AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books For
January 1st through February 29th 2012
#1 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck
#2 - Thug Matrimony by Wahida Clark
#3 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#4 - The One by Cheryl Robinson
#5 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade (Strebor Quickiez) by Zane
#6 - Covenant: A Thriller by Brandon Massey
#7 - Can I Be Me? by Esther Armah
#8 - The Reverend's Wife (A Reverend Curtis Black Novel) by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sexy Part of the Bible (Akashic Urban Surreal Series) by Kola Boof
#10 - A Soldier's Play (Dramabook) by Charles Fuller
#1 - Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working Out by
JJ Smith (was
Amazon.com #1 bestselling book!)
#2 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#3 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson
#4 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#5 - Understanding Black Male Learning Styles by Jawanza Kunjufu
#6 - Something Like Beautiful: One Single Mother's Story by Asha Bandele
#7 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#8 - Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008 by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
#9 - Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now by Maya Angelou
#10 - Letters to a Young Brother: Manifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
One Blood by Qwantu Amaru
No matter the genre, a good story should grab and not turn you loose until you’ve consumed all the elements of great narrative and expository writing. It’s this mindset that delivers the timely peaks and valleys that helps to embellish writing to mass audience appeal.
Author Qwantu Amaru with his good story, One Blood, fits this billing with accolades. Mr. Amaru dispelled all notions of failure by giving us a fine novel that merited mention with others considered superlative. The cliché "for every action there’s a reaction" runs true to form in depicting the plot, the myriad of subplots, unique settings and characters developed to fit the makeup of how each interact with each other.
Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World by Crystal McCrary
As a journalist, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing a number of the
talented trailblazers profiled in this book. But while I might have done
a decent job of capturing, say, Laila Ali’s dogged determination,
Raven-Symone’s admirable maturity, or Soledad O’Brien’s sheer
brilliance, those tete-a-tetes still seem to pale in comparison to the
emotional depth of the material captured on the pages of Inspiration.
Perhaps that’s because the author, Crystal McCrary came up with the idea of having her contributors relate their life stories in their own unique voices. Consequently, other than First Lady Michelle Obama’s, the bios in this intimate opus are written in the first person, and each sister sounds ever so authentic whether reflecting upon what really matters most to her or about how she managed to reach the pinnacle of success in her chosen field.
Combination: Seven Key Ingredients to Happily Living & Loving Together
by Jamillah and David Lamb
As producers of the hit Off-Broadway play
‘Platanos Y Collard Greens’ it makes sense that they chose to publish
their sage insights in recipe form. Thus, each chapter ends with a
summary of “Key Ingredients,” under headings like “Lighten up!” and
“It’s about balance,” followed by sensible tips for “Cooking with Love,”
such as “Plan a surprise date for your partner” and “Write a love letter
to each other describing your first date.”
The precious pearls of wisdom are served up gourmet chef-style. Consider this cute recipe for finding balance in a relationship which calls for: “2 Heaping Cups of Appreciation, 1 Cup of Self-Knowledge, 1 Cup of Modesty and 1 Cup of Trust.”
Love Letters by Kim Russell
The initial entries were written when the Knightens were still newlyweds
in the full bloom of youth, and exhibiting an endearing combination of
bravado, exuberance and vulnerability. Though their subjects of
conversation ranged from safety to racism to ambitious plans for making
their mark on the world upon reuniting, every message invariably
included a passionate reaffirmation of their love.
He also describes his reaction to Nazi POWs ‘enjoying better accommodations than black GIs. “It is really disgusting. It makes my blood boil to see how nice they treat the German prisoners… It really hurts.” But discrimination didn’t discourage him after the war from publishing with the help of “a talented young writer named Alex Haley” the debut issue of Essence Magazine, a short-lived precursor of the popular periodical for black females.
from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter has been teaching Sunday school all of his adulthood, even
as Governor of Georgia and President of the Unites States. The difficult
decisions he had to make while in office, whether about caring for the
poor, finding peace in the Middle East, fighting an enemy, advancing
human rights or reversing nuclear proliferation, were all influenced "by
his deeply-held belief in the Bible."
