Reading List for The Tea
June 2018 — Selection
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele
St. Martin’s Press (Jan 16, 2018)
List Price: $24.99 Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 272
Read AALBC.com’s Review of When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
The emotional and powerful story of one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter and how the movement was born.
"This remarkable book reveals what inspired Patrisse’s visionary and courageous activism and forces us to face the consequence of the choices our nation made when we criminalized a generation. This book is a must-read for all of us." - Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors’ story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.
May 2018 — Selection
Down the River unto the Sea
by Walter Mosley
Mulholland Books (Feb 20, 2018)
List Price: $27.00 Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 336
From trailblazing novelist Walter Mosley: a former NYPD cop once imprisoned for a crime he did not commit must solve two cases: that of a man wrongly condemned to die, and his own.
Joe King Oliver was one of the NYPD’s finest investigators, until, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, he is framed for assault by his enemies within the NYPD, a charge which lands him in solitary at Rikers Island.
A decade later, King is a private detective, running his agency with the help of his teenage daughter, Aja-Denise. Broken by the brutality he suffered and committed in equal measure while behind bars, his work and his daughter are the only light in his solitary life. When he receives a card in the mail from the woman who admits she was paid to frame him those years ago, King realizes that he has no choice but to take his own case: figuring out who on the force wanted him disposed of—and why.
Running in parallel with King’s own quest for justice is the case of a Black radical journalist accused of killing two on-duty police officers who had been abusing their badges to traffic in drugs and women within the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
Joined by Melquarth Frost, a brilliant sociopath, our hero must beat dirty cops and dirtier bankers, craven lawyers, and above all keep his daughter far from the underworld in which he works. All the while, two lives hang in the balance: King’s client’s, and King’s own.
April 2018 — Selection
The Original Black Elite: Daniel Murray and the Story of a Forgotten Era
by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor
Amistad (Jan 31, 2017)
List Price: $27.99 Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 512
In this outstanding cultural biography, the author of the New York Times bestseller A Slave in the White House chronicles a critical yet overlooked chapter in American history: the inspiring rise and calculated fall of the black elite, from Emancipation through Reconstruction to the Jim Crow Era—embodied in the experiences of an influential figure of the time, academic, entrepreneur, and political activist and black history pioneer Daniel Murray.
In the wake of the Civil War, Daniel Murray, born free and educated in Baltimore, was in the vanguard of Washington, D.C.’s black upper class. Appointed Assistant Librarian at the Library of Congress—at a time when government appointments were the most prestigious positions available for blacks—Murray became wealthy through his business as a construction contractor and married a college-educated socialite. The Murrays’ social circles included some of the first African-American U.S. Senators and Congressmen, and their children went to the best colleges—Harvard and Cornell.
Though Murray and other black elite of his time were primed to assimilate into the cultural fabric as Americans first and people of color second, their prospects were crushed by Jim Crow segregation and the capitulation to white supremacist groups by the government, which turned a blind eye to their unlawful—often murderous—acts. Elizabeth Dowling Taylor traces the rise, fall, and disillusionment of upper-class African Americans, revealing that they were a representation not of hypothetical achievement but what could be realized by African Americans through education and equal opportunities.
As she makes clear, these well-educated and wealthy elite were living proof that African Americans did not lack the ability to fully participate in the social contract as white supremacists claimed, making their subsequent fall when Reconstruction was prematurely abandoned all the more tragic. Illuminating and powerful, her magnificent work brings to life a dark chapter of American history that too many Americans have yet to recognize.
March 2018 — Selection
Blessed Life: My Surprising Journey of Joy, Tears, and Tales from Harlem to Hollywood
by Kim Fields
FaithWords (Nov 14, 2017)
List Price: $22.00 Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 240
From "Facts of Life" to "Living Single" to "Dancing with the Stars" to wife and mom, here's the BLESSED LIFE of Kim Fields, veteran actress, TV personality, and star.
Kim Fields has lived most of her life with people thinking they know her, which is understandable. From her first job on a Mrs. Butterworth syrup commercial at age 7, she has spent 40 years in the public eye. There were 9 years as Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey on the classic sitcom The Facts of Life, 5 more in her 20s starring as Regine Hunter on the seminal coming-of-age show Living Single, and most recently appearing as herself on Real Housewives of Atlanta and Dancing with the Stars.
