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New Books, Go On Girl! Reading List, and Your Tremendous Show of Support - 6/9/2020


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After a yoga class, three women realize they share a devastating experience: all three of their mothers have recently passed away, leaving behind a lifetime of items that neither woman can bear to handle alone. Making a pact to help each other sort through their mothers’ belongings, the women dig deep into their mothers’ pasts, building a better understanding of both their mothers and themselves.

A story about the power of female friendship, family dynamics, and the importance of the bond that is, or isn’t, shared with a mother. Learn More.


Every six months we look forward to sharing Go On Girl! Book Club's reading list, because we know their rigorous selection process, involving scores of chapters across the country, always results in excellent reads. The books they select, semi-annually, fall into one of six categories, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror/Speculative, Fiction, Novel, New Author, Classic, Autobiography/Biography/Memoir, and Anthology. There is something for everyone to enjoy.

If you purchase all 6 books from the July – December 2020 list you will get free shipping and no charge for sales tax (unless you ship to the state of Florida). Plus, half of the profit from the sales of all books on the Go On Girl! reading list will be donated to the Go On Girl! Book Club’s Scholarship Fund.

The Other Sister

The Other Sister by Donna Hill

In The Other Sister, Hill explores colorism and its dominant role in the definition of self. Kimberly and Zoie are first described without any racial details or descriptors, contributing to the idea that they are individuals before they are assigned to a race. Hill delves into each sister’s life, describing their hopes and fears before bringing them together. In doing so, the author highlights important themes, such as the concept of “the other.” After discovering that she is Black, Kimberly views herself as “the other.” “Now she was in a kind of limbo, a purgatory of otherness, not belonging to either world.” The duality associated with being mixed-race surfaces as Kimberly struggles with self-identity.

different and the same

Different and the Same by Adijah and Atiya Brabham

In an age where there is a proliferation of emotional and physical Black trauma, that is videotaped and viewed widely online, we should strive to be focused and intentional about empowering our children by sharing an abundance of Black joy. Although the harsh realities of life may be, at times, unavoidable, to protect their mental and emotional health, it’s vital to make sure our kids fully understand that trauma is not all Black life has, or has to offer. To counter the almost daily images of subjugation, we must affirm them with joyful experiences and uplifting examples that confirm their absolute right to a happy and carefree young life. As caretakers and advocates, we should explore, through every medium at our disposal, the ways we can do this. Different and the Same by twin sisters Adijah and Atiya Brabham is a wonderful tool to help us do just that.


We maintain a list of recently published and soon to be published books. Here are a few we think you’ll enjoy 


She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm by Katheryn Russell-Brown, Illustrated by Eric Velasquez

A picture biography of educator and politician Shirley Chisholm, who in 1968 was the first Black woman elected to Congress and in 1972 was the first Black candidate from a major political party (the Democratic party) to run for the United States presidency. An afterword with additional information, photographs, and source lists are included.


The Secret Women by Sheila Williams

Her debut novel, Dancing on the Edge of the Roof, was adapted into a Netflix film starring Alfre Woodard, and now Sheila Williams is back with a page-turning story of three women who meet as strangers and quickly build a bond after each discovers their mother harbored dark secrets.

Sheila J. Williams’ The Secret Women is a riveting, entertaining, and refreshing take on the mother-daughter dyad and its ensuing complexities. In this deftly written contemporary novel, readers are introduced to Elise Armstrong, Carmen Bradshaw, and DeeDee Davis, three thoroughly modern women of a certain age who have a coincidental and fateful meeting in a yoga class.


The Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir by Wayétu Moore

When Wayétu Moore turns five years old, her father and grandmother throw her a big birthday party at their home in Monrovia, Liberia, but all she can think about is how much she misses her mother, who is working and studying in faraway New York. Before she gets the reunion her father promised her, war breaks out in Liberia. The family is forced to flee their home on foot, walking and hiding for three weeks until they arrive in the village of Lai. Finally, a rebel soldier smuggles them across the border to Sierra Leone, reuniting the family and setting them off on yet another journey, this time to the United States.

Spanning this harrowing journey in Moore’s early childhood, her years adjusting to life in Texas as a black woman and an immigrant, and her eventual return to Liberia, The Dragons, the Giant, the Women is a deeply moving story of the search for home in the midst of upheaval


Seeing the Body: Poems by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Poems and photographs collide in this intimate collection, challenging the invisible, indefinable ways mourning takes up residence in a body, both before and after life-altering loss.

In radiant poems—set against the evocative and desperate backdrop of contemporary events, pop culture, and politics—Rachel Eliza Griffiths reckons with her mother’s death, aging, authority, art, black womanhood, memory, and the American imagination. The poems take shape in the space where public and private mourning converge, finding there magic and music alongside brutality and trauma. Griffiths braids a moving narrative of identity and its possibilities for rebirth through image and through loss.


“…it's vitally important that Blacks know how to qualify for, access, and receive every level of financial support available to them during the coronavirus pandemic,” says Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach, who is the CEO and co-founder with her husband, Earl Cox, of the free financial advice site, AskTheMoneyCoach.com, and the video-based financial coaching site, MoneyCoachUniversity.com.

Lynnette has read the entire 880-page CARES Act, and has broken it down to explain how you can tap into this $2 trillion stimulus measure and get the resources you need to survive during COVID-19.

From her articles on unemployment benefits and forgivable SBA loans to her videos on getting cash payments for sick leave, family medical leave, food benefits, and more, Lynnette offers expert advice and insights to economically empower AALBC’s audience.




A bit more than a week ago I noticed a surge in sales of Ibram X. Kendi's How to Be an Antiracist. Ibram is a critically acclaimed author who won a National Book Award in 2016 (I videoed Ibram's acceptance speech). Despite posting video and publishing a review of his latest work I had not sold many copies.

The increased demand for Antiracist came before I realized there was a national outpouring of support for Black-owned indie booksellers, so with my interest piqued I decided to check am*zon to see how they were handling the title. I was shock to discover am*zon was charging $44 — minimum price — for used copies of the relatively new book that is still in print!. Then, as soon as am*zon discovered the nature of the increase in demand, they immediately priced the book below my wholesale discount. In two days, am*zon went from price gouging to predatory pricing — during a global pandemic!

Even worse, am*zon, claiming “solidarity with the Black community” has the gall to flag the Black Liberation flag in one of their corporate offices! am*zon represents the antithesis of Black liberation.


Dear Reader,

AALBC has sold more books in the past week than we have in the prior three months! A surge is sales is a great problem to have, but during a pandemic, it is also very challenging. Customers have been amazingly supportive during this period. The message below is typical of many messages I've received over the past week:

Good afternoon Sir,
“I am in full support of AALBC as my choice for book purchases. There was a time when I'd quickly go to am*zon and use my prime membership to order books for speedy delivery. In recent weeks, I've intentionally ordered my books from AALBC or MahoganyBooks. I've cancelled my am*zon prime membership as I choose to spend my dollars with BOB (Black Owned Businesses) as my first choice. I'm sharing this with you not to toot my own horn, but to just show you that I'm behind BOB and Black People. So if it takes a minute for my order to be delivered, so be it. I'm an avid reader so trust me, I have a ton of books at home waiting their turn for me to read! God bless and increase AALBC in ways that will blow your mind. ❤”
—Alice Johnson, Rocky Mount, NC.

Readers like Alice, and you, have always been the reason AALBC has lasted almost a quarter of a century. Your support is the only way we will be able to celebrate Black literature and culture for the next 25 years. Every website visit, every book order, every one share our site with helps.

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 – June 9, 2020 - Issue #293

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