Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Stanford University ponders the Dr. Nathan Hare and the Dr. Julia Hare Archvies

Stanford University Green Library Curator Benjamin Stone, inspects the Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare archives. Attorney Amira Jackmon, Senior Agent of the Community Archive Project, looks on.

Today, Stanford University perused the Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare archives, giving much respect to the Honorable Hares for their work in shaping the history of North American Africans in the Bay Area, nationally and internationally. Stanford University Green Library curator Ben Stone, appreciated Attorney Amira Jackmon and her father, Marvin X ( Director of the Community Archives Project), for arranging the Hare archives in a professional manner, although the total cataloging is incomplete. It will exceed 200 cartons.

Marvin X, Director of the Community Archives Project,  Dr. Julia Hare, Dr. Nathan Hare and Attorney Amira Jackmon, Senior Agent of the Community Archives Project.

Stanford University viewed  the Hare papers with great interest for acquisition. Marvin X says, "Our desire is for the archives to stay in the Bay Area, so we are giving Stanford the first option to acquire the archives. We are in contact with Emory University in Atlanta, Harvard, Yale, Umas and the University of Chicago, but we love the Bay! As per the price offered, Stanford curator said, "Well, the price offered is between art and science!"

Marvin X replied, "Well, I am an artist and scientist, so let's work it out. But if you have anyone on a higher level than Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare, please let me know."

Curator Ben Stone could only mention Dr. Cornel West, a dear friend of Marvin X. "We had Dr. Cornel West at the my concert The Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness," and he sat in the audience for five hours like a child in kindergarten. When I called him up to the mike, he said, "I don't know if I'm a king or queen, there is so much darkness in my life." 

According to Ben Stone, the archives are a rare cross, the work of a multi-disciplinary personality: Dr. Nathan Hare (and his wife as well) represent the genres of Ethnic Studies, Black Studies, Sociology, Clinical Psychology, Literature, Gender Studies, and Media Studies. The Hares are very much a part of the social media. Dr. Julia Hare has received a million hits on Youtube for her appearance on Tavis Smiley's State of the Black World. 

Marvin X told the Stanford Curator that Dr. Nathan Hare writes long emails daily, to him and others in the genres in which  he expounds, e.g., sociology, psychology, Black Studies, literature, male/female relations.

Collection title: The Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare Archives: 1962-2013

(their archives)

$2,000,000.00 (net)

As a couple, Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare are the foremost exponents of Black Consciousness and social activism in America. Dr. Nathan Hare is the father of Black Studies and a literary figure in his own right. Dr. Julia Hare is called the female Malcolm X and was highly sought on the speaking circuit. She is an author as well. --Marvin X

Offered for sale by

Amira Jackmon, Esq.


The Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare papers consist of nearly 200 cartons that document the life and work of Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare from the mid 20th century through the first decade of the 21th century. The papers include correspondence; the Hare writings and speeches; audio/video collection; materials relating to Dr. Nathan Hare's controversial tenure at Howard University and San Francisco State University; works by Dr. Julia Hare, e.g., speeches drafts, book drafts; works by their colleagues. Correspondence includes letters, emails, cards, blog dialogues; correspondents include Queen Mother Moore, Max Stanford (Muhammad Ahmed), Governor Jerry Brown, editors of publications such as Jet, Ebony, Negro Digest/Black World, Black Scholar (Nathan Hare founding publisher), Haki Madhubuti, Robert Chrisman, editor of the Black Scholar and other prominent North American African intellectuals. Critical documents from Dr. Nathan Hare's brief tenure at San Francisco State University, including documents of the first Black Studies program on a major American University. The Hare writings include essays in Newsweek, Mass. Review, Washington Post, Sepia, Phylon, Negro History Bulletin, Sun Reporter Newspaper, San Francisco Chronicle.
Documents include organizational and financial records of the Black World Foundation/Black Scholar magazine; the Black Think Tank, Black Male/female Relations. Resource files contain academic articles, emails, news clippings, notes, photos that contextualize and document Nathan and Julia Hare's involvement as educators, activists, intellectuals and literary figures in the Bay Area, nationally and internationally. The archives document the work of Dr. Nathan Hare as a clinical psychologist and Dr. Julia Hare as a major personality on the speaking circuit as well as a radio talk show host and commentator. Photographs include family, friends, educators, and fellow activists. Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare stand alone as the most prominent intellectual and social activist couple in North American African history.


