Category Archives: Adult Nonfiction

Announcements of new nonfiction by and about African Americans

Interview with Angela Ardis

Angela ArdisAngela Ardis is an exceptional writer of animation, live production, television, film and ghostwriting. She’s also written children’s books, poetry books, erotica, fiction and memoirs. Angela reached international acclaim with her memoir entitled, “Inside A Thug’s Heart,” which was compiled of an exchange of letters, poetry and conversations with the late rapper Tupac Shakur which was published in hard cover in 2004, re-released in paperback in 2009 and an e-book released 2013. This award-nominated book was also translated into Polish.

After a year of co-hosting the internet radio show “Talk with Angela and Hank,” Angela joined as co-host of the popular internet radio show “Lipstick, High Heels and B.S.,” a no-nonsense internet platform that allows her and several co-hosts to express their views on sex, relationships, love, current events and life. Here she was given an opportunity to head two segments, “Shoe Lover Tuesday,” where she expresses details, information and tips for everything shoes and “Lipstick Letters” where she gives advice, help and opinions on questions asked by the public.

Angela Ardis has experienced some success in films (“Black and Blue” and “All I Want“) as well as television shows like (“The Wayan’s Brothers,” “In The House,” “Michael Hayes“). Modeling lent its hand to several projects (fashion shows: Reggio, Banu Paris, Farinae, Bonnie Strauss, and Don Sayres; print: regional and national magazines such as Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Black Man, Jet, Aloette, Profiles Magazine, Black Market, Silk2, Mallory Furs, Playboy).

She released several new projects in 2013: a poetry book “My Mind’s Poetry: Relationships,” a petite help book series for beginning writers “I Have a Story: Getting Started,” and her sophomore novel, the first of a trilogy, entitled “The Block.” In addition, production has begun on a series geared for Showtime television and preparations are being made for a South African book tour in the fall of 2014.

(1) “The Block” is such an intense read. What was your inspiration in writing in it? What has been the reader and critic response to it?
The Block” was inspired by a particular neighborhood in Detroit – not knocking Detroit, but this particular neighborhood was one where sheets adorned the windows, the roofs were caved in, porches broken, stripped paint, fire damage, dirt lawns and trash everywhere. However, the poetry in the view was the music playing loudly, people hanging out on the porches of these, supposed, uninhabitable homes. The children playing looked happy. The people looked content and settled.

It was clear the occupants had ‘leaned into’ their circumstances, environment and their lives. But what were their lives? My brain immediately came up with a synopsis of what I was seeing, put it on steroids and then the voices began telling me their story… Hence, the conception of “The Block.”

Readers and critics have been moved by the story. The rollercoaster ride, the book sends the reader on, exercises every emotion available. Some feel extremely sad by some areas because “The Block” is seen through the eyes of the children and not flashbacks from adults. It’s funny, dramatic, harsh, but most of all it’s real, truthful and unfortunately happens in almost every neighborhood, town, city, state and country. Readers enjoyed and cringe from the rawness. However, overall, most had a hard time getting through the first 3 chapters but couldn’t put the book down after that and are eagerly awaiting the sequel. That excites me.

(2) You mentioned that “The Block” is the first of a trilogy. While you may not want to divulge any secrets, what should we expect?
Jaw dropping revelations! Getting a sense of who these characters are and what you “believe” their circumstances were, was what book one was geared to do. However, “The Block: Truth Revealed,” the sequel, will give you the real truths behind everyone and introduce the parents in a tangible way. However, the danger that lurks throughout book 2 will be felt until the end.

The final installment “The Block: The Labyrinth,” will be the ultimate revelation of what the block really is and how the lives of so many have truly never been their own. Everyone won’t make it to book 3 and some may not make it out of book 2. You’ll have to read to find out!

(3) With this era of books being turned into movies, especially trilogies and other series, are you planning anything beyond the printed word for “The Block“?
Yes. My intention is to mold it into a TV series, then movie and possibly a stage play. It has layers and legs that could and would inspire, move and engage society as a whole.

(4) You have so many interests – acting, modeling, ghost-writing, internet radio host, shoes (!) – how do you find the time to write for yourself? What is your writing process like?
I write on my phone a lot! Between my notepad and voice recordings, there are tons of notes. However, they’re not all geared towards one project. Oftentimes, I find myself awakened in the middle of the night by a voice…loud thought and I begin to night write in the dark. I never turn on the lights. In the morning I’ll read what I wrote and place it in my project folder, for whichever project it’s for. I write while I’m shopping, watching TV, in the movies, at dinner, out with friends, it doesn’t really turn off. Everything I see is inspiring.

The more I tap into that side of myself, the better my writing will become.

My writing process isn’t complicated. I write when my characters speak. If they have something to say, I write it. My job is to tell their story not my version of their story.

Patience is essential. However, I’m creating scenarios all the time for the story but the characters determine where the story is going and when.

