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African-American

BookTrib Best of 2017: 15 Books Fit for a Prince: Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of Prince’s Iconic First VMA Performance

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‘Earlier, I had been talking stuff in a violent room’—- okay, it wasn’t a ‘violent room,’ more like a violet one. Purple. THE color that belongs to only one artist and no one will own it the way he has for more than 35 years. In this purple space, I was contemplating and discussing what the VMAs mean to me this year, 16 months after Prince’s passing. Like many, I still roam these musical streets in a constant state of WTH!?, but I am coping by listening to what he left us, watching his films and videos and fervently reading things I hadn’t read since I was 12, new books, hard to find out-of-print books and even a few advance…

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What is the Half-Billion Dollar Trend You Don’t Know About?

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Monet Timmons is one our two 2017 Writers-in-Residence. Read this exciting piece on books about natural hair care by Ms. Timmons. Recently, more Black women have been choosing to wear their natural hair, free from chemical processing with a focus on maintaining hair health. This trend has been gaining more attention as hair care lines like Pantene and others add more products that are geared toward Black women and as celebrities like Taraji P. Henson grace the cover of Glamour magazine sporting natural styles. Even YouTube offers an array of instructional videos from various sources on how to style and care for natural hair.   In the late 1960s, Black women began wearing Afros as a form of political resistance…

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Five Hidden Pearls of African-American Literature

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As an African-American writer, I have long been a student of black writers from many different genres who have influenced, inspired, challenged, enlightened, and entertained me. We’ve all heard of the obvious ones: the speeches of Frederick Douglass, the poetry of Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, and Toni Morrison’s Beloved, just to name a few. But there’s a treasure trove of lesser-known works of African-American writing that have had a big impact on me and deserve to be read. Here’s my list of books that you might not know about. (I’ve chosen books in different categories in order to avoid having my special favorites competing in my head with every other…

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