Blog of’s Founder & Webmaster Celebrating our Literary Legacy #readingblack

Troy's Rants eNewsletter March 28th 2006

The Following is an excerpt of’s March 28th eNewsletter:


Tip #1 — Use the Google Search Engine is a massive web site; make sure you take advantage of all of our content by utilizing our site specific Google search engine.

The Google search box (circled) can be found on virtually every web page. If you are looking for information on an author, book, genre, or any subject, simply enter the information in the search box and you’ll likely discover a wealth of information.


Steven Van Patten

Patten is the author of Brookwater’s Curse Volume I; the engaging story of
Christian Brookwater is a former Georgia plantation slave who became a vampire during the 1860s. Christian is a member of a nocturnal law enforcement community that safeguards the secrets of the creatures of the night. This involves the killing of werewolves and other deranged monsters; something Christian excels at. But his fraternization with humans and his incessant need to kill racists vexes his superiors, who threaten to execute him if he doesn’t curtail his ‘racial impulses’.

Persia Walker

Walker is the author of several books, including the critically acclaimed Harlem Redux (reviewed by listed Harlem Redux as among the Best Fiction for 2002, and the Go On Girl! Book Club named Walker Author
of the Year 2003. Walker is also a real estate agent with a keen knowledge of the the village of Harlem.

Connie G. Barrett

Although a newcomer to the world of literary prose, Connie Barrett, a native of Benton Harbor, MI, has had her share of hardships as a single mother seeking God’s will in her life. It is through her own personal struggles that she has been able to masterfully weave the trials and demands of everyday life into emotional odysseys that examine the social climate of the day in a genre she cares to refer to as RBCF: Reality Based Christian Fiction.


Daughter: A Novel By Asha Bandele – Book Reviewed by Jayne Cubbage

(click book to read entire review)

The novel, Daughter is a wonderfully crafted book and a smashing follow up to Asha Bandele’s first book, The Prisoner’s Wife. In this suspenseful and gripping book Bandele tells a story that is woven from the past to the present. She fully captures the essence of a complex mother-daughter relationship and their struggle to love and accept one another as they are. The book also addresses many other issues, which confront American society such as racism, police brutality, war, social isolation, poverty, parenting and young love.

Babylon Sisters by Pearl Cleage – Book Reviewed by
Jayne Cubbage

(click book to read entire review)

This novel has many endearing qualities. From the graphic depiction of the characters to the social upliftment themes, which permeate throughout the text. Cleage is a master at weaving a barrage of complexities into a story in an effortless fashion. And as in her previous works, Cleage continues the glorious motif of the colorful, strong and passionate black woman. The story is well written and the plot is easy to follow. The characters are people we already know and love.

Spiritual Shackles by Okeyo A Jumal – Book Review by
Tiffany Davis

(click book to read entire review)

Who burned the churches? This is a question that kicks off the historically mystic journey that is Spiritual Shackles. Set primarily in Pasadena, California in the 1950s, this novel sets out to answer this question. However, Spiritual Shackles takes you on a sensory-pleasing journey, from California to Brazil, before one ends
up with the answer.

Diary of a Lost Girl by Kola Boof – Book Reviewed by Chris Stevenson
(click book to read entire review)

…not many youths (7-years-old) would remember why or understand why-if they were witness to their parents murder at such a young age-Kola understood perfectly. And only with the aid and love of her eventual African American family the Johnson’s, and the father of her sons, was she able to overcome the demons that haunted her, until she broke her programming. Perhaps if you read her autobiography “Diary of a Lost Girl,” you’ll view yourself differently in relation to the world around you, or maybe you’ll just be entertained. But don’t call it
escapism, call it retentionism.

A Great Day in Harlem – DVD Review by Kam Williams

(click book to read entire review)

Art Kane, now deceased, coordinated a group photograph of all the top jazz musicians in NYC in the year 1958, for a piece in Esquire magazine. Just about every jazz musician at the time showed up for the photo shoot which took place in front of a brownstone near the 25th street station. The documentary compiles interviews of many of the musicians in the photograph to talk about the day of the photograph, and it shows film footage taken that day by Milt Hinton and his wife.

Words to Our Now: Imagination and Dissent by Thomas Glave – Book Review by Kam Williams
(click book to read entire review)

If you think it’s tough enough being a black male in America, you might want to consider the plight of the gay black male. For as Thomas Glave describes it, he feels alienated not only from mainstream white society but rejected by blacks, too. Glave, a Professor of English at SUNY Binghampton happens to be particularly adept at describing that sense of isolation in Words to Our Now, a series of essays which condemn a variety of prejudices which have persisted not only in the U.S. but around the world.

