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BLACK BOOKS LIVE!

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Black Books Live! seeks to address the dearth of audio material available from Black Authors. Every week, hosts Jason Harris, Cher Jey and guests will read excerpts from a Black author's classic works. Links to the print and audio copies of the featured author will be included with each episode.
Black Books Live! seeks to address the dearth of audio material available from Black Authors. Every week, hosts Jason Harris, Cher Jey and guests will read excerpts from a Black author's classic works. Links to the print and audio copies of the featured author will be included with each episode. << Show Less
Featured Audio
Episode 4 - J.California Cooper For this episode, we are featuring the work of yet another living master: award winning playwright and novelist J. California Cooper .  After gaining notoriety as a playwright, Cooper turned her attention to novels and short stories; she has since published 13 books, including A Piece of Mine, Homemade Love, which was awarded the 1989 American Book Award; Some Soul to Keep, In Search of Satisfaction, and her latest, Life is Short but Wide, published in 2009.

Cooper is known for her witty, conversational style that draws readers into the world of her characters, with her stories often centering on women dealing with vicissitudes of life as told by a folksy narrator.
This podcast features Cher Jey reading excerpts of "The Lost and the Found", from Cooper's short story collection "The Future has a Past".
Newest Audio
Episode 4 - J.California Cooper For this episode, we are featuring the work of yet another living master: award winning playwright and novelist J. California Cooper .  After gaining notoriety as a playwright, Cooper turned her attention to novels and short stories; she has since published 13 books, including A Piece of Mine, Homemade Love, which was awarded the 1989 American Book Award; Some Soul to Keep, In Search of Satisfaction, and her latest, Life is Short but Wide, published in 2009.

Cooper is known for her witty, conversational style that draws readers into the world of her characters, with her stories often centering on women dealing with vicissitudes of life as told by a folksy narrator.
This podcast features Cher Jey reading excerpts of "The Lost and the Found", from Cooper's short story collection "The Future has a Past".
Episode 3 - Arthur Flowers Arthur Flowers is the author of two novels, 'Another Good Loving Blues' and 'De Mojo Blues'. He has also written a nonfiction memoir, 'Mojo Rising: Confessions of a 21st Century Conjureman' and other books. Flowers states that his work is focused on "the interplay between literature, mythwork and human destiny." He augments this work of creative production through cultural retention with the modern trappings of cyberspace, as he regularly posts on his blog, Rootsblog- a cyberhoodoo webspace. He is a founding member/director of New Renaissance Writers Guild of NYC, The Griot Shop based in Memphis, and the Pan African Literary Forum.  He is a former Executive Director of the Harlem Writers Guild. Flowers currently teaches literature at Syracuse University. 

In this episode we are presenting excerpts of his classic novel, an epic rooted in the blues of his native Memphis Tennessee. Black Books Live proudly presents to you excerpts from Arthur Flower's 'Another Good Loving Blues'.
Episode 2 - Toni Cade Bambara When one thinks of books and thinks of Toni, we all know who comes to mind- our Nobel laureate, Pulitzer prize winning grand dame, Toni Morrison. Yet in the world of literature, there are two 'Tonis', and today we are focusing on the equally important Toni Cade Bambara. As with last weeks episode, our featured writer was brought up in the fertile creative environment of Harlem New York. Bambara's approach to writing was shaped in this culturally rich community and later augmented with an extensive academic and professional pedigree. The result is a singular style of prose characterized by poetic streams of consciousness, non-linear plots, incredibly diverse dialogue that is unerringly tuned into the nuances of race, gender, age, and culture, as well as a commitment to connecting contemporary events to the fate of her characters. Bambara's first book, 'The Black Woman' published in 1971, was a groundbreaking anthology which featured women writers. Her collections of short fiction, 'Gorilla, My Love' and 'The Seabirds Are Still Alive', established her voice in the American Literary landscape. Her 1980 masterpiece, the novel 'The Salt Eaters', won the American Book Award. Bambara then turned her attention to filmmaking, collaborating with Louis Massiah of the Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia to create the award winning documentary 'The Bombing of Osage Avenue'. In 1995, Toni Cade Bambara joined the ancestors, but she left behind two more books; one a collection of fiction and essays entitled 'Deep Sightings and Rescue Missions', and a haunting novel about the Atlanta child murders, 'Those Bones Are Not My Child', which was editing by Toni Morrison herself. Black Books Live is presenting three excerpts today.
Episode 1 - James Baldwin For our first podcast, we present James Baldwin's 'Sonny's Blues'. Born and raised in Harlem, James Baldwin's writing and his work on behalf of African Americans is known worldwide. His debut novel 'Go Tell It on the Mountain, and his powerful collections of non-fiction, 'Notes of A Native Son, 'Nobody Knows My Name' and 'The Fire Next Time, established him as one of the most important literary voices of the 20th century. 'Sonny's Blues', which first appeared in The Partisan Review in 1957, and later on in Baldwins short fiction collection, 'Going to Meet The Man', in 1965. This story is an example of Baldwin at his finest: a story about family, community, race, and yes Music. This story's central relationship is between two brothers, one a teacher and dutiful husband, the other, a troubled, but rising jazz pianist recently paroled after being imprisoned for selling heroin. Baldwin's masterful expression of his character's inner dialogue, best exemplified by the title character's struggle to reconnect with his skills on the bandstand, gives us a clear view into the mind of an artist and an eloquent description of jazz.