(5) What is the process like for promoting your books? As a self-published author, what did you do to get the word out?
Arduous — I definitely prefer going the publishing house route. The work is on them and I show up. However, social media plays an enormous part of promoting. I made a valiant effort to stay connected to the fans who reached out and who continue to reach out from my first release “Inside A Thug’s Heart.” Those loyal fans where some of the first to purchase “The Block,” my poetry book “My Mind’s Poetry: Relationships,” and “I have a Story” which helps anyone trying to get started writing. I’ve also been interviewed by several internet blogs and magazines. Word of mouth has been amazing too!

(6) What is on your bookshelf (or your e-reader)? What are you reading and enjoying? Any favorite authors?
I’m a bookie! LOL! I love the physical copy. I love Eckhart Tolle, Danièle Bott, Terry
McMillan, Sister Souljah (Coldest Winter Ever), Russell Simmons, Dr. Seuss, Gary Zuvak, Rick Johnson, and many more. My book collection is as eclectic as everything else in my world. I’m currently rereading Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” because I got so much from it the first time. I highly recommend it to everyone!

The Block by Angela Ardis
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, April 3, 2013, Paperback

Five children, Robert, Troy, Reigna, Tina and Kora are trapped inside a labyrinth known as “The Block.” The inner workings of these children’s minds are released as we follow them from age ten to eighteen. Experiencing their journey through their struggle to cope, comprehend, and develop while dealing with extreme neglect, physical, mental, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse. They’re looking for love, all wanting something more, and all trying to figure a way out of their unfortunate circumstances. Born into a “no chance of a childhood” reality, they find each other, forming an alliance against the ills that plague them all. The Block will awaken the very core of the reader. It’s true to life scenarios and graphic dialog will send waves of discomfort, lending extreme compassion to the plights of the children.

Inside A Thug’s Heart by Angela Ardis
Dafina, August 1, 2009, Paperback

Rikers Island is the centerpiece of the New York City Department of Corrections, a sprawling prison city of concrete and steel with housing for more than 16,000 inmates. Early in 1995, it was also the temporary home of legendary rapper and actor Tupac Shakur, incarcerated for a crime he swore he did not commit. And it was there that Angela Ardis, acting on a late-night wager among her friends and coworkers, sent a letter, along with a photo and her phone number. To her utter delight and amazement, Angela’s phone rang a short while later. Tupac Shakur was on the line.

Over the next several months, Angela and Tupac shared a near-daily exchange of letters, poems and phone calls, and their the relationship quickly grew into something neither of them could quite define, a kinship of souls that touched each in unexpected ways. Those original poems and letters, many of them written after Tupac’s transfer from Rikers to Dannemora State Prison, are presented here, along with the increasingly passionate and personal phone calls that touched on every subject imaginable. Far from the media spotlight, Tupac was by turns playful, sensual and serious, offering sharp observations on prison, music and the uncertainties of life. His letters to Angela reflect how he felt about being shot five times and left for dead one terrible night in New York in 1994, and his heartfelt verse encapsulates his dreams for the future–a future that would be so tragically cut short just over eighteen months after their correspondence began.

Tupac Shakur was shot on September 7th, 1996 and died a week later from his injuries. His murder remains unsolved, an ending as enigmatic as his life. But while Tupac may be gone, his words live on here, giving every fan a rare glimpse inside the mind and unbroken spirit of a passionate and unpredictable musical icon.

My Mind’s Poetry: Relationships (Volume 1) by Angela Ardis
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, March 8, 2013, Paperback

A lifetime of experiences, trials and tribulations, heartaches and joy, drama and pain mixed with lessons learned. A real perspective to life through analogies and poetic expression. Nothing like you’ve ever read before. No mixed words or sugar coated verbiage. Lightly illustrated. Contains some adult language.

I Have A Story: Getting Started (Volume 1) by Angela Ardis
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, June 14, 2013, Paperback

After receiving hundreds of emails and letters from people asking me how to get started writing their books, I decided to put together a “petite” book series that will do just that. I Have A Story book series gives potential authors a P.S. version to writing without getting stuck with a barrage of verbiage. As they complete each volume, they will begin to see their ideas come to life on the pages of their soon-to-be publications. Volume One will help you formulate the idea then break it down in an effort to rebuild it as the story you envision.

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.

Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple by Russell Simmons

Master entrepreneur, original hip-hop mogul, and New York Times bestselling author Russell Simmons shares the most fundamental key to success — meditation — and guides readers to use stillness as a powerful tool to access their potential.

In the New York Times bestseller Super Rich, Russell Simmons proved that to be rich is more than just having money in the bank — wealth is about balance, joy, and conscientious living.

In Success Through Stillness, Simmons shows the connection between inner peace and outward success through interviews with other successful leaders in various industries, and how learning to be still has been instrumental in his own career. Simmons attributes his meditation practice with changing his life for the better and says that there is no “bad” way to meditate, only different forms for different people.

In this highly anticipated new book, Russell Simmons guides readers into finding greater clarity and focus, and explains how to be healthier in both mind and body. Simmons’ breaks down what he’s learned from masters of meditation into a guide that is accessible to those unfamiliar with the practice.

