Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It is Unanimous by Hafiz

It is unanimous where I come from.
Everyone agrees on one thing:

It’s no fun
When God is not near.

All are hunters.
The wise man learns the Friend’s weaknesses
And sets a clever trap

The Beloved has agreed to play a game

Our sun sat in the sky
Way before this earth was born
Waiting to caress a billion faces.

Hafiz encourages all art.

For at its height it brings Light near
To us.

The wise man learns what draws God

It is the beauty of compassion
In your heart.

Written by the 13th century Persian poet, Hafiz.

Song Around The World

Legend of Chun Li Trailer

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Talk that Talk: Storytelling and Analysis Rooted in African American Oral Tradition

Talk that Talk: Storytelling and Analysis Rooted in African American Oral Tradition

JoAnne Banks-Wallace
University of Missouri-Columbia

Stories are the foundation of qualitative research. However, the development of qualitative methods rooted in oral traditions remains largely unexplored by researchers. The contextual and historical influences on storytelling and storytaking are critical features of the African American oral tradition that are often ignored or minimized in qualitative research. Despite the complex and often contentious history of African Americans, their oral traditions have not been explored to reveal the depth of their lived experiences and the way those experiences inform their health concerns. The purpose of this article is twofold. First, dialogues about storytelling and storytaking are revisited and critiqued. Second, a comprehensive analytic process for gathering and interpreting stories rooted in African American oral tradition is outlined.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas posts from around the net

Check out this review of a new Bible translation on Subversive Influences

Jason over at Spoiled for the Ordinary has been doing some posts on alternate Christmas gifts

Christianity Today's Top Ten Theological stories of 2008

Chris from Stuff as Dreams are Made On has a post on a Christmas book he read.

He also has another post on Christmas books and films

Scary Film Review is doing a search for scary Christmas Horror looks at the unknown meaning behind several famous Christmas hymns

Sci Fi Catholic has a Keep Mass in Christmas Campaign

The folks at A Book Inside have a list of writer freebies on the net

The African American fiction blog APOOO has tons of twelve days of Christmas giveaways.

Biology in Science Fiction has a list of bio science fact books on their Christmas list recommendations

Gospel Com is working on a mobile Bible gateway blackberry

The folks at Enduring Romance are doing lists of their top ten

Tracey Michae'l Lewis has a neat meme which might make us ponder what we have done with our lives already.

Ozark, Suz Elgin Haden the great linguist and scifi poet has a great Holiday poem up on her lingustics site over at live journal

White Readers Meet Black Authors has a post for recommendations on Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa books by Black writers.

Monday, December 8, 2008

National Buy a Book by a Black Author and Give it to Somebody Not Black Month

I saw this over at ReadersRoom

National Buy a Book by a Black Author and Give it to Somebody Not Black Month is a brain child of A fun blog!

She did a follow-up post which is worth a look also.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

RIP: Odetta


From the latest Smoke Signals Newsletter from wiconi:


Wiconi, in partnership with the Murdock Charitable Trust recently hosted a gathering of sixteen Native organization leaders to discuss how we can support one another in multiplying the effectiveness of our ministry efforts within our communities and nationally. We are revisiting conversations from five years ago about the need to establish a national Native leaders association. With more maturity as leaders and stronger organizations we are in a much better position to create this much needed entity. Today there are dozens of “mom and pop” native ministries that operate largely independent of one another. These ministries will typically die with their founders and never grow beyond their founder’s skills or abilities. For some this is fine, while for others they could be far more effective if connected to a larger association of leaders. After lots of discussion, wise planning and fund-raising, our goal is to host a national Native leaders gathering in December of 2009 to launch this new association.


In June of 2010 Wiconi International will join with Mending Wings and Christ for Native Youth to organize and co-sponsor of a major Native youth gathering here in Oregon or Washington. Plans are underway and funding is being secured and the venue finalized. Mark your calendars to help us get as many Native young people to attend in order to make this a dynamic spiritually impacting time for our next generation of Native leaders!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Angelia Vernon Menchan: Author

Schae's Story
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: acVernon Menchan (December 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0978783557
ISBN-13: 978-0978783556

Here's the blurb:

In SCHAE'S STORY: A Woman's Transformation, readers will see the unveiling of a woman everyone thought they knew. We will be exposed to how difficult it is for the people around us to accept our desire to change. Also, that while many people preach that God will change someone’s life they really do not believe it to be true. Schae’s Story will also expose the many ways in which love manifests itself in a woman’s life, family love, community-love and most importantly the reciprocal love of God.

SCHAE’S STORY: A Woman’s Transformation….NOW AVAILABLE on amazon

Signed copies at

Angelia Vernon is also the author of IS NO NOT CLEAR ENOUGH FOR YOU
Is No Not Clear Enough for you tells the story of a young, spiritual emerging woman who knows at sixteen how important it is to own herself. Malaaka Green is spiritual, young, smart and beautiful. And one thing she knows for sure is that she is not going to do anything for or with anyone that is in conflict with her spirit or her future. Surrounded by a supporting cast of family, friends and foes, we get to see what the possibilities can be when a young woman owns her own destiny.

180 pages
Publisher: acVernon Menchan (December 1, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0978783530
ISBN-13: 978-0978783532
Angelia blogs at

Monday, December 1, 2008

I Need Africa More Than Africa Needs Me

First, let me give you a quick reminder of what I posted last week and let me encourage you to go to the Mocha website to check out the new campaign!

As I wrote on Nov 24th, I need Africa reminds me that we all need people. The west has really messed up the idea of families and kinship. We in the west suffer a lot of loneliness and isolation because of this silly nuclear family stuff. It's a western concept that is too rooted in individualism, property, etc. Also, I suspect that most Africans show us what human interaction really is. As humans we are people who like joy, who need love, etc. But the west represses us. Emotions aren't readily shown. Not that everyone in Africa is a free-spirited soul. I'm sure there are stiff-upper-lipped Africans in Africa. But when I look at documentaries about Africa and other indigenous people, I see that at heart we humans are simply loving, uncomplicated, un-gameplaying folks. I somehow feel we westerners have so many silly priorities and ideas of behavior going on that we have lost touch with what it means to be authentic humans. We westerners are often not genuiune. I also think the African world is quite aware of some spiritual truths we westerners don't want to think about. Yeah, yeah, I know. All that spiritism stuff.

Now, this is what Barrett Ward, the creator of this I NEED AFRICA MORE THAN AFRICA NEEDS ME campaign says:

When I think of Africa, the following images immediately come to mind: Starvation. AIDS. Child soldiers. Genocide. Sex slaves. Orphans. From there, my thoughts naturally turn to how I can help, how I can make a difference. “I am needed here,” I think. “They have so little, and I have so much.” It’s true, there are great tragedies playing out in Africa everyday. There is often a level of suffering here that is unimaginable until you have seen it, and even then it is difficult to believe. But what is even harder is reconciling the challenges that many Africans face with the joy I see in the people. It’s a joy that comes from somewhere I cannot fathom, not within the framework that has been my life to this day. Read More

Other blogs participating in this campaign can be found at Mocha Club's blog

"I need Africa video" IS UP AT
YOUTUBE or click here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Borders 2008 Original Voices Awards

The nominees for the 2008 Original Voices Awards are:

