September’s Bestselling African American Books

Here’s a list of September 2013′s bestselling African American books from Amazon.com.

  1. Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan
    (Viking Adult, 2013-09-17, Hardcover)
    In her eighth novel, McMillan gives exuberant voice to characters who reveal how we live now – at least as lived in a racially diverse Los Angeles neighborhood. Kaleidoscopic, fast-paced, and filled with McMillan’s inimitable humor, Who Asked You? opens as Trinetta leaves her two young sons with her mother, Betty Jean, and promptly disappears. BJ, a trademark McMillan heroine, already has her hands full dealing with her other adult children, two opinionated sisters, an ill husband, and her own postponed dreams—all while holding down a job delivering room service at a hotel. Her son Dexter is about to be paroled from prison; Quentin, the family success, can’t be bothered to lend a hand; and taking care of two lively grandsons is the last thing BJ thinks she needs. The drama unfolds through the perspectives of a rotating cast of characters, pitch-perfect, each playing a part, and full of surprises. Who Asked You? casts an intimate look at the burdens and blessings of family and speaks to trusting your own judgment even when others don’t agree. McMillan’s signature voice and unforgettable characters bring universal issues to brilliant, vivid life.

     

  2. murderville 3: the black dahlia by ashley & jaquavis
    (cash money content, 2013-09-03, paperback)
    In this final installment of the murderville saga, ashley and jaquavis bring you the grit, treachery, and street perspective that they have become legendary for. This thrilling page-turner introduces the story of the black dahl­ia and her bloodstained ascent to power. After establishing a con­nection with “the five families,” dahlia becomes literally untouch­able. Her brazen tactics and mafia-style antics become infamous as she is set to take over the country’s black market. But there is only one thing still standing in her way – she is a woman. The competi­tion doesn’t respect her so dahlia sets out on a bloody mission to ensure the protection of her new kingdom. Liberty has relocated to her hometown only to get a knock on the door by a man she hasn’t seen in years. She reacquaints herself with the past and gets connected with some of the biggest bosses in the country. When fate brings her face-to-face with dahlia, who will end up victorious? Will dahlia’s newfound power make her invinci­ble? Or, will liberty finally get the revenge she deserves? What hap­pens next is the most shocking ending that ashley & jaquavis have ever created. This is storytelling at its greatest.

     

  3. Destiny’s Surrender by Beverly Jenkins
    (Avon, 2013-09-24, Mass Market Paperback)

     

  4. The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden
    (St. Martin’s Press, 2013-09-24, Hardcover)
    When prestigious plantation owner Cornelius Allen gives his daughter Clarissa’s hand in marriage, she takes with her a gift: Sarah—her slave and her half-sister.  Raised by an educated mother, Clarissa is not a proper southern belle she appears to be with ambitions of loving who she chooses and Sarah equally hides behind the façade of being a docile house slave as she plots to escape. Both women bring these tumultuous secrets and desires with them to their new home, igniting events that spiral into a tale beyond what you ever imagined possible and it will leave you enraptured until the very end. Told through alternating viewpoints of Sarah and Theodora Allen, Cornelius’ wife, Marlen Suyapa Bodden’s The Wedding Gift is an intimate portrait that will leave readers breathless.

     

  5. Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye
    (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, 2013-09-17, Hardcover)
    From Edgar-nominated author Lyndsay Faye comes the next book in what Gillian Flynn calls “a brilliant new mystery series.” Six months after the formation of the NYPD, its most reluctant and talented officer, Timothy Wilde, thinks himself well versed in his city’s dark practices—until he learns of the gruesome underworld of lies and corruption ruled by the “blackbirders,” who snatch free Northerners of color from their homes, masquerade them as slaves, and sell them South to toil as plantation property. The abolitionist Timothy is horrified by these traders in human flesh. But in 1846, slave catching isn’t just legal, it’s law enforcement. When the beautiful and terrified Lucy Adams staggers into Timothy’s office to report a robbery and is asked what was stolen, her reply is, “My family.” Their search for her mixed-race sister and son will plunge Timothy and his feral brother, Valentine, into a world where police are complicit and politics savage, and corpses appear in the most shocking of places. Timothy finds himself caught between power and principles, desperate to protect his only brother and to unravel the puzzle before all he cares for is lost.

