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African-American Authors

Readers' Cafe

The Blackbirds
Charcoal Joe An Easy Rawlins Mystery
Citizens Creek A Novel
Copycat
The Family Business
Finding Gideon
I Almost Forgot About You A Novel
Kindred
The Last Confession A Crime Novel
Sing, Unburied, Sing A Novel
The Sellout A Novel
The Underground Railroad
The Blackbirds / Eric Jerome Dickey

Best-selling erotic-romance writer Dickey (Naughtier Than Nice, 2015) wields his typically evocative style in this empowering story of four women friends. As they celebrate each of their birthdays, Kwanzaa, Erika, Indigo, and Destiny draw on life lessons from the past as well as family secrets to help them realize their dreams. Kwanzaa meets an unusual new man while recovering from her involvement with a cheating ex-fianc??. Erika falls in love with Destiny's father while struggling to overcome cancer. Indigo balances her Nigerian family's expectations for a formal courtship with her boyfriends' betrayals. Destiny works several jobs while attending school and trying to forget a terrible incident. The characters' situations, especially Destiny's rape and subsequent social-media shaming, mirror stories in the news, bringing relatable voices and feelings to difficult issues. Dickey's creative and explicit sexual scenarios distract at times from the compelling stories of his strong women characters, and the novel is long. But readers will stay with it to see how these endearing women endure and survive. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Charcoal Joe: An Easy Rawlins Mystery / Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley's indelible detective Easy Rawlins is back, with a new detective agency and a new mystery to solve.

Picking up where his last adventures in Rose Gold left off in L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins finds his life in transition. He's ready - finally - to propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together. And he's taken the money he got from the Rose Gold case and, together with two partners, Saul Lynx and Tinsford "Whisper" Natly, has started a new detective agency. But, inevitably, a case gets in the way: Easy's friend Mouse introduces him to Rufus Tyler, a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe's friend's son, Seymour (young, bright, top of his class in physics at Stanford) , has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man from Redondo Beach. Joe tells Easy he will pay and pay well to see this young man exonerated, but seeing as how Seymour literally was found standing over the man's dead body at his cabin home, and considering the racially charged motives seemingly behind the murder, that might prove to be a tall order.
Between his new company, a heart that should be broken but is not, a whole raft of new bad guys on his tail, and a bad odor that surrounds Charcoal Joe, Easy has his hands full, his horizons askew, and his life in shambles around his feet.

Citizens Creek: A Novel / Lalita Tademy

The New York Times bestselling author of the Oprah Book Club Pick Cane River brings us the evocative story of a once-enslaved man who buys his freedom after serving as a translator during the American Indian Wars, and his granddaughter, who sustains his legacy of courage. Cow Tom, born into slavery in Alabama in 1810 and sold to a Creek Indian chief before his tenth birthday, possessed an extraordinary gift: the ability to master languages. As the new country developed westward, and Indians, settlers, and blacks came into constant contact, Cow Tom became a key translator for his Creek master and was hired out to US military generals. His talent earned him money - but would it also grant him freedom? And what would become of him and his family in the aftermath of the Civil War and the Indian Removal westward? Cow Tom's legacy lives on - especially in the courageous spirit of his granddaughter Rose.

Copycat / Kimberla Lawson Roby

Befriending Traci Calloway Cole is the best thing Simone Phillips has ever done. Traci is the kind of woman Simone wants to be-in every way possible. She begins copying her role model. Not because she wants to be Traci. She just wants to be exactly like Traci. Traci doesn't worry, though. She knows Simone doesn't mean any harm and that her mimicry is only sincere admiration. Until she discovers how far Simone's obsession has gone. It is then that Simone's entire world begins unraveling, and dreadful secrets from her past are exposed with no warning. Secrets that she'll do almost anything to protect.

The Family Business / Carl Weber

By day, the Duncans are an upstanding family who run a thriving car dealership in Queens. By night, they live a dangerous secret life! Carl Weber and Eric Pete deliver a thrilling underworld drama in The Family Business. L.C. Duncan, patriarch of the family, is at the age when he's starting to think about retirement in sunny Florida. But the recession is taking a bite out of the business and, worrying more, he has to decide which of his children should take over. When his workaholic son Orlando gets the nod, Orlando's siblings--including the favorite son Vegas, conniving daughter London, glamorous party girl Paris and flamboyant nightclub owner Rio--are up in arms. But so are the Zunigas, a rival family whose fragile business alliance with the Duncans may explode at any moment.

Finding Gideon / Eric Jerome Dickey

Neither?Gideon?nor the city of Buenos Aires has recovered from the mayhem caused during?Gideon's?last job. But before the dust has settled and the bodies have been buried,?Gideon?calls in backup--including the lovely Hawks, with whom?Gideon?has heated memories--to launch his biggest act of revenge yet,?one he believes will destroy his adversary, Midnight, once and for all. Yet Midnight and his second-in-command, the beautiful and ruthless Se?orita Raven, are launching their own revenge, assembling a team of mercenaries the likes of which the world has never seen. (Publishers summary)

I Almost Forgot About You: A Novel / Terry Mcmillan

In I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young's wonderful life--great friends, family, and successful career--aren't enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, including quitting her job as an optometrist and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Georgia's bravery reminds us that it's never too late to become the person you want to be, and that taking chances, with your life and your heart, are always worthwhile.

Big-hearted, genuine, and universal, I Almost Forgot About You shows what can happen when you face your fears, take a chance, and open yourself up to life, love, and the possibility of a new direction. It's everything you've always loved about Terry McMillan.

Kindred / Octavia E. Butler

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

The Last Confession: A Crime Novel / Solomon Jones

Having come of age on the mob-controlled streets of 1960?s South Philly, Detective Mike Coletti learned early to walk the fine line between cops and criminals. That skill served him well during his thirty-one years in homicide. But it never stopped the nightmares. The screams in the sanctuary still haunt him, the sound of the gunshots still torment him, and the truth of the Confessional Murders still speaks to him, if only in his dreams. Now, on the eve of Coletti?s retirement, the priest whom he arrested for the decade-old crime is about to be put to death, and in one final nightmare, Coletti clearly sees the truth. The priest is innocent, and it all comes to light when the real killer reemerges and embarks on a killing spree that turns Philadelphia upside down.

Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel / JESMYN WARD

When the children's father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.?

The Sellout: A Novel / Paul Beatty

A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality -- the black Chinese restaurant. Born in the "agrarian ghetto" of Dickens -- on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles -- the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: "I'd die in the same bedroom I'd grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that've been there since '68 quake.

The Underground Railroad / Colson Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood - where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned - Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor - engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.
The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

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