HI MARVA AND HELLO TO ALL MY READERS:
It's Sunday Morning, July 1, 2012, and I've just watched Joel Osteen on TV and am preparing to watch his online services, as well. So I'm in a pretty receptive mood. While waiting for the program to begin (www.joelosteenministries.com
/watch online), I'm browsing my emails, and the first one to pop up is "Hue-Man Bookstore Event" from Marva Allen. Just under the banner is the headline "Time for a change: Hue-Man Bookstore Closing"!!!!!!
What the sam hill is going on??? What a way to shake up a Sunday Morning!
I'm not only not pleased with this news, I am absolutely appalled, disappointed and disgusted - not in Hue-Man Books, but in those of us who live here in the Apple, who can manage to support all kinds of inanities, but can't manage to support the ONE GOOD BLACK BOOKSTORE in the community.
I definitely want to congratulate you, Marva, on a well crafted letter. You don't point fingers of blame or responsibility at anyone - not the community, not the elected officials, not the Black authors or writers. No, you talk about the "times" we live in, and of course the fact that modern technology has affected the publishing industry in general. Which, by extrapolation probably means that if white folks get a cold, Black folks get pneumonia - I know you've heard that one before.
But, in reality, we determine our own times. We are the ones in charge of what happens to us individually and collectively. Our collective consciousnesses are what moves the times, not just some clock on the wall. And it's time that we began putting together those institutions that make it possible for our businesses to have the longevity they deserve. The ten years have flown by and HueMan Books is a part of our hearts and psyche. I
Hue-Man Books has lost their lease. Now, don't tell me, let me guess, they'll probably renew it at a cut throat increase. Sound familiar? It's been happening throughout the community for the past few years; Black businesses under the threat of being displaced by white businesses as the gentrification wheels continue to grind Harlem (and the rest of our communities) into oblivion.
So I'm raising my voice with a big HELL NO! And asking that you do the same. Or are you content with becoming extinct in your own community? Don't make the mistake of thinking that things will be okay if they close, and that something else will come to fill the void. Every time you give ground, more ground is taken away from you.
The push is on, and our businesses are being pushed out - literally - right under our noses.
There has to be within our so-called power structure - whether political, real estate, religious, or community based/activist organizations - or a combination of all of the above - that can coalesce to ensure that not only does Hue Man Books not have to close, but that they have a much more viable place to move to - that's reasonable, protected, supported, that has access to the public as well as the space needed for entertainment.
Like the Japanese, the Jews, and other ethnic groups, Black people have to start the habit of protecting their businesses and institutions. This is more than lip service and platitudes; this is about putting our finances where our mouths are.
We are really good for complaining when stuff does not happen appropriately. We can also point out how and what the other guys (ethnic groups) are doing. But we now have to show that, not only can we elect and re-elect a Black president, but that we can take care of and grow our own viable Black communities, and sustain our Black businesses as well.
I'm not blaming anyone in our community - but I am saying we ALL have a responsibility, going forward. Have you noticed that with the demise of Kermit Eady's Black United Fund of New York there have been fewer and fewer locally based Black businesses receiving the assistance they need to survive? Have you noticed that there are few, if any, alternatives available when a business, organization, individual, or idea needs the capital and support to move forward?
I think it's time we reached out to not only re-establishe BUFNY, but to begin developing our own Save Harlem protocols -NOW. Mart 125 has become a vacant eyesore! Why? What is the monster plan for that property that used to house Black entrepreneurs, artists and merchants. Don't you find it amazing that there have been shops and vendors opened up all around it, but nothing has been done to bring it back?
That may well be the fate of Hue Man Books if we allow this to go forth. What is up with the 125th St. BID (business improvement district)? Whose businesses are they trying to improve? We've lost Shakulu Shange, Bobby's Records, Mart 125, and other small businesses; which are being replaced with corporate businesses that offer "jobs' but not careers, and are changing the landscape and culture of Harlem - and not necessarily for the better.
Forward copies of this letter and their announcement to Congressman Rangel, Assembly members Keith Wright, Denny Farrell, State Senator Bill Perkins, City Council reps Inez Dickens and Robert Jackson; Borough President Scott Stringer etc., etc., etc., as well as the residents of Harlem, in particular, New Yorkers in general, and Black People everywhere.
So this is an open letter of alarm for Black people everywhere. It is emblematic of what is in store if we don't draw a line in the sand, take our stand and save our businesses, our families, our communities. Give them an inch they take a mile. This is an inreach - not an out reach. We have to reach inside our own minds, hearts, sensibilities and determine what it is we really stand for. Or are just merely masses of pigmentation, or "melanites", pseudo-Black who, when put to the test, are not really who we want the rest of the world to think we are.
If we can sit quietly by as our businesses are decimated, as people are systematically pushed out of our community, as neighborhoods are cannibalized through gentrification, then let's put the tombstone on Harlem as the Mecca for Black culture right now. We can re-elect President Obama, and we certainly will. But in doing so, he will need to know that we are viable and able to carry forward what he is working so hard to provide. And it certainly isn't about losing Black businesses on the ground through the lack of wherewithal on the part of those who claim to be part of the Greatest City in the World - Harlem.
I have some ideas about how to save HueMan and some of our other businesses. I'm sure you have too. So let's get busy!! We have no time to waste.
Stay Blessed &
--- On Sun, 7/1/12, Marva Allen <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
From: Marva Allen <email@example.com>
Subject: Hue-Man Bookstore Event
Date: Sunday, July 1, 2012, 10:01 AM
END OF AN ERA
Our Final Month of Fabulous Events in Our Old Home and An Open Letter to the Harlem Community
| Dear Gloria,|
As Carol (my middle name) Burnette would say, 'we're so glad we had this time together, but now it's time for us to say so long'. Ten years of amazing friendship and camaraderie have gone by way too soon. On July 31, 2012, Hue- Man will close its current location. We all know that there is a season for everything under heaven and the season of "traditional book" selling has come to a close.
When you do something for five hundred years and it works why change? But change has happened and the publishing industry is experiencing a new reality. Faced with tremendous social pressures to deliver the next big idea, celebrity books have become the interim hype, yet even that is not a sustainable model for an industry in turmoil. As stop gap measures run out, the industry will be forced to reconcile the future place of "real books" in their business models and with continuous rumble and tumult, new ideas will percolate on how to deliver that new experience to the new consumer of books. No matter how apocalyptic the predictions are for the industry, it is my belief that books are here to stay in one iteration or the other.
Closing the existing format of Hue-Man is forward thinking on our part and as we take pause to re-imagine the future of books and how to ensure that their purpose of entertaining, imparting knowledge and honing creativity is preserved, we find no viable alternative but to go back to the drawing board. Closing our beloved bookstore, I assure you was a very hard decision for us. Yet, the confluence of events, changing landscape, the end of our lease and the international expansion of our vision, closing our physical location was the only sensible decision we could make. There is no way to re-imagine the bookstore of the future in our current space. To try to do so would be a stop gap and a waste of resources.
In making this monumental decision we gave significant consideration to the community, and to each and every one of you. Loyal customers such as Ms. Phoebe, Ms. Campbell, Valarie, Saida, Brenda, Joe Morgan, Elinor Campbell and our sweet Jayden, kept surfacing in our hearts. After all, isn't community what a neighborhood bookstore is all about? Suffice it to say we took solace in the gift we were able to give. We will cherish the up close and personal experiences with so many amazing people, some of them no longer with us. People such as Erica Kennedy, Rodney King, E. Lynn, Slade Morrison, L.A Banks and veterans such as LeRoy Neiman, Rosa Guy, Manning Marable and Professor Derrick Bell are gone but gave us memories not soon forgotten. What a time we had! What an amazing journey!
So what next? While we are figuring out our amazing bookstore of the future, I will be working on several projects which will focus on giving ethnic writers an advantage in the marketplace. We will continue to be involved in the publishing of books and will ramp up our agency services to writers and publishers alike. Though we can not give you the future in a nutshell, we can tell you that on September 6th 2012 at 7:30Pm we will launch our new event format with Miami Heat Dwayne Wade. Partnering with a state of the art facility we can begin to create the kind of multi-platform customer experience we've always imagined. Stay tuned!
What you will be able to do Once We Close the Doors:
- You can continue to buy online.....In fact, for 3 months beginning Aug 1, 2012 we will be discounting our entire website offerings 30% or better.
- You can still reach us through facebook and twitter.
- You can continue to reach us at the same phone number and at the same website and e-mail address.
- You will hear from us though our usual methods of communication.
- You may continue to call us about hosting your events in new and exciting ways.
- You can hope we get the Chase Grant you so generously voted for us to win so that we can hasten our physical return.
- YOU CAN GET DEEP DISCOUNTS ON OUR EXISTING INVENTORY WHICH WE NEED TO LIQUIDATE.
What you will not be able to do:
- Walk into Hue-Man and see our smiling faces...but you can smile at us when you do see us on the streets of Harlem and I'm sure you will hear our smiles through the telephone line.
So, above are two quite distinct ideas of book delivery. One is a re-imagined library in Columbia and the other, a bookstore of the future in Rome, Italy. Guess what we are doing later this August....taking a jaunt to see them both? Maybe. In the meantime join us for our signature July Signings, with a wonderful line up...Susan Fales-Hill, The Vice President of Ghana, and a spectacular closing event with the Cast of FELA! etc.....You know we had to have some light...camera...action. If you are in St Louis Aug 4 and 5 come see us at the St. Louis Expo and, if you are in the Vineyard, join Professor Ogletree's Charles Hamilton Institute event on Aug 15.
In the meantime the re-imagined book art below reminds us that all greatness and creativity comes from knowledge often found in books. We leave you with light and love.
Click the link below and travel with us down memory lane. Until we meet again...you have all our love and respect,
The Partners and Staff of Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe
WATCH THE VIDEO OF OUR TIME TOGETHER
Time to Say So Long to Hue-Man
|JULY FEATURED EVENTS|
JULY 9, OFFSITE
VICE PRESIDENT OF GHANA
JULY 12, 6:30-PM
CHLOE + ISABEL JEWELRY MEETUP
Campaign for Children with Cancer hosted by
SUSAN FALES-HILL IMPERFECT BLISS
CELEBRATE WITH THE CAST OF FELA AND GET THE OPPORTUNITY TO PURCHASE SPECIALLY PRICED TICKETS FOR ITS LIMITED RETURN TO BROADWAY. WE WILL GIVE YOU A SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE TO SIGN UP ON LINE THAT N IGHT AS OUR SEND OFF AND TRIBUTE TO YOU. THIS IS ALSO HUE-MAN'S OFFICIAL GOING AWAY PARTY NIGHT
How to Date, Mate, and Relate Mixing Race, Culture, and Creed Good Brother Productions in association with Serendipity Literary Agency LLC presents NIGHTS AT THE ROUND TABLE A monthly panel discussion and networking mixer.
This Month's Discussion - "Swirling", a discussion on interracial dating and mating, inspired by the book "Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture and Creed."
Panelists will be discussing the full scope and personal perspectives of interracial dating and marriage. Panelists include: Christelyn Karazin - Author of Swirling: How to Mate Date and Relate Mixing Race Culture and Creed Ron Worthy - CEO of blackpeoplemeet.com Abiola Abrams - Celebrity Love and Lifestyle Expert, Journalist Alex Barnett - Comedian The Panel will be moderated by your favorite FaceBook friend Marlon Rice!! Wednesday July 25, 2012 at:
For My Sweet Garden and Event Space 1103 Fulton Street (between Classon Avenue and Claver Place) Panel Discussion starts at 7:30pm NIGHTS AT THE ROUND TABLE is FREE for EVERYONE Great Food - Drink Specials - Great Conversation
JULY 27, 6PM RESHONDA TATE BILLINGSLY
THE SECRET SHE KEPT
STORE CLOSING JULY 31, 2012
OUR JULY BUCKETLIST RECOMMENDATIONS
FELA!, the award-winning musical directed and choreographed by two-time Tony® winner, Bill T. Jones, returns to Broadway for a strictly limited engagement. Four weeks only! July 9 through August 4 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 302 W. 45th Street @ 8th Avenue.
A spectacularly inspiring and triumphant tale of courage, passion and love, Fela! is based on the life of Fela Kuti, who created Afrobeat - a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies - and mixed these sensual eclectic rhythms with simple but powerful lyrics that openly assailed Nigeria's corrupt and oppressive dictatorships. Featuring many of Fela Kuti's most captivating songs performed by a combined cast of the original Broadway production and the Royal National Theatre production.
on orchestra seating
and enter code
Call 212.947.8844 and mention code
Take this offer to the Hirschfeld Theatre box office, 302 W. 45th Street @ 8th Avenue.
Performances: Mon & Tues 7pm|Wed 2pm & 7:30pm|Fri 8pm
Sat 2pm & 8pm|No performance on Sunday.
|JULY 13, 6PM|
Meet the Harcourts of Chevy Chase, Maryland. A respectable middle-class, middle-age, mixed-race couple, Harold and Forsythia have four eminently marriageable daughters--or so their mother believes. Forsythia named her girls after Windsor royals in the hopes that one day each would find her true prince. But princes are far from the mind of their second-born daughter, Elizabeth (AKA Bliss), who, in the aftermath of a messy divorce, has moved back home and thrown herself into earning her PhD. All that changes when a "Bachelorette"-style reality television show called "The Virgin "takes Bliss's younger sister Diana as its star. Though she fights it at first, Bliss can't help but be drawn into the romantic drama that ensues, forcing her to reconsider everything she thought she knew about love, her family, and herself. Fresh and engaging, "Imperfect Bliss "is a wickedly funny take on the ways that courtship and love have changed--even as they've stayed the same.
SHANEL COOPER SYKES
STILETTOS IN THE KITCHEN: Stilettos In the Kitchen: A Modern Girl's Guide to Being A Domestic Goddess.
Stilettos in the Kitchen shows you how to be an extraordinary woman and reach an extreme level of happiness and success in every area of your life: From starting your new business, finding a good man, making more money, having a flawless face and a 'bangin body, to buying your dream home... and of course having a closet full of Louboutins. You're about to discover how you, too, can get your life together, make more money, find a good man, and be happy this year...
|ReSHANDA TATE BILLINGSLY |
THE SECRET SHE KEPT
A national bestselling author spins an irresistible story of romance and faith that will touch every reader's heart. Successful magazine exec Lance Kingston urges his new wife Tia to seek medical attention, but he wonders if he can ever help his wife ...
AND PAT TUCKER
After her car breaks down, Hope Reed accepts a ride from two neighborhood thugs. Later they are pulled over and arrested for a deadly convenience store robbery--and Hope is arrested too. An unforgettable novel, "Party Girl" asks the question: Is being at the wrong place at the wrong time reason enough to ruin your life?
RE-IMAGINED BUT ALWAYS THE SAME. BOOKS ARE THE STEPPING STONE TO KNOWLEDGE AND THEREFORE POWER.
BIG SAVINGS ON ALL INVENTORY. FIXTURES ON SALE TOO.
|Offer Expires: July 31, 2012|
Hue-Man Bookstore | 2319 FREDERICK DOUGLASS BLVD | NEW YORK | NY | 10027