AALBC.com eNewsletter – September 20th 2012 – Issue #194
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AALBC.com’s 25 Best Selling Books For July 1st through August 31st 2012
#1 – The Reverend’s Wife by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#2 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter
#3 – My Name is Butterfly by Bernice McFadden
#4 – Red Clay Dirt & Mountains by Monda Raquel Webb
#5 – A Modern Witch by Debora Geary
#6 – Princes of the Road by David Covin
#7 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#8 – Gettin’ Buck Wild: Sex Chronicles II by Zane
#9 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#10 – The Family Business by Eric Pete
#1 – Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me by R. Kelly
#2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 – Slaves With Swag: The Negroes Your History Teacher Forgot To Mention by Daryl T. Hinmon
#4 – The Condemnation of Blackness by Khalil Gibran Muhammad
#5 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife edited by Carleen Brice
#6 – By Any Means Necessary Malcolm X: Real, Not Reinvented edited by Herb Boyd, and others
#7 – The Tithing Hoax: Exposing The Lies, Misinterpretations & False Teachings About Tithing by R. Renee
#8 – Fifteen Steps to Corporate Feudalism by Dennis Marker
#9 – 100 Amazing Facts About the Negro With Complete Proof by J. A. Rogers
#10 – Grasshopper Speaks by Katrina Register
Authors You Should Know
Dr. Dambisa Moyo was born in Born in Lusaka, Zambia in 1969 and is an international economist who writes on the macro economy and global affairs. Dr. Moyo, a NY Times Best-Selling author, holds a PhD in Economics from Oxford University, a Masters from Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, a BS in Chemistry from American University, and an MBA in Finance from American University.
Moyo was named by Time Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World”, and was named to the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders Forum. Her work regularly appears in economic and finance-related publications such as the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Festus Claudius McKay
Claude McKay (September 15, 1889 to May 22, 1949) was born in Sunny Ville, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica to Thomas and Hannah McKay, farmers. The youngest of eleven children he would go on to become one of the leading figures of the 1920s American cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance.
The manuscript, Amiable With Big Teeth: A Novel of the Love Affair Between the Communists and the Poor Black Sheep of Harlem, was discovered in a previously untouched university archive and offers an unusual window on the ideas and events (like Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia) that animated Harlem on the cusp of World War II. The two scholars have received permission from the McKay estate to publish the novel, a satire set in 1936, with an introduction about how it was found and its provenance verified.
Read the complete NY Times article.
Beverly Daniel Tatum
Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum is the current president of Spelman College. Tatum received her B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. She also received an M.A. religious studies from Hartford Seminary. Tatum
received an L.H.D. from Bates College in 2000. Tatum taught at Westfield State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara before joining Mount Holyoke College in 1989. She resided at Mount Holyoke for thirteen years as a professor of psychology, department chair, and dean of the College. In 2002, Tatum served as acting president while President Creighton was on leave. She then joined Spelman College as president.
Tatum is the author of the landmark book; Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
Pamela Samuels Young
Young is a practicing attorney whose fast-paced legal thrillers tackle law and crime. Her novels include Attorney-Client Privilege, Murder on the Down Low and Buying Time. Her short story “Easy Money”” is featured in the anthology Scoundrels: Tales of Greed, Murder and Financial Crimes. A former television news writer, Pamela is a graduate of USC, Northwestern University and UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. Via her blog, Pamela is chronicling her writing process as she completes her next book and invites other writers to write along with her. Pamela serves on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Chapter of Sisters in Crime, an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers.
An Author You Should Know (Married Couples Edition)
In each eNewsletter we try to bring you a wide variety of “Authors You Should Know”. You’ll typically find an mix of male and female authors, as well as writers from Africa, Europe and North America, authors who have been published by major publishers, independent press or who have self published. We are just as likely to showcase a classic author you may have forgotten about as we would fresh new voice you may you may not know. We
recognize that good writers with interesting stories to tell come from a variety of places and circumstances.
This month we decided to showcase a number of authors who not only made substantial contributions to the literary world but are also married to someone else who has done the same. Please check out the full article and let us know, in the comments section, who else you would add to the list.
Fiction Book Reviews
Zane’s Z-Rated: Chocolate Flava 3
Some years ago, Zane shocked the square world in the black literary community with her series of raunchy, raw erotic tales delivered online. Talented and thinking outside of the usual sexual boundaries, she conquered the concept of carnal obsession in her groundbreaking novel, Addicted, which grew her audience and eventually gained the attention of the folks at Simon & Schuster who offered an imprint for her maverick ways. Along her many sizzling novels, she has published several collections including Caramel Flava and Honey Flava, but this new one in the Chocolate Flava series pushes the sensual envelope to the limit.
