Ensure a Bright Future, Your Teen Needs to be Reading by
Author Offers Tips for Getting Adolescents to Turn the Page
Being able to read well is more important than ever for young adults to achieve economic success. But more than 60 percent of middle and high school students score below “proficient” in reading achievement, according to a December 2011 report by the Alliance for Excellent Education.
Desks, Not Cells by
Advocate Urges Move to Privatize Prisons Threatens Genuine Inmate Reform, He Says
The statistics are overwhelming and irrefutable: The less education a person has, the more likely he or she will end up in jail or prison.
The Revolution Will be Televised, Googled, Tweeted,...etc.
When I first heard of the Occupy Wall Street initiative, I thought it was just a group of overfed and overeducated and underemployed "white" boys trying to get their own generational street cred. "New Millennial Hippies" (Mippies?) out to gain a little attention, smoke a little grass (or whatever they call it these days) and hopefully get laid by some arty-cutey from the Upper East Side or Jersey (Or both).
Wright to Jay-Z: The Decline of Young Black Male Literary Writers
Young writers need models. Early in my apprenticeship my predecessors fed me greatly. Still, I was also very eager to find work by young black male contemporaries, which I thought might be more relatable. When I discovered that Richard Wright published Native son around 32, James Baldwin Go Tell it On the Mountain around 29, James Alan McPherson Hue and Cry around 25, then winning the Pulitzer Prize around 35, and Jean Toomer Cane around 29, I thought, surely, there had to be a living young black male fiction writer whom I could turn to as a model. After a dedicated search, I found none.
An Open Statement to the Fans of The Help
This statement provides historical context to address widespread stereotyping presented in both the film and novel version of The Help. The book has sold over three million copies, and heavy promotion of the movie will ensure its success at the box office. Despite efforts to market the book and the film as a progressive story of triumph over racial injustice, The Help distorts, ignores, and trivializes the experiences of black domestic workers. We are specifically concerned about the representations of black life and the lack of attention given to sexual harassment and civil rights activism.
Jones - The "Carbon Nation" Interview
Here, he talks about all of the above, and about his appearance in Carbon Nation, a cautionary documentary about the consequences of climate change. The film opens in theaters in New York City on February 11, and will open elsewhere around the country later in the month and in March before becoming available on DVD in April.
Russell Simmons Hosts Soiree for
Over the weekend, hip-hop entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist Russell Simmons opened up his home to host a star-studded party for Soledad O'Brien in his lavish two-story penthouse located in lower Manhattan. The occasion marked the release of Soledad’s autobiography, ’The Next Big Story,’ which she co-wrote with Rose Marie Arce.
Craig Robinson The
"A Game of Character" Interview
Craig Robinson was born in Chicago on April 21, 1962, to Fraser and Marian Robinson and raised in a modest home where he had to share a room with his younger sister, Michelle. With help of devoted parents, who made major sacrifices on their behalf, both children were inspired to excel academically and were admitted to Princeton University.
Johnson "The Other City" Interview
Here, she talks about her new film,
The Other City,
an expose’ about the HIV/AIDS crisis in
"A wise son maketh a
glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother."
Open Letters to
Oprah Winfrey -
After Imus: Now What?
On April 4, 2007, radio talk show host Don Imus went on the air and called the Rutgers University women's basketball players "nappy-headed hos." After Imus’now what? Where do we go from here? Is there a double standard in this country? A conversation we all need to have right now.
Literary Work - Debut Author at the NAACP Image Award Nominee
Dwight Fryer - A
Class Act with a Great Book
The award for Outstanding Literary Work - Debut Author at the NAACP Image Awards eluded me; however, the week end experience was nothing short of wonderful for my wife and me. Actor Hill Harper won for his delightful book, Letters To A Young Brother. The book has received strong reviews and would be a great gift to any person, not just the youthful males in your life.
38th NAACP Image Awards
by Kam Williams
Awards Upstaged by Resignation of NAACP President
Marie Brown TriHarLenium
Presentation - Harlem Literary Scene 1986 to 1996
Read Marie Brown's presentation given at the TriHarLenium Panel Discussion on Monday December 11, 2006
TriHarLeninum 1976 -2006 chronicles the evolution of the Harlem community during these decades. The project includes four symposium/performances capturing the stories of a diverse panel of artists, scholars, historians, community activists, clergy, and others, as well as five performances of Craig S. Harris' composition in cultural institutions and public parks throughout Harlem.
