Archive for the Book Reviews and More Category

Dear White People: A Guide To Inter-Racial Harmony In “Post-Racial” America

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Book Reviews and More, Movie and DVD News, Racism, Women's Interests with tags , , , , , , on October 28, 2014 by Gary Johnson

DearWhitePeople.Spine

By Black Men In America.com Staff

Right out of college, Justin Simien wrote a screenplay about the nuanced experiences of four black students on a predominantly white college campus. The film, Dear White People, garnered a Sundance Award for “Breakthrough Talent” and has been hailed by critics everywhere. Channeling the sensibility of the film into this book, Simien will keep you laughing with his humorous observations, even if you haven’t seen the satiric film.

News Flash—the minimum number of black friends needed to not seem racist has just been raised to two. Rather than panic, readers are advised to purchase a copy of Dear White People. Whether you are a dear white person wondering why your black office mate is avoiding eye contact with you after you ran your fingers through her hair, or you’re a black nerd who has to break it to your white friends that you’ve never seen The Wire, this myth-busting, stereotype-diffusing guide to a post-Obama world has something for you!

With decision-making trees to help you decide when it’s the right time to wear Blackface (hint: probably never) and quizzes to determine whether you’ve become the Token Black Friend™, Dear White People is the ultimate silly-yet-authoritative handbook to help the curious and confused navigate racial microaggressions in their daily lives.

Based on the eponymous, award-winning film, which has been lauded as “a smart, hilarious satire,” this tongue-in-cheek guide is a must-have that anybody who is in semi-regular contact with black people can’t afford to miss!

Click here to view the official “Dear White People” trailer.

About Justin Simien

Justin Simien is the writer / director and a producer of the critically acclaimed feature, Dear White People, which won the Special Jury Award for ‘Breakthrough Talent” at the 2014 Sundance film festival. The film was also awarded with the “Audience Award” at the 2014 San Francisco International Film Festival, and also earned Justin a spot in in Variety magazine’s “10 Directors to Watch”.

Justin gained national attention after making a “concept trailer” for his then unproduced screenplay of “Dear White People” that went viral on YouTube garnering over a million views and fifty thousand dollars in donations from fans around the world. Before entering the world of content creation, Justin worked as a Publicist and Marketing specialist for film companies such as Paramount Pictures, Focus Features, and Sony Television.

Justin currently lives in Los Angeles, CA where he continues to write, direct and produce for film and television.  Click here to learn more about Justin by visiting his official website.

ON LINE REVIEWS BY MIKE RAMEY: “WELL, MY MOM SAYS” BY CLARENCE M. LEE, JR., MD

Posted in Black Interests, Black Men, Book Reviews and More, Women's Interests with tags , , , on September 21, 2014 by Gary Johnson

C. M. Lee Book Cover

“Remember, other people don’t have to ‘get’ your dream. It’s not theirs–it’s yours.
They aren’t supposed to get it. The dream was given to you!”
                                                                                                                                       –Dr. Clarence M. Lee, Jr.

Godly single parents have been taking it on the chin in our mainstream (and social media) for a number of years. Even many of our churches have mistakenly pushed the upright ones off to the side. Godly single parents have grown to be marginalized because they don’t fit the agenda template to wipe God from the marketplace. Enter Dr. Clarence M. Lee, Jr. with his work: “Well My Mom Says” (173 pages, 2014, WestBow Press) to set the scales of faith in God, parental love and common sense back to a right balance.

All one can say as they read this work is: “Wow!” “Well My Mom Says” sports 25 chapters, divided into four power-packed sections. It’s a book that will make a great reference book for young people, and will make many a parent ‘get their voices back’ concerning needed advice, wisdom and training for their children that many thought had been relegated to the back pages of history. Lee ‘walks’ the reader through his various ‘growing pains’ that his mother had to address, as he was navigating the often-bumpy roads of life: Difficult teachers, hard life choices and honorable dreams in a warped society. Eventually, Lee’s mother remarries–and the advice keeps on coming from his stepfather. Nevertheless, the advice is more profound and more needed by a ‘double dose’ of parental love.

