AALBC.com eNewsletter - July 22nd 2011 - Issue #186
Celebrating Our Literary Legacy Since 1997
AALBC.com Best Selling Books
AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books For May 1st through June 30th 2011

Thug Lovin'Fiction

#1 - Thug Lovin' by Wahida Clark
#2 - Snitch by Booker T. Mattison
#3 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark
#4 - Every Thug Needs A Lady by Wahida Clark
#5 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#6 - Caramel Flava: The Eroticanoir.com Anthology edited by Zane
#7 - Dutch III: International Gangster by Teri Woods
#8 - Farther Than I Meant To Go, Longer Than I Meant To Stay by Tiffany L. Warren
#9 - For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange


Confessions of a Video Vixen Non-fiction

#1 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#2 - Diary Of A Lost Girl by Kola Boof
#3 - The Vixen Diaries by Karrine Steffans
#4 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley
#5 - The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality by Cheikh Anta Diop
#6 - The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois
#7 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#8 - All the Rage: The Boondocks Past and Present by Aaron McGruder
#9 - 100 Amazing Facts About the Negro With Complete Proof by J. A. Rogers

AALBC.com's 25 Bestselling Books for 2011

Authors You Should Know

Nikky FinneyNikky Finney

Finney and her work have been featured on Russell Simmons DEF Poetry (HBO series), renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson's feature The Meaning of Food (a PBS production) and National Public Radio. Her work has been praised by Walter Mosley, Nikki Giovanni, Gloria Naylor and the late CBS/60 Minutes news anchor Ed Bradley. Finney has held distinguished posts at Berea College as the Goode Chair in the Humanities and Smith College as the Grace Hazard Conklin Writer-in-Residence.  Finney is currently a Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University Kentucky. She is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets.


Brian W. SmithBrian W. Smith

Brian is the winner of the 2011 AAMBC, Male Author of the Year award. Strebor/Simon Schuster purchased the rights to 2009 best seller, Nina's Got a Secret Smith's 2010 novel, Deadbeat, was nominated for a 2011 Creative Excellence Award in the category of "Most Memorable Character". Sankofa Literary Society ranked the Smith's novel, Beater as a Top Book of 2010 in the Mystery/Suspense category. His novels Beater and Nina's Got a Secret were two-time Dallas Morning News Best Sellers in 2010. Nina's Got a Secret was also listed on Oprah.com (What To Read List).


Curtis BunnCurtis Bunn

Curtis Bunn, a Washington, D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, is an Essence No. 1 best-selling author whose ability to expose the mind, thoughts, motivations and vulnerabilities of his characters has made him a reader’s favorite.  In his latest offering, A Cold Piece of Work (July 2011, Strebor Books), Curtis again delivers an engaging work in an original story that takes the reader on a thought-provoking journey. Solomon Singletary is an ideal catch — except that he finds it more satisfying to leave women than to please them — and sometimes after pleasing them. Years later, he encounters one of his “victims,” and immediately realizes he made a serious mistake. His mission then is to recapture Michele Williams’ heart, thinking reuniting with her would turn his cold heart warm. The odyssey features surprising subplots and twists that keeps the pages turning.


Keli GeoffKeli Goff

"A breath of fresh air” is how viewers describe blogger, author and political analyst Keli Goff. Since emerging as one of the most popular political commentators of the 2008 election, Keli has appeared on more than 100 national and international news programs including: “The CBS Early Show,” CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” “The Joy Behar Show,” FOX News Channel’s “Fox and Friends,” and BET’s “The Truth with Jeff Johnson” for which she was a contributor. She currently appears regularly on MSNBC’s “The Dylan Ratigan Show” and also serves as a source for news outlets such as the New York Times and USA Today. She is the author of the new novel The GQ Candidate (Atria, July 2011) which was recently designated a recommended summer selection by The Los Angeles Times.


Mary B MorrisonMary "HoneyB" Morrison

The New York Times bestselling author Mary Morrison, in 1999, decided to step out on faith and quit her near six-figure government job with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to become a writer saying, "I'd rather die a failure, than to have lived and never known whether I would become a success."

In 2010, Mary produced a play based on her novel, Single Husbands, which she wrote under her pseudonym, HoneyB. Morrison's latest novel is The Eternal Engagement (Dafina, July 26, 2011).


