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Essence Magazine, June-2014

Essence Magazine’s Book Features for June 2014

Essence Magazine’s book selections for June 2014, featuring their “Summer Reading Challenge” (Wendy Williams’ “Hold Me in Contempt,” Walter Mosley’s “Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore,” Morowa Yejide’s “Time of the Locust,” Cynthia Bond’s “Ruby,” Lauren Francis-Sharma’s’s “‘Til the Well Runs Dry,” and Elizabeth Nunez’ “Not for Everyday Use”), Toni Braxton’s memoir “Unbreak My Heart,” and T.D. Jakes’ “Instinct”:

Hold Me in Contempt: A Romance by Wendy Williams

Move over 50 Shades, there’s a new romance in town. Superstar Wendy Williams brings on the heat in her first ever, no-holds-barred, down and dirty, romance novel.

Kimberly Kind is trying to get beyond her roots. A successful, beautiful, smart lawyer, she’s finally finding direction in her life and getting out of the streets. But a terrible accident threatens to throw her carefully laid plans off course. Now Kim’s hiding a huge secret — one that could threaten everything.

Enter King. A perfect mix of Justin Timberlake and David Beckham, the man oozes sex and has more swagger than anyone Kim’s ever met. Their chemistry is off the charts. But after passion-filled nights, the intensity of their emotions takes both of them by surprise.

Love was not supposed to be an option. Now it’s the only thing holding them together. When their pasts come back with a vengeance, can love possibly be enough?

Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore: A Novel by Walter Mosley

In this scorching, mournful, often explicit, and never less than moving literary novel by the famed creator of the Easy Rawlins series, Debbie Dare, a black porn queen, has to come to terms with her sordid life in the adult entertainment industry after her tomcatting husband dies in a hot tub. Electrocuted. With another woman in there with him. Debbie decides she just isn’t going to “do it anymore.” But executing her exit strategy from the porn world is a wrenching and far from simple process.

Millions of men (and no doubt many women) have watched famed black porn queen Debbie Dare — she of the blond wig and blue contacts — “do it” on television and computer screens every which way with every combination of partners the mind of man can imagine. But one day an unexpected and thunderous on-set orgasm catches Debbie unawares, and when she returns to the mansion she shares with her husband, insatiable former porn star and “film producer” Theon Pinkney, she discovers that he’s died in a case of hot tub electrocution, “auditioning” an aspiring “starlet.” Burdened with massive debts that her husband incurred, and which various L.A. heavies want to collect on, Debbie must reckon with a life spent in the peculiar subculture of the pornography industry and her estrangement from her family and the child she had to give up. She’s done with porn, but her options for what might come next include the possibility of suicide. Debbie . . . is a portrait of a ransacked but resilient soul in search of salvation and a cure for grief.

Time of the Locust: A Novel by Morowa Yejide

Travel into the heart and mind of an extraordinary autistic boy in this deeply imaginative debut novel of a mother’s devotion, a father’s punishment, and the power of love.

Sephiri is an autistic boy who lives in a world of his own making, where he dwells among imagined sea creatures that help him process information in the “real world” in which he is forced to live. But lately he has been having dreams of a mysterious place, and he starts creating fantastical sketches of this strange, inner world.

Brenda, Sephiri’s mother, struggles with raising her challenged child alone. Her only wish is to connect with him — a smile on his face would be a triumph. Meanwhile, Sephiri’s father, Horus, is sentenced to life in prison, making life even lonelier for Brenda and Sephiri. Yet prison is still not enough to separate father and son. In the seventh year of his imprisonment and the height of his isolation, Horus develops supernatural mental abilities that allow him to reach his son. Memory and yearning carry him outside his body, and through the realities of their ordeals and dreamscape, Horus and Sephiri find each other — and find hope in ways never imagined.

Deftly portrayed by the remarkable and talented up-and-comer Morowa Yejide, Time of the Locust is a brilliant narrative about the psychological realms of solitude, youth, and wonder. At its heart, this is a harrowing, surreal, and redemptive journey to the union of a family.

Ruby: A Novel by Cynthia Bond

The epic, unforgettable story of a man determined to protect the woman he loves from the town desperate to destroy her — this beautiful and devastating debut heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.

Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby, “the kind of pretty it hurt to look at,” has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York. Ruby quickly winds her way into the ripe center of the city–the darkened piano bars and hidden alleyways of the Village–all the while hoping for a glimpse of the red hair and green eyes of her mother. When a telegram from her cousin forces her to return home, thirty-year-old Ruby Bell finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood. With the terrifying realization that she might not be strong enough to fight her way back out again, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town’s dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyalty to the sister who raised him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy.

Full of life, exquisitely written, and suffused with the pastoral beauty of the rural South, Ruby is a transcendent novel of passion and courage. This wondrous page-turner rushes through the red dust and gossip of Main Street, to the pit fire where men swill bootleg outside Bloom’s Juke, to Celia Jennings’s kitchen where a cake is being made, yolk by yolk, that Ephram will use to try to begin again with Ruby. Utterly transfixing, with unforgettable characters, riveting suspense, and breathtaking, luminous prose, Ruby offers an unflinching portrait of man’s dark acts and the promise of the redemptive power of love.

‘Til the Well Runs Dry: A Novel by Lauren Francis-Sharma

A glorious and moving multi-generational, multicultural saga that begins in the 1940s and sweeps through the 1960′s in Trinidad and the United States.

Lauren Francis-Sharma‘s ‘Til the Well Runs Dry opens in a seaside village in the north of Trinidad where young Marcia Garcia, a gifted and smart-mouthed 16-year-old seamstress, lives alone, raising two small boys and guarding a family secret. When she meets Farouk Karam, an ambitious young policeman (so taken with Marcia that he elicits the help of a tea-brewing obeah woman to guarantee her ardor), the risks and rewards in Marcia’s life amplify forever.

On an island rich with laughter, Calypso, Carnival, cricket, beaches and salty air, sweet fruits and spicy stews, the novel follows Marcia and Farouk from their amusing and passionate courtship through personal and historical events that threaten Marcia’s secret, entangle the couple and their children in a scandal, and endanger the future for all of them.

‘Til the Well Runs Dry tells the twinned stories of a spirited woman’s love for one man and her bottomless devotion to her children. For readers who cherish the previously untold stories of women’s lives, here is a story of grit and imperfection and love that has not been told before.

Not for Everyday Use: A Memoir by Elizabeth Nunez

Tracing the four days from the moment she gets the call that every immigrant fears to the burial of her mother, Elizabeth Nunez tells the haunting story of her lifelong struggle to cope with the consequences of the “sterner stuff” of her parents’ ambitions for their children and her mother’s seemingly unbreakable conviction that displays of affection are not for everyday use.

But Nunez sympathizes with her parents, whose happiness is constrained by the oppressive strictures of colonialism, by the Catholic Church’s prohibition of artificial birth control which her mother obeys, terrified by the threat of eternal damnation (her mother gets pregnant fourteen times: nine live births and five miscarriages which almost kill her), and by what Malcolm Gladwell refers to as the “privilege of skin color” in his mother’s Caribbean island homeland where “the brown-skinned classes…came to fetishize their lightness.” Still, a fierce love holds this family together, and the passionate, though complex, love Nunez’s parents have for each other will remind readers of the passion between the aging lovers in Gabriel Garcia Marquez‘s Love in the Time of Cholera. Written in exquisite prose by a writer the New York Times Book Review calls “a master at pacing and plotting,” Not for Everyday Use is a page-turner that readers will find impossible to put down.

Unbreak My Heart: A Memoir by Toni Braxton

In this heartfelt memoir, six-time Grammy Award-winning artist and star of WE TV’s reality hit, Braxton Family Values, Toni Braxton writes about her personal life decisions and their impact on her health, family and career.

While Braxton appears to be living a gilded life — selling 60 million records, appearing in sold-out Las Vegas performances and hit shows like “Dancing with the Stars,” and starring in her own reality series — hers is in fact a tumultuous story, a tale of triumph over a life filled with obstacles, including two bankruptcy filings. The mother of an autistic child, Braxton long feared that her son’s condition might be karmic retribution for earlier life choices, some of which will shock fans. But when heart ailments began plaguing her at the age of 41 and she was diagnosed with Lupus, Braxton knew she had to move beyond the self-recrimination and take charge of her own healing.

Intensely honest and deeply inspirational, Unbreak My Heart is the never-before-told story of the measures Braxton took to make herself and her family whole again.

Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive by T. D. Jakes

Modern life can seem like being lost in a jungle. With distractions and dangers emerging from every direction, it’s easy to lose focus. Over time, we lose touch with one of our most powerful, purposeful, God-given attributes–the desire to be fruitful and multiply, what Bishop T. D. Jakes calls our “instinct for increase.”

Combining historical, cultural, and personal examples with biblical insights, in INSTINCT, Bishop Jakes outlines how to re-discover your natural aptitudes and re-claim the wisdom of your past experiences. When attuned to divinely inspired instincts, you will become in sync with the opportunities life presents and discover a fresh abundance of resources. Knowing when to close a deal, when to take a risk, and when to listen to your heart will become possible when you’re in touch with the instincts that God gave you.

Bishop T.D. Jakes — iconic preacher, bestselling author, and entrepreneur–has inspired millions of people around the world. Here he writes from the peak of his personal power about how to experience the satisfaction of a life well lived. If you long to conquer the jungles of life, INSTINCT offers the personal and professional tools needed to navigate your course successfully and according to God’s design.

LaDonna Marie

Interview with LaDonna Marie

LaDonna MarieLaDonna Marie is an author, writer, poet, and motivational speaker. She is a Program Coordinator at Goodwill Industries and a contracted Therapist at Malinda Graham & Associates. She is originally from Mississippi and now lives in GA. She discovered her love for words early and started writing poetry pre-teen. It was always her childhood dream to become an author. She loves creating an atmosphere for learning and growth. She has also been a public and motivational speaker for numerous youth groups.

She received her undergraduate degree from Alcorn State University in 2005 with a B.A. in Social Work. She has a M.S. in Counseling Studies from Capella University and a M.A. from South University in Professional Counseling in 2012. LaDonna has two wonderful children, Landon and Lathan Cook.

Ladonna wants her true passion of love of writing, her encouraging word, her humble spirit, and compassion for people to be her message. She uses her poetry to release & teach lessons of growth and evolving from transformations in life. Her biggest motivation is to touch someone with her words and engage them to want to change their perspective. She believes that anyone can change the situation they are in. She believes in being positive and fighting for what one would like to happen. She feels that becoming a writer and her love for words, are her greatest gift from God.

She became apart of and The League of American Poets in 2007, in a collective anthology called Whispers. In 2012, she received a Certificate of Congratulation from Congressman Bennie Thompson 2nd district of MS. Also she was inducted into Who’s Who in Black Mississippi in 2012. In 2013 Best of Liberty Contest she was listed as runner up in the Writer category. Also in November 2013 with her dedication to the youth, she launched her first youth for Christ conference, called Planting Positive Seeds, to help motivate, encourage, and empower the youth. In 2014, she is featured in The Gospel According to Poetry : An Anthology, also in Sibella Women’s Poetry Magazine for the entire year. In 2014, she landed the January cover of Precious Stone Magazine, with Poetry Features and Author interviews in YoUnique Magazine, Shine Magazine, C Hub Magazine and Image & Style Magazines to spread her words of empowerment.

Publications

In 2010, she self-published her first book, Expressions of the Mind, Body, & Soul with Xilibris publishing company. She started writing to put a voice to issues that she felt needed to be expressed This is a book of collective poetry that talks about love, relationships, spirituality, and encouragement. Her motto is “Poetry is an outlet for the heart”.

