National Black Book Festival


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Books Baby!! and It's Black History Year

Number 65
I’m still having that dream about my friend Melanie.  I’m in the court room and she is still hanging her head down, holding her hands together as if she is in complete darkness.  She does not see or hear anyone and at this point does not care.  Even when the lawyer tries to talk to her and the woman sitting next to her rubs her back and tires to get her to raise her head, she does not move. 
It’s not just breaking my heart; my whole being is sinking down into some dark, very dark pit.  I’m just sitting there wondering what in the hell can I do.  I know where that pain came from.  I lived with and watched it over and over again.  It’s probably the reason I don’t take much crap from people and why, even when I walk, some say I walk like John Wayne about to kick some serious ass, but it has been my stance, my being and soul, to walk very tall and keep my head high.  I’m scared like everyone else is, but as I told one man who tired, “I may not be able to whoop your ass, but I will pull that sucker off and fried it with some eggs.”  I know I’m not as strong, but watching Melanie sit there and endure the worse any human being should, being sexually and physically abused, it pisses me off to hell and no end. 
I get so angry when I hear and see a child.  A child!!  Going thru this.  I’m hurt.  I’m in pain and I’m powerless.  Aren’t there times you wish you had some magic to rid the earth of people who hurt people like that?  I have wished that many times.  I may not be able to do much of anything but report it if I see it and be there to help the child if I’m able, but what I will do is pray and pray hard.  For the kids and the person who is hurting them.  Yes, I’m sure you are asking, “Why in hell pray for that piece of Do Do,” because GOD says so.  We pray and hope that they realize how much they hurt others and will stop, if not, let’s continue to pray and know that GOD will take care of him/her when his/her time comes.
In the meantime, I will continue to buy books for kids and talk to kids whenever I can.  I will continue to promote reading in every single child I find and seek out.  So, get ready world, I’m not stopping something that has been in my soul since birth.  No Ding Dong Way!!!
Let’s read!!!
ALTONYA WASHINGTON – SOUL’S DESIRE – 99 cents - - - AlTonya re-releases her short story, Soul's Desire, which features Maxima Reed and Jurel Reed as a couple struggling to deny many truths. For Jurel, it’s the fact that he’s been in love with his brother’s wife from the moment they met. For Maxima, Jurel was a friend and confidant. Anything more was out of the question and Max didn’t entertain so much as the thought of it. Then, Maxima lose her husband in a fatal motorcycle crash. Slowly, the feelings both she and Jurel fought so long to hide, gradually resurface in this story of dormant feelings and the consequences of missed opportunities.

SYLVIA HUBBARD – LOVE 101 – 99 cents - - - Young looking, prudish school teacher, Cheyenne Roberts, loses a bet with her students. She is forced to wear their horrible looking uniforms on the same day she meets sexy Evan Crane, who just wanted assistance in driving around Detroit.  Evan assumes she's a student and Cheyenne doesn't tell him any different. She's amused as he fights his attraction to her. 
Deciding to take advantage of his weakness and her own mounting attraction to him, Cheyenne kisses Evan.  That's when her plan to just tease the stranger becomes a chance for her to live out her own reckless fantasy.
Many reviewers are saying the book is really good, but they wish it was longer.  Maybe the next one she will expound on and give us more juicy plots.
SYLVIA HUBBARD – DIARY OF A….. TRYING TO FIND THE RIGHT MAN BUT I KEEP SLEEPING WITH ALL THE WRONG ONES – DIARY BY SHERYL - $1.00 - - - Reviewer Savanna - This book is full of steamy, kinky, weird in that what-just-happened type of way stuff. One minute they were arguing, then the next they were orgasmic everywhere! I would have never known about all of this because I don't date much and I am still a virgin (but that doesn't mean I don't know what to do! LOL!) But other more experienced women would know where she was coming from. In this book, I kinda started to hate the main character because at times, she was just a complete bitch and slut and I have never ever EVER done some things she did/does. Her family situation/work situation keeps you on your face and has you like, "Ha! I knew it....Wait, I was wrong...WAIT! Was I wrong...Am I right?" at some points and keep you at the edge of your seat. I would def recommend....TO FEMALES ONLY!!!! Or gay men (But I don't think you all would enjoy it as much as women!)
SYLVIA HUBBARD – RED HEART (Heart of Detroit) - $1.99 - - - After a long period away, Jode returns to her hometown Detroit just to attend her best friend’s funeral.  Yet, when she finds out that the death was no suicide, she goes in search of the truth.  As secrets are revealed and the past she ran away from began to haunt her again, Jode believes that her best friend’s murderer may be her first love, Red Heart.  

