Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Book News

MCLA Commencement to Feature Musician, Author McBride
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Author, composer and screenwriter James McBride will deliver the keynote address at this year's commencement exercises at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Graduation will be held Sunday, May 16, at 11 a.m. in the Amsler Campus Center gymnasium.
McBride will receive an honorary doctoral degree from the college along with local educator and 9/11 foundation founder Sarah "Sally" Goodrich and alumnus Brian K. Fitzgerald, executive director of the Business-Higher Education Forum. In recognition of their awards, the honorary degree recipients will have books placed in MCLA's Freel Library in their names.
McBride's landmark memoir "The Color of Water" is considered an American classic and is read in schools and universities across the United States. More than two million copies of the book have sold worldwide. In 2008, his debut novel, "Miracle at St. Anna," was translated into a major motion picture, which was directed by American film icon Spike Lee.His latest novel, "Song Yet Sung," was released in paperback in January 2009. MORE
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Monday, March 30, 2009

A Word For Writers

Plenary Publishing Seeks Emerging African-American Literary Talent
Plenary Publishing is currently seeking manuscripts of African-American interest. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a sales and distribution office in Charleston, South Carolina, the company will publish fiction and non-fiction books of African-American interest.
Plenary’s mission is to develop and to publish stories that depict the depth and beauty of the African-American community. In doing so, the company seeks to enhance the depiction of African-Americans, inspire its target audience to actively improve their lifestyles and create new opportunities for authors of color.
Plenary will publish books in several fiction genres, including: contemporary fiction, children and juvenile literature, Christian/inspirational fiction, romance and mystery/thriller/suspense. Non-fiction areas of interest are business/career/finance, family and relationships, health and wellness, gender-specific issues, political and social issues, crime and justice and Christian/inspirational topics. More
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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Book News

'Go, Tell Michelle': Wisdom For The Future First Lady
In churches or beauty shops or anyplace where groups of women gather — especially black women — it is not uncommon for them to talk about the advice they would like to pass on to the incoming first lady.
A group of women in upstate New York went one step further and decided to publish their words of wisdom for Michelle Obama in a book called Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady.
The poems and letters were compiled by two education specialists, Barbara Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram, who are co-founders of the Uncrowned Queens Institute for Research and Education on Women at the University at Buffalo in New York. More
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Book News

Author Sheds Light On Little- Known History Of Maroon Communities

Similar to the critically acclaimed 1991 film "Daughters of the Dust," which was shot on St. Helena Island and shed light on the history and significance of Gullah culture, the 1993 movie "Sankofa" exposed viewers to the legacy of maroons -- runaway slaves who existed in large numbers in the mountains of Jamaica and the jungles and swamps of South America, often not far from plantations.
While enslaved Africans escaping to the North via the Underground Railroad has been well-documented in American history, documentation of maroon communities in North America has been harder to come by, but these communities existed extensively throughout Beaufort County and the Lowcountry. More
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Book News

The African American Woman Golfer: Her Legacy by M. Mikell Johnson
All of the good and positive scores, in golf, are in terms of birds -- Double Eagle, Eagle, and Birdie. The Double Eagle is the rarest score to obtain in golf. This is the term to express the presence of the rare African American Woman Golfer. As a rarity among the rare, she is the most unknown and silent athlete in the arena of this sport. The African American woman is really an omission in the annals of the history of golf in America. The African American Woman Golfer is HERSTORY. More

