Love, African American Style

African Americans star in these novels about love and relationships. There are historicals, such as the tale of a freedwoman in Civil War era Philadelphia, or of a blues musician in the South of the 1920s. There's humor, such as "Tastes Like Chicken" by Lolita Files, or "Dad Interrupted" by Van Whitfield. There are gritty contemporaries, like "Cheaters," by Eric Jerome Dickey. There are romantic romps, such as "Baby Momma Drama" by Carl Weber. And there is beautiful writing, epitomized by Toni Morrison in "Love."

The Price of a Child

By Lorene Cary

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Philadelphia: 1855
A Virginia planter is on his way to assume a diplomatic post in Nicaragua, accompanied by his cook, Ginnie, and two of her children (one of whom is his). Temporarily stranded when they miss their steamboat, Ginnie makes a thrilling leap of the imagination: it is the moment she has been desperately waiting for, the moment she decides to be free. In broad daylight, under the furious gaze of her master, she walks straight out of slavery into a new life -- and into a whole new set of compromising positions. We follow Ginnie as she settles with a respectable and rambunctious black family, as she reinvents herself, christens herself Mercer Gray, dodges slave catchers, lectures far and wide in the cause of abolition, and falls in love with a man whose own ties are a formidable barrier to their happiness.

 

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Tastes Like Chicken

By Lolita Files

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"With steamy thrills and disastrous infidelities, Lolita's latest is a humorous tale of two women who find themselves poised at life's crossroads with everything to lose but their friendship. What's a girl to do when she finds out her man's been feeding her lies?"
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Sweet St. Louis

By Omar Tyree

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A sultry-sweet novel with a contemporary edge...When a young auto mechanic with a creative approach to the mating game tries out his latest pick-up line on Sharron Francis, he turns her life upside down.

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One Day I Saw a Black King

By J.D. Mason

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"He stared at himself in the mirror, wondering how he'd managed to lose track of time. Complacency had managed to set in again. . . A decent job, warm home, food on the table, and a body to curl up next to at night; he'd made the mistake of getting comfortable. Comfort fooled him into thinking it was all good when it wasn't. Damn nightmares had a way of reminding him of that."
Ever since he was fifteen, John King has been on the run from the ghosts of his past, always drifting, never settling down in one place or with one woman, though more than one has certainly made the offer of forever-after. But every time his memories of life back in Texas start to haunt him too deeply into the night, John realizes that it's time to move on. That is, until he rolls into Denver, Colorado, grooving to Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It on," and meets Connie Rodgers, a woman who grew up on the mean streets and has the pain and the battle scars to prove it. And yet, she inspires him to think "If indeed there were a home for the perfect kiss, it would be on her lips." John is reluctant to admit that here is a woman who just may understand his very soul, even if she does have some baggage of her own. But both must face their pasts if they ever hope to be free to live and love.

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Love

By Toni Morrison

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May, Christine, Heed, Junior, Vida-even L: all women obsessed with Bill Cosey. The wealthy owner of the famous Cosey's Hotel and Resort, he shapes their yearnings for father, husband, lover, guardian, and friend, yearnings that dominate the lives of these women long after his death. Yet while he is either the void in, or the center of, their stories, he himself is driven by secret forces--a troubled past and a spellbinding woman named Celestial.
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Li'l Mama's Rules

By Sheneska Jackson

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When the man she loves confesses to being unfaithful, Madison McGuire, 30, a black teacher in a Los Angeles private school gives him the boot and proceeds to seek a replacement. But finding another man to love is not easy -- there is lots of sex, but no love -- and by the time her first love comes back knocking on the door, she has caught the AIDS virus.
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I Wish I Had a Red Dress

By Pearl Cleage

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Joyce Mitchell was widowed far too young when her beloved husband, Mitch, died in a tragic accident five years ago. Since then she's kept her hands full and her mind and heart occupied by running The Sewing Circus, an all-girl group she founded to provide badly needed services like day care and job counseling to young women, many of whom are single mothers. More important, The Circus is a place for lively, wide-ranging, heart-to-heart discussions that will help members grow into what Joyce likes to call "twenty-first-century free women."

All in all, Joyce has a full and rich life. She has her work, her family, her friends, and her town. But there are some nights when she crawls into bed alone and has to admit that something is missing. What she doesn't have is that red dress she keeps dreaming about or a social life that would accommodate it even if she braved the mall and bought one. To further complicate matters, she may not have The Sewing Circus much longer, as the state legislature has decided not to fund the group's vital but hard-to-define work with young women who are too often regarded as problems rather than possibilities. Feeling defeated and pessimistic, Joyce reluctantly agrees to keep a date for dinner at the home of her best friend, Sister--a reverend like no other--and finds not only a perfect meal but a tall, dark stranger named Nate Anderson.

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I Left My Back Door Open

By April Sinclair

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A romantic voyage of self-discovery for African American DJ Daphne Dupree begins when the lonely Chicagoan meets Skylar, a sexual harassment mediator, and finds that a budding and blossoming relationship can lead to a true vision of self.
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He Say, She Say

By Yolanda Joe

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"Sandy is a twenty-something executive on the fast track at work and looking for love in her personal life. T.J. is the object of her affection, a jazz pianist who prefers to keep his romances casual--but who may be facing the real deal in Sandy. Bebe is Sandy's confidante, a bank supervisor who is struggling through her self-imposed 'sex sabbatical.' Speed is T.J.'s father and best friend, a man who isn't too old to learn a few things from his son. Together these four weave a funny, touching, and vivid tale of coping with the ups and downs of everyday life in Chicago that readers won't soon forget."
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Got a Man

By Daamiah S. Poole

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A wild romp through relationships, love, and marriage follows Malik Moore as he finds himself torn between two women--his pregnant fiance Kimberly Vanessa Brown and his gorgeous new receptionist Shonda--a disastrous love triangle that teaches him a valuable lesson in love.
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