Wahida ClarkWahida Clark

Wahida Clark was born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey. She decided to start writing fiction while incarcerated at a women's federal camp in Lexington, KY. Her style is street, raw, and she has an imagination that's in overdrive. When you read her novels they are so real you are convinced of one of three things: that you are inside the book, you know the characters, or you just have to meet them. Four of Wahida's novels were in the top 5 of the books sold on AALBC.com for during the period May 1st to June 30th 2011; including her most recent novel Justify My Thug Cash Money, April 26, 2011).
AALBC.com Book Reviews (Fiction)

scratching for daylightScratching for Daylight by Wilbert Gibson - reviewed by Alvin Romer

I loved this book because of its parallels of the profiles of courage that gave each story a day in the sun where darkness wouldn’t define them as failures. This is a good book to give readers what sacrifice is about and for the sake of struggle why some of the stories within reason doesn’t flow smoothly...they meander with jumps and starts, through the general messiness of human experience to which the author gives ample responses for light. There is also underlying, if not an intermingling of poetry and prose where Mr. Gibson uses both first and third person voices. Nevertheless, the book outlines reflections, at least in a general way, the reasons its main discourses. should be illustrated for illumination. I have no problems rating this book five stars out of five. Read it and be enlightened!


The Deal, the Dance, and the DevilThe Deal, the Dance, and the Devil by Victoria Christopher Murray - reviewed by Idrissa Uqdah

I have long been a fan of this author's work. Her easy way of telling an engrossing story has made her the author of ten best selling novels and earned her numerous literary awards. But what I really liked about this storyline is the realism. The timing of this novel in today's tight economic times brings to light what many African American Christian couples are struggling with in real time. This is no pretty fairy tale.

Murray has scripted a novel with characters that pop. I loved the man that Adam had become. I admired the way that he loved his wife and children, trying to appease his spoiled teen-aged twin daughters despite the fact that he no longer could afford to provide the luxuries they wanted. Adam and Evia's romance was so strong and so sweet. Evia's issues started to get on my nerves midway through the story but she still was a strong Christian woman who appreciated her husband and tried to do the best for her family. Evia's "ghetto fabulous" relatives were hilarious and they were the perfect supporting characters.


Seaside Stories by S.R. Martin Jr.Seaside Stories by S.R. Martin Jr. - reviewed by Robert Fleming

There should be more African-American fiction like this, recapturing a time when our communities were more-or-less intact and families were solid. S. R. Martin, Jr., a former teacher of African American Studies at Evergreen State College and author of this marvelous work, puts the readers in the way-back machine and sends us back to his childhood neighborhood, Seaside, on California’s Monterrey Peninsula in the World War II era.

The pleasure we share with the author in discovering the quirks and follies of his characters in these vignettes is something that most Black folks will know. We’ve all know some of these people from our communities: Hucklebuck and Deke, Sista Sarah, Satch, Carter, Glorious, Mattie Phelps, Rev. Booker and the Hankersons, and the boys at Beckwith’s barber shop. These stories brought back such sweet memories.


The OlympianThe Olympian: An American Triumph - reviewed by Emanuel Carpenter

What must it have been like to be the first African-American Olympic gold medalist? Would the feat have instilled pride in a nation whose history had shown brutality and hate to his race? Could the accomplishment make the whole world stand up and take notice to black athletes in the United States and to their people as a whole? The answers to these questions might be found in the debut novel, The Olympian.

Craig T. Williams begins his debut novel with a cheating scandal. Wharton student and runner John Baxter Taylor has been accused of stealing the idea for his paper from a fellow classmate whose paper is almost identical. Since the other student involved is white as well as his accuser, it is no surprise that he is suspended without as much as a hearing. Guilty before proven innocent was not uncommon for blacks in the 1900s, and his plight was no exception. Taylor overcomes this setback the only way he knows how, by running. He runs as often as possible. And eventually, it pays off…all the way to the Olympics. But this is not just a story about an Olympian and his adventures during the Olympics. Instead it is a journey in the life of a man who must overcome life’s obstacles and yet come out on top.


Ladder to the MoonLadder to the Moon by Maya Soetoro-Ng (Reading level: Ages 4-8) - reviewed by Kam Williams

...why not dream big? This was the essence of the message Maya and her big brother, Barack, were raised with by their mom over the course of their childhood. Consequently, both of these trailblazers overcame the odds en route to enjoying phenomenal success in their chosen fields of endeavor.

Now, Maya has opted to pass along a measure of her late mother’s inspiration via an enchanting children’s tale appropriately entitled “Ladder to the Moon.” Illustrated by a delightful array of delicate, airbrush drawings, the evocative narrative relates a mythical meeting between the author’s daughter, Suhaila, and the grandmother she unfortunately never actually had a chance to meet.


Sellout by James W. LewisSellout by James Lewis - reviewed by Robert Fleming

This debut novel, written by James Lewis, deals with the thorny issue of interracial dating from every side, rendered with narrative precision and emotional detail. Tammy McDonald, an attractive loan officer, is tired of the current crop of ebony slackers and tired gangstas and figures Dale Bristol could be just the right touch in her romantic life. She feels that Dale, a white man, could fit seamlessly in her scheme of things, but love rarely goes according to plan.

Statistics say that well-educated, highly achieving African- American professionals have difficulty finding suitable mates, just like Terrell Jackson, a successful optometrist, who has his pick of females in his dreams. When he reveals to his girl, Tasha, about his infidelity in his sleep, she flips out and accuses him of cheating and worse. Terrell thinks he needs to find a white female, who is more understanding and less likely of emotional outbursts. 

