AALBC.com eNewsletter - September 16th 2010 - Issue #181
Celebrating Our Literary Legacy Since 1998
AALBC.com Best Selling Books
AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books July 1st through August 31st 2010


#1 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#2 - The Vixen Manual: How to Find, Seduce & Keep the Man You Want by Karrine Steffans
#3 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#4 - The Vixen Diaries by Karrine Steffans
#5 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#6 - Faith in the Valley: Lessons for Women on the Journey to Peace by Iyanla Vanzant
#7 - One Drop: My Father's Hidden Life--A Story of Race and Family Secrets by Bliss Broyard
#8 - The Ditchdigger's Daughters: A Black Family's Astonishing Success Story by Yvonne S. Thornto



#1 - Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan
#2 - Echoes of a Distant Summer by Guy Johnson
#3 - Missionary No More: Purple Panties 2 by Zane
#4 - Total Eclipse of the Heart: A Novel by Zane
#5 - I'm Still Wifey by Kiki Swinson
#6 - Jesus Boy by Preston L. Allen
#7 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology
#8 - Tempted by Trouble by Eric Jerome Dickey


Click to view all 25 top selling fiction and non-fiction titles
Authors Your Should Know
Gayl JonesGayl Jones

Although Jones' work has often been contested because of her controversial subjects as well as news coverage of her personal life, her work continues to awe readers with its complex style and depth of emotion. She draws many of the themes in her stories from her African-American heritage as well as her own personal life and struggles. Perhaps most important throughout the psychological developments in the characters are their voices which shout from the pages of her work their story, their song, and their truth. Her readers cannot wait to hear what will come next from this quiet woman who writes out loud. (excerpted University of Minnesota)


Earl SewellEarl Sewell

Sewell a national bestselling author and award-winning author, has written a total of seventeen novels over the past eleven years. His books have held steady positions on regional bestseller lists and have been featured in many publications, such as The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Upscale Magazine and Black Expressions Magazine.

Earl is also an athlete who has run a number of Marathons, triathlons and has completed a cross country bicycle tour from Red Wing, MN to Bar Harbor ME.

Michael R. LaneMichael R. Lane

Michael R. Lane is a lover of literature, poetry, and the art of story telling in general. He read everything from contemporary novels to classical literature. As a high school student, Michael began writing poetry for his own enjoyment. That joy blossomed into a passion that would not be contained. Composing poetry rippled into short fiction writing that led to the literary path of creating novels. Michael studied English Literature and Creative Writing at Point Park University, Sonoma State University, and Portland State University. Michael has written creatively for more than three decades, and his poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous literary publications.

Nell PainterNell Irvin Painter

Nell Irvin Painter is the award-winning author of many books, including Sojourner Truth, Southern History Across the Color Line, Creating Black Americans, The History of White People, and Standing at Armageddon. She is currently the Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, at Princeton University and lives in Newark, New Jersey.

Ashley & Jaquavis

Ashley & Jaquavis, hit the scene at the ripe age of 17 when the New York Times Best-selling author, Carl Weber discovered them. During their freshman year in college they both received publishing deals and have not looked back since. With a smash hit novel The Cartel, they have solidified themselves as two of the best in the genre, together or apart. With a roster of 14 novels published [2010] and a hefty ghostwriting resume they have made a successful career for themselves.
AALBC.com Book Reviews (Fiction)
The Gods of the Bacteria:

The Gods of the Bacteria: The World Before Darwin By Billy Z. Earley

Dr. Billy Earley, a veteran practitioner and graduate from the Charles Drew School of Medicine and Science, brings his expertise of cellular biology and genetics to the printed page with his latest book, The Gods Of Bacteria. The trick of this novel, thinly disguised as a science lecture, is to explain the complexities of life and the interconnected realm of all cellular structure. He has done a masterful job with a topic which would bore most readers, young or old, to tears.

