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    Back in the early 2000s when I was researching for my first novel - Graham Hancock's findings turned up a lot in my search on both the internet and in books. This dude is relentless, I see. He is not letting it go. In fact, his reporting pointed me to the "Kebra Nagast" (glory of kings) and that led to more information available in Ethiopia and Eritrea about the underground churches and the fact that it was the birthplace of Christianity... Thank you for sharing this - I remember how proud I was to learn all this about African continent...and it took me on an odyssey (both inside my novel and outside) to learn a lot more about our knowledge of electricity et al ...in fact the protagonist in my book intimates that she went to a technology high school because of her ancestors.
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    A recent post about a book on Black Unity prompted this question. Here is the setup for the question: One of the most significant changes I've made to AALBC.com is that I've designed the site so that I can send readers to any site to purchase a book. Right now, by default, I send readers to Abe Books, Amazon, Books-A-Million, BarensandNoble.com, and Indiebound (a consortium of independent booksellers). I even provide a link to one's local library. I also direct readers other Black owned booksellers; right now, for example, MahoganyBooks is running a sale on Kimberla Lawson Roby's new book, Sin of a Woman. For some publishers, I send readers to the publisher's website. Check out any of "Buy" links for the books published by Black Classic Press, or Just Us Books. Of course, it should be obvious by now that I can also sell books directly. Well, the way it would work is that I would collect payment and have the book shipped directly from the distributor. The problem is that people only buy from Amazon. Sure, some people buy from B&N link but the numbers of B&N sales are so small--I don't even factor those sales into my bestsellers list. and no one by from the other retailers I link to...not a single person ever. Now if you thnk this is only because Amazon has the best prices--think again. Amazon does not aways offer best prices (always price shop). I've offered a popular book for sale directly, that was autographed and priced LOWER than Amazon. Amazon did not have autographed copied and I beat them on price., but still people still bought the books from Amazon! This was before Amazon offered their Prime service, so getting sales away from Amazon is today is exceedingly difficult. The result is that Black owned booksellers, both online and in physical world must fight against Amazon's dominance. I'm afraid we are losing the battle. But it is not a battle we can wage alone. Readers must join us in the fight. I argue it is a fight we must wage because what we have gained in terms of low prices and same day shipping does not make up for what we will lose. Keep in mind, there is also no guarantee that Amazon will continue selling books at a loss once all of their competition has been eliminated or marginalized into obscurity. What is the benefit of an Indie bookseller? The personalized service, curated selection, and passion for books offered by independent booksellers simply can‘t be replicated by an algorithm. Someone who knows you, understands your culture, maybe even your financial position is not available at Amazon.com. I've actually sold books to people on credit--told to send me the money when they got it, because I knew the book I was giving them was something they needed. I took their word they would pay me. Of course, I've given away countless number books too--thought I probably should be selling more of these. I visit books store all over the country. As a bookseller, I'm always amazed to discover a writer or book I was previously unfamiliar with. These books are simply undiscoverable on Amazon, their algorithms don't work that way. Amazon is designed to extract as much money from you as possible. In business school well called that "maximizing shareholder wealth." Independent booksellers are mission driven and have a passion for what they do. Mine is celebrating Black culture. We are also keenly interested in helping you to be as entertained, enriched, and informed from the books we recommend. As a bookseller, my biggest joy is not how much money I make off the reader, but hearing from them how much they enjoyed a book I turned them on to. Readers typically value this service, but I don't they truly appreciate how close we are to losing it Today we have far fewer bookstores and websites than we did 10 years ago. Many of the ones that remain are struggling. Even AALBC.com is in a constant state of fighting for survival. As a result, my ability to sell books and maintain this website is greatly constrained. Obviously, the services provided by indie booksellers don‘t come without a cost. But unlike Amazon, we are not bolstered by Wall Street investors who don't mind us selling books at a loss to gain market share. We must actually generate a profit from the sale of books, collect sales taxes, and do all the other thing you'd expect business to do. It is not unrealistic to envision a time, in the near future, that Amazon will be the only place to buy a book written by a Black person. We already know B&N shelves are not overflowing with books written by Black writers. Many people simply do live near a Black bookstore (there are less than 80 Black owned bookstores in the US). If Amazon owns Black book sales we will not be exposed to the best books; We'll be exposed to the books that make the most money for Amazon. Perhaps it will be the books that Amazon published and are promoting, or maybe it is the book with the largest marking budget. If we allow Amazon to be the only place we can buy a Black book, we will be severely underserved, if not harmed culturally. We simply can not allow a fantastically wealthy and powerful corporation, which is solely motived by money, to control our stories, our history, our very culture. Question: If you truly value the services provided by indie booksellers Are you willing to support us by paying the full retail price, traveling to our stores, or waiting a few days it to have it delivered?
