Wednesday, June 30, 2010

L.A. Black Pride and Links

If you're in the L.A. area over 4th of July weekend, you've gotta check out Los Angeles Black Pride, aka, At The Beach L.A. Always something to do and someone to meet. Lots of events from July 1 - 5.

Related links. The new, and last, novel by E. Lynn Harris comes out this week. In My Father's House. Definitely worth checking out.

If you haven't picked up the Visible Lives tribute to E. Lynn Harris, you should. Great stories by James Earl Hardy, Stanley Bennett Clay, and Terrance Dean.

The other day, fellow author Rashid Darden and I were reminiscing on how busy our summer was five years ago, when in 2005, both our first novels were published and we were promoting our work on the Black Pride circuit. His, Lazarus. Mine, Down For Whatever. I love Rashid's writing a lot. Check out Rashid Darden on Facebook. Wow, time flies.

That's the latest and greatest here. What's up with you?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Leimert Park Book Fair

If you're in the L.A. area this weekend, check out the Leimert Park Book Fair on Saturday, June 26 from 9:30 am - 6 pm.

Looks like a really impressive lineup of authors, panels, and entertainment. And of course, it will come correct with the cultural inclusion of black authors. It's Leimert Park.

Look for authors and poets such as Eric Jerome Dickey, Nene Leakes, Ruth Forman, Imani Tolliver, Darnell Hunt, Vanessa Williams, Lou Gossett Jr., along with panels on mystery writers, poetry workshops, hip hop discussions, spoken word performances, and even vegan soul food cooking demonstrations.

Schedule of events here. The official Leimert Park Book Fair site here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

32 Candles

I've been hearing so much about this novel, that I just had to tell you. But I'm sure you know about it already...

32 Candles is the debut novel by author Ernessa T. Carter. How can I best summarize the novel??? Besides imaginative and fun and full of what if's... And maybe I'm excited because I was (and still can be) a Nerd of Color in high school and life, lol...

Imagine you were all the awkward things that the most awkward high schooler could be, but you had a crush on the most un-awkward and popular athlete boy in high school.

Then imagine going away, re-inventing yourself and your look, and your whole way of being, and at age 32, that popular boy, now a 32-year-old man, falls for you... but he hasn't a clue who you are/were in his high school life. No. Clue.

Anyway, 32 Candles is in bookstores now. It's an Essence Magazine book pick. And check out this fascinating interview with Ernessa T. Carter on The Nervous Breakdown blog.

Happy reading. Nerds of color... unite!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Really Fat Virgin

If you're in the L.A. area tonight (Friday, June 18), you might want to check out the performance, Really Fat Virgin (And Other Stories From Before We Were Hot). Sounds really fun and funny.

Will feature writers and performers: Jessie McNamara, Roy Cruz, Andrea Gardner-Bernstein, and Nico Santos.

Takes place in the West Hollywood Church, 916 N. Formosa Avenue, from 8 - 9:30 pm. $10 donation with resesrvation, $15 without a reservation, and it benefits the Lambda Literary Foundation. For information, email

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Piece of Work

Graduation weekend in my world, so will be out the social loop Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. But the rest of the world will keep turning, with some great things going on.

If film and comedy are your thing, check out A Piece of Work, a new documentary on Joan Rivers. Heard a great interview she did on NPR the other day. And the L.A. Times Review on the film is great.

If you're in L.A., it's West Hollywood LGBT Pride Weekend. All the boys, girls, and fans will be in West Hollywood watching EnVogue, Kelis, and Kelly Rowland perform.

Kicking off Pride, in a literary way, is the Promising Series on Friday, June 11 at 7:30 pm at Skylight Books in the Los Feliz neighborhood. Noel Alumit puts together a great series, and the reading tonight is sure to please... featuring writers/performers Alex Davis, Larry Duplechan, Alison de la Cruz, D’Lo, David Francis, Jacky Guerrero, Hank Henderson, Imani Tolliver, and Ric Montejano.

All three are great events and great pieces of work to check out!

Monday, June 07, 2010

In The Moment TV

When you get some time, you've gotta watch In The Moment. It's a new soap-style web series that follows the trials and tribulations of a group of gay guys living in the same apartment complex in West Hollywood, CA.

It's very well-acted, entertaining, hip, and thought-provoking (and not in that after-school-special kinda way). I thought I was gonna watch one 5-minute episode yesterday evening, and ended up spending an hour watching all ten episodes currently available online.

In The Moment is produced by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, and is part of the center's efforts to educate young LGBT and straight folks about a number of issues. Quite effective.

Support it. Watch it.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Black America's Main Street

Amazing the things you learn while reading. Learned about this book while reading Pearl Cleage's latest novel, Till You Hear From Me.

Along Martin Luther King: Travels Along Black America's Main Street is a book of photos, essays, and stories about the various Martin Luther King streets, avenues, and boulevards across the United States.

It captures the diversity of the neighborhoods, towns, businesses and homes that happen to sit on MLK streets. It also discusses the politics behind naming MLK streets, as well as the socioeconomic challenges facing many of the neighborhoods in which MLK streets are placed.

I'd never considered or thought about MLK Street being Black America's Main Street, but now that I think of it... most every city I've travelled to has one, and most define the heart or center of black life in those cities.

For a bit of background on the book, here's an interview the author Jonathan Tilove did with Tavis Smiley on NPR in 2004.