Author Archives: Troy

About Troy

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

Simon & Schuster Gives Racist Troll $250K Book Deal, But Boycotting Them Makes No Sense

Editor’s Note: Subsequent to the publication of the article, a video of Milo making comments condoning sex between children and adults was widely circulated.  As a result, his book deal with Simon & Schuster was pulled.  He also stepped down from his role as an editor with Breitbart News.


dangerous.jpgMilo Yiannopoulos is laughing all the way to the bank.  The interviewer from CNN (shown in the first video below), despite her faux outrage, is greatly helping this Milo’s profile.  CNN is doing this because these interviews generate rating and money for their company.  The hypocrisy is sickening.

This is solely about money.  Milo is no different than Twitter, CNN, and CNBC. This is the exact same thing that raised Trump’s profile. Outrageous statements are profitable.  Milo is simply the latest capitalistic troll to exploit the dysfunctional of our culture.

Now I appreciate I’m is actually feeding into the frenzy of Milo, but I do this because I know full well I’m not going to make money from this effort—corporations own that market. I just hope to make some points that will help readers think about the platforms they consume “information.”

Milo Yiannopoulos’ has a book Dangerous coming out in June.  It was already #30 on Amazon’s bestsellers list on February 14th—not in some miscellaneous sub-category either.  It is #30 overall!  The book is published by Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Yesterday I posted a link to AALBC.com about a fascinating book, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar, which is also published by Simon & Schuster.  I received the following in reaction,

The crazy thing is that I had no idea who Milo Yiannopoulos was prior to Emanuel’s comment. Milo is apparently the guy who spearheaded the racist trolling of Leslie Jones on Twitter. We previously talked about Leslie’s Twitter trolls on our discussion forum, without ever mentioning Milo.  Leslie threatened to leave Twitter and Twitter booted Milo in reaction (presumably).

While we (or least I) was unaware of Milo extreme trolling, corporate media were obviously paying attention and anxious to capitalize off Milo’s racist attacks.  In the process they raised MIlo’s profile; which of course boosts rating—adverse cultural impact be damned!

Simon & Schuster even offered him a $250K book deal!  Imagine a quarter of a million dollar book deal, apparently for being racist enough to get thrown off Twitter?

But then Milo is not your garden variety troll; he has Breitbart News as a platform, he is very clever, media-savvy, and funny.  I have been personally been the target of Trolls.  Not only did it not bother me I found some it kinda funny and even posted examples.  But my trolls don’t write for Breitbart, and I’m not a celebrity.  For me, it is just another day on the web: I ban my trolls and keep it moving.  No interviews on CNN, no book deals, no outrage on Twitter, indeed no attention at all.  But celebrities and the trolls are a different matter.

There was a spate of angry tweets leveled against Simon & Schuster and others announcing boycotts:

This is all very powerful stuff. Roxanne Gay caught my attention by pulling her next book which was also being published by Simon & Schuster.  The book’s title is How to be Heard.  A curious title, given Gay’s reaction is exactly the opposite of the title connotation silencing a troll

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of Simon & Schuster.  Indeed, I’d seriously considered banning them in my own personal boycott because they are the only publisher of significance to never spend a penny, in advertising, with AALBC.com.  This is despite the fact that Simon & Schuster has the top selling imprint on AALBC.com, Atria Books.

Now I would be more than happy to boycott Simon & Schuster.  In fact with the website’s new design, I could remove all of Simon & Schuster’s titles from my website by changing a few lines of code.

But I’m not going to ban Simon & Schuster’s books, not for this reason.  Simon and Shuster is a massive corporation Milo’s imprint Threshold Editions has nothing to do with the imprint 37 INK, who publishes some important books. It makes no sense boycott 37 INK’s titles because another imprint decides to publish the rantings of some racist troll.  It is the reason I still carry Simon and Shuster’s books even though they won’t break down and support the site with ad revenue.

The real problem is not Simon and Schuster, or even Milo. Both are simply capitalizing on the fact that, in America, skilled trolling is profitable.  One could argue that MIlo and Threshold Editions are behaving perfectly rationally given the environment.

We live a culture were saying outrageous things is not only very profitable but can get you into the Whitehouse.

 

 

 

 

 

Victoria Christopher Murray Celebrates a Writing Career Spanning 20 Years and 27 Novels!