First, Dr. Earley sets the stage for his plot worthy of Shakespeare or Dumas into pure scientific terms: an isolated planet of water and large areas of land before the arrival of Man or even that of the young English scientist Charles Darwin. He explains how the wonderful world of bacteria, fungus and viral microorganisms came together so that life as we know it could be formed.

spacerWhen I Get Where I'm GoingWhen I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinsonn

Not only did I love the three main characters but the secondary characters were people that I came to care about also. This is a novel that you don't want to stop reading. Like her previous best seller, Sweet Georgia Brown, this book is very inspirational giving African American women a great image, a testimony to our resiliency and our love of family..

Cheryl Robinson brings readers still another winning novel about the things that makes us who we are, the things that gives us hope and joy in being sisters. I believe you really will love this novel too..

A Woman's RevengeA Woman's Revenge by Tiffany L. Warren, Sherri Lewis and Rhonda McKnight

Just looking at the cover of this book, I wasn't sure if it was really Christian fiction. This anthology of three stories written by three best-selling Christian authors is certainly edgy and a delicious surprise. Having read the works of these three authors in the past; I was anxious to see what they were working with in this recent compilation. I really loved these stories

AALBC.com Book Reviews (Non-Fiction)

The History of white peopleThe History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter

The History of White People. Which writer, activist Kalamu ya Salaam describes Hstory; "...a fully researched treatment not an off the wall polemic"

Most Americans envision whiteness as racially indivisible, though ethnically divided; this is the scheme anthropologists laid out in the mid 20th Century. By this reckoning, there were only three real races (Mongoloid, Negroid and Caucasoid) but countless ethnicities. Today, however, biologists and geneticists no longer believe in the physical existence of races—though they recognize the continuing power of racism (the belief that races exist, and that some are better than others)...

Although science today denies race any standing as objective truth, and the U.S. censes faces taxonomic meltdown, many Americans cling to race as the unschooled cling to superstition. So long as racial discrimination remains a fact of life and statistics can be arranged to support racial difference, the American belief in race will endure.

But confronted with the actually existing American population—its distribution of wealth, power and beauty—the notion of American whiteness will continue to evolve, as it has since the creation of the American Republic.”
--Excerpted from the Introduction (pages xi-xii)


large imageThe World Has Changed: Conversations with Alice Walker by Alice Walker, edited by Rudolph Byrd

The interviews, when read together, show the growth of Walker, not as a writer, solely, but as an artist. The first interviews take place in the early 1970s and span to an interview in 2005. From Walker’s answers, I saw her evolve from the young writer, with a helluva lot to say to an artist who seeks truth, and knows that it has many forms, and has rock solid confident in her abilities, her talent and the knowledge that she does not know every damn thing. The elements of the world that catches her interest, she focuses on with laser precision and explore every conceivable angle. It’s something to witness.


large imageFreedom Summer: The Savage Season That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy by Bruce Watson

I finished the book with a certainty that I had experienced the definitive narrative of one of the most important episodes in American history. I finished the book being proud and in awe of the volunteers who undertook such a feat and did good work, and yet many don’t publicly acknowledge their role or participation. I am proud of the black folks who knowing that they faced physical harm and death, not just to themselves but their families were at risk as well, stood up and demanded the rights that they were entitled. My heart was so full of pride; I thought it would burst in my chest. It is highly unusual that I would feel this way after reading a history book, but... I highly recommend it.


large imageThe Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings by James Baldwin

It has not been said for a long time. I’m glad to be able to say, James Baldwin has a new book out! The new collection of essays is The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings. I was ecstatic when I saw that a new volume was being added to the Baldwin canon. The collection contains essays and speeches by Baldwin published in book form for the first time. The collection covers many topics: racism, educating black children, the past and present state of American literature, and more. The essays show Baldwin as a preacher, teacher, and the smart aleck kid in the back of the classroom. Although Baldwin is well regarded as one of America’s finest essayist, The Cross of Redemption marks the second time I have ever read any of Baldwin’s essays. I was beyond impressed.


The Grace of SilenceThe Grace of Silence: A Memoir by Michele Norris

I'II be honest, I’ve listened to Michele Norris for years on National Public Radio in her capacity as host of All Things Considered without knowing that she was black. After all, I couldn’t see her, and she speaks in a fairly nondescript Standard American English accent which makes it difficult to discern her ethnic roots.