AALBC.com Book Reviews (Non-Fiction)


A Reason to Believe: Lessons from an Improbable LifeA Reason to Believe: Lessons from an Improbable Life - by Governor Deval Patrick

Deval Patrick and his sister Rhonda were raised on the South Side of Chicago by a mom who’d been abandoned by their deadbeat dad for the proverbial “other woman” and a “love child.” Life is tough enough for a young boy growing up in the ‘hood without a father, but it must been even more challenging when he’s a famous jazz musician (saxophonist Pat Patrick) always on tour who rarely visits or sends any child support.

This was precisely Deval’s plight during his formative years, a predicament which undoubtedly lowered his odds of ever making it out of the ‘hood. Nonetheless, thanks to his applying himself academically combined with the support of a devoted mother, grandparents and teachers, he managed to earn a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school by the time he graduated from junior high.


Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle ObamaBlack Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama by Sophia A. Nelson

Recently, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann lamented that the African-American family had been more stable during slavery than it is today. Although the Republican presidential candidate was soon pressured by blowback to distance herself from that insensitive remark, one cannot help but be alarmed by both the suggestion that blacks might have been better off in chains and by the verbal slap in the face of the millions of sisters doing their best to raise kids alone during this age of single-parent households.

Despite the fact that she is also a Republican, and that she campaigned for both Bush I in 1992 and for Bush II in 2000 and 2004, Sophia A. Nelson, ironically, feels differently about herself ever since the election of a Democrat Barack Obama. She gushes at length about how much the President’s wife, Michelle, means to her in Black Woman Redefined.


Unburdened by ConscienceUnburdened by Conscience: A Black People’s Collective Account of America’s Antebellum South and the Aftermath by Anthony W. Neal

American history books typically suggest that most Africans were docile and that slave revolts like the one led by Nat Turner were rare occurrences on plantations. But truth be told, escapes, resistance and insurrections were the rule rather than the exception, given the whippings, rapes and other forms of torture routinely employed by owners and overseers to keep their chattel in line.

Unburdened by Conscience sets the record straight by relying on narratives and journals kept by ex-slaves rather than on academic texts which never bothered to consider the African-American experience. Compiled by Boston-based attorney Anthony W. Neal, the book represents a refreshing alternative to the conventional wisdom in much the same way that the late Howard Zinn painted an empathetic picture from the point-of-view of blacks, women, Native-Americans and other oppressed groups in A People’s History of the United States.


The End of AngerThe End of Anger: A New Generation’s Take on Race and Rage by Ellis Cose

What a difference a generation makes! When Ellis Cose first conducted a study of black graduates of elite academic institutions back in 1994, he encountered a set of relatively-prospering folks who were nonetheless frustrated about the obstacles they encountered as they endeavored to ascend the corporate ladder.

Cose, a contributing editor at Newsweek Magazine, published his incendiary findings in The Rage of a Privileged Class. What made that groundbreaking best seller so fascinating was how it revealed widespread discontent amidst members of a black bourgeoisie who were undeniably better off moneywise, if not emotionally, than their lesser-educated brethren they’d left behind in the ghetto.


The Central Park FiveThe Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding by Sarah Burns

On April 19, 1989, Patricia Ellen Meili entered Central Park around 9 PM, a regular running time for her due to the long hours she worked on Wall Street. Unfortunately, on this occasion, she would be sadistically beaten, brutally raped and left for dead, with 80% of the blood draining from her body by the time she was rushed to the hospital by ambulance after the police were alerted by a couple of passersby.

The Central Park Five revisits the controversial case to determine just how a combination of a media circus, a flawed legal system and a racist society inclined to see black adolescents as animals had enabled such a gross miscarriage of justice to transpire. The author, who also disputes the popular notion that this country is now post-racial because of the election of President Barack Obama, is already collaborating with her father, award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, on a documentary based on this eye-opening opus which belatedly sets the record straight.


An Uncaged EagleAn Uncaged Eagle – True Freedom by Colonel Richard Toliver

Richard Toliver was born in Bellevue, Louisiana in 1938, a perilous time to be black in the Deep South. When he was just a toddler, his father became embroiled in a boundary dispute with a racist white neighbor who was brazenly stealing land and livestock that had been in the family for generations. Although the social mores of the day dictated that African-Americans were supposed to be deferential in the face of such injustices, Dick’s dad decided to stand up for himself as the provider for a wife and five young kids.

But when word reached the local Ku Klux Klan of the existence in town of an uppity black man, a lynch mob was organized, and the Tolivers barely escaped with the clothes on their backs. In the process, however, they lost the farm and everything else they owned.


