Thursday, February 24, 2005

Marriage, publicity and a novel

Maryann Reid, author of Use Me or Lose Me, wants more Black couples with children to get married. So she's holding a contest to give a free wedding and is screening contestants for the September ceremony. Perhaps it's her publisher's contest - that isn't clear from the story (you may have to watch an ad). Reid does have a book coming out at the same time and it's titled - Marry Your Baby Mama, just like her contest. Innovative book marketing or just a sad stunt?

Literary R&R

Here's a nice short piece on Monique Greenwood's Akwaaba D.C., a literary themed bed and breakfast inn in the Baltimore Sun. Much as I love mysteries, I think I'll skip the Mosley room. The idea of murder mysteries might keep me up at night - unless Easy is going to pay a visit.

Let's try this again

Okay - so the BBB didn't quite make it past conception back in 2004. Luckily, the good folks at Blogger will let your blog sit for a really long time with no updates. I'm willing to try again - so let's get to it.

Donald Bogle's history of Black Hollywood is getting a lot of press right now - especially with a record number of Black folk nominated for Academy Awards (3 days left!). There's an interview with him on and he talked about Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams with Ed Gordon at NPR. His commentary about the struggles of contemporary African American women in Hollywood is interesting. He's right about Angela Bassett - why isn't she a bigger star?

The Seattle Times ran an article on urban lit (aka ghetto lit, hip hop lit) and links the genre to the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement. Donnell Alexander makes some pointed comments about the cultural and financial ups and downs of the publishing industry from his perspective as an author with a book (Ghetto Celebrity) that will find a home on library shelves. Read his San Francisco Chronicle essay. Both links came from the fabulous Negrophile.

Speaking of urban and celebrity, I got the new Savoy this week. I subscribed to the old version and I suppose the list was sold with the mag. Anyway, I've read a couple of short features and flipped through the book. Unfortunately, it seems to have lost some luster. And they need to get serious about editing the copy - if they're trying to reach bourgeouis educated Negroes, it doesn't help to see Zore Neal Hurston [sic] and Santa Clause [sic] plus an almost unreadable tribute to Adam Clayton Powell. Then again the site's web site is still just an "under construction" page, so they've got bigger issues. There's a book review of Brown Sugar 4: Secret Desires. Novelist RM Johnson is on the masthead, so at least there's hope of some review coverage.