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    I always try to buy directly from authors or independent book sellers. Additionally, I think part of the problem is black authors ONLY selling their books through Amazon or B&N (all the big names) with no options to sell directly through their website with the monies going directly to their bank account, no one taking a cut. Not only do authors need to sell through their websites, but readers need to buy directly from authors and independent black book sellers. If authors don't stop going to Amazon to sell their books, readers won't either. There needs to be this sort of simultaneous action that allows for the change to happen. Readers and authors are far too trusting when it comes to Amazon, which, like you pointed out, doesn't always give the best price for books.
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    Mohamed Noor the policeman who shot, the Australian woman in Minnesota is a Somali-American and is, in all probably, a Muslim. He's not your run of the mill black cop. He is a college graduate and became a cop because he had a calling to go into law enforcement. He also has previous complaints lodged against him because of his aggressive behavior. I'll reserve judgment on this case. However, unlike ZEON, i'm a little less inclined to give white cops the benefit of the doubt. And perhaps where i live influences this. In Chicagoland, there is literally an "us-against-them" relationship between white cops and black people, and these white cops are not backing down. They shoot at the drop of a hat and if they don't start out as racists they become them after dealing with black folks. And just because black people are also guilty of being racist doesn't prove anything except that 2 rights don't make a wrong. . A WEB site run by a white cop was uncovered by authorities in the city and what the thousands of white cops were posting on it was as racist as you could get. And yes, these bullies harass white people as well. There is also a high rate of sexual harassment of female cops by their fellow officers. And make no mistake about it, they are a Fraternal Order who protect their own. My opinion is that white people who aren't racist, who are even-tempered, and capable of exercising good judgment don't become cops. They go into other professions. And if they do enter law enforcement, they eventually quit, becoming disillusioned after observing the misconduct of cops of all races. Finally i would say that these young black punks out there need to stop testing these trigger happy cops, and other blacks should use common sense with dealing with them. These guys want to be looked up to and treated with respect and since they are in authority, humoring them is the best defense against them, albeit an unreliable one.
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    Well, there is not much to say. It is what it is. Nothing unusual or out of the norm took place over this past weekend in Negro America. What you see is the by product of the seething pathology and chaos which is the outgrowth of the celebrated single baby mama matriarchal American Negro culture. The extreme violence and total disregard for human life are very similar to ISIS. Not much difference when it comes to the necrotic mindset of taking another humans life without any hesitancy or remorse. But since the 10 murders were black on black (the norm), Black Lives Matters and their supporting cohorts of intransigent Negroes will look the other way. Look carefully and you can see their mute button is in the on position. Oh well......
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    @Pioneer1 there are plenty of English words to convey the meaning of fronting, including the word "fronting," Mispronunciation of words is another matter. But to your point and Del's, there are people who are concerned about the loss of languages. Apparently there are about 7,000 languages, most of which will disappearing quite rapidly. People are concerned that the loss of the languages will mean a loss of a real understanding of the cultures. Cynique is right. While much of our history was destroyed; there is a lot we could know if we bothered to crack a book every once in a while... unfortunately much of information obtained by us seems to be derived from social media.
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    Pioneer is this really a full 90 minute rant? I listened to a good 10 minutes and will probably check out more of the video later. I will also check out breakingbrown.com, a site I never heard of before today. I agree with everything Yvette said in the portion of the video I listened. The point of the clip that you started was exactly what I was talking about when it comes to having a better understanding of people who don't have a lot of money and how much harder it is for them. Of course poor white people have the same problems, but they don't have the additional burden of living a a white racist culture. I think Cynique is right the country does not belong to you, or I. We are allowed to live here (for now). Most often any wealth we accumulate is the result of providing entertainment for the folks who actually do own this country. Of course there are loads of wealthy professionals and entrepreneurs in America, but those success stories are a relative minority in the Black community--for the reasons we all understand. Worse the most successful Black usually give their money and talents to those who really do own the country. These Back folks strive to go to their schools, live in their neighborhoods, and support their businesses (including their websites). If these Black folks become successful enough, they begin to see themselves as different, better even, than other Blacks and they begin to talk down poor Blacks. Bill Cosby famously did this. There is never a shortage of Black folks who condemn the poor for failing to pull themselves out of poverty while failing to recognize the situation that got them there and the conditions that keep them a virtual permanent underclass. What Yvette was talking about was not letting others tell us that we don't belong here, that we have a right to this country, that we have shed blood to earn our place here. The "right" however does not mean that what we have. We have a right to justice, but we don't often get it. @Pioneer1, perhaps your celebration is premature. I think you need to embrace the "fight to become a American." An American who shares equally in the full rights and privileges guaranteed to all of its citizens. An American that shares the wealth more equitably among it citizens. New York City for example, has almost 100 billionaires, but there are countless working Black people who are homeless or struggling to pay rent. While countless apartments sit idle because the wealthy buy them as investments. Nah man, becoming an American is a daily struggle. Some of us think that struggle ended in the 60's after the passing of civil rights legislation... maybe that is our problem.