Behind the camera, she has directed episodes of Kenan & Kel, Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns and House of Payne, and BET's Let's Stay Together. Between gigs, the pop culture icon's life has included theater, spoken word, music, speaking engagements, and simply being present to the point that she cannot go a day without someone stopping her to say, "When I was a kid, I wanted to be Tootie" or "You were my role model."
Flattered and blessed, after four decades in the business, Kim finally understands the role she has played onscreen and off as a successful, outspoken African-American woman. However, for as much as she's been in the public eye, people have really never known her the way they think they have, and that's because she, herself, spent most of her life figuring herself out. Now, at age 48, she is ready to set the record straight. She says, "It's not that I've been misunderstood. It's that I finally feel like I understand me enough to tell the life story that I've been asked to write for years." It will be a chronicle of living, learning, and keen moments of self-discovery as she's journeyed through the many facets and chapters of life. Fields found faith at age 14 and has found God to be right there every step of the way since then.
February 2018 — Selection
An American Marriage: A Novel
by Tayari Jones
Algonquin Books (Feb 06, 2018)
List Price: $26.95 Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 320
Read Tayari’s, “Notes on “Quotes” from An American Marriage”
An American Marriage is the newest Oprah’s Book Club selection!
Thank you, Oprah, for extending your hand to me and my new novel, An American Marriage. I am honored to join your book club and connect hearts and minds by raising our voices and telling our stories.”
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.
January 2018 — Selection
The Divine Butterfly: Inspiration For The Journey To Your Purpose
by Karen H. St. Hilaire
CreateSpace (Aug 01, 2017)
List Price: $9.99 Format: Paperback
Page Count: 103
Everyone was created with purpose. We all have a personal route that lead to success in our life s work. That journey can be daunting, but it is worth it.
The Divine Butterfly: Inspiration For The Journey To Your Purpose is your tool kit of tips and tricks to persevere throughout this journey. Before we dig deep, you must survey your current situation to assess where you are and how you arrived at that place. This book allows you to do just that.
Using stories and meditative practices, the book enables you assess your state of affairs and make adjustments that will aide in your success.
December 2017 — Selection
YES! Yoga Has Curves
by Dana A. Smith
Spiritual Essence Yoga (May 31, 2014)
List Price: $0.00 Format: Flexibound
The true essence of yoga is what you do from your heart, not what you do with your body. Yoga is a transformational art designed to bring our mind, body and spirit back into balance. It helps us to appreciate who we are and love the skin that we are in. In popular media only one type of yoga body is highlighted and there is little representation for fuller bodied women. Because of this, many women don’t think they have the "yoga body" and hesitate exploring yoga, even though it has countless benefits. YES! Yoga Has Curves serves as a testament that yoga is for EVERYbody and that no one physical size is better suited for practice. It celebrates beautiful goddesses of all curvy shapes and sizes and finally allows the beauty of our curves to be recognized in this blessed art called yoga.
November 2017 — Selection
Unforgivable Love: A Retelling of Dangerous Liaisons
by Sophfronia Scott
William Morrow Paperbacks (Sep 26, 2017)
List Price: $15.99 Format: Paperback
Page Count: 528
“A dazzlingly dark and engaging tale full of heartbreak, treachery, and surprise.”Kirkus
In this vivid reimagining of the French classic Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons), it’s the summer when Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Baseball’s color barrier and a sweltering stretch has Harlem’s elite fleeing the city for Westchester County’s breezier climes, two predators stalk amidst the manicured gardens and fine old homes. Heiress Mae Malveaux rules society with an angel’s smile and a heart of stone. She made up her mind long ago that nobody would decide her fate. To have the pleasure she craves, control is paramount, especially control of the men Mae attracts like moths to a flame.
Valiant Jackson always gets what he wants—and he’s wanted Mae for years. The door finally opens for him when Mae strikes a bargain: seduce her virginal young cousin, Cecily, who is engaged to Frank Washington. Frank values her innocence above all else. If successful, Val’s reward will be a night with Mae. But Val secretly seeks another prize. Elizabeth Townsend is fiercely loyal to her church and her civil rights attorney husband. Certain there is something redeemable in Mr. Jackson. Little does she know that her worst mistake will be Val’s greatest triumph.
