Worth the Read: Upcoming New Releases for September

Dustjackets for the Niggerati CoverThis publication documents Dust Jackets for the Niggerati–and Supporting Dissertations, Drawings Submitted Ruefully by Dr. Kara E. Walker, a major series of graphite drawings and hand-printed texts on paper that grew out of Walker’s attempts to understand how interpersonal and geopolitical powers are asserted through the lives of individuals. In scenes that range from the grotesque to the humorous to the tragic, these works vividly and powerfully explore the themes of transition and migration that run through the African-American experience.

Click here to see images from Dust Jackets for the Niggerati.

Invasion Walter Dean MyersIn Invasion, Walter Dean Myers brilliantly renders the realities of World War II.

Josiah Wedgewood and Marcus Perry are on their way to an uncertain future. Their whole lives are ahead of them, yet at the same time, death’s whisper is everywhere. One white, one black, these young men have nothing in common and everything in common as they approach an experience that will change them forever.

This publication is scheduled to be released on September 24, 2013. Click here for more information on Invasion.



9780670785698_p0_v2_s260x420Kaleidoscopic, fast-paced, and filled with McMillan’s inimitable humor, Who Asked You? opens as Trinetta leaves her two young sons with her mother, Betty Jean, and promptly disappears. BJ, a trademark McMillan heroine, already has her hands full dealing with her other adult children, two opinionated sisters, an ill husband, and her own postponed dreams—all while holding down a job delivering room service at a hotel. Her son Dexter is about to be paroled from prison; Quentin, the family success, can’t be bothered to lend a hand; and taking care of two lively grandsons is the last thing BJ thinks she needs. The drama unfolds through the perspectives of a rotating cast of characters, pitch-perfect, each playing a part, and full of surprises.

View a listing of Terry McMillian’s scheduled appearances here.


2013 Brooklyn Bookfest

The Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in New York City, presenting an array of national and international literary stars and emerging authors.  One of America’s premier book festivals, this hip, smart diverse gathering attracts thousands of book lovers of all ages to enjoy authors and the festival’s lively literary marketplace.

The festival will be held on Sunday, September 22, 2013, from 10am-6pm at the Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn NY 11201.

Below are some of the featured authors of color scheduled to attend this year’s festival amongst others like Natalie Diaz, Sharon M. Draper, and K’Wan.  **Click images to enlarge**

Sonia Sanchez Speaks at Spelman

When: Sunday, Aug. 25, at 3:00 p.m. Where: Sisters Chapel

What: Reading and Q & A followed by Book Signing

The event is free and open to the public.


Poet. Mother. Professor. National and International lecturer on Black Culture and Literature, Women’s Liberation, Peace and Racial Justice. Sponsor of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Board Member of MADRE . . . Sonia Sanchez.

Sonia Sanchez is the author of over 16 books including Homecoming, We a BaddDDD People, Love Poems, I’ve Been a Woman, A Sound Investment and Other Stories, Homegirls and Handgrenades, Under a Soprano Sky, Wounded in the House of a Friend (Beacon Press, 1995), Does Your House Have Lions? (Beacon Press, 1997), Like the Singing Coming off the Drums (Beacon Press, 1998), Shake Loose My Skin (Beacon Press, 1999), and most recently, Morning Haiku (Beacon Press, 2010).
In addition to being a contributing editor to Black Scholar and The Journal of African Studies, she has edited an anthology, We Be Word Sorcerers: 25 Stories by Black Americans. BMA: The Sonia Sanchez Literary Review is the first African American Journal that discusses the work of Sonia Sanchez and the Black Arts Movement.
A recipient of a honorary degree from Spelman College, National Endowment for the Arts, the Lucretia Mott Award for 1984, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, she is a winner of the 1985 American Book Award for Homegirls and Handgrenades, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities for 1988, the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom for 1989, a PEW Fellowship in the Arts for 1992-1993 and the recipient of Langston Hughes Poetry Award for 1999.
Her work, Does Your House Have Lions? was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is the Poetry Society of America’s 2001 Robert Frost Medalist and a Ford Freedom Scholar from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Her poetry also appeared in the movie Love Jones.
Sonia Sanchez has lectured at over 500 universities and colleges in the United States, including Spelman; and she has traveled extensively, reading her poetry in Africa, Cuba, England, the Caribbean, Australia, Europe, Nicaragua, the People’s Republic of China, Norway, and Canada. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University and she held the Laura Carnell Chair in English at Temple University.
She is the recipient of the Harper Lee Award, 2004, Alabama Distinguished Writer, and the National Visionary Leadership Award for 2006. She is the recipient of the 2005 Leeway Foundation Transformational Award.
Currently,Sanchez is one of 20 African-American women featured in “Freedom Sisters,” an interactive exhibition created by the Cincinnati Museum Center and Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition; and she was the recipient of the Robert Creeley award in March of 2009.

Photos and Video from ONYXCON 2013

Last week I attended ONYXCON 2013, a progressive and diverse networking event for professionals who appreciate the African Diaspora’s contributions as it relates to popular arts media.  This particular event featured a Skype call with budding actor, professional stuntman, and upcoming author, Damion Poitier, via Google Hangouts.  The event also featured appearances from authors Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes, Brandon Massey, Kevin Sipp, and Bill Campbell.

Check out some photos of the conference below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here’s an excerpt from Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes’s presentation discussing how they used crowd-funding to make their film, Danger Word.

And also watch the trailer for Danger Word below.

Here’s an excerpt from the Google Hangouts discussion with Damion Poitier.

(Coming Soon)

2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival September 21-22, 2013


President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are honorary chairs for the event for the 13th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

This year’s festival will feature authors, poets and illustrators in several pavilions. Festival-goers can meet and hear firsthand from their favorite poets and authors, get books signed, hear special entertainment, have photos taken with storybook characters and participate in a variety of activities.

Featured authors include Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie; Hoda Kotb, author of Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives; children’s illustrator and author, Kadir Nelson as well as Jamaica Kincaid and Terry McMillan.

View full festival schedule here.

View full list of scheduled authors here.


*UPDATED* Upcoming Release: Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

Redefining Realness

In a landmark book, 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, Janet 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. (From Publisher)

The book is set for release, February 4, 2014.

Pre-order Redefining Realness here and get to know more about Janet Mock here.


February 3, 2014| 7:00 PM| 2289 Broadway| New York, NY 10024| 212-362-8835