Reader’s Guide to A Black Woman Did That

Dear Readers,

I created lists and activities to extend the experience of in A Black Woman Did That, learning more about the 42 women featured, the work they produced and the environment from where they came. It’s designed especially for young readers (age 8 and above), but readers of all ages are loving the book–and I’m tremendously grateful.  I hope you are too.

Be safe and joyful. Click the link below.

Malaika

ABWDT-MA-publicity3

Award News for ALT: Flores Forbes gets a ABA

Flores Forbes was one of my authors at Atria/S&S, with his memoir of his life as a Black Panther: Will You Die For Me?

My career came full circle when Skyhorse Publishing hired me to edit a new book by Forbes on the impact of incarceration on Black Men.They were not aware that Forbes and I had worked together previously. But, what good instincts (and referrals) they had. The author/edit magic happened again:

 

 

August 4, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Justin Desmangles, 916-425-7916

BEFORE COLUMBUS FOUNDATION

The Raymond House • 655 -13th Street • Suite 302 • Oakland, California 94612 http://www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com

August 4, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Justin Desmangles, 916-425-7916

The Before Columbus Foundation announces the Winners of the Thirty-Eighth Annual AMERICAN BOOK AWARDS Ceremonies, October 22, 2017, 12:00–2:30 p.m.

Oakland, CA—The Before Columbus Foundation announces the Winners of the Thirty-Eighth Annual AMERICAN BOOK AWARDS. The 2017 American Book Award winners will be formally recognized on Sunday, October 22nd, from 12:00-2:30 p.m. at the SF Jazz Center, Joe Henderson Lab, 201 Franklin Street (at Fell), San Francisco, CA. This event is open to the public.

The American Book Awards were created to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community. The purpose of the awards is to recognize literary excellence without limitations or restrictions. There are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no losers. The award winners range from well-known and established writers to under-recognized authors and first works. There are no quotas for diversity, the winners list simply reflects it as a natural process. The Before Columbus Foundation views American culture as inclusive and has always considered the term “multicultural” to be not a description of various categories, groups, or “special interests,” but rather as the definition of all of American literature. The Awards are not bestowed by an industry organization, but rather are a writers’ award given by other writers.

The 2017 American Book Award Winners are:

Rabia Chaudry

Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial

(St. Martin’s Press)

Flores A. Forbes

Invisible Men: A Contemporary Slave Narrative in

the Era of Mass Incarceration (Skyhorse Publishing) Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing (Knopf) Holly Hughes

Passings (Expedition Press) Randa Jarrar

Him, Me, Muhammad Ali (Sarabande Books) Bernice L. McFadden

The Book of Harlan (Akashic Books)

Brian D. McInnes

Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow

(Michigan State University Press)

Patrick Phillips

Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America

(W. W. Norton & Company)

Vaughn Rasberry

Race and the Totalitarian Century: Geopolitics in
the Black Literary Imagination (Harvard University Press)

Marc Anthony Richardson

Year of the Rat (Fiction Collective Two) Shawna Yang Ryan

Green Island (Knopf)

Ruth Sergel

See You in the Streets: Art, Action, and Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (University of Iowa Press)

Solmaz Sharif

Look (Graywolf Press) Adam Soldofsky

Memory Foam (Disorder Press) Alfredo Véa

The Mexican Flyboy (University of Oklahoma Press) Dean Wong

Seeing the Light: Four Decades in Chinatown (Chin Music Press) Lifetime Achievement: Nancy Mercado

Editor/Publisher Award: Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, Ammiel Alcalay, General Editor

The Before Columbus Foundation announces the Winners of the Thirty-Eighth Annual AMERICAN BOOK AWARDS Ceremonies, October 22, 2017, 12:00–2:30 p.m.

Oakland, CA—The Before Columbus Foundation announces the Winners of the Thirty-Eighth Annual AMERICAN BOOK AWARDS. The 2017 American Book Award winners will be formally recognized on Sunday, October 22nd, from 12:00-2:30 p.m. at the SF Jazz Center, Joe Henderson Lab, 201 Franklin Street (at Fell), San Francisco, CA. This event is open to the public.