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.

Essence Magazine’s Black History Month Book Choices — February 2014

Essence Magazine’s February 2014 book selections for Black History Month:

Searching for Sarah Rector: The Richest Black Girl in America

Tonya Bolden

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.

American Cocktail: A Colored Girl in the World
Anita Reynolds

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.

The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era
Douglas R. Egerton

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. This history explores the 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.

Without Mercy: The Stunning True Story of Race, Crime, and Corruption in the Deep South
David Beasley

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. A 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.

Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear
Aram Goudsouzian

In 1962, James Meredith became a civil rights hero when he enrolled as the first African American student at the University of Mississippi. Four years later, he would make the news again when he reentered Mississippi, on foot. His plan was to walk from Memphis to Jackson, leading a “March Against Fear” that would promote black voter registration and defy the entrenched racism of the region. But on the march’s second day, he was shot by a mysterious gunman, a moment captured in a harrowing and now iconic photograph.
What followed was one of the central dramas of the civil rights era. With Meredith in the hospital, the leading figures of the civil rights movement flew to Mississippi to carry on his effort. They quickly found themselves confronting southern law enforcement officials, local activists, and one another. In the span of only three weeks, Martin Luther King, Jr., narrowly escaped a vicious mob attack; protesters were teargassed by state police; Lyndon Johnson refused to intervene; and the charismatic young activist Stokely Carmichael first led the chant that would define a new kind of civil rights movement: Black Power. 
Aram Goudsouzian’s Down to the Crossroads is the story of the last great march of the King era, and the first great showdown of the turbulent years that followed. Depicting rural demonstrators’ courage and the impassioned debates among movement leaders, Goudsouzian reveals the legacy of an event that would both integrate African Americans into the political system and inspire even bolder protests against it. Full of drama and contemporary resonances, this book is civil rights history at its best.

Waking from the Dream: The Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr.
David L. Chappell

A sweeping history of the struggle to keep the civil rights movement alive and to realize King’s vision of an equal society.   In this arresting and groundbreaking account, David L. Chappell reveals that, far from coming to an abrupt end with King’s murder, the civil rights movement entered a new phase. It both grew and splintered. These were years when decisive, historic victories were no longer within reach—the movement’s achievements were instead hard-won, and their meanings unsettled. From the fight to pass the Fair Housing Act in 1968, to debates over unity and leadership at the National Black Political Conventions, to the campaign for full-employment legislation, to the surprising enactment of the Martin Luther King holiday, to Jesse Jackson’s quixotic presidential campaigns, veterans of the movement struggled to rally around common goals. Chappell chronicles the difficulties the movement encountered while working to build coalitions, pass legislation, and mobilize citizens in the absence of King’s galvanizing leadership. Could the civil rights coalition stay together as its focus shifted from public protests to congressional politics? Did the movement need a single, charismatic leader to succeed King, and who would that be? As the movement’s leaders pushed forward, they continually looked back, struggling to define King’s legacy and harness his symbolic power.

Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-first Century
Monique W. Morris

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.

Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music
Angelique Kidjo

Grammy Award-winning singer Angélique Kidjo is known for her electrifying voice and fearless advocacy work. In this intimate memoir, she reveals how she escaped Communist Africa to make her dreams a reality, and how she’s prompting others all around the world to reach for theirs as well. Born in the West African nation of Benin, Angélique Kidjo grew up surrounded by the rich sounds, rhythms, and storytelling of traditional Beninese culture. When the Communists took over, they silenced her dynamic culture and demanded that she sing in praise of them. Angélique reveals the details of her dangerous escape into France, and how she rose from poverty to become a Grammy Award–winning artist and an international sensation at the top of Billboard’s World Albums chart. She also explains why it’s important to give back by sharing stories from her work as a UNICEF ambassador and as founder of the Batonga Foundation, which gives African girls access to education.
Desmond Tutu has contributed the foreword to this remarkable volume; Alicia Keys has provided an introduction. Her eloquent, inspiring narrative is paired with more than one hundred colorful photographs documenting Angélique’s life and experiences, as well as a sampling of recipes that has sustained her on her remarkable odyssey.

Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s by Jeff Pearlman



Gotham,
March 4, 2014,
Hardcover


The New York Times bestselling author of Sweetness delivers the first all-encompassing account of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of professional sports’ most-revered — and dominant — dynasties.

The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s personified the flamboyance and excess of the decade over which they reigned. Beginning with the arrival of Earvin “Magic” Johnson as the number-one overall pick of the 1979 draft, the Lakers played basketball with gusto and pizzazz, unleashing their famed “Showtime” run-and-gun style on a league unprepared for their speed and ferocity — and became the most captivating show in sports and, arguably, in all-around American entertainment. The Lakers’ roster overflowed with exciting all-star-caliber players, including center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and they were led by the incomparable Pat Riley, known for his slicked-back hair, his Armani suits, and his arrogant strut. Hollywood’s biggest celebrities lined the court and gorgeous women flocked to the arena. Best of all, the team was a winner. Between 1980 and 1991, the Lakers played in an unmatched nine NBA championship series, capturing five of them.