SYLVIA HUBBARD – STONE’S REVENGE – $2.99 - - - There is a copycat killer in Davenport and William is the number one suspect.  William is the son of a serial killer; Therefore William's nemesis, prosecuting attorney Ramsey McPherson feels the apple does not fall too far from the tree. Ramsey makes it his number one mission to put William behind bars.  William vows revenge against Ramsey with every intention to hurt what Ramsey holds dear in his life and that is the prosecuting attorney's daughter Abigail, who thinks someone is trying to frame William. Abigail and William fall in love and they keep their love affair a secret from Ramsey.  Yet with a murder so gruesome happening on a night when Abigail and William are together, Abigail is forced to choose between not telling where William was and revealing to her father that she is truly in love with William.   Only question remains: Who's the real killer?

ReSHONDA TATE BILLINGSLEY – EVERYBODY SAY AMEN - $7.99 - - - This is the sequel to “LET THE CHURCH SAY AMEN - $10.99 Let the Church Say Amen (You may be able to get the Paperback for $5.64, shipping included).
When her husband hears God's call to become a preacher, Rachel Jackson Adams is distressed; she grew up a preacher's daughter, and knows how difficult life under the microscope can be for a Reverend's family. But hot-headed Rachel has toned down her wild ways, and for the sake of her marriage and her two children, she is now the reluctant first lady of Zion Hill, unafraid to rock the boat with her unconventional ideas for revitalizing the church. When her son, Jordan, begins fighting at school, Rachel turns to the boy's father, Bobby, who was Rachel's first love from years ago. Married now himself, there should be nothing between them except their concern for Jordan.  If that is so, why does seeing Bobby again feel so distractingly tempting? With her brothers facing dramas of their own, and her father, Reverend Simon Jackson, recovering from an illness, Rachel must listen carefully to discover what God truly wants for her and to decide if Bobby is the lover of her dreams or the devil in disguise.
I’m telling you from Kimberla Lawson Roby, Carl Weber, Michelle Andrea Bowen and ReShonda Tate Billingsley, I'm saying, “Let the Church Say, “Got Damn!, What the hell is wrong with you people?  “Have you finally lost your minds?”  I have never cracked up so much from reading these guys and others on the way and means of “church folk.”  They are tripping me from one church to another. 
TOYE BROWN – OBSESSIVE/OBSESSION – 99 Cents - - - Who is trying to bring the family down and at what cost? The Lofton sisters had it all, money, success, and happiness. Now someone wants part of it. Follow the lives of the four sisters as they unite to unravel the mystery of who is stalking them. The romance and intrigue the sisters endure is captivating. The suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat; the humor will have you laughing out loud.

Let me know if you did laugh out loud. 

TOYE LAWSON BROWN - NAYLA’S DILEMMA – THE ENDS OF JUSTICE – 99 cents - - - The sequel to "Obsessive/Obsession."  District Attorney, Nayla Smith concentrates on the main reason for her return to Cleveland.  Unraveling the mysterious death of Ramona Franklin cost Nayla more than she bargained for.  Did she dig too deep to get to the truth?  Follow the elite team of Cleveland Homicide Detectives as they work with the FBI to get their number one suspect.

VANESSA MILLER – LOVE ISN’T ENOUGH – 99 Cents - - - Sometimes love just isn’t enough and Hannah Ellison is sick of pretending.  She promised to love, honor and cherish her husband, but Thomas kept secrets. And now as Hannah wades through all of Thomas’s unpaid bills, baby mama drama and her inability to conceive, she must decide if love is enough to keep her at home when her heart and mind is in turmoil over something that only God can fix.  This short story is loosely based on the Old Testament story of Hannah’s pleas for a child of her own (1 Samuel 1:1-2:26).
I got a good one for you, Sister married to a white man and writing some serious sexual stuff, yeah, good stuff!

