I’m not ending the sharing of my information, ideas, and opinions — I’m just no longer doing it on this blog. Anything I would have shared on this blog will be shared on our discussion forums. My most recent discussion forum content may be found here.
From 2004 until 2019, I maintained this Blog. During the 15 year period I experimented with a variety of topics, mostly related to information about AALBC, books, and running a business on the World Wide Web. However, from 1998 until today, I did much of the same thing on our discussion forums, so by abandoning my blog all I’m really doing is saving time by consolidating my activities.
This is pretty much the same thing I did when I decided to stop publishing longer form content on social media websites. The reality is that the content I shared on social email actually helped increase engagement on the social media platforms, which had the opposite effect of what I was trying to accomplish — getting readers to visit AALBC. The time I spend on social media has gone from hours a week to minutes a week. Interestingly, the amount of traffic AALBC receives from social media has increased dramatically since I cut back on my use of those platforms.
In my final blog post “AALBC is Done with Amazon!” I shared my years long frustration with Amazon, culminating in my decision to boycott them. This turned out to be one of the best business decisions I’ve made concerning AALBC. It is not uncommon for AALBC to earn more in a single day selling books than we earned during an average month working with Amazon!
My most popular blog post, “Only 54 Black Owned Bookstores Remain in America” was a follow up to my 2012 article, “Death of the Black Owned, Independent, Bookstore,” which was an urgent call to get everyone, who cared cared about Black books and writers, to support independent, Black-owed booksellers. It is rewarding to see so many others activity support Black book stores today and sharing the list of Black owned bookstores that I have maintained since 1998. Unfortunately, it took the public lynching of George Floyd to bring the nation’s collective attention to “anti-racism,“ which led to a boon in sales of anti-racist books and a record-setting level of support of Black-owned bookstores.
Another of my most popular blog posts was, “Are Negro Girls Getting Prettier?” The title was borrowed from the title of an article in Ebony Magazine from 1966. By today’s standards the title of the article struck me as anachronistic, but I also found it humorous, so I shared information from the article. I also used it as an opportunity to share information about a book offered for sale on AALBC, which is something I always do 😉
Black publications, like Ebony Magazine, was a common subject of my blog and discussion forum posts, mostly I lamenting the lost, dearth, and decline of our media platforms over the last 50 years. One article I wrote, “Ebony Magazine’s September 1963 Issue Was Great!” which I would have posted on this blog, was shared on our discussion forums instead. One article in that issue of Ebony Magazine was, “Negro in Literature Today” by John A. Williams. The article was well written and rich in information. There are no commercial publications, that I’m privy to today, that cover Black literature to the same depth as that issue of Ebony.
This is why I also why I have encourages people both on this blog and on our discussion forums to support Black-owned media. If anyone is going to cover Black books and authors at any level of depth and nuance we can not expect Amazon or mainstream media to do it — we have to do it. We must do it if we are to retain any agency in how we are depicted in the media.
So while I’ve given up on the blogging thing, my dedication to our literature is unwavering.
Join me on our discussion forums (https://aalbc.com/tc). The conversations range from serious, to humorous, to completely irreverent. You don’t have to worry about anyone tracking your activity or selling your data. There are no bots or trolls trying to manipulate your mood or behavior.
It is just good old fashioned conversation on a platform we own and benefit from.