AALBC.com LogoCopyright © 1997-2017, All Rights Reserved — https://aalbc.com — troy@aalbc.com — Tel: 347-692-2522

Black Caucus American Library Association Literary Awards

facebook Icon Twitter Icon Google+ Icon Pinterest Icon

Bocas Logo First presented at the Second National Conference of African American Librarians in 1994, the BCALA Literary Awards acknowledge outstanding works of fiction and nonfiction for adult audiences by African American authors.

Monetary awards are presented in the following categories, First Novelist, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry. Honor Book citations are also awarded in fiction and nonfiction without any accompanying monetary remuneration.

The BCALA also host an annual conference, the National Conference of African American Librarians.


9 Books Honored in 2014


Winner First Novelist

The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat
by Edward Kelsey Moore

Buy Power List Bestseller from MahoganyBooks



Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 320
ISBN13: 9780307959928
Imprint: Knopf
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC

Book Description: 

Meet Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean in the New York Times best-selling novel . . . Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat is home away from home for this inseparable Plainview, Indiana, trio. Dubbed “the Supremes” by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they weather life’s storms together for the next four decades. Now, during their most challenging year yet, dutiful, proud, and talented Clarice must struggle to keep up appearances as she deals with her husband’s humiliating infidelities. Beautiful, fragile Barbara Jean is rocked by the tragic reverberations of a youthful love affair. And fearless Odette engages in the most terrifying battle of her life while contending with the idea that she has inherited more than her broad frame from her notorious pot-smoking mother, Dora.

Through marriage, children, happiness, and the blues, these strong, funny women gather each Sundayat the same table at Earl’s diner for delicious food, juicy gossip, occasional tears, and uproarious banter.

With wit and love, style and sublime talent, Edward Kelsey Moore brings together four intertwined love stories, three devoted allies, and two sprightly earthbound spirits in a big-hearted debut novel that embraces the lives of people you will never forget.






Winner Fiction

The Good Lord Bird
by James McBride

Buy Power List Bestseller from MahoganyBooks



Publication Date:
List Price: $27.95 (store prices may vary)
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 432
ISBN13: 9781594486340
Imprint: Knopf
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC

Book Description: 

A 2013 National Book Award Winner!

Fleeing his violent master at the side of abolitionist John Brown at the height of the slavery debate in mid-nineteenth-century Kansas Territory, Henry pretends to be a girl to hide his identity throughout the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859.

From the bestselling author of The Color of Water and Song Yet Sung comes the story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown's antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive.

Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti and pro slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry's master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes he’s a girl.

Over the ensuing months, Henry—whom Brown nicknames Little Onion—conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually Little Onion finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859--one of the great catalysts for the Civil War. An absorbing mixture of history and imagination, and told with McBride’s meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival.






Winner Best Poetry

Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid
by Nikki Giovanni



Publication Date:
List Price: $19.99 (store prices may vary)
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 160
ISBN13: 9780688156978
Imprint: William Morrow
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation

Book Description: 
With Chasing Utopia, Nikki Giovanni, one of America’s most celebrated artists, demands that the prosaic—flowers, birdsong, winter—be seen as poetic.The poetry of Nikki Giovanni has spurred movements and inspired songs, turned hearts and informed generations. She’s been hailed as a healer and a national treasure. But if her reputation is writ large upon the national stage, her heart resides in the everyday where family and lovers gather, friends commune, and those no longer with us are remembered.And at every gathering there is food, food as sustenance, food as aphrodisiac, food as memory. A pot of beans are flavored with her mother’s sighs, this sigh part cardamom, that one the essence of clove; a lover requests a banquet as an affirmation of ongoing passion; an homage is paid to the most time-honored appetizer, soup.Chasing Utopia affirms once again why Nikki Giovanni is as energetic, “remarkable” (Gwendolyn Brooks), “wonderful” (Marian Wright Edleman), “outspoken, prolific, energetic” (New York Times), and as relevant as ever


Winner Nonfiction

Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities
by Craig Steven Wilder



Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 432
ISBN13: 9781608194025
Imprint: Bloomsbury Press
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Parent Company: Bloomsbury Publishing

Read Our Review of Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities

Book Description: 

A 2006 report commissioned by Brown University revealed that institution's complex and contested involvement in slavery--setting off a controversy that leapt from the ivory tower to make headlines across the country. But Brown's troubling past was far from unique. In Ebony and Ivy, Craig Steven Wilder, a leading historian of race in America, lays bare uncomfortable truths about race, slavery, and the American academy.

Many of America's revered colleges and universities--from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to Rutgers, Williams College, and the University of North Carolina--were soaked in the sweat, the tears, and sometimes the blood of people of color. The earliest academies proclaimed their mission to Christianize the "savages" of North America and played a key role in white conquest. Later, the slave economy and higher education grew up together, each nurturing the other. Slavery funded colleges, built campuses, and paid the wages of professors. Enslaved Americans waited on faculty and students; academic leaders aggressively courted the support of slave owners and slave traders. Significantly, as Wilder shows, our leading universities were dependent on human bondage and became breeding grounds for the racist ideas that sustained it.

Ebony and Ivy is a powerful and propulsive study and the first of its kind, revealing a history of oppression behind the institutions usually considered the cradle of liberal politics.