EROSA KNOWLES – ULTIMATE BREED - (THE ULTIMATE CHRONICLES) - $4.99 - - - Time is running out for the Vampire Breeder Skye, in more ways than one. Her car is attacked while on her way to the hospital to give birth, a huge bounty is placed on her head and a Vampire Hunter attacks her. And that happens in one day. Her Were-Hyena security team calls in Adrian Vail, a mercenary who gets results. He’ll get her to safety, keeping a step ahead of the Bounty Hunters and the master-minds behind the threats. One thing for sure, he’s never met anyone like her and fights the attraction with each breath. After the lost of his daughter, women with children were off limits. Her strength intrigues him. Her beauty captivates him. Can he maintain a professional distance while saving her life?

EROSA KNOWLES – SPECIAL FORCES - $3.99 - - - Major Tyson Bradford had two mistresses his family and his career. He loved them both. For the first time, the two were demanding his presence at the same time. He’d failed to secure his ailing eighty-year-old Aunt into his home. All the traditional methods failed to produce the results he needed.

Lynay's four-year-old son had severe asthma. Fear strangled her each time he fell gasping to breathe. Her minimum wage job barely kept up with his escalating medications costs. Medicaid only went so far. Her baby needed more help than she could provide.

Anne, her best friend suggested something unconventional, a contract marriage. Anne’s brother deployment would take place in less than a week. Desperate, Tyson and Lynay agree to a marriage that would meet both of their pressing needs. His only requirement: absolute fidelity during their marriage. Since Lynay hadn’t been sexually active since the birth of her son, she agreed.

Everyone got what they wanted, right? Wrong. Allison, Tyson’s ex-wife refused to accept not only their divorce of three years, but Tyson’s re-marriage as well.  An uncommon path of destruction pummeled Tyson’s Achilles heel. Seeds of deception were sown, and ultimately led to the breakup of their marriage.  But to a woman scorned, the breakdown of the faux marriage was simply gravy. She intended to teach him a lesson. Her ultimate vengeance: his total ruin.  In her hatred, she forgot one thing, she messed with his family. And nobody messes with his family, for long.


TERRY McMILLAN – MAMA - $10.20 Paperback - - - The book, to me that is, that started it all.  The Urban fiction from a black woman ready to kick ass and show others how we may have been down, but got damn it!, we are coming up strong and fierce.  This was Terry McMillan’s first novel, and the best to me.  The story of an uneducated black woman in the 1960's who possesses the strength to survive and the will to hope. Mildred Peacock, the central character of the story, is no saint. She swears (I love it!), she drinks constantly, and whenever she has a good opportunity, she lets a good-looking man have sex with her (OK, I may think like that, but too scared to do that with all of this down low crap and men not being honest with you and not, for the life of me I don’t understand, take an AIDS test.  They are punks if you ask me.  Just punks!  Men, who go around and not get tested, but want to screw everything that looks and act like a woman.  Pisses me off.  Don’t get me started on it!!!). This book came out in 1987.  Can you believe it’s been 24 years?  I still have my original copy.  Man, cannot believe it.
If you never read this book, you need to get with it.  It may upset you that a woman 27 years old with five kids, living in a decaying house in the poorest of Detroit and an abusive husband, would turn you away.  On the contrary, McMillan wrote this book with the zest and amazingly positive of a woman who overcame and solve her problems.   
Think of the TV show Good Times with better writing.  I must tell you, I was not a fan of that show.  JJ got on my last damn nerve and Thelma was boring. When the father character, James played by John Amos, was killed, that was it for me.  If I recall, the next time we saw a strong African American male father figure was Cosby.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

