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Daylian

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  1. Award-winning author Louis Edwards makes his long-awaited comeback with this epic tale of a New Orleans boy whose very creation is so filled with tension that it bedevils his destiny before he is even born. Spanning from the Deep South to the Middle East, Ramadan Ramsey bridges multiple countries and cultures, entwining two families who struggle to love and survive in the face of war, natural disasters, and their equally tumultuous, private mistakes and yearnings. More ▶ AALBC Mourns the Passing of Eloise Greenfield Eloise Greenfield (May 17, 1929 – August 5, 2021) was famous for her descriptive, rhythmic style and positive portray al of the black experience. She published approximately 50 books for children over the course of her illustrious and trailblazing career. “…my mission has been to write for children and to try to enhance their love for words, because I think that children are all born with this love for language and words, and I want to enhance that. I want make them laugh. I want to give them ideas. I want them to see how beautiful they are. I want them to be reflected their work … I want them to love literature.” —Eloise Greenfield Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and the Klan Partner The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South by Osha Gray Davidson C. P. Ellis grew up in the poor white section of Durham, North Carolina, and as a young man joined the Ku Klux Klan. Ann Atwater, a single mother from the poor black part of town, quit her job as a household domestic to join the civil rights fight. During the 1960s, as the country struggled with the explosive issue of race, Ellis and Atwater met on opposite sides of the public school integration issue. Their encounters were charged with hatred and suspicion. In an amazing set of transformations, however, each of them came to see how the other had been exploited by the South’s rigid power structure, and they forged a friendship that flourished against a backdrop of unrelenting bigotry. The film adaption of this book is now on streaming on Netflix. I watched it last night and found it to be a moving story. More ▶ AALBC’s Black Wall Street Pop-Up Bookstore is Thriving! Books are selling fast at The Black Wall Street Bookstore, in the historic Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Ok. Business has also been bolstered by visitors, from all over the country, to the Greenwood Rising museum which opened across the street last week. Local readers are super sophisticated quickly recognizing many of the classic titles and important authors whose book are offered for sale. It is one thing to sell books on the web and understand the impact your have on readers, but to actually see a child’s eyes light up with the excitement of seeing and holding a book full of wonderful images and words gives me a awesome feeling! Please keep spreading the word about AALBC and purchasing books from us. Your support helps us bring smiles to the faces of children all over the country. International Royal Music & Art Festival Festival (Sept. 11 & 12, Fresno, Texas) The 2021 International Royal Music & Art is set to be an acclaimed cross-genre experience inspired by the historic Woodstock Festival. This interactive festival will feature 7 Pavilions with Music, Film, Fashion, Art, Literary, Health, and Business. Live performances will include Grammy Award Nominee, singer/songwriter, Chanté Moore and Grammy Award Nominee & Black Girls Rock Awards performer, rapper/singer/songwriter, Maimouna Youssef aka “Mumu Fresh.” Our Literary Pavilion special invited guests include “The Money Coach,” New York Time Best-selling Author and TV personality, Lynnette Khalfani-Cox* and Troy Johnson, the founder of AALBC. Additional special guest performers and celebrities will be announced. AALBC Sells Books, in All Formats, Through Partnerships AALBC is able to sell the physical books we showcase, on our website, because of a wide variety of important partnerships with distributors and publishers including; Black Classic Press; Africa World Press & The Red Sea Press; Lushena Books; and Ingram. Audiobooks sales are done through our partnership with Libro.fm. Libro.fm’s audiobooks service is objectively superior to Audible (owned by am*zon), because when you buy audiobook from Libro.fm you own them — even it you cancel your subscription. Libro.fm is also Social Purpose Corporation (SPC) who has demonstrated a commitment to serving readers and independent booksellers, like AALBC. AALBC currently partners with a My Must Reads for the sale of eBooks. They offer a fine alternative to the Kindle eBook (owned by am*zon). To sell books that are not in our store we use Bookshop.org. Bookshop gives the bookseller the entire profit margin. Yes, you read that correctly, Bookshop doesn’t earn money off sales generated by booksellers. All profit from the sales we refer come back to AALBC. This is almost 10 times what am*zon.com offers booksellers! Bookshop.org is in the process of being certified as a Benefit Corporations (B-Corp), so they are very serious about supporting independent booksellers. Often, readers would like to support AALBC with the purchase of a book that we do not showcase on our online store. Bookshop allows us to profit from the sales of these books too. The best way to buy a book not showcased on AALBC, and support our site, is to visit this page. There you can search for, and purchase, over 15 million different titles. Readers, by supporting indie booksellers, and the businesses who support us, you are ensuring that stores like AALBC can continue to grow and that our stories and history is told with fidelity. In a world where a single company (am*zon) dominates the sales of physical books, e-books, and audiobooks the entire book ecosystem is put at a disadvantage in terms of discoverability of books and revenue to the professionals who make books possible. Authors, if your books, eBooks, and Audiobooks are only available from am*zon, independent booksellers, even online booksellers like AALBC, can not buy them to sell in our stores. This is by design, as it provides a strong incentive to send readers to am*zon. This further strengthens am*zon and weakens the rest of the book ecosystem, and readers are less well served as a result. Robinhood - Get a Free Stock Just for Signing Up! Robinhood - Invest in Stocks and ETFs and Get a Free Stock Just for Signing Up! If you see a non-book related service promoted in this newsletter, it is because I’m personally vouching for it. This is the case with Robinhood. I first started using Robinhood just over a year ago and was able to earn a couple hundred dollars before spending a single penny. This was based solely upon the appreciation of the free stock I earned from referrals. The application is clean and very easy to use. You can leave at any time by cashing out or transferring your stock to another brokerage account. Check it out ▶ Dear Reader, I don’t normally dedicate so much newsletter space to the business of books, but the subject of am*zon’s control over the book industry is important. Independent booksellers provide a variety of services, both online and in the real world, that am*zon simply does not. The only way to ensure we do not continue to lose (and we have lost a great deal in the Black book ecosystem) is to use our power and directly support independent booksellers. Consider it a direct investment in the preservation of our culture and institutions. As always, you are why I’ve been able to make AALBC the premier online platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support AALBC’s mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter was Sponsored by Amistad Books Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – August 11, 2021 - Issue #332
  2. The long-lost novel from legendary writer and three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee John Oliver Killens, The Minister Primarily follows the story of Jimmy Jay, who in the 1980s follows his wanderlust to the fictitious African country, The Independent People’s Democratic Republic of Guanaya, to “find himself” only to be enlisted in a scheme to foil a would-be coup. Learn More and Buy the Book ▶ Reading List for Folktales’ Black Women’s Literary Society 2021 marks the 29th year for the Folktales’ Black Women’s Literary Society. They have read over 250 books! Folktales’ has been generous enough to share their carefully curated list with AALBC. For your reading pleasure, we share all the books, on their reading list, going back to 2016. Check out the books ▶ Bestselling Nonfiction Books in the Black Community One of the most prominent businesses in the global Black Book Ecosystem is, Africa World Press & The Red Sea Press (AWP & RSP). The sister publishing companies were founded by Kassahun Checole, almost 40 years ago. With offices in Lawrenceville, New Jersey; London; Eritrea; Ethiopia; and Ghana; AWP & RSP is one of the largest Black-owned book publishers and distributors in the world. There are a universe of books written, published, and read by Black people, that are overlooked by mainstream media. AWP & RSP is responsible for distributing many of these titles throughout the African Diaspora. AWP & RSP has shared the books, with the greatest demand, from the booksellers they distribute to. Several are AALBC bestsellers. While these books are can be easily discovered in Black-owned independent bookstores, you'll struggle to discover them anywhere else. Please check out and share the list ▶ Videos About New Black Wall Street Anthologies Release Me: the Spirits of Greenwood Speak Edited by Phetote Mshairi Poet Phetote Mshairi tells us about Release Me: the Spirits of Greenwood Speak. This anthology is the culmination of the synergy between contributions from an eclectic array of poets (including Poet Laureate of the United States, Joy Harjo and Tulsa based educator, activist, and poet Quraysh Ali Lansana), brilliant artists, masterful writers, skillful photographers, sagacious historians, and some talented citizens of Tulsa, OK. Watch the video ▶ An Impulse to Keep: Greenwood Art Project by Greenwood Art Project Jerica D. Wortham, Project Director of the Greenwood Arts Project describes the anthology, An Impulse to Keep. Published on the occasion of the Greenwood Art Project, an initiative led by artists Rick Lowe/William Cordova with Jerica Wortham, Marlon Hall, Jeff Van Hanken and Kode Ransom. The project brings together artists, residents, leaders, organizations, and businesses to raise awareness of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre and the destruction of its thriving Black community in the historic Greenwood District that included Black Wall Street, one of the most prominent Black-owned business districts in the United States during the early 1900s. Watch the video ▶ The Importance of Indie Booksellers like Boarding House Books One of the things I like to do when I visit a new city is to check out the indie bookstores. It is almost always a pleasurable experience -- especially when the owner is happy to talk shop. Such was the case at Boarding House Books in Claremore, OK. Claremore, OK is a really small town in north eastern, OK. I have lived in an apartment complex with more apartments than there are people living in all of Claremore. Its most famous residents include Patti Page and Will Rogers… Read More▶ Three hours north-west of Boarding House Books, in Wichita, KS is Watermark Books & Café. The photo below is just one of the displays featuring books by Black writers I found in the store. The owner, Sarah Bagby, and I had a terrific conversation as well. Thirty minutes south in Broken Arrow, OK is McHuston Books & Bistro. I purchased so many books from this store the owner threw in a couple for free. I’ve invested over two decades sharing information about Black-owned bookstores, but check out any indie bookstore you encounter, you may be pleasantly surprised by what you find. Dear Reader, As always, you are why I’ve been able to make AALBC the premier online platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support AALBC’s mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter was Sponsored by Amistad Books Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – July 28, 2021 - Issue #331
  3. State of Play — 1st Annual Books Special I had the opportunity to be interviewed on State of Play, the weekly public affairs show that airs on BNC (the Black News Channel). The show is hosted by former District of Columbia Mayor, Sharon Pratt and co-anchored by former Deputy Chief of Staff to President Clinton, Karen Tramontano, and journalist/activist, the Rev. Mark Thompson. The program also included Dr. Brenda M. Greene, Professor Joshua Clark Davis, and Ramunda & Derrick Young. We all discussed the state of Black books, Watch the Video ▶ AALBC Book Review God Bless Our Divided America: Unity, Politics and History from a Biblical Perspective by David W. Marshall At its core, David W. Marshall’s God Bless Our Divided America: Unity, Politics and History from a Biblical Perspective is about protecting our democracy from the metastatic cancer cells of divisiveness. From the book’s introduction, “Our Father,” to the closing lines of its final chapter, “The Conscience Driven Servant,” Marshall issues a clarion call for unity, couching his entreaty in biblical perspectives and pages taken from the teachable realm of history. Peppering his discourse with penetrating questions, he calls out the corporate church, the government, the politicians, as well as the everyday American, imploring them to do their part in excising the disease that plagues our nation. From the outset, Marshall goes to great lengths to clarify the biblical point of view on family and unity (“one body/many parts”). He asserts, “By serving as the one social institution which acts as the moral conscience for the nation, the corporate church must show a secular world what unity within the family of God is supposed to look like… Read the full review ▶ Interview with H.G. Unger, Author of The Billion Dollar College Admissions Scam Harlow Giles Unger is a veteran journalist, broadcaster, educator, and historian. He is the author of 27 books, including the Encyclopedia of American Education and eight other books on American education. These include books on college admissions, public-school education, vocational education, and special needs education. His latest book is The Billion Dollar College Admissions Scam: How to Keep Your Kids from Losing Your Shirt. “Two million students drop out of college in the United States every year. They leave without degrees, without skills, usually without jobs, deeply in debt, and often facing poverty. Don’t let this happen to your kids. There are millions of ways to succeed without college.” Read our interview ▶ We Mourn the Loss of Floyd Cooper & Bernette Ford Bernette Ford (June 30, 1950 – June 20, 2021) was a formable figure in the world of book publishing and a advocate for Black children’s books. Her book Bright Eyes, Brown Skin, co-authored with Cheryl Willis Hudson, illustrated by her husband George Ford, and published by the Black owned publishing company Just Us Books was named as a “Top 150 African-American Children’s Book” and is a 5-Time AALBC.com Bestselling Book! I had the pleasure of meeting Bernette during a the “Where are the People of Color in Children’s Books?” panel I moderated during Book Expo America, back in 2014. Ford shared a wealth of information regarding Children’s books, providing a firsthand account of the history, relating how far we have come, and how much further we need to go. Floyd Cooper (January 8, 1956 – July 15, 2021) has been honored with at least 4 Coretta Scott King Honors, 10 ALA Notables, and many other awards for his Children’s book illustrations. In an environment with so many talented illustrators, Floyd was one of my favorites. I’ve given away so many copies of Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, one would have to question my desire to actually sell books I first met Floyd during the 2020 African American Children’s Book Fair. I was looking to reconnect with Floyd, as he was planning to create a mural in here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was a cool Brother. AALBC Website Tip We provide two easy ways to find books; one, if you know specifically which book you are looking for; and two if you’d like to find books in over 1,500 different categories. Consider a search the book The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee and other books in the same category: 1. You can directly search for the book The Sum of Us, by using our site’s Search Engine. 