Nathan Hare (born April 9, 1933) was the first person hired to coordinate a black studies program in the United States,  at San Francisco State University in 1968. Hare was born on a sharecropper’s farm near the Creek County town of Slick, Oklahoma on April 9, 1933. He attended the public schools of L’Ouverture (variously spelled "Louverture") Elementary School and L'Ouverture High School. The two schools were named after the Haitian Revolutionary and General Toussaint Louverture and were part of the so-called “Slick Separate Schools” in the segregated rural milieu of the late 1930s and 1940s.

Early life and education

When Hare was eleven years old, his family migrated to San Diego, California, where his single mother took a civilian janitorial job with the Navy air station. As World War II ended and his mother was laid off, his family returned to Oklahoma. This put on hold his ambition to become a professional boxer, something he had picked up after adult neighbors in San Diego assured him that writers all starve to death.

The direction of his life would change again when his English teacher at L'Ouverture High (later closed after the Brown vs Board of Education Supreme Court desegregaton decree, through consolidation into the all-white Slick High School, itself now also closed by consolidation) administered standardized tests to her ninth grade class in English Composition in the search for someone to represent the class at the annual statewide "Interscholastic Meet" of the black students held annually at Oklahoma’s Langston University. Hare represented L'Ouverture and won first prize with more prizes to come in ensuing years; and on that basis the L’Ouverture principal persuaded him to go to college after getting him a fulltime job working in the Langston University Dining Hall to pay his way. By his junior year Hare had moved up in his student employment to Dormitory Proctor of the University Men and Freshman Tutor in his senior year.

When Hare enrolled at Langston University (now only "historically black"), Langston was the only college Black students could attend in the state of Oklahoma. Named for John Mercer Langston, one of only five African Americans elected to Congress from the South before the former Confederate states passed constitutions that essentially eliminated the black vote, the town was a product of the late nineteenth century black nationalist movement’s attempt to make the Oklahoma Territory an all-Black state. In fact, Langston, Oklahoma laid claim to being the first all-black town established in the United States. One of Hare’s professors, the poet Melvin B. Tolson, was mayor of the town for four terms, was named poet laureate of Liberia, and eventually his spectacular style of teaching would be portrayed in "The Great Debaters." Graduating from Langston with an AB in Sociology, Hare won a Danforth fellowship to continue his education and obtained an MA (1957) and PhD in Sociology (1962) from the University of Chicago. Hare received another PhD in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco, California (1975).
Black Studies
Hare wrote the “Conceptual Proposal for a Department of Black Studies" and coined the term “ethnic studies” (which was being called “minority studies”) after he was recruited to San Francisco State in February 1968 by the Black Student Union leader Jimmy Garrett and the college’s liberal president, John Summerskill. Hare had just been dismissed from a six-year stint as a sociology professor at Howard University, after he wrote a letter to the campus newspaper, The Hilltop, in which he mocked Howard president James Nabrit’s plan (announced in the Washington Post on September 6, 1966) to make Howard “sixty per cent white by 1970.” James Nabrit had been one of the civil rights attorneys who successfully argued the 1954 “Brown vs. Board of Education” case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The “Black Power” cry had been issued just two month’s earlier by one of Hare’s former Howard students, Stokely Carmichael (another of Hare’s students at Howard was Claude Brown, author of Manchild in the Promised Land). Hare had taught sociology at Howard since 1961, the year before he obtained the Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.
On February 22, 1967, Hare stood at press conference, with a group of students calling themselves “The Black Power Committee,” and read “The Black University Manifesto,” which Hare had written with the input of the Black Power Committee. The manifesto expressly called for “the overthrow of the Negro college with white innards and to raise in its place a black university, relevant to the black community and its needs." Hare had previously published a book called The Black Anglo Saxons and coined the phrase “The Ebony Tower” to characterize Howard University.

In the spring of 1967, he invited Muhammad Ali to speak at Howard and introduced him when the controversial heavyweight champion gave his popular “Black Is Best” speech to an impromptu crowd of 4,000 gathered at a moment’s notice outside the university’s Frederick Douglass Hall after the administration padlocked the Crampton Auditorium in the days leading up to Ali’s refusal of his military draft. Following Hare’s dismissal that June, he briefly resumed his own aborted professional boxing efforts, winning his last fight by a knockout in the first round in the Washington Coliseum on December 5, 1967.

At San Francisco State, where the Black Student Union demanded an “autonomous Department of Black Studies,” Hare was soon involved in a five-month strike for black studies led by The Black Student Union, backed by the Third World Liberation Front and the local chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. Black, white, and Third World students and professors participated in the strike, which also included community leaders and the Black Faculty Union, headed by Hare. The late actor, Mel Stewart was a member of the Black Faculty Unon, but Hare was the only faculty member invited to become a "quasi-member" of the Central Committee of the Black Student Union, which included a student named Danny Glover, who would go on to become a successful Hollywood actor. One of the speakers almost daily at the noonday rallies of the strike was Ronald Dellums, who was later elected to the U.S. Congress and later Mayor of Oakland, California.