Eye of the HurricaneEye of the Hurricane: My Path from Darkness to Freedom by Dr. Rubin "Hurricane" Carter

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was rising up the ranks of the middleweight division in 1966 when he was arrested for a triple murder he didn’t commit. His once-promising boxing career ended abruptly upon his conviction, and he proceeded to serve the next 19 years in prison, 10 in solitary confinement.

He was finally able to clear his name after becoming the subject of hit song by Bob Dylan which in turn helped turn his case into something of a cause célèbre. Denzel Washington subsequently earned an Oscar nomination for his dignified portrayal of Carter in “The Hurricane,” a bio-pic chronicling Rubin’s legal ordeal from being framed through his ultimate vindication.


Fatal InventionFatal Invention: How Science, Politics and Big Business Re-Create Race in the 21st Century by Dorothy Roberts

The mapping of the human gene has established, scientifically, that there is only one race, the human race. So, one might naturally expect any arbitrary groupings by experts of individuals along color lines to cease. Think again. Regrettably, this is not the case, according to Professor Dorothy Roberts of Northwestern Law School.

She is the author of Fatal Invention, a cautionary examination of the current state of affairs in terms of the intersection of ethnicity and bioethics. In the book, she issues a dire warning that researchers are repackaging outmoded notions of race by hiding behind benign-sounding euphemisms like “geographic ancestry” when they should really be disposing of such baseless categorizations entirely.


Incognito - BookIncognito: An American Odyssey of Race and Self-Discovery

Michael Sidney Fosberg was raised in a lily-white, Chicago suburb at the height of the Civil Rights Movement by his Caucasian mother and stepdad. Consequently, he grew up blissfully unaware of the fact that the real father he’d been separated practically at birth from was black.

A Jew-fro and a slightly swarthy complexion were all that made Michael stand out in family photos taken with his parents and two younger siblings. His mom explained away the differences in their appearance by saying that he was part Cherokee, an excuse which her emotionally-conflicted son bought until he bottomed out in his Thirties while trying to make it as an actor in L.A.


Nelson Mandela bookIn The Words Of Nelson Mandela Edited by Jennifer Crwys-Williams

One of the greatest assignments of my career as a newspaper reporter was covering South African leader, Nelson Mandela, who had just been released in 1990 from that country’s maximum security prison, Robben Island after 27 years in prison in his New York visit. So I’ve been waiting patiently for the new collection of his quotes, In The Words Of Nelson Mandela. He represented all of the greatest qualities of leadership, a true sense of wisdom, strength, compassion, and a moral vision. I read his autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom, published in 1995, and rejoiced when he worked to heal the country from the bitter wounds of racial strife.

There have been many books published about Mr. Mandela and his achievements, both political and personal. Now Jennifer Crwys-Williams, a noted South African writer and media personality, has collected a generous sampling of the retired leader’s opinions and observations. The words have been gathered from many sources, articles, speeches, writings, and interviews.

AALBC.com Videos


Sandy Daley VideoSandy Daley author of Whose Vagina is it Really? (1:37)

Sandy Daley is an author who has her own column in various magazines and is also a radio and TV personality. Her in-depth look at relationships from a single woman's point of view is often described as humorous, creative and down-right truthful in her approach to dealing with men.  Here she talks about her book Whose Vagina is it Really?: A Single Woman's guide to taking control of her Sexuality Recorded during Book Expo America May 2011


Black Pack Party Group Shot VideoThe Making of the Black Pack Party 2011 Group Shot (0:56)

AALBC.com, Linda A. Duggins, MosaicBooks.com, Written Magazine, Rolling Out, Technicolor Radio Show & Urban Literary Review hosted the 5th annual Black Pack party at the W XYZ bar in Aloft Hotel in Harlem NY on May 25, 2011. The party celebrates book industry professionals and authors


Just us books videoPublisher Cheryl Willis Hudson & Illustrator George Ford talk about Just Us Books (1:46)

Cheryl Willis Hudson Editorial Director/Publisher for Just Us Books & illustrator George Ford talk about Just Us Books, the premier publisher of Black interest book for children, and their ground breaking title Bright Eyes, Brown Skin.  Bright Eyes Brown Skin. Bright Eyes was ground breaking because the award winning book was the first children's book published illustrated and written by Black people


Bruce George VideoBruce George, Managing Editor The Bandana Republic (1:29)

Bruce George, Co-founder Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam is the Managing Editor of the poetry anthology The Bandana Republic: A Literary Anthology by Gang Members and Their Affiliates. The book is edited by Louis Reyes Rivera and contains a foreword by Jim Brown


Earl Douglas Jr. VideoEarl Douglas, Jr. talks about the his book of photographs, Black Rock Volume 1 (5:45)

Earl Douglas, Jr. talks about his book of photography Black Rock Volume 1, which contains photos of great musicians like the band Living Colour , Bernie Worrell, Nona Hendryx and more.  He also shares information about the organization The Black Rock Coalition.

