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This unique collaboration, the first between a best-selling African American author

and an independent African American-owned publisher, was stimulated by a comment

made during a PEN Open Book Committee panel moderated by Mosley.



Books by Walter Mosley

What Next: A Memoir Toward World Peace  / Life Out of Context / Devil in A Blue Dress / Fear of the Dark  (audiobook )


Little Scarlet (An Easy Rawlins Novel)  / Cinamon Kiss (audiobook) / This Year You Write Your Novel  /  Fortunate Son

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What Next

A Memoir Toward World Peace

By Walter Mosley


Walter Mosley's What Next dares to propose that African Americans can have a voice and play a leading role in creating world peace. It challenges global capitalism, which profits from creating wars, hunger and death around the world. It condemns our government's corrupt political leadership and its subservience to corporations as opposed to the democratic will of the people. And perhaps most provocative of all, it encourages everyday people to take action to bring about world peace.

Shocked by the events of 9/11 (witnessed from his New York apartment), best-selling author Mosley like many other Americans, questioned why our enemies hate us so. Mosley's answer did not come from the endless news coverage, but from conversations he had as a child and as an adult with his father. these conversations provided a background and a filter for Mosley to explore what it means for African Americans to be Americans, to be attacked by America's enemies, and to stand for world peace.

Leroy Mosley, the author's father, was a hard working provider, a deep thinker, and a contemporary urban philosopher. Drafted into the army during the Second World War, he quickly discovered German troops shot at him just as readily as they did other Americans. This experience convinced Leroy that he was indeed a full-fledged citizen of the United States. Watching the trail of smoke rise from the damaged twin towers, the younger Mosley was reminded of his father's journey to his own self-styled emancipation

Reader be warned: this is not another 9/11 book. In an engaging and unique style Mosley argues, for African Americans, with centuries of experience fighting against slavery, racism, and oppression, the struggle for global equality is a natural role.

Directed primarily to African Americans embraceable by all, What Next is a call to action for bringing about world peace.

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Walter Mosley Signs Deal

with Black Classic Press of Baltimore


Best-selling author Walter Mosley has chosen Black Classic Press, a Baltimore independent press and publisher, to bring out his new book rather than a more corporate publisher such as W.W. Norton. This new book will be entitled What Next : An African-American Initiative Toward World Peace. This non-fiction work, we believe, will be out sometime early 2003.

In 1996, Mosley gave his manuscript Gone Fishin' an unpublished work of the early years of his fictional hero Easy Rawlins, to Black Classic Press, which sold over 100,000 copies of this detective novel.

In this new non-fictional work, Mosley explores black popular opinion on world peace, terrorism, and war with Iraq. He looks at his relationship with his father, a WW II veteran, to examine what American identity and American patriotism means to blacks. The book will be hardcover, 124 pages. Paul Coates, publisher of Black Classic Press, plans to print 40,000 in the first printing.

Though not a 9/11 book, Mosley, according to Coates, was "inspired by that event." Mosley attempts "to create a dialogue around the black community's perspective on revenge, security, and peace." What Next is intended as a "conversation, not a manifesto."

Gone Fishin'  is the first novel about Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins and Raymond "Mouse" Alexander, and chronicles in language both earthy and lyrical their early years in 1939 Houston and the swamp lands of pariah, Texas. A tale of youthful naivete and adult passions, murder, and redemption, Gone Fishin' reveals for the first time the forces that shaped the adult characters enjoyed by millions in the five novels featuring the reluctant detective and his deadly sidekick.

This unique collaboration, the first between a best-selling African American author and an independent African American-owned publisher, was stimulated by a comment made during a PEN Open Book Committee panel moderated by Mosley.

"When it was suggested that once in a while successful Black authors should publish a book with a Black publisher, I felt it made a lot of sense," Mosley said.With the blessing of W.W. Norton, his usual publisher, Mosley began to explore such a collaboration.

His search was rewarded when he met Paul Coates, publisher of the Baltimore-based press. Coates, whose press specializes in publishing long-lost treasure of African-American literature and important work by contemporary author, felt the novel was a perfect fit for his publishing program and moved aggressively to acquire the book.