2. You can find other books in the same category as The Sum of Us, Social Classes & Economic Disparity category (most books are in multiple categories). Learn more about search for books on AALBC by category ▶ Search to Earn I’ve always been a proponent of the massive corporations sharing the enormous profits they generate completely on the back of our participation. Facebook would be worthless without us; shouldn’t they share some of the wealth? Today you can earn free gift cards to a variety of companies and more just by using Microsoft’s Bing search engine. I still use Google and DuckDuckGo’s search engines, but I've added Bing as my default engine just to get something back and help, in a very small way, to prevent a Google monopoly on search. I’d prefer cash, but gift cards are better than nothing. Start Earning Now ▶. Dear Reader, As always, you are why I’ve been able to make AALBC the premier online platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support AALBC’s mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – July 20, 2021 - Issue #330
  4. “Superb...Cuts right to the heart of the most important questions of our times.” —Michael Connelly A Black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance. Provocative and fast-paced, S. A. Cosby’s Razorblade Tears is a story of bloody retribution, heartfelt change - and maybe even redemption. Start reading it now. More ▶ Full of biting humor and careful honesty, Give My Love to the Savages is a collection of nine stories that illuminate the multifaceted Black experience, exploring the thorny intersections of race, identity, and Black life through an extraordinary cast of characters. From the absurd to the starkly realistic, this collection takes aim at the ironies and contradictions of the American racial experience. Chris Stuck’s provocative and raw debut collection of short fiction is reminiscent of Junot Diaz’s Drown. More ▶ By Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray, The Personal Librarian is a biographical novel based on the life of Belle da Costa Greene, the daughter of Richard T. Greener, the first Black man to graduate from Harvard. But Belle was best known for being the woman who helped JP Morgan amass his amazing collection of art and rare manuscripts. However, as she became one of the most powerful women in the country in the early 1900’s, she harbored a secret — no one knew she was Black…she was passing. More ▶ A husband, a father, a son, a business owner...And the best getaway driver east of the Mississippi. Blacktop Wasteland is now available in paperback. Start reading the thriller that The New York Times, NPR, The Los Angeles, Times, Crime Reads and more all called a best book of 2020. More ▶ AALBC Bestsellers May/June 2021 AALBC’s bestsellers list has been published continuously since 1998 and is the most visible list focused on Black books in existence. You will learn about books selling well, in the Black community, that may never show up on lists published by larger corporate entities. Fiction: The #1 Fiction title for this period was, Voices of the Harlem Renaissance: Originally Published as The New Negro an Interpretation Edited by Alain Locke and Introduction by AALBC.com’s Founder, Troy Johnson. Sales were bolstered by a 50% off “Flash Sale” offered exclusively to AALBC text message subscribers. Nonfiction: Books dealing with racism continue to sell strong. The new book, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith led all nonfiction titles. Children’s Books: Cool Cuts written and illustrated by Mechal Renee Roe makes our list for the 2nd time and takes the top position for the first time. Social Media Can Never Do for Us What We Must Do for Ourselves “This is also why I actively promote Black-owned book websites, Black-owned book stores, Black-owned newspapers, Black-owned magazines, the best Black-owned websites, and much more. The support is not always reciprocated, but when it is, it is great, because it is mutually beneficial and one of the reasons AALBC has lasted almost a quarter of a century on the web.” More ▶ Dear Reader, As always, you are why I’ve been able to make AALBC the premier online platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support AALBC’s mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter was Sponsored by Amistad Books and Flatiron Books Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – July 6, 2021 - Issue #329
  5. Black women are beautiful, intelligent, and capable — but mostly they embrace strong. An informative guide to healing, Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen by esteemed clinical psychologist, Dr. Inger Burnett-Zeigler is life-changing, showing Black women how to prioritize the self and find everyday joys in self-worth, as well as discover the fullness and beauty within both her strength and vulnerability. More ▶ Black History: An Inclusive Account of American History Black History: An Inclusive Account of American History, is co-authored by former school superintendent Dr, Walter Milton, Jr. and former NBA Washington Wizards Chaplain, Dr. Joel Freeman. The Black History 365 curriculum is much different from other curricula on the market because it not only provides students the core subject matter, but also it teaches them how to handle the tough issues associated with race by understanding and utilizing skills to demonstrate cultural competency and humility (the ability to understand someone else’s experience without bias). As the nation grapples with current tensions around systemic racism, this curriculum seeks to be a solution in our public school system. In the spirit of cooperative economics, this textbook can not be purchased on am*zon’s site. It is exclusively available from the publisher, a majority Black-owned company. More ▶ Lift Every Voice: More Than 50 Elders Share Their Life Stories American culture is fixated on youth, often marginalizing the most important members of our society — our elders. “Lift Every Voice” from Oprah Daily, tells the life stories of successful people, from our oldest generation, in series of wonderful articles. This series is particularly important to me because it includes an article about publishing icon Marie Dutton Brown. Marie is the “mother” of too many publishing professionals and writers to relate here, but know that Troy Johnson is one of her many children. AALBC could not be where it is today without her counsel and support. Marie’s impact on the Black book world is profound. The “Lift Every Voice” series of articles are great. Please read and share them. Pigment Magazine’s Premier Issue Pigment International™ is a multi-media arts platform that evangelizes for Black art, curation, and innovation. Based in Chicago, the organization uses arts journalism to advance the Black contemporary aesthetic in the visual arts; we honor the history and relevance of historical Black Art; and they serve as a connector for emerging creators, collectors, curators, investors, and other stakeholders. They create customized programming that sparks dialogue and inspires our constituents. They are also the publishers of Pigment Magazine and founders of Black Fine Art Month. The Premier Issue of Pigment Magazine is a 53 page coffee table worthy publication which highlight artists, collectors, curators and others vested in the Black Fine Art Movement. This is sure to be a collector’s item; get the Premier issue today. Wendy Jones Shares Her Journey Promoting Her Book Author, Wendy Jones shares her journey on the on going promotion of her book with the #ReadingBlack community on AALBC. “Every book is different, but I thought it might be helpful to you, my fellow writers and independent publishers, to come on this journey with me. I feel as if I am perpetually falling behind schedule in doing what’s needed to get The Culinary Art Portfolio of Josephine E. Jones into the hands of readers who will be uplifted by it.” Get AALBC Text Alerts Sign up for AALBC Text messages and be alerted to special promotions, on new and important books, that will not be included in our email newsletter. As with your email address, we will never share your cell phone number with anyone. You can easily stop the text messages at any time, by replying with the word "stop." Subscribe to AALBC’s YouTube Channel AALBC videos have been viewed more than 1.2 million times without promotion, just organic reach. I cover aspects of the Black book world that is often not covered by mainstream media. The best way to help me celebrate our authors, businesses, and events is to watch our videos and subscribe to AALBC’s YouTube Channel. Dear Reader, As always, you are why I’ve been able to make AALBC the premier online platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support AALBC’s mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Also, if you are in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, in August, look out for my new pop-up bookstore, The Black Wall Street Book Store (blackwallstreetbookstore.com). I will showcase local authors and books related to the Tulsa Race Massacre. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter was Sponsored by Amistad Books Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – June 29, 2021 - Issue #328
  6. In Where You Are is Not Who You Are, the first Black female CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Ursula M. Burns, looks back at her life and her career at Xerox, sharing unique insights on American business and corporate life, the workers she has always valued, racial and economic justice, how greed is threatening democracy, and the obstacles she’s conquered being Black and a woman. More ▶ Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Winning Books Mitchell S. Jackson Awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing Mitchell received the Pulitzer Prize for his article “Twelve Minutes and a Life,” about the 2020 murder of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. Mitchell’s win means even more to AALBC, because last year he told Oprah Daily, “My favorite, and one of the most important bookstores in the country, is Troy Johnson’s AALBC.com. Troy is a committed literary citizen and it shows in his site, which features, among other things, thousands of books for purchase, info about literary events, and profiles of Black authors.” Congratulations to Mitchell S. Jackson and all the honorees and finalists! Black-Owned Bookstores You Must Check Out The Dock Bookshop, Fort Worth, TX The Dock Bookshop is owned an operated by two awesome women, Donna Craddock & Donya Craddock. They recently celebrated their 13th anniversary of being in business. The Pan-African Connection Bookstore, Art Gallery and Resource Center, Dallas TX Founded by Bandele Tyehimba, this family owned and operated store has been in business since 1989. Bandele’s wife, Akwete Tyehimba, kept the dream alive when Bandele passed, at age 58, in 2012. Both stores are more than just bookstores; they are truly cultural institutions and would be the pride of any community in this country. If you are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I encourage you to visit both stores — you will not be disappointed. June is Audiobook Month Libro.fm makes it possible for listeners to buy audiobooks through AALBC. You support AALBC with every audiobook purchase. Checkout the hand-curated audiobook selections in commemoration of Juneteenth. Get AALBC Text Alerts I plan to send information on books, and special promotions, that will not be included in our email newsletter. I promise not to “blow up” your cell phone, and I will never share your contact information with anyone. You can easily stop the text messages at any time. Dear Reader, Based here in Tulsa Oklahoma, I’ve had an opportunity to experience a number of activities recognizing and commemorating the 100th anniversary of Tulsa Race Massacre. This week the 156th celebration of Juneteenth will be the focus. Some call these events “celebrations,” and the associated musical festivals are indeed celebratory. However, these events are stark reminders of how much we have endured, and overcome, as a people in this country. The struggle is not over. The ability to share our stories, and uplift others who do, is my small contribution. Each of you reading this is my partner, for your paid newsletter subscriptions, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, social sharing, and advertisements helps support my mission to celebrate Black culture through books. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter was Sponsored by Amistad Books Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – June 15, 2021 - Issue #327
