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There is a great group of people that surrounds me, starting with my husband, who

is my business partner and executive producer of the talk show. With our assistants

and our staff in our home, we have a great team. So please believe me,  I’d love

to say, “Oh honey, I’m a superwoman!” But I’m so far from being a superwoman.

 

 

Books by Mo'Nique

 

 Skinny Women Are Evil   /  Skinny Cooks Can’t Be Trusted

 

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Mo'Nique Oscar-Worthy!

The Precious Interview with Kam Williams

 

Mo’Nique Imes was born on December 11, 1967 in Baltimore, which is where she started her showbiz career as a stand-up comedienne on a dare a couple of decades ago. From there, she gained visibility and immense popularity with performances on “Showtime at the Apollo,” HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam,” “Apollo Comedy Hour,” HBO’s “Snaps,” BET’s “Comic View,” The Montreal Comedy Festival and Uptown Comedy Club.

Her big break arrived in 1999 when she landed a starring role on the television series, “The Parkers.” During the show’s five-year run, Mo’Nique earned numerous awards, including four NCAAP Image Awards as the Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. Her film credits include Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, Two Can Play That Game, Hair Show, Three Strikes, Baby Boy, Beerfest, Phat Girlz, Soul Plane, Irish Jam, Domino, and Shadowboxer.

As a voluptuous role model for Rubenesque females Mo-Nique wrote the best-selling book Skinny Women Are Evil, as well as an equally-funny follow-up entitled Skinny Cooks Can’t Be Trusted. She also created, produced and emceed Mo’Nique’s F.A.T. Chance, America’s first, full-figured, reality beauty pageant. Struck by the skyrocketing number of women behind bars, she brought her act to a prison to tape a comedy special called I Coulda Been Your Cellmate, which aired on TV before later being released on DVD. Then, she delved further into the issue as the host of Mo’Nique: Behind Bars for the Oxygen television network.

Here, she talks about The Mo’Nique Show, her new late-night talk show on BET, and about her Oscar-worthy performance in Precious, Lee Daniels’ spellbinding screen adaptation of Sapphire’s novel, Push.          

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Kam Williams: Hi Mo’Nique, thanks so much for the time.

Mo’Nique: Hey Kam! Thank you, baby!

Kam Williams: Congratulations on the new TV show.

Mo’Nique: Thank you!

Kam Williams: How would you describe the format? How are you dividing the time among monologues, interviews, and musical and other performances?

Mo’Nique:  I can’t give you those numbers, baby, because the show is so unpredictable. We’re just having a great time.

Kam Williams: What interested you in doing a talk show?

Mo’Nique:  Well, I’ve always wanted to do a talk show. That was the whole focus from the very beginning. First, I thought it’d be like Oprah Winfrey, but the comedienne in me wouldn’t let me do that. So, when my husband [Sidney Hicks] and I spoke with Loretha Jones [BET’s President of Programming], we said, “We want to do late-night. We want to have a party.”

Kam Williams: Speaking of partying, you were recently spotted in Manhattan partying at Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson’s Sugar Bar with Lee Daniels, Andre’ Leon Talley and some other folks. Did you have fun?

Mo’Nique:  I had a blast, Kam. When you go to the Sugar Bar, the kid in you truly comes out.

Kam Williams: When you mentioned Oprah, it reminded me that I told my readers I’d be interviewing you. And one of them, Laz Lyles, was wondering how much it means to you to have Oprah personally get behind the film in such a strong way.

Mo’Nique: It was a pleasure. She’s a powerhouse. She’s Oprah Winfrey. You know what that means. So, when she said, “I dig this,” I was very appreciative of it. 

Kam Williams: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks, how do you do it? You’re already a mother, actress, author and comedienne, and now adding late night TV host. So, she wants to know how you keep sane and healthy and how you manage to juggle everything.

Mo’Nique:  There is a great group of people that surrounds me, starting with my husband, who is my business partner and executive producer of the talk show. With our assistants and our staff in our home, we have a great team. So please believe me, I’d love to say, “Oh honey, I’m a superwoman!” But I’m so far from being a superwoman. It’s all the people who surround us are what make Mo’Nique work. 