The American Book Awards were created to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community. The purpose of the awards is to recognize literary excellence without limitations or restrictions. There are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no losers. The award winners range from well-known and established writers to under-recognized authors and first works. There are no quotas for diversity, the winners list simply reflects it as a natural process. The Before Columbus Foundation views American culture as inclusive and has always considered the term “multicultural” to be not a description of various categories, groups, or “special interests,” but rather as the definition of all of American literature. The Awards are not bestowed by an industry organization, but rather are a writers’ award given by other writers.

The 2017 American Book Award Winners are:

Rabia Chaudry

Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial

(St. Martin’s Press)

Flores A. Forbes

Invisible Men: A Contemporary Slave Narrative in

the Era of Mass Incarceration (Skyhorse Publishing) Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing (Knopf) Holly Hughes

Passings (Expedition Press) Randa Jarrar

Him, Me, Muhammad Ali (Sarabande Books) Bernice L. McFadden

The Book of Harlan (Akashic Books)

Brian D. McInnes

Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow

(Michigan State University Press)

Patrick Phillips

Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America

(W. W. Norton & Company)

Vaughn Rasberry

Race and the Totalitarian Century: Geopolitics in
the Black Literary Imagination (Harvard University Press)

Marc Anthony Richardson

Year of the Rat (Fiction Collective Two) Shawna Yang Ryan

Green Island (Knopf)

Ruth Sergel

See You in the Streets: Art, Action, and Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (University of Iowa Press)

Solmaz Sharif

Look (Graywolf Press) Adam Soldofsky

Memory Foam (Disorder Press) Alfredo Véa

The Mexican Flyboy (University of Oklahoma Press) Dean Wong

Seeing the Light: Four Decades in Chinatown (Chin Music Press) Lifetime Achievement: Nancy Mercado

Editor/Publisher Award: Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, Ammiel Alcalay, General Editor

New Year, New Name, New Books

Adero’s Literary Tribe/ALT is now Adero’s Literary Tribe, LLC.

The first published book from Adero’s Literary Tribe, LLC is Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani. The author of two previous novels in his home country Kenya, is making his U.S. literary debut with great reviews, including from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. The Akashic Book goes on-sale in February 2017, but is available for pre-orders now. Kimani has also begun making appearances in the U.S. to share the work with audiences. So, keep an eye out here to learn when and where he might be near you.

Veteran journalist Ron Harris, formerly with Ebony magazine, The Los Angeles Times, St. Louis Post Dispatch and much more, has landed his first book deal, collaborating with veteran law enforcer Matt Horace. Krishan Trotman, Senior Editor at Hachette signed the book which is Horace’s take on the role of Black officers in the field of policing, especially in the age of the cell phone. So, there’ll be more to come on that. Congratulations Ron!

Adero’s Literary Track

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George Clinton and me at the book release party for his memoir, Hey George, Ain’t That Funkin Kinda Hard on You.

A publisher recently asked me for a list of big book events I’d participated in and authors I’d work with over the course of my career. Here’s where I am with recalling the festivals, fairs and conferences as a presenter. The list isn’t exhaustive but it does well represent the  arch of my story in publishing over the last  30 + years. I’m reminded of the riches that my work in words has brought me. I made the money the a college-educated Black woman hopes to make from hard work, but much more than that I banked experiences being in the presence, working with and relating to brilliant and inspiring people.

 

Appearances

Here are conferences, festivals and big book events that I’ve presented and been featured at. There are many more that I have attended and participated in in my capacity as in-house editor–at Simon & Schuster (1985 – 1991 and again 2002 – 2014) and Amistad Press. The list of authors are among the ones I signed, edited and managed over the course of my career, since 1986 up-to-now.