  7. Nearly everyone who played a significant role in the Watergate saga has been scrutinized except one key participant: Frank Wills. On the morning of June 17, 1972, in Washington D.C, Wills, a twenty-four-year-old security guard, was on duty at the Watergate Office Building when he detected a break-in and reported it to the police. The botched burglary ignited a national political scandal, resulting in the resignation of President Richard Nixon. The only African American identified with the Watergate affair, Frank Wills enjoyed a brief moment in the limelight, but was unable to cope with his newfound fame, living the remainder of his life in obscurity and poverty. Through exhaustive research and numerous interviews, the story of America's most famous night watchman finally has been told. AALBC | am*zon | Kindle | McFarland & Company, Inc. … Adam Henig is also the author of two previous books about African Americans, one focusing on writer Alex Haley and the other on Civil Rights activist Dr. Ralph Wimbish of St. Petersburg, Florida. His writings have been featured in Time, Tampa Bay Times, Washington Independent Review of Books, History News Network and the website BlackPast. For more information, visit www.adamhenig.com. This newsletter is sponsored by McFarland & Company, Inc. Consider sponsoring our newsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com Newsletter
  8. From cultural Icon and comedian, Dick Gregory comes an enlightening introduction to natural foods, that offers a wickedly amusing and informative assessment of the modern diet. First published in 1974, this natural and whole foods guide is even more relevant today! Read an Excerpt ▶ The Victory of Greenwood by Carlos Moreno A few days ago the nation commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre — one of the greatest incidents of violence leveled against a community in American history. Much of the focus was, necessarily, on the tragic loss of life and property. However, it is very important that we also celebrate and remember the people who owned ran some of the most prosperous businesses in the country including theaters, hotels, and restaurants. Carlos Moreno’s new book, The Victory of Greenwood, highlights 25 of these business leaders. We can also learn how true wealth is built, by investing and continuing to reinvest in your own community. Watch our video interview with Moreno. Read the book’s Introduction and Chapter 9, which profiles B. C. Franklin (Historian John Hope Franklin’s father). You may also purchase autographed copies. Jigsaw Puzzles Highlights Africa and the African Diaspora. Very Puzzled is a children’s toy manufacturer that focuses on African-Caribbean themed jigsaw puzzles or children developed with both parents and children in mind. Very Puzzled provides a vibrant range of highly engaging jigsaw puzzles that parents and care givers can get stuck into with their children. Not only do these puzzles help children to develop their vocabularies and imaginations in an era of screen dependence, digital overstimulation, and low-quality plastic toys, but they also allow the player to learn about integral parts of our world that they may not have been as exposed to before. Each puzzle showcases a variety of historical landmarks and attractions that have been designed to provide endless fun and interesting topics of discussion that can be used as a playful way to learn and offer an authentic means of interaction for both children and adults. Buy puzzles from AALBC ▶ Publishers and Authors Link to Indie Bookseller Sites Publishers and Authors Support Your Strongest Advocates — Independent Booksellers Most often, publisher and author websites direct visitors to am*zon to purchase books. Rarely are visitors referred to an Indie bookseller’s website. Everyone knows books may be purchased at am*zon, and am*zon certainly does not need the free promotion. However, independent booksellers can benefit from the referrals. One great way to provide much needed support to indie booksellers is to send readers to IndieBound. You may link directly to your books (for example, The Victory of Greenwood). Once you visit the website IndieBound will return a list of indie booksellers, closest to the reader, including AALBC. Of course, if you would like to send readers directly to AALBC, we greatly appreciate the referrals! Get AALBC Text Alerts I plan to send information on books, and special promotions, that will not be included in our email newsletter. I promise not to “blow up” your cell phone, and I will never share your contact information with anyone. You can easily stop the text messages at any time. Subscribe to AALBC’s YouTube Channel AALBC videos have been viewed more than 1.2 million times without promotion, just organic reach. I cover aspects of the Black book world that is often not covered by mainstream media. The best way to help me celebrate our authors, businesses, and events is to subscribe to AALBC’s YouTube Channel, watch, and share our videos. Dear Reader, As always, you are why I’ve been able to make AALBC the premier online platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support AALBC’s mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Also, if you are in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, in August, look out for my new pop-up bookstore, The Black Wall Street Book Store (blackwallstreetbookstore.com). I will showcase local authors and books related to the Tulsa Race Massacre. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter was Sponsored by Amistad Books Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – June 6, 2021 - Issue #326
  9. Edelweiss by Above the Treeline is hosting Bookfest, on June 8th and June 9th, and they’re extending an invitation to AALBC’s friends and family! Join Clint Smith, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Rivers Solomon, Hanif Abdurraqib, Bridgett M. Davis, Tayari Jones, Jewell Parker Rhodes, P. Djèlí Clark, Kimberly Jones, K.M. Jackson, Danielle Henderson, Zakiya Dalila Harris, Tia Williams and many, many more… Bookfest will be over 2 full days of fun and learning. It will feature 65 sessions to choose from, over 85 authors and 28 author panels and over 50 publishers sharing HUNDREDS of new books. The all-access pass is $50 but we are extending an invitation for the 2-full-day, all-access pass for only $20! Register here and enter promocode: AALBCBF30. New Books Magic City: A Novel by Jewell Parker Rhodes “A compelling page-turner that will keep readers hoping against hope that everything will somehow, magically, turn out for the best.” — Atlanta Journal-Constitution With a new Afterword from the author reflecting on the 100th anniversary of one of the most heinous tragedies in American history—the 1921 burning of Greenwood, an affluent black section of Tulsa, Oklahoma, known as the “Negro Wall Street”—Jewell Parker Rhodes’ powerful and unforgettable novel of racism, vigilantism, and injustice, weaves history, mysticism, and murder into a harrowing tale of dreams and violence gone awry. ▶ Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress by Alicia D. Williams, Illustrated by April Harrison Meet Shirley, a little girl who asks way too many questions! After spending her early years on her grandparents’ farm in Barbados, she returns home to Brooklyn and immediately makes herself known. Shirley kicks butt in school; she breaks her mother’s curfew; she plays jazz piano instead of classical. And as a young adult, she fights against the injustice she sees around her, against women and black people. Soon she is running for state assembly…and winning in a landslide. Three years later, she is on the campaign trail again, as the first black woman to run for Congress. Her slogan? “Fighting Shirley Chisholm—Unbought and Unbossed!” ▶ Troy Johnson Recipient of Go On Girl! Book Club’s Pillar Award Go On Girl! Book Club (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization) has been in existence for 30 years and boasts 500 dedicated members in scores of chapters across the country. The books on the Club’s reading list, over the past 30 years, are available for sale on AALBC. Every book is a winner, as the club has a meticulous process for selecting books to be read. AALBC contributes half for the profit from the titles on their reading list to the Go On Girl! Book Club’s scholarship fund. On May 22, 2021, Go On Girl! Book Club chose to honor me with their Pillar Award. I’m so proud of this honor, because I have always held, in high regard, the work of Go On Girl! Book Club — Thank you ladies! Go On Girl! Book Club’s Reading List July to December 2021 Recently Reviewed Books The Culinary Art Portfolio of Josephine E. Jones by Wendy Jones The Culinary Art Portfolio is neither a cookbook nor a how-to-book. It’s a portfolio, with ready- to-frame prints of the culinary art created by Josephine E. Jones with photography by the late John Turner, written by her daughter Wendy Jones. Introduced as “where art and food intersect” Jones writes, “For years, people took snapshots of Josephine’s food before devouring it, declaring that it ‘looked too good to eat.’”… “I cannot tell you how Josephine did what she did. I can only describe it. My mother did not take a class, read a book, or make sketches of what she wanted to do before she did it. I never saw Josephine practice her cutting technique before she put a piece of fruit or vegetable on a creation.” … “I think she visualized the culinary creation, and then cut, carved, and placed all the components where they needed to be to complete that vision.” … “My mother lived her life that way too, envisioning what she wanted to accomplish, despite the obstacles of racial, gender, and class discrimination, then taking the steps to complete her vision.”More ▶ Salmon Croquettes by Glodean Champion Salmon Croquettes is a debut novel rich in prose. The book is loaded with purposeful dialogue and heartwarming descriptive scenes. The novel’s authentic dialogue rings familiar and inviting. The well written scenes are reminiscent of African American culture in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Champion uses historical events, newspaper headlines, television shows, poetry, and music to place the reader in the Civil Rights era. One could easily classify the novel as a coming-of-age story, a rite of passage tale about a young woman coming to terms with her homosexuality, and this critique is partly true, but in Salmon Croquettes so much more is offered. The reader witnesses generational mother daughter conflicts, class divisions within the Black community, homophobia, and American racism. More ▶ PBS News Hour’s Article About Black Bookstores Anti-racist reading drove business to Black bookstores. Owners hope that’s not the end of the story “Troy Johnson said he sold more books in June 2020 than he did in all of 2019. Johnson, founder and owner of the online bookstore African American Literature Book Club (AALBC), was among a number of Black booksellers that experienced a sudden uptick in requests last year for titles focusing on race and racism in America.” Read the entire article, by Courtney Vinopal, on the PBS News Hour Website ▶ Get AALBC Text Alerts Some of you may have received a text message from me about AALBC’s new text message service. If not, please consider signing up. I’ll be sending information on books, and special promotions, that will not be included in our email newsletter. I promise not to “blow up” your cell phone, and I will never share your contact information with anyone. You can always, easily, stop the text messages at anytime. Subscribe to AALBC’s YouTube Channel AALBC videos have been views more than 1.2 million times without promotion, just organic reach. I cover aspects of the Black book world that is often not covered by mainstream media. The best way to help me celebrate our authors, businesses, and events is to subscribe to AALBC’s YouTube Channel, watch, and share our videos. Dear Reader, As always, you are why we’ve been able to make AALBC the premier online platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support our mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Also, if you are in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, in August, look out for my new pop-up bookstore, The Black Wall Street Book Store (blackwallstreetbookstore.com). I will showcase local authors and books related to the Tulsa Race Massacre. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – June 1, 2021 - Issue #325
