All Articles Tagged "books"

Issa Rae Is Writing A Book And Working On A New HBO Pilot!

November 6th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Issa Rae

Source: Facebook

Since the debut of her popular web series Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae has been quite busy. Not only is she a host on new daytime TV talk show Exhale, but she’s also working on a new pilot for HBO.

“I’m writing an HBO pilot. We just turned that in, so we’re waiting on notes. And I’m always working on web series,” she tells The Huffington Post.

In addition to all of that she’s writing a book. Though she has yet to reveal specifically what the book is about, the actress/director did open up about how challenging writing a book has been.

“I’m writing a book right now — that is the bane of my existence because it is so freaking hard,” said Issa.

Though many see the widespread popularity of Awkward Black Girl and believe her success came overnight, Issa says it’s been a long time coming.

“It was a matter of good timing, but I was working towards it for awhile. In my current position, the third web series I did, [“Awkward Black Girl,”] happened to get a lot of attention but the first and the second were very slow.”

She also discusses whether or not she feels responsible for helping other women in the workplace.

“Responsibility is a strong word. I just think there should be a natural desire. I don’t feel a responsibility to, I just want to. I think that it makes [helping other women] almost undesirable if you have a sense of pressure associated with it. I just find it troubling when people try to put other women down. I don’t think that’s helpful in any way.”

As for the “glass ceiling,” Issa says she doesn’t allow it to impact her.

“I choose to ignore it. I feel like by ignoring it, it doesn’t really affect me. I’ve found that the people who acknowledge the glass ceiling feel affected by it and won’t surpass it. I feel like more women are going the route where they’re just like, “F it, I’m gonna make it happen for myself, whether you think it’s gonna happen or not.” That’s my mentality.”

Our girl is doing her thing!

Jazmine Denise is a celebrity news and entertainment blogger. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise.

Please Welcome Cash Money’s Newest Signee…Al Sharpton! The Rev Signs A Deal For His Latest Project

June 29th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Rev. Al Sharpton

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No, I’m not joking.

My initial response was, “No, who’s playing a cruel joke?”  I mean, this has already been a tough week in news, entertainment and everything else. The last thing we needed was for Al Sharpton to lose his mind.

But according to, is definitely signed to Cash Money. Well, Cash Money Content, that is.  Rev. Sharpton recently signed a deal with Cash Money Content, the record label’s publishing division, to release his new book, The Rejected Stone. The deal is a partnership between CMC and Simon & Schuster’s Atria imprint.

The book will be discuss how Sharpton went from a cunning street activist to a civil rights leader. It will be released on October 8th.

This is definitely an odd pairing and neither Sharpton reps nor Cash Money reps discussed how or why they decided to sign this deal. In fact, Sharpton and Lil Wayne, Cash Money Records’ biggest bread winner, got into a war of words just a few years ago.

In 2008, Sharpton harshly criticized Wayne’s excessive use of the “b word” and “n word” in his music. In response, Wayne came directly back at Sharpton in a song from his The Carter III album saying, “You are no Jesse Jackson. You are nobody to me. You’re just another Don King—with a perm.” That prompted Sharpton to make one last response: “Why dignify a response to one rap artist who doesn’t even say anything substantive?”

Sharpton says he will discuss Lil Wayne and other rappers in his book in hopes of starting an open dialogue:

“Just because we disagree doesn’t mean we have to be disagreeable.”

I guess that’s that! Something tells me Lil Wayne still won’t be jumping at the opportunity to have a discussion with Rev. Al.

The Perfect Match: Books To Compliment The Movies You Love

June 19th, 2013 - By T Hall
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Everyone loves a good book, but with so many options it’s hard to figure out what might be good based on the cover alone. There are titles and types galore – history, memoir, true crime, ‘literary’ fiction, urban fiction, comic books – that it’s hard to decide what to grab and dedicate brain cells to. Last year I made a little chart of books based on your favorite TV show. To make the book selection process easier this summer, here are a few book picks based on classic black movies. Do any of your favorite books remind you of movies? What books do you have lined up for this summer?

Medicine for Melancholy – if you like your books with emotional depth and charm, then Danielle Evans’ debut book Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self is for you. Incisive, heartbreaking, and filled with longing, these short stories explore the modern lives of black women who are navigating an America that is sometimes at odds with their full humanity. Want something non-fiction? Baratunde Thurston’s memoir/satire How To Be Black offers up a witty take on being a black millennial, and chapters like “How to Be the Black Employee” and “How To Speak for All Black People” pokes fun at the ridiculousness you face when you are the only black person on your job/in your class/at a conference. It’s balanced with the heartwarming story of Thurston growing up and making it out of crack-era DC.