 

2016

University of Georgia, Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) – August 3 – presenter

University of Colorado, Denver Publishing Institute – July 28 – presenter

National Black Writers Conference, Brooklyn, New York – March – panelist

 

2015

Oxford Book Fair Oxford, England – presenter

Virgin Islands Book Festival, St. Croix -keynote

PEN World Voices Festival, New York City – moderator

National Black Book Festival, Houston, Texas – keynote

 

2014

Harlem Bookfair – Keynote (C-Span broadcast and archive) Address

African Film Festival – Staged dialogue with author, Raquel Cepeda

Kweli Writers Conference – panelist

 

2013

National Black Arts Festival – paid consultant

(I’ve appeared at the Festival as a presenter a half dozen times over the last 25 years.)

African Film Festival – Staged dialogue with Kathleen Cleaver

Out of the Binders – A Professional Development Conference

 

2012

Anguilla Literary Festival

National Black Book Convention, Atlanta, Georgia – panelist

Brooklyn Book Festival – moderator

 

2010

The Oracle Set, Book Club Luncheon, Washington, DC – keynote address

Kweli Writers Conference – panelist

 

Me Up South

2006 – 2008

Up South International Book Festival, New York City –  founder, producer, presenter

Featured authors: Ruby Dee, Aminatta Forna, Amiri Baraka,  Toure, Mohammad L. Ali, Maryse Conde, Shirin Nashat, Reyna Grande, Oscar Hijuelos, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes, Colin Channer, Thomas Glaves, Opal Palmer Adisa , Ngugi wa Thiongo, Clyde Taylor & more.

The venues: Harlem Stage, Harlem School of the Arts, Aaron Davis Hall, The Schomburg Center for Black Studies (NYPL)

 

National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) Annual Convention, Las Vegas

National Black Writers Conference, Brooklyn, New York

 

Before 2006

Calabash Literary Festival, Treasure Beach, Jamaica

Texas Writers Guild-  Austin, Texas

University of Oklahoma –  Oklahoma City

Kennedy Center, Washington, DC – co-curated & presented African Literary Series (two concurrent years)

Yosemite Writers Conference – reading from Speak, So You Can Speak Again

Jerusalem Book Fair, Israel – an Editorial Fellow

North Carolina Writers Conference – panelist

Alex Haley Festival – Knoxville, Tennessee – presented

Beck Cultural Center – Knoxville, Tennessee – book signing (Up South: Stories, Studies, & Letters of This Century’s African American Migrations)

Teachers & Writers – New York City – book signing (Up South)

The Literary Guild – a Harlem literary series curated by Lana Turner (Up South)

University of Rouen, Rouen, France – presenting a paper on writer Toni Cade Bambara at a conference dedicated to her work.

Toni Morrison Society – presenter

Organization of Women Writers in the African Diaspora (OWWA) – panelist, New York University

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Shirley Sherrod and me at Hammond’s House, Atlanta, Georgia, discussing her book, The Courage to Hope

 

Authors

Arthur Ashe

Margaret Walker Alexander

Guillermo Arriaga

Andrew Billingsley

Rashonda Tate Billingsley*

Donald Bogle

Lloyd Boston

Adam Bradley

Raquel Cepeda

Farai Chideya

Pearl Cleage

George Clinton

Common

Maryse Conde

Camille Cosby

Dorothy Cotton

Miles Davis

Ruby Dee

Tananarive Due

Flores Forbes

Alfred Fornay

Keli Goff

Reyna Grande

Ben Greenman

Alvin Hall

Rashad Harrison

David Henderson

David Hilliard

Shannon Holmes

Gen. Russell Honore

bell hooks

Dr. Lucy Hurston*

T.D. Jakes

Beverly Johnson

Spike Lee

Joan Lester

Jenifer Lewis (coauthoring a forthcoming book by actor in ABC- TV Black-ish)*

Benilde Little

James Meredith

V.Y. Mudimbe

Walter Mosley

Jonell Nash

Stacey Patton

Melvin Van Peebles

Nora Pierce

Bill Plimpton

Renee Poussaint

Kevin Powell

Prince

Jewell Parker Rhodes

Victor Rivers

Penelope Rowland

Victoria Rowland

Carl Hancock Rux

The Schomburg Center for Black Studies (NYPL)*

Ntozake Shange

Shirley Sherrod

Danny Simmons

Tavis Smiley

Vickie Stringer

Frank Stewart & Kamoinge

Indu Sundaresan

Lalita Tademy

Mikki Taylor

Susan L. Taylor

Lori L. Tharps

Toure

Quincy Troupe

Blair Underwood

Eisa Ulen

Dionne Warwick

Sheila Weller

Richard Williams (father of Venus & Serena)