Her second book Until Tomorrow Comes was released in September 2013. This book will also be an eclectic look at growth and awareness while using creative expressions in poetry. Her books can be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. She is looking in the future to continue writing about encouragement, relationships, and children books.

1. What is your inspiration behind your poetry? At what point, did you want to be a writer/poet?
My inspiration behind my poetry is to motivate and empower others. Poetry became my voice to speak on perceptions I had about life experiences growing up and others that I noticed in day to day life. I often use my pen to bring awareness about love, growth and relationships being able to positively transition in making life better each day at a time.

 
I started writing during pre-teen, and just wanted to journal things to be able to write out my emotions. I knew after I got to high school, that I wanted to be author and a poet. I started to writing sonnets, love poems and learning about the different styles of poetry. Then as my interest increased I started to write more and more each day from them until now. In high school, I met Nikki Giovanni and Maya Angelou, I started reading their work and being inspired to use my love of poetry to speak to others.

 
2. What would be your choice, reading a poem or writing one?
In the beginning when I started writing, I only wanted to be the voice behind the words. Until about a year ago, When God spoke to me to start doing some motivational speaking and sharing my poetry. Now, I love both experiences of writing and reading poem that will uplift or enlighten others. I now recite the poems with the same passion that I write them with.

 
3. How often do you write (and re-write)? What is your process for writing?
My writing process is based off of inspiration, whenever God gives me a piece. I immediately get a feeling in my chest or a whisper of a line in my head. Then, I start to pull out my pen, pad and write. I normally look over poems about 3 times before I finalize it. During that time I will change anything that I don’t feel with work.

 
4. What are you reading now? What is on your nightstand?
I am reading Never Again, No More A Novel by Author Untamed, and L.A.P.D. Life after a painful Divorce by Pastor J.K. Sanders

 
5. Do you have an author crush? Any favorite authors? How about a poem or book that you wish you had written?
No, author crush, but one of my favorite authors is G.P.A. Greatest Poet Alive aka James Gordon. I have all of his six poetry books, to name a few: The Confessional Heart of a Man, The Mind of a Poetic Unsub and his new release Hi, My Name is Bobo.

 
6. What’s next for you and Until Tomorrow Comes?
Right now I am working on a new empowerment poetry book for girls, that should be coming out soon. I am also working with an artist to get a single made for Until Tomorrow Comes. I have been featuring UTC in Magazines and also in the UK. I would love to continue to share my poetry with the world, with hopes of inspires others.

Until Tomorrow Comes by LaDonna Marie
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, September 25, 2013, Paperback

Author LaDonna Marie wants to introduce through her poetry a journey of growth and awareness with different life experiences. She shares her poetry in efforts to spark reflections and enlighten the reader on your own journey as well. Look inside and answer these questions. Are you feeling lost in some areas of your life? Are you on the verge of giving up? Are you seeking to become stronger and independent? Are you seeking a deeper connection in your spirituality? In answering these questions you may find some come instantly and some may take time. So Until Tomorrow Comes, let’s approach each a day with a positive outlook while finding yourself.

March: Book One by John Lewis

Georgia Congressman John Lewis is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis‘ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Book One spans John Lewis‘ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story.” Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

Carla’s Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes from Around the World by Carla Hall

Carla’s Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes from Around the World
Carla Hall (Author), Frances Janisch (Photographer), Genevieve Ko (Contributor)

For Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s The Chew, food is a wonderful way to forge connections with and between people. In her delicious new cookbook, Carla’s Comfort Foods, she finds inspiration by going around the world in search of the universal home-cooked flavors of comfort. Spinning standbys into distinctive new recipes, she combines the beloved flavors of home with the most delectable, enticing spices and tastes of international cuisine. Carla starts with your essential recipe for perfect all-American burgers; from there, you can choose to do them up Persian-style with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, lime, and fragrant spices; or give them a Vietnamese twist with pickled veggies, scallions, ginger, and cilantro; or take your burgers to Morocco with gutsy spices, chiles, and feta cheese.

Full of Carla’s entertaining stories, the book shows how seasoning can transform any simple recipe. A comprehensive spice and flavor guide lets you chart your own course in the kitchen by turning your favorite go-to dish into a culinary trip around the world. In recipes that reflect her own vivacious personality, Carla takes you from Southern Chicken with Milk Gravy to West African Spicy- Sweet Chicken Stew; from German Double-Mustard Potato Salad to Moroccan Spice-Rubbed Beef Roast to Indian Chile, Pea, and Coconut Chutney; and from Southern Peach Cobbler to Greek Baklava. We all need an aromatic bowl of chicken soup from time to time; with Carla’s Comfort Foods, you can perk it up Italian-style with fresh basil and oregano; or have a taste of India with cilantro, curry, cumin, and turmeric; for a Caribbean treat, make it fragrant with lime, thyme, and cayenne pepper.

From Nashville to Naples to Nigeria, nothing gathers friends and family around the table like the flavors of home. Now you can hug your friends and family with Carla’s incredibly flavorful takes on creamy soups and noodles, fragrant stews and dumplings, and mouthwatering pastries, pies, and tarts. Join Carla for a delicious journey!

Back Home with the Neelys: Comfort Food from Our Southern Kitchen to Yours

Back Home with the Neelys: Comfort Food from Our Southern Kitchen to Yours
by Pat Neely (Author), Gina Neely (Author), Ann Volkwein (Author)

For Pat and Gina Neely the secret to a truly happy home is a lively mix of food and family. In their new book, the best-selling authors draw on their down-home roots and revisit the classic Southern recipes that have been passed down through generations. We’re drawn into the kitchens of their mothers and grandmothers and back to a time when produce was picked in the backyard garden and catfish was caught on afternoon fishing trips with Grandpa. In their signature style, Pat and Gina have taken the dishes they were raised on and updated them for today’s kitchens.

Inside you’ll find 100 recipes, including Small Batch Strawberry Jam (best when eaten with Easy Buttermilk and Cream Biscuits), Bourbon French Toast, Crunchy Fried Okra, Skillet Corn Bread, Grilled Succotash, Skillet Roasted Chicken, and Brunswick Stew (which combines a little of everything in your fridge).

Pat and Gina believe good food leads to good times and Back Home with the Neelys is sure to bring back fond memories of the tradition, history, and flavors that are present in every family.

2014 Black Writers on Tour – April 19

Featured Authors

Rose’s Garden: Every Bully Needs Prayer by Shauntae’ E Harris
When faced with the school’s biggest bully, Rose is forced to confront her fears. This heartfelt story will take you on a journey of a young girl’s prayer to God. This simple prayer and miracle takes place in the garden. It gives hope and courage. For any child who is a victim of bullying or low self-esteem, this inspiring story will empower your child with love, prayer, and faith.
The Sins of Eden: Murder in the Park by Patricia Hickman-Lampley
A sadistic serial killer is on the loose in the once idyllic community of Eden Beach. In the summer of 1973, Michael Reese and his friends are looking forward to their senior year of high school until two dead bodies are found on the lawn of their favorite neighborhood park. Brothers Phillip and Johnny Mulu, have been murdered and their friends, a newly formed but vicious gang born in the Oakwood Housing Projects, go on the rampage, looking for justice. Enemies of the two brothers start to disappear or turn up dead and, as the bodies pile up, Mike and his two best friends find themselves on opposite sides of the war. Because all of the murder victims are drug dealers, gang members or both, people are quick to blame the Oaktown Boys and their allies while others start to believe the killer is a vigilante, waging his own war against the scourge that has tainted their little piece of heaven.
You Are A Star by Rachel BB, illustrated by Juacclyn Nikol
You Are A Star is a factual and empowering poetic story filled with wonderfully creative and cultural illustrations for individuals of any age to read. It uses a traditional language with new vocabulary words to learn along with the included glossary. The awesome story that is all about children of color allows individuals to connect with themselves, their environment, and their world in order to unlock their inner power. This story reminds the reader that he or she can do anything, be anything, and have anything they want in this lifetime if they stay grounded in their roots and concentrate on their future.

Saturday, April 19, 2014–9:00 A.M. – 6 P.M.

SEMINAR SCHEDULE
Carson Community Center • 801 East Carson Street, Carson CA • (310) 835-0212
Black Writers on Tour line: (323) Telephone: (323) 750-3592 , E-mail: DrRosie@aol.com

Paid Seminars For Writers And Aspiring Writers
Pkg. #1 $50 for one seminar. Pkg. #2 $75 for two seminars. Pkg. #3 $100 for all seminars

Time & Room Numbers (ACM=Adult Community) (Room AB=International Room AB)

10:00-11:00 – AB
How To Set Up Your E-Book On Nook & Kindle Made Simple
L.C. Green, author, publisher, business consultant & social media guru

10:00-11:00 – Lounge
Every Thing You Need To Know When Looking For A Line Editor, Story Editor, Cover Designer, Book Layout Designer, Illustrator, Publisher, Printer, Web Designer, PR Person
Darrell Mitchell, author, publisher, motivational speaker & Jessica Tilles, author, editor, book designer, graphic designer

11:00-12:00 – Lounge
How To Operate A Successful Home-based Business; Recordkeeping For Tax Compliance.
L.C. Green, author, publisher, business/tax consultant, and Clara Hunter King, ESQ, author, publisher

11:00-12:00 – Room 122
How To Write A Best-Selling Novel
Dr. Maxine Thompson, author, publisher, literary agent, talk-show host

12:00-2:00 – ACM
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: THE RENOWNED DR. CLAUD ANDERSON
Author of Black Labor, White Wealth, PowerNomics: The Plan to Empower Black America, Dirty Little Secrets, More Dirty Little Secrets. Dr. Anderson will unveil his newest book.
Ticket $20 if purchased by March 15, 2014 and $25 thereafter.

12:00-1:00 – Lounge
Handling Your Book Like A Real Business And The Profit Centers You Can Develop
Lounge As An Author (Stop Leaving Money On The Table!)
Deborah Thorne, author, trainer, coined as “The Information Diva”

2:00-3:00 – AB
How To Increase Your Book Exposure and Sales Via Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Blog, etc.
L.C. Green, author, business/tax consultant; Damien Halliburton, social media specialist, website/commercial development; Halima Chancellor, talk-show host, social media consultant

2:00-3:30 – Room 122
Creative Writing Class For Beginners
Frederick Williams, professor, author, publisher

3:30-4:30 – ACM
How To Write A Book Made Simple & Your Publishing Options, The Nuts & Bolts
Dr. Rosie Milligan, author, publisher, speaker and talk-show host

3:30-5:00 – AB
How To Develop Characters That Leap Off The Page
Dr. Roland Jefferson, M.D., author and publisher

3:30-4:30 – Lounge
What You Need To Know To Be A Great Guest On Radio, Keep The Phone Ringing, Sell
Lounge Books, And Get Invited Back.
Jamal Goree, talk-show host; Keith Swanson, talk-show host; Dr. Maxine Thompson, author, literary agent and talk-show host

Free Seminars For The General Public
Time & Room Numbers (ACM=Adult Community) (Room AB=International Room AB)

8:00-9:00 – ACM
Roundtable Discussion With Authors. (A Close-Up Look At The Publishing Industry)
Authors Share Their Successful Marketing Strategies
Dr. Rosie Milligan and guests

9:30-10:45 – ACM
Children Writing Class Contest Showcase
E.L. Henderson, educator, and Dr. Eva Holmes, author, educator, Alice Houston, educator

10:00-11:00 – Room 122
A Close-Up Look At The politics of Street Lit, Urban Literature, AKA Ghetto or Gangster Lit. Is this genre of literature helpful or harmful? And Is Street Lit Something New In Black Culture? It Is Time To Look At The Positive That Has Evolved From Street Lit.
Dr. David Horne, author, college professor for multiple universities, professor of Critical Thinking and African Political-Economic History. He teaches Urban Lit and Introduction to Black American Culture.

