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Bestselling Books for June 2020, New Books of Note, and More - 7/7/2020


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A breakout media and political analyst delivers a sweeping snapshot of American Democracy and the role that African Americans have played in its shaping.
Cross offers concrete information to help harness the electoral power of the country’s rising majority and exposing political forces aligned to subvert and suppress Black voters. More ▶

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During the month of June AALBC, like many other independent Black-owned bookstores, enjoyed a record level of sales. AALBC sold more books in the past 6 weeks than we did in all of 2019. This bestsellers lists reflects those sales.

Sales were, as you might expect, dominated by nonfiction titles that addressed issues of racism. Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist was the overall bestselling book for this period. In fact, it is the bestselling book for any period, in our almost 23-year history of publishing bestsellers lists!


Corridors of Genius: Excavating the Consciousness, Creative Process & Artistry of Michael Jackson by Glenda R. Taylor

At the heart of Dr. Taylor’s book there is a careful examination of the singer’s creative drives and influences. She researched everything she could find on Michael Jackson and his family to give insight on the singer, who used his various art forms, his soulful voice, and lively performances to advance social change. “I see a conflicted soul battling with illusion and reality, the cave and the light, truth and deception; a gift and what could be considered a curse,” she writes.

In 1970, Taylor’s sister introduced her to Motown’s key export, the Jackson 5. Years later, sparked by Jackson’s unexpected death and the resulting flood of contentious publicity, Taylor began laying the groundwork for this work while studying in a college visual culture course in 2012. More ▶


Destini the Chocolate Princess by Joan Wright Lewis

Joan Wright Lewis’ novel, Destini the Chocolate Princess, reveals a terrible affliction in our community; the degree of self-loathing based on skin color. At a time when dark skin is still held in low-esteem—in both White and Black America—her plot effectively tackles this theme in the midst of the racial turmoil caused by the tragic death of Minnesota native George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer. After the incident a White person was overheard saying, “Probably he was killed because he was so big, so dark, and ugly.” More ▶


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


All the Songs We Sing: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective Edited by Lenard D. Moore

The Carolina African American Writers’ Collective celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary with All the Songs We Sing, an anthology of works by members of the Collective, edited by its founder, Lenard D. Moore. North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green introduces the anthology, which includes works by Lenard D. Moore, Bridgette A. Lacy, Crystal Simone Smith, Evie Shockley, Camille T. Dungy, Carole Boston Weatherford, and many others. These writers have shaped the modern literary landscape of the Carolinas for the last twenty-five years and will continue to influence and inspire African-American writers for generations to come.


Surrender, White People! Our Unconditional Terms for Peace by D.L. Hughley

On the eve of America becoming a majority-minority nation, Hughley warns, the only way for America to move forward peacefully is if Whites face their history, put aside all their visions of superiority, and open up their institutions so they benefit everyone in this nation. But we can still have fun with this right? Surrender, White People! hilariously holds America account for its wrongs and offers his satirical terms for reparations and reconciliation.


Flying High: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles by Michelle Meadows, Illustrated by Ebony Glenn

Before she was a record-breaking gymnast competing on the world stage, Simone Biles spent time in foster care as a young child.

When she was six years old, Simone’s family took shape in a different way. Her grandparents Ron and Nellie Biles adopted Simone and her sister Adria. Ron and Nellie became their parents. Simone was also introduced to gymnastics that same year, launching a lifelong passion fueled by remarkable talent, sacrifice, and the undying support of her family.


Queens of the Resistance: Maxine Waters by Brenda Jones and Krishan Trotman

Part of the four-book Queens of the Resistance series, saluting some of the most beloved boss ladies in Congress: a celebration of Representative Maxine Waters, who reclaimed her time and led the first calls for impeachment.  ACH book of the Queens of the Resistance series will be a celebration of the rebellion against the oppression of women and an embracement of the new in the United States government. The series is adorned with sass, discernment, and the badassery of the present and future leadership.


The Stolen Daughter by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Raised by a widowed mother, Jill Reed has come a long way from her difficult youth. But while she may not have had money, Jill never doubted she was rich in love. Her mother, Connie, made Jill the center of her world. Now, even though she has a young family of her own, it’s Jill’s turn to care for her ailing mother.

When early dementia begins to set in, Connie starts talking about Jill’s "other life." Jill assumes it’s just rambling confusion. Still, Connie’s stories about Jill’s childhood, and her father’s early death, never quite added up. And when a strange man shows up to Jill’s job bearing news that turns Jill’s life upside down, there’s no denying Connie’s devastating secret.



Dear Reader,

As mentioned previously in this newsletter, June book sales were at an all-time high for AALBC. Thanks to you we were able to easily scale to meet the increased demand without missing a beat. Our only real challenge has been our inability to secure some books as quickly as we could pre-pandemic. In fact, some smaller publisher have completely shut down making it impossible to sell their titles. Everyday I encounter a situation which provides a stark reminder that things are simply far from normal right now.

Fortunately, we have books to help up escape, learn, and foster empathy for each other during this challenging period.

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


This Newsletter is Sponsored by Amistad

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★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – July 7, 2020 - Issue #295

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