Sanchez and Ten Grandmothers Acquitted of ’Defiant Trespassing’ by Jamie
Philadelphia, PA’Sonia Sanchez, 71, and ten other grandmothers, who are part of an organization called The Granny Peace Brigade (GBP), were recently acquitted in a Philadelphia Community Courtroom on charges of 'defiant trespassing' in front of an Army Recruitment Center earlier this year.
First Annual Hip-Hop Awards by Kam Williams
If there was ever any doubt that gangsta’ rap is a man's game, Black Entertainment Television confirmed the fact that sisters need not apply at its First Annual Hip-Hop Awards. The event was staged in Atlanta, where it was hosted by pimp comedian Katt Williams, a prot’g’ of Snoop Dogg known for his misogynistic brand of humor. Katt set the tone in monologue with remarks like the line where he referred to Venus and Serena Williams as natural disasters. And Ludacris added an exclamation point by being bleeped within seconds of kicking off the festivities with an expletive-laced rendition of one of his hits.
Unleashed - Cave Canem's 10th Anniversary
by Rondall Brasher
Cave Canem was instituted in 1996 by fellow teachers/poets Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady. As long time writers, they were acutely aware of the isolation and lack of cultural support structures for Black poets in formal or informal education programs. They sought to create a space for Black poets to learn, debate, grow, and challenge themselves in order to challenge their craft. What began as an annual summer retreat has evolved into a non-profit organization with a full-time staff.
A First Step to Publication
An Article by Desiree Day
Once people find out I am a writer, invariably
their first question is, "How did you become a writer?"
Jenkins - The Klanbuster Interview with Kam Williams
Everybody admires the bravery firemen exhibit by rushing into a burning building when the human survival instinct calls for exactly the opposite behavior. It is for similar reasons that you are likely to find Daryle Lamont Jenkins so fascinating, since this 37 year-old black man born in Newark devotes most of his free-time to monitoring the movements of the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.
Glenn Thompson was an exemplary Black publisher. He viewed books as weapons of liberation and saw his task as that of a soldier, arming the people to free themselves. He chose to publish great books about people of African descent that helped to define the reality of the Black experience. He also chose to publish outstanding books that redefined the White experience from the perspectives of those who were oppressed and dispossessed by it--and he did so in subtle, subversive, but often comical ways.
MARLEY IS STILL CATCHING FIRE
by Christopher John Farley
May 11th is the 25th anniversary of the passing of the king of reggae. Officially, he succumbed to cancer in Miami in 1981 at the age of 36. Today, however, his music is more widespread, more popular, and more respected than it ever was.
It is part of Rastafari teaching that there is no dying, only living, and Marley held that to be true. For Marley, at least, death was just the beginning...
’The Color Purple’ Empowers Many by
York’Ever since its debut on Broadway, Alice Walker's compelling
narrative-turned-musical, ’The Color Purple,’ has brought out a host of
well-wishers, supporters, critics, and fans.
Your Book - Eight Unique Ways to Promote Your Book
Whether you have just completed your first, third or fifth book you want to see it succeed. Book promotion is a daunting task that can leave even a seasoned publicist floundering for ideas. There are thousands of books jockeying for the readers' attention and you want your book to be their first choice. Promoting a book is like being a cross between Houdini and a detective. You have got to sleuth for creative promoting avenues then magically tie them to your book to maximize revenue-generating publicity.
The ’Queen of Real’
Signs 2nd Book Deal An Interview With Electa Rome Parks: Part II
Parks, a formerly self-published writer, has just inked a second book deal with New American Library, a division of Penguin, to publish her fourth novel, called Ladies Night Out. Due to hit bookshelves in hardcover in 2006, Ladies Night Out is ’99% complete,’ according to Parks. The story focuses on four high-profile, single, African-American women who are best friends. ’They have a monthly ladies night out where they leave their stress behind. So it's a really fun, sexy novel,’ Parks reveals. In other words, something that's quite different than what readers may have come to expect of Parks based on her debut novel, The Ties That Bind or its sequel, Loose Ends.
Wanna Write a Best Seller . . .
by Gwendolyn E. Osborne
best-selling authors. Iyanla Vanzant, E. Lynn Harris, Parry Brown, Evelyn
Palfrey, Zane and Vickie Stringer have in common? They are among the growing
number of authors who self-published their first books and sold hundreds of
copies -- before major publishers embraced their work.
An Interview by Lee Hubbard
While drugs and their impact have been talked about, no one has really dealt with the addiction to drugs and how it impacts a community and one's soul. No one has, until Marvin X, a poet, long time writer and activist, decided to touch this subject in his play, "A Day in the Life". The play details Marvin's life ordeal with drugs, as well as the impact drugs had on former Black Panthers Eldridge Cleaver and Huey Newton and the Black community.
Matriarchs Have Made Us -
A Film Review of Lackawanna Blues
by Brian Egeston
On February 12th 2005, many television viewers had the opportunity to witness another amazing celebration of the Black women, and a celebration of the extended Black family, during the television debut of Lackawanna Blues presented by HBO Films.
Ossie Davis, With Love
by Jamie Walker
Harlem, New York’Thousands of mourners packed The Riverside Church in Harlem on Saturday, February 12, 2005 to pay final respects to Ossie Davis’acclaimed actor, writer, producer, director, cultural griot, tireless civil rights activist, righteous warrior, and divine human being’who died of natural causes on Feb. 4 while working on a film called ’Retirement’ in Miami. Davis was 87 years old when he made his transition.
Sonia Sanchez Performs
’Full Moon’ Concert in NYC
New York’Poet Sonia Sanchez celebrated the release of her new CD called The Full Moon of Sonia at The Tribeca Performing Arts Center in Lower Manhattan, New York on Friday December 17, 2004. Countless Sanchez supporters and followers from around the country came out to hear Sanchez perform with a live jazz band, a host of beautiful dancers, renowned guest artists, and phenomenal back-up singers, who strummed their sweet music around Sanchez's words of peace, love, and freedom.
Handling Your Finances ’
Lessons from an Author in Transition by Lynnette Khalfani
Little did Electa Rome Parks know that her unforeseen downsizing in 2003 would actually serve as a catalyst for her biggest career blessing to date. As it turns out, getting the axe from Bank of America cut Parks off from corporate America, but it jumpstarted her literary career: Six months after receiving a pink slip, Parks went from part-time writer to full-time author, landed a high-profile literary agent, and got a six-figure book deal with a major publishing house.
Learn some of the important lesson from Khalfani's article including how to avoid the pitfalls of print on demand, being a self-published author and being a mainstream author.
Flower’ Conference Celebrates African American Poetry by
Jamie D. Walker
Harrisonburg, Virginia’Over sixty distinguished poets and scholars gathered to help ’set the agenda for African American poetry for decades to come’ at the historic ’Furious Flower: Regenerating the Black Poetic Tradition Conference.’
Held at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia during the last weekend in September, the legendary, intergenerational conference (featuring such poets as Nikki Giovanni, Haki Madhubuti, E. Ethelbert Miller, Rita Dove, Lucille Clifton, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, and countless others) marks the tenth anniversary of the first Furious Flower Conference, which was held in 1994.
According to Dr. Joanne Gabbin (Conference Organizer, Professor of English, and Director of the Honors Program at JMU), the first Furious Flower Conference ’celebrated a century that gave rise to the new Negro Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement and witnessed the genius of such poets as Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown, Margaret Walker, Robert Hayden, and Gwendolyn Brooks.’
The second conference, however, ’builds on the tradition’ established by the first by ’usher[ing] in the promise of Black poetic expression in the twenty-first century.’
Brenda Thomas Attracts Vast Media Attention
When I last spoke with Philly writer Brenda Thomas, author of Threesome: Where Seduction, Power and Basketball Collide, she discussed her experience as a self-published author who had been discovered by a major New York publisher, Simon & Schuster. Now, nearly one year later, she discusses her current projects, and shares her thrilling experience of being sought after by the media.