Kam Williams: Laz also asks, was it hard for you not to take your character home with you at the end of the day when you were shooting Precious?

Mo’Nique:  It wasn’t hard at all. We left it on the stage. When Lee said “Cut!” that’s what it was.

Kam Williams: Schoolteacher Erik Daniels says he really enjoyed I Coulda Been Your Cellmate, your stand-up show shot inside a women's prison. He’s curious about whether you’ve stayed in touch with any of the inmates you met.

Mo’Nique:  Tell him, that to my surprise, when I was at the Sugar Bar the other night, I bumped into a woman who was in that prison when I was there. We hugged so tight, and she introduced me to her son.

Kam Williams: Erik also wants to know if you have plans to do something like that again.

Mo’Nique:  I don’t think I’ll do another one, because I think it was special in the moment for all of us.

Kam Williams: Marcia Evans says that she wants you to know that this fan of yours gained more respect for you after your opening up to Oprah about the sexual and emotional abuse that happened to you. Just let her know that I'm so proud of her stepping up. She goes on to say, “I want Monique to know that she has probably healed some women by sharing her truth. Monique you are looking beautiful!” I guess she didn’t exactly have a question.

Mo’Nique:  Well, tell that baby, thank you very much!

Kam Williams: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

Mo’Nique:  [Laughs] No!

Kam Williams: The Tasha Smith question: Are you ever afraid?

Mo’Nique:  No.

Kam Williams: The Columbus Short question: Are you happy?

Mo’Nique: Have you ever seen a light bulb when it’s at its brightest but getting ready to burn out?

Kam Williams: Yeah.

Mo’Nique:  That’s how I feel.

Kam Williams: I can understand, between the new TV show and the movie. I was totally blown away by your performance when I saw Precious. And I’ve never heard so much Oscar-buzz so far in advance of a picture’s release. Everybody’s been talking about your Academy Award -worthy performance since last January when the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. How do you feel about all the buzz?

Mo’Nique: You know what? I’m excited about any buzz. I was excited when Lee Daniels first called me up. Just for the movie’s message to be told, that’s where the real excitement comes in for me.

Kam Williams: Bookworm Troy Johnson wants to know, what was the last book you read?

Mo’Nique:  Oh my God, I love Troy for that question. I just completed Diahann Carroll’s The Legs Are the Last to Go. Kam, after reading that book in three days, I have such respect for that woman. Oh my God! That book will blow you away, because she’s so brutally honest about who she is. It’s incredible!

Kam Williams: The music maven Heather Covington question: What music are you listening to? 

Mo’Nique: The last thing I listened to was Whitney Houston at about 6 this morning. I’m also listening to Maxwell a lot, but I’m really excited right now for Whitney.

Kam Williams: What is your favorite dish to cook?

Mo’Nique:  Kam, my favorite dish to cook is macaroni and cheese.

Kam Williams: The Laz Alonso question: How can your fans help you?

Mo’Nique:  By realizing that they’re not my fans, but my bosses. I want them to know that I’m just as excited as they are when they ask for an autograph or take a picture with me, because I’m still that little girl who used to practice in the mirror.

Kam Williams: Speaking of mirrors, when you look in the mirror, what do you see?

Mo’Nique: [Laughs] I see somebody, baby, that’s full of life. I see somebody that still has a lot more growing to do and is willing to take it on. I see somebody that the universe said to her, “We’re going to give you this and see how you deal with it.”  I see somebody who has an incredible husband, amazing kids and great people around her. So, when I look in that mirror, I be like, “For real?” 

Kam Williams: The Flex Alexander question: How do you get through the tough times?

Mo’Nique: Bless my brother Flex’s heart. Fortunately, I don’t have no tough times.

Kam Williams: Thanks again, Mo’Nique and I’m expecting to be congratulating you on your Oscar, the next time I speak to you. 

Mo’Nique:  Thank you so much, Kam. Bless your heart, sugar.