“In 1997, I self-published my first novel, Temptation. I sold 9,000 copies in 6 months, was picked up by a major publisher (Time Warner), and received my first NAACP Image Award nomination. Now, 20 years later, I’m still with a major publisher (Simon and Schuster), but I have also self-published a few novels. And now, my 27th book hits the shelves…”
Victoria Christopher Murray


LUSTVictoria’s latest novel is LUST: A Seven Deadly Sins (Touchstone, February 7, 2017)

“Murray has penned hot, steamy scenes in which her protagonist’s imagination runs wild, followed by the consequences of her realizing her dangerous dreams. A jarring twist at the end has the reader wondering who the good guys really are. Readers will be ready for more of Murray’s promising series.”
—Booklist (starred review)

“Murray (Stand Your Ground; Forever an Ex) mixes
quite a bit of passion, a touch of treachery, and some good old-fashioned revenge, taking time to build the tension…there’s a great resolution that hints at the movie Fatal Attraction.”
—Library Journal

“I have read Murray for years and have purchased Joy for at least 10 or more of my friends—birthdays, weddings, Christmas, etc. I love her books and have read about 8 or 10 of them. Now that l’ve retired, I can now catch up on the list of 27! Wonderful writer with the spiritual and real world approach! She, Pearl Cleage and, Walter Mosley are my absolute favorites!”
—Betti Clausell Chaney, AALBC.com eNewsletter Subscriber

About Lust

Meet the beautiful, entrepreneurial Tiffanie, who is days away from tying the knot with her first (and only) love. Tiffanie’s fiancé, Damon, is a highly successful businessman who is head-over-heels for her.

Everyone is happy for Tiffanie and Damon—except for Trey, Damon’s childhood friend and ex-partner from their drug dealings days. Unlike Damon, Trey refused to get out when the game got hot, and ended up in prison. Now he’s been released just in time to be the best man at Tiffanie and Damon’s lavish wedding. While Damon is thrilled, hoping this is a new start for his old friend, Tiffanie is confused by the lustful feelings she has around Trey.

When passion, betrayal, and revenge are mixed, only one man may be left standing.

Available at Amazon, Barnes & NobleTarget, and Wherever Books Are Sold

AAFCA Honored MOONLIGHT as Top Film & QUEEN SUGAR as the Top TV Show

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION (AAFCA) HONORED MOONLIGHT AS THE TOP FILM OF HISTORIC 2016  QUEEN SUGAR AWARDED AS THE TOP TV SHOW 

  • Denzel Washington, Ruth Negga, Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis Received Acting Wins from the Nation’s Premiere Black Critics Group 
  • Ava DuVarney’s 13th and Beyonce’s Lemonade also take key honors 
  • Sidney Poitier Received Lifetime Achievement Award (Sandra Kramer accepted on his behalf
  • February 8, 2017AWARDS GALA TOOK PLACE AT THE TAGLYAN COMPLEX IN LOS ANGELES

LOS ANGELES (February 9, 2016) – Movies, documentaries and TV shows about the black experience were in abundance in 2016 making it a truly historic year in terms of the number of movies, documentaries, TV shows released, and the number of blacks represented in front and behind the camera.

AAFCA held its 8th annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, CA.

Those in attendance included host Nischelle Turner, Janelle Monae (Breakout Star Award Recipient), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight Director) Lee Daniels (Vanguard Award Recipient), John Singleton, Queen Sugar Cast (Dawn Lyen-Gardner, Timon Kyle Durrett, Omar J. Dorsey, Tina Lifford, Dondre Whitfield), Sanaa Lathan (Shots Fired), Alano Miller (Underground), DeWanda Wise (Shots Fired), director Anthony Hemingway (Underground Director), Sheryl Lee Ralph, Jovan Adepo (Fences), Joe Morton (Scandal), Tommy Davidson, Anna Marie Horsford, Demetrius Shipp Jr. (All Eyez On Me), Laz Alonso, Wendy Raquel Robinson (The Game), Aisha Hinds (Underground), Misha Green (Underground Creator), Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Eva Marcille, Rhyon Nicole (Surviving Compton), Marcus Scribner (Black-ish), Kendrick Sampson (How To Get Away With Mu

Janelle Monae

Cast of ‘Queen Sugar
L-R: Omar J. Dorsey, Tina Lifford, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Timon Kyle Durrett, Dondre Whitfield

“Our members had a plethora of outstanding movies, documentaries and TV shows to choose from this year,” says AAFCA Co-founder Shawn Edwards. “It was an exceptional year in terms of the quantity and quality of films about the black experience. And while this by no means solves the diversity issue in the film industry it was definitely refreshing to have such a wide-range of exceptional work to choose from to honor and celebrate with our approval.”

