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Hurston/Wright Foundation Honors the Best in Black Literature and Much More – August 16, 2022


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The 2022 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award honors the best in Black literature in the United States and around the globe. Introduced in 2001, the Legacy Award was the first national award presented to Black writers by a national organization of Black writers. Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry honorees are selected in a juried competition. Merit awards are given at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Each October, the award winners are celebrated during a gala that draws hundreds of literary stars, readers, and representatives of the publishing industry, the arts, media, politics, and academia. Learn More About All of the 2022 Legacy Award Nominated Books ▶


Ron Kavanaugh: Hurston/Wright Madame CJ Walker Merit Award Honoree


The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation also bestows Merit Award honors. This year, Ron Kavanaugh has been honored along with, Elizabeth Alexander, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.


Ron is the founder of the Literary Freedom Project, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt not-for-profit arts organization that supports the literary arts through education, creative thinking, and new media. Ron has worked tirelessly and unselfishly promoting Black writers for more than a quarter of a century. His website Mosaic Books predated AALBC.com by two years and was the oldest website dedicated to Black books until it was shut down in 2014. It was Ron who originally shared the Black-owned bookstore list. Ron also published Mosaic Literary Magazine. His accomplishments are too numerous to mention here. I’m proud to call him my friend.


Seven Sisters And A Brother (paperback): Friendship, Resistance, and Untold Truths Behind Black Student Activism in the 1960s

History has recorded many instances of struggles for varied rights by a people haunted by the legacies of slavery. Yet, too often some such occurrences, though no less noteworthy, never make it into the annals of history; they exist instead as footnotes at best. With Seven Sisters and a Brother: Friendship, Resistance, and Untold Truths Behind Black Student Activism in the 1960s authors Marilyn Allman Maye, Harold S. Buchanan, Jannette O. Domingo, Joyce Frisby Baynes, Marilyn Holifield, Myra E. Rose, Bridget Van Gronigen Warren, and Aundrea White Kelly have helped ensure that their story secures a solid place in the ongoing narrative. A “choral memoir,” Seven Sisters and a Brother is a decidedly informative documentation of the efforts of eight students (seven young women and one young man) in the late 1960s to have Black students get the opportunity, resources, and support needed to acquire a balanced education at the elite Swarthmore College. Read the Full Review ▶


AALBC Mourns the Passing of Three Important Book People


Terrance Dean

“Terrance Dean — a beloved Denison University professor, the Columbus Museum of Art's first Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Scholar-in-Residence, and editorial board member for The Columbus Dispatch.” Terrance transitioned on August 11, 2022, he was 53.


I first met Terrance, about 20 years ago, while selling books for Kevin Powell who was doing a reading for an organization Dean founded, Men’s Empowerment. Later, when Dean’s bestselling book, Hiding In Hip Hop: On The Down Low In The Entertainment Industry—From Music To Hollywood was published I created one of my first videos of him discussing the book. He was a good Brother.


Gwendolyn Osborne

Gwen began her journalism career as a reviewer for The Detroit Free Press. Her work has also appeared in several national publications including Book Magazine, Mode Magazine, and The Crisis, the organizational publication of the NAACP. She also served as an associate editor for Black Issues Book Review.


Gwen was an expert in Black romance novels. She provided guidance to me on the authors and books I should know in the genre, She wrote an article for AALBC “It’s All About Love: Romance Readers Speak Out”. The article is over 20 years old and is just as informative today as it was when it was written. Gwen passed on May 14, 2022; she was 72.


Biyi Bandele

Biyi Bandele-Thomas (October 13, 1967 – August 7, 2022) was an award-winning novelist, playwright, photographer, and director. He was born in Nigeria and is the son of a veteran of the Burma campaign. The Independent named him one of Africa’s fifty greatest artists. Biyi’s directorial debut film, Half of a Yellow Sun – based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.


I did not know Biyi personally. I was informed of his transition, which “Totally shocked the African writing community.” by Kadija Sesay. Kadija has been instrumental in helping me build out content on African writers, allowing me to share information about important writers from the continent like Biyi Bandele.

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Following in the footsteps of Dr. MLK Jr. and John Lewis, Senator Warnock is today’s leading voice in voting rights. As a pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, and the first Black senator from Georgia, Senator Warnock promises to lead us forward as he reflects on the ongoing toggle between the pain and promise of the American story. A rare voice in American politics, Senator Warnock will make you, too, feel like you can beat the odds. Read His Story ▶


Dear Troy,


Reflecting on the individuals highlighted in this newsletter, I can’t help but be moved by the impact they have on Black books. However, none of these people attained their accomplished by themselves, and AALBC would not be where it is without them. “It takes a village…”


I can never over-emphasize how important your support is to 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


Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated email.
★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – August 16, 2022 - Issue #365

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