-- "Dear American Airlines," by Jonathan Miles (Houghton Mifflin)
-- "The Cellist of Sarajevo," by Steven Galloway (Riverhead)
-- "The Good Thief," by Hannah Tinti (The Dial Press)
-- "The Lace Reader," by Brunonia Barry (William Morrow)
-- "The Somnambulist," by Jonathan Barnes (William Morrow)
-- "The White Tiger," by Aravind Adiga (Free Press)

-- "The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the
Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler,"
by Thomas Hager (Harmony)
-- "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese
Food," by Jennifer 8 Lee (Twelve)
-- "The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in
the World," by Eric Weiner (Twelve)
-- "The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood," by
Helene Cooper (Simon & Schuster)
-- "The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a
Great Victorian Detective," by Kate Summerscale (Walker & Company)
-- "We Bought a Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken
Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals That Change Their Lives Forever," by
Benjamin Mee (Weinstein Books)

Young Adult/Independent Reader
-- "Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go," by Dale Basye (Random House Books for
Young Readers)
-- "I Am Apache," by Tanya Landman (Candlewick)
-- "The Patron Saint of Butterflies," by Cecilia Galante (Bloomsbury USA
Children's Books)
-- "Tunnels," by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams (The Chicken House)
-- "Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines," by Nic Sheff (Ginee Seo Books)
-- "Wake," by Lisa McMann (Simon Pulse)

Children's Picture Books
-- "Do You Do a Didgeridoo?," written by Nick Page and illustrated by Sara
Baker (Make Believe Ideas)
-- "Ladybug Girl," written by Jacky Davis and illustrated by David Soman
-- "Little Bunny Kung Fu," written and illustrated by Regan Johnson
(Blooming Tree Press)
-- "Those Darn Squirrels!," written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by
Daniel Salmieri (Clarion Books)
-- "Wave," written and illustrated by Suzy Lee (Chronicle Books)
-- "What's Under The Bed?," written and illustrated by Joe Fenton (Simon &
Schuster Children's Publishing)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Latest Find: Henry Cho Comedian

Henry Cho is a Korean-American comedian from Tennessee. He's also a Christian.

These youtube thingeys should be clickable but in case they aren't. Click on the youtube links.

A bit of Henry Cho's standup routine

Henry Cho radio appearance

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pacific Northwest Collective of Art & Religion 2008

National Day of Listening

is an independent nonprofit project whose mission is to honor and celebrate one another’s lives through listening.
By recording the stories of our lives with the people we care about, we experience our history, hopes, and humanity. Since 2003, tens of thousands of everyday people have interviewed family and friends through StoryCorps. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to take home and share, and is archived for generations to come at the Library of Congress. Millions listen to our award-winning broadcasts on public radio and the Internet. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, creating a growing portrait of who we really are as Americans.

It has recorded nearly 40,000 interviews since it began and has created the first-ever National Day of Listening (NDL), which will be held November 28.

Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps, explains that the goal of NDL is to
"encourage, instruct, and inspire everyday people to start a new
holiday tradition: sit down with a loved one on the day after Thanksgiving and record a meaningful conversation to preserve for years to come. It's a chance to give the gift of listening, a priceless treasure that costs nothing but a little time."

National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the United States are promoting National Day of Listening. You can listen live on the Internet at the KWMU website

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mocha Club Project: The Beauty of Africa Campaign

I was asked by Mocha Club to write about the concept of why ‘I need Africa more than Africa needs me.’ Mocha Club is a community-based website where members can start a team and invite friends to join them in giving $7 a month – the cost of 2 mochas – to support a project in Africa. Mocha Club's vision is to provide a way for people who don't have hundreds or thousands of dollars to make a difference in Africa.

Okay, so why do I need Africa more than Africa needs me?
Because I like its idea of kinship and tribes. Honestly, the world we live in is so homogeneous and we in the west have lost track of extended families, extended communities, etc that I think we need to really look back to Africa about communal living.

I also need Africa because I always feel as if we in the west have forgotten what it's like to be human. When I see Africa, I am reminded about humanity's basic need: companionship, fun, friendliness.

Share your thoughts and even blog about it yourself. Join in the worthwhile cause of recasting the damaging images that force pity over partnership. Come back Dec 1st to see what Mocha Club is doing about reforming that image.”

“I need Africa more than Africa needs me.”

Check out to learn more about Mocha Club’s vision to provide a way for people who don't have hundreds or thousands of dollars to make a difference in Africa.

At Mocha Club, one of our biggest missions at the onset was to challenge the preconceptions that people have of this continent and it’s 54 unique nations. We have always cared about building an accurate perception of both the challenges that Africans face, and the BEAUTY of Africa.

I'll be posting again on this on Dec 1

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Asian American Modern Art Exhibit

Asian/American/Modern Art: Shifting Currents, 1900?1970 runs through January 18, 2009 at the de Young Museum. Do check out the extensive schedule of related community programs.

For more info, check out the Chinese Culture Center and the Kearney Street Workshop websites.

Here's a review from KQED

New News, Real News, Everyone's News

I swear, American News has always been pretty provincial. I don't know what my problem is but I've always liked hearing about what happens to other folks in the world -- whether good or bad.

Since the election started ooooh, two or so years ago all news seems to be focused on politics. This means that I totally would not know what the heck is happening in the rest of the world if it weren't for Democracy Now and other news shows on Link TV and the BBC America and its news channel, and the French news on PBS.

I also have to give a shoutout for some blogs.

The Angry Indian Blog

Global Voices Online

And for those who want to know what's happening with Black folks (that the Media doesn't tell us) there's the Electronic Village and Black and Missing


Friday, November 21, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

PEN's Day of the imprisoned author

November 15th is PEN's Day of the imprisoned author.

Every year on November 15, PEN marks the Day of the Imprisoned Writer to honor the courage of all writers who stand up against repression and defend freedom of expression and the right to information. On this Day of the Imprisoned Writer, PEN is focusing on five cases—one from each world region and each illustrating the type of repression that is brought to bear every day against those who question, challenge or expose official lies or who paint portraits of everyday lives through their writings. PEN invites its members and friends around the world to send appeals on their behalf.

Check out the website to learn more.

While you're at it, check out Voices Against Torture: Writers and Lawyers on the Way Forward. On December 16th,
The American Constitution Society and PEN will host a panel featuring writers and lawyers discussing their work and its relationship to combating torture. With: Jane Mayer, Anouar Benmalek, Elisa Massimino, and Scott Horton; moderated by Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick. The discussion panel will be held in NYC
Check here on the PEN website for More

Gypsy Tears by Cora Schwartz

On this day in history, Nov 15th 1943, the Nazis began putting gypsies into concentration camps.

ISBN 978-0-9760896-9-8
Published 2007
244 pages

Rating: Excellent
Gypsy Tears -- Loving a Holocaust Survivor By Cora Schwartz
published by Hobblebush Books,

Here's the blurb:
An unusual, beautifully written, and important first novel by Cora Schwartz, based on the true story of her life living with a holocaust survivor. In a magical and haunting style, Ms. Schwartz weaves an intense love story that answers the question asked so many times since her husband's death: "What was it really like living with a holocaust survivor?" As Ms. Schwartz carries us along in a grand sweep through Yugoslavia, Russia and Romania in the 1960s, the depth of her relationship with Rudy becomes a tragic work of art as she allows us a peek into the soul of a holocaust victim in an artful and deeply moving way. The timeliness of this cannot be overstated now when there are those who deny the holocaust happened.