Reading the twenty-seven stories of this anthology is the equivalent of a very hot, hot date when sexual desire explodes into a wild out-of-body experience. Zane takes pleasure into choosing some of the nastiest tales imaginable, selecting sweaty segments from some of her old friends: Allison Hobbs, Cairo, N’Tyse, Tigress Healy, and Rae. None of these folks let her down. As followers of Ms. Hobbs know, she can really put out with the heated pounding and wet thigh cream as in her story, “Dick Tease,” while Cairo’s “The Pussy Pleaser” is a tribute to a satyr from the Hood who recognizes steamy pink when he sees it.
Nonfiction Book Reviews
The Courage to Hope: How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear by Shirley Sherrod
Sherrod was publicly humiliated in the national press as if the poster child for racial intolerance. Furthermore, she was summarily fired on the spot by her boss without being given an opportunity to defend herself. In the end, the truth did come out, affording the country a very-valuable teachable moment about innocence until proven guilty when the unfairly accused was ultimately exonerated.
Sherrod finally gets to set the record straight in The Courage to Hope, a poignant half-autobiography/half-tale of redemption. Not only does the moving memoir address the infamous incident which thrust the author into the limelight but, perhaps more importantly, it recounts a life story which reveals her to be a real role model well worthy of
admiration and emulation.
In The House Of The Interpreter: A Memoir by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
In 2010, Pantheon published the first volume of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s
memoirs of growing up in Kenya, Dreams in a Time of War: A Childhood Memoir . The second volume In The House Of The Interpreter (Pantheon, November 6) follows Ngũgĩ as he continues his story.
This stunning second memoir by noted Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, In The House Of The Interpreter, covers the height of the Mau Mau upraising from 1955-1959 during his high school years. Now, currently the Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at University of California – Irvine, his recollections at this period of the end of British colonial rule display the origins of a revolutionary mind, a sensibility which would later go on to produce a string of successful novels, plays, short fiction, essays and literary
and social criticism.
City Son: Andrew W. Cooper’s Impact on Modern-Day Brooklyn By Wayne Dawkins
So many African-American newspapers and publications have vanished
from view, but their impact remains on the psyche of our community. New York City’s now-defunct newspaper, City Sun, is one of these media shadows yet its influence lives on in its determined writers, their
timely topics, and its politically committed publisher, Andrew W. Cooper (1927-2002). It is his story that Wayne Dawkins, assistant professor of journalism at Hampton University, tells so dramatically in this biography, which is packed with revealing details about the rise and fall of this paper intertwined with its creator’s bold vision.
With a sensitivity befitting a media legend like Cooper, Dawkins depicts his Harlem childhood with a World War I vet father and a mother from Charleston, South Carolina in the 1920s, relocating later to Brooklyn. The biographer recalls the excitement of Black New York, where cultural and political activism was surging, and the young Cooper was a
product of his times.
Conversations With Octavia Butler
As the sole major black female author of science fiction throughout her career, Octavia Butler reshaped the fictional world of fantasy and myth with her insightful books, creating alternative realities of sex, race, gender and culture. This collection of interviews from 1980 to 2006, published by the University Press of Mississippi, features an intelligent, articulate, introspective woman who understood some uncommon truths about history, society, science, and human relationships.
Common themes in Octavia’s work involved self-preservation, survival, transformation, and the persistence of struggle. As she said in one of her interviews, she liked to write about people who are clearly needing to do something, or be something, or reach something. In one of her most popular novels, Kindred, she spoke eloquently of the anguish of slavery,
the complexity of race, and the brutal culture of oppression.
The Black Chicago Renaissance
Since the Harlem Renaissance, New York has been considered the unofficial capital of black America. However, that designation might be undeserving when one reflects upon Chicago’s considerable contributions not only culturally, but socially and politically.
For example, the Windy City sent its first African-American to Congress sixteen years before the Big Apple which only elected Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in 1944. Furthermore, half of the six black U.S. Senators in history represented Illinois, and I know I don’t have to tell you that President Obama hails from Chicago.
American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama
The nation owes a debt of gratitude to Rachel L. Swarns, a reporter for
the New York Times since 1995, for donning her investigative journalist cap to dig into Michelle Robinson Obama’s past. The upshot of that quest resulted in a reconstructed family tree going back to the 18th Century, including a slave-owning white great-great-great grandfather.
He was a plantation owner who mated with teenaged Melvinia Shields, Michelle’s maternal great-great-great grandmother. From evidence unearthed, the author establishes that the victim was helpless to protest because she had not only been “separated from any close family” since the age of eight but was “living in a society that viewed a white man’s rape of his slave women as a right, not a crime.”
Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me by R. Kelly
Let’s get this out of the way up front: R. Kelly’s autobiography does not discuss what really happened with the sex tape that almost sent him to prison. It does not include a single word about Aaliyah, the late singer Kelly allegedly married when she was 15. Other tantalizing incidents and individuals are glossed over. A tell-all, this is not.
Instead, Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me recounts the creative and family life of a once-in-a-generation performer and musician. Despite its guarded tone, the book is a vivid and entertaining journey that reveals much about the musical engine of a true artist. Kelly, whose ability to write and produce hits for himself and others is unparalleled in modern R&B, does confront the defining theme of his career: the juxtaposition of the sacred and the
profane, the sexual and the spiritual.
Also, check out a video of R. Kelly Impersonating Michael Jackson
I Want You to Shut the F#ck Up: How the Audacity of Dopes Is Ruining America by D.L. Hughley
No stranger to controversy, D.L. Hughley has a knack for pushing people’s buttons while keeping his finger on the pulse of pop culture.
For instance, a few years ago, the caustic comedian landed in hot water
when he came to the partial defense of Don Imus after the shock jock had insensitively referred to members of the Rutgers University’s women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.” Hughley said Imus had it half-right in that the girls were indeed “nappy-headed.”
Now, the irascible troublemaker is at it again, stirring the pot of political incorrectness by poking fun at everyone from President Obama (“big ears” and “a goofy smile”) to Tiger Woods (“a buck-toothed chigger playing a white man’s game”) to Bill Clinton (for being blacker than Obama) to Herman Cain (“He’s not bright. He’s not entertaining… Why do
we need to see this clown dance?”) to Mitt Romney (“shallow… a man completely out of touch”) to Minister Farrakhan (“White people’s least favorite black person”).
Grasshopper Speaks by Katrina Register
In Katrina Register’s memoir, Grasshopper Speaks, the author takes readers on the whirlwind journey of her life. She shares tales of her own adoption woes, relationship catastrophes, and a battle with alcoholism.
Grasshopper Speaks is an excellent read. Register pulls no punches
when discussing the calamity of workplace woes, relationship nightmares, and internal struggles in her life. The book could be a clinic on how to write creative non-fiction. The only downfall is the ending, which journeys into diary-like reading as if the author wasn’t sure how to end the book. However, if you’re looking for a page turner that deals with the tragedies of life, such as unplanned pregnancy, domestic violence, mental abuse, physical abuse, and more; definitely pick up this book. And when you’re done, pray that Register has found inner peace and redemption.
Publisher Beverly A. Burchett and “Bow Legged Lou” of Full Force
Beverly A. Burchett, author and publisher of Blackcurrant Press Co. showcases her books and author Lucien “Bow legged Lou” George, of Full Force fame, new book, Not Just A House Party. This video was recorded by AALBC.com at the Harlem Book Fair in July 2012.
Wade Hudson, President and CEO of Just of Books (2005)
Here Wade talks about the company he and his wife Cheryl Willis Hudson founded in 1988 to create books for children featuring Black characters. Wade also talks about the importance of reading for children. Wade also Hudson also talks about the launch of Sankofa Books an imprint dedicated to publishing older often out of print books so that a new generate of children may enjoy them. They announced the reprinting Rosa Guy’s books which were out of print at the time. This video was recorded at Book Expo America 2005
Are Bookstores Relevant? – A One Question Survey
Vote “Yes” or “No”, you may optionally share your comments. The results and comments will be shared on an upcoming Blog post.
The Words The Words – Plagiarism Exacts Emotional Toll in Tale of Overwhelming Regret
The latest stop on Clayton Hammond’s (Dennis Quaid) whirlwind book tour has the renowned author in New York City to promote his latest opus. It’s a cautionary tale of overwhelming regret recounting the rise and fall of a presumably fictional character called Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper). At the story’s point of departure, he’s an aspiring novelist under pressure to find a day job after years of relying on handouts from his father (J.K. Simmons). The young man grudgingly capitulates by taking a lowly 9 to 5 gig in the mailroom of a leading literary agency. The steady pay does enable Rory to save enough money to propose to his longtime girlfriend (Zoe Saldana) who has been patiently waiting to start a family. Soon enough, they’re newlyweds and honeymooning in Paris where the grateful bride impulsively buys her hubby a weather-beaten briefcase lying around a dusty antique shop.