Bestselling sportswriter Jeff Pearlman draws from almost three hundred interviews to take the first full measure of the Lakers’ epic Showtime era. A dazzling account of one of America’s greatest sports sagas, Showtime is packed with indelible characters, vicious rivalries, and jaw-dropping, behind-the-scenes stories of the players’ decadent Hollywood lifestyles.

From the Showtime era’s remarkable rise to its tragic end — marked by Magic Johnson’s 1991 announcement that he had contracted HIV — Showtime is a gripping narrative of sports, celebrity, and 1980s-style excess.

The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture & Style by Nelson George



William Morrow,
March 25, 2014,
Hardcover
An authoritative history of the groundbreaking syndicated television show that has become an icon of American pop culture, from acclaimed author and filmmaker Nelson George, “the most accomplished black music critic of his generation” (Washington Post Book World).

When it debuted in October 1971, seven years after the Civil Rights Act, Soul Train boldly went where no variety show had gone before, showcasing the cultural preferences of young African-Americans and the sounds that defined their lives: R&B, funk, jazz, disco, and gospel music. The brainchild of radio announcer Don Cornelius, the show’s producer and host, Soul Train featured a diverse range of stars, from James Brown and David Bowie to Christine Aguilera and R. Kelly; Marvin Gaye and Elton John to the New Kids on the Block and Stevie Wonder.

The Hippest Trip in America tells the full story of this pop culture phenomenon that appealed not only to blacks, but to a wide crossover audience as well. Famous dancers like Rosie Perez and Jody Watley, performers such as Aretha Franklin, Al Green, and Barry White, and Cornelius himself share their memories, offering insights into the show and its time — a period of extraordinary social and political change. Colorful and pulsating, The Hippest Trip In America is a fascinating portrait of a revered cultural institution that has left an indelible mark on our national consciousness.

Suspicion Nation by Lisa Bloom



Counterpoint,
February 25, 2014,
Hardcover

Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It by Lisa Bloom

What went wrong behind the scenes in the Trayvon Martin case? Why does America endure so many tragic shootings like this one? These are the questions at the heart of Suspicion Nation.

Bestselling author, trial attorney, and NBC News analyst Lisa Bloom covered the murder trial and was appalled by what she witnessed. Bloom now exposes the injustice, conducting new in-depth interviews with key trial participants and digging deeper into the evidence. Suspicion Nation outlines the six biggest mistakes made by the state of Florida that guaranteed it would lose this “winnable case,” and the laws and biases that created the conditions for this tragedy.

The only nonwhite juror tells her story of painful isolation in the jury room. Rachel Jeantel, the state’s star witness, reveals how poorly the state prepared her to testify and what went through her mind on the stand. The medical examiner reveals scientific evidence he wasn’t allowed to present. And a new examination of Trayvon’s school suspensions raises questions about racial profiling, all in a country divided over issues of race, gun laws, and violence.

Suspicion Nation is a riveting courtroom drama that shines a bright light on a case we only thought we knew.

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross by Henry Louis Gates Jr., Donald Yacovone



Hardcover
October 1, 2013
SmileyBooks
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross is the companion book to the six-part, six hour documentary of the same name, airing on national, primetime public television in the fall of 2013. The series is the first to air since 1968 that chronicles the full sweep of 500 years of African American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent and the arrival of the first black conquistador, Juan Garrido, in Florida in 1513, through five centuries of remarkable historic events right up to today—when Barack Obama is serving his second term as President, yet our country remains deeply divided by race and class.

The book explores these topics in even more detail than possible in the television series, and examines many other fascinating matters as well, such as the ethnic origins — and the regional and cultural diversit — of the Africans whose enslavement led to the creation of the African American people. It delves into the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives that African Americans have created in the half a millennium since their African ancestors first arrived on these shores. Like the television series, this book guides readers on an engaging journey through the Black Atlantic world — from Africa and Europe to the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States — to shed new light on what it has meant, and means, to be an African American.

By highlighting the complex internal debates and class differences within the Black Experience in this country, readers will learn that the African American community, which black abolitionist Martin R. Delany described as a “nation within a nation,” has never been a truly uniform entity, and that its members have been debating their differences of opinion and belief from their very first days in this country. The road to freedom for black people in America has not been linear; rather, much like the course of a river, it has been full of loops and eddies, slowing and occasionally reversing current. Ultimately, this book emphasizes the idea that African American history encompasses multiple continents and venues, and must be viewed through a transnational perspective to be fully understood.

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.

Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms by Nicholas Johnson



Paperback
January 14, 2014
Prometheus Books
Chronicling the underappreciated 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.

