words by willis

What began as a search for personal family history blossomed into a rich, epic novel; the stories within “Cane River” unfurl amongst the sweltering swamps, marshes and bayous of Louisiana. Author Lalita Tademy reaches readers through the murky haze of the Old South, and reveals the legacy of Tademy’s family, told as a riveting drama. […]

Set in balmy Eatonville, Florida in the early first half of the 20th century, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” is a classic, romantic story, bursting to the seams with culture, love, and life. Author Zora Neale Hurston spins a colorful tale of love and loss, focused around Janie Woods, who discovers that life is what […]

A witty and inspiring collection of short stories, through “Some Soul to Keep,” J. California Cooper teaches her readers a thing or two about love. Funny, open, and soothing, this book encourages the broken heart to heal, and solid, real love to grow. Readers have compared this book and the other works of Cooper’s to […]

Today’s Favorite Book is “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B. DuBois. One of the most debated novels of the past 200 years, “The Souls of Black Folk” held a mirror to the lives of Black Americans, who were still struggling to adjust to a post-slavery America at the time of the novel’s debut. The […]

Today’s Favorite Book is “Paradise” by Toni Morrison. Morrison’s works have been labeled “deep” and “complex”; “Paradise” is no exception. This novel is a layered masterpiece, and doesn’t flinch from the dark topics of lust, murder and betrayal. “Paradise” is riveting, strong and quietly brilliant, and depicts a town of Blacks in the Midwest, who […]

The first month of 2011 is over…are you still committed to making this year better than the last? Don’t just get by this year—vow to really live! Follow this advice for your best year yet: –Don’t dwell: Let go of negative experiences and thoughts after you’ve gleaned from them everything you can. Learn, grow, and […]

Today’s Favorite Book is “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker. This moving novel is a favorite to countless women all over the world. Award-winning director Steven Spielberg presented a film adapted from the novel in 1985, starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey. “The Color Purple” won a cult following after its recent reintroduction […]

Today’s Favorite Book is Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin. Baldwin is noted as one of the most mysterious and culturally-aware writers of all time. In the 1940s, the outspoken writer left the United States for Paris, France, where he lived and worked for the majority of his latter life. Baldwin credited […]

Today’s Favorite Book is 72 Hour Hold, by Bebe Moore Campbell. One of the most poignant and honest works of the new millennium, “72 Hour Hold” shines a light on mental illness within the African American community, and gives readers the opportunity to explore (without judgment) the complex world of mental health. Readers are introduced […]

“I like to tell the truth as I see it. That’s why literature is so important. We cannot possibly leave it to history…to tell the story of our people. It’s not a ladder we are climbing, it’s literature we’re producing, and there will always be someone to read it.” –Nikki Giovanni As quoted from gifted […]