  8. 2 likes
    Here is a comment from TED who appear to be distancing themselves from comments Hancock made during a recent TEDx talk I have not yet watched the video, I plan to watch it this evening. Published on Jun 8, 2016 NOTE from TED: Please be aware that this talk contains outdated and counterfactual assertions, and should not be understood as a representation of modern scholarship on ancient civilizations. If ancient civilizations interest you, TEDx Talks contain many fascinating and well-researched talks such as: Sarah Parcak's talk on space arachaeology at TEDxYale: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GKzs... Leslie van Gelder's talk on cave art at TEDxQueenstown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYGPc... Sarah Kenderdine's talk on museums of the future at TEDxGateway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXhtw... Since 2007, compelling evidence has been published in leading scientific journals confirming that fragments of a disintegrating giant comet struck the earth around 12,800 years ago. The impacts set in motion a mysterious 1,200-year global deep freeze that caused worldwide extinctions of species. Established theories about the emergence of civilization cite the invention of agriculture and monumental architecture some 11,600 years ago—immediately after the freeze. In this controversial presentation, best-selling author Graham Hancock argues that archaeologists, by not accounting for the cataclysm, have gravely misinterpreted history. What the record attests to is not the sudden invention of technology, but a transfer of technology to hunter-gatherers from a more advanced civilization. British writer and journalist, Hancock specialises in unconventional theories involving ancient civilisations, stone monuments or megaliths, altered states of consciousness, ancient myths and astronomical/astrological data from the past. One of the main themes running through many of his books is a posited global connection with a "mother culture" from which he believes all ancient historical civilisations sprang. Graham sees himself as a journalist who asks questions based upon observation and as someone who provides a counterbalance to what he perceives as the "unquestioned" acceptance and support given to orthodox views by the education system, the media, and by society at large. His books have sold more than five million copies worldwide and have been translated to 27 languages.
  9. 2 likes
    @DelEvery black american can fondly recall growing up in their own little enclaves and neighborhoods during different eras associated with special memories in regard to music and styles of dress and popular dances and what constituted coolness. Black folks have always managed to cope and find ways to enjoy life within the confines of their communities and culture. We have done this not because of America's history but in spite of it.
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    LOL! I'm still trying to figure out how that happened too! #giggles ... and @Troy , I'd swear you were 125 years old, if I didn't know you... "Fornication/Deflowering"? You are cracking me up over here!
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    Woods is largely washed up, Eninem is white, Jordan is retired, Jay is still running around but rather than try to figure out what Del means lets just wait for him to elaborate. You know dude likes to speak in riddles
  12. 2 likes
    Pioneer I was was talking about virginity (before marriage) being prized by women as a desirable characteristic for themselves. I heard Emma Fraser say that in a YouTube video recently. I was not referring to a woman's very first time specifically, I was talking about a person's first time with anyone else. Of course a woman's very first time encounter will be the first time with that specific cat (or kitten). While I concede my statements may not have been precise enough to have been crystal clear, it is interesting to see what folks bring on their own, and how a question about super powers leads to one on fornication
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    My college group of friends were really open about their sex lives that's how I knew I was the last one in my group to have sex . And it still baffles that one of my friends came forward in 2015 to say Bill Cosby assaulted her... We really didn't keep secrets like that because sex wasn't taboo ...there was no "good/bad" girl blah blah - but I guess assault was the taboo topic - Also in my generation practically no one cared if their future husband or wife for that matter was going to be the first. Shoot, the best any of us could hope for is if we didn't have sex with each other's future husband/wife ... (Edit)
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    Del I am mistaken, Mel's response was similar. Very creative answer. I wouldn't have thought of it. Thank you. I wanted recognition for my genius....and now I've gotten it, lol.
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    Oh my... Sorry to read that... LOL Excellent perspective, because sex is definitely a head game... I can say, I've never had sex with an ignorant man in my life... If you "stupid" that's a huge-a turn off for me. We can't even be friends let alone engage in sex. It's frustrating to have awful sex.. a huge let down... so wanting to punch someone in the face is for wasting my time...
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    I am the owner of an African American bookstore in Sacramento, CA, called underground books. We recently hosted our fourth annual Sacramento Black Book Fair and had the pleasure of meeting Troy Johnson when he spoke at the event. The book fair features prominent African American authors and panel discussions on topics such as "Black Books Matter: The Truth of Our Many Selves," which was also our theme this year. Something we hear frequently from the attendees is how important having a Black Book Store in the community is. While it is a struggle to keep our business afloat at times, we feel that we offer a personalized service to our customers that can't be found elsewhere. We are constantly trying to add services that will improve both our bottom line and the customer experience. Walking into our bookstore and seeing thousands of books by our people and about our history and culture is such and important experience for the people of our community - especially our children! We now sell books online and regularly have book signings, art talks, a monthly event for neighborhood children, and panel discussions related to events in our community - you can't find that at Amazon!