Nizer Saunders VideoNizer Saunders, Program/Media Dir. HarlemTalkRadio.com (2:10)

Nizer Saunders, Program/Media Dir. and founder of HarlemTalkRadio.com talks about his media company.  HarlemTalkRadio will be providing live streaming video from the Harlem Book Fair.  Click here for more information.


Freedom Rider Q&A VideoFreedom Riders: Q&A with Director Stanley Nelson (14:28)

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 premiered on PBS in May 2011. This video is a portion of the Q&A with Director Stanley Nelson and Associate Producer Stacey L. Holman Recorded, by AALBC.com on April 5, 2011

AALBC.com Articles


Bright Eyes, Brown SkinBright Eyes, Brown Skin - Why this children's book is important by Cheryl Willis Hudson

In Bright Eyes, Brown Skin facial features are presented naturally and positively. A nose is "perfect" for a face (not broad or derisively flat); hair is neither "good" or "bad" but simply a crown on a child's head; skin is not dark—it's a range of browns; eyes are not rolling or buck—they are bright and inquisitive. African American features that for so long have been presented and associated in stereotypical ways in children's literature (akin to minstrel show imagery) are now being rendered directly and simply with no value judgment or racist baggage. The simple, straightforward text invites children of all complexions and ethnicities to take turns identifying their eyes, ears, noses, hair and clothes and to talk about similarities and differences among their friends.


Book reviewersReflections on Black Book Reviews by Troy Johnson

When I first started publishing reviews of Black books on AALBC.com these books were largely ignored by the magazines and newspapers that published book reviews. Similarly, websites that might publish reviews of Black books focused primarily on celebrity and scandal driven titles.

It was much harder for an author to secure a critical book review, written by a respected entity, with a large audience, than it was to be published by one of the big six* publishers. This is even more true in today’s environment.



RIP BookAre Books An Endangered Species? by Michael Levin

The traditional New York publishing business model—publish a ton of books, fail to market most of them, and hope that somebody buys something—worked well when publishers had a hammerlock on the distribution and marketing of books. Publishers essentially faced no competition and enjoyed complete control of what books people could publish and sell.

In today’s world, however, anyone from John Grisham to John Doe can put up a book online with Smashwords, Lulu, or Kindle Direct, and bypass publishers—and bookstores—all together. Authors can use Google AdWords or social networking strategies to market their books far more effectively than publishers ever could. So who needs New York?


Connie BradleyArticle from the '70's but relevant today- New Hair-do is a "Natural" by Connie Bradley

I finally succumbed. If someone had told me a couple of years ago that I would appear in public with my crowing glory in its natural state, I would have, you should excuse the expression, flipped my wig!

I had been very vociferous opponent of “colored women wearing their hair in that ridiculous way,” and I had at my command a variety of arguments against the au naturel coiffure.

AAALBC.com Film Reviews


i_heyboo.jpgHey, Boo - Intriguing Documentary Revisits To Kill a Mockingbird - Film Review

In 1961, Harper Lee, an unknown white woman from a small town in Alabama, won a Pulitzer Prize for her groundbreaking novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Released at the height of the African-American struggle against Jim Crow segregation, the book played a pivotal role in raising the country’s awareness of racism while simultaneously serving to shame the South about its disgraceful legacy of lynching, oppression and discrimination.

A couple of years later, the screen adaptation of the best seller earned several Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor. Gregory Peck delivered his career performance as Atticus Finch, an attorney defending a black man unfairly accused of rape.


Dear Daddy FilmDear Daddy - Documentary about the life long effects of fatherlessness on women - Film Promo

Dear Daddy is a feature length documentary about the life long effects of fatherlessness on women. The film follows the dramatic journeys of eight young women from the tough city streets of Washington, DC as they struggle to overcome poverty, poor educational systems, no healthcare, and the most difficult life circumstance they have been dealt... the absence of their fathers.

AALBC.com Interviews


Deval PatrickGovernor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick - The "A Reason to Believe" Interview

Deval Laurdine Patrick was born on July 31, 1956 in Chicago where he and his elder sister, Rhonda, were raised by their mother, Emily “Mae” Wintersmith, in the home of their maternal grandparents after she was abandoned by her husband. Their absentee father, the late Pat Patrick, was a legendary jazz saxophonist who recorded and performed with everybody from Duke Ellington to Miles Davis to Thelonious Monk to Sun Ra.

He worked with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and then as an Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under President Clinton. He also enjoyed stints as general counsel at Texaco and Coca-Cola before deciding to run for Governor of Massachusetts, a position he has held since 2007. Last fall, he made history by becoming the first African-American in the United States ever to be re-elected as a governor. Here, he talks about his autobiography, A Reason to Believe.


Randall PinkettDr. Randal Pinkett - The “Black Faces in White Places” Interview

A Rhodes Scholar, Dr. Pinkett holds five degrees including: a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University, where he competed as a high jumper, long jumper, and captain of the men’s track and field team; a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Oxford in England; and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering, MBA, and Ph.D. from MIT. Most notably, he’s still the only African-American-winner of Donald Trump’s reality-TV show, “The Apprentice.”