After one San Francisco State College president (the late John Summerskill) was fired and another (Robert Smith) resigned, Smith was replaced by the general semanticist S.I. Hayakawa (who would later become a U.S. Senator). Hayakawa used a hard-line strategy to put down the five-month strike, declaring “martial law” and arresting a crowd of five hundred and fifty-seven rallying professors and students (the overwhelming majority of them white). Weeks later, on February 28, 1969, Hayakawa dismissed Dr. Nathan Hare as chairman of the newly formed black studies department, the first in the United States,“to become effective June 1, 1969.” Hare stayed on until June at the request of the Black Student Union and remained for many more months in an unofficial capacity of “Chairman in Exile.”

Hare then teamed with Robert Chrisman and the late Allen Ross (a white printer and small businessman in Sausalito who had immigrated from Russia) to become the founding publisher of “The Black Scholar: A Journal of Black Studies and Research" in November 1969. The New York Times would soon call The Black Scholar “the most important journal devoted to black issues since ‘The Crisis.'” Ten years earlier, in 1959, Hare had briefly been a clerical assistant to the editor of the Journal of Asian Studies then being edited by Andrew Hacker, a white history professor at Northwestern University, where Hare developed a dream of someday editing a “Journal of Negro Studies” ("Negro" was the word still in fashion for blacks in 1959). In 1968, during a break in a television panel including Nathan Glazer, co-author of The Lonely Crowd, Glazer wrote a note to Hare on a white index card saying "Needed: a Black Scholar journal." Before starting The Black Scholar, Hare had written and published articles in magazines and periodicals that included: EbonyNegro Digest,Black WorldPhylon Review, Social Forces, Social EducationNewsweek, and The Times.

After leaving The Black Scholar in 1975, in a dispute over the changing direction of the journal, and obtaining a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, San Francisco, Nathan Hare began the private practice of psychotherapy, with offices in San Francisco and Oakland. He also focused on forming a movement for “A Better Black Family” (the title of a popular speaking out editorial he wrote for the February 1976 issue of Ebony magazine) shortly after completing a dissertation on “Black Male/Female Relations” at the California School of Professional Psychology.

By 1979, in collaboration with his wife (Dr. Julia Hare, author of How to Find and Keep a BMW (Black Man Working), Hare formed The Black Think Tank, which published the journal of “Black Male/Female Relationships” for several years. After the journal folded, Hare went into the full-time practice of psychology and the development of the Black Think Tank. In 1985, a small book written by him and his wife ("Bringing the Black Boy to Manhood") was disseminated by The Black Think Tank, issuing the call and becoming the catalyst for the contemporary rites of passage movement for African-American boys that emerged as the Hares lectured and spread the idea of the rites of passage for black boys throughout the United States.


In addition to dozens of articles in a number of scholarly journals and popular magazines, from The Black Scholar and Ebony to NewsweekSaturday Review and The Times, Nathan Hare is the author of several books:
   The Black Anglo Saxons. New York: Marzani and Munsell, 1965; New York: Collier-Macmillan, 1970; Chicago: Third World Press edition, Chicago, 1990)0-88378-130-1.
Books in collaboration with his wife, Julia Hare (the former radio talk show host and television guest, who also is a graduate of Langston University) have been published and widely distributed by The Black Think Tank, headquartered in San Francisco. They include:
   The Endangered Black Family, San Francisco: The Black Think Tank, 1984, ISBN 0-9613086-0-5.
   Bringing the Black Boy to Manhood: the Passage, San Francisco: The Black Think Tank, 1985, ISBN 0-9613086-1-3.
   Crisis in Black Sexual Politics, San Francisco: The Black Think Tank, 1989, ISBN 0-9613086-2-1.
   Fire on Mount Zion: An Autobiography of the Tulsa Race Riot, as told by Mabel B. Little. Langston: The Melvin B. Tolson Black Heritage Center, Langston University, 1990, ISBN 0-9613086-1-4
   The Miseducation of the Black Child: The Hare Plan to Educate Every Black Man, Woman and Child, San Francisco: The Black Think Tank, 1991, ISBN 0-9613086-4-8.
   The Black Agenda, San Francisco: The Black Think Tank, 2002, ISBN 0-9613086-9-9.
While publisher of The Black Scholar from 1969–75, Nathan Hare co-edied two books with Robert Chrisman:
   Contemporary Black Thought, Indianapolis: Bobs-Merrill, 1973, ISBN 0-672-51821-X.
   Pan-Africanism, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1974, ISBN 0-672-51869-4.

