Archive for the ‘African American Literature’ Category

Celebration of Diverse Literary Voices in Austin and Texas

October 29, 2016 Leave a comment

Come hear the words and inspiration from some of the most dynamic and culturally diverse authors in Austin and Texas on Saturday, December 3, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St., Austin, Texas. Featured authors include Anthony and Keffrelyn Brown, co-authors of BLACK INTELLECTUAL THOUGHT IN EDUCATION; Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, author of the short story collection BAREFOOT DOGS; Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, author of the novel BEFORE WE VISIT THE GODDESS; Jacob Grovey, author of the novel DANCE OF THE BROKEN, and John Moran Gonzalez, author of BORDER RENAISSANCE.  Cosponsors include City of Austin Cultural Arts Division and Austin Revitalization Authority.

To register for the event click here.


Anthony and Keffrelyn Brown


Antonio Ruiz-Camacho



Marrick Armstrong (writing as Matthias Miles)



Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni



Jacob Grovey

Novel About Black Ballerina and Crime Fiction Picks of the Month

August 28, 2016 Leave a comment

Jacob Grovey, author of the new novel DANCE OF THE BROKEN and BookPeople’s crime fiction coordinator Scott Montgomery and bookseller Molly Odintz are today’s live in studio guests at 12:30 p.m. CST on KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7 FM.  

DANCE OF THE BROKEN tells the poignant and inspirational story of a young black girl who dreams of being a ballerina, despite society’s opinion that she’s cut from the wrong cloth. 

Scott and Molly will be recommending new crime fiction novels and short stories for listeners to read:

Scott’s Crime Fiction Picks

1. Mississippi Noir edited by Tom Franklin

2. St. Louis Noir edited by Scott Phillips

3. Survivors Will Be Shot Again by Bill Crider

Molly’s Crime Fiction Picks

1. You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

2. The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis

3. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Jacob Grovey

Molly Odintz and Scott Montgomery

PODCAST: Austin Authors Discuss New Children’s Books on KAZI Today

December 6, 2015 Leave a comment

Listen to the podcast of my December 6 interview on KAZI Book ReviewSimel E.J. Bey, author of THE MYSTERIOUS ONE OF KAPWERA ENGOLO and Willie S. Anderson, author of WYNTER, TAKE A BOW!:


The Mysterious One of Kapwera EngoloBased on the true story of Mestre Benedito, one of the innovators of the unique and beautiful martial art Capoeira, MYSTERIOUS ONE OF KAPWERA ENGOLO celebrates the life of a young man named Besege taken from his home and sold into slavery in the New World. Swiftly escaping to a multi-racial community of freedom fighters, Besege survives to witness turbulent times, including the birth of capoeira from a mix of African and native Brazilian arts, the abolition of slavery in Brazil, and the rise of Afro-Brazilian culture as an enduring force.

Simel Bey

Simel Bey

Author Simel E.J. Bey is a Licensed & Board Certified Acupuncturist and teacher. Simel earned a bachelor’s degree in Radio, Film, and Print and his master’s degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He is the CEO of Bey Acupuncture, a thriving and accolade-winning practice specializing in Oriental Medicine. He made his publishing debut in 2010 with Children’s Initiatic Tales: Stories from The Immortal Light, a collection of six original tales inspired by traditions of myth, spiritual folklore, and ancient fairy tales.


Wynter, Take A BowEvery child is gifted. Wynter, Take a Bow poetically illustrates the creative genius and exuberant spirit of one amazing little girl. Featuring phenomenally vivid art by Keturah Ariel, each illustration is simply beautiful. Wynter, Take a Bow is Willie S. Anderson’s first published children’s book. Though written primarily for youngsters, this brilliant “work of heart” is sure to inspire and rejuvenate the child in each of us. Keep the pages turning!

Willie Alexander

Willie Alexander

Willie S. Anderson, M.Ed., is an educator, visionary, writer, speaker, sojourner, and community advocate. Blessed to live her passion through service, Anderson firmly believes that we must use our God-given talents to uplift our community. Ms. Anderson is abundantly blessed with supportive family and friends. She is especially grateful for her magnificent mama, two lovely, dynamic daughters; a dedicated, sensational son-in-law; and three energetic, brilliant “baby grands.” A native of Henderson, Tennessee, Anderson resides in Pflugerville, Texas.