  10. Our bestsellers list has been published continuously since 1998 and is the most visible list focused on Black Books in existence. You will learn about books selling well, in the Black community, that may never show up on lists published by larger corporate entities. Nonfiction: Black Power, Black Lawyer: My Audacious Quest for Justice, Nkechi Taifa’s powerful memoir, outsold all other books this period and was given a terrific review by AALBC. Fiction: Richard Wright’s previously unpublished novel, The Man Who Lived Underground, is our bestselling fiction title. The Man Who Lived Underground was written between his landmark books Native Son (1940) and Black Boy (1945), at the height of Wright’s creative powers. Children’s Books: The 11-time AALBC bestseller, Whose Knees Are These?, by Jabari Asim led a very crowded field of popular children’s books. We cap our bestsellers list at 20 books, and our children’s list could have easily included 40 titles. Poetry: The Tradition by Jericho Brown debuts on our bestsellers list at #1. The critically acclaimed work received many honors including winning a Pulitzer Prize. New Books Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Notes on Grief is an exquisite work of meditation, remembrance, and hope, written in the wake of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's beloved father’s death in the summer of 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged around the world, and kept Adichie and her family members separated from one another, her father succumbed unexpectedly to complications of kidney failure. Expanding on her original New Yorker piece, Adichie shares how this loss shook her to her core. She writes about being one of the millions of people grieving this year; about the familial and cultural dimensions of grief and also about the loneliness and anger that are unavoidable in it. Nothing Personal by James Baldwin James Baldwin’s critique of American society at the height of the civil rights movement brings his prescient thoughts on social isolation, race, and police brutality to a new generation of readers. Available for the first time in a stand-alone edition, Nothing Personal is Baldwin’s deep probe into the American condition. Considering the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020—which were met with tear gas and rubber bullets the same year white supremacists entered the US Capitol with little resistance, openly toting flags of the Confederacy—Baldwin’s documentation of his own troubled times cuts to the core of where we find ourselves today. Harlem Hit & Run by Angela M. Dews Harlem Hit & Run is the first of three murder mysteries set in the 1990s in Harlem. I had to do the perp walk through a gauntlet of paparazzi at the 28th Precinct and I must say I finally understood the impulse to put a coat over your head. It didn't take long for someone to recognize me. "Lt. Knight! Over here!" Lt. Summer Knight is the badass I play in my action movies. But now I'm home in Harlem reluctantly running the Harlem Journal, the weekly newspaper my Daddy left me when he just died. That's Pearl Washington, the hero of Harlem Hit & Run, a murder mystery set during one week in November 1990 between two editions of the Journal, as a community bank fails. A Day for Rememberin’ by Leah Henderson, Illustrated by Floyd Cooper Inspired by true events and told through the eyes of a young boy, this is the deeply moving story about what is regarded as the first Memorial Day on May 1, 1865. Eli dresses up in his best clothes, Mama gathers the mayflowers, Papa straightens his hat, and together they join the crowds filling the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, with bouquets, crosses, and wreaths. Abolitionists, missionaries, teachers, military officers, and a sea of faces Black, Brown, and White, they march as one and sing for all those who gave their lives fighting for freedom during the Civil War. Voices is now Distributed by Africa World Press & The Red Sea Press Voices of the Harlem Renaissance: Originally Published as The New Negro an Interpretation, was edited by Alain Locke, features a new introduction by Troy Johnson, and is now available from these fine booksellers: ▪ Best Richardson African Diaspora Literature & Culture Museum, Tampa, FL; ▪ Blackbooks Plus, New York, NY ▪ Community Book Center, New Orleans, LA; ▪ DARE Books, Longwood, FL; ▪ Eso Won Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA; ▪ Pyramid Art, Books & Custom Framing, Little Rock, AR; and ▪ Sankofa Video Books & Cafe, Washington, DC PW Bookstore of the Year Finalists: Eso Won Books & MahoganyBooks Eso Won has long been one of the country’s preeminent Black-owned bookstores and, of course, was indispensable this past year,” noted Ellen Adler, publisher of the New Press, in her nominating letter. “But that’s nothing new: it has long been indispensable—as those who are lucky enough to count it as their local bookstore or who have made the pilgrimage and had a visit well know.” More ▶ When MahoganyBooks opened in the Anacostia Arts Center in 2017, it was the first new bookstore in southeast Washington, D.C., in 20 years. Though the store was new, owners and husband and wife Derrick and Ramunda Young were already veteran booksellers, having worked in D.C.-area bookstores in the 1990s and early 2000s. In the nearly four years since it opened, the store has garnered national recognition for its emphasis that books by Black authors matter. That focus led Bradley Graham, co-owner of Politics and Prose Bookstore, also in D.C., to say that Mahogany has quickly risen to become “one of the leading Black-owned bookstores in the country.” More ▶ Discover 108 Black-owned Indie Bookstore and 67 Websites Dedicated to Black books on AALBC. Join Go On Girl! Book Club for Their Author Awards Weekend It is a Virtual Event that will be entertaining, exciting, fun, and planned especially for you. Their theme is “Celebrating 30 Years With Go On Girl! Book Club.” This two-day event will include a GOG Conversation, GOG Mixer/Chapter Strut, 30th Anniversary Day Party Celebration and the highlight of the weekend, the Author Awards presentation. We welcome our guests to gather with us for the GOG Conversation with Author Salamishah Tillet In Search of the Color Purple: The Story of an American Masterpiece (Friday, May 21, 2021 at 7:30pm ET) and Author Awards Event (Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 2:00pm ET). The Author Awards will honor our Author of the Year, James McBride ; New Author of the Year, Sara Collins; Jr. GOG Readers Choice Author, L.L. McKinney; Literary Legend Award Author, Alice Walker; Pillar Award, Troy Johnson, African American Literature Book Club (AALBC.com); GOG Bookseller Recognition Award, Mahogany Bookstore; and their scholarship winners. Registration is $20 ▶ Get AALBC Text Alerts Some of you may have received a text message from me about AALBC’s new text message service. If not, please consider signing up. I’ll be sending information on books, and special promotions, that will not be included in our email newsletter. I promise not to “blow up” your cell phone, and I will never share your contact information with anyone else. Of course, you can easily stop the text messages at anytime. Subscribe to AALBC’s YouTube Channel AALBC videos have been views more than 1.2 million times without promotion, just organic reach. I cover aspects of the Black book world that is often not covered by mainstream media. The best way to help me celebrate our authors, businesses, and events is to subscribe to AALBC’s YouTube Channel, watch, and share our videos. Dear Reader, As always, you are why we’ve been able to make AALBC the premier online platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support our mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Also, if you are in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, in August, look out for my new pop-up bookstore, The Black Wall Street Book Store (blackwallstreetbookstore.com). I will showcase local authors and books related to the Tulsa Race Massacre. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – May 18, 2021 - Issue #324
  11. Yvonne Orji has never shied away from being unapologetically herself, and that includes being outspoken about her faith. Known for interpreting Biblical stories and metaphors to fit current times, her humorous and accessible approach to faith leaves even non-believers inspired and wanting more. The way Yvonne sees it, God is a Sovereign Prankster, punking folks long before Ashton Kutcher made it cool. When she meditates on her own life—complete with unforeseen blessings and unanticipated roadblocks—she realizes it’s one big testimony to how God tricked her into living out her wildest dreams. And she wants us to join in on getting bamboozled. This is not a Self-Help book—it’s a Get Yours book! In Bamboozled by Jesus a frank and fresh advice book, Orji takes readers on a journey through twenty-five life lessons, gleaned from her own experiences and her favorite source of inspiration: the Bible. Her joyful, confident approach to God will inspire everyone to catapult themselves out of the mundane and into the magnificent. With bold authenticity and practical relatability, Orji is exactly the kind of cultural leader we need in these chaotic times. And her journey through being Bamboozled by Jesus paints a powerful picture of what it means to say “yes” to a life you never could’ve imagined—if it wasn’t your own. Start Reading Today – Get a Free Chapter Available in Hardcover, E-book, and Audio Versions Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter
  12. Get a Free Audiobook! This Weekend (April 24 – 26, 2021) Only: When you spend $15 USD or more at AALBC 4/24–4/26 for #IndieBookstoreDay, you can get a free select audiobook from Libro.fm! See the audiobook choices and get more details at: libro.fm/ibd?bookstore=aalbc. Newest Audio Books. Bestselling Audiobooks Spread the word. How it Works Select from over 2,000 other audiobooks, including the 100 most recently added on AALBC, and spend at least $15 between April 24th and 26th. Then, submit your receipt by 9 p.m. ET on April 26th and select one of the audiobook books below and including several others. Subscribe to AALBC Text Message Service We are implementing a text messaging service to alert you on special offers and important new books. We also offering an optional service for book order status and more. To sign up click the button below. Sign Up Now! Dear Reader, As always, you are why we’ve been able to make AALBC the premier online platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support our mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – Special Deal
  13. On a winter’s day, Chris Gardner set off with his nine-year-old granddaughter Brooke to find the harmonica of her dreams. The search sends them on a harrowing adventure that will change both of their lives—and ours. A true fable, Permission to Dream by Chris Gardner is a timeless and timely book for turning dreams into action—beginning right now, from the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir and major motion picture The Pursuit of Happyness. On sale now wherever books are sold. More ▶ Watch Our Videos AALBC videos have been viewed over 1 million times, but I can do a better job of making readers aware of them. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to be sure you are notified when we’ve added a new video. Subscribe to AALBC’s YouTube Channel Recently Published Videos AALBC’s Founder, Troy Johnson, hosts a conversation about the upcoming children’s book Papa’s Free Day Party with the book’s author Marilyn Nelson; Boley, Oklahoma’s Mayor, Dr. Frances Shelton; and Boley Town Historian, Judge Henrietta Hicks. Leading independent children’s book publisher Just Us Books will publish Papa’s Free Day Party, a powerful new picture book by award-winning poet and author Marilyn Nelson, illustrated by award-winning artist Wayne Anthony Still this April. The book is based on the true story of Marilyn’s grandfather, who escaped a racist attack as a child, was taken in by a white family, and went on to build a new life in the all-Black town of Boley, Oklahoma. Watch the video ▶ In this video, esteemed activist, educator, producer, and poet Kalamu ya Salaam describes his latest book, Cosmic Deputy. Representative poems from Salaam’s fifty years (1968 – 2019) of writing are interspersed in an overarching essay tracing the poet’s multitude of influences. Toward mapping a theory of a Black literary aesthetic, Salaam explores the cultural inheritances of Black resistance movements, blues music, and the ways in which these sources and others have shaped not only his own work but Black letters more broadly. This video was recorded at the Community Book Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Watch the video ▶ Quraysh Ali Lansana is author of 23 books of poetry, nonfiction, and children’s literature. Lansana is currently a Tulsa Artist Fellow and serves as Acting Director of the Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, where he is also Writer in Residence for the Center for Poets & Writers and Adjunct Professor in Africana Studies and English. Watch the video ▶ d. E. Rogers is a screenwriter and the author of thirteen novels. He is also an 8-time AALBC bestselling author with 5 bestselling books on our site. Here he talks about marketing, selling, and distributing his books. He also talks about how he uses AALBC’s platform to increase his books exposure—it is how he got my attention. His most popular book, on our site, Black States of America: Real Black Power, follows an alternate timeline where President Lincoln lived. Watch the video ▶ 2021 BCLF Short Fiction Story Contest The third annual Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival is pleased to announce the 2021 BCLF Short Fiction Story Contest for: 1. BCLF Elizabeth Nunez Caribbean-American Writers' Prize 2. BCLF Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean The contest this year calls for stories that resonate with this year’s festival theme, A Tapestry of Words and Worlds, that explores and reveres the connections, ties, and bonds between the Caribbean ancestral lands and the diaspora communities they have birthed. We invite submissions that speak to issues of land, justice, ancestral knowledge, belonging, ownership and oral histories; stories of pain, joy, grief, hope, return to memory; stories that critique and challenge the creative imagination to re-envision the world in the diaspora and the Caribbean. Learn More ▶ Dear Reader, As always, you are why we’ve been able to make AALBC the premier online platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support our mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter is Sponsored by Amistad Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – April 14, 2021 - Issue #323