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Order books by Mo'Nique: Skinny Women Are Evil   /  Skinny Cooks Can’t Be Trusted

Order a copy of Mo’Nique’s DVD:  I Coulda Been Your Cellmate / Sapphire’s novel, Push

See a trailer for Precious, visit: YouTube / The Selling of Precious (Ishmael Reed)

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Oprah Is Wrong About ‘Precious'— Mo’Nique, in particular, is a revelation: She’s all snears and sullen putdowns, greedy, grasping, nasty. But in the comedian’s hands, we recognize the humanity in the monster, without wanting to forgive her of her trespasses.

A word about all that hype: Oprah, who serves as executive producer along with Tyler Perry, has pushed the film hard, and she is to be commended for throwing her weight behind a little film. It deserves every bit of attention that it gets. But there’s something discomfiting about her declarations that “We are all Precious.” In short, she Oprah-fies Precious, rendering Precious’ fierce individuality the stuff of platitudes and Stuart Smalley moments on SNL.

No, we are not all Precious. We all get our power from the individuality of our stories. Precious stands alone.—The Root

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Pride & Precious—Sidibe and Mo’Nique give two-note performances: dumb and innocent, crazy and evil. Monique’s do-rag doesn’t convey depths within herself, nor does Mariah Carey’s fright wig. Daniels’ cast lacks that uncanny mix of love and threat that makes Next Day Air so August Wilson- authentic.

Worse than Precious itself was the ordeal of watching it with an audience full of patronizing white folk at the New York Film Festival, then enduring its media hoodwink as a credible depiction of black American life. A scene such as the hippopotamus-like teenager climbing a K-2 incline of tenement stairs to present her newborn, incest-bred baby to her unhinged virago matriarch, might have been met howls of skeptical laughter at Harlem’s Magic Johnson theater. Black audiences would surely have seen the comedy in this ludicrous, overloaded situation, whereas too many white film habitués casually enjoy it for the sense of superiority—and relief—it allows them to feel. Some people like being conned.NYPress

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She Ain’t Me, BabeWhere exactly is the “arc of hope” at the end of the movie? A 350 pound, HIV positive, homeless,  reading at a 7th grade level, 16-year-old high school drop-out totes her infant and mongoloid toddler, both products of rape/incest by her father, along a crowded Harlem street? Freedom may be just another word for nothing left to lose, but that’s not the meaning of hope. Maybe they meant “arc of hype.” And you have to be frightened when the movie receives the Barbara Bush seal of approval, she who described American citizens sheltered in the Houston Astrodome after their homes and lives were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and government indifference  as people who “Were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them.” Still, the hype has been relentless, and the Oprah seal of approval’s had a chilling effect on criticism. NiaOnline

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Can Oprah Lead Precious All the Way to Oscar?Precious marks the first film to be affiliated with Perry's 34th Street Films, and in the case of Oprah it marks her biggest move yet to use her media empire in service of a film that doesn't feature her in the cast. Two years ago she stood behind The Great Debaters — a film that went on to gross only $30 million. She produced and co-starred in 1998's Beloved, 12 years after she was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in The Color Purple. If Precious were to be crowned Best Picture next February, Winfrey could well be singled out as one of the producers to take the stage to accept the award: Oprah would have her own Oscar.

For now, Winfrey is keeping the focus on the story that first inspired her to sign on to the project. "None of us who sees the movie can now walk through the world and allow the Preciouses of the world to be invisible," Winfrey told reporters in Toronto. But few things on earth are as precious as an Oprah Winfrey endorsement, and that's the X factor that is bound to have Hollywood insiders talking throughout the winter, wondering just how far this one woman can take an independent film — and how they can convince her to do the same for them. Until she starts up that film club.Time

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Author Sapphire, left, and executive producer Oprah Winfrey, center, listen to director Lee Daniels at a news conference for the film Precious

A Precious Moment—Recently George and I hosted a special sneak preview of Precious in our hometown, Houston. The audience of 200 included young people and old, teachers and corporate executives, parents and grandparents, and folks of just about every ethnic and economic background. I planned to say a few words when the movie was over—but I was speechless. (My husband would tell you that is highly unusual.)