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Book News: Black Wings

Black Wings
Courageous Stories of African Americans in Aviation and Space History
Colin Powell once observed that "a dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work." This sentiment is mirrored dramatically in the story of African Americans in aerospace history.
The invention of the airplane in the first decade of the twentieth century sparked a revolution in modern technology. Aviation in the popular mind became associated with adventure and heroism. For African Americans, however, this new realm of human flight remained off-limits, a consequence of racial discrimination. Many African Americans displayed a keen interest in the new air age, but found themselves routinely barred from gaining training as pilots or mechanics. Beginning in the 1920s, a small and widely scattered group of black air enthusiasts challenged this prevailing pattern of racial discrimination. With no small amount of effort—and against formidable odds—they gained their pilot licenses and acquired the technical skills to become aircraft mechanics.
Over the course of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, African Americans have expanded their participation in both military and civilian aviation and space flight, from the early pioneers and barnstormers through the Tuskegee airmen to Shuttle astronauts.
Featuring approximately two hundred historic and contemporary photographs and a lively narrative that spans eight decades of U.S. history, Black Wings offers a compelling overview of this extraordinary and inspiring saga. More
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Book News

Book by ex-MLB pitcher 'Mudcat' Grant chronicles careers of fellow African-American 20-game winners
In 1965 while pitching for the Minnesota Twins, Jim "Mudcat" Grant became the first African-American pitcher to win 20 games in the American League. During a 14-year span that started in 1958, the Florida native became one of the game's best pitchers, helping the Twins win the 1965 American League Pennant and winning 145 games. He was twice named an American League All-Star and was The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year for the American League in 1965.After legendary Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947, the careers of those blacks who immediately followed in his footsteps have been sparsely documented. More
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Book News: Family Properties by Beryl Satter

'Family Properties’ Thoroughly Examines Racism In Real Estate

Rutgers University history professor Beryl Satter, has turned the story of her father and the Boltons into a penetrating window on the financial discrimination that African-Americans encountered in their northward migration to cities like Chicago.More

"Life Is Short But Wide" by J. California Cooper

Random House

Like the small towns J. California Cooper has so vividly portrayed in her previous novels and story collections, Wideland, Oklahoma, is home to ordinary Americans struggling to raise families, eke out a living, and fulfill their dreams. In the early twentieth century, Irene and Val fall in love in Wideland. While carving out a home for themselves, they also allow neighbors Bertha and Joseph to build a house and live on their land. The next generation brings two girls for Irene and Val, and a daughter for Bertha and Joseph. As the families cope with the hardships that come with changing times and fortunes, and people are born and pass away, the characters learn the importance of living one’s life boldly and squeezing out every possible moment of joy. More
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Book News: Coretta Scott King Book Awards Co-Founder Dies

Coretta Scott King Book Awards Co-founder Dies at 87
Mabel R. McKissick, cofounder of the American Library Association’s Coretta Scott King Book Awards, died March 20 at the Bridebrook Rehabilitation Center in Niantic, CT. She was 87.
The idea for an award that recognizes African-American authors and illustrators of children’s books came about in 1969, when McKissick and Glyndon Greer, both school librarians, were attending a library association conference in New Jersey. They happened to talk about their disappointment that no such award existed with John Carroll, a publisher and conference exhibitor. He suggested that they do something about it—and they did. More
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Book News: Great Historian, John Hope Franklin Dies

Pioneer Black Historian Gave Meaning to Past
John Hope Franklin refused to yield to bias of his time
Chicago Sun Times
The "Africana" -- an encyclopedia of African and African-American culture -- credits John Hope Franklin with establishing African-American history as a "respected academic discipline."While others were marching and protesting, Franklin was involved in a different kind of agitation. He was compiling the scholarship needed to tell the African-American story.The renowned historian died Wednesday at the age 94.
Of his many books, it is From Slavery to Freedom: A History of American Negroes that I have returned to most often during my career. More
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Book News: Pig Candy

Pig Candy: Taking My Father South, Taking My Father Home -A Memoir
Simon & Schuster

Pig Candy is the poignant and often comical story of a grown daughter getting to know her dying father in his last months. During a series of visits with her father to the South he'd escaped as a young black man, Lise Funderburg, the mixed-race author of the acclaimed Black, White, Other, comes to understand his rich and difficult background and the conflicting choices he has had to make throughout his life.

