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Recently Reviewed Books, AALBC Bestselling Books April 2022, and More – May 19, 2022


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29192 WhoHQJuneteenth AALBC 22

Discover more about Juneteenth, the important holiday that celebrates the end of chattel slavery in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, a group of enslaved men, women, and children in Texas gathered around a Union solder and listened as he read the most remarkable words they would ever hear. They were no longer enslaved: they were free. The inhumane practice of forced labor with no pay was now illegal in all of the United States. This news was cause for celebration, so the group of people jumped in excitement, danced, and wept tears of joy. They did not know it at the time, but their joyous celebration of freedom would become a holiday–Juneteenth–that is observed each year by more and more Americans.


Author Kirsti Jewel shares stories from Juneteenth celebrations, both past and present, and chronicles the history that led to the creation of this joyous day. With 80 black-and-white illustrations and an engaging 16-page photo insert, readers will be excited to read this latest addition to Who HQ!   Only $5.99! Buy Now ▶


Fiction was our top-selling genre this period, with the Fall/Winter 20221 issue of the Killens Review of Arts & Letters (magazine) and Ladee Hubbard’s The Last Suspicious Holdout being the #1 and #2 bestsellers across all genres. Urban fiction titles experienced stronger sales this period.

The 1619 Project created by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Caste by Isabel have both made AALBC’s bestsellers list 5 times or more.

Children’s Books:
Sales were led by Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams. Nkechi Taifa has three books on the list this period helping to make her a Top 100 AALBC Bestselling Author.

Check Out the Complete List of Bestselling Books ▶


Since 1917 the Pulitzer Prize has honored excellence in journalism and the arts. The first award was presented in 1918. The Prize recognizes American authors in six “Letters and Drama” categories; Biography/Autobiography, Fiction, General Non-Fiction, History, Poetry, and Drama (technically not a book award, but plays are all available as books and have been included here).

The first African-American writer to win a Pulitzer Prize in the “Letters and Drama” categories was Gwendolyn Brooks who received the award for poetry for her collection Annie Allen in 1950.

This year, Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist’s Memoir of the Jim Crow South by Winfred Rembert with Erin I. Kelly wins the Pulitzer for Biography. Palmares by Gayl Jones was a finalist in the fiction category and Refractive Africa by Will Alexander was a finalist for poetry.


Duende: Poems, 1966—Now by Quincy Troupe

A marvelous collection of poetry bridging from
the Black Arts Movement to current times.

Many readers will shy away from the sheer bulk of this treasure trove of poems, totaling 656 pages of unvarnished common sense and truth. However, it’s worthy of your purchase. Back in the day, poetry was used to tell stories of life and death, joy and sadness, love and disappointment, while celebrating the mythic figures of sports, culture, and politics. Quincy Troupe’s work contains all of the classic poems’ ingredients, designed to bewitch and cast a spell on the reader. This is truly impressive work. More ▶


Blend In or Fade Out by Colnese M. Hendon

The main theme of identity takes center stage in Colnese M. Herndon’s emotional riveting memoir, Blend In Or Fade Out, as the writer investigates her confusing blood ties. She asks: Who am I? Whereas this book is filled with disappointing mishaps and heartbreaking tragedies, the reader is treated with determination, perseverance, and courage worthy of a mythic heroine. It is not surprising that hard-luck Herndon comes out triumphant when she is awarded a 2009 fellowship of the Givens Foundation for African American Literature, wins three times the Hurston-Wright Foundation (2014, 2015, and 2018), scores in the 2017 VONA Voices and the 2019 Bread Load Writer’s Conference, and the 2019 Write of Your Life writer’s workshop in Venice, Italy More ▶


The Pursuit of Porsha: How My Journey to Happiness Can Help You Find Yours by Porsha Williams

Celebrity is not an easy game. For many people, it is so fleeting, so difficult to sustain, and so easy to sabotage. Many readers of this book will see this as a cautionary tale and others will gobble this quest for notoriety as a career guidepost.

Take The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Williams sees it as an opportunity to as a way to promote her family’s various charities and showcase her fashionable Black marriage, while putting out a positive image on the show. A Black power couple. Kordell and Porsha. In no time, she becomes the star and he’s just Porsha’s hubby. Bad for most men, that situation can undercut many loving relationships. She had no idea what she was doing when she invited cameras into their home. More ▶


A Great Moral and Social Force: A History of Black Banks by Tim Todd

Many Americans are unaware of the history and challenges Black banks in the South and Midwest faced during the late 19th and 20th centuries.

In the Kansas City Fed’s new book, A Great Moral and Social Force: America’s First Black Banks, Tim Todd focuses on the stories of Black banks in five cities: Richmond, Va.; Boley, Okla.; Chicago, Ill.; Memphis, Tenn; and Detroit, Mich. These cities were shining examples of Black wealth and success, and the book explores factors that contributed to the demise of Black banks at the peak of their success. Todd also provides historical context and analysis about why the dismantling of Black banks has played a central role in the hurdles many Black People face today regarding financial security and amassing generational wealth.

Printed and electronic copies of the book are being provided to the public for free! Get your copy now ▶

black authors matter tv052422

Black Authors Matter TV (BAM TV) is a weekly, live-streamed program where authors (new and old), publishers, bookstore owners, book club facilitators, book marketers, and other movers and shakers in the African-American literature arena are interviewed.

BAM TV is live-streamed every Tuesday on the National Black Book Festival's Facebook page from 7 to 9 pm CST. You can also listen via your favorite podcast platform or watch on Youtube.


— Presented by Publishers Weekly, the U.S. Book Show is a three-day virtual conference conceived during the height of the pandemic in 2021 to serve the bookselling, library, media, and book publishing industry. This major event is presented by the most prominent voice in the book industry, Publishers Weekly.

The event is for anyone connected with the book industry, booksellers, librarians, book media, authors, editors, book influencers, and others. Booksellers and librarians are invited to attend the virtual trade show for free!


Dear Troy,

During the next few months, we will be upgrading the AALBC website — AALBC 3.0! We are aiming to enhance the look and feel of the site to help visitors appreciate the tremendous repository of information about Black books AALBC provides.


I’d love to reduce or eliminate our dependency on Google ads which have become increasingly intrusive in recent years, worsening the experience on our website. Troy this is why your support is crucial to helping us improve the reading experience on AALBC..com. Your paid subscriptions, book purchases, suggestions, engagement on the site, social sharing, advertisements, and feedback help support AALBC’s mission of celebrating Black culture through books.


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


This message is sponsored by Viking Books for Young Readers.
Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated email.
★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – May 19, 2022 - Issue #359

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