There were several movies released last year that are considered masterpieces. However, it was “Moonlight” that dominated this year’s voting for the 8th AAFCA Awards. The independent film which chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami completely resonated with the majority of the members of the association. The A24 Pictures film earned multiple awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Ensemble and Best Supporting Actor. Awards were also given to singer/actress Janelle Monae for Best Breakout Performance. She delivered star-making performances this year in both “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures.” The top acting honors went to Denzel Washington and Ruth Negga for their roles in Fences and Loving.

“2016 provided our membership with many great films to choose from,” says AAFCA President and Co-founder, Gil Robertson. “Every movie and TV show on our Top 10 Lists could have easily been number one. The number of incredible performances by black actors and actresses added to a very competitive field of performances and represents a step towards inclusion that our membership warmly embraces. We look forward to what 2017 has in store.”

The following is a complete list of 2016 AAFCA Awards winners. 

FILM

BEST PICTURE: MOONLIGHT – (A24)

BEST DIRECTOR: BARRY JENKINS, MOONLIGHT – (A24)

BEST ACTOR: DENZEL WASHINGTON, FENCES– (Paramount)

BEST ACTRESS: RUTH NEGA, LOVING – (Focus Features)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: MAHERSHALA ALI, MOONLIGHT – (A24)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: VIOLA DAVIS, FENCES (Paramount)

BEST ENSEMBLE: THE Cast of HIDDEN FIGURES (20TH Century Fox)

BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE 2017 – Janelle Monae for MOONLIGHT AND HIDDEN FIGURES

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM: “MOONLIGHT” (A24)

BEST ANIMATION FILM; ZOOTOPIA (Disney)

BEST SONG – “VICTORY” from HIDDEN FIGURES (20th Century Fox)

BEST DOCUMENTARY – 13  (Netflix)

BEST FOREIGN FILM – TANNA (Lightyear Entertainment)

BEST SCREENPLAY – AUGUST WILSON, FENCES – (Paramount)

TV

BEST TV SHOW (Drama) – QUEEN SUGAR – OWN

BEST TV SHOW (Comedy) – ATLANTA – FX

BEST TV SHOW (CABLE/NEW MEDIA – UNDERGROUND – WGN

BEST TV SHOW (Special/Limited Series) – LEMONADE – HBO 

AAFCA Top Ten Films of 2016 are as follows in order of distinction:

  1. MOONLIGHT – A24
  2. FENCES – Paramount
  3. HIDDEN FIGURES – 20th Century Fox
  4. LION – The Weinstein Company
  5. LALA LAND – Lionsgate
  6. BIRTH OF A NATION – Fox Searchlight
  7. LOVING – Focus Features
  8. MANCHESTER BY THE SEA – Roadside Attraction/Amazon Studios
  9. HELL OR HIGH WATER – Lionsgate/CBS Films
  10. QUEEN OF KATWE – Walt Disney Pictures/ESPN Films

AAFCA Top Ten TV shows of 2016 are as follows in order of distinction:

  1. QUEEN SUGAR – OWN
  2. UNDERGROUND – WGN
  3. ATLANTA – FX
  4. INSECURE – HBO
  5. LUKE CAGE – NETFLIX
  6. THIS IS US – NBC
  7. BLACKISH – ABC
  8. THE GET DOWN – NETFLIX
  9. WESTWORLD – HBO
  10. SURVIVOR’S REMORSE – STARZ

As previously announced, AAFCA’s Special Achievement Honors, presented by Morgan Stanley, was presented on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the California Yacht Club. This year’s honorees include director, Anthony Hemingway; producer/director, Lee Daniels and animator, Floyd Norman. Chicago Tribune film critic, Michael Phillips will receive the organization’s Roger Ebert Award and Fox Animation President, Vanessa Morrison will receive the Ashley Boone Award.

About AAFCA 

The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) is the premiere organization of African-American film media professionals. Founded in 2003, AAFCA’s members represent a geographically diverse cross-section of media covering the cinematic arts. The organization honors excellence in cinema by creating awareness for films with universal appeal to black communities, while emphasizing film about the black experience and those produced written, directed and starring performers of African descent. The association actively reviews the quality and standard of black talent, content and media coverage. AAFCAalso supports the development of future black film critics and filmmakers.

About AAFCA 

The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) is the premiere organization of African-American film media professionals. Founded in 2003, AAFCA’s members represent a geographically diverse cross-section of media covering the cinematic arts. The organization honors excellence in cinema by creating awareness for films with universal appeal to black communities, while emphasizing film about the black experience and those produced written, directed and starring performers of African descent. The association actively reviews the quality and standard of black talent, content and media coverage. AAFCA also supports the development of future black film critics and filmmakers.

CONTACT: Jeaunine Askew 323-878-2399 | info@aafca.com

Photo Credit: Sheri Determan