Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"The Prodigal Son" by Kimberla Lawson Roby (On Sale Date: May 14, 2014)

The Prodigal Son

The Black Family is back.  

And this time it's not the good Reverend Curtis Black or his wife Charlotte who are causing trouble.

There's a new Black in town.  Well, sort of.  Technically, he's a Black.  But he goes by the name of Dillon Whitfield.  He's the Reverend's long-lost son.  And since Matthew Black hasn't spoken to his parents in a year (that's right, a whole year), Dillon figures that it's only fitting that the true first born son of Curtis Black should taken center stage and assume his "rightful" place in the dynasty.

And center stage he takes.  He's not alone.  He's got company.  In the form of Matthew's new wife Raquel (can you say "a piece of work?"), who isn't adjusting to marriage and motherhood quite the way Matthew had hoped.  Of course, who can totally blame her after what her monster-in-law Charlotte put her through in "A House Divided."

And, if  you're not up to date with the "Curtis Black Series," you might want to use the next month before "The Prodigal Son" goes on sale to catch up.  I can't explain it all here.  And besides that would spoil the fun.

As always, this is one family that never comes up short in the drama department.  They just can't seem to behave themselves.  You never know what or who you're going to run into when you turn the page.

Which is a great thing for us loyal fans of Kimberla Lawson Roby.  

"The Prodigal Son" by Kimberla Lawson Roby
(A Reverend Curtis Black Novel)

Sunday, March 30, 2014


The EMMY®-award winning show, The Bronze Report has moved to the Comcast Hometown Network (CHN), Channel 104, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 5:30 p.m.  The show debuted Tuesday, March 4, 2014.

The Bronze Report spotlights current issues, trends, events, art, music and people in and beyond the Bay Area’s vibrant African-American community. The Bronze Report is an answer to the need for more television programs produced by African Americans, for African-Americans.  Audiences of all walks of life appreciate and enjoy The Bronze Report because of the show’s unwavering commitment to quality content, and outstanding production value. 

For more information about the show, and to view past episodes and segments, visit The Bronze Report’s website,

The Bronze Report host, EMMY®-award winner Barbara Rodgers is one of the most recognizable television personalities in the Bay Area.  For over thirty years, her beautiful smile and insightful journalistic style has been a constant as anchor, reporter and host on CBS 5 Eyewitness News and Bay Sunday.  Barbara has garnered dozens of awards and honors for her achievements in journalism and her work in the community.  “I am very excited about this win,” says Rodgers about The Bronze Reports’s recent EMMY® award for Outstanding Cultural Program. “The Bronze Report gives me an opportunity to spotlight some of the fascinating people and events in the African-American community that are often ignored by mainstream media.”

The Bronze Report’s EMMY®-award winning executive producer, writer and co-host Jan Mabry brings a wealth of experience in film, television and theatre to the show. She has written, produced and edited television news and talk shows for ABC, NBC and CBS stations in Northern California, including the Emmy-award winning show, Red Carpet Bay Area.  The Bronze Report is an opportunity to bring all of my professional experience home to my community,” says Mabry. “I am so proud and honored to have won an EMMY® for this wonderful show.  This award belongs to all of us.”

Comcast Hometown Network, Channel 104 is Comcast's regional cable network covering Northern and Central California.  A hometown is not only where we live, but how we identify ourselves.  It's the neighborhoods and communities around us, the people we interact with who affect our daily lives.  Comcast Hometown Network (CHN) sees all of Northern and Central California as our hometown. CHN reflects the values and pride we feel living in our diverse and vibrant communities.

CHN is home to The Bronze Report and other exclusive, compelling programming you won't find anywhere else.

Comcast Cable is the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand, and also provides these services to businesses. Visit for more information.

The Bronze Report is a media partner of, Northern California’s new online resource for African American arts, events, culture and lifestyle.