Glory  – Want a story that covers the historical roots of blacks in the American South? If you’ve got the time, Alex Haley’s Roots is a girthy but captivating read. If you are a little more pressed on time and want a more global story, consider Edwidge Danticat’s body of work. In particular The Dewbreaker is a great choice. Set in the US and Haiti, this book digs into the implications of violence in the name of political and personal gain, and what happens when  a murderer attempts to move on from his past.

Ride, Friday, I Got The Hook Up – ok, so you like a little edge in your entertainment. If you enjoyed any of the above movies, then you’ll be able to appreciate the hood sensibilities of Nikki Turner’s Project Chick 2: What’s Done In The Dark or Sister Souljah’s Coldest Winter Ever. They are laced with roughnecks, and hustlas, and if you need an escape from your day to day cubicle grind then these hood tales might be what you need.

Devil in a Blue DressAny of Walter Mosley’s 12 Easy Rawlins mysteries. This is a no brainer, since “Devil in a Blue Dress” is based on Walter Mosley’s debut novel of the same name. Mosley has been writing Easy Rawlins since Devil was released back in 1990, and it looks like Easy Rawlins is still kickin’ A$$, taking names, and solving mysteries in seedy sections of LA. Looking for a murder mystery set in modern times? Check out Attica Locke’s The Cutting Season, a gripping story about a black woman with a deep family history on an old Louisiana plantation working to solve a cane worker’s murder and keep herself from being killed.

Cabin in the Sky or Carmen Jones – If you are into old school black and white movies, check out The Return of Simple, a collection of Langston Hughes’ hilarious and thought-provoking Simple Stories. Written after he came into public consciousness during the Harlem Renaissance, these short stories follow everyman  Jesse B. Semple as he riffs humorously on black life in Harlem. Wrapped in Rainbows is a non-fiction treasure, which follows the life and adventures of the preternaturally crunk writer and sociologist (and Hughes collaborator) Zora Neale Hurston.


Your New 2013 Summer Reading List

June 18th, 2013 - By Candace Smith
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We are just dipping our toes in the “lazy” days of summer, but the doesn’t mean we can’t get our summer reads going. Give your phone a rest during your daily commute and pick up a book instead (do not try to do this while driving)! Read on for a list of the most entertaining and/or enriching books to read this summer.

Read anything good lately? Let us know in the comments.

Bookworm Wonders: 10 Must-Reads For Brown Girls

May 3rd, 2013 - By Kelly Franklin
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Our black is beautiful – hair, skin, and all. We shower our girls with praise by complimenting the richness of their cocoa, caramel, or vanilla colored skin. We massage their scalp and nurture their baby curls – from kinky to super wavy. We want our girls to respect and love themselves. We constantly fight the barrage of  criticisms our girls may be exposed to, including negative attention swarming around their hair and skin tone. Our girls need their self-esteem lifted. What better way to celebrate the love of our culture  and promote self love with our girls than through a book that our girls can relate to. Whether your little girl has a growing bookshelf or e-reader, she will want to add these must-reads to her collection.

Don’t Be Ashamed! Tell-All Tea-Spilling Books You Know You Want to Read

April 17th, 2013 - By Meg Butler
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Reality shows have made drama junkies of us all. And if 22 minutes a day of shade throwing and tea spilling just isn’t enough, you need to read one of these tell-all tea spillers. These authors have told on everyone from Tupac to Kim Kardashian and most of what’s in their pages is way too hot for TV. So if you need a book for the night stand, look no further.

Confessions of a Video Vixen

Confessions of a Video Vixen

This is the tea spiller that started it all. When Super Head wrote Confessions of a Video Vixen in 2005 she put almost every rapper in the game on blast from LL to Jay-Z.

The book is also about her struggles with homelessness, sexual assault, drug and alcohol abuse and it’s so scandalous that it made the New York Times Bestseller list. Before you read the rest you should check out the one that began the trend.

Take Two: Teen Olympic Gold Medalist Gabrielle Douglas To Release Second Memoir

March 15th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Anton Oparin /

Anton Oparin /

Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas isn’t taking any time off. She has been on a hectic schedule since the Olympic Games in 2012. Besides all the interviews she published her memoirs. Now she has announced she is set to publish a second memoir—yes, part two.

Though not yet 18, she still has lots to talk about it seems, and her second memoir will hit the stores next month, according to publisher Zondervan (via Yahoo).

The 17-year-old, who was a gold medalist in both the team and individual all-around gymnastics competitions, will publish Raising the Bar, the follow-up to her 2012 best-selling memoir Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith, on April 30. That book debuted at number four on The New York Times Young Adult Bestseller List.

This time around, she is taking readers behind-the-scenes look into her life, including color photos, personal stories, and details on the athlete’s present-day life — from walking red carpets and appearing on TV shows such as The Vampire Diaries while also juggling friends, family, and training.

