Great African-American Books of 2014

Saint Monkey

This gallery contains 15 photos.

Compiling this list of 2014 books by or about Black Americans which I read cover-to-cover or keep on my “To Read” mantle is how I have officially begun my holidays; there is just something about putting hands deep into books (with covers and pages) that makes everything all right. Continue reading

Spirit of Writing Week 9: Useful Gifts For Writers (and Free Tips too…)

Spirit of Writing

There is something in the nature of the loner personality both ill-fated and magically destined to imagine for a living which creates a kleptomania for life overall, the evidence of which are astounding collections of curiosities and mementos and souvenirs and of course BOOKS. And, it is actually okay for you to add to it with the right gifts…End 2014 writing, not planning to write again in 2015. The Spirit of Writing: 12 Weeks of Practice. Continue reading

“Oh, right”: We Had Some Fiction Stories in 2014.

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It feels wondrous to see a Black American woman at the helm of both literary and mainstream fiction in America (Roxane Gay), and we are all happy for Jacqueline Woodsons’ National Book Award win. However, I wondered where were big, majestic books by my Black American sisters at front of the bookstore and many more smaller books Black American women really had to talk about? Continue reading

My work on ID Channel’s “Deadly Affairs” airs this Friday, December 5.

Kalisha on ID-001

In case you’ve missed me this season on Investigation Discovery Channel’s Deadly Affairs true-crime docudrama, hosted by Emmy Award-winning actress and one of my personal childhood favorites Susan Lucci, Friday afternoon is a chance to catch up. I appear back-to-back on the … Continue reading

Stories of Dynamic Women In Print and On Screen (Part Two)

OINB

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Chances are, Hollywood producers will find a way to turn young Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai’s triumphant story I Am Malala into a movie sooner than we all learn to pronounce her last name. In the meantime, here are five more women’s true-to-life tales you can read on the page and then watch onscreen… Continue reading

Stories of Dynamic Women In Print and On Screen (Part One)

Anne Frank

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Chances are, Hollywood producers will find a way to turn young Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai’s triumphant story I Am Malala into a movie sooner than we all learn to pronounce her last name. In the meantime, here are five women’s true-to-life tales you … Continue reading

Spirit of Writing Week 6: Edit and Revise…Now and Forever

Spirit of Writing

This weekend, especially with a long holiday weekend coming up and the end of National Novel Writing Month, respect your accomplishments but commit yourself to EDITING in December. So, by the start of the new year, you will have a project (or two, or three) ready to go…End 2014 writing, not planning to write again in 2015. The Spirit of Writing: 12 Weeks of Practice. Continue reading

Remembering Director Mike Nichols Through His Movies

Closer

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It is a miracle and luck when any work of art, creative piece or cultural manufacture reaches out and touches those like it depicts. However, it is supernatural and magic when a work of art, creative piece or cultural manufacture so far beyond an aesthete’s race, class, gender and experience arrives to inspire and introduce new lives to them. The handful of works I know from Mr. Nichols all do that for me. Continue reading

Laboring a novel online…

61 South

Because of information, images, stories and archives on the Internet, I was able to massage those old memories from the comfort of my own home (as opposed to daylong stints in the library, which I still love to have). I am quite sure I was able to go deeper into some topics and subjects because of online archiving. Furthermore, I was able to publish parts of the work online in outside venues, to cement the idea the book was real and not just a whim of my imagination. Continue reading

Harsh History: A Gem of Our Libraries

Vivian Harsh

The Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection, housed in Chicago’s Carter G. Woodson Library, is an invaluable display of the flowering of Black history and culture within a Northern, urban environment galvanized by the energy of hundreds of thousands of post-war Black migrants from the South. Continue reading

The New College.

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The Wall Street Journal has reported that the number of “college” students who need a remedial (or high school repeat) course funded by the U.S. government had risen a staggering 160% in the last 12 years. This means that students are now arriving on campuses in America so poorly prepared and scarcely educated they must redo a version of pre-school in order to prepare for professions. Continue reading

*On The Color Purple and Beloved film adaptations…

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I remember when The Color Purple movie came out in 1986. To have a beautiful and serious movie, that was not about Blacks killing each other or acting stupid but truly featured the story and amazing acting, was a big event. Oprah Winfrey … Continue reading

10 Black Women’s Book-to-Film Adaptations*

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Here are Black women’s book-to-film adaptations you may be able to appreciate…enjoy! I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (book 1969/tv miniseres 1979) The Color Purple by Alice Walker (book 1982/film 1985) Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan (book … Continue reading

Spirit of Writing Week 4: The Secret Of Getting Ahead is Getting Started…

Spirit of Writing

You really don’t have time to be worried about other people and wasting energy to criticize others’ ideas. The purpose of this post is to help anyone push past limitations of walking around with just your idea because you believe it … Continue reading

Yes! Movies About Black Writers Do Exist (Part Two)

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Flavorwire recently published a Top 50 Films About Writers list. Only one black-cast film was included. Here’s a bit of a correction. Continue reading

Yes! Movies About Black Writers Do Exist (Part One)

Losing_GroundWEB_grande

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Flavorwire recently published a Top 50 Films About Writers list. Only one black-cast film was included. Here’s a bit of a correction. Continue reading

To Confess or Not To Confess?

Sylvia Plath

The 1950’s and 1960’s confessional poetry movement grandfathered by Robert Lowell, and carried on by Anne Sexton and of course Sylvia Plath (easily the most famous of all confessional authors), extinguished the very capable words “What should I write about?” as effective scapegoats to writing nothing at all. Continue reading

On the Channon Christian and Chris Newsom losses of life*, and Vanessa Coleman’s impending parole

Channon and Chris

I only learned of the rapes and murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom because of the national and international media blitz from George Zimmerman’s trial and acquittal last summer. I was under a high workload and I packed away … Continue reading

Marion Ettlinger’s Author Photos: Black Writers Shot by Famed Literary Photographer

Author April Reynolds

 About Marion Ettlinger: Marion Ettlinger graduated from the High School of Music and Art and The Cooper Union in New York City. She has been photographing writers since 1983. Her book Author Photo, containing more than 200 black-and-white portraits shot exclusively in natural … Continue reading