Several family members play a part in this month’s selections, and they may alternate being loving, dysfunctional, or ultimately loyal. Sometimes they mean well but stick their noses into the protagonists’ romantic plans. Other times they can be a pain—deadbeat dads and eager-to-give-free-advice aunts and uncles—that won’t go away. No matter what, it’s good to know somebody you grew up with has your back.
Authors in this month’s column have tons of cred. In fact, they’re almost known by single names like pop culture celebrities Rihanna, Diddy, or Nas. Here we have Nikki, HoneyB, and Eric whose books are always snatched up by loyal readers.
It’s so cool when spot-on descriptions shoot a visual image into readers’ imaginations and demand to be shared. Thus a few examples of tell-it-like-it-is found in this month’s titles.
From its initial installment in February 2008, this column has reviewed urban fiction, but beginning this month the scope will expand to cover a range of books representing reading interests of many African American readers. Subgenres such as urban Christian stories, steamy romance tales featuring African American characters, or contemporary novels far removed from the […]
I’m often asked to name today’s top street lit authors. Look no further than Sister Souljah, Nisa Santiago, and Kiki Swinson, three writers who are surfing the wave of today’s urban fiction. Their intricate stories feature complex protagonists whose stone-cold faces belie the emotional tragedy they are enduring. Tough women, tough times, exciting reads. Pick […]
Sexy street lit covers often have volumes flying off shelves. Yet savvy librarians can give circulation a professional nudge by presenting the story in pithy summaries. Here then are six-word descriptions of this month’s selections. Let’s call them Six Shades of Street Lit. Wild killer seeks revenge in Harlem. Crazy murderess stripper seduces, slays men. […]
In his provocative new book, What Was African-American Literature?—an expansion of his 2007 W.E.B. Du Bois Lectures at Harvard University—Kenneth W. Warren defines “African American literature” as titles produced by blacks during the Jim Crow era, that terrible time of constitutionally sanctioned segregation in the United States. With discriminatory Jim Crow laws now off the […]