Precious is the story of an illiterate African-American teenager growing up in poverty in the 1980s. The abuse—sexual, physical, mental—this young woman suffers at the hands of her parents is difficult to watch; there are times when her hopelessness is overwhelming. But what saves her from a life of despair is a teacher who helps her learn to read and write.

After 30 years promoting literacy, I've never felt more energized. Watching this movie, I was reminded why it's important that we keep working so hard. There are kids like Precious everywhere. Each day we walk by them: young boys and girls whose home lives are dark secrets. They are often abused or neglected, and seldom read to or given homework help. Without the skills they need to lead a productive life, the chances are good they will continue the cycle of poverty and illiteracy.—Newsweek

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Fade to White—Black films looking to attract white audiences flatter them with another kind of stereotype: the merciful slave master.. In guilt-free bits of merchandise like “Precious,” white characters are always portrayed as caring. There to help. Never shown as contributing to the oppression of African-Americans. Problems that members of the black underclass encounter are a result of their culture, their lack of personal responsibility.

It’s no surprise either that white critics — eight out of the nine comments used on the publicity Web site for “Precious” were from white men and women — maintain that the movie is worthwhile because, through the efforts of a teacher, this girl begins her first awkward efforts at writing.

Redemption through learning the ways of white culture is an old Hollywood theme. D. W. Griffith produced a series of movies in which Chinese, Indians and blacks were lifted from savagery through assimilation. A more recent example of climbing out of the ghetto through assimilation is “Dangerous Minds,” where black and Latino students are rescued by a curriculum that doesn’t include a single black or Latino writer.

By the movie’s end, Precious may be pushing toward literacy. But she is jobless, saddled with two children, one of whom has Down syndrome, and she’s learned that she has AIDS.  Some redemption.NYTimes

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The NAACP House of Shame: Precious and the Big Payback—Suppose the producers of a nominated picture like “Hurt Locker” donated one million dollars to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and on the night of the Oscar presentations “Hurt Locker” received Oscars for best picture, best actress, best supporting actress and a special honor was awarded to the “producer.”

This is exactly what happened at the NAACP Image awards last Friday night. The film Precious received six awards as a kind of payback to Tyler Perry who donated one million plus dollars to the organization last November.

As a result, the NAACP gave segregated Hollywood the green light to admire this abhorrent, repellant movie. They must be gloating over at EW.com (Entertainment Weekly) sites with connections to the Oscars establishment and where my Op-Ed about “Precious,” printed in The New York Times, was the subject of criticism by Owen Gleiberman and Lisa Schwarzbaum. Their criticism was picked up by Sasha Stone at awardsdaily.com. They and the bloggers who weighed in about my state of mind and my low I.Q. and how I was connected to the part of the body that plays a key role in the elimination of wastes will probably use these NAACP awards as justification for their defense of the film and as evidence of the black community’s support for “Precious.”

Owen Gleiberman, a man whom I have never met, said that my criticism of the movie said more about me than about the movie. He never said what my criticism of the movie said about me. I also challenged Ms. Scwarzbaum to comment about an article printed in a Jewish magazine, Tablet (“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Why Jewish producers kept Jewish women off stage and screen,” 10/20/’09), which pointed to the discrimination against Jewish women by Jewish producers, from the early days of Hollywood to the period of Woody Allen and Larry David (a guy who thinks it funny to appear in a scene eating a cookie shaped like a black penis.)

The producers’ justification, historically, was that they didn’t want their women to play the kind of roles they assigned to black and white gentile women.—BlackAgendaReport

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What Reed Ignores, and ErasesFirst, [Ishmael] Reed never once asks if the film reflects reality. He never asks what it is actually like for young women and girls—of all nationalities—who are raped and molested in our society. And the particular ways this impacts Black women who are doubly oppressed. He never suggests that these stories should be told. By making this solely about a "marketing strategy" to sell "images of Black male depravity," Reed erases the brutal and undeniable reality of what it means to walk the earth as a woman. In the U.S. alone, 1 in 4 women are raped, a woman is beaten by her partner every 15 seconds, 3 women are killed every day by lovers and husbands, and almost 220 children are sexually abused every day―most of them by a relative or family friend.