Sparkle – Singing Siblings Seek Fame in Remake of Musical Morality Play
Emma Anderson (Whitney Houston) didn’t want her daughters to follow in her footsteps by having babies as teenagers while squandering their future in the futile pursuit of celebrity and bad boys who wouldn’t treat them like ladies. That’s why the overprotective single-mom feels fortunate to be able to raise them in a middle-class suburb of Detroit where she keeps them on the straight and narrow path via a steady diet of Christianity and high expectations
Written and directed by the husband-wife team of Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, respectively, Sparkle is very loosely based on the 1976 musical of the same name, with the point of departure, the timeline, plot developments, and the score being tweaked for the overhaul, and all for the better. A must-see, between Whitney’s sentimental Swan Song and Carmen’s coming out party.
Red Hook Summer – Spike Lee Directs Disappointing
This is a movie that might earn high marks were it the work of a first time director. However, coming from a two-time Oscar-nominee (for “4 Little Girls” and “Do the Right Thing”), it can only be described as a bitter disappointment. The primary problem is that the acting is mediocre. Secondly, the screen is littered with the sort of buffoonish stereotypes Spike has been criticizing Tyler Perry for, one-dimensional caricatures running the gamut from ghetto gangstas to church ladies. Third the film fails to generate any palpable tension.
The director makes a cameo appearance as pizza deliveryman Mookie, reprising the role he played as the protagonist of “Do the Right Thing”. Sadly, that distraction merely serves as a sad reminder of how much Spike’s skills have eroded since his glory days.
2016: Obama’s America – Paranoid Dreams from D’SouzaParanoid and delusional thinking is defined as the generalized distrust and suspicion of others. Individuals suffering from paranoid thinking may sometimes have dreams that are characterized by intuitions and feelings of grandeur bordering on pure fantasy. In art or film, one might give flight to such fantasies or daydreams without disrupting everyday social reality, especially, if you can convince others to assume your version of an alternative social reality, albeit temporarily. Dinesh D’Souza’s film “2016: Obama’s America” manages to do just this while craftily walking the fine line between partial truths and fiction.
Dinesh D’Souza’s film “2016: Obama’s America” manages to do just this while craftily walking the fine line between partial truths and fiction about the early socialization, family life and political philosophy of the 44th president of the US, Barack Hussein Obama, who also happens to be the first black president of the US with a multiracial, multicultural and multi-religious lineage and genealogy rooted in America, Africa and Indonesia.
The Central Park Five – Moving Documentary Recounts the Tragic Railroading of 5 New York City Teenagers
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. They spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned. Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, “The Central Park Five” tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice. Written and Directed by: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon
Carmen Ejogo – The “Sparkle” Interview
Carmen Ejogo was born in London on New Year’s Day 1974 to Elizabeth
Douglas and Charles Ejogo, a couple of Scottish and Nigerian extraction, respectively. She made her U.S. film debut opposite Eddie Murphy playing Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Tate in the 1997 comedy Metro.
Carmen and her husband, actor Jeffrey Wright, live in Brooklyn which is where they are raising their two children. Here’s she talks about her latest role as Sister in Sparkle opposite Jordin Sparks and the late Whitney Houston.
Quvenzhané “Nazie” Wallis – The “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Interview
Quvenzhané “Nazie” Wallis was born on August 28, 2003, in Houma, Louisiana where she attends Honduras Elementary School. She is the daughter of Venjie and Qulyndreia Wallis, and sister to Qunyquekya, Vejon and Venjie Jr. Nazie loves reading, singing, dancing, acting and playing her iPod and Nintendo DS. She’s a big fan of China McClain, Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus, and her favorite sports are basketball, volleyball, dance and cheerleading.
Here, she talks about her Oscar-worthy performance as Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild, a visually-enchanting modern parable issuing a dire warning about the threat to the planet posed by civilization and corporations if left unchecked.
Positive Vibes Afrikan Literature Books Art & Accessories in Virginia
Positives Vibes is located at 6220 B. Indian River Rd, in Virginia Beach.
In business for over 20 years, Positive Vibes has a large selection of books and also sell a wide variety of products including; Art, Calendars, DVDs, Fabric, Greeting Cards, Incense, Jewelry, Musical Instruments, Oils, T-shirts, and Wood Carvings.
Pay them a visit or contact them at 757-523-1399 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more
information. You may visit Positive Vibes online at or check them out on Huria Search where you can find Black owned, independent bookstores all over the United States.
The Hidden Colors: The Untold History of Aboriginal, Moor & African Descent
This DVD comes highly recommended from our friends at Positive Vibes.
