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

Troy's Rants

A Tribute to’s 10th Anniversary

Presented To

In Appreciation For Your
Dedication, Professionalism,
Guidance, And Integrity
In the Publishing Industry

Thanks You For
10 Powerful Years Of Supporting Black Books.

From Your Colleagues In The
Publishing Industry

The above is the inscription on a plaque presented to me last night at Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe in Harlem last night.

The presentation was a complete surprise to me. Ron Kavanaugh of brought me to the bookstore under the pretense of meeting a potential client. As soon as I entered the store, the first person I noticed, was a man I respect and admire, Brother Leroy Baylor. Seeing this Brother in a Black bookstore near closing did not strike me as odd because that is were you find conscious Brothers on a Friday night.

The next person I saw was the store’s owner Marva Allen, she directed me to the back of the store where she said the prospective client was waiting. I thought to myself this must be a serious cat if Marva is keeping the store open for him; given all of the places we could have alternatively met. The next thing I knew people were yelling “SURPISE!” I was absolutely floored.

My family was there, people from all facets of the book industry were there it was really a wonderful sight.

I was deeply touched and completely blown away by the tribute. It was the purest show of appreciation, affection and love that I could image.

What made the event really special was that it was not driven by an organization, but by individuals, who care: Esther Armah, Linda Duggins, Renee Flagler and Rosalind McLymont. These are special very special women. They are mission driven, righteous and do what they do for a love of Black people. Each of these sisters looked marvelous; and were dressed in white for the occasion.

I’m so very proud that these accomplished sisters not only consider me a peer, but think enough of me recognize my contribution to the publishing industry and our people by bringing together friends, family, wine, music and food (my favorite combination) for the occasion.

While I don’t do what I do for recognition; it is indeed truly wonderful to be recognized, in such a fashion, by people you love.

Until the day I make my transition I will look upon this moment as a high point in my life.

Thanks to everyone who came, and those who wanted to come but could not.


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.