The Covenant with Black America by Tavis Smiley
(Editor) – Book Review by Kam Williams

(click book to read entire review)

The Covenant with Black America amounts to an exhaustive, encyclopedic assault on the litany of woes presently plaguing African-Americans. What makes this treatise unique is the plethora of practical guidance it provides in terms of the undoing the persisting inequalities. In advocating evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary solutions, this inclusive, optimistic opus ought to inspire anyone who reads it to get involved personally, and to lend their talents to the
eradication of the seemingly intractable impediments to black progress.

The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy – Book Review by Kam Williams
(click book to read entire review)

“In the United States, Jewish political conservatism was evident from the founding of the republic until well into the 20th Century… In the 19thCentury, many Jewish leaders were also conservative on the issue of slavery; relatively few joined the abolitionists, and many, in fact, opposed them. What the foregoing suggests is that despite the popular image of pervasive Jewish liberalism, there has always been a significant conservative Jewish tradition in this country.”

—Excerpted from the Introduction

Pawned Sovereignty: Sharpened Black Perspectives on Americanization, Africa, War and Reparations – Book Review by Kam Williams
(click book to read entire review)

“The character of America as a nation is very different from the image it projects to the world. Though its image seems like a beacon of peace and justice history verifies a character that covets economic power and is unhesitant in becoming violently disagreeable when others do not comply with its ways… Despite the
so-called higher ideals of America’s pillars, the progress of Black America was achieved as a result of struggle, fortitude, and death- not democracy, capitalism, or Euro-Christianity. Most astonishing of all, Euro-Americans have imposed their ways upon us so thoroughly, that we are expected to keep silent [about] what happened to us.”
from Chapter 5

Defying the Odds: Triumphant Black Women of Newark – Book Review by Kam Williams
(click book to read entire review)

“Whether the threat is a burning cross in a sleepy Southern town, or a female doctor bucking the whites-only hiring policies of a city hospital, Defying the Odds: Triumphant Black Women of Newark speaks to the remarkable fortitude of women everywhere who struggle against the everyday realities of racial bigotry and sexual discrimination.

My purpose in writing this book is tied to my belief that too little attention has been paid to contributions made to our society by the men and women brought here in shackles to fuel our
nation’s early economy. [It] focuses on the contributions of eight African-American women… [and] includes profiles of more than two hundred additional black women of Newark who reached the top of their fields.”
—Excerpted from the Introduction EXPANDS MOVIE SECTION

We are greatly expanding our movie reviews section. will publish more reviews of first run movies and recently released DVD featuring Black actors. We will also publishing more interviews of actors and
directors. Needless to say, DVD’s and related books will be made available for purchase. Visit now and read the Denzel Washington Inside Man nterview ( or the Don’t Trip, He Ain’t Through with Me Yet movie review ( and much more.


African American Pavilion at BookExpo America May 19-21, 2006, Washington DC

Organizers of the African American Pavilion at BookExpo America are finalizing plans for the event. Featured speakers at the Pavilion receptions are George C. Fraser, Chairman and CEO, FraserNet, Inc.; Pat Schroeder, President and CEO, The Association of American Publishers; W.
Paul Coates, Publisher, Black Classic Press. Other notable speakers, presenters, and performers at the pavilion events will include: Relentless Aaron, national bestselling author; Irene Smalls, ward winning children’s book author; Troy Johnson, CEO, of; Heather Covington, CEO,, Author of Literary Divas: The Top 100 Women in Literature; Dante Lee, CEO, Diversity City Media, Inc., Author of How to Think Big, When You’re Small; John V. Elmore, Esq.,
Author of Fighting For Your Life: The African American Criminal Justice Survival Guide and Dr. Jamie Walker, Author of 101 Way’s Black Women Can Learn To Love Themselves.

BookExpo America, one of the largest book trade exhibits in the world, provides independent African American book publishers, self publishers, authors, Black Interest Imprints at major publishing houses, distributors, literary agents, publicists, librarians and bookstore owners exposure to more than eighty thousand book buyers and booksellers from across the globe.

The 8th National Black Writers Conference March 30 – April 2, 2006, Brooklyn, NY

Black Literature: Expanding Conversations on Race, Identity, History, & Genre

Dedicated to the Memories of Octavia Butler and August Wilson

The Eighth National Black Writers Conference will be held on Thursday, March 30, 2006 through Sunday, April 2, 2006. Invited authors include Haki Madhubuti, Walter Mosley, Samuel Delany,
Walter Dean Myers
, Quincy Troupe, Ishmael Reed, Elizabeth Nunez, Willie Perdomo, and Camille Yarbrough, among others. Dr. Myrlie Evers-Williams, wife of the late civil rights activist, Medgar Wiley Evers, is the Honorary Conference Chair


Tavis Smiley’s The Covenant with Black America #2 on

…as Smiley said on the TJMS this morning….the
Covenant book is about to make history….the first book published by a
Black Owned Publishing company to possibly hit the NY Times Bestselling

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Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.