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AALBC's Newsletter: Great New Books, Audiobooks, and Deals On Classic Titles - 8/5/2020


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Set in a modern-day alternative universe, Black States of America - Real Black Power, follows an alternate timeline where President Lincoln lived. In this new universe, Black people have achieved success, wealth, and unity among themselves, but as others discover the prosperity of this new world, many want to take and destroy it as the heir to the throne returns to a world he never thought existed. More ▶


Nana Akua Goes to School by Tricia Elam Walker, Illustrated by April Harrison

It is Grandparents Day at Zura’s elementary school, and the students are excited to introduce their grandparents and share what makes them special. Aleja’s grandfather is a fisherman. Bisou’s grandmother is a dentist. But Zura’s Nana, who is her favorite person in the world, looks a little different from other grandmas.

Nana Akua was raised in Ghana, and, following an old West African tradition, has tribal markings on her face. Worried that her classmates will be scared of Nana—or worse, make fun of her—Zura is hesitant to bring her to school.


Dispatches from the Vanguard: The Global International African Arts Movement Versus Donald J. Trump by Patrick A. Howell

Partnering with dozens of Pulitzer Prize Winners, New York Times Best Sellers, poet laureates, TED speakers, and influencers within the Global International African Arts Movement, including Ishmael Reed, Tyehimba Jess, Rich Fresh, Nikki Giovanni, Nnedi Okorafor, Chester Higgins, Tori Reid and Jaki Shelton Green, Dispatches offers a poignant, high-frequency rebuke of Donald J. Trump (actual man, strawman and metaphor for white privilege and capitalist despotism) and his ruthless amoral presidency.

As we approach a key moment in the recent history of American politics, Dispatches from the Vanguard is a timely intervention, showing us how we can challenge the impact and influence of politics when it is solely a means of authoritarian control.


The Darkest Hearts by Nelson George

“Once again, my brother Nelson George comes through in the clutch like he’s batting clean-up. I’ve known Nelson over thirty years and he has been our cultural storyteller for that length of time. Keep telling. Keep writing our stories. I know I will keep reading them too.” —Spike Lee, filmmaker

The Darkest Hearts reflects the challenges of being a black businessperson in an era when the rules of entrepreneurship are constantly shifting beneath an increasingly polarized political environment.


Monday, August 10, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. (EST) Zoom In On A F.R.E.S.H. Conversation presents and evening with Mr. Troy Johnson, President of AALBC.com, LLC.

He started AALBC.com (The African American Literature Book Club), in October of 1997, and today it is the oldest, largest, and most frequently visited website dedicated to books written by or about people of African descent. Join us as we discuss literature, literacy, marketing and strategies for succeeding during this time of COVID 19. Email afreshconversation@gmail.com if you need additional information. Join the Zoom Meeting: https://bit.ly/troyfresh

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AALBC sells over 1,500 audiobooks, in partnership with Libro.fm. Here are 100 of the most recently published. Your first audiobook is free. Membership is only $14.99 per month after your one month trail period. Choose one audiobook every month. Cancel anytime and keep your audiobooks forever.

One audiobook I will not sell is Born a Crime by Trevor Noah; read why ▶


Book Excerpts


“Alexander Smalls – The Cecil” from Food and the City by Ina Yalof

The dawning of Sunday was ritualistic in my home. We woke up early and dressed for church, and my mother would start her preparation for Sunday dinner, the absolute best eating ever. It didn’t matter what you had during the week. Come Sunday, you could always expect a feast. If it was summertime, we ate on the side porch, under the shade of big oak trees. My mother made a panful of hot buttermilk biscuits with fresh butter and sorghum. Potato and macaroni salads, fresh creamed corn, fried okra, and some kind of roast followed that. If we were lucky, we could get some dumplings out of the deal as well. Of course no one used the expression then, but ours was definitely a farm-to-table home. Read the Entire Chapter ▶


The next three books are classics, part of our literary cannon. Each order will ship with a small token of our appreciation. If you buy all three books you’ll save 10%, get free shipping, and pay no sales tax (unless order is shipping to Florida). Enjoy!


Captain Blackman by John A. Williams

“John A. Williams, journalist and educator, did exceptional work in fiction and nonfiction during the 1960s and 1970s, propelling his name to the forefront of American letters.

Of the more than 20 books he produced, none attracted more controversy than his 1972 Captain Blackman, a fictional survey of race, segregation, war and American democracy. As Captain Abraham Blackman lies critically wounded in the Vietnam War, he re-imagines the role of the Black man during every significant conflict in U.S. military history. Writer George Davis said in a May 21, 1972 New York Times review: ‘It may turn out to be among the important works of fiction of the decade. It is Williams’s most ambitious work.’ It totally deserves your attention.” —Bestselling Author, Robert Fleming


The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois

When The Souls of Black Folk was first published in 1903 (A. C. McClurg & Company), it had a galvanizing effect on the conversation about race in America—and it remains both a touchstone in the literature of African America and a beacon in the fight for civil rights. Believing that one can know the “soul” of a race by knowing the souls of individuals, W. E. B. Du Bois combines history and stirring autobiography to reflect on the magnitude of American racism and to chart a path forward against oppression, and introduces the now-famous concepts of the color line, the veil, and double-consciousness.

This edition of Du Bois’s visionary masterpiece includes two additional essays that have become essential reading: “The Souls of White Folk,” from his 1920 book Darkwater, and “The Talented Tenth.”


The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson

Originally published in 1933, Mis-Education of the Negro is considered Woodson’s seminal work. This text explores his thesis that African Americans were being culturally indoctrinated, rather than taught, in American schools. He asserts that this conditioning caused African-Americans to become dependent and to seek out inferior places in the greater society of which they were a part. Woodson skillfully exposes the weaknesses of Euro-centric based curriculums that failed to include African American history and culture.


Willa’s Books & Vinyl – Kansas City, MO

Willa’s Books & Vinyl was conceived in the heart of Willa Robinson, who developed a love for books and reading at a very early age. In 1994 she started selling her books on 18th and Vine, in Kansas City, Missouri, as a street vendor.

The store specializes in used and rare African-American books, first editions, as well as the works of a wide variety of main-stream authors. They also maintain a large collection of African -American History, literature, vintage jazz and blues LPs, 45 soul, and rare selections of vintage magazines. There is something for everyone in Willa’s Books & Vinyl


On the heels of the murder of George Floyd there was a huge increase in demand for books dealing with racism, and readers wanted to buy these books from Black-owned book stores. Many booksellers, including AALBC, enjoyed record levels of book sales. This was a surprising turn of events, for many Black booksellers, were facing the prospect of going out business, due to the global pandemic.

In order to scale to meet this increased demand and to improve your book buying experience, we’ve modified our store’s policies and procedures.


Dear Reader,

As always, if you discover something in this newsletter, or on our website, please share it in the manner that makes the most sense to you. If there is a way for us to improve let me know (troy@aalbc.com).

Please consider supporting this newsletter by volunteering to pay for your subscription. If you have already paid for an annual subscription, thank you on behalf of AALBC and the writers, publishers, and booksellers whose work you help support and celebrate.

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


This Newsletter is Sponsored by d. E. Rogers

Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing.
★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – August 5, 2020 - Issue #298

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