Born in Philadelphia and raised in New Jersey, Dr. Pinkett is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and attends First Baptist Church in Somerset, NJ, where he resides. He is happily married to his wife, Zahara, and they are both proud parents of their daughter, Amira. Randal firmly believes that “for those to whom much is given, much is expected,” so throughout his endeavors, he places great emphasis on his desire to give back to the community.


Michael Clarke DuncanMichael Clarke Duncan - The "Green Lantern" Interview

The towering, 6’5” thespian has enjoyed a long list of credits, and is set to star in his first full-time TV role in the new drama series “The Finder,” on FOX. He also has several movies upcoming, including the independent horror thriller “The Sibling,” with Mischa Barton, and the sports drama “From the Rough,” starring Taraji P. Henson.

Duncan’s television credits include guest-starring roles on the hit shows “Two and a Half Men,” “Chuck,” “Family Guy,“ “The Jaime Foxx Show,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “Weird Science,” “Married With Children” and “The Wayans Bros.” Here, he talks about his latest outing as the voice of Kilowog in the Green Lantern.


Jada Pinkett SmithJada Pinkett Smith on "Girls Hold Up This World" and "HawthoRNe"

The film captured hearts and went on to win two NAACP Image Awards along with two People’s Choice Awards. More recently, Jada produced the global blockbuster “Karate Kid” starring her son Jaden. Beyond the medium of film and TV, Jada together with her husband Will Smith and record industry mogul Jay-Z, produced the three-time Tony Award-winning musical “Fela’” which went on to enjoy a run in London at the National Theatre.

Jada is an avid writer and her children’s book Girls Hold Up This World became a New York Times bestseller and continues to inspire girls all across the globe. A native of Maryland, Jada studied dance and acting at the Baltimore School for the Arts and at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Her big break came when she landed a role on the long-running NBC series “A Different World.”


Flava Flav bookFlavor Flav - The Real Man Behind The Clock And Sunglasses

"To all of my fams (I’ve taken the ‘n’ out of fans and replaced it with an ‘m,’ because a fan doesn’t do anything for me but cool me off when I’m hot and a ‘fam’ is one that supports me), I thank you all for making me who I am today. Without y’all, I would just be an ordinary person in the street, no different and no better than anyone else - the only thing that makes me different is my job description.

My life has taught me that nothing is really easy. Everything in life you want can come to you, but you really, really have to earn it and deserve it. You only get to live physically once in this lifetime, so while we are living this one time - we need to make the best of it. When we die, we become nothing but memories to other people and we want to leave them the best memories ever."
--Flavor Flav (William Jonathon Drayton, Jr.), Sunday, May 22, 2011


Tavis SmileyTavis Smiley - The "Fail Up" Interview

From his celebrated conversations with world figures to his work to inspire the next generation of leaders as a broadcaster, author, publisher, advocate and philanthropist, Tavis Smiley continues to be a leading voice for change. He is currently the host of his late-night television talk show on PBS as well as the host of a couple of radio programs syndicated by Public Radio International: “The Tavis Smiley Show” and “Smiley and West” alongside Dr. Cornel West.

This year, Tavis is celebrating his 20th year in broadcasting, and in conjunction with that anniversary he’s just published, Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure.  In this revealing memoir, he recounts 20 instances of perceived “failures” which were, in fact, valuable “lessons” that shaped the principles and practices he employs every day.


AAMBC LogoTroy Johnson speaks on the creation of AALBC.com with Tamika Newhouse of African Americans on the Move Book Club

"The New York Times referred to AALBC.com as “the most successful online service that specializes in books for African Americans.”, hearing this, how did this make you feel?

Wow Tamika, I’d forgotten about that quote. So I “Googled” it to find the original source article on the NY Times website. The full quote is; “There are some online services that specialize in books for blacks, in addition to the one operated by Black Expressions. The most successful is the African American Literature Book Club (www.aalbc.com), which was started in 1997 and now gets between 1 million and 1.3 million visits a month, said its founder, Troy Johnson.”

The quote was from an article was published on January 11, 2001, in The New York Times and was written by Martin Arnold     (http://aalbc.it/bookclubs2001). I provided a link to encourage your readers to read the entire article. I find it fascinating to read this article 10 years later. So much has changed, on so many levels, in the last 10 years!"

AALBC.com Recommends

Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson MysteryChildren of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery By Kwei Quartey

Industry insiders are raving over Quartey's new novel Children of the Street (Random House, July 12, 2011)

In the slums of Accra, Ghana’s fast-moving, cosmopolitan capital, teenagers are turning up dead. Inspector Darko Dawson has seen many crimes, but this latest string of murders—in which all the young victims bear a chilling signature—is the most unsettling of his career. Are these heinous acts a form of ritual killing or the work of a lone, cold-blooded monster? With time running out, Dawson embarks on a harrowing journey through the city’s underbelly and confronts the brutal world of the urban poor, where street children are forced to fight for their very survival—and a cunning killer seems just out of reach.


