AABOOMER BRENDA JACKSON
CELEBRATES PUBLICATION OF 100th BOOK
Lois-Ann Clark, Publisher
Prolific author Brenda Jackson, the only African American romance writer to have been recognized on both the New York Times and USA Today Best Sellers lists, recently released her 100th book, A Madaris Bride for Christmas
Several summers ago, I worked as a volunteer at a local library book sale. While there, I happened upon a book by Brenda Jackson, A Little Dare, which was set in an Atlanta suburb. Intrigued, I opened the book and scanned it. In a few minutes, I was hooked. I not only purchased that book, but several others by Jackson. as well. That summer, I began my quest to read all of Jackson’s books. No small feat, since she had written over 50 books by that time. I spent the rest of the summer with my nose in a book written by Brenda Jackson. So much so, that one of my friends, a retired Media Specialist, quipped, “Are they giving some sort of prize for reading all of her books?” I learned about the Westmoreland family of College Park, Georgia, the Steeles of Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Madaris family of Texas. In each case, the heroes were accomplished and respectful of women, “Stand up; take charge brothers” who knew how to handle their business.
A few years later, when I began AABoomers.com, I selected a book by Brenda Jackson, Ties That Bind, as the first Book Review. It is the quintessential African American Baby Boomer Book, scanning 30 years in the lives of a couple who met as students at Howard University. It is reminiscent of the late sixties and early seventies and entwines the music and current events from “back in the day”.
Over the years, we have featured several books by Jackson, including a book entitled, A Family Reunion for the first our annual issue on Family Reunions and Genealogy.
Brenda Jackson has been married to Gerald Jackson, Sr., her high school sweetheart, for over 40 years and is the mother of two adult sons. She proudly states that she still wears the ‘going-steady” ring her husband gave her when she was 14 and had to bribe het brother not to tell her parents. In an interview on “What’s Goin’ On?” on blogtalkradio (www.blogtalkradio.com/whatsgoingon?), Jackson explained how her husband motivated her to pursue her career as an author, despite the fact that she was happy with her career in corporate insurance
Jackson’s first book Tonight and Forever was published in 1994 and was made into a film by BET, Now, 19 years later she is has reached a milestone not achieved by any other African American writer of any genre. She has published 100 books.
In addition to her prolific writing career, Jackson and her husband have produced one movie, Truly Everlasting which was a family affair with her son directing. Currently, she is in the process of producing another movie based on one of her books,, The Silken Thread, which will be directed by Debbie Allen. She also cruises with her readers each year.
The celebration of her 100th book promises to be quite an event with book parties planned all across the country. For more information on celebrations in your area, visit her website, http://www.brendajackson.net/
AABoomers.com congratulates fellow AABoomer, Brenda Jackson.
The Warmth of Other Suns:
The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
Reviewed by Kevin Boyle,
The Chicago Tribune
In the spring of 1941photographer Russell Lee spent several days documenting African-American life on Chicago’s sprawling south side. He took one famous photo, an Easter morning shot of five boys dressed in elegant suits and ties, homburgs in their hands, posing on the hood of a Packard Six. But he captured others images too: of a rag man pulling his cart past modest shop fronts; a young girl doing laundry in a cold-water flat; two little boys standing in a rubble-strewn lot, staring at a dead dog a few feet in front of them. Prosperity and poverty, hope and despair, side by side on the streets of Bronzeville.
Those are also the themes that thread through Isabel Wilkerson’s mesmerizing new book, “The Warmth of Other Suns”, a history of the Great Migration -- the mass movement of six million African Americans from the south to the north in the middle decades of the twentieth century – told through the lives of three people who joined the exodus.
Wilkerson, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, chose her subjects partly to illustrate the migration’s diversity. But what makes the book compelling is the remarkable intimacy of the stories she tells; her ability to recreate, in wonderfully lyrical prose, the private struggles of particular men and women caught in a system designed to denigrate them. Ida Mae Gladney worked alongside her share-cropper husband in Mississippi’s cotton fields, desperately poor people living in one of the most oppressive places in America, until a night of violence in October 1937 convinced them that they couldn’t take it anymore. Within a couple of days they were on their way to Chicago. Eight years later George Swanson Starling got into trouble trying to unionize fruit pickers in central Florida. Fearing for his life he fled to New York. And on Easter Monday 1953 Robert Joseph Pershing Foster, MD – a product of Morehouse, Meharry Medical School, and the Army medical corps -- packed up his practice in Monroe, Louisiana and headed west, determined to trade the humiliations of Jim Crow for the freedom of southern California.