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    i find it strange that i have to ponder this. Hummmmmmm. If i could know everything and control everything, life for me would be predictable and boring and offer no challenges. i can't think of an absolute power that i would want absolutely. If i could be a magnet for prosperity, i would, perhaps, want to be that because i could have the money to acquire all the material things i wanted in order to live in luxury and comfort and i could also afford to help others. Then i could just leisurely sit back and observe life in all of its ironic peculiarities.
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    I'm sure I would spend less than 1 microsecond concerning myself with the affairs of humanity were I their creator and omnipotent. I would think no more of them than I would a discarded toe nail clipping. I'd be doing things I can not conceive of because my puny brain is too limited--maybe I'd be birthing other universes...
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    I don't need to wish for superpowers because I already possess what some call superpowers. They really aren't superpowers more like "unacknowledged or undeveloped abilities" ...Having said that can feel and read energy (vibrations) so I'm an empath. I help people listen to themselves so I am clairaudient (that one gets me in trouble because I hear people before they say it" ... Now here's one I will call a superpower (but it probably isn't either, but is to me) I would like to transform my energy into the highest level of LOVE in an effort to move through dimensions.
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    Now that's just funny - even though I suspect you might be right... We don't rally around our own when it comes to securing a financial foundation. This goes on my list of "what the black community can do better"
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    We bloggers are short on time but have to spend a lot of time writing articles. So. I wrote this post for my blog " Long on Words, Short On Time; Pitch to Your Inner Editor in it, I give 10 steps to complete to create a story idea pitch to yourself for future article development. It's an attempt to get the blogger to form blogging "muscle memory" for content production. Step 7 is to how to use a news hook in the intro of the blog post ... A News Hook ties your author and their book into a national news story and/or event. In addition, a blogger can use a news hook for SEO to continue to generate traffic . In January of this year, I followed up on "Nasty Woman" the poem Ashley Judd performed at the Women's March and it's the number 1 search term that brings visitors to my site, So here's one way booksellers can use a News Hook in their article: Make even the most staid topic provocative, titillating, timely and SEO friendly by using a News Hook. Hint: Check out a social network trending topics such as Twitter or Google.
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    @CDBurns, it looks like I missed this comment. That is a good way to measure the impact of social media; as a function of the fans and followers you've earned versus traffic. For a noncelebrity, the number of your fans/followers is a function of the effort you put into increasing them it whether it is through paid or active engagement on the platform. The size of your fan base is a good proxy for your engagement (paid and organic) on social media. Best Metric for Evaluating Social Media Traffic If your goal is to acquire traffic from social platforms then what better metric is there? I wish I had my data. Google Analytics free information going back that far is just a rough estimate and social media platforms do not provide the number of fans and followers over time at least not going back as far as I need. Of course, the platforms themselves have the data and benefit greatly from it...we, in turn, are at a disadvantage flying blind. Results of Social Media Boycott After 3.5 Months Three and a half months into my planned 6-month boycott, I've learned a lot. An increasing number of people use social media as their primary web presence--even if they have their own website. This means: Social media is becoming the only way to reach people for whom you don't have contact information. People who share photos and videos of you often only share this information in social media. To show appreciation requires social media engagement. When I research an author, bookstore, or related business, social media is the only often the only place where information is available. Often I have to resort to social media, because the website is inadequate as the site's information stale or missing altogether. People often reach out to me on social media rather than through my website or email. Unless they are highly motivated people use the tools that are most convenient to themselves, which is often social media. Social Media Use Can't Reasonably be Avoided Basically, I can't effectively run AALBC.com without logging onto a social media platform for the reasons mention above. But these platforms are largely limited to Facebook and Twitter. Today Twitter and Facebook make up 93% of all of my social media traffic (13% and 80% respectively). Five years ago it was 67% (10% for Twitter and 57% for Facebook). Again this growth in share of social media traffic occurred during a period when I've largely abandoned use of these platforms. Twitter visitors are more engaged with AALBC.com than Facebook visitors. Twitter users look at more pages and stay on the website longer. But again, Facebook drives much more traffic. Albeit the amount of traffic has not been proportional to the growth in Fan and followers over time. Facebook and Twitter Dominate, No Use for Snapchat and Instagram I have discovered no reason for me to use social media platforms like Instagram or Snapshat, despite the fact that these platforms are wildly successful and are increasingly dominating a higher percentage of Internet activity of handheld users. Globally handheld devices have already surpassed desktop devices in terms of the number of users, which is why Google has penalized non-mobile optimized websites. Almost 46% of my traffic, in 2017, came from handheld or