"Walter Mosley is one of our finest living American novelists, yet this powerful novel has remained unpublished until now. And while he has gone on to unanimous acclaim for his Easy Rawlins detective series and other novels, i believe the publication of Gone Fishin' will show not only the depth of Walter's early genius but will also forge some important links in our undertaking of the moral complexity and richness of the characters who populate his later fiction."

Gone Fishin' was published 1997 by Black Classic Press.

Walter Mosley is the author of fourteen critically acclaimed books and has been translated into twenty-one languages. His popular mysteries featuring Easy Rawlins began with Devil in a Blue Dress in 1990, which was translated to the notable 1995 film.

Mosley has also written three works of literary fiction, two works of science fiction, a first volume in a new mystery series Fearless Jones, and two works of nonfiction, Workin' on the Chain Gang and Black Genius. he most recently published a collection of short stories featuring Easy Rawlins, Six Easy Pieces.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, he now lives in New York City.

posted  10 March 2003

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Walter Mosley on Writing

I didn’t start off writing detective novels. The first thing I wrote was Gone Fishin’, which is Easy Rawlins and Mouse, but it wasn’t a detective novel. I sent it out, and everybody said to me, "Well, it’s good writing, but who’s going to read this?" And I go, "What do you mean?" Said, "Well, you know, white people don’t read about black people. Black women don’t like black men. And black men don’t read. So who’s going to read your book?" And so, you know, I accepted it. A lot of people, their first book, don’t get published.

So I went back, and I wrote another book about Easy and Mouse, but this time it was a mystery. And everybody was like, "Wow! That’s great! A black detective!" One guy actually said, "But, you know, there already is a black detective." And I said, "Well, you know, there’s a whole bunch of white detectives." And he goes, "I don’t see what you mean by that." But that worked.

And then it worked in ways that I didn’t expect, because everybody reads mysteries, and they don’t care who the detective is. They care about the mystery itself. And then a world gets revealed throughout that. You know, that starts with Sherlock Holmes. You know, he kind of reveals the whole empire through those short stories. And so, I just said, "Wow! This is really great. This is working. I’m getting all kinds of people to read this book." And, you know, and that’s really wonderful. . . .Well, you know, I’ve always been really bad in school. I can’t study anything I’m not interested in, or that I don’t—I can’t see a direct reason for studying it. And that was always a really bad thing. I always tell people that, you know, if you—well, if you come to, like, a young black woman and she’s going to be a writer, she’ll say—you’ll say, "Who influenced her?" And she’ll say, "Well, Phillis Wheatley and Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Walker and Toni Morrison and Edwidge Danticat and Zadie Smith." She’ll say names to you that will make you put her in higher esteem. You know, you’re going to be like Toni Morrison.

The truth is, you learn how to read when you’re a kid. Who influenced you was Nancy Drew, right? If you read Beloved at the age of eight, you would either kill yourself or your mother, right? You know, I mean, you’d say, "Mom, I read this book, and I don’t buy it. You know, so one of us has to go." I mean, that’s what you would say. You have to be an adult. But when you learn how to read, you’re a child. You love literature. It’s real. You really experience it. Your imagination is the most powerful it will ever be. You’re closer to your unconscious than you will ever again be. So you read these things that are not great literature, as E.M. Forster talks about in his book about writing. But you take the things that you love, and you make them into something.

So, like I’m really influenced by the stories my father told about his childhood. I’m very influenced by comic books: Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and Marvel Comics really kind of structured my life. Later on, you know, I read Gabriel García Márquez and Albert Camus and André Malraux, and they influenced me. But the big thing was, you know, the Fantastic 4 when I was a kid.—DemocracyNow

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
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#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
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#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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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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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)

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The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town." Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest. Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.

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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

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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 14 February 2012




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Related files: School Daze  A Depravity of Logic    A Naïve Political Treatise  A Report on a Gathering  at Red Emma's   Urban Legends  Devil in a Blue Dress and Cinnamon Kiss

What Next    A Naïve Political Treatise       A New Black Power     Responses to "A New Black Power"    Parameters of a Black Political Party