  14. From the author of Queen Sugar—the critically acclaimed series on OWN directed by Ava Duvernay—comes a beautifully rendered collection of essays, poems, photographs, and interviews exploring the vast history of black farming in the American south. Luminous and eye-opening, We Are Each Other’s Harvest by Natalie Baszile is an eclectic collection that elevates the voices and stories of Black farmers, and people of color, helping us reimagine what it means to be dedicated to the soil. Now on sale wherever books are sold. More ▶ AALBC Book Reviews Black Power, Black Lawyer: My Audacious Quest for Justice by Nkechi Taifa In these pages we get the behind the scenes account of her meetings with key leaders in the Black Nationalism and Black Power movements, and as a policy analyst for billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation. Her connections to Black leaders and change makers run the gamut from Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, to Congresswoman Maxine Waters among many others. Taifa also recognizes freedom fighters in the Black Power movement—Chokwe Lumumba, Geronimo Pratt, Kwame Ture (AKA Stokely Carmichael), Reverend Dr. Ishakamusa Barashango, and Kwame Afo, whose untimely deaths have all but removed them from the annals of history. The true transformative power of Black Power, Black Lawyer, is that it weaves together personal memoir, social justice, and compelling often untold historical narratives, into a rich tapestry that moves Black history to the center of American history, where it belongs. A phenomenal woman in her own right, Taifa's life and experiences as a social justice defender and legal advocate, tell a broader more inclusive story of our history and people, through the lens of one of its staunchest defenders. More ▶ A Conversation: John A. Williams and His Son Dennis A. Williams Back in the winter of 1995, Dennis A. Williams, an accomplished author in his own right, interviewed his dad, an iconic figure in American literature, John A. Williams (1925 – 2015). The love between the two men is evident and worth exploring. “We spoke in the spare living room and on the perfect porch of his Upstate New York hideaway, where he had taught my younger brother , as well as my older brother's children and my own, to shoot, play and understand that they have a special place in the world. It is the place where he is most at home, where all the parts of him come together, from the booklined writer's studio to the fishing dock; where both the collection of jazz records and the telescope aimed at the clear, rural sky can transport his spirit; where his mother's ashes are buried. Because it was an official, taped interview, the occasion seemed oddly formal. But because it was also a synopsis of forty years of such conversations, it was entirely natural. He doesn't change: the Syracuse kid, the poet-philosopher, the compulsive teacher, student, parent and bop-cool hang-out buddy are all alive and well in John A. Williams.” More ▶ A Black Book Website Worth Visiting: The Listening Tree For more than two decades AALBC has shared information about Black-owned brick and mortar bookstores. Last summer the list went viral and it was heartwarming to see so many bookstore enjoy national prominence. I also maintain a list of Black-owned book websites. Ten years ago I wrote an article entitled, “Black Book Websites Need Love Too.” In the article I lamented the fact that we were rapidly losing websites that sold, reviewed, promoted, and celebrated Black books and authors. The loss has continued and the impact is incalculable, because many of the site we lost were simply terrific and irreplaceable. I still maintain the list of Black-owned book websites, and while updating it recently l discovered a video promoting The Listening Tree, a children’s book website. The video features owners, Omar and Kimberly Finley and their family in their store. The video immediately put a smile on my face! Check out their site a consider purchasing a book! Is it Just Me, or are Book Covers More Attractive Today? I look at book covers all day and have done so for almost 25 years. In recent years I’ve discovered some really attractive book covers. When viewed together the images are often awe inspiring. I appreciate I may be in the minority of folks moved by such imagery, but just same, I figured I share. This image happens to be a collection of the newest audiobooks we sell. How Troy Johnson’s African American Literature Book Club Survived In Spite Of am*zon At first, Troy D. Johnson wanted to sell books for commissions under Barnes and Noble’s Affiliate Program. He would place that bookseller’s products on the website he created, with links referring customers to BN.com. It didn’t take long for him to feel the inadequacies of the program. Hoping for better luck, he signed up with am*zon.com’s affiliate program. All went well until am*zon’s commissions became smaller and smaller. Read the full article, by Olayemi Odesanya, at the Network Journal ▶ Talib Kweli Will Discuss His New Memoir at the John Oliver Killens Reading Series The Center for Black Literature presents renowned hip-hop artist and activist Talib Kweli for a discussion about his new book Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story (MCD, 2021). Kweli will be in conversation with Akiba Solomon, senior editor at The Marshall Project. The memoir is a collection of essays that illuminate Kweli’s upbringing, artistic success, and his views that position hip-hop as a political force. Dear Reader, As always, you are why we’ve been able to make AALBC the premier online platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support our mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter is Sponsored by Amistad Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – April 6, 2021 - Issue #322
  15. Communicate boldly and effectively like never before with the help and guidance of a #1 New York Times bestselling author and trusted Bishop. In Don't Drop the Mic, Bishop T. D. Jakes speaks to readers about communication and how the ways we speak and interact with others can be part of our everyday ministries. Drawing lessons from Scripture and his own life, Jakes gives career advice for those who have or want to grow into a speaking career, but he also provides clear direction and insight for everyone who gives presentations, writes emails, or talks to other people in their job or home life. There will be practical advice about how to craft insightful and meaningful communications, but the heart of this book is really about how we can communicate more clearly to build community and share the hope of Christ in our everyday lives. The more adept we become at using all available resources to convey our message, the greater our impact. From lovers to litigators, entrepreneurs to entertainers, and bloggers to board members, we all want to communicate more effectively, intimately, and efficiently. Whether you're interviewing for a new position, proposing a new business plan, auditioning for a performance, delivering a report for your committee, teaching Sunday school, or sharing your heart with a loved one, this book will help you become a better communicator. This Newsletter is Sponsored by FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – April 1, 2021
  16. 2021 National Black Writers Conference Biennial Symposium Saturday, March 27, 2021 Medgar Evers College, CUNY 11: 00 AM – 7:00 PM Presented on Zoom “They Cried I Am: The Life and Work of Paule Marshall and John A. Williams, Unsung Black Literary Voices” Featured program highlights will include a keynote address, roundtable discussions, and dramatic readings. Confirmed speakers include Carole Boyce Davies, Edwidge Danticat, Keith Gilyard, Maryemma Graham, Michael Anthony Green, Lawrence P. Jackson, Evan Marshall, Liza Jessie Peterson, Ishmael Reed, Linda Villarosa, Mary Helen Washington and Jamia Wilson, and a musical tribute by Tulivu-Donna Cumberbatch and Seasoned Elegance. Register and Learn More ▶ AALBC Family: Receive $5 off, the already low fee, by using promo code is NBWCFRIEND at checkout. SMU Presents the Dallas Literary Festival: March 26–28 2021 This year’s festival will be held entirely online, free and open to the public. To attend an event, simply go to the Schedule, click on the event page, and follow the link to its Zoom session. AALBC’s Founder, Troy Johnson, will be participating on the Ghostwriting & Self-Publishing Panel, Saturday, March 27, 2021 from 10:00 AM 11:00 AM. The panel will also include, Lutishia Lovely, author of Blind Ambition, Sandy Lawrence, author of Do It Yourself PR Guide, and Marissa Monteilh, author of The Practice Wife. The panel will be moderated by Angie Ransome-Jones, author of Path to Peace . New and Noteworthy Books How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue From the celebrated author of the New York Times bestseller Behold the Dreamers comes a sweeping, wrenching story about the collision of a small African village and an American oil company. Told from the perspective of a generation of children and the family of a girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, How Beautiful We Were is a masterful exploration of what happens when the reckless drive for profit, coupled with the ghost of colonialism, comes up against one community’s determination to hold on to its ancestral land and a young woman’s willingness to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people’s freedom. More ▶ Bring Back Our Girls: The Untold Story of the Global Search for Nigeria’s Missing Schoolgirls by Joe Parkinson & Drew Hinshaw In the spring of 2014, American celebrities and their Twitter followers unwittingly turned a group of teenagers into a central prize in America’s War on Terror by retweeting #BringBackOurGirls, a call for the release of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls who’d been kidnapped by the little-known Islamist sect Boko Haram. With just a few words, their tweets launched an army of would-be liberators, spies, and glory hunters into an obscure conflict that few understood, in a part of Nigeria that had just barely begun to use the internet. Bring Back Our Girls is a cautionary tale that plumbs the promise and peril of an era whose politics are fueled by the power of hashtag advocacy, More ▶ My Day with the Panye by Tami Charles, Illustrated by Sara Palacios In the hills above Port-au-Prince, a young girl named Fallon wants more than anything to carry a large woven basket to the market, just like her Manman. As she watches her mother wrap her hair in a mouchwa, Fallon tries to twist her own braids into a scarf and balance the empty panye atop her head, but realizes it’s much harder than she thought. BOOM! Is she ready after all? Lyrical and inspiring, with vibrant illustrations highlighting the beauty of Haiti, My Day with the Panye is a story of family legacy, cultural tradition, and hope for the future. More ▶ I Am New Orleans: 36 Poets Revisit Marcus Christian’s Definitive Poem Edited by Kalamu ya Salaam “Who dat? We dat!” This collection is a gathering of the saints. Contemporary writers with an ear to the ground, digging on the sense and sound of what all is going down. Plus, a couple of ancestor scribes whose amazing words and clear-eyed vision remain both accurate and relevant long, long after their physical demise. Hence, here is a compendium of views and visions, which collectively map the outlines of what it means to both be and to miss New Orleans. More ▶ Dear Reader, As always, you are why we’ve been able to make AALBC the premier platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support our mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – March 23, 2021 - Issue #321
  17. Essence Pick and NPR Book of the Year 2020, Lakewood by Megan Giddings is a startling debut about class and race, evoking a terrifying world of medical experimentation—part The Handmaid’s Tale, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Now available in paperback, on AALBC, and wherever books are sold. More ▶ Bestselling Books for January/February 2021 Our bestsellers list has been published continuously since 1998 and is the most visible list focused on Black books in existence. You will learn about books selling well, in the Black community, that may never show up on lists published by corporate entities. Fiction: Limitation of Life by d. E. Rogers, the top-selling fiction book, does not come out until Mar 23, but sold well due to a $5-off campaign for preorders. Nonfiction: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and Just As I Am by Cicely Tyson were, by far, the bestselling books across all genres this period. Children’s Books: The inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, Amanda Gorman, has three books on our bestsellers list that have not been published yet! She is the only author to accomplish this feat. Poetry: African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song Edited by Kevin Young was the only book of poetry with enough sales to make our list this period (Gorman’s bestselling poetry books are captured on the children’s bestsellers list). Soon to be Released Books by Iconic Authors Be the first to learn about important books before they are published. We maintain a constantly updated list of list of upcoming titles. Discover your next great read before anyone else and spread the word. The Man Who Lived Underground by Richard Wright A previously unpublished novel from the 1940s by the legendary author! Fred Daniels, a Black man, is picked up by the police after a brutal double murder and tortured until he confesses to a crime he did not commit. After signing a confession, he escapes from custody and flees into the city’s sewer system. This is the devastating premise of this scorching novel, a masterpiece that Richard Wright was unable to publish in his lifetime. Written between his landmark books Native Son (1940) and Black Boy (1945), at the height of his creative powers … More ▶ Praise Song for the Widow by Paule Marshall Originally published in 1983, Praise Song for the Widow was a recipient of the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, and is presented here in a beautiful new hardcover edition. Praise Song for the Widow, a novel about a Harlem widow claiming new life, features a new original introduction by Opal Palmer Adisa. Paule Marshall was perhaps best known for her novel Brown Girl, Brownstones. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she was Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She passed away in 2019. More ▶ Crime Partners by Donald Goines Donald Goines, one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century, has influenced many of today's urban writers with his gritty, realistic look at the streets. For the first time in years, his classic Crime Partners is now repackaged and reissued in trade with a whole new look to attract new readers, as well as long-time fans of the legend himself. Prison buddies Billy Good and Jackie Walker made time pulling small jobs here and there. Not a bad living if you liked scraping by. The thing to worry about was the next fix. Nothing else mattered. When Billy and Jackie fell in with Kenyatta, a ghetto lord ready to take back the streets, they thought they'd hit the big time. More ▶ Appeal to Authors, Publishers, and Event Hosts If AALBC sells, reviews, or otherwise promotes your your book or event, consider linking to AALBC from your website or social media. In fact, considering doing that for any indie platform who highlights your work. It is a really small thing to do that can pay big dividends for indie platforms, which ultimately benefits the entire Black Book Ecosystem. Not sure if your work is on AALBC; use our search engine to find out. Want to get your work on AALBC? Learn how. Dear Reader, As always, you are why we’ve been able to make AALBC the premier online platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support our mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter is Sponsored by Amistad Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – March 9, 2021 - Issue #320