tablet devices. Only 5 years ago it was less than 16%. If someone is aware of a way for me to effectively utilize Snapchat or Instagram to drive traffic to AALBC.com without spending a ton of money or time I'm all ears. Right now Facebook appears to be the best game in town for driving traffic to AALBC.com. I also have zero interest in using those platforms which poses another challenge. Traffic is Much Higher, Growth Due Largely to Traffic from Search Engines Resulting from Website Upgrade Google Analytics has defined 26 other social media sites that have driven traffic to AALBC.com. rounding out the top 10 are Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads, YouTube, Linkedin, Instagram, Disqus, and Reddit. Of these only Pinterest, Google+, and Goodreads have shown and growth in the past year; the others are have suffered a sharp decline. I can not explain the growth of Pinterest, Google+, and Goodreads this year. I have accounts on all these platforms, but I simply do not use them very much, nor I I plan to. Today social media traffic is higher than it was 5 years ago, but this is because of social media is a smaller piece of a much larger pie. Pages views are up over 200% compared to 5 years ago. This is largely due to the website's redesign. Of the top 5 most frequently visited web pages 4 did not exist 5 years ago. These 4 pages were only possible because of the website's new database. Organic Search (someone visiting the site by clicking a link on a search result) is 71.69%% of AALBC.com traffic year to date 2017, Social media is 4.51% For the same period in 2016 Organic Search and was 64.63% and social media traffic was 8.62% What am I Gonna Do? I'll update this shortly...
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    Troy Pioneer don't share that theory with anyone else Wasn't planning to, lol. My aim was to share it with YOU, and subsequently you'd start teaching it to your students as an actual science until or unless proven otherwise. If you did me that one SOLID, I'd sure appreciated it....lol.
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    I confess to being a stickler for correct grammar and speech. I also have a fascination with language and words and what they say or don't say by implication, and how they are sometimes inadequate in capturing an emotion or conveying a message; not to mention how they can be misinterpreted because people hear what they want to hear. What power words pack! I realize that I'm "old school" and that my sentiments on this subject can be considered superficial and pedantic in today's world. But, my thinking as has always been that when you can compete with your would-be oppressor on his level by correctly using his language, this neutralizes his advantage and very often gains his respect. So correct speech can be a tool as well as a weapon. This is just an eccentricity of mine, I guess. Of course there are people who can effectively get their point across by using incorrect grammar or speaking slang, but there will always be those who will judge and classify you by your speech. Just as when it comes to black folks, made-up, multi-syllable names with dashes and apostrophes send up red flags to white employees, whether justified or not. Of course, out of necessity, black folks are bilingual when it comes to Standard English and Ebonics. BTW, one thing that many people seem to snag on when writing, is the difference between the words, "effect" and "affect". "Affect" is a verb used to express action. "Effect" is a noun because it is the name of a thing. So, the sunshine affects the flowers because the "effect" of the sun helps them grow. Also, no apostrophe is necessary when "its" is used as a possessive pronoun because it is a possessive pronoun on its own. "It's" contains an apostrophe when it is used as a contraction of "it is". So, it's cold out side. And the weather is taking its time to warm up. This is for detail-oriented people. Since cursive writing is becoming extinct, perhaps grammatical technicalities will, too. Language does gradually evolve in collaboration with its relevancy to the culture.
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    I may have told my "ask" story before but check this out. When i was working on my MBA and NYU's Stern school of business I was giving a preliminary presentation for a final project in a marketing class. Now keep in mind this is an all white class, the professor, my teams members and my class mates--all white. During my portion of the presentation I said, "We axed over 100 people which brand of sneakers they prefer." No one batted an eye or made a comment. Later however one of my teammates, a guy I became friendly with, told me the professor told him that I mispronounced the word "asked." The professor NEVER said a word to me! But felt it perfectly OK to talk about me with the other white people, in my absence. I was angered by this, but trust me I never EVER mispronounced that word again. I simply was not aware that I was mispronouncing the word. It was the way I was taught to say the word, and no one even after 7 years of college, at that point, ever corrected me--not even that racist professor at Stern, and she was racist--otherwise she would have immediately corrected me the way I do my students. Obviously, I was much more sensitive to this and have observed many Black people across all classes and education levels mispronounce the word the way I had. I also wonder how white people negatively judge Black folks on the way we speak in general. Now my experience is just an anecdote, but I think it is reflects of how we are judged by white people and even sidity Black folks based upon the way we speak.
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    Pioneer English is my language and has been for generation--at least as far back as I can track down every ancestors line. What is your language? Sometimes we make up words simply because we don't have the vocabulary to use the words which already exist. We used to use solid synonymously with favor. As in, "Ma Brother, would you do this solid." Or it way to express gratitude as in, "Yo nigga, I tole 'ole girl I was wit you last night. Cool/" "''Course mah nigga." "Solid." Sure skiers have more ways of describing snow too.