After returning to private life, Carter not only resumed hosting Sunday school classes at Marantha Baptist Church in his hometown of Plains, but he remained “an outspoken advocate of the poor and disadvantaged.” And as a committed Christian, he has endeavored to follow Jesus' example of attending to the least of his brethren by devoting his blood, sweat and tears to a variety of worthy causes.
the Mountaintop: My Journey through the Civil Rights Movement by
This fascinating autobiography covers a half-dozen pivotal years in
Charlayne’s life, the period from 1959 to 1965. Besides intimately
recounting her personal experiences during that difficult period, the
author also covers what other activists were simultaneously doing
elsewhere around the country in the quest for equality, whether
participating in sit-ins, freedom rides or attending the March on
The book is written in a user-friendly style designed to engage readers 12 and over, and arrives illustrated by a cornucopia of iconic black-and-white photos and newspaper reprints. Kudos to Ms. Hunter-Gault for crafting such a poignant, very personal reminder of just how hard-fought was the struggle which ultimately led to the triumphant election of our first African-American president.
Bold Moves: Creating Multimillion Dollar Success in 500 Days or Less by
William S. Parrish, Jr.
If you want to follow in Mr. Parrish’s footsteps you might want to
follow the lesson plan he outlines in Making Bold Moves: Creating
Multimillion Dollar Success in 500 Days or Less, a combination how-to
handbook and personal memoir designed with the self-starter in mind. He
advises the reader to “research, cross-train and become certified in
emerging technologies,” out of a conviction that the Sustainability
Revolution will have as great an impact on reshaping the way we live and
conduct business as the Industrial Revolution had on society back in the
18th and 19th Centuries.
Distilling his innovative ideas down into one-sentence affirmations and slogans, the author closes each chapter with succinct summaries of what you’ve just learned, whether exhorting you to “Think big from the start!” or to “Be prepared to take risks and make bold moves!” I certainly consider his general info and insights to be of value, provided you have the requisite education and sophistication to put you in a position to take advantage of these extraordinary opportunities.
Lit Bit Celebrates Women’s History Month (March 2012)
Welcome to Women’s History Month. So often we African Americans complain that the preceding month of February, Black History Month, is the shortest month of the year. That may be, but I love this time of year since it gives me an annual excuse to celebrate Black women in history for both February and March. Yes, I know Black History and women should be celebrated 365, but historical markers created to celebrate special people are just the American way. Check out the videos on Sojourner Truth and Rosa Parks.
I recently recovered a bunch of videos I thought were lost forever. Over the next few months I'll upload them to YouTube and share them with you. Many of the video were shot in a Brownstone I no longer own so they are particularly nostalgic to me.
Reading - Dark Matter: Reading the Bones
This video, recorded in March 14 2005, features a reading from Sheree R Thomas' speculative fiction anthology Dark Matter: Reading of the Bones. This video is that it features ihsan bracy who reads from his work great work "ibo landing" bracy passed way three years ago this month but we can still enjoy his work. Also included in this video is Jill Robinson who reads an excerpt from story BLACKout.
Reading - The Real Lives of Strong Black Women: Transcending Myths,
In this video recorded, January 30th 2005, Toby reads from his first book The Real Lives of Strong Black Women. Toby would continue on to become a leading speaker and consultant working with Fortune 500 companies on issues of work life balance, managing success, leadership, and organizational change.
Death of the Black Owned, Independent, Bookstore
The title of my article may seem rather bleak, but if you look at the data this is exactly where we are headed — and fast. I posted a list of over 100 stores that have closed over the last few years.
I've been engaged in several conversations on this subject over the last few days. Generally there are two schools of thought: (1) Technology has made the bookstore obsolete, or (2) bookstores are a treasure and should be preserved. I think the two should go hand in hand.
Louder Than a Bomb - DVD Chronicles Chicago Poetry Slam - DVD Review
Does the hip-hop style of rhyming and its down-to-earth subject-matter
about life in the ‘hood deserve the same respect as the classical
couplets of Keats and other lofty lyricists whose work benefits from
ivory-towered academia’s stamp of approval? The answer to that question
might lie in Louder Than a Bomb, a documentary chronicling the Slam
Poetry competition of the same name staged annually in the Windy City.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed watching this flick, my only worry is whether or not these accomplished poets will ever learn to speak grammatically. Sorry, but I couldn’t help but be concerned upon hearing "When we was on the stage…" and "I plan to go to college and be like a professor…" in post-performance interviews.
A Thousand Words - Eddie Murphy Gives Audience the Silent
Treatment in Ill-Conceived Sitcom
Whether starring in a buddy comedy (like Trading Places and 48
Hours), a kiddie flick (ala Nutty Professor and Dr. Dolittle), a standup
concert (such as Raw and Delirious), or in an animated adventure as a
donkey (Shrek) or a dragon (Mulan), Eddie Murphy’s best movies have
invariably featured him talking trash. Even his only Oscar-nomination
(for Dreamgirls) came for playing a jive motor-mouth, a character
ostensibly inspired by the equally-irrepressible James Brown.