  18. The U.S. Open has been described as a 14-day Superbowl and for 5 years Katrina Adams was running the show. As the first black woman and youngest person to hold the position of President and CEO of the US Tennis Association, Adams knows a thing or ten about overcoming challenges and achieving greatness, and she’s ready to show you how. Rich with a variety of professional and personal, real-life scenarios, Own the Arena presents invaluable information on meeting life’s challenges. More ▶ New and Noteworthy Books In the Company of Men by Véronique Tadjo This novel of connected vignettes is made richer with interwoven material, ranging from song lyrics and scientific facts to poetry and folk tales. Tadjo brings together a chorus of voices that give shape to the causes and consequences of the Ebola crisis. Beginning with two village boys who venture from their village to hunt in a nearby forest, where they shoot down bats with glee, and cook their prey over an open fire. Within a month, they are dead. The reader hears from a man who communicates with his fiancée through poetry when she is separated from him at a hospital; the sagacious Baobab tree, who warns of the dangers of climate change; and even Ebola itself, a sardonic centuries-old scourge. More ▶ Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought by Briona Simone Jones A groundbreaking collection tracing the history of intellectual thought by Black Lesbian writers, in the tradition of The New Press’s perennial seller Words of Fire. Taking its title from a poem by Audre Lorde, Mouths of Rain uses “Black Lesbian” as a capacious signifier, which includes writing by Black women who have shared intimate and loving relationships with other women, Black women who have written about Black Lesbians, and Black women who theorize about and see the word lesbian as a political descriptor that disrupts and critiques capitalism, heterosexism, and heteropatriarchy. Mouths of Rain addresses pervasive issues such as misogynoir and anti-blackness while also attending to love, romance, “coming out,” and the erotic. More ▶ Sister Days: 365 Inspired Moments in African American Women’s History by Janus Adams A limited number of autographed, 1st edition, 22-year-old, hardcover copies are available. Throughout history, African American women have tapped hidden sources of strength and inspiration to conquer impossible odds. They have persevered through dangerous times. They have nurtured families, loved knowledge, and pursued dreams as various and different as the women who dreamed them. Along the way, they have forged new identities, fought for human rights, and made history. Janus Adams offers us a daily invitation to share in this life-affirming legacy. More ▶ Black Pearl by Gibran Tariq When Princess Washington, all of a sudden, decides that the church is cheating her out of a social life, she takes it upon herself to see just how green the grass is on the other side of the church’s door. Without delay, Princess chooses a path to the street life where she is pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of sinful temptations. The allure of the streets beckons much too brightly for the young choir-girl who experiments with sex and drugs until she realizes that the road she is on is not a path to self-fulfillment—-but a Highway to Hell! More ▶ Preorder Limitation of Life by d. E. Rogers and Save 31% Everything comes at a cost. When Brodie’s sister dies, her death kills his future... Certain she was murdered for her research and work on building a time machine, he must use her device to go back in time and save her life. But nothing is ever so simple. Betrayed by those he thinks he can trust and with alternate timelines piling up, Brodie quickly discovers that every trip back changes something. More ▶ Books from the African American Children’s Book Fair In case you missed the recent African American Children’s Book Fair you can still check out and purchase the participating author’s books. Appeal to Authors, Publishers, and Event Hosts If AALBC sells, reviews, or otherwise promotes your your book or event, consider linking to AALBC from your website or social media. In fact, considering doing that for any indie platform who highlights your work. It is a really small thing to do that can pay big dividends for indie platforms, which ultimately benefits the entire Black Book Ecosystem. Not sure if your work is on AALBC; use our search engine to find out. Want to get your work on AALBC? Learn how. Switch from Audible to Libro.fm Switch to Libro.fm. With Audible’s membership, “Credits expire immediately upon the cancellation or termination of your membership unless used prior to cancellation or termination.” With Libro.fm you actually own your audiobooks, you are not required to permanently pay a subscription fee to read the audiobooks that you have purchased. Plus, your membership helps support AALBC. Start Your Membership African American Literature Book Club (AALBC.com LLC) can use your favorable reviews. Post a ★★★★★ review to our Google profile. Give AALBC a ★★★★★ Review Dear Reader, As always, you are why we’ve been able to make AALBC the premier platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support our mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter is Sponsored by Amistad Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – February 23, 2021 - Issue #319
  19. As the tragic murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement has demonstrated, not being racist is not enough. To fulfill the American ideal, to ensure that all people are equal, everyone must be actively anti-racist. Anti-Racist Ally is a pocket-sized guide full of insightful steps anyone can take to be a better ally in the fight against racism. More ▶ New and Noteworthy Books In the Eye of the Storm: My Time as Chairman of Bank of America During the Country’s Worst Financial Crisis by Walter E. Massey with Rosalind Kilkenny McLymont “Walter Massey’s memoir records how one Black man’s leadership saved one of the largest banks in America and the world at a time when the financial industry faced collapse. A Black boy from Jim Crow Mississippi, who cut classes to play jazz, becomes a theoretical physicist and educator, only to be thrust into a role that ultimately helps to pull the country out of its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. That alone is a fascinating story. Lessons in leadership-under-duress aside, the memoir’s importance lies equally in the insights its backstories provide for students of African-American history, finance, economy, social change, and human nature.” —Rosalind Kilkenny McLymont Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Floyd Cooper Celebrated author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper provide a powerful look at the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation’s history. The book traces the history of African Americans in Tulsa’s Greenwood district and chronicles the devastation that occurred in 1921 when a white mob attacked the Black community. News of what happened was largely suppressed, and no official investigation occurred for seventy-five years. This picture book sensitively introduces young readers to this tragedy and concludes with a call for a better future. More ▶ Of One Blood by Pauline Hopkins When medical student Reuel Briggs reluctantly attends a performance by the beautiful singer Dianthe Lusk, he can’t help but fall for her. The very next day, their paths cross again when Dianthe’s train crashes. To bring her back from the brink of death, Reuel draws on an eerie power he can’t quite name. Soon, the two are engaged, and Reuel sets off on an archeological expedition to Africa to offset his debts before the wedding. But, in Ethiopia, unexpected danger and terror force him to confront the truth about his lineage, his power, and the history that lives in his very blood. First serialized in Colored American Magazine in 1902, this narrative exemplifies Pauline Hopkins’s incisive writing and interrogates issues of race and history that remain urgent today. This edition is presented by the Horror Writers Association and introduced by award-winning author Nisi Shawl. Read an Excerpt ▶ ’Til I Want No More by Robin W. Pearson A Christian fiction novel with a poignant story of romance, a search for truth, and a journey to redemption. If Maxine could put her finger on the moment when her life went into a tailspin, she would point back twenty years to the day her daddy died. She tells herself he’s the only person who ever really knew and loved her, and if he hadn’t left her behind, her future would’ve been different. No absentee mother, no stepfather, no rebellious ripping and running during her teenage years. And no JD, who gave her wandering young heart a home, at least for a time. More ▶ A Conversation with Go On Girl! Book Club and Eddie S. Glaude Jr. Join Go On Girl! Book Club, Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. EST, as they discuss social issues with Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, where he is also the Chair of the Center for African American Studies and the Chair of the Department of African American Studies. Glaude is a frequent MSNBC political commentator and author of the AALBC Bestseller, Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own. Learn more and Register ▶ African American Literature Book Club (AALBC.com LLC) can use your favorable reviews. Post a ★★★★★ review to our Google profile. Give AALBC a ★★★★★ Review Dear Reader, As always, you are why we’ve been able to make AALBC the premier platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support our mission to celebrate Black books and authors. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter is Sponsored by Amistad Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – February 16, 2021 - Issue #318
  20. History has been written almost exclusively from the white perspective. Written by the voice of Black consciousness, Dick Gregory the incomparable comedian and human rights activist, revisits history from the Black perspective. Originally published in 1972, Gregory examines numerous aspects of culture and history, from the slave trade, police brutality, to the 1968 Civil Rights Act. This essential classic continues to speak to us today. More about No More Lies ▶ A Conversation with Go On Girl! Book Club about Love Stories Please join GOG! for a conversation with Denise Williams author of How to Fail at Flirting, Edwina Martin Arnold author of the Chocolate Friday romance series and Donna Hill author of Confessions in B-Flat Feb 13, 2021 05:00 PM in Eastern Time Learn More ▶ New and Noteworthy Books The Body Is Not an Apology, Second Edition: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. This second edition includes stories from Taylor’s travels around the world combating body terrorism and shines a light on the path toward liberation guided by love. In a brand new final chapter, she offers specific tools, actions, and resources for confronting racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, and transphobia. And she provides a case study showing how radical self-love not only dismantles shame and self-loathing in us but has the power to dismantle entire systems of injustice. More ▶ Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, Illustrated by Luisa Uribe Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, a little girl tells her mother she never wants to come back to school. In response, the girl’s mother teaches her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names on their lyrical walk home through the city. Empowered by this newfound understanding, the young girl is ready to return the next day to share her knowledge with her class. Your Name is a Song is a celebration to remind all of us about the beauty, history, and magic behind names. Your Name is a Song includes back matter perfect for parents, educators, caregivers, and young readers who want to learn more about the names featured in the story. The “Glossary of Names” lists each name’s meaning, origin, and pronunciation. Additionally, readers can use a listed link to access an online video of the author pronouncing all the names in the book. More ▶ Opal’s Greenwood Oasis by Quraysh Ali Lansana and Najah-Amatullah Hylton, Illustrated by Skip Hill The year is 1921, and Opal Brown would like to show you around her beautiful neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Filled with busy stores and happy families, Opal also wants you to know that “everyone looks like me.” In both words and illustrations, this carefully researched and historically accurate book allows children to experience the joys and success of Greenwood, one of the most prosperous Black communities of the early 20th Century, an area Booker T. Washington dubbed America’s Black Wall Street. Soon after the day narrated by Opal, Greenwood would be lost in the Tulsa Race Massacre, the worst act of racial violence in American history. As we approach the centennial of that tragic event, children have the opportunity through this book to learn and celebrate all that was built in Greenwood. More ▶ Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story by Talib Kweli Before Talib Kweli became a world-renowned hip hop artist, he was a Brooklyn kid who liked to cut class, spit rhymes, and wander the streets of Greenwich Village with a motley crew of artists, rappers, and DJs who found hip hop more inspiring than their textbooks (much to the chagrin of the educator parents who had given their son an Afrocentric name in hope of securing for him a more traditional sense of pride and purpose). Eventually, childhood friendships turned into collaborations and Kweli gained notoriety as a rapper in his own right. From collaborating with some of hip hop’s greatest—including Mos Def, Common, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and Kendrick Lamar—to selling books out of the oldest African-American bookstore in Brooklyn, and ultimately leaving his record label and taking control of his own recording career, Kweli tells the winding, always compelling story of the people and events that shaped his own life as well as the culture of hip hop which informs American culture at large. More ▶ 2021 National Black Writers Conference Biennial Symposium “They Cried I Am: The Life and Work of Paule Marshall and John A. Williams, Unsung Black Literary Voices” Saturday, March 27, 2021, 11: 00 AM – 7:00 PM Presented on Zoom The 2021 National Black Writers Conference Biennial Symposium will celebrate the life and works of the late Paule Marshall and John A. Williams. Featured program highlights will include a keynote address, roundtable discussions, and dramatic readings. Confirmed speakers include Carole Boyce-Davies, Edwidge Danticat, Keith Gilyard, Maryemma Graham, Michael Anthony Green, Lawrence Jackson, Evan Marshall, Liza Jessie Peterson, Ishmael Reed, Linda Villarosa, Mary Helen Washington, and Tulivu-Donna Cumberbatch. For more information, visit The Center for Black Literature ▶ Give AALBC a 5★ Review! Google controls the discoverability of websites in search, a favorable review helps Please send complaints directly to me troy@aalbc.com Dear Reader, I currently work out of an office in the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of one of the most violent and destructive scenes of racial violence to take place in America, known today as the Tulsa Race Massacre. The 100th anniversary of this tragedy is May 31 – June 1, 2021. For almost a century this event was deliberately hidden, but today this is no longer the case. It not about pointing out yet another injustice perpetuated against Black people in this country, it is about accurately telling our history, so that we can learn and heal from it. Books like Opal’s Greenwood Oasis can help prepare youngsters to begin to understand this history, for it is not just Tulsan history, it is American History. Part of AALBC’s mission is to use books to tell our stories, which are too often not told or distorted. As always, you are why I’ve been able to make AALBC the premier platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, spreading the word, engagement on the site (commenting and social sharing), and advertisements helps support this effort to celebrate Black books and authors. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter is Sponsored by Amistad Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – February 9, 2021 - Issue #317
