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She is absolutely fearless in expressing her opinion. A Letter to the Archbishop

in the Sepia Socialite July 23, 1938, was instrumental in obtaining recognition

for Catholic Negroes during the Eucharistic Congress in New Orleans

and a removal of the barriers of segregation during the time of Congress. Ora Mae Lewis

 

 

Negro Catholic Writers

(1900-1943): A Bio-Bibliography  (1945)

By Sister Mary Anthony Scally, R.S.M.

Librarian, Mount St. Agnes College Baltimore

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Louis T. Achille and Ora Mae Lewis

Louis T. Achille

Louis Thomas Achille was born August 31,1909, in Fort-de France, Martinique, French West Indies. He was educated in Paris, receiving the degree Licence-es-lettres (anglais) and Diplome d'e'tudes supe'rieures d'anglais from the University of Paris.

He began to write for publication in 1931, and since that date has been a prolific writer in both French and English. A militant Catholic, Mr. Achille has not only written directly upon religious topics, but he has never failed to imbue with religious principles any piece of writing coming from his pen. His topics have been chiefly racial problems and French colonial subjects. At times be has used the pen name Leon Terraud. He has written for L'appel de la Route, organ of the Compagnons de St. Francois, Paris; L'Etudiant Martiniquais; La Revue de Monde Noir; La Revue de L'AUCAM, organ of the Belgian Association Universitaire Catholique pour L'Aide aux Missions, Louvaine, Belgium; La Revue Anglo-Americaine.

In 1932 he came to the United States as instructor in French in the Romance Languages department of Howard University, later becoming Assistant Professor of French. He was also United States correspondent of Univers, Lille, France.

Since his residence in this country he has contributed to numerous magazines and to the Washington Post, Washington Tribune and the Afro-American.

When he came to the United States, Mr. Achille did not intend to give up his French citizenship, but the sad fate of France in the present conflict induced him to become a citizen in the country of his adoption and he is now on active duty in the United States Army.

 

Ora Mae Lewis

Ora Mae Lewis was born March 29, 1918 in New Orleans. Her father, Nathan Leopold Lewis, was a native of Jamaica, and her mother Ceceilia Della Atkinson, a New Orleans Creole. Her paternal grandfather was an educator in the East Indies. Regarding her ancestry on her mother’s side she states, "My maternal grandmother claims descent from a daughter of Henry I of Haiti, and a son of Chief Black Hawk of America, also of a Moor king in Northern Africa. The only data on the subject is contained in a letter from a Moor in Africa, asserting his relationship. And in an old schoolbook of my grandmother’s is a list of Indian names and birth dates, among which my grandmother’s name is listed."

Her elementary school education was received at Corpus Christi School, Valena C. Jones School, and McCarthy Public School in new Orleans. She attended Albert Wicker PublicHigh School, and St. Mary's Academy in New Orleans, graduating from the latter in 1936.

Upon the completion of High School, Ora Mae Lewis secured employment on the staff of a Negro newspaper in New Orleans, the Sepia Socialite, for which she wrote serial stories and short stories, and conducted the columns "Along with Time," "Downtown," "Big Sister," and "News and Comments." She was with this paper periodically from 1936-1941. From July to December, 1939, she was regularly employed on the staff of The Louisiana Weekly and conducted the columns "Socially Speaking" and "The Man on the Street Thinks," which aroused much comment. She had been a contributor to the paper previous to her employment on the staff. During the summer of 1942, she was employed on the staff of the New Orleans Sentinel and conducted the column "Heart to Heart by Cousin Adele," "Jim Crow Checkerboard," and "Magazine Page." She also contributed to The Item Tribune and The Morning Tribune during 1937 and 1938.

The literary endeavors of this indefatigable young lady aroused much interest, the result being the bestowal of a scholarship to Xavier University by a member of the Hierarchy. After an interruption of seven years, she resumed her studies, being classified as a Junior, January 1943, with a major in English and a minor in Sociology. Her journalistic background was immediately recognized at Xavier, and she was made editor-in-chief of the Xavier Herald.

Her mother died when Ora Mae was only seven years old, and her father later re-married. Ora Mae lives with her grandmother and great-grandmother, and with them also live her sister and brother. She wrote stories and poems at an early age, winning a prize from The Times Picayune in 1927 for the story "The First Christmas" and having "The Life of Cotton," a poem, published on "The Young People's Page" of that paper in 1932. She is a militant propagandist devoting much of her efforts toward securing recognition for Negro achievement and equality of opportunity for her race.

She enjoys telling how the issue of Sepia Socialite containing her story "Black Hands and Yellow Cheeks" was waved on the floor of the Senate by Senator Ellender during his heated debate against Negro voting. This is stated in the Congressional Record. Her stories in Our Sunday Visitor aroused favorable and unfavorable comment and were the subject of controversy.. In March 1943, her article "The Historian and Negro History" was published in The Negro History Bulletin covering six pages, and a portrait of the author was included. The article had been submitted six years previous to its publication.

