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Showing posts from February, 2019

Black History Month | Write It Day 28 | His Dark Lady by Victoria Lamb

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Victoria Lamb's His Dark Lady follows Lucy Morgan an African singer and lady-in-waiting for Elizabeth 1 as she handles political upheaval and love. Based on William Shakespeare's dark lady sonnets, the Lucy Morgan series is an amazing Elizabethan era historical fiction series.


Get your own copy of the entire Lucy Morgan series!
The Queen's Secret (Lucy Morgan Book 1)
His Dark Lady (Lucy Morgan Book 2)
Her Last Assassin (Lucy Morgan Book 3)
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Black History Month | Write It Day 27 | Ellen's Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons

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Ellen's Broom takes the historically accurate and culturally relevant practice of jumping the broom and turns it into a heartwarming story about family pride and love.



  You can get your own copy of Ellen's Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons.

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

Black History Month | Write It Day 26 | The Lawyer’s Luck by Piper Huguley

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Piper Huguley's The Lawyer's Luck is a lovely historical romance that gives us the unique story of a free lawyer of color and a fugitive slave woman falling in love. This prequel and the entire Home to Milford College book series, would make for an entertaining mini television series.



You can get your own copy of The Lawyer's Luck here.

You can get your own copy of The Preacher's Promise here.

 You can get your own copy of The Mayor's Mission here.


You can get your own copy of The Representative's Revolt here.

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

The Loyal League Book Series on Sale!!

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Alyssa Cole’s AN UNCONDITIONAL FREEDOM will be out tonight at midnight, and if you want to catch up, books 1 and 2 of the Loyal League series are on sale for $2.99! 

Amazon: (Here) or use the affliiate link (here) to help the blog out!! 
Apple: (Here)
B&N: (Here)
Kobo: (Here)

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

Black History Month| Write It Day 25| Steady Going Up by Maya Angelou

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Maya Angelou's short 'Steady Going Up' follows a man on the way to Cincinnati to pick up his ill younger sister, but leaves us with many unanswered question. A film that expanded on this short story and answered these questions could be very entertaining.



What is your favorite work by Maya Angelou?

Oscars 2019 | And the Winners Are ....

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Tonight was a big night for black actors and creatives in period films! Below are a list of all of the nominations and winners that apply to the Blacks in Period Films designation!

Best Picture Black Panther BlacKkKlansman Bohemian Rhapsody The Favourite Roma A Star is Born Vice Winner: Green Book

Best Director Winner: Roma - Alfonso Cuarón BlacKkKlansman - Spike Lee  Cold War - Paweł Pawlikowski The Favourite - Yorgos Lanthimos Vice - Adam McKay

Best Supporting Actress Amy Adams - Vice Marina de Tavira - Roma Emma Stone - The Favourite Rachel Weisz - The Favourite Winner: Regina King - If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Supporting Actor Adam Driver - BlacKkKlansman Sam Elliot - A Star is Born Richard E. Grant - Can You Ever Forgive Me? Sam Rockwell - Vice Winner: Mahershala Ali - Green Book

Best Original Score Winner: Black Panther - Ludwig Goransson BlacKkKlansmen - Terence Blanchard If Beale Street Could Talk - Nicholas Britell Isle of Dogs - Alexandre Desplat Mary Poppins Returns - Marc Shaima…

Black History Month| Writ It Day 24 | The Bondwoman's Narrative by Hannah Crafts

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Hannah Crafts' The Bondwoman's Narrative is the oldest known novel by an African American woman. Her story is one with many ups and downs that ultimately lead to triumph. This autobiographical novel would make for the perfect period drama.


You can get your own copy of the first novel by an African American woman here. 

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

Black History Month | Write It Day 23| Lost in the City by Edward P. Jones

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Edward P. Jones wrote two collections of two short stories taken place in 1950s/1960s Washington and show their life experiences in a natural way. Both Lost in the City and All Aunt Hagar's Children combined would make for an incredible series.



You can purchase both of Edward P. Jones' amazing short story collections here!




Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

Black History Month| Write It Day 22| Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks

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In Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks, we get the very specific experience of one black girl and in 1930 and 1940s South Side Chicago. Very often when a black girl's life is shown on screen she is suffering. Most often these stories end with no resolution to her pain in sight. However, Maud's as a slice of life film would be refreshing. Maud grows maturing into a wise wife and mother.


You can purchase a copy of your own here!

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

Black History Month| Write It Day 21| The Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself

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The Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself is the biography of an amazing man. The famous Henry Box Brown gained his freedom by mailing himself to abolitionists in Philadelphia. His noteworthy escape is the perfect example of the life he led after gaining his freedom. I would love to see a biopic for Henry Box Brown.