  21. The creator of the internationally popular, multiple award-winning blog MsAfropolitan applies an Africa-centered feminist sensibility to issues of racism and sexism, challenging our illusions about oppression and liberation and daring women to embrace their power. Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach for Everyone by Minna Salami is now available in paperback, this thought provoking essay collection explores questions central to how we see ourselves, our history, and our world. More ▶ 29th Annual African American Children’s Book Fair – Today! The 29th Annual African American Children’s Book Fair will be held virtually on Saturday, February 6, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. Hosted by the African American Children’s Book Project (AACBP), the book fair is one of the oldest and largest single-day events for children's books in the country. Register Now. Here is a preview of many of the books which will be available for sale this year and video from last year’s fair. New Books Published This Week Love Is a Revolution by Renée Watson In Love Is a Revolution, plus size girls are beautiful and get the attention of the hot guys… When Nala Robertson reluctantly agrees to attend an open mic night for her cousin-sister-friend Imani’s birthday, she finds herself falling in instant love with Tye Brown, the MC. He’s perfect, except … Tye is an activist and is spending the summer putting on events for the community when Nala would rather watch movies and try out the new seasonal flavors at the local creamery. In order to impress Tye, Nala tells a few tiny lies to have enough in common with him. As they spend more time together, sharing more of themselves, some of those lies get harder to keep up. As Nala falls deeper into keeping up her lies and into love, she’ll learn all the ways love is hard, and how self-love is revolutionary. Prayer for the Living by Ben Okri Topical and timely, Booker Prize-winning author Ben Okri’s new collection of twenty-four short stories blurs parallel realities and walks the line between darkness and magic. Playful, frightening, shocking—these stories from a writer at the height of his power will make you think, or make you laugh. Sometimes they’ll make you want to look away, but they will always hold your gaze. These are stories set in London, in Byzantium, in the ghetto, in the Andes, and in a printer’s shop in Lagos. Characters include a murderer, a writer, a detective, a woman in a dream, a man in a mirror, a little girl, a prison door, and the author himself. Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans. The editors, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, have assembled ninety brilliant writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that four-hundred-year span. The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes, and fiery polemics. They approach history from various perspectives: through the eyes of towering historical icons or the untold stories of ordinary people; through places, laws, and objects. While themes of resistance and struggle, of hope and reinvention, course through the book, this collection of diverse pieces from ninety different minds, reflecting ninety different perspectives, fundamentally deconstructs the idea that Africans in America are a monolith—instead it unlocks the startling range of experiences and ideas that have always existed within the community of Blackness. I Am the Rage by Martina McGowan I am The Rage is a poetry collection that explores racial injustice from the raw, unfiltered viewpoint of a Black woman in America. Dr. Martina McGowan is a retired MD, a mother, grandmother, and a poet. Her poetry provides insights that no think piece on racism can; putting readers in the uncomfortable position of feeling, reflecting, and facing what it means to be a Black American. This entire collection was created during 2020, many shortly after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, to name but a few. A Great Way to Enjoy Audiobooks and Support AALBC Introduce your friends to Libro.fm, so they too can support AALBC with their audiobook purchases. As our thanks for spreading the word, you’ll receive a free audiobook when they start their membership! Now is the perfect time for your friends to make the #AudiobookSwitch to Libro.fm. When they start their membership and use the code SWITCH they’ll get two audiobooks for the price of one ($14.99). Unlike Audible, Libro.fm’s audiobooks are DRM-free, which means you own the audiobook — you can listen to them on any device, anywhere, anytime, through any app that will play them. Check out our continuously updated list of 100 New Audio Books You’ll Love ♥ and start enjoying audiobooks today! Refer Friends to Libro! Earn Free Stocks Through Robinhood — No Gimmicks If you want to begin investing in the stock market, Robinhood is an excellent way to do it and it does not any initial investment. All of the funds in my account were from stocks earned from referrals. You don't need any money in your account to earn free stock. For everyone you invite to join, you’ll both earn a reward stock. As soon as your friend signs up and links their bank account, Robinhood will credit each of your accounts with a reward stock. You can receive up to $500 in reward stocks each calendar year. Join Now! Dear Reader, Occasionally, I'll recommend a non-book related service, like Robinhood, in this newsletter. When I do that it is because it is a service I actually use and believe may benefit you. Paid sponsors are always disclosed at the end of the newsletter. I’m proud of all of our sponsors, but Amistad’s (an imprint of HarperCollins) books are just a pleasure to share with you! As always, you are why I’ve been able to make AALBC the premier platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscriptions, book purchases, suggestions, spreading the word, engagement (commenting and social sharing), and advertisements helps support the effort to celebrate Black books and authors. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter is Sponsored by Amistad Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – February 2, 2021 - Issue #316
  22. “Just As I Am is my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside.” —Cicley Tyson Just As I Am is the stunning life-story of Academy, Tony, and three-time Emmy Award winning actress and trailblazer, Cicely Tyson, detailing her incredible six-decade career on and off screen. It is a personal testimony of how her experiences—some magnificent, others sorrowful, some on screen, many away from it—have given birth to the woman she is still becoming. More ► New Books and Noteworthy Books Blood Grove by Walter Mosley Walter Mosley returns with a new installment in his extremely popular Easy Rawlins mystery series! Blood Grove is a crackling, moody, and thrilling race through a California of hippies and tycoons, radicals and sociopaths, cops and grifters, both men and women. Easy will need the help of his friends—from the genius Jackson Blue to the dangerous Mouse Alexander, Fearless Jones, and Christmas Black—to make sense of a case that reveals the darkest impulses humans harbor. The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a deep south plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence. Isaiah was Samuel’s and Samuel was Isaiah’s. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man—a fellow slave—seeks to gain favor by preaching the master’s gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation’s harmony. A Man Who Is Not a Man by Thando Mgqolozan “His straightforward no-frills prose tells an effective story of a botched circumcision and its consequences.” —Zakes Mda A Man Who is Not a Man is an evocative story about a young Xhosa man’s trauma and lifelong shame after a rite-of-passage circumcision goes wrong. This botched circumcision is framed as a personal failure, stripping young Lumkile of his humanity, social support system, and labelling him “a failed man.” This powerful coming of age novel follows Lumkile’s journey into manhood, from petty theft and violence in Cape Town, to education and first love in the village, and finally to the harrowing isolation of a mountain hut. With language that moves from raunchy and comical, to tender and earnest, A Man Who is Not a Man challenges the code of silent suffering expected of men, and provides a subversive depiction of masculinity, in all its varied forms. The Missing American by Kwei Quartey Mystery Writers of America have nominated The Missing American as for the 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, which honors the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, and television. The Missing American tells the story of Accra private investigator Emma Djan’s first missing persons case, which leads her to the darkest depths of the email scams and fetish priests in Ghana, the world’s Internet capital. ALA Announced 2021 Youth Media Awards The American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books, digital media, video and audio books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, and Newbery awards which we track. Below are the Black writers and illustrators who won awards or were honored. The Coretta Scott King Awards and Honors The Coretta Scott King (CSK) Awards and Honors are presented annually by the American Library Association to honor African-American authors and illustrators who create outstanding books for children and young adults. Before the Ever After, written by Jacqueline Woodson, is the CSK Author Book winner. R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, illustrated by Frank Morrison, is the CSK Illustrator Book winner. the CSK John Steptoe Award for New Talent (Author) went Tracy Deonn for her YA novel, Legendborn. Learn about the nine 2021 The Coretta Scott King Honored books ► John Newbery Medal and Honors First awarded in 1922, The John Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year. Virginia Hamilton, in 1975, was the first African American writer to win the medal. Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Michele Wood received a Newbery Honor this year. Randolph Caldecott Medal & Honors The Randolph Caldecott Medal is awarded to the most distinguished American picture book for children. This year Me & Mama by written and Illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera and A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart by Zetta Elliott, Illustrated by Noa Denmon received honors this year. In the 84-year history of this award a Black woman has never won the Randolph Caldecott Medal Read More ► Other Youth Media Awards Theodor Seuss Geisel Award and Honors Named for Dr. Seuss, this award is given each year to authors and illustrators “of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States.” Ty’s Travels: Zip, Zoom! written by Kelly Starling Lyons, Illustrated by Nina Mata received a Seuss Geisel Honor. William C. Morris Award and Honors go to debut books published by a first-time author writing for teens. Morrisa Honors, this year included; Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard by Echo Brown; and The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed. Check out the The American Library Association's press release for all of the award winning and honored books. Troy Johnson on Wisconsin Public Radio I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Wisconsin Public Radio’s Larry Meiller who hosts a radio program and book club. I shared with him a variety of recommended reads and how I got started with AALBC. Check out the interview. Dear Reader, As always, you are why I’ve been able to make AALBC the premier platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, suggestions, spreading the word, engagement on the site (commenting and social sharing), and advertisements helps support this effort to celebrate Black books and authors. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter is Sponsored by Amistad Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – January 26, 2021 - Issue #315
