Smoketown

Smoketown is a science fiction novel by Tenea D. Johnson. A Kentucky native, Johnson named the story after Louisville’s Smoketown, a historically African American neighborhood that housed a “large number of (smoke-producing) kilns.”[1] Johnson retains the history of the people and place in her novel and transforms the futuristic Smoketown Read More …

Once and Future Lovers

If you aren’t familiar with Sheree L. Greer, let me introduce you to her debut short story collection, Once and Future Lovers. As the titles suggests, love threads the stories together, but prominent themes such as family and maturation are also infused in the characters and their experiences. The collection Read More …

The Summer We Got Free

The Summer We Got Free by Mia McKenzie opens in 1976 in West Philadelphia at the Delaney family home. It’s a neglected dwelling that mirrors the emotional and spiritual state of the five-member family. Thirty-year-old Ava (the protagonist) resides with her husband (Paul), older sister (Sarah), and parents (Regina and Read More …

21 Questions

21 Questions by Mason Dixon is a fast-paced, contemporary romance featuring Kenya Davis, a successful thirty-six-year-old professional on a quest to find love. Kenya is in search of a traditional love, the kind that’s built upon trust, honesty, and mutual respect. But, there’s a catch. She wants a woman that Read More …

Yabo

I don’t remember when or how, but I was introduced to a snippet of Yabo many months ago through the characters Ruby, Ramses, and Jules. Yabo was released in 2014, and finally, in 2017, I can remove it from my TBR list with much delight. If Yabo has been lingering Read More …

Pat Greene: Her Story

In Pat Greene: Her Story, Anondra “Kat” Williams has crafted autofiction by permitting Patricia “Pat” Greene to recall her life, lovers, and heartbreaks. Some chapters are named for and exclusive to a single lover. In a way, this is a coming-of-age story because Pat relays (through a series of reflections Read More …

Rise of the Gorgon

In Rise of the Gorgon, author Tanai Walker peels back fabricated reality to delve into a world that unveils the truth behind conspiracy theories. Elle Pharell is a journalist with a skin thick enough to repel the verbal bullets that conservative pundits throw at her and her mentor/business partner, Anne Read More …

Here Comes the Sun

So much can be said about Here Comes the Sun, a story that weaves beautifully written prose through the ugliness of colorism, religion, racism, homophobia, servitude, and neocolonialism— along with other social inequities that plague the Diaspora, particularly in early 1990’s small-town Jamaica. The novel opens with 30-year-old Margot, a prostitute, Read More …

The Cherokee Rose: A Novel of Gardens & Ghosts

About twelve years ago, I was sitting in an undergrad communications course listening to a roundtable discussion on race. I was mostly silent, waiting for the class session to pass, as students spouted their opinions (and misconceptions) about race/racism. I will never forget the Black student who sat opposite of Read More …

A Return to Arms

I’ve always felt that a sign of a good read is one that elicits emotions in the reader. There were several times when I teetered between anger and delight as I read A Return to Arms. The character, Kanaan, brought up (past) anger because I’ve encountered men like him—particularly in Read More …