Hidden Colors is a documentary about the real and untold history of
people of color around the globe. This film discusses some of the
reasons the contributions of African and aboriginal people have been
left out of the pages of history. Traveling around the country, the film features scholars, historians, and social commentators who uncovered such amazing facts about things such as: The original image of Christ, The true story about the Moors, The original people of Asia, The great west African empires, The presence of Africans in America before Columbus, The real reason slavery was ended and much more. Reach out Positive Vibes and get your copy today. You may also read “Moor” about and discuss Hidden Colors here.
AALBC.com Now Uses Disqus’s Commenting System
This is one of the best enhancements we’ve made to AALBC.com in a long time. We’ve incorporated Disqus’s commenting system for use
in our book and film reviews section as well as our Blog.
With Disqus we are able to provide visitors with the ability to make comments on all of our reviews and reply directly to each others’ comments. If you make comments on articles, on other websites, you may already have a Disqus account (if not visit sign up here).
Disqus give us, and other websites, more functionality than social media in terms of engaging with our content. In this webmaster’s opinion, the latest version of Discus, is one of the best new things on the world wide web in 2012.
The Longest Fight: In the Ring with Joe Gans, Boxing’s First African American Champion
Many people came to Goldfield, Nevada, America’s last gold-rush town, to seek their fortune. However, on a searing summer day in September 1906, they came not to strike it rich but to watch what would become the longest boxing match of the twentieth century—between Joe Gans, the first African American boxing champion, and “Battling” Nelson, a vicious and dirty brawler. It was a match billed as the battle of the races.
In The Longest Fight, the longtime Washington Post sports correspondent William Gildea tells the story of an epic match between Joe Gans, the first African American boxing champion, and “Battling” Nelson, a vicious and dirty brawler. The September 1906 match was billed as the battle of the races. The bout lasted would stretch to forty-two rounds and last two hours and forty-eight minutes. A new rail line brought spectators from around the country, dozens of reporters came to file blow-by-blow accounts, and an entrepreneurial crew’s film of the fight, shown in theaters shortly afterward, endures to this day.
The 8th Annual African American Literary Awards Show – September 27, 2012. 6 pm – 11 pm
The awards program will be held at Melba’s Restaurant located at 163 West 125th Street & Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. 3rd floor in Harlem, New York.
Click here to purchase tickets.
The AALAS is an entertainment event production and marketing company with a focus on writers and authors. It produces an annual Literary Awards Show to recognize, honor, celebrate and promote the outstanding achievements and contributions that African-American authors and writers make to the publishing, arts and entertainment industries.
2012 Master of Ceremonies: Award-winning actor and author Isaiah Washington. Join AALAS Founder Yvette Hayward as she welcomes 2012 honorees: Marva Allen
(Hue-Man Bookstore), Troy Johnson (AALBC.com: The African American Literature Book Club) & Marie Brown (Marie Brown & Associates, Literary Agency).
Birth Ur Book Conference – Atlanta Technical College – October 5 to 7, 2012 at 6:00 PM
Friday, October 5, 2012 at 6:00 PM to Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 11:00 PM (PDT), Atlanta Technical College, 1560 Metropolitan Pkwy SW, Atlanta, GA 30310
Get all the tools you need to bring your book to print. Meet Authors,
Printers, Publishers, Editors, Graphic Artist, and more all under one
roof. Learn the do’s and don’t of the publishing business from industry experts Avoid Cost mistakes and publishing pitfalls. Meet and Develop your A-team to ensure your success. We have extended the Early Bird Special until August 18th, 2012 Midnight.
AALBC.com Founder Troy Johnson will present a seminar entitled: “How to you use social media and other methods to sell your book online for free”. Click Here to register.
Mosaic Literary Conference 2012 – Nov. 9 & 10 – Hostos Community College Bronx
The Mosaic Literary Conference is an inspiring and unique grassroots conference planned, produced, and promoted in partnership with local cultural organizations and educators. Its focus is simple —to educate, empower, and reconnect this generation of educators, parents, and students to the power of books and reading. The conference invites some of the most innovative educators and literary artists to facilitate literature workshops to an audience of teachers and administrators.
Interesting Discussion Board Conversations
AALBC.com’s Discussion Forums – Join in the conversation!
Why is Discussion Board Participation Down?
The life of a discussion board is a direct function of the level and quality of the conversation so this is an issue that I care about and since AALBC.com is a one man operation I typically have not had enough time to really delve in the causes and take more aggressive action reverse the trend.
Documentary: About Black Authors and the Publishing Business
About the Documentary Black and Write: The documentary is about black authors and the publishing business. After 12 years and seven conferences, the Black Writer’s Reunion & Conference will host one final conference. Black authors will share stories of successes and failures in the publishing industry.
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