  23. Elegantly written and exhaustively researched, The Rib King is an unsparing examination of America’s fascination with black iconography and exploitation that redefines African American stereotypes in literature. Set in the early twentieth century and centered around the black servants of a down-on-its heels upper-class white family, it is a powerful story that offers a fresh and searing critique on race, class, privilege, exploitation, and revenge. Learn More ▶ New Books Jump at the Sun by Alicia D. Williams, Illustrated by Jacqueline Alcantara From the Newbery Honor winning author of Genesis Begins Again comes, the first picture book biography written about Zora Neale Hurston, a shimmering picture book that shines the light on Zora Neale Hurston, the extraordinary writer and storycatcher extraordinaire who changed the face of American literature. Zora was a girl who hankered for tales like bees for honey. Now, her mama always told her that if she wanted something, “to jump at de sun,” because even though you might not land quite that high, at least you d get off the ground. So Zora jumped from place to place, from the porch of the general store where she listened to folktales, to Howard University, to Harlem. And everywhere she jumped, she shined sunlight on the tales most people hadn’t been bothered to listen to until Zora. The tales no one had written down until Zora. Tales on a whole culture of literature overlooked…until Zora. Until Zora jumped. More ▶ Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson This harrowing story follows an enslaved woman forced to barter love and freedom while living in the most infamous “Devil’s Half-Acre,” a slave jail, where the enslaved are broken, tortured, and sold every day in Richmond, Virginia Born on a plantation in Charles City Virginia, Pheby Delores Brown has lived a privileged life. Shielded by her mother’s position as the plantation’s medicine woman, and cherished by the Master’s sister, she is set apart from the others on the plantation, belonging to neither world. More ▶ Julian Bond’s Time to Teach: A History of the Southern Civil Rights Movement by Julian Bond A masterclass in the civil rights movement from one of the legendary activists who led it. Compiled from his original lecture notes, Julian Bond’s Time to Teach brings his invaluable teachings to a new generation of readers and provides a necessary toolkit for today’s activists in the era of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo. Bond sought to dismantle the perception of the civil rights movement as a peaceful and respectable protest that quickly garnered widespread support. Through his lectures, Bond detailed the ground-shaking disruption the movement caused, its immense unpopularity at the time, and the bravery of activists, some very young, who chose to disturb order to pursue justice. More ▶ The Life I’m In by Sharon G. Flake The powerful and long-anticipated companion to The Skin I’m In, Sharon Flake’s bestselling modern classic, presents the unflinching story of Char, a young woman trapped in the underworld of human trafficking. Now in Sharon Flake’s latest and unflinching novel, The Life I’m In, we follow Charlese Jones, who, with her raw, blistering voice speaks the truths many girls face, offering insight to some of the causes and conditions behind the complex system of men who take advantage of vulnerable teens in the underbelly of society. While Char might be frightened, she remains strong and determined to bring herself and her fellow victims out of the dark and back into the light, reminding us why compassion is a powerful cure to the ills of the world. More ▶ Wrath by Victoria Christopher Murray The award-winning author of Lust, Envy, and Greed — soon to be Lifetime movies — delivers an unforgettable story of a marriage at the breaking point in Wrath, the explosive new novel in the Seven Deadly Sins series. Sparks fly when Chastity and Xavier meet, and their whirlwind romance feels almost too good to be true. Before long, cracks begin to show in Xavier’s perfect façade, and it is only a matter of time before everything comes crumbling down. When Xavier’s wrath erupts at a level Chastity has never seen, who will it destroy forever? Murray’s inspiration for the book’s plot originated with her desire to tell a story grappling with domestic abuse after her Delta Sigma Theta sorority sister was tragically murdered by her husband in 2018. More ▶ Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes For centuries, accomplished women—of all races—have fallen out of the historical records. The same is true for gifted, prolific, women poets of the Harlem Renaissance who are little known, especially as compared to their male counterparts. Each poem is paired with one-of-a-kind art from today’s most exciting female African-American illustrators, including: Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Cozbi Cabrera, Pat Cummings, Nina Crews, Laura Freeman, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ebony Glenn, April Harrison, Ekua Holmes, Keisha Morrison, Daria Peoples-Riley, Andrea Pippins, Shadra Strickland, and Elizabeth Zunon. More ▶ One Night in Miami — A Brilliant Film One Night in Miami, is a fictionalized account of an evening that Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), Sam Cooke, Jim Brown, and Malcolm X spent together after Clay’s defeat of Sonny Liston for boxing’s heavyweight title. It was one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time, an excellent character study that brilliantly showcases the struggles, triumphs, and often conflicting ideologies of these four legendary Brothers. It humanized these young men, providing interesting perspectives on many issues including the origin of Sam Cook’s iconic song, “A Change is Gonna Come;” Ali’s condemnation of Malcolm X, for leaving the Nation of Islam; Jim Brown’s views of activism versus economic empowerment; all in a country reckoning with overt, and institutionalized, white racism. The knowledge two of these men would be murdered within the year of that night made the story even more poignant. This film also marks Regina King’s directorial debut. One Night in Miami opened Dec 25, 2020 in a limited theatrical release. I say “mask up” and watch this movie on the big screen if you can. Did you see it? ▶ Troy Johnson & AALBC Acclimating to Tulsa, Oklahoma “Troy Johnson is settling into his new life as a Tulsa resident, checking out all the local eats and awaiting the day the music scene comes back swinging. After spending most of his career in the defense and financial services industries, Troy founded The African American Literature Book Club (AALBC.com) in March of 1998. Today, AALBC.com is the oldest, largest, and most frequently visited website dedicated to books written by or about people of African descent.“ This article was published by the folks at 36 Degrees North, Tulsa’s basecamp for entrepreneurs, startups and innovators, who have welcomed me with open arms. Read the Full Article ▶ Dear Reader, As always, you are why I’ve been able to make AALBC the premier platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, and advertisements helps support this effort. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter is Sponsored by Amistad Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – January 19, 2021 - Issue #314
  24. An Afrofuturist odyssey, Infinitum tells the story of Aja Ọba, a revered African King cursed with immortality. Spanning the dawn of civilization to intergalactic travel, King Aja witnesses the enslavement of his people, the Civil Right movement, and the future’s first contact with an alien species. Stunningly emotional and evocative, Infinitum presents a unique cosmic experience you won’t soon forget. Learn More ▶ AALBC’s Top 10 Bestselling Books for 2020 Thanks to you, 2020 was AALBC’s best year for book sales — ever! The increase in sales was spurred in reaction to the murder of George Floyd. Readers, of all backgrounds, showed an huge interest in books dealing with racism. More importantly, these readers also made an effort to buy these books from Black-owed bookstores. For many bookstores the level of sales was unprecedented. Many of the stores were facing failure, due to the pandemic. The surge in sales prevented stores from going under. On behalf of all booksellers, Thank you! Children’s books, especially picture books, have been selling extremely well for the last 18 months. Sulwe, the six-time AALBC bestseller, by Lupita Nyong’o and Illustrated by Vashti Harrison is the bestselling children’s book of all time. I Can Be Anything! Don’t Tell Me I Can’t by Leo & Diane Dillon has been an AALBC bestseller every period we’ve reported since September 2019. The Top 10 Bestselling Books for 2020 (based upon number of books sold) 1. How to Be an Antiracist 2. So You Want to Talk About Race 3. White Fragility 4. Whose Knees Are These? 5. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness 6. The Fire Next Time 7. Between The World And Me 8. A Black Woman Did That 9. Sulwe 10. His Truth Is Marching on: John Lewis and the Power of Hope Also check out the books that made our Bestsellers List the most number of times in 2020. These are the bestselling books that have sold most consistently throughout 2020. Black Health and Healing: 24 Hour Virtual Summit This summit will spotlight top medical experts and entertainers who will discuss the most critical health topics. AALBC’s Troy Johnson will lead a discussion by Dr. Dina Strachan, an internationally-recognized, Harvard and Yale educated, board-certified dermatologist, and the founder and director of Aglow Dermatology, a premiere medical and cosmetic dermatology practice in New York City. Our title of our presentation will be “Does Your Doctor Really Need to be Black?” African-Americans lag all demographics in health outcomes in the United States. The higher mortality rates of Black American from Covid-19 is the latest alarming statistic. CNN recently reported on a study that showed; Black newborn babies in the U.S. are three times more likely than White Babies to die when looked after by White doctors. This panel will explore reasons for this discrepancy and what you can do about it. Register Now Why I No Longer Blog I’m not ending the sharing of my ideas and opinions — I’m just no longer doing it on a dedicated blog. Anything I would have shared my blog will be shared on our discussion forums. My most recent discussion forum content may be found here. Independent discussion forums remain one of the only, and I’d argue best, places to share, discuss, and debate ideas. We are not interested in mining your data, exploiting your privacy, or manipulating your behavior. We are simply interesting in reading and sharing ideas. Consider joining us ▶ Dear Reader, As always, you are why I’ve been able to make AALBC the premier platform for books by, or about, Black people. Your paid subscription, book purchases, and advertisements helps support this effort. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter is Sponsored by Amistad Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – January 12, 2021 - Issue #31
  25. In honor of Zora Neale Hurston’s birthday and the paperback publication of Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick, Amistad is proud to offer this unprecedented free audiobook giveaway of Their Eyes Were Watching God. The giveaway is only valid Thursday, January 7th 2021. Redeem Your Free Audiobook ▶ The Best African American Children’s Picture Books for 2020 This list was compiled by the African American Children’s Book Project (AACBP). They have supported the literary needs of the nation since 1992. The not-for-profit organization was formed to promote and preserve children’s literature written by or about African Americans. Since its inception they have emphasized, “A Book Opens Up a World of Opportunities.” Their signature event is The African American Children’s Book Fair — since 1992 — is one of the largest single-day gatherings for diverse children’s books in the country. Picture books are one of the most popular categories purchased at this event. Twenty-Twenty was a banner year for Black picture books. While there was a lot of buzz about children’s social justice titles many missed some of the best books of our generation featured on our list. The AACBP believes if you want to educate on social justice you have to teach Black history. Review the entire list and consider purchasing a book for a youngster in your life. Bestselling Books for November/December - 2020 Our bestsellers list has been published continuously since 1998 and is the most visible list focused on Black Books in existence. You will learn about books selling well, in the Black community, that may never show up on lists published by larger corporate entities. There were 61 bestselling books in the four categories we track; Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Children’s Books (which includes all genres and age ranges, from Board Books to Young Adult) . F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival: January 8 – 9, 2021 The F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival is an engaging weekend of entertainment in the forms of film, books, author presentations, focus groups, and of course, good music. Traditionally, authors travel to F.R.E.S.H. for a time to network with fellow authors, meet with readers and fans, and yes, sell books! In 2021, F.R.E.S.H. goes virtual and international with BAMM! Books Authors Movies & Music. F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival 2021 promises to be epic, as they celebrate 10 years of bringing authors, readers, and the community together! AALBC’s participated in the 2020 Festival and will be participating again this year on Friday. Check out the Virtual Program Guide for the Festival. Eric Jerome Dickey Passes (July 7, 1961 – January 3, 2021) I just learned of Eric’s passing a few minutes ago. He transitioned on Sunday and was just 59 years old. The entire literary community is devastated, because Eric, besides being an entertaining writer, was just a good Brother. Eric published at least 30 novels, over a career that spanned almost a quarter of a century. He has consistently dominated AALBC’s bestsellers lists and is one of our Top 100 Bestseller Authors. In 2000, he was voted one of our “50 Favorite African-American Authors of the 20th Century.” He will be missed. Dear Reader, Eric Jerome Dickey’s loss hit me hard, and my initial reaction was that the book world sustained a great loss. But that is the wrong way to look at it; the reality is the world has been made much richer because Eric was with us for almost 60 years. His books will continue to bring joy and smiles to the faces of many more readers. I will do my part to celebrate his legacy. As always, you are why I’ve been able to provide this platform to celebrate Black culture through books. Your paid subscription helps support this effort. Peace and Love, Troy Johnson Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com This Newsletter is Sponsored by Amistad Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing. ★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – January 5, 2021 - Issue #312
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