The Book Look“The Book Look” Program To Showcase Literature On NewsOne - Hosted by Alexandra Morton, Miss Black America-Baltimore 2011

Written by Charisse Carney-Nunes on July 21, 2011
Brace yourself Black America ‘cuz your books will never look the same

This week, I am very excited to tell you about an upcoming and unique program that will take the written word to a whole new level. Within the coming weeks, a new online, book review show will begin airing right here at NewsOne.com, and if you think it’s going to be some boring, traditional program where two old dudes with pipes sit by a fireside and chat about War and Peace, then you are definitely in for a shock.

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 Birdsong.

With its music, humor and entertainment value, The Book Look is unlike any other show on the Web and remember, episodes will be available exclusively on NewsOne! So get ready to look at books in a whole different light. As a teaser, I’ve included the show’s 30-second opening here.


achapteramonthWelcome to 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.

And there's even more if you're a preferred reader. Imagine having access to the author - through live streams - while their novels are unfolding. You will be able to let the author know what you're enjoying about the story, what you'd like to see happen...and who knows...your suggestion just may appear in the next chapter the next month. Whether it's live videos, a scene that appears as a short movie, or just the old-fashion written word, you'll relish your favorite authors and try a few new ones as well. So welcome to our world - where readers and writers are joined together in A Chapter a Month!

Book Events & Related Events


Harlem Book Fair 2011 LogoHarlem Book Fair - Saturday, July 23rd from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Harlem, New York

Join us in Harlem New York as we come together in the celebration of literature & culture. The Book Fair will be held on Saturday, July 23rd from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on West 135th Street between Malcolm X Blvd. (Lenox Avenue) and Fredrick Douglas Blvd. (8th Avenue), rain or shine.  Download complete Harlem Book Fair Program Guide. 

AALBC.com's founder, Troy Johnson will be on a panel called; Going Digital: The African American Reader in an E-Book World at 11AM in the Countee Cullen Library on 136th Street. 

Also, AALBC.com, HarlemTalkRadio.com and African Voices Magazine will interview the authors, guest speakers and bibliophiles participating in this year's Harlem Book Fair for a live video feed which will be broadcast live and archived on several websites. The broadcast, in collaboration with the Harlem Book Fair, will capture the tradition of Harlem as the capital of Black art and literature.


Cavalcade of AuthorsTour Chicago with the Hottest Authors during  The 7th Annual Cavalcade of Authors

The 7th Annual Cavalcade of Authors 2011, is a destination event for book clubs and avid readers to tour Chicago with their favorite authors: Brenda Jackson, Donna Hill, Beverly Jenkins, Francis Ray, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Lorraine Elzia, Suzetta Perkins, Karen Owens White, Lesley Hal, Gloria Franklin, Susan D. Peters, Natasha O., Sheila Peele-Miller, D. A. Rhodes and Shunice Hill-Sullivan.

Friday, October 14, we'll have dinner at the Grand Lux Cafe; then Saturday, October 15 the tour leaves the sponsoring venue: Chicago South Loop Hotel for DuSable Museum, Navy Pier, and shopping on the Magnificent Mile. Later that evening a wonderful time of dancing, spades, bid whist, games and more at the Crimson Party & Steppers Set where everyone wears red. We end the weekend on Sunday, October 16 with an inspirational buffet brunch.  Contact 888.854.8823 lissawoodson@aol.com for more information


African Voices EventGrace Edwards joins African Voices Summer Soirée at B. Smith's in Sag Harbor, NY

"We are honored to have the ever wonderful and talented Grace Edwards join our summer soirée at B. Smith's in Sag Harbor. She will read an excerpt from her recently released novel The Blind Alley.

Please save the date for this fun and exciting event, which will take place on Friday, August 12, 2011 from 6 pm to 8 pm. Join us for a romantic evening of poetry and art along the restaurant's scenic view in Sag Harbor's marina.

If you are unable to attend, please make a contribution and share the information with your family and friends. Your support will help us publish the second part of our special theater issue, which is forthcoming.

Thanks for your support. If you have not become a member or subscribed, please join our "You Can't Shut Us Down" membership drive at www.africanvoices.com. Hit the donate link at the top of our homepage.  Please pass the e-mail forward to family, friends and colleagues!"


Editor's Note:

AALBC.com's events calendar 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 visitors. AALBC.com also selects events from our calendar to include in this which goes out to over 17 thousand subscribers about once a month.

Interesting Discussion Board Conversations

Kola Book book readingThe Rise of Kola Boof

For people who'd like to see me in person, my book tour has been expanded (instead of 22 cities by December...I'm now doing 50 cities by next June). Please check this Tour Schedule for updates on dates & cities: http://aalbc.it/kolatour



Why must they chase the cat? nothin but the dog in them!