Lise Funderburg is a child of the '60s, a white-looking mixed-race girl raised in an integrated Philadelphia neighborhood. As a child, she couldn't imagine what had made her father so strict, demanding, and elusive; about his past she knew only that he had grown up in the Jim Crow South and fled its brutal oppression as a young man. Then, just as she hits her forties, her father is diagnosed with advanced and terminal cancer -- an event that leads father and daughter together on a stream of pilgrimages to his hometown in rural Jasper County, Georgia. As her father's escort, proxy, and, finally, nurse, Funderburg encounters for the first time the fragrant landscape and fraught society -- and the extraordinary food -- of his childhood. More
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Book News: Latest Sag Harbor

Colson Whitehead's Book 'Latest Sag Harbor'
His latest novel, Sag Harbor (Doubleday, $25), tracks the daily activities of a group of bored black teenagers on summer vacation in the Hamptons, on Long Island. They name-check the Smiths. They roller-skate. They even frequent the bar-mitzvah circuit. Sag Harbor seems like an important book because it contributes to the upending of our (white) notions of what it means to be African-American. Like Whitehead, these kids are cool and post-racial. They harbor a certain sense of detachment, a wariness of conflict, and a rational embrace of ambiguity. More
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Book News: Three Good Reads

Book Focuses On ‘Freedom By Any Means’
“Freedom by Any Means” by Betty DeRamus, 2009, Atria, $25/$32.99 Canada, 305 pages: Did you ever want something so badly that you couldn’t think of anything else until you got it?
Maybe it was a vacation you’d been saving for and planning for and couldn’t quite believe you were going to get until you boarded the plane. Perhaps it was a bike or sneakers, a car, job or house.
No matter what your yearning, it consumed you. Your daydreams were filled with your desire as you imagined what life would be like someday.
But what if that “something” was the difference between life unshackled and life under ownership? In the new book “Freedom by Any Means” by Betty DeRamus, you’ll read about the unusual, unique and uncommon ways people got what they wanted: a one-way ticket aboard the Underground Railroad. More

Family Secrets: Broyard on Broyard
Over 100 people gathered at the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library to hear author and former UVA MFA Bliss Broyard discuss her book, One Drop, which explores the decision of her father, literary critic Anatole Broyard, to conceal his African American ancestry. Philip Roth’s character, Coleman Silk, in his novel The Human Stain (played by Anthony Hopkins in the 2003 movie adaptation) is widely believed to have been modeled after Mr. Broyard. More
A Blue Blood Passes For Black
Telling an astounding true story, "Passing Strange," would beggar most novelists' imaginations. It exposes the bizarre secret life of a well-known historical figure, but that secret is its least sensational aspect. The secret was hidden in plain sight until Martha A. Sandweiss, the deductive historian who pieced together this narrative, happened to notice it. Her great accomplishment is to have explored not only how the 19th-century explorer and scientist Clarence King reinvented himself but also why that reinvention was so singularly American.
Clarence King has often been written about by historians, but mostly in academic books about the mapping and geological exploration of the American West. He also turns up in biographies and literary histories, because he moved in glittering circles and was once widely held in high regard. He was called "the best and the brightest man of his generation" by one close friend, Secretary of State John Hay. More
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Book News

Black Publishers Give and Receive Honors During White House Celebration of Black Press Week


A historic delegation of 50 Black publishers and their guests, who convened at the White House last week for a Black Press Week award to President Barack Obama and his family, received equal praise from the First Family for the work of the Black Press of America.It was a delegation of the more than 200-member National Newspaper Publishers Association, honoring America's first Black President for his NNPA Newsmaker of the Year selection by awarding him with a book of front pages of Black newspaper from his historic Nov. 4, 2008 election. More



Best-selling author and renowned entertainment and lifestyle journalist, Gil Robertson, IV, has released his newest book, a collection of essays entitled "Family Affair: What it Means to be African-American Today" More

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Book News

Black Soliders Of New York State

Cayuga Community College professor Anthony F. Gero has written "Black Soldiers of New York State" (State University of New York Press, $14.95 paperback). A nonfiction book, "Black Soldiers" describes the two centuries of struggle African-American soldiers went through, from the French and Indian War to 1950s. The book also includes sketches and illustrations that give readers a visual look at the soldiers. More