11:00-12:30 – AB
Children Writing Class
E.L. Henderson, author, educator/trainer, Alice Houston, educator, Dr. Eva Holmes, educator, Dr. Claudia Holmes, author, educator

12:30-1:30 – AB
MASCOT-Teaching/ Entertaining/Empowering Children/Youth To Dream And To Have A Desire To Read
Roger Tinsley, Mascot, author, since 1998, he is the only urban super hero that literally keep children out of danger via teaching them how to be safe by empowering them and teaching them about safety, obesity and literacy.

1:00-2:00 – Room 122
A Close-Up look At Jobs/Careers In The Publishing Industry-Many! Leo Sullivan, animator,
founder/president of AFROKIDS; Jessica Tilles, author, editor, book designer, graphic designer; John Milligan, author, newspaper editor; George Hooks, author, graphic designer, newspaper editor; Damien Halliburton, social media specialist, website/commercial development; Jay De Vance, III, graphic designer, illustrator, cartoonist

2:00-3:00 – Lounge
Let The Elders Speak (A Forum Of Elders Ages 65-100) “Facing Today’s Challenges”
Lounge The Role Of The Elders And What They Must Do To Shape A Better Future For The Next Generation. Facilitator: Kenyaka Beckley

Ebony Magazine cover, March 2014

Ebony Magazine’s Book Choices for March 2014

Ebony Magazine’s March 2014 book selections:

Red Now and Laters: A Novel
Marcus J. Guillory

In this impressive debut Marcus J. Guillory brilliantly weaves together the many obstacles of a young man growing into adulthood, the realities of urban life, the history of Louisiana Creole culture, the glory of the black cowboy, and the role of religion in shaping lives.

South Park, Houston, Texas, 1977, is where we first meet Ti’ John, a young boy under the care of his larger-than life father — a working-class rodeo star and a practitioner of vodou—and his mother — a good Catholic and cautious disciplinarian — who forbids him to play with the neighborhood “hoodlums.” Ti’ John, throughout the era of Reaganomics and the dawn of hip-hop and cassette tapes, must negotiate the world around him and a peculiar gift he’s inherited from his father and Jules Saint-Pierre “Nonc” Sonnier, a deceased ancestor who visits the boy, announcing himself with the smell of smoke on a regular basis. In many ways, Ti’ John is an ordinary kid who loses his innocence as he witnesses violence and death, as he gets his heart broken by girls and his own embittered father, as he struggles to live up to his mother’s middle-class aspirations and his father’s notion of what it is to be a man. In other ways, he is different — from his childhood buddies and from the father who is his hero.

The question throughout this layered and complex coming-of-age story is will Ti’ John survive the bad side of life — and his upbringing — and learn how to recognize and keep what is good.

Pageants, Parlors, and Pretty Women: Race and Beauty in the Twentieth-Century South
Blain Roberts

From the South’s pageant queens to the importance of beauty parlors to African American communities, it is easy to see the ways beauty is enmeshed in southern culture. But as Blain Roberts shows in this incisive work, the pursuit of beauty in the South was linked to the tumultuous racial divides of the region, where the Jim Crow-era cosmetics industry came of age selling the idea of makeup that emphasized whiteness, and where, in the 1950s and 1960s, black-owned beauty shops served as crucial sites of resistance for civil rights activists. In these times of strained relations in the South, beauty became a signifier of power and affluence while it reinforced racial strife.

Roberts examines a range of beauty products, practices, and rituals–cosmetics, hairdressing, clothing, and beauty contests–in settings that range from tobacco farms of the Great Depression to 1950s and 1960s college campuses. In so doing, she uncovers the role of female beauty in the economic and cultural modernization of the South. By showing how battles over beauty came to a head during the civil rights movement, Roberts sheds new light on the tactics southerners used to resist and achieve desegregation.

Saint Monkey: A Novel
Jacinda Townsend

A stunning debut novel of two girls raised in hardship, separated by fortune, and reunited through tragedy.

Fourteen-year-old Audrey Martin, with her Poindexter glasses and her head humming the 3/4 meter of gospel music, knows she’ll never get out of Kentucky — but when her fingers touch the piano keys, the whole church trembles. Her best friend, Caroline, daydreams about Hollywood stardom, but both girls feel destined to languish in a slow-moving stopover town in Montgomery County.

That is, until chance intervenes and a booking agent offers Audrey a ticket to join the booming jazz scene in Harlem — an offer she can’t resist, not even for Caroline. And in New York City the music never stops. Audrey flirts with love and takes the stage at the Apollo, with its fast-dancing crowds and blinding lights. But fortunes can turn fast in the city — young talent means tough competition, and for Audrey failure is always one step away. Meanwhile, Caroline sinks into the quiet anguish of a Black woman in a backwards country, where her ambitions and desires only slip further out of reach.

Jacinda Townsend’s remarkable first novel is a coming-of-age story made at once gripping and poignant by the wild energy of the Jazz Era and the stark realities of segregation. Marrying musical prose with lyric vernacular, Saint Monkey delivers a stirring portrait of American storytelling and marks the appearance of an auspicious new voice in literary fiction.

The Secret of Magic
Deborah Johnson

In 1946, a young female attorney from New York City attempts the impossible: attaining justice for a black man in the Deep South.

Regina Robichard works for Thurgood Marshall, who receives an unusual letter asking the NAACP to investigate the murder of a returning black war hero. It is signed by M. P. Calhoun, the most reclusive author in the country.

As a child, Regina was captivated by Calhoun’s The Secret of Magic, a novel in which white and black children played together in a magical forest.

Once down in Mississippi, Regina finds that nothing in the South is as it seems. She must navigate the muddy waters of racism, relationships, and her own tragic past.The Secret of Magic brilliantly explores the power of stories and those who tell them.

The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery
Sarah Lewis

It is one of the enduring enigmas of the human experience: many of our most iconic, creative endeavors — from Nobel Prize-winning discoveries to entrepreneurial inventions and works in the arts — are not achievements but conversions, corrections after failed attempts.

The gift of failure is a riddle. Like the number zero, it will always be both a void and the start of infinite possibility. The Rise — a soulful celebration of the determination and courage of the human spirit — makes the case that many of our greatest triumphs come from understanding the importance of this mystery.

This exquisite biography of an idea is about the improbable foundations of creative human endeavor. The Rise begins with narratives about figures past and present who range from writers to entrepreneurs; Frederick Douglass, Samuel F. B. Morse, and J. K. Rowling, for example, feature alongside choreographer Paul Taylor, Nobel Prize-winning physicists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, Arctic explorer Ben Saunders, and psychology professor Angela Duckworth.

The Rise explores the inestimable value of often ignored ideas — the power of surrender for fortitude, the criticality of play for innovation, the propulsion of the near win on the road to mastery, and the importance of grit and creative practice. From an uncommonly insightful writer, The Rise is a true masterwork.

The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks

The Harlem Hellfighters
by Max Brooks (Author), Caanan White (Illustrator)

Broadway Books, April 1, 2014, Paperback

From bestselling author Max Brooks, the riveting story of the highly decorated, barrier-breaking, historic black regiment — the Harlem Hellfighters

In 1919, the 369th infantry regiment marched home triumphantly from World War I. They had spent more time in combat than any other American unit, never losing a foot of ground to the enemy, or a man to capture, and winning countless decorations. Though they returned as heroes, this African American unit faced tremendous discrimination, even from their own government. The Harlem Hellfighters, as the Germans called them, fought courageously on — and off — the battlefield to make Europe, and America, safe for democracy.

In THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS, bestselling author Max Brooks and acclaimed illustrator Caanan White bring this history to life. From the enlistment lines in Harlem to the training camp at Spartanburg, South Carolina, to the trenches in France, they tell the heroic story of the 369th in an action-packed and powerful tale of honor and heart.

Twisted by N’Tyse

Twisted Vows of Seduction (Twisted Series)

Strebor Books, 12/10/2013, Paperback

Some secrets aren’t meant to be kept.

In this scandalously provocative soap-drama series, deceit, seduction, and a tempestuous affair intertwines the lives of lascivious lovers who will go above and beyond to keep their sexual trysts a secret, but the curse of temptation will lead to revelations that may result in their own demise.     
Still mourning the death of his lover, Denise, Greg Adams conspires to leave his wife. He believes that Denise has come back to him in the form of a woman named Naomi Brooks, and he can’t forget her. But there’s one problem–his wife is going to honor every line in their wedding vows until death does them part.

Naomi Brooks, a recovering alcoholic, enters into an orchestrated affair to deceive Greg by creating the perfect illusion. Will the plan work or will she find herself a victim in a twisted game?

A long-term torrid affair with her best friend’s husband, Jeff, has scarred Nadine Collins for life. Nadine decides she must take a vow of celibacy to cleanse her spirit. While her journey seems impossible, she can see a light at the end of the tunnel. There’s only one problem–she’s still not over Jeff, now a divorcé living life in the fast lane.

Ménage, an aspiring actress, has her sights set on Hollywood. She will do anything to ensure her rise to the top, including robbing Jeff of all the life insurance money he collected after his wife died. But a blast from the past slows her down. When Jeff comes running to her rescue, it proves to be the perfect setup.

The real twisted games are just beginning.

Twisted Seduction: A Novel (Twisted Series)

Strebor Books, 11/26/2013, Mass Market Paperback

An erotic, drama-laced journey into the lives of two best friends who will stop at nothing to have the man of their dreams—even when the cost of betrayal has a price tag neither of them is ready to pay.

Thirty-two-year-old Denise Jackson seems to have everything a woman could want: a lovely home in the posh Dallas suburbs, a fancy car, a caring husband, and a beautiful nine-year-old daughter. Yet Denise feels incomplete. She pretends to be happily married as she allows her husband and best friend to carry on an affair so that she can get better acquainted with a millionaire client. But when Denise’s husband discovers he isn’t the father of their child, all her carefully built lies come tumbling down.

Twisted Seduction lures readers into an orchestrated web of raw emotion, deceit, infidelity, and sex that makes for an exhilarating read.

The Real Thing by Brenda Jackson



Mass Market Paperback
March 4, 2014
Harlequin

What happens when a pretend boyfriend wants more than make-believe? Find out in this Westmoreland novel from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Jackson!

No red-blooded man turns down the chance to escort gorgeous Trinity Matthews — and Adrian Westmoreland is definitely red-blooded. For her, he’ll pretend to be her man. But keeping his hands to himself? That is impossible. A Westmoreland always keeps his word, but how long before Adrian turns this fake affair into something real?

Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed by Bryant Terry



Hardcover
April 8, 2014
Ten Speed Press
African, Caribbean, and southern food are all known and loved as vibrant and flavor-packed cuisines. In Afro-Vegan, renowned chef and food justice activist Bryant Terry reworks and remixes the favorite staples, ingredients, and classic dishes of the African Diaspora to present wholly new, creative culinary combinations that will amaze vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike.

Blending these colorful cuisines results in delicious recipes like Smashed Potatoes, Peas, and Corn with Chile-Garlic Oil, a recipe inspired by the Kenyan dish irio, and Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad with dried apricots, carrots, and almonds, which is based on a Moroccan tagine. Creamy Coconut-Cashew Soup with Okra, Corn, and Tomatoes pays homage to a popular Brazilian dish while incorporating classic Southern ingredients, and Crispy Teff and Grit Cakes with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Peanuts combines the Ethiopian grain teff with stone-ground corn grits from the Deep South and North African zalook dip. There’s perfect potluck fare, such as the simple, warming, and intensely flavored Collard Greens and Cabbage with Lots of Garlic, and the Caribbean-inspired Cocoa Spice Cake with Crystallized Ginger and Coconut-Chocolate Ganache, plus a refreshing Roselle-Rooibos Drink that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

With more than 100 modern and delicious dishes that draw on Terry’s personal memories as well as the history of food that has traveled from the African continent, Afro-Vegan takes you on an international food journey. Accompanying the recipes are Terry’s insights about building community around food, along with suggested music tracks from around the world and book recommendations. For anyone interested in improving their well-being, Afro-Vegan‘s groundbreaking recipes offer innovative, plant-based global cuisine that is fresh, healthy, and forges a new direction in vegan cooking.