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 )

     

2014 NAACP Image Awards – Literature Nominees and Winners

The NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. Winners are voted upon by NAACP members and announced when the envelopes are opened on Friday, February 21 during the Awards Ceremony for non-televised categories. The remaining categories are announced live on stage during the two-hour star-studded TV One telecast on Saturday, February 22 (9:00 p.m. ET/PT tape-delayed). The telecast also included a one-hour pre-show airing live from the red carpet (8:00 p.m. ET/PT tape-delayed).

Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. The organization’s half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

LITERATURE NOMINEES
Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction
“A Deeper Love Inside: The Porscha Santiaga Story” – Sister Souljah (Atria/Emily Bestler Books)
“Anybody’s Daughter” – Pamela Samuels Young (Goldman House Publishing)
“Little Green: An Easy Rawlins Mystery” – Walter Mosley (Doubleday)
“Never Say Never: A Novel” – Victoria Christopher Murray (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster)
“Who Asked You?” – Terry McMillan (Viking)

Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction
“Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations: 5,000 Years of Literature, Lyrics, Poems, Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs from Voices Around the World” – Retha Powers (Little, Brown and Company)
“Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery” – Deborah Willis, Barbara Krauthamer (Temple University Press)
“High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society” – Carl Hart (HarperCollins, Harper)
“Letters to an Incarcerated Brother: Encouragement, Hope, and Healing for Inmates and Their Loved Ones” – Hill Harper (Gotham Books)
“The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” – Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Donald Yacovone (SmileyBooks)

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author
“Better Than Good Hair – The Curly Girl Guide to Healthy Gorgeous Natural Hair!” – Nikki Walton with Ernessa T. Carter (Harper Collins- Amistad)
“Ghana Must Go” – Taiye Selasi (The Penguin Press)
“Nine Years Under” – Sheri Booker (Gotham Books)
“On The Come Up” – Hannah Weyer (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday)
“The Returned” – Jason Mott (Harlequin MIRA)

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/ Auto-Biography
“Buck: A Memoir” – MK Asante (Spiegel & Grau)
“Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington” – Terry Teachout (Gotham Books)
“Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker” – Stanley Crouch (HarperCollins, Harper)
“Mom & Me & Mom” – Maya Angelou (Random House)
“The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks” – Jeanne Theoharis (Beacon Press)

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional
“Do I Look Like An ATM? A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible African American Children” – Sabrina Lamb (Chicago Review Press)
“Plan D: How to Lose Weight and Beat Diabetes (Even If You Don’t Have It)” – Sherri Shepherd with Billie Fitzpatrick (HarperCollins, It Books)
“Recruiting and Retaining Culturally Different Students in Gifted Education” – Donna Y. Ford, Ph.D. (Prufrock Press Inc.)
“The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs” – Kevin D. Johnson (Johnson Media Inc.)
“The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life” – Robin Quivers (Avery)

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry
“Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid” – Nikki Giovanni (HarperCollins, William Morrow)
“Hum” – Jamaal May (Alice James Books)
“The Cineaste: Poems” – A. Van Jordan (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.)
“The Collected Poems of Ai” – Ai (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.)
“Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers” – Frank X Walker (University of Georgia Press)

Outstanding Literary Work – Children
“I’m A Pretty Little Black Girl!” – Betty K. Bynum (Author), Claire Armstrong-Parod (Illustrator) (Dream Title Publishing)
“Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me” – Daniel Beaty (Author), Bryan Collier (Illustrator) (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
“Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song” – Andrea Davis Pinkney (Author), Brian Pinkney (Illustrator) (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
“Nelson Mandela” – Kadir Nelson (HarperCollins Children’s Books/Katherine Tegen Books)
“You Never Heard of Willie Mays?!” – Jonah Winter (Author), Terry Widener (Illustrator) (RH Childrens Books; Schwartz & Wade)

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens
“Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers” – Tanya Lee Stone (Candlewick Press)
“God’s Graffiti: Inspiring Stories for Teens” – Romal Tune (Judson Press)
“Invasion” – Walter Dean Myers (Scholastic Press/Scholastic)
“Raising the Bar” – Gabrielle Douglas (Zondervan)
“Serafina’s Promise: A Novel In Verse” – Ann E. Burg (Scholastic Press/Scholastic)

# # #

About NAACP:
Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. The NAACP’s half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

Bestselling Books in December 2013

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

  1. He Loves Me, He Loves You Not by Mychea
    ( Good2go Publishing , 12/1/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    It’s been years since their parents were murdered. Twin sisters Shia and Leigh are trying to readjust to life, while caring for their baby sister Remi. With the exception of Leigh s angry, dramatic mood swings every now and then, everything seems to be going great. That is until Demetri; the mysterious stranger enters their midst, and falls right in the path of the newly single Shia. After dating Trent for so long, she is looking for a man to treat her like a queen, and Demetri is heaven sent…until inexplicable things begin to happen. When one of her sisters goes missing, and was last seen with Trent and Demetri, Shia suddenly realizes no one is who they appear to be. The seemingly normal world she and her sisters recreated is destroyed. Shia begins to realize that her parents’ past deeds are coming back to haunt them all and no one can be trusted. It is unclear to Shia which man truly has her best interest – and safety – at heart. Staring at the wilted flower she calls life, she is slowly pulling back the layers to try to understand if He loves me, he loves you not…

     

  2. Tears of a Hustler PT 1 by Silk White
    ( Good2go Publishing , 12/18/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    Ali is a drug dealer slash business man who tries to change the way the game is played by giving back to the community. But at the same time he has to keep a close eye on his childhood crime partner G-Money who has a strong hatred for the police. Ali’s life take a series turn when a local rival a crooked cop, his pregnant girlfriend and his little brother comes into the picture.Once again Silk White takes readers deep into an underworld and night life. A gritty street tale that everyone will enjoy.Now how it all begins!