Best African American Fiction from Gerald Early joins the parade of 'Best Of's

While the phrase “post-racial society” is batted back and forth like a tennis ball on the cable news networks, this is the year that Bantam Books chose to launch a new annual series, “Best African American Fiction.”More

'The Breakthrough' focuses on rising African American politicians and their advocates

Inauguration Day and Black History Month have come and gone, leaving behind numerous new books about the "Age" of Barack Obama.
I like Gwen Ifill's book best of those I've read because, for one thing, she focuses on some new black politicians that you probably have never heard of but will in the years to come. She also rounds up some of those in the past who "spoke for" African Americans.

Photos Explore African-American Culture Of Faith
If Leroy Evans doesn't go to church, he feels lost.
"It's a part of me," said the trustee of Mount Olive African Methodist Episcopal Church in Annapolis, where he's been going for decades. "It's about everything. I came in young, I've really enjoyed being here, and I ain't going anywhere else."
Evans is far from the only one who feels this way, and Mount Olive is certainly not the only church that evokes this kind of devotion from its members. Evidence of this can be found not only during Sunday services, but at the Banneker-Douglass Museum.
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Book News

Walter Mosley's Latest: The Long Fall

In his first novel set in contemporary New York City, Walter Mosley, author of "Blonde Faith" and "The Right Mistake," introduces readers to a new series character - the middle-aged, literally low-rent private detective Leonid McGill. McGill is an African American, like Easy Rawlins, the protagonist of Mosley's period Los Angeles mysteries, but he's a very different kind of investigator, and "The Long Fall" is a different kind of Mosley book.More
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Friday, March 20, 2009

Book Review

Change Has Come: An Artist Celebrates Our American Spirit
The Drawings of Kadir Nelson With the Words of Barack Obama
The African American Book Review Bestows Its Highest Rating of Superior Upon This Book.

It may have been a stroke of genius that led to the marrying of the eloquent words of Barack Obama to the masterwork of Kadir Nelson. The result is an exceptional piece of literary work, a children’s book titled, Change Has Come: An Artist Celebrates Our American Spirit. Readers are whisked into the political climate of the Nation as then Senatorial Candidate, Barack Obama delivers the keynote address at the 2004 National Democratic Convention in Boston Massachuttes. The book progresses from 2004 through 2008 as the positive quotes of Barack Obama pepper its pages and intermingle with the impeccable style of the black and white images of Kadir Nelson’s art.

The book contains the quotes from the speeches made at the Take Back America Conference in Washington, DC in 2006, on Super Tuesday in Chicago, Illinois in 2008, and from Barack Obama’s speech titled, “A More Perfect Union” delivered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In November 2008 after winning the election for President, Barack Obama’s historical words of change are placed inside the book along with one of the many memorable illustrations by Kadir Nelson. Although this book is categorized as a Children’s book, it is not without merit to say that it is worthy of being enjoyed by adults.

It is indeed rare that an artist comes along whose works are lauded in his time. Such an artist is Kadir Nelson, whose magnificent illustrations are worthy of the accolades bestowed upon him. Kadir Nelson began drawing at the tender age of 3 and studied art with his Uncle, Michael Morris who was an instructor and an Artist. Kadir is a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. His illustrations have garnered him many awards including twice receiving the Caldecott Honor and the prestigious Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. Mr. Nelson’s honors include receiving the NAACP Image Award for two of his books, Ellington Was Not A Street and Please, Puppy Please.

Kadir Nelson has created art for Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, The New Yorker, as well as the United States Postal Service. He was the conceptual artist for Steven Spielberg’s film Amistad and the animated feature Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron. His most recent book is The New York Times best seller and Coretta Scott King Image Award winner to which he makes his authorial debut, We Are The Ship: The Story of The Negro League Baseball. Kadir Nelson lives with his family in San Diego, California.