12th National Black Writers Conference, March 27-30

The Twelfth National Black Writers Conference: Reconstructing the Master Narrative sponsored by the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY

Thursday, March 27, 2014 to Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Twelfth National Black Writers Conference will provide writers, scholars, literary professionals, students, and the general public with a forum for engaging in dynamic and spirited conversations, panel discussions, readings, workshops, and performances on themes related to Reconstructing the Master Narrative.

The National Black Writers Conference offers us an opportunity to present to the public the complexity of the texts produced by Black writers throughout the African Diaspora.

12th National Black Writers Conference

The 2014 NBWC theme of “Black Writers Reconstructing the Master Narrative” builds on previous NBWCs and takes into account the need to expose the general public to the vast range of texts that Black writers throughout the diaspora are producing. Using this theme as the premise of this public gathering of writers, students, literary agents, editors and the general public will have an opportunity to attend panels, roundtables and readings, participate in workshops, and take in performances over the four days of the Conference. The honorees for the Twelfth NBWC are: Maryse Condé, Walter Mosley, Quincy Troupe, Derek Walcott, and posthumously to Margaret Burroughs.

The National Black Writers Conference is a public program that will provide writers, scholars, literary professionals, students, and the general public with a forum for expanding their knowledge and reading of Black literature and for engaging in dynamic and spirited conversations, panel discussions, readings, workshops, and performances on conference themes and on future trends in the literature of Black writers.

The Conference will also pay tribute to and celebrate Black writers who have made significant contributions to the literary canon and will provide emerging writers with opportunities to improve their writing craft. Conference panels, roundtables, and featured speeches will be streamed and videotaped. Selected proceedings will be published.

The Tiara: 5 Ways to Reign as Queen of Your Castle by Lakia Shauntee Brandenburg



Paperback
December 20, 2013
Perfectly Imperfect Publishing Company
Lakia fulfilled her journey by saying “I do.” Now she’s learning how to effectively communicate with her husband, love him, and keep their intimacy alive. But these lessons were not learned without a little help from an imaginary headpiece. For wives and wives-to-be, Lakia is back to present you with The Tiara, an acronym that details what a wife should do after saying, “I do.” In The Tiara, Lakia reveals five principles that will give a wife the power to strengthen the love, intimacy, and communication that she has with her spouse. Sharing personal stories and providing practical steps for any wife to follow, The Tiara is a must-read if you want to understand how to reign as queen of your castle.

Upcoming Bestsellers for February 2014

A list of the bestselling books to be released in February, just in time for Black History Month.

  1. Queen Sugar: A Novel by Natalie Baszile
    ( Pamela Dorman Books , 2/6/2014 , Hardcover )
    Why exactly Charley Bordelon’s late father left her eight hundred sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her eleven-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles. They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that’s mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart. Penguin has a rich tradition of publishing strong Southern debut fiction —from Sue Monk Kidd to Kathryn Stockett to Beth Hoffman. In Queen Sugar, we now have a debut from the African American point of view. Stirring in its storytelling of one woman against the odds and initimate in its exploration of the complexities of contemporary southern life, Queen Sugar is an unforgettable tale of endurance and hope.

     

  2. South Beach Cartel – Part 1 by Nisa Santiago
    ( Melodrama Publishing , 2/4/2014 , Paperback )
    TRIO OF TERROR Cartier Timmons is infuriated by the tragedy and vengeance inflicted upon her family. She’s making savage rounds through Miami until she can bring her own brand of hood justice to the cartel who messed with hers. After a reunion that seemed like a dream come true, Citi and her mother Ashanti clash heads in a power struggle. Ashanti plays her position as the head chick in charge, and Citi is ostracized from the family. With no money, she’s once again forced to make her way back to the throne. Apple is growing restless in Colombia with Kola and Eduardo. She’s tired of the controlling situation and wants to resume making money. Plus, she can’t let go of the idea of finding her daughter Peaches. The search takes her to Miami, where she runs into her old friend from New York, Cartier. When Apple, Cartier, and Citi meet up, there’s an instant realization that the three can take down their opponents and rule the MIA, inflict pain and taking their spots as the Queen B’s of Miami.

     

  3. The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation by David Brion Davis
    ( Knopf , 2/4/2014 , Hardcover )
    From the revered historian, the long-awaited conclusion of the magisterial history of slavery and emancipation in Western culture that has been nearly fifty years in the making. David Brion Davis is one of the foremost historians of the twentieth century, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Bancroft Prize, and nearly every award given by the historical profession. Now, with The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation, Davis brings his staggeringly ambitious, prizewinning trilogy on slavery in Western culture to a close. Once again, Davis offers original and penetrating insights into what slavery and emancipation meant to Americans. He explores how the Haitian Revolution respectively terrified and inspired white and black Americans, hovering over the antislavery debates like a bloodstained ghost, and he offers a surprising analysis of the complex and misunderstood significance of colonization—the project to move freed slaves back to Africa—to members of both races and all political persuasions. He vividly portrays the dehumanizing impact of slavery, as well as the generally unrecognized importance of freed slaves to abolition. Most of all, Davis presents the age of emancipation as a model for reform and as probably the greatest landmark of willed moral progress in human history.

     

  4. The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat (Vintage Contemporaries) by Edward Kelsey Moore
    ( Vintage , 2/4/2014 , Paperback )
    Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat diner in Plainview, Indiana is home away from home for Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean.  Dubbed The Supremes by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they’ve weathered life’s storms for over four decades and counseled one another through marriage and children, happiness and the blues.  Now, however, they’re about to face their most challenging year yet. Proud, talented Clarice is struggling to keep up appearances as she deals with her husband’s humiliating infidelities; beautiful Barbara Jean is rocked by the tragic reverberations of a youthful love affair; and fearless Odette is about to embark on the most terrifying battle of her life. With wit, style and sublime talent, Edward Kelsey Moore brings together three devoted allies in a warmhearted novel that celebrates female friendship and second chances.

     

  5. A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story by Sister Souljah
    ( Atria/Emily Bestler Books , 2/18/2014 , Paperback )
    At last, mega-bestselling author Sister Souljah delivers the stunning sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever that fans have been eagerly waiting for. Frighteningly fierce, raw, and completely unpredictable, this coming-of-age adventure is woven with emotional intensity. A Deeper Love Inside is written in the words of Porsche Santiaga, Winter’s sharp-tongued, quick-witted younger sister. Porsche worships Winter. A natural born hustler, Porsche is also cut from the same cloth as her father, the infamous Ricky Santiaga. Passionate and loyal to the extreme, Porsche refuses to accept her new life in group homes, foster care, and juvenile detention after her wealthy family is torn apart. Porsche — unique, young, and beautiful — cries as much as she fights and uses whatever she has to reclaim her status. Unselfishly, she pushes to get back everything that ever belonged to her loving family.

     

  6. American Cocktail: A Colored Girl in the World by Anita Reynolds
    ( Harvard University Press , 2/24/2014 , Hardcover )
    This is the rollicking, never-before-published memoir of a fascinating woman with an uncanny knack for being in the right place in the most interesting times. Of racially mixed heritage, Anita Reynolds was proudly African American but often passed for Indian, Mexican, or Creole. Actress, dancer, model, literary critic, psychologist, but above all free-spirited provocateur, she was, as her Parisian friends nicknamed her, an American cocktail. One of the first black stars of the silent era, she appeared in Hollywood movies with Rudolph Valentino, attended Charlie Chaplin’s anarchist meetings, and studied dance with Ruth St. Denis. She moved to New York in the 1920s and made a splash with both Harlem Renaissance elites and Greenwich Village bohemians. An émigré in Paris, she fell in with the Left Bank avant garde, befriending Antonin Artaud, Man Ray, and Pablo Picasso. Next, she took up residence as a journalist in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War and witnessed firsthand the growing menace of fascism. In 1940, as the Nazi panzers closed in on Paris, Reynolds spent the final days before the French capitulation as a Red Cross nurse, afterward making a mad dash for Lisbon to escape on the last ship departing Europe. In prose that perfectly captures the globetrotting nonchalance of its author, American Cocktail presents a stimulating, unforgettable self-portrait of a truly extraordinary woman.

     

  7. Scalawag: A White Southerner’s Journey through Segregation to Human Rights Activism by Edward H. Peeples
    ( University of Virginia Press , 2/21/2014 , Hardcover )
    Scalawag tells the surprising story of a white working-class boy who became an unlikely civil rights activist. Born in 1935 in Richmond, where he was sent to segregated churches and schools, Ed Peeples was taught the ethos and lore of white supremacy by every adult in his young life. That message came with an equally cruel one—that, as the child of a wage-earning single mother, he was destined for failure.But by age nineteen Peeples became what the whites in his world called a traitor to the race. Pushed by a lone teacher to think critically, Peeples found his way to the black freedom struggle and began a long life of activism. He challenged racism in his U.S. Navy unit and engaged in sit-ins and community organizing. Later, as a university professor, he agitated for good jobs, health care, and decent housing for all, pushed for the creation of African American studies courses at his university, and worked toward equal treatment for women, prison reform, and more. Peeples did most of his human rights work in his native Virginia, and his story reveals how institutional racism pervaded the Upper South as much as the Deep South.Covering fifty years’ participation in the long civil rights movement, Peeples’s gripping story brings to life an unsung activist culture to which countless forgotten individuals contributed, over time expanding their commitment from civil rights to other causes. This engrossing, witty tale of escape from what once seemed certain fate invites readers to reflect on how moral courage can transform a life.

     

  8. Fortune & Fame: A Novel by Victoria Christopher Murray
    ( Touchstone , 2/25/2014 , Paperback )
    Jasmine Cox Larson Bush and Rachel Jackson Adams have been through a lot together—from fighting for their husbands to become the head of the American Baptist Coalition to getting mixed up in a terrible murder. Now the frenemies have found themselves the stars of First Ladies, a much-anticipated new reality television show. Jasmine balks at the idea of airing her dirty laundry on national TV, but Rachel sees it as the perfect opportunity to take her brand to the next level. And if Rachel is in, so is Jasmine. All the cast members are women of God—how much drama can there be? Rachel and Jasmine know their own pasts are murky, but they’ll seem like choir girls when the secrets and sins of the others come to light. The two will once again have to form an unholy alliance to go up against these so-called Godly women who see the show as their chance to take them down—at any cost.

     

  9. The Price of Defiance: James Meredith and the Integration of Ole Miss by Charles W. Eagles
    ( The University of North Carolina Press , 2/1/2014 , Paperback )
    When James Meredith enrolled as the first African American student at the University of Mississippi in 1962, the resulting riots produced more casualties than any other clash of the civil rights era. Eagles shows that the violence resulted from the university’s and the state’s long defiance of the civil rights movement and federal law. Ultimately, the price of such behavior–the price of defiance–was not only the murderous riot that rocked the nation and almost closed the university but also the nation’s enduring scorn for Ole Miss and Mississippi. Eagles paints a remarkable portrait of Meredith himself by describing his unusual family background, his personal values, and his service in the U.S. Air Force, all of which prepared him for his experience at Ole Miss.