Honor Book Nonfiction

Soul Food: The Surprising Story Of An American Cuisine, One Plate At A Time
by Adrian Miller



Publication Date:
List Price: $30.00 (store prices may vary)
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 352
ISBN13: 9781469607627
Imprint: The University of North Carolina Press
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Parent Company: The University of North Carolina

Read Our Review of Soul Food: The Surprising Story Of An American Cuisine, One Plate At A Time

Book Description: 
In this insightful and eclectic history, Adrian Miller delves into the influences, ingredients, and innovations that make up the soul food tradition. Focusing each chapter on the culinary and social history of one dish—such as fried chicken, chitlins, yams, greens, and "red drinks—Miller uncovers how it got on the soul food plate and what it means for African American culture and identity.
Miller argues that the story is more complex and surprising than commonly thought. Four centuries in the making, and fusing European, Native American, and West African cuisines, soul food—in all its fried, pork-infused, and sugary glory—is but one aspect of African American culinary heritage. Miller discusses how soul food has become incorporated into American culture and explores its connections to identity politics, bad health raps, and healthier alternatives. This refreshing look at one of America’s most celebrated, mythologized, and maligned cuisines is enriched by spirited sidebars, photographs, and 22 recipes.


Honor Book Nonfiction

Kansas City Lightning: The Rise And Times Of Charlie Parker
by Stanley Crouch



Publication Date:
List Price: $27.99 (store prices may vary)
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 384
ISBN13: 9780062005595
Imprint: Harper
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation

Book Description: 
Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker is the first installment in the long-awaited portrait of one of the most talented and influential musicians of the twentieth century, from Stanley Crouch, one of the foremost authorities on jazz and culture in America.Throughout his life, Charlie Parker personified the tortured American artist: a revolutionary performer who used his alto saxophone to create a new music known as bebop even as he wrestled with a drug addiction that would lead to his death at the age of thirty-four.Drawing on interviews with peers, collaborators, and family members, Kansas City Lightning recreates Parker’s Depression-era childhood; his early days navigating the Kansas City nightlife, inspired by lions like Lester Young and Count Basie; and on to New York, where he began to transcend the music he had mastered. Crouch reveals an ambitious young man torn between music and drugs, between his domineering mother and his impressionable young wife, whose teenage romance with Charlie lies at the bittersweet heart of this story.With the wisdom of a jazz scholar, the cultural insights of an acclaimed social critic, and the narrative skill of a literary novelist, Stanley Crouch illuminates this American master as never before.


Honor Book Nonfiction

Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery
by Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer



Publication Date:
List Price: $35.00 (store prices may vary)
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 240
ISBN13: 9781439909850
Imprint: Temple University Press
Publisher: Temple University Press
Parent Company: Temple University

Book Description: What freedom looked like for black Americans in the Civil War era


Honor Book Fiction

The Residue Years
by Mitchell S. Jackson



Publication Date:
List Price: $17.00 (store prices may vary)
Format: Paperback
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 352
ISBN13: 9781620400296
Imprint: Bloomsbury USA
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Parent Company: Bloomsbury Publishing

Book Description: 

Mitchell S. Jackson grew up black in a neglected neighborhood in America's whitest city, Portland, Oregon. In the '90s, those streets and beyond had fallen under the shadow of crack cocaine and its familiar mayhem. In his commanding debut autobiographical novel, Mitchell writes what it was to come of age in that time and place, with a breakout voice that's nothing less than extraordinary.

The Residue Years switches between the perspectives of a young man, Champ, and his mother, Grace. Grace is just out of a drug treatment program, trying to stay clean and get her kids back. Champ is trying to do right by his mom and younger brothers, and dreams of reclaiming the only home he and his family have ever shared. But selling crack is the only sure way he knows to achieve his dream. In this world of few options and little opportunity, where love is your strength and your weakness, this family fights for family and against what tears one apart.






Honor Book Poetry

Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers
by Frank X. Walker



Publication Date:
List Price: $17.95 (store prices may vary)
Format: Paperback
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 71
ISBN13: 9780820345413
Imprint: University of Georgia Press
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Parent Company: University of Georgia

Book Description:  Around the void left by the murder of Medgar Evers in 1963, the poems in this collection speak, unleashing the strong emotions both before and after the moment of assassination. Poems take on the voices of Evers’s widow, Myrlie; his brother, Charles; his assassin, Byron De La Beckwith; and each of De La Beckwith’s two wives. Except for the book’s title,""Turn me loose,"" which were his final words, Evers remains in this collection silent. Yet the poems accumulate facets of the love and hate with which others saw this man, unghosting him in a way that only imagination makes possible.





Vote for Your Favorite Black Author of the 21st Century
African Men You Should Read 25 African Male Writers You Should Read

Printed: September 20, 2017, 11:13 am
☆ Mission
To Celebrate Black Culture Through Literature and Literary Nonfiction to Readers of all Backgrounds and Ages; and Advocate for Independent Media

☥ About Us
Started in 1997, AALBC.com (African American Literature Book Club) is the largest, most frequently visited web site of its kind. More
Customer Service
Advertising Rates
Advertiser Login
Contact Us – FAQ
Give Us Feedback
AALBC on Pinterest AALBC on Facebook AALBC on Twitter
AALBC RSS Feed AALBC on Youtube Email AALBC