October 2017 — Selection
We Should All Be Feminists
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Anchor (Feb 03, 2015)
List Price: $7.95 Format: Paperback
Page Count: 64
In this personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
September 2017 — Selection
The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
Balzer + Bray (Feb 28, 2017)
List Price: $17.99 Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 464
Now a Major Motion Picture! Read our film review.p>Eight Starred Reviews! #1 New York Times Bestseller!"Absolutely riveting!" Jason Reynolds"Stunning." John Green"This story is necessary. This story is important." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"Heartbreakingly topical." Publishers Weekly (starred review)"A marvel of verisimilitude." Booklist (starred review)"A powerful, in-your-face novel." The Horn Book (starred review)Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr doesor does notsay could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
April 2017 — Selection
And Then There Was Me: A Novel
by Sadeqa Johnson
Thomas Dunne Books (Apr 11, 2017)
List Price: $26.99 Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 320
Bea and Awilda have been best friends from the moment Awilda threw her fourteen year-old self across Bea s twin-sized bed as if they had known each other forever. Bubbly, adventurous Awilda taught sheltered, shy Bea how to dress, wear her hair and what to do with boys. She even introduced Bea to her husband, Lonnie, in college, who pledged to take good care of her for the rest of their lives. But philanderer Lonnie breaks that promise over and over again, leaving Bea to wrestle with her self-esteem and long time secret addiction.
Recently Lonnie has plopped the family in a New Jersey upper class suburb, which lacks the diversity that Bea craves but has the school district and zip code envy that Lonnie wants. The demands of carrying a third child and fitting into this new environment while pretending that her husband is not cheating on her again, is more than she can handle. And just when she thinks things can t get any worst, the ultimate deception snaps the little thread that was holding her life together and all comes tumbling down.
Sadeqa Johnson’s And Then There Was Me is the story of love and friendship, heartache and betrayal. It’s the journey of a woman stripped down to her lowest point and needing to find the will to press on.
March 2017 — Selection
Wives, Fiancées, and Side-Chicks of Hotlanta
by Sheree Whitfield
Dafina (Jan 31, 2017)
List Price: $15.00 Format: Paperback
Page Count: 320
From Shereé Whitfield, one of the stars of Bravo TV’s hit show The Real Housewives of Atlanta, comes a debut novel that’s a page-turning mix of rumor, fiction, and a tantalizing dash of reality
Sasha Wellington has put herself on the fast track to success. Fresh out of college, she’s got her career as a fashion designer and entrepreneur all planned out. Her only wild card is choosing which city to launch from. When fate points her to Atlanta, she sets out to make her dreams come true
Before she knows it, Sasha’s befriended by two rival BFFs. First there’s Norman, savvy stylist to Atlanta’s stars, from the A-list on down. Then there’s Nina, an outrageous personality with a questionable nightlife. Between their antics, Sasha’s beyond grateful for her coworker, Casey. Married to an NBA player, Casey’s got class. But there’s more than meets the eye to being a baller’s wife. And the more time Sasha spends among the movers and shakers, the clearer it gets that just like on reality TV, the truth lies behind-the-scenes. Still, she’s not worried about getting caught up in the drama—until she’s romanced by a baller of her own. Can she stick to her game plan, or will Hotlanta derail her future—and reveal a side of herself even she didn’t know existed?
February 2017 — Selection
Revenge of the Mistress
by Cydney Rax
Dafina (Jan 31, 2017)
List Price: $9.95 Format: Paperback
Page Count: 356
Synopsis: Debut author Lisa Renee Johnson delivers an edgy, sexy novel about a man who has it all until one night changes everything
Dubbed the Sex Doctor on his local radio show, psychologist Donathan James advises callers on their sexual issues. With his gorgeous and brilliant neurosurgeon wife, Sydney, at home and women flirting with the hot doctor everywhere he goes, Donathan is living the high life. But when he wakes up naked and drugged in a hotel room, with no memory of the evening before, the doctor suddenly has problems of his own.