     

  10. Malcolm X at Oxford Union: Racial Politics in a Global Era (Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities) by Saladin Ambar
    ( Oxford University Press, USA , 2/10/2014 , Hardcover )
    In 1964 Malcolm X was invited to debate at the Oxford Union Society at Oxford University. The topic of debate that evening was the infamous phrase from Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Republican Convention speech:Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. At a time when Malcolm was traveling widely and advocating on behalf of blacks in America and other nations, his thirty minute speech at the Oxford Union stands out as one of the great addresses of the civil rights era. Delivered just months before his assassination, the speech followed a period in which Malcolm had traveled throughout Africa and much of the Muslim world. The journey broadened his political thought to encompass decolonization, the revolutions underway in the developing world, and the relationship between American blacks and non-white populations across the globe-including England. Facing off against debaters in one of world’s most elite institutions, he delivered a revolutionary message that tackled a staggering array of issues: the nature of national identity; US foreign policy in the developing world; racial politics at home; the experiences of black immigrants in England; and the nature of power in the contemporary world. It represents a moment when his thought had advanced to its furthest point, shedding the parochial concerns of previous years for an increasingly global and humanist approach to ushering in social change. Set to publish near the fiftieth anniversary of his death, Malcolm X at Oxford Union will reshape our understanding not only of the man himself, but world politics both then and now.

     

  11. Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas by Emory Douglas
    ( Rizzoli , 2/4/2014 , Hardcover )
    A reformatted and reduced price edition of the first book to show the provocative posters and groundbreaking graphics of the Black Panther Party. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense, formed in the aftermath of the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, sounded a defiant cry for an end to the institutionalized subjugation of African Americans. The Black Panther newspaper was founded to articulate the party’s message, and artist Emory Douglas became the paper’s art director and later the party’s minister of culture. Douglas’s artistic talents and experience proved a powerful combination: his striking collages of photographs and his own drawings combined to create some of the era’s most iconic images. This landmark book brings together a remarkable lineup of party insiders who detail the crafting of the party’s visual identity.

     

  12. Plantation Church: How African American Religion Was Born in Caribbean Slavery by Noel Leo Erskine
    ( Oxford University Press, USA , 2/6/2014 , Paperback )
    Noel Leo Erskine investigates the history of the Black Church as it developed both in the United States and the Caribbean after the arrival of enslaved Africans. Typically, when people talk about the Black Church they are referring to African-American churches in the U.S., but in fact, the majority of African slaves were brought to the Caribbean. It was there, Erskine argues, that the Black religious experience was born. The massive Afro-Caribbean population was able to establish a form of Christianity that preserved African Gods and practices, but fused them with Christian teachings, resulting in religions such as Cuba’s Santería. The Black religious experience in the U.S. was markedly different because African Americans were a political and cultural minority. The Plantation Church became a place of solace and resistance that provided its members with a sense of kinship, not only to each other but also to their ancestral past.Despite their common origins, the Caribbean and African American Church are almost never studied together. Plantation Church examines the parallel histories of these two strands of the Black Church, showing where their historical ties remain strong and where different circumstances have led them down unexpectedly divergent paths. The result will be a work that illuminates the histories, theologies, politics, and practices of both branches of the Black Church.

     

  13. Humbled (Urban Books) by Patricia Haley
    ( Urban Books , 2/25/2014 , Paperback )

     

  14. Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood by Carole Boston Weatherford
    ( Albert Whitman & Company , 2/1/2014 , Hardcover )
    Take a walk through Harlem’s Sugar Hill and meet all the amazing people who made this neighborhood legendary. With upbeat rhyming, read-aloud text, Sugar Hill celebrates the Harlem neighborhood that successful African Americans first called home during the 1920s. Children raised in Sugar Hill not only looked up to these achievers but also experienced art and culture at home, at church, and in the community. Books, music lessons, and art classes expanded their horizons beyond the narrow limits of segregation. Includes brief biographies of jazz greats Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sonny Rollins, and Miles Davis; artists Aaron Douglas and Faith Ringgold; entertainers Lena Horne and the Nicholas Brothers; writer Zora Neale Hurston; civil rights leader W. E. B. DuBois and lawyer Thurgood Marshall.

     

  15. Willow by Tonya Cherie Hegamin
    ( Candlewick , 2/11/2014 , Hardcover )
    In 1848, an educated slave girl faces an inconceivable choice — between bondage and freedom, family and love.On one side of the Mason-Dixon Line lives fifteen-year-old Willow, her master’s favorite servant. She’s been taught to read and has learned to write. She believes her master is good to her and fears the rebel slave runaways. On the other side of the line is seventeen-year-old Cato, a black man, free born. It’s his personal mission to sneak as many fugitive slaves to freedom as he can. Willow’s and Cato’s lives are about to intersect, with life-changing consequences for both of them. Tonya Cherie Hegamin’s moving coming-of-age story is a poignant meditation on the many ways a person can be enslaved, and the force of will needed to be truly emancipated.

     

  16. Game World by C.J. Farley
    ( Black Sheep , 2/4/2014 , Hardcover )
    Dylan Rudee’s life is an epic fail. He’s bullied at school and plagued by seizures, until his videogame skills unlock a real-life fantasy world inside a new game. But now actual monsters are trying to kill him. In order to save his sister and his friends, Dylan must solve the game’s dangerous mystery in three days.

     

  17. Southern Cross the Dog by Bill Cheng
    ( Ecco , 2/4/2014 , Paperback )
    In the tradition of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor, Bill Cheng’s Southern Cross the Dog is an epic literary debut in which the bonds between three childhood friends are upended by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. In its aftermath, one young man must choose between the lure of the future and the claims of the past. Having lost virtually everything in the fearsome storm—home, family, first love—Robert Chatham embarks on an odyssey that takes him through the deep South, from the desperation of a refugee camp to the fiery and raucous brothel Hotel Beau-Miel and into the Mississippi hinterland, where he joins a crew hired to clear the swamp and build a dam. Along his journey he encounters piano-playing hustlers, ne’er-do-well Klansmen, well-intentioned whores, and a family of fur trappers, the L’Etangs, whose very existence is threatened by the swamp-clearing around them. The L’Etang brothers are fierce and wild but there is something soft about their cousin Frankie, possibly the only woman capable of penetrating Robert’s darkest places and overturning his conviction that he’s marked by the devil. Teeming with language that renders both the savage beauty and complex humanity of our shared past, Southern Cross the Dog is a tour de force that heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.

     

  18. Geographies of Liberation: The Making of an Afro-Arab Political Imaginary (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture) by Alex Lubin
    ( The University of North Carolina Press , 2/10/2014 , Paperback )
    In this absorbing transnational history, Alex Lubin reveals the vital connections between African American political thought and the people and nations of the Middle East. Spanning the 1850s through the present, and set against a backdrop of major political and cultural shifts around the world, the book demonstrates how international geopolitics, including the ascendance of liberal internationalism, established the conditions within which blacks imagined their freedom and, conversely, the ways in which various Middle Eastern groups have understood and used the African American freedom struggle to shape their own political movements. Lubin extends the framework of the black freedom struggle beyond the familiar geographies of the Atlantic world and sheds new light on the linked political, social, and intellectual imaginings of African Americans, Palestinians, Arabs, and Israeli Jews. This history of intellectual exchange, Lubin argues, has forged political connections that extend beyond national and racial boundaries.

     

  19. Harmony Cabins (A Finding Home Novel) by Regina Hart
    ( Dafina , 2/4/2014 , Mass Market Paperback )

     

Bestselling Books in January 2014

The bestselling African American books by or about African Americans, published in January 2014, from Amazon.com.

  1. The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era by Douglas R. Egerton
    ( Bloomsbury Press , 1/21/2014 , Hardcover )
    By 1870, just five years after Confederate surrender and thirteen years after the Dred Scott decision ruled blacks ineligible for citizenship, Congressional action had ended slavery and given the vote to black men. That same year, Hiram Revels and Joseph Hayne Rainey became the first African-American U.S. senator and congressman respectively. In South Carolina, only twenty years after the death of arch-secessionist John C. Calhoun, a black man, Jasper J. Wright, took a seat on the state’s Supreme Court. Not even the most optimistic abolitionists had thought such milestones would occur in their lifetimes. The brief years of Reconstruction marked the United States’ most progressive moment prior to the civil rights movement. Previous histories of Reconstruction have focused on Washington politics. But in this sweeping, prodigiously researched narrative, Douglas Egerton brings a much bigger, even more dramatic story into view, exploring state and local politics and tracing the struggles of some fifteen hundred African-American officeholders, in both the North and South, who fought entrenched white resistance. Tragically, their movement was met by ruthless violence—not just riotous mobs, but also targeted assassination. With stark evidence, Egerton shows that Reconstruction, often cast as a “failure” or a doomed experiment, was rolled back by murderous force. The Wars of Reconstruction is a major and provocative contribution to American history.

     

  2. Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-first Century by Monique W. Morris
    ( New Press, The , 1/28/2014 , Paperback )
    A comprehensive guide filled with contemporary facts and figures on African Americans—is an essential reference for anyone attempting to fathom the complex state of our nation. With fascinating and often surprising information on everything from incarceration rates, lending practices, and the arts to marriage, voting habits, and green jobs, the contextualized material in this book will better attune readers to telling trends while challenging commonly held, yet often misguided, perceptions. A compilation that at once highlights measures of incredible progress and enumerates the disparate impacts of social policies and practices, this book is a critical tool for advocates, educators, and policy makers. Black Stats offers indispensable information that is sure to enlighten discussions and provoke debates about the quality of Black life in the United States today—and help chart the path to a better future.There are less than a quarter-million Black public school teachers in the U.S.—representing just 7 percent of all teachers in public schools.Approximately half of the Black population in the United States lives in neighborhoods that have no White residents.In the five years before the Great Recession, the number of Black-owned businesses in the United States increased by 61 percent.A 2010 study found that 41 percent of Black youth feel that rap music videos should be more political.There are no Black owners or presidents of an NFL franchise team.78 percent of Black Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant, compared with 56 percent of White Americans.

     

  3. Still The Baddest Bitch (Bitch Series) by Joy Deja King
    ( A King Production , 1/29/2014 , Paperback )
    Aaliyah Mills Carter has to step up and watch the throne, to prove she has what it takes to be the Baddest Bitch. Chaos has always surrounded her family but now death may have hit too close to home. There are so many questions but not enough answers. Aaliyah is determined to find out if she’s been sleeping with the enemy and has Precious Cummings finally ran out of lives? Find out in Still The Baddest Bitch.

     

  4. How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson
    ( Dial , 1/14/2014 , Hardcover )
    A powerful and thought-provoking Civil Rights era memoir from one of America’s most celebrated poets.   Looking back on her childhood in the 1950s, Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Marilyn Nelson tells the story of her development as an artist and young woman through fifty eye-opening poems. Readers are given an intimate portrait of her growing self-awareness and artistic inspiration along with a larger view of the world around her: racial tensions, the Cold War era, and the first stirrings of the feminist movement.   A first-person account of African-American history, this is a book to study, discuss, and treasure.

     

  5. Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life by Dr. Joe Brewster
    ( Spiegel & Grau , 1/14/2014 , Paperback )
    Regardless of how wealthy or poor their parents are, all black boys must confront and surmount the “achievement gap”: a divide that shows up not only in our sons’ test scores, but in their social and emotional development, their physical well-being, and their outlook on life. As children, they score as high on cognitive tests as their peers, but at some point, the gap emerges. Why?   This is the question Joe Brewster, M.D., and Michèle Stephenson asked when their own son, Idris, began struggling in a new school. As they filmed his experiences for their award-winning documentary American Promise, they met an array of researchers who had not only identified the reasons for the gap, but had come up with practical, innovative solutions to close it. In Promises Kept, they explain   • how to influence your son’s brain before he’s even born • how to tell the difference between authoritarian and authoritative discipline—and why it matters • how to create an educational program for your son that matches his needs • how to prepare him for explicit and implicit racism in school and in the wider world • how to help your child develop resilience, self-discipline, emotional intelligence, and a positive outlook that will last a lifetime

     

  6. The Logic of American Politics, 6th Edition by Samuel Kernell
    ( CQ Press , 1/10/2014 , Paperback )
    After observing the strains of intense partisanship and divided government, many Americans are wondering what logic, if any, can be found in politics. The new Sixth Edition of The Logic of American Politics reaffirms this best-seller’s place as the most accessible smart book on the market. Consistently praised for its engaging narrative, the book hooks students with great storytelling while arming them with a toolkit of institutional design concepts-command, veto, agenda control, voting rules, delegation.