Lee, a medical doctor makes no apologies for being a Christian nor a former college athlete. Chapters deal with the subjects of Trust, Faith, Perseverance and Appreciation. This book may also serve as a ‘kickstarter’ for some adults in the audience! In an interview with On Line Reviews, Lee noted that this work was ‘on time’ for a lot of young people in our present society…some of whom have been raised in a single-parent environment. He also noted that there is a good possibility that a workbook will be designed to be used along with the book in the near future.

“Well MY Mom Says” is one of those books that you can’t finish in an afternoon. In fact, it’s one of those books that would best be considered a ‘reference’ work, because you will refer to it again, and again…with pencil or highlighter in hand. It’s available through your favorite on line bookseller, or through Lee’s website at www.cmleejr.com.

Mike Ramey is a Minister, Reviewer and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. On Line Reviews brings current and lesser-known titles to public light in the quest to re-kindle a love for reading in a sea of modern technology.

“WELL MY MOM SAYS,” by C.M. LEE, Jr.

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Book Reviews and More, Motivational Moments with tags , , , on August 2, 2014 by Gary Johnson

C. M. Lee Book Cover

Here’s an excerpt from the book “Well My Mom Says,” by C. M. Lee, Jr.

Every Day, Be Thankful

As I step out of my door, I see the sunshine and breathe the fresh air and I’m thankful—thankful for this world, thankful for my health, thankful for my mobility, and so on.

I have the privilege to help people when they need a physician. I’ve gotten a bigger perspective on life just seeing people hurting and dealing with things I couldn’t image. This makes me thankful for the smallest of things, because not every person has the ability to see, talk, walk, speak, and read. The small things, when taken away, really make a huge impact.

As you sit and read this, no matter your situation, know that other people have made it through what you’re going through. If you can breathe on your own, be thankful; some patients have a machine breathing for them. If you can walk, be thankful; there are amputee soldiers that are wheelchair bound. If you have children, be thankful; some couples are infertile. I could go on and on and on.

There is always something to be thankful for. Don’t let one situation, one isolated aspect of your life, take your joy and skew your view. You have great things going on in your life. Make it a habit to always give thanks.

Excerpt from Chapter 8 Appreciation from Dr. Lee’s book “Well, My Mom Says…” published this past May by Westbow Press.

C. M. Lee PR About the Author: 

As a physician, speaker, entrepreneur, and CEO of CMLEEJR Co.  Dr. Clarence Lee embodies the importance of faith and persistence in life. The first physician, college athlete, and Air Force flight surgeon in his family; Dr. Lee is dedicated to helping others remove perceived barriers in their lives. Dr. Lee has been featured in The Word, the Sacramento Business Journal, Appeal-Democrat, and others. He lives in California and loves spending time with his wife and daughter on the coast.

Mayor For Life

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Book Reviews and More with tags , , , , on July 12, 2014 by Gary Johnson

mayor-for-life cover

In Marion Barry’s book, race plays a factor in everything that occurs in America. In “Mayor for Life:  The Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr.,” you can learn how this politician’s focus on race made him one of the most popular and controversial figures in modern history. The book is chock-full of information contemporary Black households need to know about what can be done with political power.

Barry recounts the times when we were at our zenith in terms of political power. In Washington he’s a Black “icon” and “role model.” Born in Itta Bena, Mississippi, the son of a sharecropper, Barry is the third of 10 children. His father died when he was four years old, and a year later his mother moved the family to Memphis, Tennessee, where her employment prospects appeared better. In his autobiography, Barry has a lot to say about how his life in politics was publicly diminished by institutions like the media and government agents.

Barry said the book helps readers “know me.” “Mayor for Life” shows the impact Barry has had on the District of Columbia. He’s a civil rights activist that adroitly leveraged political power for D.C.’s poor and Black communities. Barry has been at the center of the District’s triumphs and troubles since the 1970s. The 78-year-old politician proudly says that he has dedicated 40 years of his life to public service “always fighting for the people.” Known around the world, Barry served as the second elected mayor of the District of Columbia from 1979 to 1991, and again as the fourth mayor from 1995 to 1999. He has served on the D.C. Council, representing Ward 8 since 2005.