Given the readily-identifiable thread running through that string of box-office hits, you really have to wonder how a project like A Thousand Words ever got off the ground. For, not only does the film fail to take advantage of Mr. Murphy’s trademark loquacious tendencies, it actually goes to the opposite extreme by buttoning up his lips for most of the movie.
The Velvet Elvis - Black Elvis Impersonator Moonlights as
Demon Hunter in Hilarious Horror Comedy
Ordinarily, the term "Velvet Elvis" conjures up images of those
cheesy paintings of Elvis Presley which were popular briefly back in the
Seventies. But for the purposes of this hilarious horror comedy, the
phrase refers not to a tacky eyesore on black velvet but to a black
Elvis impersonator outfitted in The King’s trademark pompadour,
muttonchops and TCB sunglasses.
Nicknamed Velvis (Kirk Ponton), he’s been doggedly pursuing his dream of superstardom in a Hollywood which looks suspiciously like Trenton to this former resident of New Jersey’s capital city. At the point of departure, we find our hero doing his best Elvis impression until he’s driven offstage by a merciless heckler (Kurt Tazelaar), a cruel reminder of why he still pays his bills by moonlighting as a pistol-packing demon hunter. (Note: This film may be downloaded for free)
Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?
- Wall Street
Exposé; Chronicles Systematic Dismantling of Financial Protections
…the United States enjoyed an unparalleled period of
continuous prosperity which lasted for a half-century. That was because
the government prevented the commercial banks from gambling with
working-class people’s savings in risky ways inconsistent with the
However, the financial industry eventually began lobbying for the dismantling of the restrictive reforms, first finding success during the Reagan administration, and continuing to press until President Clinton signed a repeal of the Glass-Steagall in 1999. At that point, it was just a matter of time before the economic collapse experienced in 2008 would transpire. That carefully-orchestrated fleecing of the country is the subject of Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?
Good Deeds - CEO Torn between Employee and Fiancé in
Tyler Perry Morality Play
Avoiding his usual staples of comic relief courtesy of Madea and
clownish support characters, Perry presents this sober soap opera in
Consequently, in the absence of his typical distractions, the story is not only perfectly plausible but remains refreshingly grounded in reality from start to finish. Along the way, veteran lead actors, Tyler, Thandie Newton and Gabrielle Union, generate a convincing chemistry guaranteed to keep you on edge right up to the surprising resolution of the unfortunate love triangle.
Another compelling, Tyler Perry parable delivering a priceless message about what really matters most.
Production Designer Wynn Thomas in depth Interview with AALBC.com
“It seems that black independent cinema exists strictly for the entertainment of the black intelligentsia. It’s not available for the masses. You have to go to a film festival if you want to see those kinds of films. I work in commercial filmmaking so from where I am sitting it doesn’t really exist.
On some level the problem with independent film is that there is no distribution arm to distribute those movies. We have a problem in our film community. There are plenty of artists. There are plenty of people who want to be directors. There are a handful of people who want to be producers. There are a handful of people who want to be writers. There are plenty of people who want to be actors. The problem is that we are not developing people who are interested in the business side of show business. What we really need are people who are interested in the distribution of African-American films. We need our business community to pool their financial resources to create opportunities and venues where our films can be shown. Until we have distributors and the support from our own business community the state of [independent] black cinema will remain in the sorry state that it’s in today.”
Elmore - The “March Madness” Interview
A man long associated with March Madness, Len Elmore is currently appearing on CBS for his 12th season as an analyst during the network’s NCAA Men's Basketball Championship coverage. In addition, he has served as a basketball analyst for ESPN for the past 13 consecutive years, calling ACC and Big East games, including the Big East Tournament. Mr. Elmore is an eight-year NBA veteran, having played with the Indiana Pacers, Kansas City Kings, Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks. He spent two seasons with the ABA's Indiana Pacers in 1975-76 before the franchise joined the NBA.
Elmore also earned a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1987 and began his law career as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y. Born in the Big Apple on March 28, 1952, Len still resides there and was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001. Here, he talks about March Madness and about his extraordinary careers on the court, behind the microphone, and as an attorney.
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.
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.
Also check out the Gabrielle Union - The "Good Deeds" Interview with AALBC.com
out AALBC.com's New Bookstore Database
If you are looking for a good independently owned book store that serves communities of color, then check out our bookstore database — it includes maps, photos, store hours, social media links and more. This database was created in cooperation with ABLE (The Alliance for Black Literature and Entertainment) and is available for use on other websites.
Eleventh National Black Writers Conference - Brooklyn, NY - Thursday,
March 29 - Sunday, April 1, 2012
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
Honorary Chair: Myrlie Evers-Williams
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 & Dr. Howard Dodson – Ida B. Wells Institutional Leadership Award
On site registration is available
Harlem Book Fair in Newark - Newark, NJ - April 28, 2012
The Vision of the Harlem Book Fair is to partner with local and
national leadership organizations under the banner of literacy
awareness, affirming HBF as the nation’s largest African American
literary event celebrating family literacy, community empowerment, and
The Harlem Book fair will be on MLK Blvd from Central Ave to Warren Street (rain or shine) on April 28. Accompanying the event, will be other events that include readings, poetry, lectures and more on the 27th and 28th. Call 914-231-6778 for more information.
2nd annual Baltimore Urban Book Festival Sunday May 6, 2012 at 1pm-8pm
The Baltimore Urban Book Fest (BUBF) was formulated by Author Chris Hicks, Founder of AAMBC Tamika Newhouse and Publisher Ni'Cola Mitchell to bring awareness to our communities through reading, learning and building stronger families.
Featured authors include; Omar Tyree, Azarel, Miss KP, T. Styles, Tamika Newhouse, Chris Hicks, Ni’cola Mitchell, LaDawn Black, Jimmy DaSaint, Trice Hickman, Booker T. Mattison, K’wan, Nikki Turner, Moses Miller, J.M. Benjamin and others.
MahoganyBooks to Host or Co-Sponsor Great Events in the Washington, DC Area
For more information contact Derrick Young at 571-265-6828 or the MahoganyBooks office at 703-730-3873.
Nelson George is an author, filmmaker, television producer, and critic with a long career in analyzing and presenting the diverse elements of African-American culture. Oxon Hill Library, Oxon Hill, MD - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 7:00 PM (ET)
Congressman John Lewis signs Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement The Washington Informer presents a conversation with Civil Rights Icon, John Lewis The ARC DC, 1901 Mississippi Ave, SE, Washington, DC - Thursday, April 19, 2012, 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (catered reception from 6-7pm in the lobby of The Arc)
New York Times Best Selling author Walter Mosley has written more than thirty-four books, including the wildly popular Easy-Rawlins series. He has won numerous awards including a Grammy, PEN Americas Lifetime Achievement Award, and the O. Henry Award. Oxon Hill Library, Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 2:00 PM (ET), Oxon Hill, MD
We will critique your manuscript or completed book for problems in six key areas: Plot: The storyline should take place through a series of events that are based on cause and effect, Character Development: Believable characters are three dimensional, Dialogue: Each line of dialogue should reveal character or advance the plot, Pace: A novel should move at a certain pace depending upon genre, Theme: What specific message are you trying to communicate with your book? and Copy Editing: We will check for typos and errors in spelling and grammar.
Writing Workshop (8 Online Sessions) - 15% Discount to AALBC.com
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 lectures, exercises and critiques from the instructor, you will sharpen your skills and complete the first fifty pages of your book.
The course's instructor is Anita Diggs. Diggs has worked as a Senior Editor for Random House, Time Warner Trade Publishing and Thunder's Mouth Press. She is also the author of three novels.
Earn a 10% commission for each student who registers up using this link: http://aalbc.it/nwwearn
Culture, Race & Economy Discussion Forum - Cynique's Corner
Britannica is Dead -- Good Riddance... Right?
I'm as technically oriented as they get, but Britannica discontinuing the publication of their encyclopedia does not strike me as a good thing. What do you think?
The Good Old Girls Club – Free download for a limited time
Wealthy and powerful women had come of age and Annette Harper was a master of finding a need that had not been met. Mature women of means also wanted to enjoy some of the same amenities that powerful men took for granted for years, only they needed to be more discreet. Annette and her partners launched the Good Old Girls Club.
Visit Daily to Get the Latest News in the World of Books
A.B.L.E. - The Alliance for Black Literature and Entertainment
ABLE (the Alliance for Black Literature & Entertainment) is a group of media entities dedicated to preserving and growing black literature, entertainment, art and culture while supporting our collective and our individual organizations. Stay tuned for information about this emerging movement.
Improved Search Engine
AALBC.com is a massive website and has been compiling content for almost 15 years. Take advantage of all we have to offer by using our newly improved search engine which my be found on the upper right hand side of every AALBC.com page. The results are provided by Google, but are free of ads or sponsored links. You will also be able to find photographs as well.
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A luta Continua,
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