But in addition to her serious articles and short stories on racial problems. Her output covers everything from recipes in "Home Hints" and advice to the love-lorn in "Cousin Adele" and "Big Sister" to letters to the editor on contemporary problems.

She is absolutely fearless in expressing her opinion. A Letter to the Archbishop in the Sepia Socialite July 23, 1938, was instrumental in obtaining recognition for Catholic Negroes during the Eucharistic Congress in New Orleans and a removal of the barriers of segregation during the time of Congress.

Ora Mae Lewis definitely intends to make literature her life work, but at present is devoting her efforts chiefly to her college studies. In her free time she is working on an historical novel of a famous Negro character during the eighteenth century. Address: 1934 Annette Street, New Orleans, La.

Writings

Bachelor Dean: a gripping story of college life. Sepia Socialite 1939

A serial story. Eppy teaches the Dean what matrimony really means by expounding the true Catholic concept of Christian marriage.

Bad grass weeded. The Colored Harvest 31:26 April-May 1943

A Josephite with a sense of humor established a church for the colored Catholics of New Orleans twenty-five years ago. Ora Mae Lewis tells the story from the point of view of four children who first met Father when he was cutting down the tall grass in front of the old house to be used for that purpose.

Beauty. N.O Sentinel 3;6 June 20, 1942.

Poem

Behold the black man. Sepia Socialite 1939

The Negro should not resent the epithet "black," but should be proud of it. In this series of articles, the writer advances many excellent reasons with sincere simplicity and frankness.

A bride’s prayer. Louisiana Weekly 11:8 August 28, 1937

Poem

A Carnival kick on the Zulu parade. Sepia Socialite 3: 4 February 10, 1940

Instead of depicting "savages" as representative of the Negro race as the Zulu parade does, why not depict African culture which would do credit to the Negro race?

A Catholic Challenges Catholics. Sepia Socialite 2:7 June 3, 1939

An appeal to colored Catholics to exercise initiative in the use of the educational opportunities they have received, and to unite in an organization which would make them independent of white discrimination.

Cheated. Sepia Socialite 3;4 January 20, 1940

Short Story. All the leaders of history were not white men.

Creation. New Orleans Sentinel 3;6 June 6, 1942

Poem

Creole Sunday. Sepia Socialite 2:15 May 20 - June 24, 1939

Serial article, a combination of fiction and fact, appearing weekly. Initials for names of real persons, and stories concerning them true. Catholic in atmosphere and concerned with the activities of the B.V.M sodality.

The historian and Negro history. Negro Historic Bulletin 6:134-139 March 43

White historian have erroneously concluded that the Congo has no past history because of the absence of material progress. Deeper investigation would reveal evidence of the Negro’s capacity for will, reason, and endeavor.

Note: This is a short list of Ms. Lewis’ publications. Sister Mary Anthony provides a longer list.

See also the Ora Mae Lewis website

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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GREAT BAY, St. Martin (July 31, 2011)—It’s official. It’s a bestseller! From Yvette’s Kitchen To Your Table – A Treasury of St. Martin’s Traditional & Contemporary Cuisine by Yvette Hyman has sold out, according to House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP). In a record seven weeks after its June 2011 release here, less than 80 copies of the cookbook are left in bookstores and with the author’s family representatives charged with distribution, said Jacqueline Sample, HNP president. The decision on whether to reprint a new batch of From Yvette’s Kitchen  … lies with the family of the late award-winning chef, said the publisher.“We are very thankful to the people of St. Martin for embracing Yvette’s cookbook. The visitors to our island also bought many copies of this beautifully designed book of the nation’s cuisine,” said Sample.From Yvette’s Kitchen  is made up of 13 chapters, including Appetizers, Soups, Poultry, Fish and Shellfish, Meat, Salads, Dumplings, Rice and Fungi, Breads, and Desserts.The 312-page full color book includes recipes for Souse, the ever-popular Johnny cake, and Conch Yvette’s. Lamb stew, coconut tart, guavaberry, and soursop drink are also among the over 200 recipes à la Yvette in this Treasury of St. Martin’s Traditional & Contemporary Cuisine, said Sample.“We hope that this cookbook’s success also adds to the indicator of the performance and importance of books published in the Caribbean,” said Sample.

Yvette’s cookbook is a 2011 bestseller

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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. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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The Last Holiday: A Memoir

By Gil Scott Heron

Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered. Gil uses Lennon's violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King's assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong. —Jamie Byng, Guardian / Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio)  / Gil Scott-Heron & His Music  Gil Scott Heron Blue Collar  Remember Gil Scott- Heron

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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today. He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power--and the enormous risks--of the dollar's worldwide reign.  The Economy

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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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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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update 18 April 2012

 

 

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