My review is up at blogcritics

She also wrote another book:

Here's the blurb:
Forty-five Holocaust survivors in a small town in Ukraine would have been forgotten but for an American woman, Cora T. Schwartz. Cora first visited Mogelov with her companion, Rudy, who spent four years in a Nazi labor camp in the region. Although he is gone, Cora carries on their commitment to "never forget" these elderly citizens. The Forgotten Few is a small book with a big message conveyed in both text and photographs. Despite suffering and destitution, the seniors' faces light up when Cora arrives - laden with medicines and donations. Beauty is within them. Describing Frida Shvarzbahn, for example, the author writes, "Here is a woman...who has survived all the horrors of the camps, the ghetto and the war… and yet ...manages to create beautiful poetry. She sits in her little room, rations out 5 grams of sugar a day for her tea and writes about love."

Anyways, check out my review on blogcritics.

-CShe operates a Writers' retreat center called My Retreat in Soouth Fallsburg, NY

National Adoption Day

Today is National Adoption Day Check it out!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Good Day to Be Black and Sexy

I'll recommend this because it's black and I have to support black arts. Alas I DO wonder about the morality of some of our people. One of these stories is about adultery. Sharing men seem to be pretty overdone in the black community. But that's all I'll say.

A Good day to be black and sexy

Official Selection: Sundance Festival
Nominee for Breakthrough Director: Gotham Independent Film Awards
Official Selection: AFI Fest

written and directed by dennis dortch
produced by layla mashavu, dennis dortch, adetoro makinde
cinematography by brian ali-harding
editing by dennis dortch, tangier a. clarke
casting by adetoro makinde
original music by henry "lukecage" willis
executive producers angela flowers-dortch, ben ramsey, jonathan cutler, paula parsons
site curator/fotographer miss numa

Here's a bit of the blurb from their myspace page :

I set out to make a relationship film updating the theme of "Black is Beautiful." Even though the stories are not necessarily directly on that theme, it's all there in the imagery and composition. A film with soul. The Blackness. I was purposely looking to approach each vignette with a slightly different approach, style, and tone. It was a chance to be creative with film language and music in multiple directions in the same film that spoke to the same goal. The result is a 'Mixtape on Film.’

-d. dortch

Here's the youtube video

For more information contact them at blackandsexymovie (at)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

Reel Asian Festival - Toronto

Reel Asian Festival begins November 12-16 in Toronto. Check out the schedule online. And here is the blog

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense Post

Wow, I was so glad when I saw this.

If you have ever had to deal with verbal attacks, get the book The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense. But if you can't go to this site. Wow! A real trove. I have the book. Definitely helps on the human linguistic cruelty games and body language stuff. She also blogs about political linguistics. It's just really helpful...Now if I could only commit to actually being tough enough to use it when some person verbally attacks. -C

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Carl Brandon Society Speculative fiction recommendation for First Nations/Native American heritage

The CARL BRANDON SOCIETY recommends the following speculative fiction books by writers of First Nations/Native American heritage for American Indian Heritage Month (November):

THE WAY OF THORN AND THUNDER trilogy, Daniel Heath Justice
This trilogy speculatively re-imagines the Cherokee history of removal and relocation and redefines European fantastical tropes using Cherokee-centered imagery and worldviews.

One of the best books I've ever read: a funny, sad, gorgeous story that ties together a contemporary narrative about 
Indians living on Canada's prairies with slightly skewed creation myths and accounts of the historical horrors endured by First Nations people during the continent's European colonization

A wry love story that also incorporates critiques of nuclear testing and dumping on Native lands.

A collection of short stories from Sanders' entire career. You can see some of his best here, including the alternate history "The Undiscovered," in which a shanghaied, shipwrecked Shakespeare is trapped in 16th Century Appalachia and must stage his plays among the Cherokee, and the near-future "When the World is All on Fire" when climate change and toxic waste have caused Indian reservations to become prime property again.

ALMANAC OF THE DEAD, Leslie Marmon Silko
Silko uses magical realism to chronicle numerous characters' journeys toward the prophetic, violent end of white dominance in the Americas.

TANTALIZE, Cynthia Leitich Smith
A departure from Smith's previous, realistic Indian YA stories, this YA novel jumps onto the vampire bandwagon, this time in a vampire-themed restaurant in Texas.

THE BONE WHISTLE, Eva Swan (Erzebet Yellowboy)
The Bone Whistle is about a woman who discovers her true heritage. She is the child of a wanaghi, one of the creatures of Native-American folklore.

THE NIGHT WANDERER, Drew Hayden Taylor
A gothic young adult vampire story.

A coming-of-age story of a native Canadian boy obsessed with Iron Maiden. Has elements of magical realism.

Perhaps the first Native American science fiction, this is a journey through a dystopian future United States destroyed by the collapse of the fuel supply.

Friday, October 31, 2008

October posts from across the web that made me smile

Ah! To belong to so many different sub-groups.

The speculative fiction lover part of me loved this post from Galaxy Express

Although I'm not really decided about Obama (I might vote for Ralph Nader cause yeah, he seems way more humble) this post from Electronic Village made me laugh. Hey! I'm black, I totally get it.

This was on the APOOO -- a place of our own-- blog. It's a black folks' blog but pumpkin butts always make me laugh.

Tia over at Fantasy Debut had a great post on why vampires aren't sexy for her. I totally agree.

Gospel Blog had some cute stuff too from a classic Christian humor book.

A blog over at Bollywood to Hollywood really made me smile. Although it shouldn't have. It's a post about the tragedy that affected Jennifer Hudson. And yet it's on an East Indian blog. I liked that. Multiculturality. To think that East Indians actually might care about what happens to black movie stars. Well, it was good for my soul.

Fantasy Magazine had a great list of steampunk movies, anime, etc. Okay, so I love Steampunk in film and I just can't read it in books.

This made me smile: Jeff Rivera's book is doing well. I remember hearing about him back in the day. Nice to see a brother doing successfully in specfic...and being blessed after being self-published.

A WTF? moment when this Japanese woman was arrested for killing another player's avatar when that other player -- who was her virtual husband in a shared world game-- divorced her without asking.

Another in the WTF? category: From the Salt Lake City newspaper by way of museum of hoaxes

And last but not least, by way of Angry Asian Man is this vid First Asian Boy

Here it is but the youtube url is above:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Charity: World Orphans

WORLD ORPHANS is committed to rescuing millions of ORPHANED AND ABANDONED CHILDREN, the strengthening of thousands of INDIGENOUS CHURCHES, and the impacting of hundreds of COMMUNITIES with the Gospel of Jesus Christ…through the COST-EFFECTIVE empowerment of CHURCH-BASED orphan prevention, rescue, care and transition programs in the LEAST REACHED AREAS of the world. Go to their website at: World Orphans

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Where There's Smoke" by Terra Little - Coming JAN 2009

In Where There's Smoke, Alec Avery gets an unwelcome blast from his drug-dealing, street-running past that turns his life upside down. Back in the day, he was known as “Smoke” and Anne Phillips was one of his customers. So how did they end up with a teenage son together? You do the math. Dollars make sense, but Anne didn’t always have the money to pay for what she wanted. Now Alec is paying the price.

These days he’s a military vet and a well-respected high school teacher. Just about the last thing he expects to encounter is a son he never knew he had and a bunch of foolishness that he thought he was done with. His son is out of control, experimenting with drugs and running with a rough crowd, and the last thing he expects to encounter is a long-lost father who is hell-bent on making his presence felt in a very meaningful way.