For more information about The Bronze Report  contact: Jan Mabry at or call 510.301.5102.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

"THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND" (extended to March 23) at the Berkeley Rep

Marcus Gardley

I had the pleasure of seeing Marcus Gardley's "The House That Will Not Stand," last week at the Berkeley Repertory Theater.  I'm so glad that I didn't miss this.  It was originally scheduled to end this weekend but is being held over by popular demand until March 23.

Berkeley Rep commissioned the piece by Oakland native, Marcus Gardley (a very gifted and brilliant playwright).  

It centers around the story of free women of color and the New Orleans system of "pla ├žage," a formal arrangement between white men and free women of color.  

Not only a great lesson in history, it is engaging, funny, moving and the acting is superb.

This is one you won't want to miss.

"The House That Will Not Stand"
Written by Marcus Gardley
Directed by Patricia McGregor

Berkeley Repertory Theater

Phone: 510 647–2949

Sunday, March 9, 2014


The Stanford University 15th Annual Youth Empowerment Conference is a daylong event that includes a series of workshops on ethnic identity, education/admissions, advocacy and enterprise, as well as a diverse and interactive student panel. The event serves high school students from across the nation and at all academic achievement levels. The Stanford Black Student Union and the Black Community Services Center host the event.

The conference’s theme “MAGIC: Making A Greater Individual Commitment” speaks to its mission of positive ethnic identity formation and investment in personal growth. Dynamic speakers, interactive workshops, and vibrant performances are all hallmarks of the conference. Students leave the conference inspired, hopeful, and committed to the cause of excellence.

For info:

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Will "12 Years" Take Home An Oscar? - UPDATE: BEST PICTURE "12 YEARS A SLAVE!"

This is the first time in recent memory that I recall being excited about the Academy Awards.

Honestly, I've always considered it to be tailored to a white audience.  Oh, sure there have been a few times in history where one of our own has taken home the Oscar, but for the most part, it's not about us.  And, no Black movie has ever taken home "Best Picture."

So, tonight, I'll be watching, hoping and praying to see history made.

I admit, I haven't seen every movie that was nominated but I've seen more than half, and I don't think there is one that deserves the Oscar more than "12 Years A Slave."

While excruciatingly painful to watch, it not only delivered a great story, it hit a home run on every cinematic level.

So to the Academy, I say, "Here's your chance.   Tonight is your chance.  Do the right thing."

Saturday, February 22, 2014


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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Book Review: "Silver Sparrow" by Tayari Jones

I'm not sure how I missed this book when it was first released.  It must have been one of those months when I didn't get around to reading my Essence magazine.  

Thank you, Amazon "Kindle Deal of the Day" for featuring this book a few weeks ago.  Now, I want to go back and read everything Ms. Jones has written.

Not to give anything away, but James Witherspoon is one man who can keep a secret.  At least from his wife.  Well, one wife, anyway.

I'm not spoiling anything by telling you that James Witherspoon is a bigamist.  In fact, the author reveals that detail at the very beginning.

What happens after is a tale told in fiction, but played out in real life, so many times.  

One thing we do really well is keep secrets.  We all have "family secrets" about cousins or uncles or aunts or even parents that we'll take to our graves.  But some things can only stay hidden for so long.  Because I really do believe there are "six degrees of separation."

And even though the book has its share of sadness and sorrow, there are plenty of laughs and lighter moments.

And if you're like I was and don't know who Tayari Jones is, now is the perfect time to find out.  

Visit her website for a look at all of her work and her upcoming appearances.

About "Silver Sparrow"

With the opening line of Silver Sparrow, “My father, James Witherspoon is a bigamist,” Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man’s deception, a family’s complicity, and the teenage girls caught in the middle.
Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon’s families– the public one and the secret one. When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship, only one of them knows they are sisters. It is a relationship destined to explode when secrets are revealed and illusions shattered. As Jones explores the backstories of her rich and flawed characters, she also reveals the joy, and the destruction, they brought to each other’s lives.
At the heart of it all are the two girls whose lives are at stake, and like the best writers, Jones portrays the fragility of her characers with raw authenticity as they seek love, demand attention, and try to imagine themselves as women.