Category Archives: black book

Haters Comes Out the Woodworks as Tyra Banks Makes the New York Times Bestseller List

Tyra Banks can now add the title “New York Times BestSelling Author” to her resume.

Her new book, Modelland ranked number 2 on the NYT’s bestseller’s list and a movie deal is rumored to be on the horizon.

But it seems to be an online backlash from those claiming that the book was ghostwritten and is nothing but “trash.”

One blog announcing Ms. Tyra’s new NYT’s status produced numerous comments ranging from “crap book+ nice tits/gullible idiots=bestseller”  to “…a lab rat could have written her book.”

My guess is those same commenters never read Modelland, plan to read it, or even knew Tyra wrote a book until they read the blog announcement.

Although there’s plently of criticism from reviewers there’s seems to be more likes than dislikes for Modelland. One reviewer even dubbed it “Hogwarts Modeling School.”

I don’t have the inside track on whether the book was ghostwritten or not.  But when you take into account the numerous celebrities and even well-known, highly esteemed authors who have others write their books, it seems unfair to point the finger at one person without chastising other authors for doing the same.

It’s obvious Tyra Banks is adding to her ever-expanding franchise and frankly I for one refuse to hate on her for basically doing the damn thang!

Virtual Blog Tour: Traci’s Story

About the Book: Traci’s Story

Traci Collins has endured a rough childhood. From taking care of her drunken mother to overcoming a horrible accident that almost killed her at the age of fourteen. Now, at the age of twenty-seven, she has one more demon to deal with: her addiction to alcohol. As Traci struggles to get her life together, she seeks help for her addiction and finds love with Marc Drake, a handsome criminal defense attorney.

While attending group sessions, she meets three strangers: Olivia, Norman, and Kevin. When Traci accepts their invitation to join them for coffee, she learns they all have a story to tell. As they become close friends and start to trust one another, their stories begin to surface.

Doing her best to stay on the road to sobriety, Traci’s world begins to turn upside down. She soon finds herself in a tug of war over Marc Drake. Marcy, her rival co-worker, causes chaos for Traci by threatening her life over the one man she cannot have. 

Finally, Traci will be asked to keep quiet when she learns of, her new best friend, Olivia’s dark secret, a secret that could impact her life forever.

For Ordering Information Click Here

Meet the Author

Marguerite Ashton who hails from Colorado is the published author of Taylini: A Family Saga which received rave reviews over in Europe. Her second book Traci’s Story was labeled “a mini-movie,” only in ink. Her passion for writing crime and suspense novels surfaced in 2002 and has continued to develop through another format, screenwriting.

Before moving to Wisconsin, Ms. Ashton had the honor of working with agent, Peter DeAnello of Big Fish Talent, where she appeared in a commercial for Furniture Row, along with some indie and student films. Shortly after, she had the privilege of collaborating with veteran stock car driver and Executive Director, Jerry VanDenHul at JVI Productions.

After the release of Traci’s Story in 2006, Marguerite decided to keep her other finished works, broaden her horizons and find someone as just as dedicated as she after learning distribution of her books were limited. She hired publicist Tiffany Braxton of Midnight Management and honed in on her craft by entering writing competitions and refocusing her home office into a writer’s library. Through radio interviews and speaking at public schools, she found a way to educate and entertain. Her strong interest in law landed her a spot working for the State Public Defender’s Office where she did intake at the Milwaukee Police Department. During her experience, Marguerite found an interest in using criminal investigation as a basis for her novels.

 In 2009, her screenplay Executive Intent won honorable mention in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Currently she is writing her fourth book and just finished the first in a series with Feigh Books titled Love Always Prevails, a Christian Romance.

For More InformationVisit the Author’s Website at:

Dreams Thrown Away Blog Tour

About the Book

What would you do if you came home from school to find your parents in the thrust of a murder-suicide, and you were the only child who really didn’t know any living relatives?

• A young girl is orphaned by the tragic death of her middle class parents, days before her high school graduation. (Kalina Denise Harris aka Kali Sperling)

• Banished from her rural, southern town because of the scandal left behind and sent to live with her drunken aunt and lascivious uncle in the Badlands of North Philadelphia.

• Violently attacked by her aunt who thinks she is trying to steal the uncle who had just tried to rape her, she flees the Badlands and hits the streets where she is saved by a well-dressed man who seems kindly and concerned. (Billy Sperling)

• He takes her to work for his wealthy elderly father who appears innocuous and just looking for companionship.  (Jordan Banks)  But, Jordan isn’t just a Grammy award winning jazz musician; he is a clandestine pimp for the rich and famous.

• Jordan introduces Kalina to his grandson, a married man named Ashton Taylor Sperling who guides Kalina into womanhood and steals her heart setting her up for a life in the Sperling controlled household of powerful men.

•  Ashton has a hidden agenda.  He wants a family with his supermodel wife who refuses to have children other than adoption.

• He seduces Kali into a life as a concubine, shared by him and his grandfather.  He showers her with all the material things she could dream of, payment for an Ivy League education, travel, and devoted attention.  Then he plots to have his family.

• Just before Kali graduates college, she gives birth to twins and is drugged, left alone with a note warning her not to come looking for her babies.   Ashton has stolen them to take them home as his adopted children to raise with his wife.

• Kali ignores the warning, and goes to his home to be with her children, but almost loses her life to an enraged and determined Ashton.  She flees.

• On the run for almost two years, she marries a man under an assumed name, only to have the man deliver her right back into the dangerous path of Ashton.

• But, Ashton has mellowed.  His wife is determined not to be a mother.  He longs for a happy family with Kali.  Having tried to find her, he has scared her off twice causing her to disappear again.  This time he waits patiently, and eases his way back into her life.

• He seduces her back into his life by using their children as bait.  Then realizes he loves her, and oddly enough she falls back in love with him.  He was her first love, and he is treating her with the utmost kindness and patience.  And, he has divorced his wife.

• But, the world is against them.  They marry in secret to bring their family together under one roof.  But, Kali is still hesitant and afraid of losing everything, she holds onto one secret just a little too long.

• Her young ex-husband is murdered, and Ashton being the prime candidate with the prime motive is convicted with a life sentence.

• A pregnant Kali fights for Ashton’s freedom, and discovers Ashton’s twin brother Asa is responsible for her ex-husband’s death.  He and Ashton’s father had plotted to kill Ashton’s whole family so they could inherit the money Jordan had left to Ashton and Kali.

• Before Ashton can be released from prison, paid assassins attack him and he goes into a coma.  Kali won’t give up, and takes him home to care for him.  He awakens to find his dreams weren’t thrown away as he thankfully hears the sound of his new son, his small twins and his loving wife.
This novel is the first of four books about the Sperling Family, a group of powerful men who have always had their way.  This young woman, Kali, introduces another element to the family that they are unaccustomed.  She is a woman whom Jordan, the patriarch, has grown to respect and love before he tragically passes away, not a characteristic synonymous with any traits carried by the seven Sperling men.  Kali will rise to become the matriarch and a very powerful woman during this tumultuous series that is filled with sex, lies, murder, and a twist on the power of love that is not found in fairy tales.

Each of the books in this atypical romance doesn’t end with the formulaic happy ending; it ends with room for growth and a determination to have that happy ending with more to the story to be told.

About the Author

Dilsa Saunders Bailey has been writing as a hobby since she was thirteen years old.  Her first short story was The Long and Winding Road, a suspense-filled story involving two teens lost on a road.  It was a writing assignment for the eighth grade and she received an A+.  She was thrilled creating life with the written word, but eventually decided not to pursue writing as a career.  Bailey has always been involved in writing newsletters, business plans, and policies, etc. for her employers and as a member for various clubs and organizations.  She has since changed her mind about a career in writing and has netted a nomination by the Georgia Writers Association for Georgia Author of the Year Award-First Novel Category in 2010.
Her careers in retail management, sales, and healthcare have taken her on many paths, but back to her first loves writing and speaking.  Dilsa is a manager for a large Medicare Advantage health plan, a career that has spanned twenty years.  She is a former Georgia realtor and a public speaker who loves to motivate others to pursue their goals by making the right choices.  She has earned a Toastmaster of the Year Award 2007, a Competent Communicator Award in 2007, and a Competent Leadership Award in 2009 from Toastmasters International.
Her favorite past-times these days are tweeting, visiting with friends on Facebook, blogging on, and working creatively on many soon-to-be published works, including and the sequel to Dreams Thrown Away creating the series, The Sperling Chronicles.  She originates from South Carolina, has spent most of her life in the Northeast, and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, and a guinea pig.
Dreams Thrown Away is her first published novel.  The Shadow Shorts Trilogy was her first published e-book that will be released again in 2011.  She is currently working on two sequels and a movie script for Dreams Thrown Away.

Get to Know Dilsa Bailey

1) Tell us about your novel.

Dreams Thrown Away is a mixture of literary, romance, and suspense.  It begins the series with a young woman who suddenly finds herself alone in the world.  She is raised to believe that she can have the best in life.  So she is not prepared for the tragedy that leads her far away from a safe rural haven she has been dying to leave to the harsh big city where people have hidden agendas.  She is lured into a life not quite what she dreamed of having, but can live with because she is seduced by the man of her dreams and all the luxurious trappings she had once thought were at the top of her list.  It doesn’t take long for the reality of her situation to settle in when she realizes she was merely a pawn in a cruel game initiated by the love of her life, the favored son of a powerful family in Philadelphia.  She flees in fear of her life.  But when her lover realizes she was more than a tool he used to get what he wanted.  He will do anything to regain her love and trust.

2) Where did you get the idea for the storyline and do you plan to continue its development?

The story just sort of dropped in my head.  I have been working on it for about a decade.  I have always been interested in real life situations that never are as they appear to be.  The characters’ lives appear to be perfect, and the male characters appear to be upstanding citizens, but they are definitely not.  A real close up character study of this group could easily become a soap opera.  That’s my goal.  After completing the series –about four books total- I will start writing scripts for the television series.

3) Do you have anything in common with the characters?

The only thing I have in common with one of the characters, Kali, is that I grew up in a small town in South Carolina.  Again, observing behavior is my favorite thing to do.  As a result, I noticed that small towns and cities have their own personalities.  I moved from that small town to attend Temple University in Philadelphia and eventually lived there for 13 years.  For me, that was definitely a culture shock, one that I shared in the character’s reactions.  But, that’s where it ends.

4) What inspired you to write a novel?

I have been writing stories since I was 13.  And I love to read.  Working in a demanding career as I do, I am behind on a lot of great novels, but I am playing catch up.  But, whenever I get a chance to read, I always think I can do this.  So I decided to stop waiting.  I decided to just do it.   I wanted to take my stories to another level, a full character study and not just a glimpse.

5)What advice would you give to someone who is interested in getting published?

Have no fear.  Write.  Write.  And, write some more.  Then pursue it.  I didn’t query for this novel or try to go through the traditional route.  I was so excited to finish it, I headed straight toward self-publishing.  There are many options out there now, so do your research.  Remember publishing is like any other business.  It’s a numbers game; never consider yourself a failure no matter which route you take.  Always be prepared.  Write, polish, and submit if you want to go the traditional route, over and over and over.  Write, polish and publish if you want to go the self-publishing route.  And, please either route you take, utilize the services of a good editor.

6) Where can we purchase your book?

My book is available in a paperback format and a Kindle format on  It’s also available at most online retailers and my websites, or

7) Are you available for speaking engagements, events, or book signings?

I love to speak and share what I have learned over the years.  So, yes.  I am available for speaking engagements to share self-publishing tips because I made a lot of mistakes along the way and I don’t want anyone else to go that route.  I am also available to speak to groups about my concept Lather, Rinse, Repeat-Making the Right Choices.  I recently refocused my blog to this concept which entails learning, assessing, and practice, practice, practice to help move you forward and prepare you to make the right choices.
I am also available for book signings and book club visits.  I love to talk about the characters in my book.  I think both Kali and Ashton could benefit from a good psychotherapist.  The book clubs I have visited are really good at analyzing their motives.  Neither of them were angels, and one of them was definitely very dangerous.  Frankly, if I were a man I would Kali a wide berth.  Tragedy seems to befall everyone she loves.


by Dilsa Saunders Bailey
Kalina’s skin was crawling with fear.  She pushed the kitchen door open and heard another loud boom.  She froze.  The noise was coming from inside her house.  Her hand held the doorknob tightly as her mind raced madly.  What was going on and what was she supposed to do?  The kitchen was empty and neat as always.  Her mother would never allow a dish or a glass to sit dirty and unwashed, not even for a second.  Everything was in its proper place.  Everything looked normal.  The white metal chairs with the yellow cushioned seats were in their proper places.  The salt and pepper shakers sparkled in the afternoon sunlight that crept past the bright yellow kitchen curtains.
“No!” she heard her mother scream.  “No, Preach!  No!”
Kalina let go of the doorknob and ran through the small cramped living room.  She had always complained that the furniture was far too big for the room.  She bumped her knee squeezing past the coffee table and the console television set her father had just bought.  Then she heard another piercing scream.
Kalina’s feet hit the bottom stair, and she stood still as she heard her mother pleading.  Then Kalina moved up the stairs toward her mother’s voice as silently as she could.
“I did it for you and for her!”  Charlotte’s voice choked with tears and dread about the money in the drawer she had just earned.
“I did it for you.  Preach, listen to me.  He paid me.  Put the gun down, Preach.  Please, Preach!  Put the gun down!  Let me explain!”
“Once a whore.  Always a whore.  That’s what Momma told me when I brought you down here.  She said you would make me rue the day I laid eyes on you!”
Kalina heard him clearly.  Her parents’ bedroom door was open.  She was less than ten feet away.  She stood stock-still and listened.
“Preach, Preach.  Come on, Preach.  Think about our baby.  Think about Kalina.  You don’t want to ruin her life because of our mistakes,” Charlotte reasoned.
“What do you care?  She could have come home and been the one to find you with that man in our bed.  Charlotte, how could you?”  Her father’s voice was calm as it echoed through the hallway to her standing on the stairs of the small brick cottage.  Then Kalina heard the sound as Preach primed the shotgun.
“Preach, you made her promises you couldn’t keep.  We can’t send her to school in Pennsylvania.  That scholarship money won’t cover enough, and you know it.  I was just trying to help,” Charlotte offered.  “Put the gun down, Preach!  We need to get Deke some help.  He’s losing a lot of blood.”
“He’s already dead, Charlotte,” Preach said so calmly that Kalina’s entire body shivered.  “I never ever would have thought you would have betrayed me – not trusted me.  I had faith in you, Charlotte.  Why didn’t you have faith in me?  I took care of you, of Kalina, the church, my job, all my obligations to everybody.  What was it that made you do this to me?”
“I was lonely, Preach.  You didn’t look at me with that love in your eyes no more.  The only loving eyes you have are for Kalina.  But, that’s not why I did it.  I wanted to make sure she didn’t have to want for anything.  Not the way I did.  That’s how I ended up down the wrong path.  I didn’t have anything.  Nothing.  My parents weren’t there for me.  You know that.  You helped me.  Preach, you know I always loved you for that,” Charlotte was measuring her words.
Kalina absorbed everything, but she didn’t want to understand what she heard.
“I took you off the street, and after all these years you bring the street to my bed, my home that I built for you.”  Kalina heard her father take a couple of steps.
“You built it for us,” Charlotte’s voice became shrill, “for us!  For Kalina.  For us.  Don’t throw it away, Preach!  Not like this.  We have got to stay strong for our child.  You have to help her reach her dreams, Preach.  Don’t throw those dreams away.  Please don’t throw us away!”
“I could have asked the same of you, Charlotte.  I can’t let you destroy me like this.  You’re right.  That’s why we both have to go.  Kalina.  She’ll be all right,” Preach began to sob, and Charlotte began to moan loudly.
“No!”  Kalina tried to yell as her feet became unglued from the landing of the stairwell, and she started toward her parents’ bedroom door.
“No!” she tried to scream again, but nothing was coming from her mouth, or maybe it did but was drowned out by the deafening sound of the gunshot that silenced her mother’s excruciating cries for mercy.
She reached the door just in time to have it blown shut in front of her.  She heard the impact of her father’s body slam against the door as he had put the second shot to the bottom of his chin.  Kalina was thrown against the wall by the force of the door.  She slid onto the floor and sat there for a few seconds.  The house was deadly still.  The smell of sulfur permeated the air.
She found it in her to jump up suddenly and started pushing frantically against the door.  She used all the strength of her one hundred pound frame to get the door slightly open.  She saw her father’s legs stretched out across the carpeted floor.  They were sprayed with blood.
“Daddy!” she screamed.  “Daddy, let me in!”

Featured Author: Jonathan Burkett

Growing up in Jamaica, Jonathan ‘John’ Burkett feels loved by his grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins and, most of all, by his
grandfather. Little did Johnny know that this little childhood bliss is to end soon when a visitor from America takes him to live with his

In the land of the free, the young boy finds himself trapped in a world that’s been turned upside down.

He finally meets his ‘real’ mother, but instead of joy at seeing his son, from whom she’s been separated when he was just a baby, she stares at him as if seeing someone else and cringes at the sight of
him. Instead of showering him with love and kisses, as a loving mother should, she showers him with beatings and death threats. Instead of cooking meals for her son, she serves him a plateful of insults. Instead of tucking him to bed at night, she continually kicks him out of her house so he ends up sleeping in friends’ houses, at the park, or on the streets.

One heartbreaking moment in the author’s life was when, after several plots to get him arrested, he straightforwardly asks his mother if she loves him. She looks him in the eye and simply answers, “No.”

This autobiography will grip at your heart as the author pours out his very soul, flooding each page with painful echoes of the past that will not die down while kept bottled up. In time, he realizes that his own grief has been passed on to him by his mother, who experienced incredible anguish at the hands of his biological father.

Meet the Author

Jonathan Anthony Burkett was born February 1, 1987. He is a bright outstanding writer inspired by many, as he continues to struggle in life.
Devoted for achievement in his lifetime, he is willing to take any test. He told himself, that he would never give up no matter the trials and tribulations. He decided to write to help him move towards a bright future for himself; and because he knows that’s what his Grandparents want for him.

Jonathan Anthony Burkett life changed dramatically the year 2005 after he had survived a surgery that, he was told would better his life. Miraculously it did, along with his mind about life. A young man now, dedicated towards achieving goals in life, without his GED/High School Diploma, he had now looked at himself as in the world.  
Having the urge now to get himself back into school to get either his GED/High School Diploma, Jonathan held back from it because his mind was to blocked up with all of the problems that he was having still in his life. After days of thinking about how he was going to handle all of his living problems, he had gotten the idea to just find a good job, and to save up until he was able to provide everything that he needed, so that he may feel uplifted and then ready to strive for success. However, mistakes were made and jobless he became once again. That’s when he remembered what he had told himself, what he wanted to do if he survived his surgery, and that was to share his life story with the world for many to see how  merciful our father God is, to his children.
In the future Jonathan will be of course writing more books along with having goals on becoming a scriptwriter, songwriter, actor and more things that he loves to do as doors begin to open up for him.   Patiently Jonathan is still waiting, for if it was meant to be, victory will be in one of his open doors that he, will someday walk right through.
Reviews for Neglected but UndefeatedOfficial Apex Reviews Rating: 4 stars

She beat him…she neglected him…she kicked him out of the house time and again…she even went so far as to try to set him up  to be arrested…but perhaps the one thing that devastated Jonathan the most was when he asked her if she loved him, and she looked him in the eye and said, “No”…

Throughout the pages of Neglected But Undefeated, author Jonathan Anthony Burkett recounts the traumatic upbringing that he experienced at the hands of his mother. One would think that, out of all the people in the world, we can count on our mothers to
love us when no one else will – but in Burkett’s case, the opposite actually proved true. Holding him responsible for the pain she experienced at the hands of his father, Burkett’s mother tormented him on a daily basis, making his formative years a time of extended grief, sadness, and self-pity; however, through embracing the love of God, Burkett was finally able to heal from all
the years of strife that plagued his upbringing and set himself on the path of freedom and ultimate victory that he continues to walk to this day.Rough, raw, real – and ultimately inspiring – Neglected But Undefeated is a powerful reminder of the incredible resiliency of the human spirit. A recommended read.

Reviewed By Dominique Sessons

You might expect Jonathan Anthony Burkett’ Neglected but Undefeated to be just another memoir, about life gone wrong for another black child. But this story is much more than pain and lost it’s surprisingly about reconciliation of a boy with his real Father.

The first day I started “Neglected but Undefeated” I had to put it down for
a couple of reasons. One was the shocking events that a child went
through at the hands of his mother; (unbelievable). I had so many OMG
moments while reading I just thought my mouth would remain in an O

Young Jonathan was shuffled from the states to Jamaica, and then made to live only a few steps from his mother’s house with a woman named
Nicole; his mother’s best friend. Living at Nicole’s was good for Jonathan
because it was there he received guidance and disciple after leaving his
grandparents home in Jamaica. Jonathan is allowed to come home. But
the verbal, physical and mental abuse doesn’t end. The abuse is so bad
that Jonathan begins to have seizures which land him in the hospital for
days. The authorities wonder what was going on in this young child’s life
that would stress him out to the point of anxiety attacks and seizures. An
investigation ensued and his mom is on her way to jail for child abuse and

It is not my intent to review the darkness in this book but to show you the
light. God conveniently place angels in our life just when we need them.
For Jonathan his angel was called grandma, grandpa (Doctor) and Lori.
On Saturday and Sundays Lori took Jonathan to church, his
grandparents gave him a foundation in the Lord, but at such a young age
he didn’t really get it. It wasn’t until he realized God’s Omnipresence,
Omnipotence and Omniscient powers.

I enjoyed reading this tough story, Neglected but Undefeated is not for
the weak. I don’t have any children but I cannot imagine treating my own
flesh and blood as she did. I’m glad the author found the love of God
which would sustain him through all times.


Readers Paradise

3 book marks

Book Review Divas

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Neglected but Undefeated is a tear-jerking story about abuse, neglect, and healing

A young child wakes up one morning on the laundry room floor in his home. He’s completely bruise from head to toe and can’t remember how he ended up sleeping there. Awaken by the smell of breakfast cooking in the kitchen, he eagerly stands up and walks into the other room and greets his mother who’s in the middle of cooking his favorite breakfast. Soon what starts out as a simple “Good morning mom” quickly escalates into a verbal tug-of-war. Suddenly the child’s mother begins to beat him with the hot frying pan she was previously using to cook the eggs in. After beating him with the pan, she then grabs a high heel shoe to finish the job she already started on his defenseless little body. Afterwards, she unplugs all the phone and walks out of the house, leaving him curdle up in pain on the kitchen floor.

This is just one of the many tragic stories of Jonathan Burkett’s childhood growing up with a mother who didn’t love him, a step-father who turned a blind eye, and the sexual molestation by the adult females in his life who he thought he could trust.

As a child, all young Jonathan wanted was his mother’s love and attention. But in return, all he received was beatings and death threats. Around the age of fourteen, his mother threw him out of the house and with no place to go, he became homeless. One day, he sat his mother down and asked her if she loved him. His mother replied only sent him further down a spiraling hole of depression and uncontrollable rage. However, as Jonathan tries to piece his young adult life together, he encounter people who attempts to uplift and support him through his troubling times. But will the pain from his childhood destroy any chance for a happy future?

About the Reviewer

 Joy Farrington is the author of A Literary Diva’s Guide… book series and owner of Lit Diva, Inc., which offers book marketing services for African-American authors. She is the creator and head reviewer for the Book Review Divas, editor of the online e-zine Nubian Lit, and president of Nubian Sistas Book Club. She lives in Miami, Fl.


Why I Love/Hate Jay Z’s Decoded Book Cover by Joy Farrington

As a self-published author, you learn early on that one of THE most important marketing tool in your toolbox is your book cover. It has to stand out against the gazillion of other books out there. Authors know that ultimately our book cover will act as our spokesperson when we are not available to promote the book ourselves. Therefore, we work closely with our cover designer to make sure that our book cover will entice consumers to pick our book from the hordes of other titles on the shelves of their favorite store.

Which brings me to Jay Z’s book Decoded. At first glance, the book covers lacks…something. Where’s the bold colors? Where’s the half-naked woman standing next to a man dramatically staring off in the distance? Where’s the single rose petal falling mysteriously from the sky? Where’s the “You gotta get this book!” cover design that I’m used to seeing on the shelves?!

But the more I looked at Decoded, the more I fell in love with the book cover. I love the cover art and simplicity of the design is amazing. It’s less of a book cover and more of an album cover for a greatest hits collection or an amazing painting at an art exhibit (FYI:the cover is an image of Andy Warhol’s “Rorschach”). The gold and cream design with a simple “Jay Z” and “Decoded” stated above the art work is the only items printed on the front of the book. There’s no list of testimonials from a string of A list stars, no copy writing, no…anything.

 And that’s the beauty of it. When you reach a state of complete awesomeness like Jigga, you don’t need plugs, fillers, or any other promotional gimmick on the front of your cover. Your name speaks for itself. So although the book cover may not fly for a typical author, it’s the perfect fit for a book written by a man who doesn’t follow the rules; he creates them.

The Brooklyn Museum Presents JAY-Z In Conversation With Charlie Rose


“Fiercely candid, uncompromising, provocative, inspiring—DECODED is the long awaited first book by the multi-platinum, 10-time Grammy Award winning artist,entrepreneur, and icon JAY-Z. JAY-Z will share his passion for his art and work and discus what it was like growing up as a hustler and feeling judged simply because of where he was from. He will also address issues that informed him and his songwriting:
– How did visual art and poetry influence his craft?
– How did he get involved in politics when he never really trusted the system?
– How did he stay honest to himself in the world of big business and how did he shed stereotypes when he’d been labeled one all his life?
– How did he develop his business philosophy and what are his lessons for success and vision for the future?

“When I first started working on this book, I told my editor that I wanted to do three important things. The first was to make the case that hip-hop lyrics-not just my lyrics, but those of every great MC-are poetry if you look at them closely enough. The second was that I wanted the book to tell a little bit of the story of my generation, to show the context for the choices we made at a violent and chaotic crossroads in recent history. And the third piece was that I wanted the book to show how hip-hop created a way to take a
very specific and powerful experience and turn it into a story that everyone in the world could feel and relate to.”-JAY-Z, from DECODED.DECODED is a narrative journey through the lyrics and life
of one of the most prolific artists of our time. JAY-Z describes the meanings behind some of his most provocative songs and provides a highly personal narrative of the culture that so powerfully shaped his life and art. “I saw the circle before I saw the kid in the middle. I was nine years old, the summer of 1978, and Marcy was my world.”

For JAY-Z, lyrics aren’t just about songs, they’re about life, and in DECODED he brings his own story to life,
writing about his journey from Brooklyn’s notorious Marcy Projects to becoming a world-class artist, cultural icon, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.

“I went straight-stopped selling drugs-but I also didn’t accept the false choice between poverty and breaking the law.”

Make sure you don’t miss this event:

Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, Brooklyn Museum TICKETS GO ON SALE Wednesday, November, 10th at 12 Noon! Tickets can be purchased at or at the Visitor Services Center at the Brooklyn Museum.
$50 General Admission (including Seniors & Students with valid ID)
$45 Members – Become a member

  • The event will be filmed for later broadcast on “Charlie Rose.” Portions of the audience may
    be recorded.
  • There is a two-ticket purchase limit per patron, through, for this program.
  • Each ticket purchased through for this program includes a copy of DECODED by JAY-Z that will be
    provided to the patron upon admission to the program the evening of the
  • Print outs of tickets will not be accepted. All patrons are to check in at will-call at the
    Visitor Services Center at the Brooklyn Museum for tickets.
  • Ticketholders must provide ID that matches the name on the ticket at will-call to be admitted
    the evening of the event.
  • There will be no standby line for this event.

CHARLIE ROSE is executive editor and
anchor of CHARLIE ROSE, the nightly one-hour interview program that engages in one-on-one in-depth conversation and round table discussions about important issues and ideas of our time. CHARLIE ROSE appears nightly on PBS and also in prime time on Bloomberg Television in the United States and 100 countries around the world. He is also a contributing correspondent to the CBS News program 60 Minutes. Charlie Rose and his guests define the global conversation. Since 1991, Charlie Rose has done more in-depth hours with Nobel Laureates and extraordinary men and women of science, politics, art, business, sports, technology, literature and entertainment than any other program in the world.