But when I received a copy of “The Grace of Silence,” it was easy to see from her picture on the cover that she’s a sister. Still, I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about how frank her autobiography might be in terms of embracing her African-American identity, given that it doesn’t play a role in her professional persona.  Quite surprisingly, it turns out that her heartbreaking memoir moved me to tears, as she wistfully recounts her family’s quiet, dignified way of dealing with racism and discrimination.

large imageJohn Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

I was looking forward to reading Keith Gilyard’s biography, John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism. John Oliver Killens is one of my favorite authors, period! He wrote one of my favorite books, And Then We Heard the Thunder. To say that I could not wait to get my hands on this biography is putting it mildly. Killens is an author who does not receive the attention he deserves. Any author or book that strives to remedy this shortcoming is a welcome sight to see. John Oliver Killens is a considerate, remarkable, not terribly exciting biography that brings this amazing author from obscurity to his rightful place in the sun. I loved it.
AALBC.com Videos
The best of Soul TrainThe Best of Soul Train DVD - Trailer

Time Life commemorates the 40th anniversary of an American institution with our release of 'THE BEST OF SOUL TRAIN' 3-DVD set that celebrates the innovative, culturally influential TV music show that featured one-of-a-kind superstar performances, outrageous fashions, hip dances, and the iconic Soul Train dance line.

'THE BEST OF SOUL TRAIN' features an amazing and rare collection of performances from the Soul Train archives, many of which haven't been seen in over 30 years, including exclusive performances by The Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye, The O'Jays, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Sly & The Family Stone and more.

Ntosake ShangeNtozake Shange - Discusses Her Mental Health Challenges

Here award winning poet, playwrite, Ntozake Shange talks about her mental health and physcial challenges. She tells us about her suicide attempts and strokes. Her story is one of strength and overcoming great adversity.

Shange is the author of "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow Is Enuf: A Choreopoem" which has been turned into a major motion picture by Tyler Perry. The theatrical release of "For Colored Girls" is scheduled for November 6th, 2010 and will available on DVD and Blue Ray in 2011.
AALBC.com Interviews
KnaanSomalian musician K'Naan interview with AALBC.com

Today K'naan's first CD’s single, "Wavin' Flag," has become an international sensation, and was the official anthem of the World Cup Championship hosted this summer by South Africa. Reaching over 150 countries, the signature song was featured on K’Naan’s FIFA-sponsored Trophy Tour, which saw the emerging rap star spreading his message to soccer fans in concerts staged all around the world.

But at 14, K’Naan and his three best friends were attacked by warlords, just one of countless indelible images for the impressionable teenager. Having chased them through the streets of Mogadishu, eventually cornering the boys in an alley, the men began shooting. K’naan avoided injury, but his three friends were brutally gunned down.
AALBC.com Film Reviews
Prince of BroadwayPrince of Broadway - African Street Hustler’s Life Complicated by Baby-Mama Drama

...a harrowing baby-mama drama, “presented by” Lee Daniels. It’s hard to say exactly what the Oscar-nominated director’s contribution to the project might be, since his name doesn’t otherwise appear in the credits. But this relentlessly-grim tale of survival does resemble Precious more than any other picture in recent memory.

For, the screen is littered with trashy characters who look like they should be settling their differences on The Jerry Springer Show. In addition, the tension is similarly wound around a question of paternity to be resolved by the dramatic announcement of DNA test results.

We Need To TalkWe Need to Talk - Sisters Make Most of Opportunity to Reflect on Relationships in Latest Documentary from Janks Morton

Janks Morton is an award-winning documentary filmmaker known for poignant, tough-love documentaries about African-American males like What Black Men Think and Men to Boys. Now, as the father of an 11 year-old girl poised on the brink of blossoming into a beautiful, but possibly vulnerable young woman, he was inspired to make sisters the subject of his latest offering. So, this go-round, he traveled to the Southside of Chicago where he interviewed ten female survivors of the battle-of-the-sexes about their relationships with their dads during their formative years and also with their boyfriends when they first started dating.