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    @Pioneer1, thanks for the kind words regarding the site, but it could be infinitely better with more support from my own people, the very people whose culture I'm trying to uplift. I don't know if Black folks don't support Black business because they don't want to see another Black business excel. If that exists I suspect it is a very small inconsequential percentage of people. I could go on and on about the structural disadvantages Black folks have relative to the majority culture. But you can read Coates and many other books to understand this. I think part of the problem is that folks are too busy struggling themselves and aren't in a position to help another business. So if they can save 40% off the price of a $30 hardback--assuming the even have the time, energy, or inclination to read such a book--guess who is gonna get that sale. Now my overhead is much lower than Amazon's, but I don't have Wall Street analysts hyping my business getting investors to give me money so that I can continue selling books at a loss--burying even my biggest competitors. Meanwhile, virtually every author enthusiastically gives Amazon free publicity by saying their books can be purchased on Amazon. There was a time when an author felt a great deal of pride by saying their book was available in a massive chain store, but ANYBODY can get their book on Amazon--there is no prestige in it being available there. Still, authors get Amazon all the glory, rarely mentioning a Black independent store... Perhaps the reason the Black owned stores have trouble maintaining stock is that they can't get a business loan, and they have a much more difficult time obtaining credit, the deliveries are not as timely to their neighborhoods, they find it difficult to get a lease in a nice location, or they don't get the best terms from distributors. The fact of the matter it is more difficult for us. That lack of support from other Black folks just ads insult to injury. All you see is a struggling business, which you attribute to laziness. I'm telling you as a business owner there are structural factors that prevent us from achieving at the same level as out white counterparts. Amazon started out selling books out of a garage right? We will never have strong Black business unless people invest in them and divest of the massive corporations. In other words, skip Amazon and a patronize a Black owned bookstore.
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    "And like Black America, China had a problem with drugs, crime, stupidity, and immorality until a bunch of Chinese men led by Mao stood up and decided to rid themselves of the cancer that was spreading and now China is one of the strongest most organized and most feared nations on this planet." It is also one of the most corrupt and repressive countries in the world. But I get your point......
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    No amount of awareness or empathy will eradicate racism in America. Especially with Trump in office. He is at the vanguard of a trend that is making racism acceptable again as the tide slowly turns, and he is who will appoint judges to fill the Supreme Court vacancies with right wing conservatives which, in turn, will undo and prevent any further progress when it comes to women, religion, - and race where, incidentally, the lines are becoming blurred. Welcome to 2017.
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    I've heard so much hype about the impact a total solar eclipse has on people that I plan to check it out. https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/south-carolina/ I'm planning to head to South Carolina to view this event.
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    Hello AALBC Members! I recently self-published my debut novel, Of Captivity & Kings, the first installment of the historical fiction series. It was inspired by the ancient Kingdom of Kush, migration, the Sao civilization, and the fall of Meroë. Of Captivity & Kings captures a variety of characters involved in the luxury trade, the growing desert climate, religious persecution, and a rising slave trade in 4th Century Africa. I’ve posted some of the information below as well as a brief synopsis and would love to be considered for AALBC’s book review! Thank you in advance for your consideration. Title: Of Captivity & Kings Author: E.Y. Laster ISBN: 978-0998844121 Published: May 26, 2017 Image: Synopsis: The laws are different in the Kushite ruled Kingdom of Nabara. The penalty for involvement in the slave trade is death, and if the King fails to provide justice and order under ma'at, the High Priests can order him to commit suicide. When a Roman slave ship wrecks off the coast of Nabara, peace is shattered. Ancient caravan routes and nomadic hunters are threatened by kidnappings, robbery, and murder, forcing Nabaran High King Amkar Kashta to invoke the power of the six-kingdom alliance that is Nudolla. Each member of the ruling families finds themselves thrust into the rising slave trade and the corruption of everything and everyone it touches. It is an adventure told from the secret sanctuaries of the desert fathers in the Scetes desert and the massive pyramids of Meroë to the Skeleton Coast and towards the Great Barrier Mountains of Apedemak. Here, kings and queens, princes and princesses, slave traders and gladiators, high priests and slaves, scribes and warriors, caravan robbers, and hermits collide under the thread that links them all - Captivity and Kings. Website/Sample Chapters/Purchase Please feel free to visit my website Of Captivity & Kings for more information, sample chapters and to find frequently asked questions. Click HERE to find the e-book and paperback at Amazon for purchase or to use the Look Inside feature to read the first chapters! Have a great week!