Number 64
I know some are getting bored with my “Black History Year” stance.  They are wondering if I’m going to take this thru out the year.  Yes! so “Get over it.”  Unless you change racial colors on a regular basis, I’m sticking to Black History Year.  As I have stated before, we are all we got, so let’s continue to show people we are as bad as they come.
On that note, I’m angry and very sad.  I just finished reading, KIMBERLA LAWSON ROBY’S – A Deep Dark Secret: A Novel – 9.99 - - - A Deep Dark Secret
I read thru it pretty fast because I was getting more and more upset.  I should not have read it in bed.  As soon as I fell asleep, I dreamed about my best, best, best friend Melanie, who I have not seen nor heard from in over 20 years.  I use to walk to her house in the morning so we could walk to school together.  She lived in a small house with her mother, dad, two brothers and once sister.  As a matter of fact, I also had two step brothers, whose father I truly, truly did not like and he did not like me.  I use to hear before I knocked on the front door, screams and rumbling from the mother and father arguing and the Melanie trying to get ready for school.  As soon as I knocked, the noise stopped and Melanie or her mother would open the door. 
I don’t know if I have a six sense or what, but I never felt comfortable around her father.  I would come in the house and he would be sitting down on a run down, fake brown suede sofa and his hands dangling between his legs, looking at me saying, “Good morning, little one, ready to walk to school?”  I was respectful as my grandmother taught me and just said, “Yes sir,” and gave him an “I know what you are doing and if you think your stinking ass is going to try it with me, you have me and my grandmother to deal with” stare.  I did not like that man one iota. 
Then my dream moved to present time and I was in court because I saw a story in the paper about a woman who stabbed her father numerous times and killed him, (Yes, I guess I got this from some TV show or book I read.  It’s amazing how dreams are created).  The woman was Melanie.  She would not look up.  Just kept her head down and hands cross.  I just looked at her and cried.  I also felt the deep, deep hurt and anger from her.  I woke up suddenly crying and pissed and crying again.  I’m still looking for her and won’t stop.  So much of my life growing up was with her and I miss her and cry for her all the time.  This book is about a little girl being sexually abused by her step father and it just rose those memories for me again and again.  
Sorry I’m so down, but that book opened up more than I wanted it too.  Let’s get to some books to help me feel better and blessed.  I am truly blessed.
HILL HARPER - The Conversation: How Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships - $9.99 - - - Only 34 percent of African-American children today are raised in two- parent households, a sharp contrast to 1966, when 85 percent of black children were raised by two parents. In provocative but heartfelt words, Hill Harper takes on these urgent challenges, bringing a variety of issues out of the shadows. In The Conversation, Harper speaks to women and men with clear-eyed perspective, covering topics such as: The roots of the breakdown in the black family, The myth that there are no mature, single, black male professionals, what women can do to alleviate the "heaviness" they sometimes attach to dating, what men can do to break the cycle of being a player and other concerns in the black community. 
I learn each and every time when I peruse bookstores, book fairs, volunteering at the library, new authors.  I happened to download and listen to - ANITA D. DIGGS – DENZEL’S LIPS - $4.47 Denzel's Lips - - - Welcome to Hercsville, Long Island, where everyone is young, rich, and beautiful and they are tripping hard.  Four women, who else, are searching for love, sex, and sanity, go figure! 
Asha Mitchell Seabrook is hot, young, and married to the very wealthy Nick Seabrook. But as rich as her man is, he just can't seem to satisfy her insatiable appetite for money or sex.  Dr. Penelope Brewster is a successful clinical psychologist, who is trying to keep the children of Hercsville's power elite in good mental health--and out of trouble. But Dr. Penny has her own demons.  Glamorous, famous, and deeply troubled, Nancy St. Bart might be a successful soap opera actress, but she's also nursing some dangerous obsessions. And Denzel is just one of them.  Shareeka Ellison is as beautiful as the home she perfectly keeps. But her millionaire husband has turned into a man she doesn't know anymore--and one who might just destroy everything she's worked so hard for. 
To enter someone's home and find pictures of Denzel Washington covering every inch of the walls, should be a clue that "the elevator is not going up and when it does, the sucker just stops."  I just knew there was a problem with Nancy and her "Denzel" fixation. 
I did not realize that this is the 2nd book in a series about Asha Mitchell and her half sister, Saundra Patterson, so I brought the first one – THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GAME - $6.99 The Other Side of the Game.  The second book does bring you up to speed a little, but I’m one of those who have to know what started it and why Asha is such a slut!  Shareeka reminds me of one of the “Housewives” on those TV reality shows.  Just crazy and ghetto as can be.
Asha is a department-store buyer who sports designer clothes and believes that men can only be a part of her life sexually and financially. Saundra is preparing to marry her high-school sweetheart, Yero. They live a holistic lifestyle and support each other's dreams. Since her mother's death, Saundra has lived with her father, Phil. He is a police officer who has lived with a terrible secret since he was in the first grade. Phil has been dating Evelyn for six years but always has an excuse for postponing their engagement. Evelyn is also a police officer, and she has helped Phil raise Saundra. When Saundra discovers her father's secret, it affects the relationship she has with the two most important men in her life, her father and her fiancé. It will take a lot of honesty and forgiveness for Saundra to keep her relationships with both men.