Reading the book reveals Barry’s having courage, tenacity and vision few Black politicians display. The book illustrates that in no way was Barry colorblind. If President Barack Obama leveraged the power of the presidency toward his people, as Barry did, a nation of Blacks would be dancing in the streets.

Barry helped Blacks develop wealth through government jobs and contracts – Black businesses received 3 percent of D.C. contracts when he entered office and 47 percent when he left. Barry said, “They didn’t want me creating all of these opportunities for Black folks.” His deliberate hiring practices and set-asides for minorities created a generation of Black-owned businesses and the nation’s largest Black middle class. Mayor Barry’s true legacy is Prince George’s County – the nation’s wealthiest majority Black jurisdiction. No other mayor has come close to his achievement in providing jobs for poor young Blacks. The late Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson places second on the list. Houston’s Lee Brown comes in third.

The worst longtime Washingtonians are willing to say about Barry is: “He didn’t exercise self-control.” Barry’s personal problems first surfaced in 1983, when he was accused of using cocaine at a nightclub party. The culmination of a series of embarrassing incidents was an FBI sting that caught Barry on a videotape smoking crack cocaine at the Vista Hotel. At his 1990 trial, Barry was only convicted of one of the 14 charges pending against him. One juror has been recorded saying: “I believe the government was out to get Marion Barry.”

 
Call him “a rascal” or “champion for the race” Barry deserves credit for his purposeful and single-minded quest of “doing what’s right for Black Americans.” The 324-page book published by Simon & Schuster is squarely aimed at Black readers. Barry makes no apology for that, addressing Whites at the end of the book: “I’m Black, and my life has been about uplifting Black folks.”

Howard University 1991 journalism graduate Omar Tyree, a New York Times best-selling author, penned the book with Barry. Like Barry, Tyree said the book was written for Black people, many of whom benefited economically from city contracts and summer jobs during Barry’s time in office. The “big payback” would be for Barry and Tyree to experience gigantic book sales. The book’s hardcover price runs about $20. Hopefully, Barry and Tyree will sell millions of copies so “the Mayor” can go fishing.

William Reed William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the BaileyGroup.org

EVERY YOUNG, BLACK MALE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Men, Book Reviews and More, Women's Interests with tags , , , , on April 22, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00068]
Martinsville, Virginia—Hey Luv Project announces the release of Young, Black Males: America’s Most Wanted (April 1, 2014, ISBN: 978-0-578-13580-9, Hey Luv Project) by Wendy Kellam.  

Every Black teenager should read Young, Black Males: America’s Most Wanted, so they can feel Kellam’s passion, her true love—not just for her sons and her immediate family—for her entire community and the entire Black race. Most importantly, she wants all young, Black males to recognize and understand their worth!

“Pull your pants up!” is one of many solutions Kellam offers in her powerful, thought-provoking book that comes straight from the heart and written with so much passion and sincerity. Kellam emphasizes the importance of good parenting, the foundation and stepping stone to raising good, productive children. As a single mom, raising three, Black males, she knows the importance of being a good parent, putting your children first, and providing good homes and good morals.

“The stats speak loud and clear,” Kellam states in her book, when she points out that 60% of Black males either drop out of school or go to jail. She also stated that 1 and 3 Black men will have a record in his lifetime. Black males are six times more likely to go to jail than white males. Black male achievement begins to decline as early as the fourth grade, and by the fourth grade, only 12% of Black male students read at or above grade level. By eighth grade, the numbers fall to 9% for Black males. An epidemic that needs to cease, Young, Black Males: America’s Most Wanted should be the handbook for parents, teachers, and mentors and for those who have an immediate impact on the lives of our young, Black males.