’It has been a media blitz!’ Thomas says excitedly. One can surmise that her sudden exposure in the limelight could be attributed to diligent marketing, a clever storyline, and impeccable luck in timing. Threesome is the tale of Sasha Borianni, an attractive, thirty-something executive secretary who, among other things, is caught in the middle of the exciting, sexually charged underground of professional basketball.
says that the day news broke regarding Kobe Bryant's alleged sexual assault
charges, she received a call the following morning from a Dateline
producer to come to New York to be interviewed for their show. Dateline
learned of Thomas and her book through the Internet.
The Blair Bamboozle A Fiction Writer's Encounter With Jayson
"His nails were grimy. He was unshaven. A thin layer
of hair atop his head brushed some days ago for the first time in a while. A
navy blue off-the-rack suit, too long for his limbs, draped from his body
wrinkled as though he’d just awakened from a nap. A misfit of buttons lined
the sleeve of his jacket. Two buttons in a row, then a broken one, then the
crumb of a button holding on to a single piece of thread. A rayon or
polyester or mixed blend shirt tried its best to camouflage the bulge
leaning over a belt pulled too far through loops. A cardinal sin of fashion
had been committed’black belt brown shoes. Worn over shoes. Shoes curling at
the toe more suited for a ride on magic carpets. Grayish-greenish socks with
the heel turned to the front fit like an accordion around his ankle. He
shifted. Before doing so, I knew it would be there. Dry skin. Ash. The kind
that embarrassed mothers."
Never Die Alone:
Goines Adaptation Marks Cultural History
by Tracy Grant
"Capitalizing on the popularity of hip-hop culture, rap music, and the rise
of urban novels, Fox Searchlight Pictures this month [March 2004] brings
’Never Die Alone’ ’ a gritty, realistic look at the world of guns, money,
power and drugs ’ to the big screen. ’Never Die Alone’ stars rapper/actor
DMX in an action film set in the shady underworld of street life, where
cunning and violence are the keys to success."
It's All About Love: Romance
Readers Speak Out
by Gwendolyn E. Osborne
Americans hold preconceived notions about romance fiction without having
read one of these books. Their knowledge of the genre involves perceptions
about Harlequin romances, terms such as "bodice rippers" or "purple prose,"
and book covers with Fabio embracing a blonde, blue-eyed ing’nue deep in the
throes of passion. It is widely believed that romance fiction only appeals
to the type of women a Washington Post reporter once called "the bored and
Former Editor-in-Chief of Essence
Magazine Opens Akwaaba D.C. Inn for Black Writers
by Jamie Walker
Washington, D.C. ’ Hundreds of book lovers (in addition to a host of best-selling authors, literary activists, and media personnel) joined Monique Greenwood, author and former editor-in-chief of Essence magazine, along with her husband, Glenn Pogue, Saturday October 11, 2003, for the grand opening of Akwaaba D.C. Inn.
Bebe Moore Campbell, Marita Golden, Donna Hill, Bernice McFadden, Patricia Elam, Stanice Anderson, Asha Bandele, Robin D. Stone, and many other note-worthy authors, editors, and literary publicists like Vanesse J. Lloyd-Sgambati were all in attendance to help celebrate what promises to be an incredible and highly resourceful bed and breakfast Inn for book lovers, new and published writers.
Akwaaba, which means "welcome" in a language spoken in Ghana, West Africa,
is located at 1708 16th St., N.W., in Washington, D.C., and situated in the
landmark Dupont Circle area of the nation's capitol. Just minutes from
Metro, fine restaurants, shops, a quick tour of the White House or national
mall, Akwaaba D.C. is a stroll away from the historic "U Street," where
legendary African American authors and jazz musicians from the Harlem
Renaissance frequently performed, networked, and convened.
by Regie Gibson
Through years of being involved in Slam I have observed some things, which are disconcerting. However, what has been the most disturbing is how easily so many of us fall into categories, and how these categories tend to run along cultural lines. So much so they've become as predictable and clich’ as a triple X porn flick. Here are some examples:
Dakota Grand by Kenji Jasper
Reviewed by Brian Egeston
There are codes within creeds and creeds within cliques. Perhaps this is the most subliminal, if not unintentional, message in Kenji Jasper's latest offering, Dakota Grand (Broadway Books: ISBN- 0767910141). The pen name of yet another young man searching for himself in the world, Dakota Grand embarks upon his on personal northern migration extracting himself from Atlanta and transplanting in New York City. It is here where Grand plans to make his mark as a writer’a hip hop writer no less.