Omar Tyree is a 4-Time AALBC.com Bestselling Author
Omar Tyree was Voted the #20 Favorite Author of the 20th Century
Omar Tyree, otherwise known as the “The Urban Griot” the New York Time’s bestselling author, 2001 NAACP Image Award recipient for Outstanding Literature in Fiction, and 2006 Phillis Wheatley Literary Award winner for Body of Work in Urban Fiction, has published sixteen novels, five anthologies, and one children’s book. He launched his new brand of "CinemaStories" of visual mastery in 2007, with The Last Street Novel, to jump start an expanded career as a filmmaker. With Pecking Order, Tyree continues in his books to film transition, while solidifying himself once again as the “Godfather of contemporary urban literature.”
Click to hear an interview of Omar Tyree given by Lee E. Meadows, interview originally aired on WPON’s "Book Beat" radio program
Omar Tyree is an author, publisher, lecturer and performance poet who completed his undergraduate studies at Howard University in Washington, D.C., with honors in print journalism. He was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from the citys most prestigious Central High School in 1987. He presently lives in New Castle Delaware with his fianc’e, Karintha Randall and their son Ameer. After high school graduation, Tyree became one of thirty fortunate minority students to enroll at the University of Pittsburgh under a challenge grant scholarship program. He was later awarded the sum of $3,400 toward his school tuition after being recognized by the Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honor Society for academic excellence in math and science studies.
While attending the U. of Pitt. and studying to become a pharmacist, Tyree scored at the highest level of reading comprehension and discovered an uncanny ability to write. He penned a journal, The Diary of a Freshman, which was published in the minority counseling news pamphlet. He then became one of few freshman allowed to enroll in a creative writing course during his first year of schooling after receiving an A grade mark in highest level of freshman English.
In 1989, Tyree transferred to Howard University and began a new career interest in writing. in his senior year in 1991, he became the first student in Howard University history to have a featured column, Food For Thought, published in The Hilltop, the schools award-winning newspaper. Following the completion of undergraduate studies in December of 1991, he was hired as a reporter and an assistant editor at The Capital Spotlight weekly newspaper in Washington, D.C., where he also sold advertising. He later served as the chief reporter for News Dimensions weekly newspaper while freelancing for the Washington View Magazine.
Tyree made his next move writing and publishing books. After having first hand experience with print shops and typesetting at newspaper plants, he organized MARS Productions, a sole-proprietorship, to publish his first novel, Colored, On White Campus. The small-scale book was published in October of 1992, with financial help from friends and family, who offered him personal loans. Colored, On White Campus sold well enough to produce funds to publish his second effort, FLYY-GIRL, in April of 1993. By July of 1993, Omar Tyree was self-employed.
Tyree was the youngest participant on a BET (Black Entertainment Television) talkshow pilot entitled, For Black Men Only, which successfully aired in the fall of 1992. The show shared candid views of African-American men on stereotypes, lifestyles, social/economic politics, public issues and their affects on them. Hosted by Washington Post columnist and BET news commentator Courtland Milloy, the programs taped shows aired continuously throughout the summer of 1993 with positive national response.
In the summer of 1993, Tyree was published in the Sunday Outlook section at the nations number two newspaper, The Washington Post (Meet The New Invisible Man, 7/18/93). At twenty-four-years of age, he again made history as one of the youngest African-American male journalists to be published in The Posts commentary page with his views on the lack of attention positive young black men (YBMs) receive in the American media. The story became syndicated and printed by newspapers nationally and internationally. The British Broadcast Channel (BBC) then sought out an interview for a network special on young black men and stereotypes in the United States.
Capital City: The Chronicles of a D.C. Underworld, was released in April of 1994, becoming Tyrees third successfully published book. In January of 1995, he republished Colored, On White Campus as BattleZone: The Struggle to Survive the American Institution with a new cover design. He was also published in a Beacon Press release entitled Testimony: Young African-Americans on Self-Discovery and Black Identity in February of 1995. Soon after, he was invited for a television interview with host Julian Bond on Americas Black Forum to discuss present issues facing blacks and education on predominantly white campuses at the advent of director John Singletons film, Higher Learning. Most recently, Tyree was honored with an entrepreneurial spirit and leadership plaque by the Multicultural Youth Incorporation (MCY Inc.) in Washington, D.C. His three published books, Flyy-Girl, Capital City and BattleZone have all been picked up by book distributors in New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, Virginia, Baltimore and Chicago. Sales escalated to more than 25,000 copies, and are still selling rapidly through Tyrees of persistence in marketing.
In August of 1995, author Omar Tyree was picked up on a two-book contract deal, which included the republication of FLYY-GIRL in hardback form, by the major publishing house of Simon & Schuster.
Listen to an Interview of Omar Tyree Interviewed by Lee E. Meadows on Detroit’s WPON’s “Book Beat” October 12, 1998
Learn more at Omar Tyree’s official website