Author Wendy Kellam is a native of Martinsville, Virginia. She is employed with Technique Solutions, an IT company. She is the Director of Trudie Reads, a reading program designed to help kids learn to read, as well as instill a love for reading. She is a mentor of the Pretty Girls Rock’s Martinsville Chapter. She is the founder of Hey Luv Project, a group of community partners telling stories to inform, empower and educate. She is a community advocate for her race, an advocate for women, a huge advocate for the youth and an advocate for human rights. She is a daughter, sister and cousin. She is a mother, a grandmother and Messiah has made being a grandmother, oh so grand. She is a friend to few, but cool with many. She rocks to her own beat. I am she and she is me.
Wendy Kellam is available for book signings and speaking engagements. To schedule Wendy for your next event, please email heyluvproject@gmail.com.

Young, Black Males: America’s Most Wanted by Wendy Kellam will be available in Trade paperback on April 1, 2014 everywhere. Currently available for download on Amazon Kindle. For more information contact Sadie-Katie at 276-224-4696.

Staying Happy Through The New Year: 2014 Happiness Calendar

Posted in Black Interests, Book Reviews and More, Motivational Moments with tags , on December 12, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Henry Miller

By Henry S. Miller, Author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness

Amp up the amount of happiness in your life each and every month of the year by intentionally focusing on 12 strategies that the science of happiness and well being has proven can increase your feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Even better: know that, if you add these actions to your life, your feelings of increased positive emotion can last for days, weeks, and even months!

If this is the year you decide to get serious about adding happiness that lasts to your life, here are 12 happiness strategies for 2014 and suggestions to make them work for you:

January:  A Month of Hope and Plans

The beginning of the year is traditionally about new years’ resolutions. This year, write one positive goal you have for the coming year down on your calendar each morning of each day of January. Also write your plan to make it a reality. Then, resolve that you will intentionally invest your time and energy to work on your resolutions during the year and to live a happier life by implementing these 12 happiness strategies – one each month.

February:  A Month of Gratitude

Gratitude is the antidote to greed, envy, and jealously. We feel much happier when we are being grateful for what we have, rather than envious of what we don’t. Remember, no one has everything! This month, each night before going to bed, take a daily gratitude inventory. Write down three things you are grateful for about your life – your relationships, your work, your character, your family, your country, the world around you, your life.

March:  A Month of Kindness

Plato said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” And, if you look around, it’s still true today. This month, find one opportunity each and every day to perform some kind act for someone else – even the simplest act of holding a door open for another will do. And, each day, after your act of kindness, enjoy the feeling that, for at least one shining moment, you are the personification of all that is good about the human race.

April:  A Month of Optimism

Each day this month, be more conscious of your negative thoughts – if you have any. And every time you do, immediately “dispute” it by intentionally replacing the negative thought with a positive one. Do this each time you think a negative thought for a month, and notice how your thinking might change.

May:  A Month of Friendship

Close relationships are one of the longest-lasting of happiness-increasing strategies. But, sometimes, we take our friends for granted – or are “too busy” to see them. This month, at least one time per week, reach out to a friend and arrange to spend time with them. This can be as simple as a walk, a meal, coffee, drinks – whatever you choose. But find the time to visit with your friends face-to-face this month.

June:  A Month of Love

Traditionally, June is a month of weddings – and love is all around us. Each day this month, call, write, or email someone you love or care deeply about – one per day – and tell them how much they mean to you – and how happy you are that they are a part of your life – even if you haven’t been the best communicator up to now. Notice reactions – yours and theirs.

July:  A Month of Spirituality

Studies have proven that people who have spirituality in their lives – whether it’s their own secular belief system, their own faith, or some organized religion – are happier. We don’t know if it’s because of the fellowship of a caring group of like-thinking folks, or the spiritual beliefs themselves. This month, make a conscious effort to spend some moments each day – perhaps during lunch – repeating to yourself at least one “prayer” or belief you hold.