ANITA D. DIGGS - A MEETING IN THE LADIES ROOM - $5.86 (The total price for shipping and the paperback) or you can get it in audio book format for free if you join Audible).  I joined Audible and it costs $14.00 a month, but I am able to download (borrow) many books thru the library on my iPod.  If you are not interested in the Audible book it costs $23.95.
Jackie Blue is looking forward to meeting with the Black Pack, a group of black professionals in Manhattan's publishing world that gets together to commiserate about the hardships of being a very small minority in a primarily white realm of trust fund babies. Jackie is especially looking forward to seeing hunky Victor, but she finds out that he was seen buying lingerie for his girlfriend. As upsetting as that is, things are about to get much worse. Her white boss is murdered, and Jackie is the last person to see her alive. Jackie has been secretly going to her boss's home to help her husband, Craig, with his book about famed black comedienne Moms Mabley. The book is terrible because Craig doesn't understand why the woman was an icon, but Jackie holds her tongue, then she's upset when her boss denies her the promotion she expected. Now that her boss is dead, Jackie is suspect number one. Diggs provides an absorbing portrayal of the publishing industry.

ANITA D. DIGGS - A Mighty Love - $6.94 (shipping and the paperback) - - - Mel and Adrienne Jordan's relationship begins to crumple when they lose their daughter in a fire. They are so devastated by the accident that they escape from the marriage. Mel moves in with his sister, Debra. Her lifestyle and acquaintances make it easy for him to be lured back into his former life of women, drugs, and alcohol. Adrienne goes to live with her brother, Dan, and his wife. They provide unconditional support and suggest professional counseling for the couple. Rather than seek help, Adrienne and Mel move into an apartment and attempt to put their marriage on track and their lives back together. Attempts at reconciliation and forgiveness seem futile. But eventually they realize that their marriage is worth saving. Even with the cliff-hanging, abrupt ending, this is an entertaining story about people dealing with real emotions, thoughts, and behavior.
NINA FOXX - No Girl Needs a Husband Seven Days a Week - $9.99 - - - A husband can be good for a number of things: 1. Companionship (when he's home), 2. Household repairs (if he's handy) and number 3 - Good loving (if you're lucky), but no girl needs a husband seven days a week! And why the hell not! I’m asking!!!
Marie needs her "stay-at-home husband" to clean the house and babysit the kids, so she can take care of business coast-to-coast and enjoy some harmless flirting on the side.  Mai's perfectly content to be the perfect wife to a successful corporate superstar throwing lavish parties and organizing gala charity fundraisers. But it's funny how quickly everything can change with just a single phone call from prison!  And high-powered ad exec Kennedy believes the best husband is no husband at all. Hot encounters with a succession of studs keep her going strong as she climbs to the top of her profession.  Hey, that may not be so bad!!
A spouse is fine as long as he doesn't screw up the rest of your life. Now three lovely ladies who think they have this "husband" thing all worked out are about to learn that, when it comes to love and marriage, "perfection" can always be improved upon. And it's going to be one wild ride!
BLAKE KARRINGTON – ALL OR NOTHING – 99 cents - - - The Streets Of Charlotte,North Carolina serve as the back drop in this sizzling portrayal of street life in the hood. Lead character Shantell Byrant has lived the hard knock life, blessed with a gorgeous figure and good looks, Shantell decides to use what she got to get what she wants.
BLAKE KARRINGTON - Country boy – 99 cents - - - Country boy is a fast-paced, action packed urban drama set in the dirty south. The story takes you away from the bright lights of the big cities. Where drug deals take place on city blocks and Street corners, to the backwoods, dirt roads and trap houses of the south.  Q a well known and respected hustler faces all the problems that come with the life. Torn between Van, a childhood love who has been down from day one, and Tee, the well educated and upscale women he believes he needs. He wished all he had to worry about was the law.  Follow Q and his close knit team of hustlers, through all their trials and tribulations.

Got to Get one in for Black History Year -
J. CALIFORNIA COOPER - LIFE IS SHORT BUT WIDE - $11.99 - - - With another multigenerational, wonderfully crafted Midwest ensemble cast, Cooper (Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns) presents the town of Wideland, Okla., through the eyes of folksy nonagenarian Hattie B. Brown. This community sentinel, though sometimes short on memory, acts as tour guide and historian, introducing the town at the beginning of the 20th century, when the railroad first arrived and, with it, a growing population. Among the new residents, Hattie introduces the industrious, loving African-American cowboy Val Strong and his Cherokee brother-friend Wings; Val's hardened but beautiful wife, Irene Lowell; and their two strong-willed daughters, Rose and Tante. Following the Strong family and their associates through the better part of the 1900s, Hattie finds history running roughshod through their lives, crushing some and strengthening others, introducing new generations and obstacles to love, home and happiness. Cooper's characteristic motherly wit carries an appealing raft of characters through a world tougher than it is tender, but touched with beauty and wisdom. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My! My! My! It's Black History Year - April