Soon, Donathan’s sexy stalker is sending him photographic evidence of what they did that night, turning up in his office to rant about her unstable past, and demanding they meet again and again. All Donathan wants is his life back and for his wife not to find out. But when the relentless stranger goes too far, it leads him to discover his beloved wife has secrets of her own. Now, to save their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. James will have to hold on tight to survive the bumpiest ride of their lives.
“An edgy tale eager to be told. The pace is blazing hot!”—Victor McGlothin
December 2016 — Selection
Here Comes the Sun: A Novel
by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Liveright (Jul 19, 2016)
List Price: $26.95 Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 336
In this radiant, highly anticipated debut, a cast of unforgettable women battle for independence while a maelstrom of change threatens their Jamaican village. Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis- Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman?fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves?must confront long-hidden scars. From a much-heralded new writer, Here Comes the Sun offers a dramatic glimpse into a vibrant, passionate world most outsiders see simply as paradise.
November 2016 — Selection
His Last Name
by Daaimah S. Poole
Dafina (Sep 27, 2016)
List Price: $15.00 Format: Paperback
Page Count: 352
Synopsis: “A voice of her generation.” Black Issues Book Review From pretty girls to wealthy wifeys, five women snagged the championship ring and the title When her husband Damien’s lucrative NFL career ends, Tiffany Holcomb targets hubby number two: Hollywood leading man Warren Michael Joseph. Trouble is, Damien’s not giving up that easily Monique Hall is thrilled when her baby boy, Kadir, gets a multimillion-dollar NBA contract. But Monique’s romance with her son’s teammate is a costly foul Zakiya Lee’s church community considers her a role model for a successful marriage. Too bad she’ll have to play dirty to get rid of her NBA star husband Jabril’s side chick—again Shanice Whitaker has risen from video vixen to top men’s magazine model. Now she wants to get back with the married man she loved and let go. And she’s happy to play the position of Jabril’s main mistress To win back custody of her daughter from her vengeful NFL player ex-husband, Adrienne Sheppard has to do someone a shady favor. But it leads her into the arms of actor Warren Michael Joseph—and a secret that could fill her bank account and break her heart . What’s in a name? For these ladies, just about everything “This is one crazy, in-your-face tale of trysts and ludicrous schemes.” —RT Book Reviews on A Rich Man’s Baby
May 2016 — Selection
by Nina Revoyr
Akashic Books (Aug 25, 2015)
List Price: $26.95 Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 320
Nina Revoyr’s fifth novel, Lost Canyon. Booklist called it “a gripping tale of unintended adventure and profound transformation,” and the San Francisco Chronicle described it as “(A) heart-hammering literary thriller…almost as much of a rush as scaling the sheer, icy rock of the Sierra Nevada.” The Los Angeles Times described Nina as “one of (L.A.’s) finest scribes,” and the Los Angeles Review of Books has called her “one of the city’s great storytellers.”
Four people on a backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada find more adventure than they ever imagined. Each of them is drawn to the mountains for reasons as diverse as their own lives. Gwen Foster, a counselor for at-risk youth, is struggling with burnout from the demands of her job and with the loss of one of her teens. Real estate agent Oscar Barajas is adjusting to the fall of the housing market and being a single parent. Todd Harris, an attorney, is stuck in a lucrative but unfulfilling career--and in a failing marriage. They are all brought together by their trainer, Tracy Cole, a former athlete with a taste for risky pursuits.
When the hikers start up a pristine mountain trail that hasn't been traveled in years, all they have to guide them is a hand-drawn map of a remote, mysterious place called Lost Canyon. At first, the route past high alpine lakes and under towering, snowcapped peaks offers all the freedom and exhilaration they'd hoped for. But when they stumble onto someone who doesn't want to be found, the group finds itself faced with a series of dangerous conflicts, moral dilemmas, confrontations with nature, and an all-out struggle for survival.
Moving effortlessly between city and wilderness, Lost Canyon explores the ways that race, class, and culture shape experience and perception. It examines the choices good people must face in desperate situations. Set in the grand, wild landscape of the California mountains, Lost Canyon is a story of brewing social tensions and breathtaking adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.