Black History Month} Write It Day 20 |The Passing of Grandison by Charles W. Chesnutt

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The Passing of Grandison by Charles W. Chesnutt is a layered short story full of twists and turns. I would love to see this extremely satisfying story adapted and expanded on. The daring heroics and awesome twist at the end would make for a great character driven film.



Black History Month| Write It Day 19| The Boy and the Bayonet by Paul Laurence Dunbar

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The Boy and the Bayonet by Paul Laurence Dunbar is a delightful short story following a high school boy and his loving family, as he learns about hard work, determination, and pride. This heartwarming story would make for an amazing historical coming of age film.



Black History Month| Write It Day 18| Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston

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Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston is an amazing short story that combines elements from the drama and thriller. I would love to see it expanded into a feature length historical thriller.




Black History Month| Write It Day 17| Thank You, Ma’am by Langston Hughes

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Write It Day 17: In Thank You, Ma’am by Langston Hughes we are treated with an amazing example of love, understanding, and redemption. This short story would make for a perfect feature length film.



Black History Month| Write It Day 16| The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen

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Born enslaved, Mary Bowen later became a spy for the Union army. Stationed in the white house of the Confederate States of America Bower bravely contributed to the cause of freedom. Lois Leveen perfectly captured the life and times of this hero in The Secrets of Mary Bowser!



Based on the remarkable true story of a freed African American slave who returned to Virginia at the onset of the Civil War to spy on the Confederates, The Secrets of Mary Bowser is a masterful debut by an exciting new novelist. Author Lois Leveen combines fascinating facts and ingenious speculation to craft a historical novel that will enthrall readers of women’s fiction, historical fiction, and acclaimed works like Cane River and Cold Mountain that offer intimate looks at the twin nightmares of slavery and Civil War. A powerful and unforgettable story of a woman who risked her own freedom to bring freedom to millions of others, The Secrets of Mary Bowser celebrates the courageous achievements of a little known b…

Black History Month| Write It Day 15 | Good things to Eat as Suggested by Rufus

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Rufus Estes gives a summary of his amazing life at the start of his cookbook 'Good things to Eat as Suggested by Rufus'. Born a slave Rufus Estes when on to become one of the first Black American celebrity chefs.


Rufus Estes' Good Things to Eat: The First Cookbook by an African-American Chef" includes nearly 600 mouth-watering recipes ... Estes had worked for years as a chef in deluxe private railroad cars, where he honed his culinary skills preparing lavish meals for industry magnates and even American presidents. Estes ran a more stationary kitchen as a caterer to executives with the U.S. Steel Corporation, the first billion-dollar corporation in the world, by the time his cookbook appeared. His cookbook doesn't skimp on the lard or fats, and also includes an introduction with a brief sketch covering Este's Southern childhood and early years as a railway attendant. "Rufus Estes' Good Things to Eat: The First Cookbook by an African-American Chef&quo…

Black History Month| Write It Day 14| Ruth's Redemption by Marlene Banks

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Marlene Banks mixes heavy and light topics to create a thoroughly moving tale of love, forgiveness, healing and, triumph. We follow Bodine Peace and newly free Ruth as they tackle love and the ensuing rebellion on Nat Turner.



Set in the 1800s, Ruth's Redemption, is an unusual depiction of the lives of slaves and free blacks in pre-Civil War America. Bo, was educated while a slave. He was given his freedom and now owns a farm buying slaves for the sole purpose of giving them their freedom. Bo is also a man of God and widower whose life is destined to change when he meets the proud and hard-hearted slave girl, Ruth. Ruth has known nothing but servitude and brutality since being separated from her mother at age thirteen. Purchased and sold primarily for breeding, her heart is filled with resentment and bitterness. Ruth wants no part of Bo's Godly devotion. Yet Bo is unlike any man she's known and her experiences with him will leave her forever changed. A gripping slave era no…

Black History Month | Write It! Day 13 | Molly, By Golly! by Dianne Ochiltree

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Molly, by Golly!: The Legend of Molly Williams, America's First Female Firefighter


This legendary tale introduces young readers to Molly Williams, an African American cook for New York City's Fire Company 11, who is considered to be the first known female firefighter in U.S. history. One winter day in 1818, when many of the firefighting volunteers are sick with influenza and a small wooden house is ablaze, Molly jumps into action and helps stop the blaze, proudly earning the nickname Volunteer Number 11. Relying on historic records and pictures and working closely with firefighting experts, Dianne Ochiltree and artist Kathleen Kemly not only bring this spunky and little-known heroine to life but also show how fires were fought in early America.
Click the affiliate link below to get a copy of  your own!

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

Black History Month | Write It! Day 12 | Freeman by Leonard Pitt Jr.