Before long, Smoke has no choice but to come out of hibernation to put some heads to bed, starting with the thugs who don’t want to turn his son loose (see book cover graphic). They didn’t count on old school meeting new school, which is their first mistake. And Alec didn’t count on drooling over the woman his son’s mother has become, but whether or not he’s making a mistake remains to be seen.

Old school contemporary fiction meets new school urban fiction between the sheets, and the resulting twisted flame won’t be easily contained. Where There’s Smoke turns up the heat in January 2009, but there are already smoke signals in the air.

Pre-order your copy on today!

Visit author Terra Little online at to read and excerpt and

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Cinetic is part of youtube's new screening program.

Here's their blurb.

Cinetic is here to bring audiences the latest, greatest, and classic festival favorites from around the globe. From award-winners by veteran filmmakers, to up-and-coming talents telling new stories, Cinetic prides itself at being on the forefront of quality indie film for the digital space. Cinetic brings the festival and arthouse experience to audiences, on demand.


I highly recomend subscribing. One could see a lot of art and foreign films that would never come to your neighborhood. (Okay, there'll be issues with subtitles sometime if one really has to get work done, but for the most part, this'll really be fun!! You know how I love movies.)

Their first full length film is the princess of Nebraska, a film about an Asian transfer student who finds herself pregnant.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System

Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System.
by Raj Patel

Today is world food day. It probably should be called world starvation day.

RAJ PATEL, former policy analyst for Food First, a leading food think tank, has worked for the World Bank, WTO and the UN, he has protested them on four continents.
Here is a review of the book. And here are part one and part two of an interview he did with Amy Goodman.

If blogger and google have issues, go directly to youtube

If blogger and google have issues, go directly to

Please check out the transcript of how the food crisis and debt crisis is affecting African-American and latino farmers
and check out this documentary on the disappearance of the black farmer.

or go to youtube to check it out

Very scary stuff...and to think my worries were that bananas were going extinct

The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Lives of Bees

THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, based on the New York Times best selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd and set in South Carolina in 1964, is the moving tale of Lily Owens (Fanning) a 14 year old white girl who ends up lilving with a black family and the trouble it causes in those racist times. Find a synopsis here

It also received a great review from Roger Ebert

Thursday, October 16, 2008

NCAI Native Prayer Breakfast

The first ever National Congress of American Indians National Convention Prayer Breakfast is due to take place next Thursday, October 23rd in Phoenix. It will be hosted by Richard Twiss of Wiconi International. It's the first time the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has allowed a prayer breakfast. Bill Miller is coming to share his music, Lael Echo-hawk, Wendell Berkland, Larry Anderson and others will be sharing during our one hour breakfast.If you live in the Phoenix area and want to attend the prayer breakfast you can call our office for registration details ($25.00 cost). Please be praying for this historic first ever, ANNUAL, NCAI Prayer Breakfast!!!

And I mean definitely pray! Native American believers and Messianic Jews often have a lot of struggles within their communities because, well, let's not forget what white Christian folks have historically done.

He states in his monthly newsletter, Smoke Signals,
My new favorite poet, Hafiz, writes, “Everyone is God speaking. Why not be polite and Listen to Him?”

Then he goes on to say:
"You know, at a fundamental level it is God who initiates communication with people. Johannes Henrici says, “Communication is deeply rooted in God’s nature and it is this nature he imparted to humanity when he created us in his own image.” To paraphrase Viggo Søgaard, communication is an ability God gave to us little images and “is the only way to be fully human.”

Before Europeans arrived here, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Bible…Jesus – was communicating to the Lakota, Pawnee, Apache, Navajo, Cherokee, Mohawk and hundreds of other tribal people here in Turtle Island – North America. The scripture says in Romans 1:19 "since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.(NIV)" And in the NKJV "because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them." (NKJV)

So then, God was communicating with us Injuns through Creation, revealing his divine nature/attributes to us, while we were still in darkness, savagery, paganism and lostness. Holy cow!

So what does the voice of God sound like to you? What expression of his divine nature is God communicating to you in the midst of bad news headlines? Does he sound like a conservative republican or liberal democrat? Is he white, black, brown or earth tone? Is he a socialist, capitalist or environmentalist? Is he speaking English, Spanish, German, Chinese or Lakota? Or maybe he is just “speaking in tongues” all the time? Holy smokes! Maybe Hafiz is right, “Everyone is God speaking. Why not be polite and Listen to Him?

Now what do we do when Jesus does not appear to prefer to speak to humanity through one language, political ideology, economic policy, musical form or liturgical style? Holy cow! Maybe God “does not show favoritism, but accepts all people equally…” (Acts 10:34). But hey, we all embrace a favored “biblical” political platform, social agenda and church preference ….. and of course Jesus in on our side. So how do we befriend, and love our neighbor when they hold opposing views from ourselves.


Sixteen First Nations men and women who give leadership to networks are meeting for 2 ½ days to begin exploring new possibilities for the next generation. They covet your prayers for God-inspired outcomes!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Miracle in the Forgotten Land by Setan Lee

Miracle in the Forgotten Land (From the Killing Fields to New Life in Christ)
by Randa Lee, Terry Hill Setan Lee (Author)

Here is his part of his testimony:
One day his student ID, hidden in a small pocket, was discovered and the Khmer Rouge sentenced him to death along with three other young men. He was blindfolded, heard the screams of his friends as each one was hacked to death. When it came to his turn, Setan cried out to "The Lord of the Universe, Whoever You Are," and a male voice yelled "Stop"!! saying, "We must investigate this man further."

Although Setan was a medical student with no training in agriculture or engineering, he was given a paper and pencil and told to design an irrigation system. Miraculously, the God who saved him, provided the design and these plans are still in use today.

In 1978, the North Vietnamese attacked the Khmer Rouge, capturing Cambodian land, and they eventually invaded the camps where so many hundreds of thousands were in forced labor. The day they invaded Setan's camp, their captors scattered into the jungle to avoid the North Vietnamese, and Setan, seeing the moment to escape, ran also, hiding in a ditch for hours before he made his way through the jungle. For a month as he headed towards Thailand, he avoided land mines by stepping on dead bodies along the way, eating leaves and fruits, and drinking water from hollows in trees. When he heard soldiers approaching, he laid still for hours at a time. One day, not far from the border of Thailand, a strange man appeared, clothing tattered and he seemed barely alive. He spoke to Setan and asked him, "Do you believe in the Lord of the universe?" Setan remembered calling out to the Lord, whoever He was, and answered, "Yes, I do believe in the Lord of the universe." This strange man then said,
"His name is Jesus Christ." Suddenly, the man disappeared. Setan told us he believed that that man was a messenger from God. He said, I had never heard of Christianity, but that day I became a Christian.

They have a newsletter also:

The book about Setan and Randa Lee's story "Miracle in the Forgotten Land" finally become available in some churches' book stores throughout the US, or you can order it by:

Sent check or money order payable to:

KFC/Book/DVD Order
P.O.Box 440283
Aurora, CO 80044-0283

We are also have Setan and Randa's story in DVD motion picture "1000 Years In The Killing Fields"

* Miracle in the Forgotten Land = $12
* 1000 Years In The Killing Fields = $10

* Please add $2 for shipping and handling

Or you can order through email below:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The cybils -- children and young adult blogger lit awards

Nominations for the third annual Children's and Young Adult Bloggers'Literary Awards (the Cybils) are open now through Wednesday, October 15th. The goal of the Cybils team (some 100 bloggers) is to highlight books that are high in both literary quality and kid appeal.