Dr. Julia Hare

Dr. Julia Hare is widely regarded as one of the most dynamic motivational speakers on the major podiums today.

At the Congressional Black Caucus's 27th Annual Legislative Conference chaired by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Dr. Hare was one of three speakers invited to address the Caucus's kickoff National Town Hall Meeting on Leadership Dimensions for the New Millennium. Her collaborators included distinguished historian, Dr. John Hope Franklin, Chair of President Clinton's Advisory Board on Race, and Dr. Cornel West, Harvard professor and author of the critically acclaimed Race Matters.

Dr. Hare has appeared on "Geraldo", "Sally Jesse Raphael", "Inside Edition", CNN and Company, "Talk Back Live", "News Talk", Black Entertainment Television (BET), "The Tavis Smiley Show", ABC's "Politically Incorrect", CSPAN, and major radio and television affiliated throughout Australia and America. Her commentaries, lectures and topics include: politics, education, religion, war, foreign and domestic affairs, sexual politics and contemporary events.

A prime innovator on issues affecting the black family and society as a whole, Dr. Hare is mentioned or quoted in national newspapers, including "The New York Times", "The Washington Post", "Sun Reporter", "San Francisco Chronicle", "Miami Herald", "Louisville Courier Journal" and "The Oklahoma Eagle" among others. She has appeared in "Ebony", "Jet", "Dollars and Sense", "Heart and Soul", "USA Today", "Today's Black Woman", "Essence" and other periodicals. She is co-author with her husband, Dr. Nathan Hare, of "The Endangered Black Family"; "Bringing the Black Boy to Manhood"; "The Passage"; "The Miseducation of the Black Child" and "Crisis in Black Sexual Politics". Her most recent best-selling book is "How to Find and Keep a BMW (Black Man Working)".
Her work has brought her many accolades and honors, including Educator of the Year for Washington, D.C. by the Junior Chamber of Commerce and the World Book Encyclopedia in coordination with American University; the Abe Lincoln Award for Outstanding Broadcasting, the Carter G. Woodson Education Award; the Marcus and Amy Garvey Award; the Association of Black Social Workers Harambee Award, Third World Publishers' Twentieth Anniversary Builders Award; Professional of the Year from "Dollars and Sense" magazine; Scholar of the Year from the Association of African Historians; Lifetime Achievement Award from the international Black Writers and Artists Union; as well as a presidential citation from the national Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education. Dr. Hare has also been inducted into the Booker T. Washington Hall of Fame.

Extent: Number of containers: 200 cartons

Howard University, 1 carton
San Francisco State University, 2 carton
Awards and Certificates, 2 cartons
Personal, 1 carton

Photos, 1 carton
Letters/correspondence, 3 cartons
Black Scholar Magazine, 2 cartons
Male/Female Relations, 2 cartons

Articles in Newspapers/magazines

Notes/news clippings

Writings in Johnson publications:
Ebony, Jet, Negro Digest/Black World
Dr. Julia Hare’s writings, notes, speech drafts
Audio/video tapes/
cassette, VHS
Floppy disks
Misc. articles
SF State University, Black Studies
Who’s Who books, 
Address books, 
Message books, 
Misc. magazines
Black Think Tank books

In Defense of Russell Maroon Shoatz, 30 years in solitary confinement in the American Gulag

Marlene Lily
807 Silva Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
April 30, 2013
Mr. John Wetzel, Secretary
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
1920 Technology Parkway
Mechanisburg, PA 17050
Dear Secretary Wetzel,
I am writing to demand that Russell Shoatz AF-3855 be immediately removed from solitary confinement and returned to the general prison population.
The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the imposition of “cruel and unusual punishments.”
In 1969, I attended a conference in Oakland sponsored by the Black Panther Party, called “The United Front Against Fascism.” The Panthers could see signs of emerging fascism 43 years ago. I am now 71 years old. I once thought that my father’s generation defeated fascism in 1945, when I was three years old. Now I am certain that was not the case.
The ghost of Adolph Hitler still roams the United States in the form of those who hold public office but never take the time to read and understand the legal basis for their employment. You are a public servant, paid by the people of Pennsylvania, the state known as the birth place of the Constitution. Yet you are condoning, and perhaps even ordering, a practice forbidden by the Law of the Land. In my view, that makes YOU a criminal. You are endangering the Rule of Law. Whatever Russell Shoatz may have done, I know he didn’t do that!
If you are, or anyone in your family is, a veteran of military service, you, or they, took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That oath is not revoked when one leaves military service.
Our Constitution is under attack from many quarters within the United States, and it appears that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is one of those quarters.
I urge you to read the Constitution today, and to give serious thought to what it means that you and the Department of Corrections are violating that precious Law.
In the meantime, release this man from solitary. I’m ashamed to be an American, at a time when torture has become an everyday practice. Whether it happens in Abu Grahib, Guantanamo, or the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, torture is WRONG! And the Founders knew that and forbade it in 1776!
Sincerely yours,
Marlene Lily

Troy Johnson's Black Books and Film Review

Who's Afraid of Marvin X?