Number 63  
I wrote in last week’s blog, “Got to get one in for Black History Year,” the book by Manning Marable, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention Malcolm X: A Life of ReinventionpastedGraphic.pdf, now there are some disputes by various people (You know, the experts you see on the Today Show and CNN and other writers), that the allegation of Malcolm X’s Homosexuality and Infidelity in Marable book are false.  It’s a shame that years after this man’s death, a man who gave up his life for the success of African Americans, people are arguing about whether a rumor is true or not.  Read the book and other books on his life and decide for yourself.  It may be true and it may not be, but I remember when I saw the movie Malcolm X with Denzel Washington and I took my 5 year old daughter, even though thru most of the movie she slept, I saw a man who talked the talked and walked the walk thru hell and back.  I saw a man who gave us a revolution to stop taking crap from anyone who deemed us stupid or inferior or think because of the color of our skin, we are not human or worthy.  I saw a MAN.  A man born with sin and trying his best to stay on course.  He was a father, mentor and husband, and he was human.  We all are human and we make mistakes.  So if it is true, so what!  That does not take my vision and love for a man who started a revolution and to this day, I still say, “Do whatever is necessary to get the job done right and without hurting other people in the process.”  Do your best for you, your family and your race.  GOD is watching!!
It amazes me how people read and listen to what others are saying without finding out for themselves.  Yes, there are some big lies on the Internet, newspapers, TV, but we are intelligent enough to figure it out for ourselves.  I have watched the Today show a few times and first of all, their segments last only 5 to 10 minutes, then they ask that if you want any additional information, check out their website.  By the time you reach their website to look for the segment, you have to travel thru a maze of advertisements and other subjects just to find it and when you do, they have provided another website to browse or the information is not up to date. 
If you have time to search thru the maze, then search more.  But, you could have gone to the library, looked up the book on the specific subject or listen to your grandmother/grandfather or a mentor and found the answer yourself and actually enjoyed doing it.  It’s called, “The old fashioned way of finding the answer in a library or a book.”  To think, in a book, someone has written down an answer that may actually help you in your situation.  There are books to read for fun and books to learn from and it does not matter the age. 
Don’t believe everything you hear or read.  Take the time to read thru and understand both sides of the coin.  We are all we got, and I’m not going to let someone take Malcolm X or President Obama down because these men made some mistakes and are human.  I’m going to love them just like GOD does.  I’m not giving up on any of them.  We are all we got!!!
Here’s another listing of my most favorite black history books and I think you will remember, cry, become angry and remember all over again, what we as a people have gone thru and why we surely cannot give up. 
THE NARRATIVE OF SOJOURNER TRUTH – Free The Narrative of Sojourner TruthpastedGraphic_1.pdf
HARRIET ANN JACOBS - INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL WRITTEN BY HERSELF – Free Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by HerselfpastedGraphic_2.pdf
JESSIE REDMON FAUSET - Comedy: American Style - $15.37 - - - Comedy: American Style, Jessie Redmon Fauset's fourth and final novel, recounts the tragic tale of a family's destruction--the story of a mother who denies her clan its heritage. Originally published in 1933, this intense narrative stands the test of time and continues to raise compelling, disturbing, and still contemporary themes of color prejudice and racial self-hatred. Cherene Sherrard-Johnson's introduction places this classic in both the new modernist and transatlantic contexts and will be embraced by those interested in early twentieth-century women writers, novels about passing, the Harlem Renaissance, the black/white divide, and Diasporas studies.
JESSIE REDMON FAUSET - Plum Bun: A Novel Without a Moral - $10.63 Paperback
Written in 1929 at the height of the Harlem Renaissance by one of its most prolific authors, Plum Bun is the story of Angela Murray, a young black girl from Philadelphia who discovers she can pass for white. After the death of her parents, Angela moves to New York to escape the racism she believes is her only obstacle to opportunity. What she soon discovers is that being a woman has its own burdens that don't fade with the color of one's skin, and that love and marriage might not offer her salvation. "This novel was Fauset's call to the community to open itself to discussion and criticism and to aggressive intellectual pursuit of knowledge and experience. That call is just as necessary today. Plum Bun is a fine example of the hidden Harlem Renaissance—where the women were writers too."
You may not be aware, but Jessie Redmond Fauset taught at Dunbar High School in Washington, DC where many African American teachers taught and it was considered the most highly educated high school in the US.  She is also the creator of the “The Brownies’ Book,” a magazine for black children in the 1920s.
ANN PETRY - THE NARROWS - $10.00 for Hardback and Paperback - - - When Link Williams, a college-educated twenty-six-year-old African-American man, falls for Camilo Sheffield, a wealthy married white woman, things will never be the same in the sleepy New England town of Monmouth, Connecticut. Set in the 1950s, this unforgettable classic deftly evokes a tragic love affair and offers a window onto the powerful ways in which class, race, and love intersected in mid century America.
ANN PETRY - COUNTRY PLACE - $8.95 Paperback - - - Country Place is a departure both from Ann Petry’s first novel,The Street, and from African American literary tradition. Country Place focuses on a community of main characters who are predominantly white; the book’s minor characters are of varying ethnicity's and cultures within a small, rural New England town. The conflicts that arise between the characters, however, are conflicts of class. Petry focuses on the demarcation between the aristocratic and working classes to expose the town’s underlying foundations of bigotry and malice. (from website
MARGARET WALKER – JUBILEE - $9.32 Paperback - - - I read this book many years ago and while dusting and cleaning my many, many bookshelves, I ran into it and started reviewing it again.  It is beautifully written and the story written then and now, still grips me every time.  This was what they call a true classic.  It reminds me of Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind,” but this time, is a serious Black woman taking control in prewar times.  That book still echoes in my ear, even today.
Here is the classic and true story of Vyry, the child of a white plantation owner and his black mistress, a Southern Civil War heroine to rival Scarlett O'Hara. Vyry bears witness to the South's prewar opulence and its brutality, to its wartime ruin and the subsequent promise of Reconstruction. It is a story that Margaret Walker heard as a child from her grandmother, the real Vyry's daughter. The author spent thirty years researching the novel so that the world might know the intelligent, strong, and brave black woman called Vyry.