     

  6. The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream by Gary Younge
    (Haymarket Books, 2013-09-10, Hardcover)
    MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DELIVERED his powerful “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963. Fifty years later, the speech endures as a defining moment in the civil rights movement. It continues to be heralded as a beacon in the ongoing struggle for racial equality.This gripping book is rooted in new and important interviews with Clarence Jones, a close friend of and draft speechwriter for Martin Luther King Jr., and Joan Baez, a singer at the march, as well as Angela Davis and other leading civil rights leaders. It brings to life the fascinating chronicle behind “The Speech” and other events surrounding the March on Washington. Younge skillfully captures the spirit of that historic day in Washington and offers a new generation of readers a critical modern analysis of why “I Have a Dream” remains America’s favorite speech._________”It was over eighty degrees when Martin Luther King Jr. took the stage at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. King was the last speaker. By the time he reached the podium, many in the crowd had started to leave. Not all those who remained could hear him properly, but those who could stood rapt. ‘Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed,’ said King as though he were wrapping up. ‘Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.’ Then he set his prepared text aside. [Clarence] Jones saw his stance turn from lecturer to preacher. He turned to the person next to him: ‘Those people don’t know it but they’re about to go to church.’ A smattering of applause filled a pause more pregnant than most. ‘So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.’”—from the introduction

     

  7. The Boxcar Children Beginning: The Aldens of Fair Meadow Farm (The Boxcar Children Mysteries) by Patricia MacLachlan
    (Albert Whitman & Company, 2013-09-01, Paperback)
    Before they were the Boxcar Children, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden lived with their parents at Fair Meadow Farm. Newbery-Award winning author Patricia MacLachlan pays loving tribute to the classic novel by Gertrude Chandler Warner in this story of the Alden children’s origins and the challenges they faced before their boxcar adventures.

     

  8. For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law by Randall Kennedy
    (Pantheon, 2013-09-03, Hardcover)
    In the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding Fisher v. University of Texas, For Discrimination is at once the definitive reckoning with one of America’s most explosively contentious and divisive issues and a principled work of advocacy for clearly defined justice.  What precisely is affirmative action, and why is it fiercely championed by some and just as fiercely denounced by others? Does it signify a boon or a stigma? Or is it simply reverse discrimination? What are its benefits and costs to American society? What are the exact indicia determining who should or should not be accorded affirmative action? When should affirmative action end, if it must? Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School professor and author of such critically acclaimed and provocative books as Race, Crime, and the Law and the national best-seller Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word, gives us a concise, gimlet-eyed, and deeply personal conspectus of the policy, refusing to shy away from the myriad complexities of an issue that continues to bedevil American race relations. With pellucid reasoning, Kennedy accounts for the slipperiness of the term “affirmative action” as it has been appropriated by ideologues of every stripe; delves into the complex and surprising legal history of the policy; coolly analyzes key arguments pro and con advanced by the left and right, including the so-called color-blind, race-neutral challenge; critiques the impact of Supreme Court decisions on higher education; and ponders the future of affirmative action.

     

  9. The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 by Alan Taylor
    (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013-09-09, Hardcover)
    This searing story of slavery and freedom in the Chesapeake by a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian reveals the pivot in the nation’s path between the founding and civil war.Frederick Douglass recalled that slaves living along Chesapeake Bay longingly viewed sailing ships as “freedom’s swift-winged angels.” In 1813 those angels appeared in the bay as British warships coming to punish the Americans for declaring war on the empire. Over many nights, hundreds of slaves paddled out to the warships seeking protection for their families from the ravages of slavery. The runaways pressured the British admirals into becoming liberators. As guides, pilots, sailors, and marines, the former slaves used their intimate knowledge of the countryside to transform the war. They enabled the British to escalate their onshore attacks and to capture and burn Washington, D.C. Tidewater masters had long dreaded their slaves as “an internal enemy.” By mobilizing that enemy, the war ignited the deepest fears of Chesapeake slaveholders. It also alienated Virginians from a national government that had neglected their defense. Instead they turned south, their interests aligning more and more with their section. In 1820 Thomas Jefferson observed of sectionalism: “Like a firebell in the night [it] awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once the knell of the union.” The notes of alarm in Jefferson’s comment speak of the fear aroused by the recent crisis over slavery in his home state. His vision of a cataclysm to come proved prescient. Jefferson’s startling observation registered a turn in the nation’s course, a pivot from the national purpose of the founding toward the threat of disunion. Drawn from new sources, Alan Taylor’s riveting narrative re-creates the events that inspired black Virginians, haunted slaveholders, and set the nation on a new and dangerous course. 35 illustrations; 4 maps

     

  10. Mafia Princess Part 4 (Stay Rich Or Die Trying) by Joy Deja King
    (A King Production, 2013-09-25, Paperback)
    Semaj is back as the head of the Espreilla Family but she soon learns someone has masterminded a plan to make her relinquish her power. With enemies closing in and death knocking at her door, Semaj believes there is only one man she can completely trust and let her guard down with, the love of her life Qua. But is Qua willing to put the past behind them and do whatever is necessary to protect Semaj? With so much to lose Semaj is determined to Stay Rich Or Die Trying.