This year, awards will be given in nine categories (Easy Readers, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction Picture Books, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade Novels, Non-Fiction Middle Grade/Young Adult Books, Non-Fiction Picture Books, Poetry, Young Adult Novels). Anyone can nominate books in these categories(one nomination per person per category). Nominated titles must be published between January 1st and October 15th of this year, and the books must be in English (or bilingual, where one of the languages is English). To nominate titles, visit the Cybils blog between now and 15th. A separate post is available for each category - simply nominate by commenting on those individual posts. If you are not sure which category to choose for a particular book, a questions thread will also be available.

Between October 16th and January 1st, Cybils panelists (children's and young adult bloggers) will winnow the nominations down to a 5-7 book short list for each category. A second set of panelists will then select the winning titles for the different categories. The winners will be announced on February 14th, 2009.

The Cybils lists, from long lists to short lists to the lists of winners offer a wonderful resource to anyone looking for high-quality, kid-friendly books. The Cybils team has worked hard to balance democracy (anyone can nominate titles) with quality control (two rounds of panel judging by people who focus on children's books every day). They do this work because they consider it vital to get great books into the hands of children and young adults.

Please spread the word on your own blog (if you have one) and good luck if your book is nominated!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Win a copy of Land of Entrapment by Andi Marquette

Andi Marquette is giving away a copy of her latest release, Land of Entrapment. Leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered into a drawing. The winner will be chosen October 4th. Good luck!

Land of Entrapment

K.C. Fontero left New Mexico in the wake of a bitter break-up to take an academic fellowship in Texas. With a doctorate in sociology and expertise in white supremacist groups, she’s on her way to an academic career. But a plea for help from her ex, Melissa, brings K.C. back to Albuquerque to find Melissa’s troubled younger sister. Megan has disappeared with her white supremacist boyfriend and K.C. knows she has the expertise to track the mysterious group, and she knows she’ll be doing a public service to uncover it. What she doesn’t know is how far into her past she’ll have to go to find both Megan and herself and the deeper she digs into the group, the greater the danger she faces.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

National Geographic National All Roads Film Festival

The National Geographic National All Roads Film Festival is now on.

2008 All Roads Film Festival "Images & Story: A New Generation"
Los Angeles, California: September 25-28
The Egyptian Theater6712 Hollywood Boulevard (at Highland)
Phone: 1 323 466 FILM
Tickets available at

Hat Tip To Krystyn Media Blog To see some of the films they're showing go on over to her site. Here are a few

Saturday, Sept. 27
10:00 p.m.

WEAVING LIFE - Director: Roberto Arévalo
Following in his father's footsteps, Rubiel Velasquez weaves baskets from bejuco, a wood similar to bamboo, which is disappearing from the central Colombian landscape. Colombian-born media educator and documentary filmmaker Roberto Arévalo teaches and produces documentary projects that promote social, cultural, and personal awareness. Colombia | 2007 | 26 minutes | Spanish (English subtitles)

UNDER THE OPEN SKY - Directors: José Luis Matías and Carlos Pérez Rojas
The community of El Carizalillo's battle with Goldcorp Mining is a story of a people that organized, fought, and won. Carlos Pérez Rojas is a video maker who has focused his work on indigenous people, social movements, and human rights.
Mexico | 2007 | 38 minutes | Spanish (English subtitles)

Sunday, September 28
1:30 p.m.
****highly recommended****
AS WE FORGIVE - Director: Laura Waters Hinson
Two women, Rosaria and Chantal, come face-to-face with the men who slaughtered their families during the 1994 Rwandan genocide in this redemptive story. Laura Waters Hinson is a filmmaker and photographer based in the Washington, D.C., area.
Rwanda | 2008 | 53 minutes | English and Kinyarwanda (English subtitles)

Sunday, Sept. 28
4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Unstable Environment by Marcia Collette

Author: Marcia Collette
Title: "Unstable Environment"
Pages: 250
Publisher: Parker Publishing
Misc: Marcia's Blog & MySpace & FaceBook

I haven't read it but Harry Markov over at Temple Library Reviews blog has so here it is:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Concepts of beauty

I ran across one of my favorite vids from about a year ago, and just had to share it. It’s an amazing art exhibit on concepts of beauty and I hope to find someplace willing to host it where I live. I would love my kids to be able to see something honoring beautiful women like their goddess mother Xakara.

Women of a New Tribe is a not to be missed art display, and there's also a book out now where you can find this work called Women of a New Tribe; A Photographic Celebration of the Black Woman By Jerry Taliaferro.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Road to Lost Innocence Blog Tour


Book: The Road to Lost Innocence
Author: Somaly Mam
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Publication Date: September 9, 2008
WaterBrook Multnomah, a division of Random House

This is the blurb:
Born in Cambodia and orphaned at an early age, Somaly Mam, a Buddhist sex trade survivor, grew up never knowing her real name or birthday.

As a teenager, Somaly Mam was sold into prostitution and spent years in the brothels of Cambodia where she witnessed and experienced the full-blown horrors of the human sex trade – rape, torture, and nearly unfathomable abuse. After her eventual escape, she could not forget the young girls (some as young as 5) left behind in the brothels, and so she returned to serve them. Her new book, "The Road of Lost Innocence," is her newest means of advocacy. It tells her personal story, ultimately inviting people of conscious, such as our Christian community, to become involved (or to continue involvement) in this war against an epic evil, a modern battle for "the least of these." Truly, not only is this book worth reading, it's worth sharing.

I have a review over at Blogcritics. But I'll just give my ruminations of the book here. Reading this book got me thinking about normalcy. Normalcy, like human nature, is often dependent on history, religion, and culture. In Cambodia, it seemed it was normal for poor girls to accept being abandoned, raped, sold to husbands to pay off for debts, and sold by parents or husbands repeatedly. It’s all they know and their society supports this cruelty. It’s also normal, when war begins, for the poor to find themselves sleeping beside dead bodies or amputating the legs of wounded soldiers even if they have no medical knowledge.

Interestingly, the book's synopsis says it's the Buddhist sex trade. But most of Somaly's chief exploiters are Muslim. I hadn’t known that Cambodia had a Muslim population but it seems weird that the publishers should say this. Are they afraid of saying anything anti-Moslem. This doesn’t matter, of course. Slavery in the United States was practiced by so-called Christians. Even so, most Americans are very provincial and do not really understand the world. And I suppose there were many Buddhist men who abused the author. Interestingly, many of us imagine every Buddhist in Asia to be a kind of pure-hearted noble-minded boddhi, geared for truth. It’s apparent from this memory that this is not true. Perhaps all men are naturally like that – would-be rapists who want to attack women. Perhaps that aspect of the male nature is toned down by education, cultural approbration, fear of punishment, and religious indoctrination against extra-marital sexual. Yep, I believe religion protects women. If religious men adhere to it. But perhaps war and poverty only made men nastier. Reading this book one feels that the only thing on men’s mind is the desire to rape…and once they have met a wounded a woman, all they can see is an object they can use and abuse.

I was also affected by the race issue. Always, the love of light-skinnedness and the hatred of darkskinnedness. Everywhere in the world. What is that about?

As I read this book, I felt somewhat vindicated. As a Christian I am often told by some Christian writers that my stories are dark. I often wonder why American Christians don't seem to understand that the world is in a great deal of pain. Not just sin, mind you. The person who sells and buys children for sex is a sinner. But the world is also in pain. The people who are victims of sexual abuse: prostitutes, incest survivors, etc are in need of healing from their pain. Often Christian books are so far from touching painful situations that one ends up with books that cannot reach past the Christian reading community.

