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Important Authors Lost in 2021, New Books, Book Reviews, and Much More – December 28, 2021


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28657 DaddySpeaksLove AALBC 21

A moving tribute to the joy and grounding that fathers bring to their children’s lives.

Daddy Speaks Love speaks to that everlasting bond between children and their fathers and is a perfect gift for special occasions including Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, baby showers, and more! Buy Now ▶


Will by Will Smith

There are millions of success stories in America. This is one of them. Film superstar Will Smith’s memoir, Will, is almost a fantasy comprised of Yankee success, determined ambition, and sheer luck. However, what makes this book special is Smith’s bold candor about his emotions, motives, and intentions. Rising from a troubled childhood in the Wynnefield neighborhood of West Philadelphia, his soaring journey from “bubble gum” rapper to TV sitcom star to mega movie idol moves from one improbable event to another, endlessly aided by one of this society’s powerful “angels,” who guided him through self-doubt to lofty heights of fame in every facet of media. Read More ▶


Surviving Chaos: How I Found Peace at A Beach Bar by Harold Phifer

Surviving Chaos: How I Found Peace At A Beach Bar is Harold Phifer’s memoir of childhood abuse, family dysfunction, and his search for peace. Starting in the present, we go back to the past, then further back to his childhood, looping back and forth in interwoven narratives, as he recounts his life.

“I grew up in a severely dysfunctional environment where I was constantly manipulated by a controlling aunt, abused by my mindless big brother, and shamed by my schizophrenic mom. Ducking, dodging, and going un-noticed were daily rituals.” Read More ▶


Stacey’s Extraordinary Words by Stacey Abrams

The debut picture book from iconic voting rights advocate and #1 New York Times bestselling author Stacey Abrams is an inspiring tale of determination, based on her own childhood.

Stacey is a little girl who loves words more than anything. She loves reading them, sounding them out, and finding comfort in them when things are hard. Read More ▶


The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs

The Three Mothers, the first book to celebrate the three great women who raised and shaped America’s most pivotal heroes: MLK, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin.

Much has been written about the Berdis Baldwin’s son James, about Alberta King’s son Martin, and Louise Little’s son Malcolm. But virtually nothing has been said about the extraordinary women who raised them, who themselves were all born within six years of each other, all contending with the very specific prejudices faced by Black women during Jim Crow. Read More ▶


You Don’t Know Us Negroes And Other Essays by Zora Neale Hurston

One of the most acclaimed artists of the Harlem Renaissance, Zora Neale Hurston was a gifted novelist, playwright, and essayist. Drawn from three decades of her work, this anthology showcases her development as a writer, from her early pieces expounding on the beauty and precision of African American art to some of her final published works, covering the sensational trial of Ruby McCollum, a wealthy Black woman convicted in 1952 for killing a white doctor. Among the selections are Hurston's well-known works such as “How It Feels to be Colored Me” and “My Most Humiliating Jim Crow Experience.”

You Don’t Know Us Negroes was edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and M. Genevieve West. Read More ▶


Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich is the author of a dozen books for middle grade readings including the upcoming novel, Operation Sisterhood.

My mom was from Jamaica, my dad is from Nigeria, and I was born in New York. I grew up nourished by stories from my family of “back home,” of immigration, of my heritage and multiple ethnicities. Those were my favorite bedtime stories by far. From the moment I was born, my family gave me the precious gift of Black stories on our bookshelves, at the dinner table, at bedtime, from their own lives, from Black authors all across the Diaspora. All those stories helped me to understand that Black lives are beautiful, powerful, and dynamic and come in infinite flavors. Read More ▶

Logo F R E S H 2022

11th Annual Daytona Beach F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival 2022 - January 7th and 8th, 2022

The F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival returns for its annual on-site “All Things Books” weekend in Daytona Beach., FL.

Donna M. Gray-Banks is the Founder and Director of the F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival (Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Spiritual and Health), one of the largest book festivals for minority and indie self-published authors in Florida. The Festival began in 2011, and the City of Daytona Beach, Florida, began sponsorship of the Festival in 2012.

AALBC’s Founder, Troy Johnson will be participating. Register and Learn More ▶


The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap is a first-of-it’s-kind multimedia collection chronicling the growth of the music and culture from the parks of the Bronx to solidifying a reach that spans the globe. The set includes 129 tracks on 9 CDs (Check out our YouTube Playlist featuring all 129 songs) and a 300-page book with original design by Cey Adams, artist and founding creative director of Def Jam Recordings, as well as essays by some of hip-hop’s leading writers and critics and never-before-seen photographs.

Through the music, writing, and extensive liner notes, the Anthology reveals the many trends within this multifaceted genre, it’s social and political implications, and it’s influence on popular culture. More ▶

Floyd Cooper (Jan 8, 1956 – Jul 15, 2021), Award Winning Children’s Book Illustrator
Eric Jerome Dickey (Jul 7, 1961 – Jan 3, 2021), One of AALBC’s Bestselling Authors
Bernette Ford (Jun 30, 1950 – Jun 20, 2021), Children’s Book Author and the First African-American Editor to Hold the VP/Associate Publisher at a Major House
Glen Ford (Nov 5, 1949 – Jul 28, 2021), Author and Executive Director of Black Agenda Report
Eddie Faye Gates (Feb 5, 1934 – Dec 9, 2021), Renowned Historian on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
Lawrence Otis Graham (Dec 25, 1961 – Feb 19, 2021), Chronicler of America's Black Upper Class
Eloise Greenfield (May 17, 1929 – Aug 5, 2021), Award Winning Children’s Book Author
bell hooks (Sep 25, 1952 – Dec 15, 2021) Cultural Critic, Feminist Theorist, and Writer
Lynda M. Johnson (1956 – Sep 25, 2021), President and Co-founder of Go On Girl! Book Club
Kamilah Aisha Moon (Sep 5, 1973 – Sep 24, 2021), Acclaimed Poet
Paul Mooney (Aug 4, 1941 – May 19, 2021), Legendary Comedian
Melvin Van Peebles (Aug 21, 1932 – Sep 22, 2021) Founding Father of Black American Cinema
Jerry Pinkney (Dec 22, 1939 – Oct 20, 2021), Award Winning Children’s Book Illustrator
Colin Powell (Apr 5, 1937 – Oct 18, 2021), Secretary of State
Albert J. Raboteau(Sep 4, 1943 – Sep 18, 2021), the Henry W. Putnam Professor of Religion at Princeton University
Winfred Rembert(1945 – 2021) Artist, Subject of Two Award-winning Documentary Films
Greg Tate (Oct 15, 1957 – Dec 7, 2021) “Godfather of Hip-Hop Journalism”
Desmond Tutu (Oct 7, 1931 – Dec 26, 2021) Nobel Prize-Winning South African Archbishop Emeritus
Cicely Tyson (Dec 19, 1924 – Jan 28, 2021), Actress, Lecturer, and Activist

May they all their souls rest in peace.


Dear Troy,

As 2021 draws to a close and I reflect on nearly two years of a global pandemic it feels almost surreal, like something out of an Octavia Butler novel. Despite so much hardship and heartache there is still good reason for hope. I trust the books shared in our newsletter and website bring you joy, inform you, and improve your life in someway.

Always remember Troy, you are why we’ve been able to make AALBC the premier online platform for books by, or about, people of African descent. Your paid subscriptions, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, commenting, social sharing, and advertisements helps support AALBC’s mission.

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


This message is sponsored by sponsored by Amistad
Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated email.
★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – December 28, 2021 - Issue #344

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