     

  7. His Day Is Done: A Nelson Mandela Tribute by Maya Angelou
    ( Random House , 1/21/2014 , Hardcover )
    He was a son of Africa who became father to a nation and, for billions of people around the world, a beacon of hope, courage, and perseverance in the face of opposition. Now, acclaimed poet Maya Angelou honors the life and remarkable soul of Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and Nobel laureate.   In His Day is Done, Angelou delivers an authentically heartfelt and elegant tribute to Mandela, who stood as David to the mighty Goliath of Apartheid and who, after twenty-seven years of unjust imprisonment on the notorious Robben Island, emerged with “His stupendous heart intact / His gargantuan will / Hale and hearty” to lead his people into a new era.   This poignant work of gratitude and remembrance offers condolences to the resilient people of South Africa on the loss of their beloved “Madiba” and celebrates a man like no other, whose life and work changed the world.

     

  8. The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson
    ( Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam , 1/21/2014 , Hardcover )
    In 1946, a young female attorney from New York City attempts the impossible: attaining justice for a black man in the Deep South.   Regina Robichard works for Thurgood Marshall, who receives an unusual letter asking the NAACP to investigate the murder of a returning black war hero. It is signed by M. P. Calhoun, the most reclusive author in the country.   As a child, Regina was captivated by Calhoun’s The Secret of Magic, a novel in which white and black children played together in a magical forest. Once down in Mississippi, Regina finds that nothing in the South is as it seems. She must navigate the muddy waters of racism, relationships, and her own tragic past. The Secret of Magic brilliantly explores the power of stories and those who tell them.  

     

  9. Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell
    ( Chronicle Books , 1/14/2014 , Hardcover )
    In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create an extraordinary portrait of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine’s powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.

     

  10. Without Mercy: The Stunning True Story of Race, Crime, and Corruption in the Deep South by David Beasley
    ( St. Martin’s Press , 1/28/2014 , Hardcover )
    On December 9, 1938, the state of Georgia executed six black men in eighty-one  minutes in  Tattnall Prison’s electric chair. The executions were a record for the state that still stands today. The new prison, built with funds from FDR’s New Deal, as well as the fact that the men were tried and executed rather than lynched were thought to be a sign of progress. They were anything but. While those men were arrested, convicted, sentenced, and executed in as little as six weeks—E. D. Rivers, the governor of the state, oversaw a pardon racket for white killers and criminals, allowed the Ku Klux Klan to infiltrate his administration, and bankrupted the state. Race and wealth were all that determined whether or not a man lived or died. There was no progress. There was no justice.
    David Beasley’s Without Mercy is the harrowing true story of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the violent death throes of the Klan, but most of all it is the story of the stunning injustice of these executions and how they have seared distrust of the legal system into the consciousness of the Deep South, and it is a story that will forever be a testament to the death penalty’s appalling inequality that continues to plague our nation

     

  11. Searching for Sarah Rector: The Richest Black Girl in America by Tonya Bolden
    ( Harry N. Abrams , 1/7/2014 , Hardcover )
      Sarah Rector was once famously hailed as “the richest black girl in America.” Set against the backdrop of American history, her tale encompasses the creation of Indian Territory, the making of Oklahoma, and the establishment of black towns and oil-rich boomtowns. Rector acquired her fortune at the age of eleven. This is both her story and that of children just like her: one filled with ups and downs amid bizarre goings-on and crimes perpetrated by greedy and corrupt adults. From a trove of primary documents, including court and census records and interviews with family members, author Tonya Bolden painstakingly pieces together the events of Sarah’s life and the lives of those around her.

     

  12. Dirty Divorce part 4 by Miss KP
    ( Life Changing Books , 1/20/2014 , Paperback )
    The Dirty Divorce Trilogy has been a wild ride and readers just can t get enough of the Sanchez family drama. In Dirty Divorce Part 4 the offsprings of Rich Sanchez, Juan and Denie don t disappoint. Juan is determined to become his own man speeding through the fast lane of money, cars, and women. As he dominates the industry his father once ruled, he soon learns that being top dog carries a heavy price tag. While Juan constantly lives trying to dodge his demise, Denie stares death straight in the face as she keeps secrets buried to stay the baddest chick in the DMV. Denie is willing to put others at risk in order to live the life she s become accustomed to. While Juan and Denie grow up repeating the vicious cycle Rich created, someone familiar watches in the shadows for revenge to ruin the Sanchez empire. Relationships are tested, lives are lost, and loyalty goes out the window as the Sanchez family battles to stay on top of the game that ruined them from the start.

     

  13. Little Green: An Easy Rawlins Novel (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by Walter Mosley
    ( Vintage , 1/28/2014 , Paperback )
    In Little Green, Walter Mosley’s acclaimed detective Easy Rawlins returns from the brink of death to investigate the dark side of that haven for Los Angeles hippies, the Sunset Strip. He’s soon back in top form, cruising the gloriously psychedelic mean streets of L.A. with his murderous sidekick, Mouse. They’ve been hired to look for a young black man, Evander “Little Green” Noon, who disappeared during an acid trip. Fueled by an elixir called Gator’s Blood, Easy experiences a physical, spiritual, and emotional resurrection, but peace and love soon give way to murder and mayhem.

     

  14. Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms by Nicholas Johnson
    ( Prometheus Books , 1/14/2014 , Paperback )
    Chronicling the under-appreciated black tradition of bearing arms for self-defense, this book presents an array of examples reaching back to the pre—Civil War era that demonstrate a willingness of African American men and women to use firearms when necessary to defend their families and communities. From Frederick Douglass’s advice to keep “a good revolver” handy as defense against slave catchers to the armed self-protection of Monroe, North Carolina, blacks against the KKK chronicled in Robert Williams’s Negroes with Guns, it is clear that owning firearms was commonplace in the black community.     Nicholas Johnson points out that this story has been submerged because it is hard to reconcile with the dominant narrative of nonviolence during the civil rights era. His book, however, resolves that tension by showing how the black tradition of arms maintained and demanded a critical distinction between private self-defense and political violence.      Johnson also addresses the unavoidable issue of young black men with guns and the toll that gun violence takes on many in the inner city. He shows how complicated this issue is by highlighting the surprising diversity of views on gun ownership in the black community. In fact, recent Supreme Court affirmations of the right to bear arms resulted from cases led by black plaintiffs.     Surprising and informative, this well-researched book strips away many stock assumptions of conventional wisdom on the issue of guns and the black freedom struggle.

     

  15. Foreign Gods, Inc. by Okey Ndibe
    ( Soho Press , 1/14/2014 , Hardcover )
    Foreign Gods, Inc., tells the story of Ike, a New York-based Nigerian cab driver who sets out to steal the statue of an ancient war deity from his home village and sell it to a New York gallery. Ike’s plan is fueled by desperation. Despite a degree in economics from a major American college, his strong accent has barred him from the corporate world. Forced to eke out a living as a cab driver, he is unable to manage the emotional and material needs of a temperamental African American bride and a widowed mother demanding financial support. When he turns to gambling, his mounting losses compound his woes. And so he travels back to Nigeria to steal the statue, where he has to deal with old friends, family, and a mounting conflict between those in the village who worship the deity, and those who practice Christianity. A meditation on the dreams, promises and frustrations of the immigrant life in America; the nature and impact of religious conflicts; an examination of the ways in which modern culture creates or heightens infatuation with the exotic, including the desire to own strange objects and hanker after ineffable illusions; and an exploration of the shifting nature of memory, Foreign Gods is a brilliant work of fiction that illuminates our globally interconnected world like no other.

     

  16. Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana Byrd
    ( St. Martin’s Griffin , 1/28/2014 , Paperback )
    Two world wars, the Civil Rights movement, and a Jheri curl later, Blacks in America continue to have a complex and convoluted relationship with their hair. From the antebellum practice of shaving the head in an attempt to pass as a free person to the 1998 uproar over a White third-grade teacher’s reading of the book Nappy Hair, the issues surrounding Black hair continue to linger as we enter the twenty-first century.Hair Story is a historical and anecdotal exploration of Black Americans’ tangled hair roots. A chronological look at the culture and politics behind the ever-changing state of Black hair from fifteenth-century Africa to the present-day United States, it ties the personal to the political and the popular.
    Read about:
    * Why Black American slaves used items like axle grease and eel skin to straighten their hair.
    * How a Mexican chemist straightened Black hair using his formula for turning sheep’s wool into a minklike fur.
    * How the Afro evolved from militant style to mainstream fashion trend.
    * What prompted the creation of the Jheri curl and the popular style’s fall from grace.
    * The story behind Bo Derek’s controversial cornrows and the range of reactions they garnered.
    Major figures in the history of Black hair are presented, from early hair-care entrepreneurs Annie Turnbo Malone and Madam C. J. Walker to unintended hair heroes like Angela Davis and Bob Marley. Celebrities, stylists, and cultural critics weigh in on the burgeoning sociopolitical issues surrounding Black hair, from the historically loaded terms good and bad hair, to Black hair in the workplace, to mainstream society’s misrepresentation and misunderstanding of kinky locks. Hair Story is the book that Black Americans can use as a benchmark for tracing a unique aspect of their history, and it’s a book that people of all races will celebrate as the reference guide for understanding Black hair.

     

  17. Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz
    ( Atheneum Books for Young Readers , 1/7/2014 , Hardcover )
    Malcolm X grew to be one of America’s most influential figures. But first, he was a boy named Malcolm Little. Written by his daughter, this inspiring picture book biography celebrates a vision of freedom and justice.Bolstered by the love and wisdom of his large, warm family, young Malcolm Little was a natural born leader. But when confronted with intolerance and a series of tragedies, Malcolm’s optimism and faith were threatened. He had to learn how to be strong and how to hold on to his individuality. He had to learn self-reliance. Together with acclaimed illustrator AG Ford, Ilyasah Shabazz gives us a unique glimpse into the childhood of her father, Malcolm X, with a lyrical story that carries a message that resonates still today—that we must all strive to live to our highest potential.

     

  18. Slavery’s Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons by Sylviane A. Diouf
    ( NYU Press , 1/17/2014 , Hardcover )
    Over more than two centuries men, women, and children escaped from slavery to make the Southern wilderness their home. They hid in the mountains of Virginia and the low swamps of South Carolina; they stayed in the neighborhood or paddled their way to secluded places; they buried themselves underground or built comfortable settlements. Known as maroons, they lived on their own or set up communities in swamps or other areas where they were not likely to be discovered. Although well-known, feared, celebrated or demonized at the time, the maroons whose stories are the subject of this book have been forgotten, overlooked by academic research that has focused on the Caribbean and Latin America. Who the American maroons were, what led them to choose this way of life over alternatives, what forms of marronage they created, what their individual and collective lives were like, how they organized themselves to survive, and how their particular story fits into the larger narrative of slave resistance are questions that this book seeks to answer. To survive, the American maroons reinvented themselves, defied slave society, enforced their own definition of freedom and dared create their own alternative to what the country had delineated as being black men and women’s proper place. Audacious, self-confident, autonomous, sometimes self-sufficient, always self-governing; their very existence was a repudiation of the basic tenets of slavery. Sylviane A. Diouf is an award-winning historian specializing in the history of the African Diaspora, African Muslims, the slave trade and slavery. She is the author of Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas (NYU Press, 2013) and Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America, and the editor of Fighting the Slave Trade: West African Strategies.

