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Recently Reviewed Books, Advance Screening of the Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, March 1, 2022


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In a remarkable blend of historical fiction and horror, Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams is a thrilling novel about biracial twin sisters separated at birth and the reckoning that comes when they reunite.


Twin sisters Charlie Yates and Magnolia Heathwood were secretly separated after the brutal lynching of their parents, who died for loving across the color line. Now, at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, Charlie is a young Black organizer in Harlem, while white-passing Magnolia is the heiress to a cotton plantation in rural Georgia. Buy Now ▶




Recently Reviewed Books

Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora by Bryant Terry

“Each chapter and verse, each poem, photograph, painting, think-piece, and recipe is a portal to beloved communities of plants and animals, food and pleasures, leisures, tastes, and cultures across many eras,” Terry writes. With a sumptuous modern playlist, he pays tribute, along with other writers and chefs, to the artists, activists, scholars, writers, poets, and other honored ancestors with our traditional food. Like other monumental classics in their field, Terry’s Black Food deserves a permanent place in your kitchen and on your bookshelf. Read More ▶


Look for Me and I’ll Be Gone: Stories by John Edgar Wideman

Like Ishmael Reed, Clarence Major, and other legendary African-American male writers of their generation, John Edgar Wideman, at eighty, is nearing the twilight of his writing career. He, however, continues to produce work of the highest quality. Following the collected short fiction volume, The Stories of John Edgar Wideman (1992), consisting of 35 stories, the writer published three more story collections: God’s Gym (2205), Briefs (2010), and American Histories (2018). Currently, he adds another gem to his literary crown: Look For Me And I’ll Be Gone, another surprising grouping of his groundbreaking short stories. Read More ▶


The African Lookbook: A Visual History of 100 Years of African Women by Catherine E. McKinley

While McKinley’s photo book is a rich visual feast (1870-1970), it serves to focus on the feminine beauty, cultural physicality, and innate resourcefulness of the African woman.


Witness this magical, mythic photo album! Look at the lovely girl and the majestic women in the work of Seydou Keita, the Mali stylist. Check out the pair of hip kitties with dark glasses and cool garb by another Mali shutterbug Abdourahmane Sakaly. Dig the sleek hair-do of Eva from Ghana’s James Barnor. Take a gander at the tinted photos of the mysterious Dunau. Examine the solo and group figures of the Dakar and Saint-Louis Studios. Read More ▶


Seventh Annual North Street Book Prize for Self-Published Books

Delores Lowe Friedman of Bayside, New York received a First Prize in Mainstream/Literary Fiction for her novel Wildflowers.


“Delores Lowe Friedman's Wildflowers is an emotionally rich and intimate novel that follows a decades-long friendship among three Black women in New York City. Their complex and shifting relationships encompass crisis support, joys and secrets shared, estrangement, and jealousy. This story celebrates the power of women's bonds, but also shows how intimacy can be shattered by projected insecurities. A lost friend can be as life-defining as any romantic breakup. Wildflowers explores this truth in honest detail.” —Jendi Reiter


Susan Taylor “Susie” Baker King (August 6, 1848 – 1912), teacher and nurse, achieved many firsts in a lifetime of overcoming adversity and helping elevate others out of slavery. As the author [in 1902] of Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops, Late 1st S.C. Volunteers, she was the only African American woman to publish a memoir of her wartime experiences.


Read an excerpt from her memoir, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33rd US Colored Troops, Late 1st S.C. Volunteers  


From Black Past’s Founder, Quintard Taylor

“I am pleased to announce that as of midnight last night (Feb. 23), BlackPast.org (www.blackpast.org) crossed the one million mark for visitors in the 23 days since February 1. Specifically, the count was 1,016,614. This is an all-time record and we are going to have our first one-million-plus month in the fourteen-year history of BlackPast.org.


Credit for this accomplishment goes to numerous BP board members, the support team which now includes people on two continents, and of course the nearly 1,000 volunteer contributors from six continents who provide the accurate, reliable content that’s now used by thousands of visitors each day. As we write these words, hundreds of people around the world are accessing the incomparable information found on BlackPast.org.”


I've run AALBC.com for almost 25 years and have nothing but admiration for Black Past and what they have accomplished over the years. Blackpast.org has also been identified as one of the Top 50 Black-Owned websites ▶.


Advance Screening of the Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

PTG VirtualScreening news

Join Us for an Advance Screening of The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

The Virtual Screening will take place
March 9th at 9:00 pm EST / 6:00 pm PST


Based upon Walter Mosley’s novel, The Last Days Of Ptolemy Grey, Ptolemy Grey is a 91-year-old man forgotten by his family, by his friends, by even himself. On the brink of sinking even deeper into lonely dementia, Ptolemy experiences a seismic shift when he's given the tremendous opportunity to briefly regain his memories and uses this precious and fleeting lucidity to solve his nephew's death and come to terms with his past.


RSVP and let them know AALBC sent you! You’ll also receive a free promo code from AppleTV+ to continue watching the series when it premieres on AppleTV+, on March 11, 2022. Use the RSVP link, in this Newsletter, and be entered to win an autographed copy of the book.


Ashley Bryan (July 13, 2021 – February 4, 2022) grew up to the sound of his mother singing from morning to night, and he has shared the joy of song with children ever since. A beloved illustrator, he has been the recipient of the Coretta Scott King—Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award; he has also been a May Hill Arbuthnot lecturer, a Coretta Scott King Award winner, and the recipient of countless other awards and recognitions.


“He had turned 98 on July 13, 2021, and continued to recite poetry from his vast repertoire — especially Shakespeare’s sonnets — up to the very end.”


Dear Troy,

I urge you to sign the petition to exonerate Marcus Garvey and encourage the members of your communities to do so too. We now have only hours remaining to get one hundred thousand (100,000) signatures needed within the February 1- March 2nd 30-day period. Reaching this goal will result in an official response from the White House.


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 help support AALBC’s mission.


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


This message is sponsored by Kelly McWilliams
Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated email.
★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – March 1, 2022 - Issue #352

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