This is a book that really reminded me of how lost and confused and evil human nature is without the holy spirit working within.

A bit of a documentary is on youtube

to purchase the book at

This is her update page at her website

Some other Tour participants are:

Amazon Link:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hispanic Heritage Month Recommended Speculative Fiction Reading List


the following speculative fiction books by writers of Latin American heritage

for Hispanic Heritage Month:

COSMOS LATINOS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF SCIENCE FICTION FROM LATIN AMERICA AND SPAIN: a terrific, five-year-old anthology of early-to-contemporary SF stories from Spain and Latin America, showing the breadth of Latino social concerns and imagination.

Jorge Luis Borges LABYRINTHS: A short story collection very like FICCIONES, his other book. Am not sure which one has my two favorite Borges stories: A) the story about the man who is on a bus trip and who is fated to die 2) the story about Judas being the real savior because he was the one who was despised and rejected of men. Just turning the entire Jesus story around and saying Judas was the lamb who sacrificed himself.

Adolfo Bioy Casares THE INVENTION OF MOREL: Casares was an Argentine writer in the circle of Jorge Luis Borges. MOREL steps directly into the realm of science fiction, in the tradition of THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, dealing with unnamed technology and its very specific effects on human psychology.

Julio Cortazar HOPSCOTCH: Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books where you get to choose your own endings, make your own timeline, and generally skip around and rearrange the chapters? This is the best of the best. It's a novel about philosophy and order and meaning and quite fun.

Carlos Fuentes DEATH OF ARTEMIO CRUZ: This is the first book (the only book?) I ever read where each chapter is written in a different person. First person, Second Person, Third Person. There is also the great f*ck chapter. An old revolutionary is dying and thinking about his life. We see a lot about the Mexican revolution and get tons of stuff about political corruption.

Angelica Gorodischer KALPA IMPERIAL: a quirky collection of stories about a fictional great empire that rises and falls and rises and falls. Translated by Ursula K. LeGuin

Mario Vargas Llosa AUNT JULIA AND THE SCRIPTWRITER: hilarious, mischievous, and masterful...a wonderfully comic novel almost unbelievably rich in character, place and event.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE: Totally wonderful love story with folk-legend. It's like listening to one's hoo-doo believing grandmother telling you about events in her life. A lot of brothers, a lot of love, a lot of passion, a lot of spiritual cause and effect.

Guillermo Gomez-Peña THE NEW WORLD BORDER: the strangest book about performance art you've ever read, Gomez-Peña casts forward into, and writes news reports from a borderless future where whites are a minority and the language is Spanglish.

Juan Rulfo PEDRO PARAMO: A man goes back to his parents' village to try to find the father who abandoned him. Trapped there by ghosts, he learns the horrifying story of his father's evil deeds. One of the first "magical realist" novels from Latin America.

American Indian Heritage Month is in November, and we're going to start that list in a couple of weeks, so brace yourselves!

New Editing Service: Practical Pen Editing

Hi All,

If you're so inclined, mosey on over to the Practical Pen Editing Web site and check out the projects I've put the pen to thus far, and the editorial services I offer. You might also contemplate adding your project to the line-up while you're over there. My rates are way reasonable and my work speaks for itself. Spread the word - "Practical makes perfect."

If you're seeking quality freelance editing at really decent prices, send me a couple of pages from your project and let me show you what I can do for you. Serious inquiries only, please. I only take time out from watching Army Wives when I have some real work to do.

Here's the Web site info:

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Love For All Times Is Here!

The Writers of Color Blogtour is pleased to welcome author LaConnie Taylor Jones, as she spends some time with us and gives us the scoop about her newest book, When A Man Loves A Woman.

In When a Man Loves a Woman, handsome Dr. Alcee Jules (AJ) Baptiste is determined to find answers to two questions: What do you do when you are in love with a woman who won’t give you the time of day? How do you convince her that she really is meant to spend the rest of her life with you, when she avoids you at all costs? A.J. knows that he wants to spend the rest of his life with Victoria (Vic) Bennett. But Vic wants nothing to do with love, and even less to do with him. So what is A.J. to do? He will do what a man has to do – resort to a bit of scheming to win her over! And when he does, Victoria Bennett will confess that when a man loves a woman, it really is . . . a love for all times!

Click HERE to view the Book Trailer!

About the Author:
LaConnie Taylor-Jones is an exciting new voice to the romance industry! She’s a health educator consultant and holds advanced degrees in community public health and business administration. She has been an avid reader of romance for over twenty-five years. But thoughts of a romance writing career did not come until the spring of 2003, while complaining to her husband about a romance novel she was reading. It was past midnight and he was tired of her complaints about the book, so he offered her this challenge: “Honey if you can write a better book; do it! But baby, turn out the lights.”

LaConnie took him up on his challenge and she’s never looked back. She has been an active member of the San Francisco Area Chapter of RWA since 2003 and received the Romance Slam Jam 2008 Emma Award for her debut multicultural contemporary romance, When I’m With You, published by Genesis Press, November 2007. When a Man Loves a Woman is her second novel!

Visit LaConnie online at &!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


If you really like a good book cover, enter the title at: BOOK COVER CONTEST

Stepping Stones Magazine is launching a new contest for the Autumn Season!

Please vote for your favorite book cover and send it to me at this email address. rpkg at comcast. net

The cover must be graphically attractive with a font, style, and artwork that matches the genre
The cover must be professionally designed. No clip art or self-drawn covers.
The cover cannot be pornographic, sexually explicit, or offense to the majority of readers.
Votes must be in favor of the book cover, not solely a vote for the author
Stepping Stones Magazine reserves the right to determine fairness in the voting process

Write in the subject line 'SSMW Book Cover Contest'.

The cover that receives the greatest number of votes will be featured in a fall issue, along with a photo of the author, a brief interview of how the cover came about, a link to the author's website, and a link to an online bookstore where the book is available for purchase.

Runners Up will also be featured with a link to the authors' websites. Authors, you cannot vote for your own book, but you can encourage your readers to vote for you.

Please place in the body of the email...

Book Title
Author's Name

Deadline is August 30.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Passion: A Sandstory by Joe Castillo

Check out his website at

Monday, August 25, 2008

2007 African American Literary Awards Show

Here are the winners from 2007 African American Literary Awards Show

Winners are in bold.


