
something behind the pages - whether it's a live interview with your
favorite character or an ask-the-author-anything session, on this
website it's more than just the story."
Experience: Freedom Riders
is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational
story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until
November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their
lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply
traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the
Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met
with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their
belief in nonviolent activism.
From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Wounded Knee, Jonestown:
The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till)
features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters:
the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and
journalists who witnessed the Rides firsthand. The two-hour documentary
is based on Raymond Arsenault's book
Freedom Riders: 1961 and the
Struggle for Racial Justice.
Cultural Circle Conference
- April 16, 2011 - New York, NY
We're very excited to have
, the president of the new
digital publishing company First One Publishing
founder of SoulAffluence
(Yvonne has a wonderful free e-book called
Get Published and Get Well
Download the book and come to the conference
prepared with questions!), join our Cultural Circle Conference. This
year's writers conference will focus on the limitless opportunities
available for writers in digital publishing.
The Circle Conference connects writers and visual artists with the
resources they need to pursue careers in publishing and the arts. The
annual conference offers workshops that provide information on exploring
opportunities for writers and artists interested in independent and
mainstream publishers and using new technology to promote their work.
The conference will be held at African Voices, 270 W. 96th Street (bet.
Bway & West End Ave.). Registration Fee: $25. Date: April 16, 2011.
Time: 12:30 pm-6:30 pm. Seating is limited so register now! For info
call: 212 865-2982.
5th Annual Black Pack Party 2011! - Harlem, New York - May 25th, 2011
The Black Pack Party is an annual celebration of publishing industry
professionals held annually during Book Expo America (BEA). Party,
Mix and Mingle uptown in Harlem as we celebrate book industry
professionals, authors, and friends.
National Black Book Festival - June 10-12, 2011 - Houston,
The National Black Book Festival (NBBF) is an annual event, sponsored by
Cushcity.com, the world's largest African-American retailer online. The
event attracts a wide array of authors, publishers, book clubs,
libraries and individual readers from the Southwest U.S. and nationwide.
NBBF 2011 will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Downtown Houston.
The event features a pavilion of authors, including those who are
notable and new. Book signing and discussion sessions with featured
authors, workshops and seminars, a spoken word poetry slam and door
prizes are just a few of the exciting featured activities at NBBF.
Authors will be grouped according to genre and there are 19 genres that
will be represented.
The Festival is open to the public and admission is $5.00 per day for
adults and teens. Admission is FREE for children under the age of 12.
- June 30 - July 1, 2011 - New Orleans, LA
Over the years, arts and cultural festivals have precipitated an
explosion of cultural awareness and artistic talent in the Crescent
City. Most of the festivals are music-centered which we all enjoy and
take part in. As a writer of several novels; I have been a featured
author at such festivals.
As great of an experience it was for me, I long for a more intimate
setting where I could meet with readers and experience a more personal
contact with them. So, I thought it would be nice to create a conference
that coincides with other cultural events in New Orleans where those
interested in reading books and writing novels and screenplays can come
together and experience the literary arts in a relaxed atmosphere. In
conjunction with the New Orleans Public Library, BSWRC will bring
together some of the biggest and notable names in publishing and film
for an unforgettable two day event that will surely be the talk of the
is an ideal resource for
authors who wish to post their entire tour schedules, or folks who only
want to promote a single event.
Because of AALBC.com's popularity, all posted events
are quickly indexed by Google and other search engines; making your
event easy to find by web surfers and the 100's of thousands of
AALBC.com also selects
events from our calendar to include in this which goes
out to over 17 thousand subscribers about once a month.
Book Promotion Tip:
Share your book related information, quickly and for free, with
thousands of readers who enjoy African-American literature: Post your
information on AALBC.com's Facebook page
and on AALBC.com's discussion board
Readers be sure to stop by too, you are sure to discover a new author or
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