Marvin X has been ignored and silenced, like Malcolm X would be ignored and silenced if he had lived on into the Now. He's one of the most extraordinary, exciting black intellectuals living today. A master teacher in many fields of thought: religion and psychology, sociology and anthropology, history and politics, literature and the humanities. He is a needed counselor, for he knows himself on the deepest personal levels and he reveals that self to us that we might be his beneficiaries.... One of America's great story tellers. I'd put him ahead of Mark Twain! --Rudolph Lewis, Chickenbones

He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland.--Ishmael Reed

The USA's Rumi. The wisdom of Saadi. The ecstasy of Hafiz!--Bob Holman

Marvin X has three titles in print:

The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2013
Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2007
How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, BBP, 2007

Dear Marvin,
It was not possible for me to thank everyone personally this period but your paid subscription greatly is appreciated, thank you!
My goal is to get at least 1% of our current subscribers to purchase their subscription to the AALBC.com eNewsletter for only $7.99 per year. Your paid subscription makes it possible for me, with the support of dedicated writers, to continue to improve our coverage of books, films and related subjects.
Troy Johnson
Founder, AALBC.com

Power List Best-Selling Book Written or Read by African Americans

On April 22nd, three leading African-American literature web sites announced the launch of the Power List, a quarterly compilation of best-selling books written or read by African Americans. The Power List is a joint project of AALBC.com, Cushcity.com and Mosaicbooks.com, three Web sites which have promoted African-American literature for more than a decade.
The Power List accumulates data on books written or read by African Americans and compiles that information into a quarterly Best-selling books list. Add the Power List to your website or Blog and get automated updates when new lists are published. Read the entire press release.

Authors You Should Know


Derek Walcott - Recipient Nobel Prize in Literature

At the age of 18, Walcott he made his debut with 25 Poems, but his breakthrough came with the collection of poems, In a Green Night(1962). In 1959, he founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop which produced many of his early plays.
In addition to having won the Nobel, in 1992, Walcott has won many literary awards over the course of his career including an Obie Award in 1971 for his play Dream on Monkey Mountain, a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award, a Royal Society of Literature Award, the Queen's Medal for Poetry, and the 2011 T. S. Eliot Prize for his book of poetry, White Egrets.

Jamal Joseph (video)

Sister's Uptown Bookstore hosted a presentation and conversation with Jamal Joseph author of Panther Baby on April 27, 2013.
In this video Joseph, who was eventually incarcerated for his participation in the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in New York City, talked about his experiences as a teenager in the organization. He also talked his personal experience with the agent provocateur who got him and 20 other Panthers arrested. He shares his experience mentoring Tupac Shakur and why he greatly respected for Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, who was also a member of the Panthers and much more.

Gary Phillips

Gary Phillips writes fictional stories of chicanery and malfeasance in various formats, often drawing on his past experiences. He is a Los Angeles native, and was born and raised in the then South Central area of the city. There he was a community activist on issues ranging from police abuse, the anti-apartheid movement and opposing the contras in Central America during the Reagan era.
"Phillips is a veteran crime novelist who creates a plausible postapocalyptic scenario in which the safety of middle-class America can dissolve in a moment. Exciting, violent, and entertaining." —Booklist

Tracy Price-Thompson

Price-Thompson is a speaker, novelist, and retired United States Army Engineer officer. She is a veteran of the Gulf War. She self-published her first novel, Black Coffee, at the age of 37. A story about an illicit romance between a female officer in the United States Army and a married enlisted man, it was quickly bought by Striver's Row, an imprint of Random House and became a bestseller.
She has since published five more novels: Chocolate Sangria, A Woman's WorthKnockin' BootsGather Together In My Name, and 1-900-ANYTIMEA Woman's Worth won the 2005 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Contemporary Fiction.

Nonfiction Book Reviews


Sugar in the Blood: A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire by Andrea Stuart

Although Andrea Stuart was born and raised in the Caribbean, she never knew much about her ethnic heritage growing up. As a curious adult, she started digging around in library archives and was able to trace part of her ancestry as far back as the 17th C. to a white plantation owner of a sugar plantation on Barbados.
A credible, cross-cultural examination chronicling the unresolved master-slave relationship still reflected in today’s Barbados where, as Faulkner sagely surmised about America’s Deep South, “The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.”