With the latest headline-making scandal involving men in high places who succumb to the primitive gratification of forbidden fruit, I can't help but to again ask myself what possesses men to risk everything, - their careers, their family, their marriages, their reputations, just to indulge their sexual urges and fantasies? And are these high-profile men the exceptions, not the rule? I wonder. Gettin caught doing wrong seems to be the chief deterrent, as opposed to doing the right thing.

Apparently, the penis is not satisfied with a good "hand". It prefers to trump the brain and gamble on winning. Women are still the big losers, whether they are the ones being betrayed or the the ones being used. No wonder marriage is in trouble.:unsure:
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AALBC.com Contests


Dirtier Than EverWin a Copy Vickie Stringer Novel Dirtier Than Ever (Atria, February 2010, Hardcover)

Following the phenomenal success of Essence bestsellers Dirty Red and Still Dirty, Vickie M. Stringer takes readers on another bumpy ride in Dirtier Than Ever with Red, Bacon, and Q -- the crazy love-hate triangle who makes the series a favorite among urban fiction fans.

Gritty, steamy, and intense, Stringer delivers another page-turning caper about a hustler in high heels who is Dirtier Than Ever.

Two win this novel simply be one of the first two people to answer the following 3 questions correctly (clue all the answer are contained in this enewsletter.  Email the correct answers to troy@aalbc.com before midnight, July 25th. Two prizes will be awarded.  Books can only be shipped to winners with mailing addresses in continental US.

  1. Where will AALBC.com's founder Troy Johnson be appearing next?
  2. Name a way visitors can help support AALBC.com's efforts?
  3. Which author has the most top 5 selling books on AALBC.com for May and June of 2011?
AAALBC.com Information & Housekeeping

spreadthewordUse Social Media to Help Spread the Word about AALBC.com

Hello everyone, if you find something of value on AALBC.com please share the pages with others.  It is very easy to do.  e to help you do this quickly and easily via Facebook, Google, Twitter and almost all of the popular social media platforms.  See the arrows on the image of a typical AALBC.com page on your left.

AsAs always we appreciate and need your continuous your support.  Thanks!



AALBC.com book sponsor large graphicAALBC.com Advertising Rates - Completely Overhauled - Greats Deals Available!

If you want over 250,000 books lovers to see your book or product each month, then advertise with AALBC.com (the African American Literature Book Club). AALBC.com is uniquely positioned to display your online advertisement before a large and highly targeted audience of avid readers and those interested books and film by or about people of African descent.

The #1 site for African American Literature™ now offers most types of advertising banners to promote your book, product or event. All ad types flash, video, banners, book covers, text are supported and prices range from as little as $49 per month.


Generate commissions for AALBC.com - buy any book nowIf You are Buying Your Books Online...

Then consider clicking through AALBC.com before making you purchases.  AALBC.com earns a commission on the products you buy via Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.  The products will not cost you a penny more, and you'll be helping us to continue to bring you the variety of Black literature has to offer.  Click this link http://aalbc.it/buyanybook for Amazon.com purchases and click this link http://aalbc.it/buyanybookbn for BarnesandNoble purchases.  You may also look for Amazon/Banres&Noble logo on the AALBC.com homepage.


AALBC.com's Supplemental eNewsletterSubscribe to the AALBC.com Supplemental eNewsletter

AALBC.com has created a new mailing list to allow subscribers to receive additional information not included in our regular eNewsletter. Our Supplemental eNewsletter will be used to share time sensitive news and information from authors, organizations and sponsors we believe in. AALBC.com’s Supplemental eNewsletter will be mailed no more than 3 times a month and will contain just one or two items. This, our first official Supplemental eNewsletter is being emailed to all AALBC.com subscribers. If you are interested in receiving future Supplemental eNewsletters please click here to subscribe. If you do not subscribe you will not receive additional Supplemental eNewsletters, but you will continue to receive the regular AALBC.com eNewsletter approximately every 5 weeks.


Monda Webb sample promoFree Book Promotion Tip:

This ad (on the left) appears at the bottom of every AALBC.com page. These ads get hundreds of thousands of impressions a month. Just order an AALBC.com mug, email a photograph of you with the mug and send us a short blurb with a link to your site. We will setup the rest. You can also hold a copy of your book or anything else to promote your brand.

In this ad author Monda Raquel Webb sports a tee shirt promoting her book ‎7:33 am.  Also check out the film she is producing 7:33 am the Movie.



AALBC.com eNewsletter Managementby too, you are sure to discover a new author or good book.

AALBC.com eNewsletter Management

Where is AALBC.com's founder Troy Johnson speaking next?  Visit: http://aalbc.it/troyspeaks


Troy Johnson
President, AALBC.com, LLC
Toll Free: 866-603-8394
Email: troy@aalbc.com

Visit AALBC.com's Founder's Blog

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