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for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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Professor Dubose is no ivory-towered academic but an award-winning documentary filmmaker

in her own right. Thus, it is no surprise that she punctuates her opus filled with sage, sensible advice



Do I Have to Be a Starving Artist in the 21st Century?

By Hisani Dubose

Review by Kam Williams 


The majority of my adult life I have been an artist… Through trial and error, a lot of tears, reading, and very lean times, I have learned more and more each day… My older brother Pepe has been telling me for years that I need to write a book to share what I’ve learned with other artists. The more I talk to artists of all ages and genres, the more I became convinced that he was right…

This book is about understanding the entertainment industry, learning how to support yourself while honing your craft, understanding the artistic personality, and embracing the fact that as an artist you are also an entrepreneur…My intent is to share information I’ve learned the hard way, hoping you will be spared some grief… because, no matter what your art, be it filmmaking, acting, screenwriting, dancing, game development, animation, visual arts, music, etc., you must be proactive in your career.Excerpt from the Introduction (pgs. 2-7)


Do you know an artist who spends endless hours practicing without ever worrying about getting around to marketing themselves in order to be able to make a living at what they love to do? Unfortunately, this is a pattern which tends to play itself out with painful regularity, regardless of whether the person has a passion for writing, music, acting, dance, film or the fine arts.

Sadly, many artists labor under the misconception that all they have to focus on is perfecting their craft and that the world will somehow miraculously beat a path to their door. This explains why the phenomenon of the undiscovered genius continues to persist.

To help shake just such a promising prodigy out of the doldrums, may I suggest Do I Have to Be a Starving Artist in the 21st Century?, a concise, how-to tome which urges every struggling savant to devote as much attention to the business side of their career as to a serious dedication to their chosen field of endeavor. The book is written in a pleasantly-accessible conversational style by Hisani Dubose, who teaches Screenwriting, History of the Cinema and a number of other arts-related courses at Bloomfield College in New Jersey.

Professor Dubose is no ivory-towered academic but an award-winning documentary filmmaker in her own right. Thus, it is no surprise that she punctuates her opus filled with sage, sensible advice with plenty of personal anecdotes about how she’s managed to continue to pursue her passion in the face of a host of monetary, health and child-raising challenges. The perfect gift for aspiring artists with their heads in the clouds and in need of a wake-up call to start planning a marketing strategy.

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Hisani DuBose, a graduate of Seton Hall University, spent years performing as a dancer and singer before turning to screenwriting. Her musical Different Kinda Blues' opened at Seton Hall University before moving to a professional regional theater for a month of successful weekend runs. Ms. DuBose studied at Frank Silvera's Writer's Workshop in Harlem and at an intensive screenwriting workshop run in Manhattan by the Writer's Guild of America. Since, she has directed three short movies, written feature-length screenplays, and produced a few documentaries.

As an Associate Programmer at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center she produced dozens of community performances with major international artists including jazz artists like Paquito D Rivera, Hugh Masekela and Babatunde Olatunji. In collaboration with Grammy and Tony nominee Reg E. Gaines (for Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk, Hisani produced a choreo-poem called, Brick City Blues.She is also the founder/director of the NJ Movie Maker's Network, a state wide service organization for New Jersey-based independent filmmakers. Here, this critic's choice for the best black director of the year discusses her brilliant, thought-provoking documentary, The Vanishing Black Male.  

Source: AALBC

The Vanishing Black Male

Are African American males becoming extinct? Will future generations of African American women not be able to find husbands? These are but a few of the questions explored in this 1 hour 16 minute documentary. Written/directed/produced by Hisani DuBose, it features Melvin Jackson, Jr. (whose acting credits include HBO's THE WIRE; and UPN's EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS) who interviews doctors, politicians, college students, teachers, law enforcement personnel, a screenwriter and others.

Music, artwork and a series of monologues woven throughout the movie should captivate viewers. Oscar nominated editor, Alfred Santana, helps the visuals flow smoothly. Named Best Documentary and Best Director by Kam Williams.

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#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 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


#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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Debt: The First 5,000 Years

By David Graeber

Before there was money, there was debt. Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems—to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There’s not a shred of evidence to support it. Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that for more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.  Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption”) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong. We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it. Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a fascinating chronicle of this little known history—as well as how it has defined human history, and what it means for the credit crisis of the present day and the future of our economy.   Economist Glenn Loury  /Criminalizing a Race

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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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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posted 12 May 2010




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