     

  11. The Cutting Season: A Novel by Attica Locke
    (Harper Perennial, 2013-09-17, Paperback)
    “The Cutting Season is a rare murder mystery with heft, a historical novel that thrills, a page-turner that makes you think. Attica Locke is a dazzling writer with a conscience.”—Dolen Perkins-Valdez, New York Times bestselling author of WenchAttica Locke’s breathtaking debut novel, Black Water Rising, won resounding acclaim from major publications coast-to-coast and from respected crime fiction masters like James Ellroy and George Pelecanos, earning this exciting new author comparisons to Dennis Lehane, Scott Turow, and Walter Mosley. Locke returns with The Cutting Season, a second novel easily as gripping and powerful as her first—a heart-pounding thriller that interweaves two murder mysteries, one on Belle Vie, a historic landmark in the middle of Lousiana’s Sugar Cane country, and one involving a slave gone missing more than one hundred years earlier. Black Water Rising was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an Edgar® Award, and an NAACP Image Award, and was short-listed for the Orange Prize in the U.K. The Cutting Season has been selected by bestselling author Dennis Lehane as the first pick for his new line of books at HarperCollins.

     

  12. Warrior Princess: My Quest to Become the First Female Maasai Warrior by Mindy Budgor
    (skirt!, 2013-09-10, Hardcover)
    The amazing true adventure story of a young woman who— at 27 years old and undecided as to what to do with her future—takes a spontaneous trip that leads to becoming the first female Maasai warrior and an official member of the tribe.

     

  13. Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward
    (Bloomsbury USA, 2013-09-17, Hardcover)
    “We saw the lightning and that was the guns; and then we heard the thunder and that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped.” —Harriet TubmanIn five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life—to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth—and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn says the answer was so obvious she felt stupid for not seeing it. But it nagged at her until she knew she had to write about her community, to write their stories and her own. Jesmyn grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi. She writes powerfully about the pressures this brings, on the men who can do no right and the women who stand in for family in a society where the men are often absent. She bravely tells her story, revisiting the agonizing losses of her only brother and her friends. As the sole member of her family to leave home and pursue higher education, she writes about this parallel American universe with the objectivity distance provides and the intimacy of utter familiarity. A brutal world rendered beautifully, Jesmyn Ward’s memoir will sit comfortably alongside Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying, Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life, and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

     

  14. Invasion by Walter Dean Myers
    (Scholastic Press, 2013-09-24, Hardcover)
    Walter Dean Myers brilliantly renders the realities of World War II.Josiah Wedgewood and Marcus Perry are on their way to an uncertain future. Their whole lives are ahead of them, yet at the same time, death’s whisper is everywhere. One white, one black, these young men have nothing in common and everything in common as they approach an experience that will change them forever.It’s May 1944. World War II is ramping up, and so are these young recruits, ready and eager. In small towns and big cities all over the globe, people are filled with fear. When Josiah and Marcus come together in what will be the greatest test of their lives, they learn hard lessons about race, friendship, and what it really means to fight. Set on the front lines of the Normandy invasion, this novel, rendered with heart-in-the-throat precision, is a cinematic masterpiece. Here we see the bold terror of war, and also the nuanced havoc that affects a young person’s psyche while living in a barrack, not knowing if today he will end up dead or alive.

     

  15. Kara Walker: Dust Jackets for the Niggerati by Hilton Als
    (Gregory R. Miller & Co., 2013-09-30, Hardcover)
    African-American artist Kara Walker (born 1969) has been acclaimed internationally for her candid investigations of race, sexuality and violence through the lens of reconceived historical tropes. She had her first solo show at The Drawing Center in New York City in 1994 and, at the age of 28 in 1997, was one of the youngest people to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. This publication documents Dust Jackets for the Niggerati–and Supporting Dissertations, Drawings Submitted Ruefully by Dr. Kara E. Walker, a major series of graphite drawings and hand-printed texts on paper that grew out of Walker’s attempts to understand how interpersonal and geopolitical powers are asserted through the lives of individuals. In scenes that range from the grotesque to the humorous to the tragic, these works vividly and powerfully explore the themes of transition and migration that run through the African-American experience. The accompanying essays take us through Walker’s saga of American experience–the dual streams of renewal and destruction that trace parallel lines through the last century’s rapid urbanization and the complementary emergence of a “New Negro” identity. Fully illustrated with reproductions of the entire series, and designed by award-winning design studio CoMa with Walker’s close collaboration, Dust Jackets for the Niggerati represents a major contribution to the career of one of our most significant and complex contemporary artists.