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Leonard Pitt Jr. cuts us right through the heart with this moving story about love and a husband searching for his wife directly after the Civil War. This heartfelt book takes us on a journey as desperate and emotional as Sam's. There are three main story lines and all are equally compelling. The highs and lows of this amazing story would make for a great period drama.


Freeman, the new novel by Leonard Pitts, Jr., takes place in the first few months following the Confederate surrender and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Upon learning of Lee's surrender, Sam--a runaway slave who once worked for the Union Army--decides to leave his safe haven in Philadelphia and set out on foot to return to the war-torn South. What compels him on this almost-suicidal course is the desire to find his wife, the mother of his only child, whom he and their son left behind 15 years earlier on the Mississippi farm to which they all "belonged."
At the same time, Sam's wife, Tilda, i…

Black History Month | Write It! Day 11| Cane River by Lalita Tademy

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The Cane River by Lalita Tademy offers up two possible stories for a possible adaption. One follows the story of four amazing enslaved women and the other follows Tademy on her journey of discovery.


Official Summary: The unique and deeply moving saga of four generations of African-American women whose journey from slavery to freedom begins on a Creole plantation in Louisiana. You can get your own copy of this moving family saga here.

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

Black History Month | Write It! Day 10 | Notes from a Colored Girl: the Civil War Pocket Diaries of Emilie Frances Davis by Karsonya Wise Whitehead

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With the 'Notes from a Colored Girl: the Civil War Pocket Diaries of Emilie Frances Davis' we are given a first hand look into the life of a 21 year old free woman of color in 19th century Philadelphia. The diaries and the accompanied research by Professor Whitehead make for an amazing read.

Official Summary: In Notes from a Colored Girl, Karsonya Wise Whitehead examines the life and experiences of Emilie Frances Davis, a freeborn twenty-one-year-old mulatto woman, through a close reading of three pocket diaries she kept from 1863 to 1865. Whitehead explores Davis's worldviews and politics, her perceptions of both public and private events, her personal relationships, and her place in Philadelphia's free black community in the nineteenth century.

Purchase your own copy of this historic find!

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

Black History Month | Write It! Day 9 | A Free Man of Color by Barbara Hambly

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With 'A Free Man of Color' Barbara Hambly brought historical New Orleans to life with her amazing Benjamin January series. It would make for an entertaining historical mystery television series.

Official Summary: A lush and haunting novel of a city steeped in decadent pleasures...and of a man, proud and defiant, caught in a web of murder and betrayal.
It is 1833. In the midst of Mardi Gras, Benjamin January, a Creole physician and music teacher, is playing piano at the Salle d'Orleans when the evenings festivities are interrupted--by murder. Ravishing Angelique Crozat, a notorious octoroon who travels in the city's finest company, has been strangled to death. With the authorities reluctant to become involved, Ben begins his own inquiry. But soon the eyes of suspicion turn toward Ben—for, black as the slave who fathered him, this free man of color is still the perfect scapegoat....


Get your own copy of the engaging mystery here!

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate …

Black History Month | Write It! Day 8 | An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

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An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole is a perfect example of the stories possible for black characters in period dramas. I would love to see the extraordinary Ellen Burns brought to the screen!
Official Summary: Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South—to spy for the Union Army.
Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton's Secret Service. Subterfuge is his calling, but he’s facing his deadliest mission yet—risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia.
Two undercover agents who share a common cause—and an undeniable attraction—Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy's favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost—even if it mean…

Black History Month | The Garies and Their Friends by Frank J. Webb

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The Garies and Their Friends is one of the earliest novels about the life of free African Americans, written by an African American in 1857.
Official Summary: The Garies and Their Friends tells the story of two families struggling for different sorts of respectability: the Garies, a well-to-do interracial couple who relocate to Philadelphia from the plantation South in order to legalize their marriage, and their friends the Ellises, free black Philadelphians hoping to make the move from the working class into the bourgeoisie. Along the way the families confront racialized violence, melodramatic villainy, and sentimental reversals. Entertaining and fast-moving, the novel has a Dickensian mix of uncanny coincidence and interwoven personal experiences. Summary from Broadview Press

Frank J. Webb’s well written and engaging novel shows us a part of life not often seen in period films. For that reason I strongly want it to be adapted.
Get your own copy of this historical novel here.

Disclos…

Black History Month | Write It! Day 6 | Behind the Scenes by Elizabeth Keckley

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Elizabeth Keckley a former slave and master dressmaker does an amazing job of telling her life story in Behind the Scenes - Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House. Official Summary: An autobiographical narrative, BEHIND THE SCENES traces Elizabeth Keckley's life from her enslavement in Virginia and North Carolina to her time as seamstress to Mary Todd Lincoln in the White House during Abraham Lincoln's administration. It was quite controversial at the time of its release--an uncompromising work that transgressed Victorian boundaries between public and private life, and lines of race, gender, and society.