Reed even criticizes the Pulitzer prize winning play, Ruined, about rape in the Congo, for contributing to this demonization. (Rape was systematically used as a weapon of war in the Congo and this play depicts the harrowing reality. There are no comprehensive statistics, but hundreds of thousands of women were raped in the Congo in the last 10 years and this is continuing at a frightening rate. The play also alludes to the role of the West in fueling the conflict in order to gain control of coltan resources, which are used in electronic devices such as cell phones. (Raymond Lotta discusses this in his powerful, short video: The Rape of the Congo and Your Cell Phone, youtube.com/raymondlotta.)1

Now do something Ishmael Reed refuses to do—stop and think about the lived impact of those numbers. The dreams of young girls crushed and broken and the lifetimes of nightmares that fill young girls' sleep. And think what it means that on top of this, like Precious, women are told in a thousand ways that they brought this torment on themselves. Annie Day wrote, "The story of Precious is not an anomaly but a distillation." And this reality reflects how this is so.

Reed also ignores the way the film has touched many, many people, especially (though not only) thousands of Black women who responded to seeing the film by telling anyone who would listen their own stories of abuse. Across the country, on Internet forums, schools and theatre lobbies Revolution distributors have talked to people. Even if not experienced with the same extremity, many women said they felt Precious gave a window into what they experience.

Third, Reed erases and ignores the development and personhood of Precious. She confronts horrific sexual and physical abuse, illiteracy, being infected with AIDS by her father and more, but isn't broken by them. He ignores the relationships Precious forges with her classmates, and with her teacher, who nurture and challenge her. They develop bonds of friendship, respect, struggle, and caring. While the film does not go easy on the brutality Precious suffers—it also shows her with humor, humanity, curiosity, a vibrant imagination, intelligence, and heart. This is not some faceless victim. But not once does Reed talk about her this way.

Writing in Salon.com, Erin Aubry Kaplan made an insightful point about why a young woman like Precious would be ignored and the importance of the film in telling her story, "Far from being some exploitative spectacle for whites, the hard-hitting tale of Precious is a film for blacks and a challenge to drop our own emotional armor and embrace a real-life story we have been minimizing for a long time—that of a big, black, sullen-faced, illiterate girl who lives in the depths of the ghetto and in all likelihood will stay there. She is the bogeywoman not just of white society but of black society, too, especially for a middle class that's been trying for years to rescue its ‘negative' racial image from the likes of Precious. But while we in the real world preach community ad nauseam, it's girls—and boys—like her who remain at the bottom of the well. In making the bottom dweller eminently human, the movie forces blacks to assess their own humanity. And I found myself squirming in the seat more than once."

The other thing that stands out in Reed's article is the way he talks about women generally. He refers to young Black women professors who have commented positively on Precious at the web zine The Root as "...[T]he types who are using university curriculum to get even with their fathers." He suggests that the poet and author Sapphire and the filmmaker Lee Daniels have falsely remembered histories of abuse. He hardly ever mentions a woman without saying something about her looks. Mariah Carey, who plays a welfare case worker, is "firm," "the camera favors" Paula Patton, who plays Precious' teacher, Blue Rain; he says three times that the actress who plays Precious is 350 pounds (a fact which he is clearly bothered by), and he describes one of the film's financial backers as "manicured" and "buffed," and one who "doesn't go lightly on the eye shadow." And in linking Oprah Winfrey's backing of this film with what he sees as her other efforts to demean Black men, including backing and starring in The Color Purple (which he calls a "black incest product"), he quotes someone as saying, "like her addiction to food," Oprah can't help demonizing Black men.