Kadir Nelson’s website is kardirnelson.com
Book Details
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Release Date: January 2009
ISBN:9781416989554 (HC)
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 64
A Few Of The 21 Books Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Change Has Come Drawings of Kadir Nelson With The Words of Barack Obama

All God’s Critters by Bill Staines, IllustratedBy Kadir Nelson

Go Long! By Ronde Barber and Tiki Barber, with Paul Mantell, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Kickoff! By Tiki Barber and Ronde Barber, with Paul Mantell, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Michael’s Golden Rules By Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Please, Puppy Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Child Magazine’s Top Book of the Year

Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life by Jerdine Nolen, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
A Bank Street College of education Best Children’s Book of the Year
A CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
Society of Illustrators Gold Medal
Ellington Was Not A Street by Ntozake Shange, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
ALA Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration
An ALA Notable Children’s Book
A CCBC (Cooperative Children’s Book Center) choice
A Chicago Public Library’s “Best of the Best” Selection
An NAACP Image Award Nominee
An NCTE Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts
A New York Public Library “100 Titles for Reading and Sharing” Selection
Once Upon a World Award (Simon Wiesenthal Center & Museum of Tolerance)
Parent’s Choice Award
Salt In His Shoes: Michael Jordan In Pursuit Of A Dream by Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Children’s Crown Award
Reviewed By D. Jago-Trice

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Book News

Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, Toni Morrison’s Latest Book "A Mercy" Is Nominated For An Award

Nine of the 20 writers named yesterday on the Orange women's fiction prize longlist were American, including one of the US's literary titans: Toni Morrison. More
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Friday, March 13, 2009

Book News

New Book Examines Black Quilts From Slavery To The White House
From UC Davis

When her first son was shot to death, Ora Poston Knowell poured her grief into a quilt. Every April 15, she hangs it in his honor from the front porch of her Oakland, Calif., home. On May 5, she displays the quilt she stitched in memory of his brother, killed seven years later.

The grieving mother is among nine black quilters profiled in a new book, "Crafted Lives: Stories and Studies of African American Quilters," by Patricia Turner, professor of African American and African studies at the University of California, Davis. Published by the University Press of Mississippi, it is in bookstores now. MORE

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Maya Angelou's Latest Book

Maya Angelou tells freep.com the makings of her latest book titled, "Letter To My Daughter".

If there is one thing women should do for their daughters, it is praise them and tell them that they are somebody special, says the celebrated author, singer and poet Maya Angelou.

"You tell them they're pretty," Angelou says. "You tell them they're beautiful. You tell them that their hair is nice. Make over her because, know this, in the street there is somebody who's going to do that, and not to her benefit.
"Let her know that 'my mother thinks I'm the big cheese,' so that inside themselves they are secure that they are worthy to be treated well."
That's a lesson Angelou learned from her mother, and it's one described in her latest book, "Letter to My Daughter" (Random House, $25).
It will be among the topics Angelou discusses when she visits the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit on March 18 in an event presented by African American Family Magazine and Ford Motor Co. MORE

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Created Out Of Necessity

Having always had an affection for the marvelous works of African American Authors, it stands to reason that I would become the creator of The African American Book Review.
It's origin came not out of desire, but rather out of necessity.
While searching the Internet for information about African American Books, Authors, Writers, Readers, and Reviewers, I found myself becoming frustrated at the lack of information available. No one asked the questions that I wanted answered, nor wrote the Book Reviews with attention to detail that I craved.

And that's when it occurred to me:

The African American Book Review should be a Book Reviewing Website that offers in depth African American Book Reviews by the people who know the stories behind the books, because they live them, write them, read them and most of all they love them.
They are the African American Authors, Writers, Readers and Reviewers.
And the idea is only weeks away from becoming a website that has a dedication of being to the African American Author, Writer, Reader and Reviewer, as without them there would be no need for The African American Book Review.

If you would like to have your book placed into the hands of our qualified and eagerly waiting reviewing team for an in depth Book Review, contact us at admin@africanamericanbookreview.com
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