     

  3. Private Sins (Three Rivers Series: Book 1) by Brenda Barrett
    ( Jamaica Treasures , 12/12/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    Kelly was in deep trouble; her husband was a pastor and she his loyal first lady. Well she was…until she had an affair with Chris; the first elder of their church. And now she was pregnant with his child. Could she keep the secret from her husband and pretend that all was well? Or should she confess her private sin and let the chips fall where they may?

     

  4. The Last King (The Last King: Book I, Serial #1) by A.Yamina Collins
    ( DeeBooks Publishing, LLC , 12/26/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    Twenty-eight year Emmy Hughes has never quite fit in—she’s six feet tall, dark-skinned, and daydreams of being Galadriel from Lord of the Rings. But when she is badly injured in a car accident that kills her mother, Emmy does not dream of fantastical worlds anymore—she just wants her shattered life to be normal again.

     

  5. Trap-A-Rella 2 by Tony Steele
    ( Felony Books , 12/13/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    At the height of her street career, Nisey Davis is charged with trafficking and faces a fate that has befallen many hustlers before her—federal prison time. She isn’t too optimistic of the outcome, so she nominates her sister, Shanise Davis, as the leader of the Trap-A-Rellas. This decision doesn’t go over well with every member of the clique … and the betrayal begins.

     

  6. Saving Face (Mount Faith Series: Book 1) by Brenda Barrett
    ( Jamaica Treasures , 12/12/2013 , 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.

     

  7. Wahida Clark Presents 11 Book Boxed Set (Holiday Bonus Pack) by Wahida Clark
    ( Wahida Clark Presents Publishing , 12/15/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    SUPER Exclusive Holiday Bonus from Wahida Clark Presents Publishing. 11 full-length novels from “Wahida Clark’s” hottest authors. Thuggin’. Hustlin’. Wisdom. Romance. Scandal. Mystery. And Murder. From 11 Best-Selling authors comes 11 Best-Selling books! All combined in this Limited Boxed Set. This offer is Wahida Clark Presents way of saying, Thanks for your unwavering support!

     

  8. Criminal Romance Boxed Set (18 Book Boxed Set) by David Weaver
    ( SBR Publications , 12/12/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    The ultimate modern day Bonnie and Clyde love stories from 18 bestselling authors all combined for this one bundle.BOXED SET INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING TITLES:Bankroll Squad by David WeaverThe Union by Tremayne JohnsonThe Versace League by ShanCountry Girls by Blake KarringtonTeflon Mafia by Alicia Howard and Drusilla MarsGhetto Girl Games by Torica TymesThe Throne by Cole HartThug Luv by JazmyneTruth Hurts, Lies Kill by Raymond FrancisThe Streets Don’t Luv Me by Alicia HartleyLove and War by Jackie ChanelI See Dead People by Joe AwsumThe Real Blockwives of Atlanta by Sevyn McCrayLove in the Chamber by Rasheed CarterHard by Anjela DayBallad of Bad Bitch by Ms. BamKush and Cologne by Envy SealHandbag Mafia by Chanel Jones#1 on Amazon’s Movers and Shakers List***Debuted at #63 overall in the Kindle store!Over 1,300 units were sold in the first 24 hours.18 FULL LENGTH books for $1.Limited Time ONLY!!!! HOT PRODUCT

     

  9. Curvy Girls Do It Married and Dirty: Short Erotic Romance – Book 5 by Ulriche Kacey Padraige
    ( , 12/16/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    Beth was always a little bit surprised that her little jealousy of Georgia’s life appeared. She searched her soul but she could not figure out why she would feel this way.

     

  10. A CHILD OF A CRACKHEAD II by Shameek Speight
    ( True Glory Publications , 12/23/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    With the notorious Black Ice missing or assumed dead, Michael Jr. and Rachel try to live a normal life. Will Rachel be able to fight the urge of wanting to get high? Will Michael Jr. be able to fight the blood that’s running through his veins? Or will he be subcumbed to what he hates most, the demon he calls a father or the life of being once a child of a crack head break him?