The Motherhood Diaries: A Humorous Look at Motherhood in the New Millennium by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

While the first half of the timely tome is comprised exclusively of ReShonda’s pithily-delivered pearls of wisdom, the rest of the opus is devoted to the relatively-sobering reflections of a couple dozen other moms. For instance, there’s Lorna Lewis’ “Diary of a Grieving Mother,” Raquel Rogers’ “Diary of a Forgetful Mom,” Edna Pittman’s “Diary of a Special Needs Mother,” Crystal Brown Tatum’s “Diary of a Breast Cancer Survivor,” Jamesina Greene’s “Diary of a Depressed Mom,” Miranda Parker’s (who tragically succumbed to her affliction in October of 2012)“Diary of a Mom with a Disability,” and Lichol Ford’s “Diary of a Welfare Mom,” to name a few.
Overall, this alternately comical and heartbreaking collection adds up to a compelling compendium of refreshingly-honest conversations about modern-day motherhood.

The Lace Wig Bible: How to Style, Care & Maintain Lace Wigsby Morgan R. Gantt

Beauty guru Morgan Gantt, a sister with her finger on the pulse when it comes to solving any sort of hair care nightmares. She speaks from experience, as she has not only worn wigs for years but is the founder of a premium line of wigs woven from the locks of East Indian females. In The Lace Wig Bible, the definitive guide on the subject at hand, Morgan shares her tricks of the trade, covering everything from appearance to grooming.
In Chapter One to answer the ten questions most frequently asked about lace wigs, including “How long will my wig last?” and “Will lace wigs damage my hairline?” In the next chapter, she lays out the ten most popular pitfalls leading to a bad wig day, such as showing too much lace, using too much adhesive and improperly securing your wig.



The 20 Most Well-Read Cities for African-Americans

We reviewed our website’s traffic and ranked, on a per capita basis, the number of visitors from cities with more than 200,000 residents. The total number of cities captured in the sample was over 500 globally.
Durham, North Carolina, home of North Carolina Central University, tops the list. The state of North Carolina shares the honor of having the most cities in the top 20 (three), with New York State. New York State had the highest number of visitors, but North Carolina easily beats New York on a per capita basis.
Now I know why these are some of my favorite cities.

The Importance of Independent Black Owned Bookstores (video)

Authors and industry professionals talk about the importance of Black owned, independent, book stores. These clips were recorded by during the 2012 Bayou Soul Writers and Reader's Conference, held annually in New Orleans, Louisiana.
In this video you'll hear from; ReShonda Tate Billingsley (Power List best-selling author); Renee Daniel Flagler (author and President of Aspicomm Media, Inc.); Victor McGlothin (author of 13 novels); Yvette Hayward (founder of the African American Literary Awards Show); TaNisha Webb (author and president of the KC Girlfriends Book Club) and others. Some of the bookstores recommended include Pyramid Art Books & Custom Framing in Little Rock, AR andCommunity Book Center, New Orleans, LA

The Book Look (video) - Season 2, Episode 3 - April 2013

The hit online show, The Book Look, speaks with Keli Goff about her book The GQ Candidate; Host Monda Webb keeps the pages turning as Cornel West and Ledisi pop in and Jessica Ann Mitchell of Black Bloggers Connect covers James McBride’s Song Yet Sung.
Run the “The Book Look” videos on your website or blog. Just cut a paste a few lines of code and we'll update your site with the latest Book Look videos.

Amber Books Marks 15 Years

Amber Books, an independent publisher specializing in nonfiction titles for the African-American market, marked its 15th anniversary in February by winning an NAACP Image Award in the Youth/Teen category for publishing Gregory Reed’s book, Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons—A Dialogue with America’s Young Leaders.
Amber Book revenues grew about 20% in 2012 compared to the previous year, ACGI president and CEO Tony Rose (pictured) said, credited the growth to e-books, as well as increasing international sales “and the global popularity of African-American history and culture.” Read the entire article written by Diane Patrick in Publishers Weekly.

Tyler Perry Scribe Acquires Film And TV Rights to Children’s Book

Former Tyler Perry’s House of Payne Head Writer, Brian Egestonrecently acquired the worldwide TV and film rights to Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band (Sleeping Bear Press). The NAACP Image Award nominated book was written by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Tim Bowers.
“I’ve followed Kwame’s work for more than a decade as a poet, playwright, novelist and now as a children’s author,” said Egeston. “When I heard the rights to his book were available, I jumped on it.”
The book’s main character, Acoustic Rooster, hopes to win the Barnyard Talent Show, but first he needs a band. Turned away by other barnyard musicians such as, Mules Davis, Ella Finchgerald and Thelonius Monkey, he starts his own jazz band with Duck Ellington, Bee Holiday, and Poncho Ernesto Cruz.