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    Maybe you are both right in a way. No, Sara's words did not make me fly into a rage, if words did that to me I would given this forum up long ago. I also knew at the time Cynique did not need defending. Yes Sara crossed the line but it was also the culmination of her behavior that resulted in my action that an chastising her--which was pretty mild reaction. To put his into perspective Sara deleted her posts herself and left. She was not permanently banned. She could post right now if she wanted, but she won't for a bunch of reasons, the main one being is that she can't not tolerate anyone who disagrees with her. But enough about her... Longstoryshort the real issue is content. You give Bill Maher a pass because you like him. You can couch it any way you like, but you have made it very plain that if your boy Bill uses the word in a manner that you subjectively approve it is not a fighting word. I agree with you in this case. Obviously, others disagreed with us in this. Words don't have meaning, only people do.
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    I Have read all 4 of his novels & I find his first ( The White Boy Shuffle) & his last (The Sellout) to be his best works, though his other two novels have their strong points. I have not read his book on African American humor or his poetry. If you like sharp edged satire you will probably like his work.
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    @Pioneer1 below is a book that you and every American really need to read. We really need to understand the nature of how the country was founded and formed It really was a very gruesome affair not just for Black folks and the indigenous populations, but for poor whites as well. It is helpful to be patriotic as it strengthens a nation, but if you are patriotic without understanding your country, then you are just a fool (not saying you are a fool, just speaking in general).
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    I just posted an article on my blog, "2 Ways Google is Killing Book Websites & How You Can Help" which includes the video below. I'm afraid the poor quality of my mike will hurt the impact if the video. I wish I had the resources to create a more professional video to make this point...
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    Oh, OK sorry about the statements regarding you lumping me in with Pioneer. OK I'm clear you see a difference between my position and Pioneer's I won't mention it again... Regarding my softening on Hillary. I think that started when I saw reaction to loosing to Trump. That must have been hard; my heart went out to her. Honestly I kinda forgotten that she is a human being, who fought hard to become president. Again, in hindsight, she was more qualified than Obama and we don't even need to compare her to 45. She probably could have done more specifically for Black people too, because she, unlike OBama, did not have to worry about showing favoritism to Black folks. Again Trump won more electors and that is what Hillary and the Democrats failed to do. Everything else is largely irrelevant. I truly hope you see Trump get kicked out office or whipped in 2020. Hey I'm a Black man in America--I hope I get to see it myself
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    There was a single wrong word im my last statement (I did not bother to rewrite it). I do like the idea of the "power to defy logic!" That is a super power 45 has and it is powerful indeed.
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    I like 1. There is no doubt the recipient would be identified as a best seller.
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    "... wanting to patronizingly tell me how i should react to a word she had no say-so about, and that Oprah does not speak for me." That is exactly the sentiment that I was trying to express Cynique. It was completely patronizing and disingenuous. Ice Cube can accept Bill's apology all day long. It makes no difference to me one way of the other... Cube does not speak for me any more than Oprah speaks for you. Despite what Mr. Cube says, Black people don't "own" the word nigger. Bill Maher demonstrated that quite clearly and ice Cube is still his boy. Words have the power and the meaning we give them, and right now, whites hold this power because they can utter the word and people go apeshit. What single word can Black folks utter that will exert similar power and reaction in the white community? That is right, there isn't one...
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    @Troy Actually, i can't speak to whether or not virginity was prized by black guys back in the 1950s. Maybe they wanted to marry virgins but the girls who were puttin out got the guys, who sometimes did marry them. I or any of my friends never wanted to marry a male virgin, the assumption being he wouldn't know what he was doing and we wanted someone who did know what they were doing. When i lived in a college dorm, a group of us black girls had a virgin club, where we would discuss what we knew or had heard about sex. i was totally miffed by the end of the year when it turned out that everyone but me had been lying about being a virgin. That's when i found out women aren't always truthful about their sex lives. I was the only one who wasn't in on the joke and they were just humoring little "small town girl me". I am reluctant to discuss my sex life but i will say that when my fiance found out i was a virgin, he slapped his forehead and "oooh,no"! i was too much of a free spirit to think i should go through life having been with just one man - and i didn't. i will further say that drinking alcohol emboldens you and increases the desire but it also dulls your nerve endings. There was one guy on my job who i really was attracted to because he just respired with sexuality and he was "fione" and smart to boot. He was working his way through college and before he left after being a co-worker for about 6 months, he told me that it he refrained from seducing me because he didn't think i could handle him. i just sighed and wished him well.
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    Haven't seen it yet, and I don't have a very strong desire TO see it. I don't have the type of respect and reverence for Tupac that most Black people seem to have for him. I think his entertainment career has caused far more harm than good for Black America. He's a major reason so many Black youth today: 1. Are getting so many tatoos. 2. Take pride in calling themselves "thugs" 3. Refer to other Black men as "bitch ass niggas" so much The image he pushed was very damaging. It REALLY confuses me when people call him a revolutionary and try to portray him as some sort of Black messiah. So what if his mother was a Black Panther who stood up for Black rights.....HE rapped about and glorified the killing of other Black men. As far as I'm concerned he was a charismatic and talented brother who MIS-used and wasted most of his talent and charm.