August:  A Month of Health, Fitness, Skill

Summer is a great time to focus on increasing your health and fitness – and on using your skills and abilities to their max. This month, begin some daily fitness regimen (check with your doctor first if needed) – even if it’s only walking. In addition, make a list of your top skills, talents, and abilities and assess if you are using them to their fullest. If not, take one step per day to begin doing so.

September:  A Month of Contribution

Making a meaningful contribution to make the planet a better place is one of the longest-lasting, happiness-increasing strategies known. What are you contributing? This month is your chance to decide what difference you’d like to make in the world. Spend a few minutes each day at lunchtime and write down ideas about how you can make a positive difference in the world. At the end of the month, decide on a plan of action – and begin! The world needs you and your contribution!

October:  A Month of Savoring

Fall is a season to enjoy the changing foliage in many parts of the world. Consciously spend at least five minutes each day focusing your attention exclusively on something of beauty outside – changing leaves, trees, clouds, sky – something. Five minutes of complete attention to savor the beauty of life around you – each day, every day.

November:  A Month of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a powerful, although a slightly more complicated, happiness strategy. We forgive others to make us feel better. This month, examine your life and see if there are any lingering resentments you are holding on to that are holding you back from joy. If so, do two things: First, write the apology letter you would have liked to have received from the person who has wronged you. Second, rise above your desire for revenge, and write your letter of forgiveness to them. No need to mail it, just recall the hurt or violation, write about your feelings. End the letter with your statement of forgiveness. Just this simple act of writing a forgiveness letter can often grant you freedom from your negative thoughts and give you increased happiness.

December:  A Month of Generosity

The end of the year is a time for giving – a time to donate your time, your money if you can, your skills, your positive energy, your attention – to others to help make their life a little better. Each day, find one opportunity to give something of yourself to help another – and notice your feelings.

In Conclusion

For the best results, remind yourself of each month’s happiness strategy by adding these topics to your calendar – every day of each month. Then, each day of the year, find creative ways to act on these strategies – and enjoy your reactions and your increased feelings of happiness. You’ll notice that these feelings will last far longer than the happiness you feel from just partaking of the pleasures of life – and will be more meaningful to you.

No matter what your situation, remain hopeful about increasing your happiness. The truth is that no one is ever out of the game when it comes to living a happier and more fulfilling life! As the months of this year unfold, continue all of the 12 strategies that work best for you. If you do, a year of happiness can be yours.

Henry Miller Henry S. Miller is the author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness:  Everything You Need to Know to Flourish and Thrive, and Inspiration for the Pursuit of Happiness:  Wisdom to Guide your Journey to a Better Life. He is also the creator of the online membership program Get SERIOUS About Your Happiness:  20 Transformational Tools for Turbulent Times. As President of The Henry Miller Group (www.millergroup.com), he is a speaker, trainer, and consultant helping organizations improve engagement, performance, and productivity specifically by increasing employee well being. In prior careers, Henry was a Senior Consultant for the Tom Peters Company training and coaching senior management teams worldwide in leadership and his initial career in corporate America was with IBM.

Zane Presents The Conversation Part II: An Intimate Evening with Keith Sweat

Posted in African Americans, Black Men, Book Reviews and More, Women's Interests with tags , , , , on February 10, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Keith Sweat Poster

New York Times Best Selling author Zane presents two special book signings with R&B legend and syndicated radio host, Keith Sweat!

Sweat will discuss and sign his new book, “Make It Last Forever:  The Do’s and Don’ts,” on Feb. 22 in Baltimore.  Mahogany Books is delighted to be part of both events and will have books available for autographing.

See details below for the first event in Baltimore. To purchase tickets visit www.conversationswithzane.com.

The second signing will kick off at 6pm the following evening at The Carolina Kitchen in Largo, MD. Visit (www.makeotlastforeveratcarolinakitchen.eventbrite.com.  Both events are open to the public but RSVPs are required. For media inquiries visit the respective websites.

For more information contact Ramunda Young, the VP for Community Relations for Mahogany Books at (703) 730-3873 or visit www.MahoganyBooks.com.

%d bloggers like this: