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Great Books, Reviews, and a Prolific Writer Transitions - 6/4/2019


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In West Mills, is a new novel by De’Shawn Charles Winslow. Readers who enjoyed The Twelve Tribes of Hattie and The Turner House, will also enjoy this intimately told story about a woman living by her own rules and the rural community that struggles to understand her.


Recommended Reads


The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave – Breeding Industry by Ned and Constance Sublette

Authors Ned and Constance Sublette tell the brutal story of how the slavery industry made the reproductive labor of the people it referred to as "breeding women" essential to the young country’s expansion. Captive African Americans in the slave nation were not only laborers, but merchandise and collateral all at once. In a land without silver, gold, or trustworthy paper money, their children and their children’s children into perpetuity were used as human savings accounts that functioned as the basis of money and credit in a market premised on the continual expansion of slavery. Slaveowners collected interest in the form of newborns, who had a cash value at birth and whose mothers had no legal right to say no to forced mating. More ►


After Life: My Journey from Incarceration to Freedomby Alice Marie Johnson

For years, Alice lived a normal life without a criminal record—she was a manager at FedEx, a wife, and a mother. But after an emotionally and financially tumultuous period in her life left her with few options, she turned to crime as a way to pay off her mounting debts. Convicted in 1996 for her nonviolent involvement in a Memphis cocaine trafficking organization, Alice received a life sentence under the mandatory sentencing laws of the time. Locked behind bars, Alice looked to God. Eventually becoming an ordained minister, she relied on her faith to sustain hope over more than two decades—until 2018, when the president commuted her sentence at the behest of Kim Kardashian West, who had taken up Alice’s cause. More ►


Authors You Should Know


bell hooks

bell hooks is a cultural critic, feminist theorist, and writer. the 2 time AALBC.com Bestselling Author is celebrated as one of our nation’s leading public intellectuals by The Atlantic Monthly. She was also voted the #33 Favorite Author of the 20th Century by AALBC visitors. She is a charismatic speaker who addresses topics such as uplifting women, equality for all, and bridging the gap — especially for the ones in the lower end of the economic sphere. She continues to reside in New York City and speaks actively against racism and sexism in America. More ►


James Mercer Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes, “Poet Laureate of Harlem,” essayist, novelist, playwright, journalist and lyricist was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. Descendant of enslaved African American great-grandmothers and white great-grandfathers who were slave owners and traders.

Hughes would become one of the best known and most versatile writers of the artistic movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. Hughes is a 9 time AALBC.com Bestselling Author and was also voted the #9 Favorite Author of the 20th Century by AALBC visitors. More ►


Recently Reviewed Books for Younger Readers


The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

If you have been searching for a book that will fill a child with the greatest sense of self-worth just for being who they are, then look no further. Talented author, Kwame Alexander has placed the representation bar higher than the stratosphere in his book, The Undefeated. His poetic writing style fuses seamlessly with the bold illustrations of Kadir Nelson. Written as a tribute to his second daughter and the nation’s first African American President, Barack Obama, Alexander wants to inspire all people of color to “keep rising”. Together, these artists have perfectly captured the essence of Black pride. More ►


Jake the Fake Goes for Laughs by Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach, Illustrated by Keith Knight

In general, kids enjoy a little something funny and wacky in the books they read to keep them interested until the very end. There is no way to escape from an attack of the giggles in this humorous book, Jake the Fake Goes For Laughs, which is co-authored by musician, comedian and actor Craig Robinson and New York Times best seller Adam Mansbach. This is the second book in the comical series and yet there is no lack of gags to bring on the laughs from young readers. The illustrator, Keith Knight, has managed to make the story even funnier with his zany drawings that only serve to upgrade the entertainment value of this book by tenfold. More ►


The Austin African-American Book Festival – Saturday June 22

Under the theme Making Good on the Promise of Economic Freedom, the festival will highlight Black economic opportunity from the late 19th Century to those present-day millionaires who include celebrities, entrepreneurs and regular hard-working people. Presenters will include Dr. Juliet E.K. Walker, Dr. Dennis Kimbro, A’lelia Bundles, and others.

AALBC’s Founder, Troy Johnson has also been invited to discuss self-publishing, marketing, and distribution. Learn  ►


AALBC Mourns the Passing of Kam Williams, May 30, 2019

“AALBC has published almost 900 of Kam’s articles and reviews, over the past two decades, including his popular ‘Blacktrospective,’ Kam’s annual assessment of the best in Black cinema. Kam had a keen insight into the workings of hollywood and was one of the best predictors of who would win the Academy Award — once getting every category right!

Kam was a conscious Brother, perhaps the most supportive individual of independent, Black-owned, platforms (newspapers, magazines, websites) than anyone I knew. He would not hesitate to try new things on the web and worked to development alliances between the many platforms he wrote for. He was even willing to work with me on his fee to help keep AALBC growing. It was also not unusual for him to give me a free article, because he wanted to help a writer or someone doing good in our community. I doubt many of these individuals were aware of the impact Kam’s coverage had on increasing their visibility. The AALBC family of readers was blessed by his presence. He will be missed.”
—Troy Johnson, AALBC.com Founder (More ►)


Hello Troy,

If you are in the vicinity of Austin, TX. Independent book websites, like AALBC, can only thrive with your patronage and support. When you discover something of value on AALBC please be sure to share the information with others. If you value what we do, please purchase your subscription to this newsletter. If you have already paid for an annual subscription, thank you on behalf of AALBC and the writers whose work you are helping to support.

Peace and Love,
Troy Johnson
Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com


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★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – June 4, 2019 - Issue #271

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