Got to Get one in for Black History Year - -
PAULE MARSHALL – THE CHOSEN PLACE, THE TIMELESS PEOPLE - 85 CENTS used in Hardback - - - Here’s a review by IsolaBlue from Boston.  "Merle Kinbona is one of the most memorable and interesting protagonists in all of West Indian literature. She is one of the strongest characters in all of the literature that emerged from the 1960s, and she reflects what was going on politically not only in the Caribbean, but also in the United States during that time. American social anthropologists have been sent to a West Indian island, Merle's homeland, with plans to help the residents. With this as a backdrop, Marshall explores race, politics, and cultural differences. She addresses the issues of immigrants, outsiders, and all those living outside of their cultures. Particularly effective are her portrayals of white male characters, proving that cross-race, cross-gender writing can work. The book may be too long, but the text is accessible, and the novel features a very real sense of place. Subtle and well-handled issues of homosexuality show that Marshall was, indeed, a woman ahead of her time."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I'm loving this Black History Year!

Number 62

I have calmed down a little.  I went to Wal Mart to get a few items, who can go in there and buy a little.  It use to be that when you went into Wal Mart, there were some cheap items and you looked up when you got to the cashier and did not realize you brought over $100 instead of the $50 you budget.  Wal Mart has so many items really cheap, well that’s over too, but maybe not.  I, of course, went to get some milk, a half a gallon since I had some at home.  The half a gallon was $3.38 and the gallon was $3.64.  You know what I did, got pissed again and did not buy the half but will wait until the gallon I have at home runs out.  The half was only 26 cents less, Damn!!!
I’m going to get off of this (“Let it go! grasshopper!! let it go!! - breath!!!) and move one.  Filled up for the week and gas was $3.60 a gallon, but luckily for me I don’t wait until it’s below 1/4, so when I filled up it cost me $20.00, that I can live with for now, I want to get pissed, but there is nothing I can do about the high cost of gas, I can stay pissed about milk and go back to the days when I was young and buy that powder milk my grandmother use to buy.  She actually made it pretty good with sugar and I don’t remember what else, but it was cold and good.  Hey, it could be worse, I could be without a job, instead I’m complaining about milk and gas.  At least I have made the last of my daughter tuition, she graduates next month.  That was a huge struggle and I’m still looking thru the net to find a homeless shelter for my dog and books to live it.  I’m not making fun of homeless people, I know how they feel.  I know that feeling of not having enough money to pay bills and put food on the table and no place to live, but my grandmother knew GOD was watching us and we made it and I will now.  
Don’t give up, don’t worry so much about it.  It really will not matter in the end.  Stay happy and pray for all of us, we need it more now than ever.  Let’s just stay happy and positive, it will get better.  In the meantime, I will give you a boost with good and cheap books.  That will keep you wondering what's up with urban lit and a few to make you laugh!