     

  16. Primary Lessons by Sarah Bracey White
    (Cavankerry, 2013-09-03, Paperback)
    Ripped from middle-class life in Philadelphia, and transplanted to a single-parent household in the segregated south, Sarah, a precocious black child struggles to be the master of her fate. She refuses to accept the segregation that tries to confine herÑa system her mother accepts as the southern way of life. A brave memoir that testifies to the author’s fiery spirit and sense of self that sustained her through family, social and cultural upheavals.

     

  17. Trinity Falls (A Finding Home Novel) by Regina Hart
    (Kensington Books, 2013-09-03, Kindle Edition)
    “Rich and satisfying.” –LuAnn McLane, author of Whisper’s EdgeEan Fever is burned out by the hectic pace of New York City and his cutthroat law career. Longing for a sense of community, he’s returned to his hometown of Trinity Falls, Ohio. Maybe he can even help save the Town Center from greedy developers looking to destroy its small businesses—like Books & Bakery, owned by Megan McCloud. Megan was once an awkward girl next door, but Ean discovers she’s grown into a strong-willed, beautiful woman… Megan isn’t the only strong-willed McCloud. Her cousin, Ramona, is the town mayor. And as usual, Ramona is trying to take away what Megan wants most. As teenagers, that meant Ean. Now Ramona wants to take away her business. But Megan has learned how to fight. And she soon realizes that Ean is ready to fight with her—and for her. Because when Ean finds himself falling for the woman who’s adored him all along, he’ll have to convince her that he’s not leaving again. At least not without her. Praise for Regina Hart’s Keeping Score“The writing is clever and funny.” –RT Book Reviews “Hart raises issues such as love, trust, commitment, family, work, marriage and dreams.” –APOOO Book Club

     

  18. Last Chance for Justice: How Relentless Investigators Uncovered New Evidence Convicting the Birmingham Church Bombers by T. K. Thorne
    (Chicago Review Press, 2013-09-01, Hardcover)
    On the morning of September 15, 1963, a bomb exploded outside the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls. Thirty-two years later, stymied by a code of silence and an imperfect and often racist legal system, only one person, Robert “Dynamite Bob” Chambliss, had been convicted in the murders, though a wider conspiracy was suspected. With many key witnesses and two suspects already dead, there seemed little hope of bringing anyone else to justice.            But in 1995 the FBI and local law enforcement reopened the investigation in secret, led by detective Ben Herren of the Birmingham Police Department and special agent Bill Fleming of the FBI. For over a year, Herren and Fleming analyzed the original FBI files on the bombing and activities of the Ku Klux Klan, then began a search for new evidence. Their first interview—with Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry—broke open the case, but not in the way they expected.            Told by a longtime officer of the Birmingham Police Department, Last Chance for Justice is the inside story of one of the most infamous crimes of the civil rights era. T. K. Thorne follows the ups and downs of the investigation, detailing how Herren and Fleming identified new witnesses and unearthed lost evidence. With tenacity, humor, dedication, and some luck, the pair encountered the worst and best in human nature on their journey to find justice, and perhaps closure, for the citizens of Birmingham.

     

  19. Most Wanted by Kiki Swinson
    (Dafina, 2013-09-24, Paperback)

     

  20. Black Yellowdogs: The Most Dangerous Citizen Is Not Armed, But Uninformed by Ben Kinchlow
    (WND Books, 2013-09-10, Kindle Edition)
    It has often been said, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” Not true. Ignorance is deadly. Have you ever heard of the phrase forty acres and a mule? Do you know how slavery actually began in America? Did you know the KKK lynched over a thousand white people? Do you know why? Have you ever wondered, “What do African Americans want?” Why they vote Democrat? Did you know that most Blacks DO NOT support Affirmative Action? Who speaks for African-Americans? Does Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, and others, really speak for Black America? Who elected these “civil rights leaders?” If you have ever considered, even briefly, any one of these questions, or others, in the area of race relations, then you need your own copy of Black YellowDogs. (What does “black yellowdogs” mean, anyway?) Buy it, read it, mark it up, look up the facts, burn it, or better yet give it to one of your white or black friends and talk about it. Remember, the most dangerous citizen is not armed but uninformed.

     

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