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty - Annoying Narration Ruins Jay-Z Produced Romantic Romp

While the protagonists try to sort out their feelings, the picture poses some thought-provoking questions, such as, “How do you balance logic and emotions?” Unfortunately, the film is afflicted with a fatal flaw, namely, a virtually non-stop narration of the play-by-play which starts to get on your nerves after about five minutes.
Granted, this could just be an age thing, since the Hip-Hop Generation is already used to hearing incessant, mindless, staccato-style chatter in their favorite songs. So, it might not be that big a jump for them to have to listen to a non-stop voiceover for the duration of a movie. Nevertheless, the slick poetry slam approach definitely didn’t do it for this critic.

42 - Jackie Robinson Biopic Recounts Historic Breaking of Baseball’s Color Barrier

42, a poignant cinematic portrait of an American legend directed by Brian Helgeland. The film carefully chronicles a host of humiliations Robinson was forced to endure en route to equality, from “Colored Only” bathrooms to separate accommodations to the relentless ribbing from bigoted fans in the stands and rivals in the opposing dugout.
Fortunately, Jackie managed to maintain his dignity and composure in the face of wearying adversity, thereby opening the door for the full integration of baseball by other African-Americans waiting in the wings. An emotionally-draining biopic featuring Oscar-quality performances from Harrison Ford and Chad Boseman in what is easily Hollywood’s best offering of the year thus far.

Temptation - Adulteress Wife Shamelessly Violates Vows in Latest Tyler Perry Morality Play

I’ll be honest, when I heard that Lionsgate wasn’t screening Temptationfor critics, I really expected it to be a dreadful mess. But after entering the theater with very low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised by the latest morality play from Tyler Perry. No advance peek meant I had to wait until opening day to see the melodramatic soap opera, which in my case was in a sold-out house with a crowd that was about 90% black and female. As far as what the sisters thought of the picture, all I needed to hear was the chorus of Amen’s and the robust round of applause during the closing credits.
Still, it’s debatable whether the Christian-themed cautionary tale’s simplistic sermonizing will attract a broader audience beyond that loyal demographic, but I’d guess that it very well might resonate with Evangelicals in general.

Paradise: Love - Single-Mom Develops Jungle Fever in Kenya in Initial Installment of Incendiary Trilogy

Needing a break from that humdrum routine, Teresa leaves her daughter in the care of a sister (Maria Hofstaetter) before flying alone to Kenya for a much-needed vacation. However, she’s planning for a little more than fun in the sun, since her destination is a resort that caters to the carnal desires of European sex tourists.
Specifically, it’s older white women looking to get their groove back, so to speak, with help of African men, the younger and better endowed the better. The goal, obviously, is less to find romance than to mate with any hunks who find them attractive.
Warning: the film (and our review) features nudity.

Herman’s House - Eccentric Artist Lobbies for Inmate’s Freedom in Unlikely-Couple Documentary

72 year-old Herman Wallace has been imprisoned at Louisiana’s infamous Angola penitentiary since he was found guilty of committing bank robbery back in 1967. His sentence was later lengthened to life after when he was convicted of stabbing a prison guard to death solely on the testimony of a fellow inmate.
...this biopic basically revolves around Jacke’s earnest effort to turn Herman into a cause célèbre, but it carefully tiptoes around the more compelling elephant in the tiny cell, namely, whether there’s a romantic aspect to their relationship? A fascinating flick as much about a possible miscarriage of justice as about a case of arrested development who looks like a little girl playing house with an imaginary mate.

Support Independent Film

The following filmmakers are looking for support for their projects. In 2013, if we have any hope of enjoying the full spectrum of our stories being told in film or on the page, we have to provide that support ourselves.

Seize the Time: The Eighth Defendant - Bobby Seale

Bobby Seale, Chairman, co-founder and national organizer of the Black Panther Party is producing a biographical feature motion picture which will dramatize his life and the tumultuous 1960’s and 70’s, the era in which the Black Panthers emerged as the prominent revolutionary civil rights movement of it’s time.
Bobby and his partner Stephen Edwards, a filmmaker and former member of the Panthers, have written a screenplay with the title,Seize the Time, The Eighth DefendantSeize the Time is the title of Bobby’s autobiography, which has sold over one million copies since it was first published in 1970. A studio executive at Fox Search Light Pictures introduced the concept of producing a dramatized feature instead of a traditional documentary to Bobby and Stephen during a meeting one year ago.