JAMISE DAMES - K. ELLIOTT - TEMPTED - 99 cents - - - Tempted is a short story in a SERIES of stories edited by K.Elliott that, will make your sexual appetite crave more. After reading this your partner will be forced to step up his/her game. Stories are so incredible, they will stimulate you mentally and take your mind to places that you never thought you would go make you blush because the stories will have you thinking of doing things that you never thought that you would ever think of doing. Or at least ever admit to doing. Some of the stories are taboo is about exploring your sexuality and pushing you to limits and heights of ecstasy that you have never seen before.
K. ELLIOTT - DILEMMA - 99 cents - - - Tremaine is good for Natalie; well, at least on paper, but Natalie has a secret. She craves women and it’s become a feeling she can’t resist.  Natalie meets Jaharie, a beautiful biracial woman, who wants a relationship with a man or a woman. Love is the only thing that matters to her. Natalie is thoroughly intrigued with Jaharie. She wants her, but being with a woman full-time isn’t what Natalie has in her plans and she knows her mother will never approve. She wants a husband, children, a ‘normal’ life, and is on track to acquiring this.  She plans to keep Jaharie a secret until she meets Tamala, a powerful, successful attorney and very attractive Lesbian who wants to take Natalie away from both Jaharie and Tremaine. Tamala has the savvy and financial power to woo Natalie right into her arms. Their relationship works for a while, until a past lover of Tamala’s vows to kill Natalie if she doesn’t stop seeing her. Natalie fears Tamala’s deranged lover but doesn’t leave until she learns a huge secret of hers.
AUTHOR STORM - K ELLIOTT - WHAT SHE WANTED (INDULGE) - 99 cents What She Wanted (Indulge)

LAJILL HUNT - K ELLIOTT - CATCH 22 (INDULGE) - 99 cents Catch 22 (Indulge)

BRENDA THOMAS - K ELLIOTT - THE WATCHER (INDULGE) - 99 cents The Watcher (Indulge)

GENA GARRISON - BARING IT ALL - 99 cents - - - Chocolate Paradise, the city's premier adult-entertainment nightclub, is the backdrop for this tale of murder, sex, and romance between a sinner and a saint. Marissa Rogers, a young African-American female and struggling to survive on her own, becomes employed as a stripper while falling in love with her grandmother's married minister. Travis Leonard, a young, good-looking African-American male, struggles to fight against his temptation for Marissa as he takes his appointment as minister of his first congregation. Both of their lives, and the community, are in turmoil as strippers are murdered one by one. This riveting murder mystery is a race against time. Travis and Marissa must not only fight against the hidden secrets of their pasts, but they must find God's presence and purpose and hope for a future.
SHANAEWritten as a straight talk, no chaser retort to the Steve Harvey's runaway bestseller 'Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,'   Straight Talk, No Chaser 

Shanae Hall's book is a fitting and resounding response regarding men, sex, relationships and women getting what they really 'reeeally' want.  As a Sirius Satellite Radio personality on Jaime Foxx's 'Foxxhole' and a former NFL wife appearing on 'E! True Hollywood Story, Sports Stars, Private Lives,' Shanae Hall doesn't shy away from life's difficult conversations. If it has to be said, Shanae will say it. And this book unequivocally proves the point.  In their own funny, fresh and bold way, Shanae and her co-author and mother Rhonda Frost, tell it like it is and like it most definitely is not as they hilariously chronicle their marriages, their divorces, and their dating of men from the NBA, NFL, and Hollywood stars to everyday rank-and-file guys who seem worthy. From engagingly different intergenerational perspectives, Shanae and Rhonda make it clear that the persistent 'player' mentality in today's men is fashioned, nurtured and created by the very women who hate it so much.