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    Hi LaKesa sounds like an interesting book. Do you have a website? If so please post the URL--thanks.
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    With all of these websites there is very little transparency. If you sell a book through me, you can use Google tag manager to traffic and click and fulfilled order, because it would be physically impossible for anyone else to sell your book through this site. The drop shipping option works best for me. I send you the order and money you handle the shipping. Alternatively, I could drop ship through Ingram. This would be the strategy I would use, in general, to fulfill book orders directly to readers, by passing Amazon. You'll make more money per book if I drop ship to you, but again their is the lack of willingness for reader to by from their won versus Amazon. I'm actually going to set up my website to fulfill orders orders directly. I will consider removing Amazon as an option if the direct sales justify it. If I practiced what I preached I would be like you Mel and boot them altogether, but the problem is too many of our author's books are only available through Amazon.
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    @Troy , Why I’m devoting a year to helping black newspapers survive by Regina H. Boone Columbia Journalism Review article Mentions AALBC... "The African American Literature Book Club, which tracks independent, black-owned newspapers, counts more than 100 such papers, including the Richmond Free Press. "
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    The following is a reaction I received via email. I actually met this respondent, Deborah Day, during the Sacramento Black Book Festival last month. She is a bookseller, publisher, and author. Hi Troy, This is a great article and I will post it on Facebook. You are so right. We as Independent Booksellers can compete against Amazon, when we really look at all the benefits we have to offer our customers. Knowing our market and community needs, can help us greatly provide the best offer, whether it's product, price, selection or delivery to "get the business". And our market footprint should be local, national and international. And since, there are only 80 owned black books stores in the U.S., there is no threatening competition among each other. My belief is that we need to do all we can to build and protect our markets. If it is our creativity that birthed the book and the business, then we should profit the most from that effort. Yes we can write, illustrate and produce our own books and tell our own stories, but the other important factor is that we must also control the distribution. This is why our Independent Bookstores are so important online and in our communities. We need to keep our eyes on the ball and not loose our grip on this market. It's not just Amazon's dominating presence and practices eroding our market share, but there are other undercurrents online that threaten our businesses that include hate cyber attacks and corruption. Now I am not totally against Amazon, because I buy books from them too, but only if I can't get a book from the publisher or a distributer, and I need a book quickly to complete an order. But, I didn't like it when Amazon started allowing resellers to undersell publishers with the same new or used book. Because, my book, "Mindful Messages", got stolen and bootlegged on Amazon and I lost money. Now I am seeing many black authors, bypassing Amazon and selling their books direct from their own websites. Which can be successfully done with lots of social media. Like someone said, "We are who we have been waiting for." And when we have the right conscious mind, we will seek each other out to do business with one another. And we will go out of our way if need be, to support one another in sustaining black businesses. And we will recognize the importance of the full circle of exponential economics and it's impact on empowering our communities. And then and only then will it be an ever continuing reality. Deborah Day Ashay by the Bay I'd heard about bootlegging up books for year, but Amazon has really created a major platform for selling knock off products, including books. Debirah said she wanted to sue, but Amazon was not helpful at all.
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    When i lived in Manhattan rush hour happened three times a day. And each time period was longer. Next to taking the train riding a bike was the quickest way to get around at least for short distances. It was only in the 90's the Transportation Alternatives' advocacy work statred making inroads. By sponsoring bike ti work week and getting bike laned and bike paths.
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    @Pioneer1 Come on. Science is intrinsic. it has no color; maybe its motivation does. A black scientist might be motivated to diligently and exclusively focus his scientific research on a specific disease or tendency that is relevant to his race.The "miracle workers" you cite are not doctors practicing black medicine. They are black doctors practicing medicine and, as in all professions, there are brilliant practitioners among them. A white scientist developed the best treatment for sickle cell anemia because he made it his project. Race is always a factor in research and statistics about disease but the methods applied to reach these conclusions are scientific ones. The science that the Greeks stole from the Egyptians and took credit for didn't change; just the history of who originated it did. Purveyors of folk medicine and natural cures come in all races. The Nazis experimented on the Jews to discern scientific data not jewish data, the same as black people were used as Guinea pigs to learn about human diseases not black ones. Eugenics were more about social injustice than scientific differentiation. Black teachers teach standard education and, if they are good teachers, they filter it through the black experience. But what they teach is basic. Reading is fundamental and 1+1 will always equal 2. You and i will always disagree because you are partial to anecdotal evidence being proof of your generalizations. If you are saying that there should be a field of black doctors exclusively available to concentrate on and treat black diseases, then OK. What i am saying is that this isn't about science, it's about specialization.