By Julee Wilson Posted: The Huffington Post | 10/04/2013
Before Beverly Johnson became the first black model to grace the cover of Vogue in 1974, she was already a Glamour covergirl several times over. The former supermodel-turned-business woman has appeared on 15 Glamour magazine covers -- a feat that helped make her a fashion icon.
In celebration of Glamour's 75th anniversary and Beverly's storied career, the glossy tapped model Arlenis Sosa to interview Ms. Johnson, aka "The Model Who Changed Everything," for its November issue.
The 60-year-old stunner chats about how she landed her first cover (a typing test was involved), what she thinks about the modeling world today and paving the way for other models of color. Frankly, without Beverly, who many consider to be the first black supermodel, there may have never been a Naomi, an Iman or a Tyra. In fact, Beverly revealed to Glamour that she used to transport those ladies to some of their photo shoots.
Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/04/beverly-johnson-black-models-glamour-november-2013_n_4043974.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices
By Dedrick Muhammed
Senior Director of Economic Programs, NAACP
Though 401(k) plans (a defined contribution retirement plan) are supposed to build wealth, a new study by the Economic Policy Institute suggests that these plans are actually exacerbating wealth inequality by not adequately providing for most people's retirement.
The report authors explain that the 401(k) began as a creative supplement to pension plans. But, it was never intended to be the primary base for retirement. Now, the report suggests, the plans serve primarily as a tax shelter for the wealthy. For instance, among America's top 20 percent income bracket, nearly 90 percent have savings in retirement accounts that average $308,674.
The paradox is people often think of 401(k) plans as a middle class perk, when, in reality, nearly half of U.S. households don't have savings invested in any retirement plan. Half of the middle 20 percent of income earners with savings in retirement accounts have an average of only $34,981 in them. And even fewer -- 11 percent -- of the bottom 20 percent of income earners have retirement savings, averaging only $7,543.
Book by Reverend Al Sharpton
Book Review by Kam Williams
“As you read through the following pages and get a sense of my journey and the lessons I’ve learned, I believe you will come to understand why I’ve not been unsettled or slowed down by the attempts over the years to paint me with a broad brush as some kind of troublemaker or self-interested hustler. While those caricatures might have become media shorthand, I was not about to let the world define me…
The America I faced in the 1980s wearing the jogging suit was not the same place as the America I speak to now, yet I still find myself leading marches to protest outrages like the shooting death of Trayvon Martin or the widespread attempts to roll back voting rights. I moved with the times, updated my style and approach so that I never became irrelevant.
-- Excerpted from Chapter One (page 7)
In Chapter 21, Verse 42 of the Book of Matthew, Jesus observed that “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Now, Reverend Al Sharpton paraphrases that parable for the title and theme of “The Rejected Stone,” an enlightening autobiography/how-to tome in which the longtime civil rights leader retraces his path from fiery street activist to international icon.
Besides reflecting on the high points of his controversial career, the outspoken author has 23 lessons to offer ambitious individuals interested in following in his footsteps. He elaborates upon those priceless pearls of wisdom individually in chapters all their own entitled, “Learning from Flawed Leaders,” “Never Rest on Your Laurels,” “Practice What You Preach,” and “Don’t Be Afraid to Be Big,” to name a few.
As interesting as Rev’s sage advice, however, are his personal anecdotes. For he’s ostensibly rubbed shoulders with folks from every station in life. And like a black Forest Gump, the peripatetic Sharpton has not only managed to land at the center of many an historic moment, but he even has a knack for summarizing the event in “Life is like a box of chocolates” fashion.
For example, he talks about having to pinch himself while attending President Obama’s inauguration earlier this year, when he realized that he was sitting up on the same platform with Congress, the Cabinet, the Supreme Court and luminaries like Jay-Z and Beyonce’. Not bad for a poor kid from Brooklyn whose father abandoned the family when Al was just 9.
To order a copy of The Rejected Stone, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1936399474/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20
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AABoomers.com is an online magazinefor and about the 9.1 million African-American Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964. (We are honored that President and Mrs. Obama as members of our demographic.) (Click here to read more.)