     

  19. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin
    ( Roaring Brook Press , 1/21/2014 , Hardcover )
    An astonishing civil rights story from Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin. On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution. This is a fascinating story of the prejudice that faced black men and women in America’s armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights.

     

  20. Baby Momma 3 (Urban Books) by Ni’chelle Genovese
    ( Urban Books , 1/28/2014 , Paperback )

     

Crescendo…A Lou Crasher Mystery



Paperback
April 7, 2013
Crescendo is my debut action suspense novel. Take a journeyman drummer, toss in hot dames, wisecracks and a little booze and what do you get? Lou Crasher; the greatest drumming private eye that may not live to see another day!

Lou works at rehearsal studio in Hollywood. It’s business as usual until she, Angela walks in. Lou’s cool goes out the window. When Angela’s musical equipment gets stolen Lou volunteers to get it back. Get the gear, get the girl, Lou thinks. Before he knows it Lou is up to his ears in the P.I. business. An innocent search for equipment leads Lou into a world of armed robberies, vicious jack russell terriers, seductive retired exotic dancers and more.

Crescendo is climatic piece of a song in music and it is also the first rock n’ roll romp in the Lou Crasher series. It is available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble online, Pages bookstore in Manhattan Beach and Eso Won Books in Leimert Park Los Angeles.

Crescendo by Jonathan J. Brown

Ebony Magazine’s “Good Reads” for December/January

The book selections from the December 2013 / January 2014 Ebony magazine:



Kindle Edition
Koehler Books, 10/1/2013

Welcome to Dubai (The Traveler) by Omar Tyree

When American Gary Stevens decides to explore the immaculate tourism haven of Dubai in the Middle East, he finds much more than he bargained for. Plans for a peaceful and harmless visit to the exotic land of seven-star hotels, international culture, food and shopping, quickly change when Gary attracts the attention of a beautiful, rebellious and enticing Muslim woman. Gary stumbles into a violent labor revolt triggered by the death of a poor immigrant construction worker, who falls from one of Dubai’s hundreds of fast-developing buildings. The exploitation of thousands of disposable immigrant laborers emboldens an Egyptian revolutionary to seek vengeance for the greed and inhumane practices of Dubai’s business elite Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, the outspoken wife of Dubai’s youngest and most successful business leaders inspires an insurgence of young Muslim women—they seek empowerment, education and the freedom to pursue true love and romance. Gary becomes entangled in the uprising when the radicals take hundreds of international tourists hostage at the same hotel where Gary is staying. To make matters worse, these zealots include the older brother of the beautiful Muslim woman who has fallen for Gary. With nonstop action and cultural intrigue, Welcome to Dubai is the first full book in The Traveler series created by New York Times bestselling author Omar Tyree.



Little, Brown and Company, 10/1/2013
Kindle Edition

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell, the #1 bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw, offers his most provocative—and dazzling—book yet.

Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David’s victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn’t have won. Or should he have? In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.

Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there, David and Goliath examines Northern Ireland’s Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms—all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity. In the tradition of Gladwell’s previous bestsellers, David and Goliath draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think of the world around us.



NK Publications/Dream Day Press, 11/4/2013, Hardcover

Loukoumi And The Schoolyard Bully by Nick Katsoris

Book & Audio Download Narrated by Nia Vardalos & Morgan Freeman
Have you ever been bullied about your name? Has your child come home from school complaining about an interaction with a schoolyard bully? Bullying plagues students in schools around the world, and now Oscar Winners Morgan Freeman, Olympia Dukakis and Oscar Nominee Nia Vardalos lead an all-star cast in the audio narration of the new book, Loukoumi And The Schoolyard Bully by Nick Katsoris (November 2013: Dream Day Press), which teaches kids that bullying is not cool. Proceeds from the book benefit St. Jude Children s Research Hospital.

In Loukoumi And The Schoolyard Bully, Loukoumi is about to have a baby brother. When her friends discuss what to name him, schoolyard bully, Igor the alligator, ridicules Loukoumi’s name, which Loukoumi explains means sweet in Greek and is a type of jelly candy with powdered sugar on top. During the course of the day, through several common interactions, Igor realizes that he and Loukoumi are more alike than he thought. In the end, he learns that bullying is not cool, and although Loukoumi’s name is different, everyone is really all the same.

The book includes an audio download of the story narrated by Nia Vardalos, Oscar nominated screenwriter and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and author of the bestselling book Instant Mom. Oscar winner Morgan Freeman voices the role of the schoolyard bully, Igor the alligator. Other character voices, reprising their roles from past Loukoumi audio books, include Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis as Marika the monkey, Grammy Winner Gloria Gaynor as Fistiki the Cat, Days of Our Lives star John Aniston as Loukoumi’s Daddy, Tony Nominee Constantine Maroulis as Gus the bear, Actor Frank Dicopoulos as Dean the dog and CBS News anchor Alexis Christoforous as Loukoumi.



Viking Adult, 1/7/2014
Kindle Edition

 
The Secret Life of Bees (Kindle Edition):

The Invention of Wings: A Novel by Sue Monk Kidd

From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.

Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid.We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love. As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.

Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.



Penguin Books, 1/7/2014, Kindle Edition

The Secret History of Las Vegas: A Novel by Chris Abani

Before he can retire, Las Vegas detective Salazar is determined to solve a recent spate of murders. When he encounters a pair of conjoined twins with a container of blood near their car, he’s sure he has apprehended the killers, and enlists the help of Dr. Sunil Singh, a South African transplant who specializes in the study of psychopaths. As Sunil tries to crack the twins, the implications of his research grow darker. Haunted by his betrayal of loved ones back home during apartheid, he seeks solace in the love of Asia, a prostitute with hopes of escaping that life. But Sunil’s own troubled past is fast on his heels in the form of a would-be assassin. Suspenseful through the last page, The Secret History of Las Vegas is Chris Abani’s most accomplished work to date, with his trademark visionary prose and a striking compassion for the inner lives of outsiders.



Chicago Review Press, 10/1/2013, Paperback

Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by Ytasha L. Womack

In this hip, accessible primer to the music, literature, and art of Afrofuturism, author Ytasha Womack introduces readers to the burgeoning community of artists creating Afrofuturist works, the innovators from the past, and the wide range of subjects they explore. From the sci-fi literature of Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, and N. K. Jemisin to the musical cosmos of Sun Ra, George Clinton, and the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, to the visual and multimedia artists inspired by African Dogon myths and Egyptian deities, the book’s topics range from the “alien” experience of blacks in America to the “wake up” cry that peppers sci-fi literature, sermons, and activism. With a twofold aim to entertain and enlighten, Afrofuturists strive to break down racial, ethnic, and social limitations to empower and free individuals to be themselves.

Bestselling Books in November 2013

The bestselling African American books by or about African Americans, published in November 2013.

  1. Saving Face (Mount Faith Series: Book 1) by Brenda Barrett
    (Jamaica Treasures, 2013-11-13, Kindle Edition)
    Edward Carlisle, the president of Mount Faith University is dead. Natasha Rowe and her partner Harry Campbell are asked to go under cover to investigate what appears to be a murder.

     

  2. Cross My Heart (Alex Cross) by James Patterson
    (Little, Brown and Company, 2013-11-25, Kindle Edition)
    James Patterson raises the stakes to their highest level, ever-when Alex Cross becomes the obsession of a genius of menace set on proving that he is the greatest mind in the history of crime.Detective Alex Cross is a family man at heart–nothing matters more to him than his children, his grandmother, and his wife Bree. His love of his family is his anchor, and gives him the strength to confront evil in his work. One man knows this deeply, and uses Alex’s strength as a weapon against him in the most unsettling and unexpected novel of James Patterson’s career.When the ones Cross loves are in danger, he will do anything to protect them. If he does anything to protect them, they will die.CROSS MY HEART is the most powerful Alex Cross novel ever, propelled by the ever-ingenious mind of James Patterson, the world’s #1 bestselling writer.

     

  3. SERGEI (Her Russian Protector #5) by Roxie Rivera
    (Night Works Books, 2013-11-12, Kindle Edition)
    After losing her older brother in a violent robbery, wedding gown designer Bianca Bradshaw refuses to date men with criminal ties. She’s never been tempted to cross that line—until Sergei.

     

  4. Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson
    (Blue Rider Press, 2013-11-12, Kindle Edition)
    A bare-knuckled, tell-all memoir from Mike Tyson, the onetime heavyweight champion of the world—and a legend both in and out of the ring. Philosopher, Broadway headliner, fighter, felon—Mike Tyson has defied stereotypes, expectations, and a lot of conventional wisdom during his three decades in the public eye. Bullied as a boy in the toughest, poorest neighborhood in Brooklyn, Tyson grew up to become one of the most thrilling and ferocious boxers of all time—and the youngest heavyweight champion ever. But his brilliance in the ring was often compromised by reckless behavior. Years of hard partying, violent fights, and criminal proceedings took their toll: by 2003, Tyson had hit rock bottom, a convicted felon, completely broke, the punch line to a thousand bad late-night jokes. Yet he fought his way back; the man who once admitted being addicted “to everything” regained his success, his dignity, and the love of his family. With a triumphant one-man stage show, his unforgettable performances in the Hangover films, and his newfound happiness and stability as a father and husband, Tyson’s story is an inspiring American original. Brutally honest, raw, and often hilarious, Tyson chronicles his tumultuous highs and lows in the same sincere, straightforward manner we have come to expect from this legendary athlete. A singular journey from Brooklyn’s ghettos to worldwide fame to notoriety, and, finally, to a tranquil wisdom, Undisputed Truth is not only a great sports memoir but an autobiography for the ages.

     

  5. Massive Monroe (Things You Can’t Tell Mama) by D T Pollard
    (Book Express, 2013-11-15, Kindle Edition)
    Kevin “Massive” Monroe seemed to be on top of the world. Women flocked to him because of his special gift, but that was not always the case. Kevin Monroe was once a young man with a body image problem. Due to the unusually large size of a particular body part Kevin was ridiculed by other boys when he started playing sports in school and was given the nickname of Massive Monroe. Kevin was embarrassed and thought he had a physical defect which caused him to become shy and withdrawn. A woman unexpectedly came into Kevin’s life and convinced him that nothing was wrong with him at all, in fact, what was once a source of embarrassment became a point of pride. The woman that turned his attitude around left his life for years before suddenly returning, but she told Kevin that his future needed to be with someone else. Kevin “Massive” Monroe did things to women that other men never had before, but would that help or hurt him in his quest to find the love of his life?

     

  6. There’s A Thin Line: Book 1-Legal Reichs (Josef and Blair Series) by Ronin Schtihl Daire
    (Trisha A. Lindsey, 2013-11-15, Kindle Edition)
    Finally, the first book in the finished Josef and Blair Series is available! Blair Aikman is a Female Black Anti-Terrorist Agent, who works for the new Shadow Agency, which has been formed to combat the new threat of terrorism within the borders of the United States. Her directive: Eliminate the threat posed by Robert Lee Dyson, leader of the Aryan Brotherhood Nation, who is determined to join the strength of the thirty major Neo-Nazi Organizations in the U.S.

     

  7. Real Bitches Do Real Things by Keesh Washington
    (Felony Books, 2013-11-10, Kindle Edition)
    Los Angeles detective, Matt Figg, has been having a hard time nabbing Kamau and Neeta Bryant, two of America’s most wanted drug kinpins. And when a prominent member of their criminal empire is finally apprehended, prosecutors give her immunity to tell her story. Detective Figg is the expert interrogator.