His defense of patriarchy also bubbles over in relation to gay people. Here he gets the basic facts of the film wrong. He says a male nurse, John John, played by Lenny Kravitz, is gay. In actuality, the film makes clear that John John is straight, but Reed's vision is so distorted he can't seem to fathom a soft-spoken male character who isn't gay. He goes on to say Precious is "a film in which gays are superior to Black male heterosexuals," creating some sort of patriarchal totem pole and then seeking to determine where "his group" sits in relation to the top.

Not everyone who has raised concerns about the film contributing to stereotypical portrayals of Black people or the demonization of Black men would uphold this kind of straight-up misogyny. But you have to ask why Reed's argument goes there and why his argument has resonated.—Carl Dix RevCom 

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Gabourey Sidibe isn't too fat for Hollywood, she's too black

In the wake of actress Gabourey Sidibe's Academy Award nomination for her incredible performance in "Precious," many are predicting she'll never get another part in a Hollywood movie because she's too fat. But they're wrong: even if the talented actress lost weight, she'd still be too black for Hollywood.

Sidibe doesn't conform to Hollywood's narrow beauty requirements for romantic leads and stars: actresses should be white women, preferably blonde.

Until Hollywood's executives start looking more like Sidibe and less like Harvey Weinstein, the fat, white guy who founded Miramax, Sidibe's going to have trouble getting roles.

Because Hollywood is run by white men, their counterparts will star in films regardless of their weight . . . or age . . . or acting ability . . . SFGate

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Black Motherhood Lost at the Oscars—Thursday, 11 March 2010—The historical legacy of the devaluation and demonization of black motherhood was both applauded and rewarded at this year’s Oscars. And the point was clearly illustrated with Mo’Nique, capturing the gold statue for best supporting actress in the movie “ Precious,” based on the novel Push by Sapphire, as a ghetto welfare mom who demeans and demoralizes her child every chance she can.

Mo’Nique’s role juxtaposed to Sandra Bullock’s, who captures her Oscar as best actress in the movie “ The Blind Side,” offers the hand of human kindness to a poor black child in need of parenting.

But the images African-American parenting have historically been viewed through a prism of gendered and racial stereotypes. And the image of Mo’Nique as the “bad black mother” and Sandra Bullock as” good white mother” is nothing new.

The images of the “bad black mother” have not only been used for entertainment purposes but also used for legislating welfare policy reforms.— Rev. Irene Monroe LAProgressive

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cover of Black Feminist Thought

Black Feminist Thought

Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment

By Patricia Hill Collins

In spite of the double burden of racial and gender discrimination, African-American women have developed a rich intellectual tradition that is not widely known. In Black Feminist Thought, originally published in 1990, Patricia Hill Collins set out to explore the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals and writers, both within the academy and without. Here Collins provides an interpretive framework for the work of such prominent Black feminist thinkers as Angela Davis, bell hooks, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde. Drawing from fiction, poetry, music and oral history, the result is a superbly crafted and revolutionary book that provided the first synthetic overview of Black feminist thought and its canon.

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Hottentot Venus: A Novel is the story of Ssehura, a young Khoisan girl orphaned in 1700’s South Africa. Ssehura is renamed Saartjie (which means “little Sarah” in Dutch) by a Dutch Afrikaner who becomes her master. As is Khoisan custom, Sarah is groomed to be more sexually desirable for marriage. Her buttocks are massaged with special ointments to make them swell and her genitalia are stretched to produce the legendary “Hottentot apron,” exaggerated folds of skin. Thus, Sarah is a physical curiosity and a sexual fetish to her white master. He is persuaded by an Englishman to send her to London where she becomes a sideshow sensation. The English gentry is fascinated by her exotic African ethnicity and sexually charged presence making her stuff of legend and myth. Sarah enters the world of circus freak shows and becomes a popular exhibit. She is of “things-that-never-should-never-have-been-born”—bearded ladies, dwarfs, conjoined twins, and two headed goats. The “Hottentot Venus,” as she has become known, is the rage of Europe. Yet, beyond the parade of curiosity seekers and perverts, the very real loneliness of this young woman comes through. CopperfieldReview

  The Negro Family: The Case For National Action  / Monster’s Ball

posted 8 March 2010

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. —Publishers Weekly

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.”

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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