The LotteryThe Lottery - DVD Chronicles Competition for Admission to Harlem Charter School

Directed by Madeleine Sackler, this tearjerker of a documentary chronicles the diverging fates of four families whose desperate hope for the next generation, sadly, seems to rest with the possibility of attending Harlem Success Academy. While we get acquainted with each of the kids, the film allocates equal time to allow luminaries like Dr. Geoffrey Canada, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and former Essence Editor-in-Chief Susan Taylor to weigh-in on the charter versus regular schools debate, which is easily won by the former, here, in this critic’s humble opinion.

large imageLong Live the Spirit of the Million Man March - Documentary Chronicles Historic Gathering of Black Men

On October 16, 1995, African-American males descended in droves on the District of Columbia for a historic gathering on the National Mall. Prophetically dubbed the Million Man March ahead of time, the gathering lived up to its billing, with anywhere between one and two million brothers attending, depending upon the news source relied upon.

Over the course of the day-long event, organized by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, the audience listened to such luminaries as Reverend Al Sharpton, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Ben Chavis, Congressman Charles Rangel, Kwanzaa creator Ron Karenga, Stevie Wonder and Los Angeles Sentinel Publisher Danny Bakewell. They also heard from female leaders, too, including Attorney Faye Williams, Poet Maya Angelou, civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, Dorothy Height and Dr. Betty Shabazz, the widow of the late Malcolm X, to name a few.
AALBC.com Articles
Dr. BecklesArticles On Grant Writing

The articles are written by Dr. Gina Beckles, President and CEO of Program Evaluation Services, Inc.   Beckles and also teaches various business administration courses at the university level.. She is a native of Central Florida and has over 14 years of experience working with federal grants and contracts.  Her articles include "Seven Reasons Why Grant Proposals Fail to get Funded" & "10 Keys to Writing Successful Grant Proposals".


Troy JohnsonAALBC.com's Founder's Convocation Speech - L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University

"I graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 1984. I started my career in Pennsylvania with General Electric, testing components of the Global Positioning Satellites that would later serve the navigation systems that are so common in cars and phones today. I’ve helped design wide area networks for Grumman Corporation in Long Island, New York, and for Pratt & Whitney in West Palm Beach, Florida. I’ve worked on Wall Street, deploying applications for Goldman Sachs in cities that included Hong Kong, London, and Tokyo." 

AALBC.com Recommends

Respect the JuxRespect The Jux by Frank C. Matthews

Matthews self-published one of his first novels, Respect the Jux, and it caught fire, selling over 20,000 thousand copies. The book catapulted Matthews into the sphere typically reserved for seasoned literary greats while capturing the attention of everyone from rappers Jay-Z, Ghostface Killer, and 50 Cent (who rapped on Lloyd Banks’s single, “Hands up, if you want to party with crooks you have to learn to Respect the Jux!”) to literary powerhouses like bestselling author and publisher Karen Hunter.

The gripping tale borrows from Matthews’ recollection of urban legends through the saga of Cat, who journeyed from Jamaica to the United States as a teenager. After a stint in the military, Cat returned with newfound skills and a desire for his own version of the American Dream—by any means necessary.


I'm black when I'm singingI'm Black When I'm Singing, I'm Blue When I Ain't and Other Plays by Sonia Sanchez

"Sonia Sanchez remains one of the most read, respected, and visible figures of the Black Arts Movement, as well as its most significant female figure. This volume only adds to that legacy." --Amiri Baraka

This collection brings together for the first time the plays of Sonia Sanchez, a prolific, award-winning poet and one of the most prominent writers in the Black Arts Movement. In addition to Sanchez’s five previously published plays The Bronx Is Next (1970), Dirty Hearts (1971), Sister Son/ji (1972), Malcolm/Man Don’t Live Here No Mo (1979) Uh, Uh; But How Do It Free Us? (1975), and , the collection also includes her two unpublished plays, I’m Black When I’m Singing, I’m Blue When I Ain’t (1982) and 2 x 2 (2009).
Book Events
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Conference Author Pavillion - Washington, DC Convention Center - September 17th 2010

AALBC.com Founder will participate on the Emerging Leaders Series: A Brave New World: Social Networking Chronicles September 24th, from 2 p.m. 4 p.m

The Kindergarten Shuffle Movie posterScreening of the film "The Kindergarten Shuffle" will be held in Harlem, New York on Thursday September 23th 2010, 7:30 PM
An AALBC.com Brownstone Series Event

A New York City Kindergarten Admissions Process Docudrama

There is nothing more primal than taking care of your child. Education is the key to long-term self-sufficiency. This film examines the quest to care for a child through the lens of that year, the year of searching for the best educational experience for your child. The Kindergarten Shuffle is unexpectedly absurd, comic, and quite moving.