Eric Jerome Dickey - Sleeping With Strangers
Clarence Nero - Three Sides To Every Story
Kimberla Lawson Roby - Love And Lies
LaTonya Williams - Missed Opportunities

Blair Underwood, Tananarive Due & Steven Barnes - Casanegra: A Tennysen Hardwick Novel
Tananarive Due & Others - Whispers In The Night: DarkDreams
Stephen L. White - New England White
Walter Mosley - Fear Of The Dark
David Riveria - The Street Sweeper: See No Evil

Kendra Norman-Bellamy - In Green Pastures
Rochelle Alers - Stranger In My Arms
Brenda Jackson - Risky Pleasures
Brenda Jackson - Beyond Temptation
Kathy Marsh - The Aura Of Love

Beverly T. Gooden - Confessions Of A Church Girl
Jamie Karris - Post Script
Jacquelin Thomas - Redemption
Victoria Christopher Murray - The Ex Files

Shannon Holmes - Dirty Games
Tracy Brown - White Lines
Wahida Clark - Thug Matrimony

Sidney Poitier - The Measure of A Man
Victoria Rowell - The Women Who Raised Me: A Memoir
Robin Givens - Grace Will Lead Me Home
Eddie Levert, Gerald Levert & Lyah Beth Leflore - I Got Your Back
Rain Pryor - Jokes My Father Never Taught Me:Life, Love & Loss with Richard Pryor

Jeff Henderson - Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, from Cocaine to Foie Gras
Tavis Smiley - What I Know For Sure: My story of growing up in America
Gil Robertson - Not In My Family: Aids In The African American Community
Barack Obama - The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream (tie)
Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance - Friends: A Love Story (tie)

Michael J. Burt - Love Changes
Nikki Giovanni - Acolytes
DuEwa M. Fraizer - Check The Rhyme: An Anthology Of Female Poets & Emcees
Marc Lacy - Rock & Fire: Love Poetry From The Core
Barbara Culp - White Smoke Rhymes

Booking Matters
Black Issues Book Review
Disilgold Literary Magazine
Mosaic Magazine
Quarterly Black Review

L.A. Banks - The Wicked: A Vampire Huntress Legend
Brandon Massey - Vicious
L.A. Banks - The Forsaken
Brandon Massey - Within The Shadows

Kim Robinson - The Roux In The Gumbo
Lalita Tademy - Red River
N. Quamere Cincere - We Ain't No Niggas

Sister 2 Sister
Vibe Vixen
Black Enterprise
The Network Journal

Tyeese Gaines- Reid - The Get A Life Campaign
Alex Ellis - Restoring The Male Image: A look from the inside out (tie)
Denzel Washington - A Hand To Guide Me
Russell Simmons - Do You: 12 laws to access the power in you to achieve happiness and success
TD Jakes - Reposition Yourself: Living Your Life Without Limits (tie)

G. Garvin - Turn Up The Heat With G. Garvin
Roniece Weaver - The Family Style Food Diabetes Cookbook
Fabiola Demp Gaines & Roniece Weaver - Healthy Soul Food Cooking
Deliah Winder – Deliah’s Everyday Soul
Monique – Skinny Cooks Can’t Be Trusted

William Frederick Cooper - there's Always A Reason
Miasha - Mommyh's Angel
Dana Rondel - A Flower Has Its Own Song
Venesha - Mistress Me
Eisa Nefertari Ulen - Crystelle Mourning: A Novel

Dornell M. Griffin & Kodzina D. Griffin - A Divine Addiciton
Dana Rondel - A Flower Has Its Own Song
Beverly T. Gooden- Confessions Of A Church Girl
Venesha - Mistress Me

KNB Publications
Triple Crown Publiciations
Melodrama Publishing
RJ Publications

Stephanie Perry-Moore - Perfect Joy (Carmen Brown)
Brittney Holmes - Living Consequences
Coe Booth - Tyrell
Jacquelin Thomas - Simply Divine

David E. Talbert - Love In The Nick Of Time
Shelly Garrett - What Kind Of Love Is This?
JéCaryous Johnson & Gary Guirdy – (I;m Ready Productions) - Whatever She Wants
JéCaryous Johnson & Gary Guirdy – (I;m Ready Productions) – Men, Money & Gold Diggers

Penguin Putnam/Dutton
Harper Collins/Amistad
Harlem Moon (Random House)
Kimani Press
St. Martin's Press

Eric Jerome Dickey - Sleeping With Strangers
Carl Weber - The First Lady
Shannon Holmes - Dirty Games
Omar Tyree - What They Want
Travis Hunter - Something To Die For

Victoria Christopher Murray - The Ex Files
Kimberla Lawson Roby - Love And Lies
Connie Briscoe/Lolita Files/Anita Bunkley - You Only Get Better/Three For The Road/This Time Around
Francis Ray - Irresistible You
Mary B. Morrison - When Somebody Loves You Back

Black Expressions Book Club
G.A.A.L Bookclub of Atlanta
G.U.R.U. Bookclub
OSSA Bookclub
Rawsistaz Literary Group

Ali LeRoi - Everybody Hates Chris
Mara Brock Ali - The Game
Stacey Littlejohn - All Of Us
Tyler Perry - House Of Payne

Trista Russell - Chocolate Covered Forbidden Fruit
Zane - Carmel Flava: The Anthology
Noire - Thong On Fire: An Urban Erotic Tale
J. Tremble - Secrets Of A Housewife
Joylynn M. Jossell - Wet

Mother Love with Tonya Bolden - Half The Mother, Twice The Love
Nina Foxx - No Girl Needs A Husband Seven Days A Week
Pat G’orge Walker – Crusin’ On Desperation

Keith Knight - The K Chronicles
Aaron McGruder - The Boondocks
Jerry Craft - Mama's Boyz

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Darker Mask: Heroes from the Shadows

The Darker Mask: Heroes from the Shadows
edited by Gary Phillips and Christopher Chambers

Check out the description of it at Tananarive Due's blog
, an anthology of black superhero stories that is unlike anything that has come before.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Seeds of Change Anthology

Seeds of Change
edited by John Joseph Adams
Published by Prime Books
Forthcoming August 2008

Here’s the cover copy and the full table of contents of my forthcoming original SF anthology for Prime Books, Seeds of Change.

Imagine the moment when the present ends, and the future begins–when the world we knew is no more and a brave new world is thrust upon us. Gathering stories by nine of today’s most incisive minds, Seeds of Change confronts the pivotal issues facing our society today: racism, global warming, peak oil, technological advancement, and political revolution. Many serve as a call to action. How will you change with the future?

These nine stories sow seeds of change across familiar and foreign territory, from our own backyards to the Niger Delta to worlds not yet discovered. Pepper, the mysterious mercenary from Tobias S. Buckell’s Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin, works as an agent for change—if the price is right—in “Resistance.” Ken MacLeod envisions the end-game in the Middle East in “A Dance Called Armageddon.” New writer Blake Charlton imagines a revolutionary advance in cancer research in “Endosymbiont.” Award-winning author Jay Lake tackles technological change and the forces that will stop at nothing to prevent it in “The Future by Degrees.” Other stories by K.D. Wentworth, Jeremiah Tolbert, Mark Budz, Ted Kosmatka, and Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu range from the darkly satirical to the exotic. All explore the notion that change will come.

Will you be ready?

Table of Contents:

Introduction by John Joseph Adams
N-Words by Ted Kosmatka
The Future by Degrees by Jay Lake
Drinking Problem by K. D. Wentworth
Endosymbiont by Blake Charlton
A Dance Called Armageddon by Ken MacLeod
Arties Aren’t Stupid by Jeremiah Tolbert
Faceless in Gethsemane by Mark Budz
Spider the Artist by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
Resistance by Tobias S. Buckell
The cover features a very nice blurb provided by Robert J. Sawyer, which says “A first-rate anthology of provocative stories.” Which was redacted down from:

“Isaac Asimov said science fiction is the branch of literature that deals with the responses of human beings to changes in science and technology. His definition put humans in a reactive role, and essentially had science and technology changing on their own. But we can also be proactive, actively making the future what we want — or what we dread. A first-rate anthology of provocative and disturbing stories gathered by the always reliable John Joseph Adams.” — Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of HOMINIDS

There's a review over at Grasping for the wind also.