Obviously, it’s not the life of the typical teen. But it will give some insight, says the publisher, into the dedication and responsibilities of an athlete of Douglas’s caliber. Douglas was recently named Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press.

Douglas began training at age six and made history last year when she became the first U.S. gymnast to take home a team and an individual gold medal in the same games. And she was first African-American to win the individual gold.

Bestselling Buddies? The Daughters Of Lil Wayne and Birdman Team Up To Write ‘Paparazzi Princesses’

March 15th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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The young authors with Birdman in 2010. (Adrian Sidney/PictureGroup) via AP IMAGES

The young authors with Birdman in 2010. (Adrian Sidney/PictureGroup) via AP IMAGES

Reginae Carter and Bria Williams are following in their fathers footsteps — kind of. The two 14 year-old girls, who are the daughters of business partners and friends Lil Wayne and Birdman, respectively, are entering the public eye with a new book. The young pair teamed up for Paparazzi Princesses, which tells the story of two young girls dealing with unintentional fame as they grow up as the kids of famous parents, reports Rolling Stone (via Yahoo). The book will probably appeal to high schoolers, who are struggling with everything from schoolwork to crushes on boys.

The dads are happy about the new books. “There’s no better feeling than watching Bria and Reginae make this dream come true,” said Birdman in a statement reported by “They took an idea, worked extremely hard, and brought it to life. It’s the kind of story that everybody can feel, and it’s only the start of much bigger things for these two wonderful young ladies.”

Lil Wayne says he is anxious for others to read the book. He said to the site, “Proud doesn’t even begin to describe how me and the Birdman feel. I can’t wait for everybody else to experience their story.”

Karyn Langhorne Folan co-authored the book, which will be out June 4th.

If the book is a success, most likely it won’t just be teens making it popular. According to a recent study, 55 percent of buyers of works that publishers designate for kids aged 12 to 17 — known as YA books — are 18 or older, with the largest segment aged 30 to 44, a group that alone accounted for 28 percent of YA sales,  reports  Publishers Weekly. The adults who buy YA books aren’t buying them  for others — when asked about the intended recipient, they report that 78 percent of the time they are purchasing books for their own reading found the study Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer in the Digital Age conducted by Bowker Market Research.

Will you pick up a copy?

What’s The Rush? Are Male “Relationship Experts” Taking Their Quest To Marry Off Black Women Too Far?

February 24th, 2013 - By MN Editor
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Credit: Shutterstock

Credit: Shutterstock

From Essence

I can’t sit through one more sermon, debate or call-in radio show.

I can’t read another statistic-littered blog post, magazine article or self-help book jacket.

I can’t—and never will—pay good money for a singles conference, get anointed with special herbs and spices, or visit my local soothsayer for answers.

I can’t listen to one more piece of here’s-how-to-snag-a-husband-and-get-your-lonely-tail-down-the-aisle advice, especially from a man.

I’m over it. On behalf of all of us.

There are far, far too many self-proclaimed relationship experts and marriage gurus building their brands and platforms on Black women’s desire to be part of loving, committed couples. Our hope is their business opportunity. Those elements, juxtaposed with this pandemic spirit of scarcity that insists there’s a man shortage, has created a bountiful environment for every half-cocked, wannabe man whisperer.

You’ve got to check out the rest of the Write or Die Chick’s thoughts over on Essence.

What do you think? Have the relationship experts gone too far in their quest to try and “marry off” black women?

Family Feud? Bobbi Kristina Responds To Cissy Houston’s New Book

February 3rd, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"BK Brown pf"

D. Salters/

For all the jokes everyone had about Cissy Houston “keeping it real” during her interview with Oprah on last week’s episode of Next Chapter, it seems one thing is absolutely true: she and granddaughter Bobbi Kristina  are not on the best of terms.

Last Thursday, Bobbi Kristina responded to Cissy’s comments about her having heard that BK didn’t like the idea of her writing the book but not having had the chance to speak to her directly. She took to Twitter:




For those of you who aren’t well-versed in the abbreviated text of teenagers these days (as well as all of the added symbols from Twitter), Bobbi Kristina basically said that neither she nor her boyfriend Nick Gordon (yes, apparently they’re still together) had anything to do with the book and she will not be reading it. Further, it seems that she feels that putting out the book was disrespectful to her mom, Whitney Houston.

The unfortunate truth is that this is a family in shambles. There’s no way to know if they were in this bad of shape prior to Whitney’s death but with the reality show, book deals and interviews, it has certainly pulled them further apart.

Cissy recently did an interview with the Tom Joyner Morning Show to promote her book and according to Black America Web, when asked what she would say to Bobbi Kristina if she were listening, she replied, “Call your grandmother.”

Do you think if the Houstons pulled back from media outlets, they could have a chance to mourn and possibly come back together as a family?