     

  8. The Pastor’s Lover 2 – The Pastor’s Lover 2 (Things You Can’t Tell Mama) by D T Pollard
    (Book Express, 2013-11-12, Kindle Edition)
    The Pastor’s Lover 2 – Unholy Triangle – Sequel to highly acclaimed The Pastor’s Lover
    Tasha Johnson, the wife of Reverend Kendrick Johnson, found her soul in turmoil after she stopped by the church offices after hours and heard a woman screaming in sexual ecstasy behind the closed door of her husband’s office. Tasha also heard her husband’s voice urging this unknown woman to give herself to him. Tasha ran from the church and eventually ended up in the arms of a most unlikely lover, but that’s not where everything ended. Kendrick, Tasha and Tasha’s secret lover all collided in the most unexpected fashion ever as Kendrick caught them in the act and he was shocked to discover the identity of his wife’s lover. Would Tasha and Pastor Kendrick Johnson’s marriage and church survive the shock waves caused by their unholy love triangle?

     

  9. Rayqelle’s Risk -Book 2- (RATCHET) by Shon Cole Black
    (Clandestine International, 2013-11-13, Kindle Edition)
    Straight from the streets of Miami’s Liberty City. Angell Epps is the daughter of a strict Pentecostal preacher who grows up seeing the world through the rose colored glasses of the church, until she meets Chance, a very handsome and mysterious stranger that threatens to turn her whole world upside down! But where is Rayqelle?

     

  10. Big Girls One Night with a Prince: Short Erotic Romance – Book 3 by Ulriche Kacey Padraige
    (, 2013-11-15, Kindle Edition)
    Big Girls One Night with a Prince: Short Erotic Romance.

     

  11. Tiberius – Rap’s Rainmaker (Things You Can’t Tell Mama) by D T Pollard
    (Book Express, 2013-11-18, Kindle Edition)
    T The Rainmaker is the hottest new rapper in hip hop and he is on the mind of every act in the business because they need to work on stepping up their game or get run over. Tiberius Jones burst onto the rap scene with his raw energy and lethal flow. Determined to be the realest rapper in the game he lives above a strip club that he owns in a second floor apartment. In his quest to be number one, T the Rainmaker pulls a stunt that angers one of the biggest names in rap music and leads to a deadly confrontation at an awards show that rocks the rap world to it core. While in the midst of his chaotic career a woman captures Tiberius’ interest, but can he conquer his own suspicions long enough to build a relationship? Tiberius Jones is hiding a surprise he will spring on the public that could either send him down a road of rap royalty or hip hop infamy.

     

  12. Moving To Jamaica: Hey Joe (Culture Shock Series) by Jerry Beller
    (Jamerica Publishing, 2013-11-09, Kindle Edition)
    River Adams is a hot shot congressional staffer, a major mover and shaker on the DC scene with a bright future ahead of him. Shocking his colleagues, friends and family, one day, without warning, he walks away from it all and boards a plane destined for Jamaica.Leaving the rat race behind, River moves to Jamaica. . .Now known as just another white Joe, River attempts to redefine himself and his life as he settles into his new home in Port Antonio far away from the power plays and politics of DC. As he works on his novel, a historical fiction about the Vietnam War era, River finds himself falling deeply in love with the wonders of Jamaica, from the colorful people he interacts with on a daily basis to the heart-stopping majesty and beauty to explore each and every day.River falls in love with nature, Jamaica and Jamaicans. . .As he sheds his old life and embraces the new, River’s natural curiosity and spontaneity becomes an unstoppable force. His philosophers mind combined with a desire to make a difference in the world will soon make his stay in Jamaica far richer than anything the average Joe will ever experience.

     

  13. Big ‘n’ Nothin’ by James Edward Allen
    (G. Meyer Books/Spiritual Traveler Press, 2013-11-10, Kindle Edition)
    “Big or nothin’” is the credo of Pepper Hotwell, a professional gangster who specializes in armed robbery. Set in the ghetto of Gary, Indiana and Chicago’s south side in the late 1960s, his story is a raw, desperate, gun-slinging roll-of-the-dice fueled by drugs, sex, ambition, and pure will to survive. As he swashbuckles his way through a series of high profile heists, he demonstrates his willingness to follow his credo to its ultimate conclusion in his quest for the big score.

     

  14. FeMALE TRAITS “The Trilogy” by Lurea C. McFadden
    (Bruce Publishing, 2013-11-10, Kindle Edition)
    - the story of sexy, smart and very married Grace Trufant and her playa lifestyle. She is married to a successful, loving husband but somehow she requires more attention than this fine upstanding man can offer. She plays hard; in fact she is a playa in her own right. But Grace forgets that Game recognizes Game when she runs into Sonia, her husband’s best friend. This is the tale of Grace’s extra-marital love affair, love and support of good friends, and lessons learned along the way.

     

  15. Profiling or Prejudice by Michael Jones
    (Createspace, 2013-11-14, Kindle Edition)
    Profiling or Prejudice is a funny fictional mini-novel based on a short period in the life of Tyrone Jenkins, a college graduate who experiences profiling, prejudice, and stereotyping enough to last him a life time while falling in love with a woman who has a specific agenda all of her own.

     

  16. The Pleasure of pain by Shameek Speight
    (True Glory Publications, 2013-11-15, Kindle Edition)
    In this twisted tale you will be introduced to Tess, Iris, Vanessa, Ebony and Bless who find out that The Pleasure of Pain is a true testament that we always want what we shouldn’t have. Tess is a strong determined business woman by the day and queen of the streets by night. She will stop at nothing to get the life she wants for herself and her three best friends along with her man, even if it means breaking old bonds and creating lifetime enemies. What she doesn’t realize is in the game of cut- throat there are no rules. Bless emerges on the scene after being recently released from prison only to find that things are not the way they were before he got locked up. The worst part is the person he has to fight is the person he least expected would betray him. He is out for blood and hell bent on destroying anyone who gets in his way. Iris is secretly in love with Tess, but plays the friend card in order to get closer to her. She knows that Tess is in love with another man, however that doesn’t stop her from plotting to get Tess’ heart. Vanessa and Ebony are sisters who share the same father and they happen to be Tess’ top lieutenants. Their loyalty and love run deep for Tess and has never been questioned until now… With pleasure there is always a little pain as Tess and her girlfriends will soon find out. Will they break under pressure or will they show why women rule the world?

     

  17. Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson
    (Little, Brown and Company, 2013-11-05, Hardcover)
    It’s Christmas Eve and Detective Alex Cross has been called out to catch someone who’s robbing his church’s poor box. That mission behind him, Alex returns home to celebrate with Bree, Nana, and his children. The tree decorating is barely underway before his phone rings again–a horrific hostage situation is quickly spiraling out of control. Away from his own family on the most precious of days, Alex calls upon every ounce of his training, creativity, and daring to save another family. Alex risks everything–and he may not make it back alive on this most sacred of family days. Alex Cross is a hero for our time, and never more so than in this story of family, action, and the deepest moral choices. MERRY CHRISTMAS, ALEX CROSS will be a holiday classic for years to come.

     

  18. Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
    (Atria / 37 Ink, 2013-11-19, Hardcover)
    The story that inspired the major motion picture, with an introduction by the bestselling author of Wench, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Twelve Years a Slave is a harrowing, vividly detailed, and utterly unforgettable account of slavery.Solomon Northup was an entrepreneur and dedicated family man, father to three young children, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Alonzo. What little free time he had after long days of manual and farm labor he spent reading books and playing the violin. Though his father was born into slavery, Solomon was born and lived free.In March 1841, two strangers approached Northup, offering him employment as a violinist in a town hundreds of miles away from his home in Saratoga Springs, New York. Solomon bid his wife farewell until his return. Only after he was drugged and bound did he realize the strangers were kidnappers—that nefarious brand of criminals in the business of capturing runaway and free blacks for profit. Thus began Northup’s horrific life as a slave.Dehumanized, beaten, and worked mercilessly, Northup suffered all the more, wondering what had become of his family. One owner was savagely cruel and Northup recalls he was “indebted to him for nothing, save undeserved abuse.” Just as he felt the summer of his life fade and all hope nearly lost, he met a kindhearted stranger who changed the course of his life.With its firsthand account of this country’s Peculiar Institution, this is a book no one interested in American history can afford to miss.

     

  19. White Girls by Hilton Als
    (McSweeney’s, 2013-11-12, Hardcover)
    White Girls, Hilton Als’s first book since The Women fourteen years ago, finds one of The New Yorker’s boldest cultural critics deftly weaving together his brilliant analyses of literature, art, and music with fearless insights on race, gender, and history. The result is an extraordinary, complex portrait of “white girls,” as Als dubs them—an expansive but precise category that encompasses figures as diverse as Truman Capote and Louise Brooks, Malcolm X and Flannery O’Connor. In pieces that hairpin between critique and meditation, fiction and nonfiction, high culture and low, the theoretical and the deeply personal, Als presents a stunning portrait of a writer by way of his subjects, and an invaluable guide to the culture of our time.

     

  20. Animal 2: The Omen by K’wan
    (Cash Money Content, 2013-11-19, Paperback)
    Secrets are revealed, sides are chosen and bodies are dropped…it’s on! After being thought dead, Animal resurfaces on the streets of New York to keep true to his promise, and make it rain blood over Harlem. All those who had wronged him would feel his wrath, including Shai Clark, boss of the New York underworld. However, touching a man like Shai Clark proves to be easier said than done. Using Animal’s soul mate Gu­cci as bait, Shai sets a trap for the young killer. Once again Animal finds himself captured, but this time there would be no trial. He is sentenced to die at the hands of Shai’s executioner, a man known only as Priest. The assassin is ordered to kill Animal, but instead of death he gives him the truth of his shadowed past and how their des­tinies are intertwined. The man ordered to take Animal from the world is also the man who brought him into it. Animal finds himself torn between his hatred for the father who had abandoned him and the man who had taken everything from him. An uneasy truce is formed between father and son to take down a common enemy and finally grant Animal his freedom from the blood debt he’s carried for so many years, but when the ghosts of Animal’s past catch up with him he learns that nothing is what it seems, and everything is subject to corruption, even his love for Gucci.

     

White Girls by Hilton Als


Hardcover
McSweeney’s
November 12, 2013
White Girls, Hilton Als’s first book since The Women fourteen years ago, finds one of The New Yorker‘s boldest cultural critics deftly weaving together his brilliant analyses of literature, art, and music with fearless insights on race, gender, and history. The result is an extraordinary, complex portrait of “white girls,” as Als dubs them—an expansive but precise category that encompasses figures as diverse as Truman Capote and Louise Brooks, Malcolm X and Flannery O’Connor. In pieces that hairpin between critique and meditation, fiction and nonfiction, high culture and low, the theoretical and the deeply personal, Als presents a stunning portrait of a writer by way of his subjects, and an invaluable guide to the culture of our time.
The Baby in the Window (Cass & Nick) (Volume 2) by Alretha Thomas

The Baby in the Window by Alretha Thomas



Diverse Arts Collective
May 22, 2013
Paperback
A magna cum laude graduate of UCLA, Cassandra Harte never took a test she couldn’t ace. So when her home pregnancy test comes back negative, she’s certain the kit’s defective. Failure has never been an option for Cassandra. She has a well-established career, a handsome husband (Nick), and a lovely home. But there’s one thing Cassandra desperately wants that she doesn’t have: A baby.

After trying for months to get pregnant without success, she starts to wonder if she’s finally met a challenge she cannot conquer. Determined to conceive, she creates an ovulation calendar so she can seize that perfect 24-hour window. When that fails, she sends up fervent prayers. But it soon becomes apparent that her inability to become pregnant has nothing to do with timing or faith, and everything to do with Renee, her diabolical, thirteen-year-old stepdaughter.