Author’s Novel Shares Haitian-American Experience

November 16, 2015 Leave a comment
Elsie Augustave

Elsie Augustave

Tune in at 8 a.m. CST for my interview with Elsie Augustave, author of the 2013 novel THE ROVING TREE, on KAZI Book Review.  THE ROVING TREE follows a young Haitian adoptee, Iris Odys, through various journeys across the world. Odys is the rejected daughter of a Haitian maid and of the middle-class Haitian man who employs her. In addition to the struggle for identity of cross-cultural adoptees, the book explores themes of class, color and religion in Haiti.

Early Morning Reading: The Ethics of Swagger

November 11, 2015 Leave a comment

The Ethics of SwaggerI just finished reading a chapter about Ernest Gaines prizing winning novel, A LESSON BEFORE DYING, in Michael DeRell Hill’s book, THE ETHICS OF SWAGGER: Prizewinning African American Novels, 1977-1993.  Set in rural Louisiana in the late 1940s, A LESSON BEFORE DYING is about a black teacher recruited by his aunt to educate a young black man wrongfully accused of murder on deathrow on how to be a man.  It deals with the racial conflicts of the deep south and how despite the main character’s education, it doesn’t preclude him from bring treated as a second class citizen.  I’m taping an interview with Hill Saturday.  Here is a footnote from page 88 in THE ETHICS OF SWAGGER that caught my attention:

“Gaine’s responses to wrongful conviction and black middle class impotence featured humility as potentially edifying…For evidence of both popular and bourgois rebellion, see, respectively, Public Enemy’s classic album It Takes A Nation of Millions (1988) and the April 1990 Ebony  cover story, “Success is the Best Revenge,” about Vanessa Williams…This portrait of bourgeois bliss engaged a specific triumph over racial prejudice, but the story’s title phrase emerged as a generic slogan of affluence as activism.”

In his book, Hill examines how prizewinning African American authors dealt with white literary expectations and incorporated black traditions in their novels including TonI Morrison’s BELOVED, Alice Walker’s THE COLOR PURPLE, Charles Johnson’s MIDDLE PASSAGE, Gaines’ A LESSON BEFORE DYING, and others.

A Taste of Texas Book Festival Authors Featured on KAZI Book Review

October 10, 2015 Leave a comment
Attica Locke

Attica Locke

KAZI Book Review will feature excerpts from interviews with four authors appearing at the Texas Book Festival on the October 11 edition of KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7 FM:

James McGrath Morris photo by Patty Morris

James McGrath Morris

  • Attica Locke, author of the novel PLEASANTVILLE, a murder mystery set in 1996 revolving around a campaign to elect Houston’s first black mayor,
  • James McGrath Morris, author of EYE ON THE STRUGGLE, a biography of the Black newspaper white house correspondent Ethel Payne,
  • Laila Lalami, author of a historical novel about the first Black to explore America, THE MOORS ACCOUNT, and
  • Laila Lalami

    Laila Lalami

    Vu Tran, author of a mystery novel about the search for an enigmatic Vietnamese woman, DRAGONFISH.

    Vu Tran

    Vu Tran

The Texas Book Festival is October 17-18 and more information about all the authors appearing is available at

Be sure to tune in Monday, October 12, for the Monday edition of KAZI Book Review which will feature an interview with Wendell Pierce, author of a memoir about his efforts to rebuild the New Orleans neighborhood he grew up in after Hurricane Katrina, THE WIND IN THE REEDS: A Storm, A Play, and the City That Would Not Be Broken.

PODCAST: Ghostly Stories From Tananarive Due

October 4, 2015 Leave a comment

Ghost SummerListen to my interview with Tananarive Due, author of the short story collection, GHOST SUMMER.  Due was a guest on the October 5 edition of KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7 FM.

About the Book

In her debut collection of short fiction, GHOST SUMMER Tananarive Due escorts us down the supernatural path with stories that raise the anxiety of readers, subtlely growing the fear and fright.  Due takes us to Gracetown, a small Florida town that has both literal and figurative ghost; into future scenarios that seem all too real; and provides empathetic portraits of those whose lives are touched by Otherness. Featuring an award-winning novella and fifteen stories—one of which has never been published before—GHOST SUMMER: STORIES, is sure to both haunt and delight.With these stories set in Florida and Georgia, in the past and the present, Due brings a uniquely African American voices to these tales of fright.

Tananarive Due

Tananarive Due

About the Author

Tananarive Due is a former Cosby Chair in the Humanities at Spelman College (2012-2014), where she taught screenwriting, creative writing and journalism.  She also teaches in the creative writing MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles. The American Book Award winner and NAACP Image Award recipient is the author of twelve novels and a civil rights memoir.  In 2010, she was inducted into the Medill School of Journalism’s Hall of Achievement at Northwestern University.