This open and honest autobiography would be perfect as a film. I would love to see a film that unapologetically centers Elizabeth Keckley in her story throughout the entire film.

You can purchase a copy of your own here! The kindle version is currently only 55 cents!

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Black…

Black History Month | Write It! Day 5 | At Her Majesty's Request: An African Princess in Victorian England by Walter Dean Myers

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Walter Dean Myers does an amazing job of piecing the life of Sarah Forbes Bonetta together. His book would serve as an amazing source for a series on the life of the "African princess in Victorian England".

Official Summary: One terrifying night in 1848, a young African princess's village is raided by warriors. The invaders kill her mother and father, the King and Queen, and take her captive. Two years later, a British naval captain rescues her and takes her to England where she is presented to Queen Victoria, and becomes a loved and respected member of the royal court. Illustrated with historical photographs and drawings, this is an extraordinary story of royalty on two continents, colonialism, race, class, and identity.
It would be awesome to see such an amazing story brought to life through screen. Many people do not imagine that there were people of African descent in elite spaces during the Victorian period; this book and Sarah's life shows this to be false. Her…

Black History Month | Write It! Day 4 | Freedom Songs by Yvette Moore

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This young adult novel does an amazing job of showing a black girl coming of age in the 1960s.

Official Summary: Fourteen-year-old Sheryl has always been content living in her all-black Brooklyn neighborhood and visiting relatives down South. In the spring of 1963, during a visit, her view of the South is shattered, and she awakens to a harsh reality.



While Freedom Songs was meant for 6th to 8th graders, as an adult I can say that this book was an enjoyable read. This is because the book covered the full scope of what life in the 1960's would have been like for a teenager living in the north while having family in the south. I appreciate how Yvette Moore did not shy away from including heavy topics. I especially enjoyed the inclusion of the diversity within the black American experience and know Freedom Songs would make for a great film adaption. 

You can get your own copy of Freedom Songs by Yvette Moore here!


Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase …

Black History Month | Write It! Day 3 | What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking

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Abby Fisher is the cook behind the second known cookbook by a black woman in the United States, find out more about her life and who could play her should her life ever be brought to the screen.
Official Summary: What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking is a cookbook written in 1881 by former slave Abby Fisher, who had moved from Mobile, Alabama, to San Francisco.



My Thoughts: As a fan of most things vintage, I was so pleased to find such an old cookbook
with recipes made and cooked by a woman of African descent. Abby Fisher learned these recipes
on a plantation in the 19th century. I look forward to mastering the recipes of the talented Mrs. Fisher.

You can get your own copy of What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking here!
There are so many different reprints of the book. I have the 1995 reprint.


However, you may like a version with a cover that looks more authentically vintage.


Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Bl…

Black History Month | Write It! Day 2 | Josephine and the Soldier by Beverly Jenkins

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On Day 2 of the Write It! series, I give my review of the 2003 Beverly Jenkins novel Josephine and the Soldier. I also give my thoughts on who should play the characters in a film adaption.

Official Summary: Josephine Best has it all figured out. Just seventeen, she’s been to college, she has her own hairdressing shop, and she refuses to be distracted by any of that courting nonsense. At least until nice George Brooks begins to pursue her. Jojo isn’t looking for romance, but she permits George to call on her. 
Adam Morgan has always been a Casanova, and no girl is immune to his charm. But when he comes home wounded from the War Between the States, it’s a girl he used to call “Pest” who’s turning his head. All grown up, Jojo is being courted by another soldier, and Adam knows it would be foolish to play with her heart. Even so, he just can’t get the headstrong young lady off his mind.
For her part, Jojo can’t deny her growing feelings for Adam. But he’s always been such a flirt-he can’t p…

Black History Month | Write It! Day 1 | Triangular Road By Paule Marshall

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For the first day of our Black History Month series, I give my thoughts on author Paule Marshall's memoir Triangular Road. 


Official Summary: In Triangular Road, famed novelist Paule Marshall tells the story of her years as a fledgling young writer in the 1960s. A memoir of self-discovery, it also offers an affectionate tribute to the inimitable Langston Hughes, who entered Marshall's life during a crucial phase and introduced her to the world of European letters during a whirlwind tour of the continent. In the course of her journeys to Europe, Barbados, and eventually Africa, Marshall comes to comprehend the historical enormity of the African diaspora, an understanding that fortifies her sense of purpose as a writer.
In this unflinchingly honest memoir, Paule Marshall offers an indelible portrait of a young black woman coming of age as a novelist in a literary world dominated by white men.

My Thoughts: A film or three-episode miniseries following the life of author Paule Marsha…