Damon Wayans

Kanye West

Zane

*Edited, consulted, or served as writing partner, as an independent contractor.

 

 

 

 

ALT launches with Peter Kimani’s A Kiss in the Dark

[This blog also appears in http://www.homeslicemag.com]

The most important deal a business person will ever close is her first no matter whether you’re a shopkeeper, a restaurant, or in the business of publishing, book and author development such as me. My firm is called Adero’s Literary Tribe/ALT, launched this Summer. Our first accomplishment is a publication deal for Peter Kimani, a well known journalist and writer in Kenya, with —one of the most respected and dynamic publishers in the industry today, Akashic, led by Johnny Temple, who negotiated the deal.

Peter Kimani, has published two novels, Before the Rooster Crows and a children’s novel, Upside Down, the later published by Oxford University Press. He is not yet known a in the United States, but did some of his studies here. He earned a Ph.D from the University of Houston’s nationally recognized Creative Writing Program. Among his teachers and supporters of his work are Mat Johnson with whom he worked at the University. Among champion of Kimani’s work is the great Ngugi wa Thiongo, who believes the writer is breaking new ground with his approach to using history as a metaphor in contemporary writing.

An alumnus of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, Peter was one of only three international poets commissioned by the National Public Radio to compose and present poems to mark Barack Obama’s inauguration in January 2009. He has worked as a writer, critic and columnist on Kenya’s vibrant national press, rising to senior editorial positions. His work has also appeared in The Guardian, The New African, and Sky News of London, among others.
Peter is presently a training consultant and newspaper columnist in Nairobi, where he lives with his broadcaster wife, Anne Mawathe, and their two sons, while working on a new work of fiction. A Kiss in the Dark is scheduled for publication in 2017.
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“History has strange ways of announcing itself to the present, whether conceived in comforting darkness or blinding light. It can manifest with the gentleness of bean cracking out of pod, making music in its fall. And when such seed falls into fertile soils, it still wriggles from the tug of the earth, stretching a green hand for uplift. The seed of wonderment that germinated from the flicker of a kiss in that darkened night had, in a few months, grown by leaps and bounds.” —from A Kiss in the Dark, by Peter Kimani.
A Kiss in the Dark is set in Kenya in 1963, in the shadow of the country’s independence from Britain, this novel re-imagines the creation of the colony at the turn of the 20th century, and the special circumstances that brought black, brown and white men together to lay the railroad that heralded the birth of the nation.
But it is the controversial birth of a child implicating the British administrator McDonald, English missionary Reverend Turnbull, and Indian worker Babu that threatens to derail the creation of the colony, and whose ramifications would reverberate through to the future generations.
What hastens the unravelling of the story is Babu’s singer grandson, Rajan’s accidental kiss with a stranger in the dark. His search for the kissing stranger leads him to his grandfather’s hidden history and its intersect with that of McDonald, Reverend Turnbull, and fellow Indian worker, Ahmad.
Using the binaries of light and darkness as controlling motif, A Kiss in The Dark teases out Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness to re-evaluate colonialism and the fabled European enlightenment of Africa, with its omniscient narrator sketching intricately detailed social and geographic contexts harkens back to an oral tradition of storytelling. The novel’s language, a dreamy, exalted and earthy mix affirms its ambition in creating new thresholds, new definitions of identity that transcend the black-white divide that defines colonial and post-colonial literature to produce a new metaphor for race in 21st century Africa.