     

  11. A CHILD OF A CRACKHEAD (Part 1) by shameek speight
    ( True Glory Publications , 12/19/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    He watched as she screamed and yelled with every strike that the man, made to her face. From her mouth, she spit blood that was rolling down her face. He continued to watch the 6’2 dark skin man repeatedly hit and kick the woman in the stomach, again and again. Noooo stop! please stop! as she yelled his closed fist went upside her head. Michael knew he had to do something to stop the man from beating the beautiful brown skin woman, with tears running down his own face he yelled, Daddy stop! Daddy stop!, as he ran his 6 year old frame between his father and mother. Daddy stop hitting mommy!, All he felt was his father’s big black hands grasp him around his neck and squeeze until he couldnt breathe and threw him across the room. Micheal sat on the floor crying. Partly because of the pain he felt, but mostly because of the beating his mother was getting. How does Micheal, child of a crack head, fight to stay a live ? what will he face and those he truly love ? and do they survive the terror of the man they call Black ice. This story tells the countless beating’s, killing’s, lies, infidelity and betrayels of a crack head and how a mother and child survive the street life

     

  12. Jade Jones Presents 6 Book Box Set by Jade Jones
    ( Jaded Publications , 12/25/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    SIX BOOKS FOR ONE AWESOME PRICE!!!

     

  13. From the Streets to the Sheets Platinum 20 Book Box Set (G Street Chronicles Presents) by George Sherman Hudson
    ( G Street Chronicles , 12/16/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    • Set includes 20 books from some of the top rated authors from the G Street Chronicles camp.

     

  14. The Pleasure of Pain 2 by Shameek Speight
    ( TRUE GLORY PUBLISHING , 12/21/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    Pleasure of pain 2 returns with more action and bloodshed than ever with more drama, secrets and lies are all at the forefront. With the F.B.I and the Santiago drug family along with the Asia mafia on their backs, Tess, Iris and Vanessa along with new comer Layla have no choice but to head over sea’s and do what they do best. With new hidden identities they reinvent themselves and become known under the new alias as the Teflon Divas, becoming the world’s most deadly assassins. Walk with Tess as she try to cope with the loss of her true love Bless while seeking undying answers to the killer behind it all or will her loyalty to the only people she trust blind her from seeking the truth that she needs to be a peace with it all? With ulterior motives hidden for over five years and undying infatuation with Tess, Will Iris jealous and over possessiveness cause her to snap and reveal her true colors as to who she really is? Find out as loyalties and friendships are tested, hearts are broken and a twist that will shock the world in this highly anticipated sequel.

     

  15. Trapped In Paradise by Deatri King-Bey
    ( , 12/15/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    After escaping an abusive marriage, Saundra Write swore never to allow anyone to trap her again. Then comes along Jeremy King, the kind of man any woman would beg to be trapped in paradise with.

     

  16. Raw Freaks (Gay Urban Erotica Sampler) by Gavin ML Fletcher
    ( Black Queer Radical Books , 12/26/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    Raw Freaks: Gay Urban Erotica Sampler is a collection of five, hot, erotic gay stories from Gavin ML Fletcher featuring black and Hispanic characters engaging in raunchy gay sex.

     

  17. Rayqelle’s Revenge -Book 1- (RATCHET) by Shon Cole Black
    ( clandestine, 12/30/2013, Kindle Edition )
    “RATCHET” is the story of Miss Rayqelle Davis; the stepdaughter of a Chicago police officer who grows up in a seriously dysfunctional home and turns to the streets as a means of escape.

     

  18. The Doctor’s Secret Bride – Book One (Billionaire Brides of Granite Falls) by Ana E Ross
    ( Ana E Ross , 12/10/2013 , Kindle Edition )
    Book One:  He must choose between love and loyalty…Michelle Carter has been down on her luck since the day she was born. So it comes as no surprise when through a series of unfortunate events, she finds herself jobless, penniless, and practically homeless. In a desperate attempt to get back on her feet, Michelle accepts a job as a nanny, and finds it absolutely impossible to resist the sexual magnetism of her handsome, sexy billionaire boss–but resist she must for as long as she could, especially since she’s keeping secrets from him. Believing that his late wife betrayed him with another man, falling in love again is the last thing Dr. Erik LaCrosse wants to do. But fall, he does, and so hard, he secretly marries the alluring nanny from the wrong side of the tracks. However, when he unearths a disturbing secret from Michelle’s past, Erik must choose between his loyalty to a dead woman and the love burning in his heart for one who is very much alive.

     

Essence Magazine’s Book Features for January 2014

Essence Magazine’s book selections for January 2014, including “Patrik’s Picks,” “A Writer to Watch,” “10 Ways to Gain Financial Freedom,” and “Redefining Realness”:


St. Martin’s Griffin, 1/28/2014, Kindle Edition

St. Martin’s Griffin, 1/28/2014, Paperback

Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana Byrd and Lori L. Tharps

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.


Three Ducks in a Row Publishing, 6/19/2013, Kindle Edition

Paperback

Me First: A Deliciously Selfish Take on Life by C. Nicole Mason

Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if it revolved around you? Me First: A Deliciously Selfish Take on Life is an unapologetic and hilarious perspective on what it takes to get to the top and to live life on your own terms.