OBS ON TOUR ~~ NEW YORK The Organization of Black Screenwriters Presents OBS on Tour New York

Friday, September 24 (6pm-9pm) and Saturday, September 25th, 2010 (10am-5pm)

The College of New Rochelle - Rosa Parks Campus (Studio Museum Bldg.)
144 West 125th St. 5th Fl.
New York, NY 10027

This two-day intensive workshop will put you on the path to writing and selling your screenplay or landing that staff job as a television writer. OBS will provide you with the tools and resources you need to get that story out of your heard and on to out on the page!

Guest Speakers Include:
Warrington Hudlin (Producer, ‘Boomerang,’ DV Republic, Black Filmmaker Foundation)
Tina Andrews (Screenwriter/Producer/Author – ‘Why Do Fools Fall in Love,’ ‘The Jackie Kennedy Onassis Story,’ ‘Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal’)
Excel Sharieff – Los Angeles-based entertainment attorney ...And the dynamic OBS Faculty of Los Angeles-based writers

Harlem Art Tour LogoHarlem Art Walking Tour - Saturday Oct 09, 2010, 9 AM to 5 PM & Sunday Oct 10, 2010, 9 AM to 5 PM

AALBC.com is just one stop on the Tour and will be featuring an exhibition of photographs of authors of the African Diaspora by Marcia Wilson

Walk with us in our beautiful Central Harlem neighborhood on Saturday & Sunday, October 9th and 10th, 2010 from 9AM to 5PM. The tour features the work of over 60 artists living and working in Harlem. Enjoy a relaxing weekend and discover new artwork, galleries and meet artists from Harlem’s vibrant art scene.
Interesting Discussion Board Conversations http://aalbc.com/tc
Oldies but Goodies part Part I & II

I first heard “It’s a Blue World” on the radio and was blown away. I wanted to rush right out and buy it but I didn’t catch the name of the artists and my interest faded. When I met my husband a couple of months later, and discovered that he had this selection in his record collection, his approval rating immediately shot up. When we sang along with it he would sing the baritone part and I would sing alto. While he was away in the Air Force this was one of “our” songs. I cannot hear it today without thinking of him.
Book Industry News
Visit Daily to Get the Latest News in the World of Books

Of Thee I Sing byu Barack ObamaObama children's book `Of Thee I Sing' out Nov. 16

Obama's 40-page book will have a first printing of 500,000 copies and a list price of $17.99. Both of Obama's previous works, the memoir "Dreams From My Father" and the policy book "The Audacity of Hope," are million sellers published by Crown, a division of Random House Inc.
AALBC.com Contests

Win a FREE copy of Ernessa T. Carter's Debut Novel, 32 Candles

Ernessa tell the story of Davie, an ugly duckling growing up in small-town Mississippi�is positive her life couldn't be any worse. She has the meanest mother in the South, possibly the world, and on top of that, she's pretty sure she's ugly. Just when she's resigned herself to her fate, she sees a movie that will change her life�Sixteen Candles. But in her case, life doesn't imitate art. Tormented endlessly in school with the nickname "Monkey Night," and hopelessly in unrequited love with a handsome football player, James Farrell, Davie finds that it is bittersweet to dream of Molly Ringwald endings...

Win a copy by writing something good about AALBC.com on your Facebook profile page AND getting 10 of your friends to "like" or enter a favorable comment to your post.  Once that is done email me at troy@aalbc.com

The first three people to email me a link to their Facebook profile, satisfying the above conditions will win.

This contest is only open to contestants with an United States mailing address.
AALBC.com Information & Housekeeping
AALBC.com eNewsletter Management

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

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