The Road to Lost Innocence


Book: The Road to Lost Innocence
Author: Somaly Mam
Dates: September 15- 19
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Publication Date: September 9, 2008
Blog tour September 15 and 19
WaterBrook Multnomah, a division of Random House

Will probably be involved in this tour in a month or so. And will post a review here and also at Blogcritics


Born in Cambodia and orphaned at an early age, Somaly Mam, a Buddhist sex trade survivor, grew up never knowing her real name or birthday.

As a teenager, Somaly Mam was sold into prostitution and spent years in the brothels of Cambodia where she witnessed and experienced the full-blown horrors of the human sex trade – rape, torture, and nearly unfathomable abuse. After her eventual escape, she could not forget the young girls (some as young as 5) left behind in the brothels, and so she returned to serve them. Her new book, "The Road of Lost Innocence," is her newest means of advocacy. It tells her personal story, ultimately inviting people of conscious, such as our Christian community, to become involved (or to continue involvement) in this war against an epic evil, a modern battle for "the least of these." Truly, not only is this book worth reading, it's worth sharing.

A bit of a documentary is on youtube

to purchase the book at

This is her update page at her website

You can also pre-order it from her store on her website before it hits the bookstores.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Gotta See: Ping Pong Playa

Those offensive Spanish photos

Angry Asian Man says it better than I ever could. So I'll just pass the link along. It certainly makes one wonder though. If they were in an African country, would they have used blackface?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Call for Entries: Encyclopedia of Latino Folklore

Call for Entries: Encyclopedia of Latino Folklore

Edited by Maria Herrera-Sobek, Ph.D.
Greenwood Press
4 page double-spaced entries due on Nov.15, 2008
*A $25 stipend will be provided for each 4 page entry. *
*Date of payment: Upon Publication*

20 page double-spaced entries due on Nov. 15, 2008
*A $100 stipend will be provided for each 20 page entry.*
*Date of payment: Upon Publication*

If you are interested in writing an entry or multiple entries for the Encyclopedia of Latino Folklore, please email Dr. Herrera-Sobek at maria.sobek (AT) for a list of entries available and entry guidelines. Include “Encyclopedia of Latino Folklore” in the subject line.

This is the website

Once you choose the entry/entries you would like to write send Dr. Herrera-Sobek a second email and include your name, contact information and the entry/entries you would like to submit.

If you would like to include photo(s) with your entry/entries (publication of photos not guaranteed), please include citation(s) and who to contact for copyright information.
Mary Delgado Garcia
Email: magarcia (AT)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Frozen River

Okay, Ive got to see this film. Frozen River contains Native American culture and is about smuggling in an upstate New York reservation. It won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Hopefully that means it'll be at my local art theater and also IFC or Sundance channel. From what I've heard of it it really depicts the life of folks just living near the poverty level and it's a bit like Thelma and Louise (only a lot more realistic.) Well, I love movies about folks who work in Dollar Stores and who have money issues. And I also like Native American films. So there you go! Besides, the At the Movies folks gave it two thumbs up.

Check it out along with some other Native American-related posts over at Krystyn Media's blog

And the folks at Gospel com's Pass the popcorn liked it.

Library Journal Call for Books for Black History Month

You have received this email because of your relationship with Library
Journal. For customer support or to stop receiving future promotions
from LJ, please scroll to the bottom for instructions.


Dear Publicist:

To help libraries prepare for Black History Month as well as support
their ongoing purchasing of multicultural books, Library Journal will
again feature in its November 1 issue works by and about African

This issue will include books being published between November 1,
2008, and February 28, 2009. Please supply us with two galleys (or books) if
possible in all subject areas, including reference, art,
literature, poetry, religion, biography, history, politics, health,
science, sociology, economics, and fiction, as well as promotional
information and catalog copy. Please do not include children’s books.

This material is due on August 25, 2008. If you have any questions
please call (646) 746-6800
You may mail information to Ann Burns, Library Journal, 360 Park
Avenue South, New York, NY 10010.

A Terrified Kind of Life

For as long as I can remember I’ve been terrified. I don’t think I can remember a time when I was not terrified. I remember hiding under beds fearing my mother’s or grandfather’s or aunt’s or uncle’s belt. I truly don’t think I was especially abused. It’s just the Jamaican terrify, threaten, and cripple children with fear. Every relative had a belt and they would pick it up and hurt you anytime it pleased them.

I would not consider my mother cruel but before she earned her double masters and PH.D at Brooklyn College, she had strange ideas about fear. Fear was the power to keep girl children from coming home with the belly. Not that my sister and I were even sexual enough to even think of sex. By age thirteen both or us were pretty much emotionally destroyed. She would wake us at night by beating us with a belt if she came home to find the house messy. My mother must have had some inkling about the power of fear – she apologized for all the things she had done to me when we were growing up. And she also talked about the fear the whippings she received from her parents had caused her.

The trouble with all this terror is that it was interwoven with a kind of rebuked life. When they terrified you, they rebuked you. You were always wrong. And when they rebuked you, they always terrified you. Kinda like those people on television who always warn about how fat black women are going to get cancer anytime soon.

The image I have in my mind is this: a group of well-meaning vaguely sadistic folks digging a deep pit in my heart and mind that can only be filled with fear. If you do not believe me when I tell you how sadistic Jamaican parents generally are, I won’t try to convince you. Trying to convince people stresses me out. I will only say that rebukers -- media health nuts, telephoning collection agents, parents, know-it-all church people use terror in much the same way these old country folks delighted in telling me ghost stories. (Won't mention the sneering cruelty of atheists in this post cause they generally don't terrify.) The faces of the old folks lit up when they saw how their evil cruel stories made you tremble. To this day I can see and imagine this trace of spiteful joy on the faces of folks who rebuke and terrify me.

I once saw on the news a story about a little two year old who died of fright when halloweeners arrived at her door. This kind of thing is understandable. Fright is an emotion that literally – I mean “literally” tugs at the heart strings. I remember once a friend of mine played a practical joke on me. “Look, Carole, a bee is on your shoulder.” My chest became so tight that for about two weeks I had a burning tearing in my chest.

I am actually quite used to that tightness in my chest. It pops up all the time quite dependably whenever I hear bad news. But it also pops up when I only fear bad news. My body seems to be running overtime and fear seems to have its way with me. For instance, whenever the gate opens, I anticipate the mailman bringing bills and the chest pain rises.

This is not a panic attack, mind you. Panic attacks come and go. This is a kind of sustained emotional state that I can only say that my body is worn down with stress and fear. I do not add the fact that since my second son was born eighteen years ago I have spent every night fearing he will die. So then, what to do?

The trouble with this fear is that it has persisted through my adult years. Because it comes in various form even when one has become an adult. There is always some person out there who wants to either rebuke or terrify a person (or both.) I’ll admit two things: One, I used to terrify my child with stories about what would happen to him if he didn't finish school. I have terrified the soul of that kid. Mercifully, he has forgiven me. And I have tried to bless him with good words instead of cursing his spirit with negative terrors and rebuke.

And my second admission: I myself have fed and nurtured this terror within my own soul. For instance, whenever I get into a discussion with anyone, I find I am utterly unable to pick up the phone...lest the person I had a disagreement with is calling. If I owe bills, I try not to pick up my phone at all. And if I accidentally pick up the phone when a bill collector calls, the terror I feel rivals anything a good slasher fill could conjure up. Before my mother’s death she used to visit us. On those Saturdays, I would lie in my bed in a fetal position – remember, I was way past 30 by then– and tremble in fear until I psyched myself to come down.

May I rest in the peace of God.

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