Before making any big decision such as getting into a relationship or choosing a career path—you will start with the most important question: What do I want? The second question you will ask is: How does this decision, action, or choice benefit me directly? If it’s not what you want or does not benefit you directly, don’t do it. At the heart of Me First is the belief that YOU deserve to be happy and fulfilled. Its “Delish-isms” will show you how to become the number one priority in your life and become smarter and more strategic about your relationships, career, health, and finances. Every chapter also contains “Kick Starters” to help you get moving in the right direction. How selfish, right? Absolutely! A deliciously selfish life means taking a step back from the craziness to figure out who you are and what you want, and once you do, to own it. Because the only person holding you back from getting what you want is you.


St. Martin’s Press, 12/31/2013, Hardcover

Paperback

Super Shred: The Big Results Diet: 4 Weeks 20 Pounds Lose It Faster! by Ian K. Smith

Using the same principles—meal spacing, snacking, meal replacement and diet confusion—that made his SHRED a major #1 bestseller—Dr. Ian has developed what dieters told him they needed: a quick-acting plan that is safe and easy to follow at home, at work, or on the road.

It’s a program with four week-long cycles:
–Foundation, when you’ll eat four meals and three snacks a day, start shedding pounds and set yourself up for success
–Accelerate, when you’ll kick it up and speed up weight loss
–Shape, the toughest week in the program, and the one that will get your body back by keeping it guessing
–Tenacious, a final sprint that cements your improved eating habits and melts off those last stubborn pounds

The SHRED system never leaves you hungry.  It’s a completely new way to lose weight, stay slender, and feel fantastic about your body, mind and spirit!Includes more than 50 all-new recipes for meal replacing smoothies and soups! 


Knopf, 1/28/2014, Kindle Edition

Hardcover

Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

From a breathtaking new voice, a novel about a splintered family in Kenya—a story of power and deceit, unrequited love, survival and sacrifice.

Odidi Oganda, running for his life, is gunned down in the streets of Nairobi. His grief-stricken sister, Ajany, just returned from Brazil, and their father bring his body back to their crumbling home in the Kenyan drylands, seeking some comfort and peace. But the murder has stirred memories long left untouched and unleashed a series of unexpected events: Odidi and Ajany’s mercurial mother flees in a fit of rage; a young Englishman arrives at the Ogandas’ house, seeking his missing father; a hardened policeman who has borne witness to unspeakable acts reopens a cold case; and an all-seeing Trader with a murky identity plots an overdue revenge.

In scenes stretching from the violent upheaval of contemporary Kenya back through a shocking political assassination in 1969 and the Mau Mau uprisings against British colonial rule in the 1950s, we come to learn the secrets held by this parched landscape, buried deep within the shared past of the family and of a conflicted nation. Here is a spellbinding novel about a brother and sister who have lost their way; about how myths come to pass, history is written, and war stains us forever.


Zondervan, 1/26/2010, Kindle Edition

The Power to Prosper: 21 Days to Financial Freedom by Michelle Singletary

In her softcover book The Power to Prosper, award-winning writer Michelle Singletary has a field-tested financial challenge for you. For twenty-one days, you will put away your credit cards and buy only what you need for survival. With Michelle’s guidance during this three-week financial fast, you’ll discover how to:
* Break your spending habit
* Handle money with your significant other or your spouse
* Break your bondage to debt with the Debt Dash Plan
* Make smart investments* Be prepared for any contingency with a Life Happens Fund
* Stop worrying about money and find the priceless power of financial peace

As you discover practical ways to achieve financial freedom, you’ll experience something even more amazing … your faith and generosity will increase, too.


Atria Books, 2/4/2014, Kindle Edition

Hardcover

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock

An extraordinary young woman recounts her coming-of-age as a transgender teen—a deeply personal and empowering portrait of self-revelation, adversity, and heroism.

In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she publicly stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Since then, Mock has gone from covering the red carpet for People.com to advocating for all those who live within the shadows of society. Redefining Realness offers a bold new perspective on being young, multiracial, economically challenged, and transgender in America. Welcomed into the world as her parents’ firstborn son, Mock set out early on to be her own person—no simple feat for a young person like herself. She struggled as the smart, determined child in a deeply loving, yet ill-equipped family that lacked money, education, and resources. Mock had to navigate her way through her teen years without parental guidance but luckily with a few close friends and mentors she overcame extremely daunting hurdles.

This powerful memoir follows Mock’s quest for identity, from her early gender conviction to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that found her transitioning through the halls of her school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. Ever resilient, Mock emerged with a scholarship to college and moved to New York City, where she earned her masters degree, basked in the success of an enviable career, and told no one about her past. It wasn’t until Mock fell for a man who called her the woman of his dreams that she felt ready to finally tell her story, becoming a fierce advocate for girls like herself. A profound statement of affirmation from a courageous woman, Redefining Realness shows as never before what it means to be a woman today and how to be yourself when you don’t fit the mold created for you.