Poetry is an island, Derek Walcott - Director, Ida Does

A feature documentary film about the life and times of Derek Alton Walcott (1930), a St. Lucian poet, playwright and visual artist. Walcott was the first Caribbean writer of color to win The Nobel Prize for literature (1992). To this day he remains one of the most prominent English-language poets. In this film we meet the man behind the poetry. We visit him in the privacy of his home in St. Lucia where we try to capture some of the poetic mystery that surrounds him. We learn how Walcott's life has been dedicated to his art. Even as a senior citizen, at the age of 83, he keeps working, lecturing, painting and defending unspoiled Caribbean landscapes.

Butterfly Rising - Written and Directed by Tanya Wright‏

Here is an independent film worth checking out. The story behind the film, is just as inspiring as the film itself. Wright took her idea and passion. combined that with hard work and the support of others and was to get her film made.
“_Butterfly Rising_ was written in eight long days in the summer of 2006 and, like thousands of young screenwriters, I dreamed of making the movie. Butterfly Rising is a movie about love and the power of belief; it is my hope that the message in ‘Rising' compels us not to run from fear, but cultivate the courage to go toward it. I truly believe it is only in fear's nucleus where one finds a timeless and ever-present joy that transcends the vicissitudes of earthly circumstances.
Lastly, I hope this movie inspires people to believe in their dreams. Because they really do come true.” —Tanya Wright

Ken Burns - Central Park Five

Ken Burns has been making films for more than thirty years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Ken has gone on to direct and to produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made.
Ken’s films have won ten Emmy Awards and two Oscar nominations, and in September of 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Ken was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Here, he talks about his latest film, The Central Park Five, co-directed by his daughter, Sarah, and her husband, David McMahon, which premieres on PBS on April 16th, 2013.

Mike Tyson - On His Role in Scary Movie 5, His One Man Broadway Show and More

Born in Brooklyn on June 30, 1966, Michael Gerard Tyson is an all-time boxing great who, in his prime, struck fear in the heart of any opponent he squared off against. He compiled an impressive record of 50 wins, 5 losses and 1 disqualification for biting off an opponent’s ear over the course of an incomparable career in which he became the first undisputed heavyweight champ to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF title belts simultaneously.
Mike is currently on a 36-city tour of the country in Undisputed Truth, a one-man Broadway show which is part comedy/part confessional and covers all of the above and more. Here, the pugilist-turned-actor talks about his latest movie, Scary Movie 5, co-starring a rogues gallery of controversial celebrities including Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Katt Williams and Snoop Lion.

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BLACK PULP — “Literature for the Masses”

From Today's Best Authors and up and coming writers comes BLACK PULP from Pro Se Productions! BLACK PULP is a collection of stories featuring characters of African origin, or descent, in stories that run the gamut of genre fiction! A concept developed by noted crime novelist Gary Phillips, BLACK PULP brings bestselling authors Walter Mosley and Joe R. Lansdale, Gary Phillips, Charles R. Saunders, Derrick Ferguson, D. Alan Lewis, Christopher Chambers, Mel Odom, Kimberly Richardson, Ron Fortier, Michael A. Gonzales, Gar Anthony Haywood, and Tommy Hancock together to craft adventure tales, mysteries, and more, all with black characters at the forefront!
Between these covers are 12 tales of action, adventure, and thrills featuring heroes and heroines of darker hues that will appeal to audiences everywhere! BLACK PULP! From Pro Se Productions!
“Literature for the masses kindled the imagination and used our reading skills so that we could regale ourselves in the cold chambers of alienation and poverty. We could become Doc Savage or The Shadow, Conan the Barbarian or the brooding King Kull and make a difference in a world definitely gone wrong.” —Walter Mosley from his introduction.

African Lives: An Anthology of Memoirs and Autobiographiesedited by Geoff Wisner

African Lives, a pioneering anthology of memoirs and autobiographical writings, lets the people of Africa speak for themselves telling stories of struggle and achievement that have the authenticity of lived experience.
The anthology presents selections from the work of many of Africa s finest writers and most significant personalities from across the continent and spanning several centuries. Enhancing the material, Geoff Wisner s introduction and biographical notes provide important context for the selections and also highlight the challenges that African memoirs pose to the preconceptions of Western readers. The result is a book that is both an absorbing read and a valuable resource for courses on Africa.


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Oh, Elijah, you told us the modern Babylon would fall

Oh, Elijah Muhammad, you told us America, the great nation of descendants of slave makers and so-called Negro slaves, i.e., Africa...