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Novds like AITonya Washing,ton's “In The Midst of Passion” and Ann Christopher’s “Trouble” are making black-
oriented romances part of a grovynng publishing industry.
Passion’s in fashion
Black-oriented romance builds growing publishing niche
By Cheiis F. Hodges
The AMcan American romance
industry is booming.
Harlequin, which has long been the
standard in romance fiction, launched
it’s African American line,
Kimani Press in June. The pub
lishing giant purchased BET
Books in November.
‘This acquisitions supports a
key strategic initiative for Har
lequin of offering greater
breadth in publidiing niches
that can create future growth Washington
for the overall Harlequin fran
chise,” said Donna Hayes, Harlequin’s
publisher and CEO.
Romance novels account for 54.5
percent of aH paperbacks sold, accord
ing to the Romance Writers of Ameri
ca’s web ate.
In the early 1990s, the boom in
African America romances took off
when 'Iferry McMillian’s “Waiting lb
Ejdiale” exploded in 1992.
Then the Arabesque line was
laimched in 1994 by Kensington Pub
lications. A year later, Genesis
Press, one of the few Afiican
American-owned romance pub
lishers, was launched.
Fast-forward 10 years and
Afiican American romance is
the fastest growing market of
“One great thing about the
market today is that there are
a few major publishers, including
Kensington and Harleqifin, both of
whom I am fortunate to write for, that
have imprints with books by and
about Afiican American Women,” said
romance author Ann Christopher.
“There are more opportunities for
todaj^s black romance author.”
Christopher’s first novel, “Tfro\ible,”
was released by Kensington this
“Trouble” is the story of defense
attorney Mike Baldwin, who falls for
his brother’s date, Dara Williams-a
law student who ends up interning at
his firm. They try to deny their attrac
tion to each other, but nature takes its
course with a lot of twists and turns
Christopher has a book scheduled
for released by Harlequin in February
as well.
Al’Ibnya Washington, who lives in
Charlotte, started her writing career
because she didn’t see any books in
the market she could identify with.
Wadiington’s fir^ novd, “Remem-
Please see AFRICAN/2D
‘Quilts and Prints of Gee’s Bend’ blankets the senses
\ Winfred Cross
By Sandy Seawrighl
"The Quilts and Prints
of Gee's Bend"
Jerald Melberg Gallery
625 South Sharon Amity Road
Often when we approach
REVIEW art in gaUeiy
or a museum it
feels like we are
to stand back and be cau
tious, be reverent.
Not so at “The Quilts and
Prints of Gee’s Bend” at Jer
ald Melberg Gallery. This
ecdfibit feels like the viewer is
being comforted and we expe
rience the spirit of hxunan
“American House Top”
Gee’s Bend in a small, rural
community is southwest
Alabama. 'These quilting
skills have been passed down
throu^ several generations.
At Melberg, the quilts and
etchir^s have been created by
Mary Lee Randolph and her
daughter-in-law Louisana
Randolph. These quilts have •
been praised for their beauty,
bold geometry and sophisti
cated use of color.
'The quilts have a subtlety
that makes them very
approachable. “Bars Varia
tion” by Amelia Bennett cre
ated in a variety of tighter
blue hues of wide strips of
doth reminds me of a mini-
m a 1 i s m
have such a
ed use of
color that
we wonder
about their
i n f 1 u -
ences: is it
only older Gee’s Bend quil-
ters? Or is it Afiican textiles?
Or nature? Or aU of the
In Annie Mae Young’s quilt
‘Blocks” creat
ed in 2003, 72
inches by 88
inches, she
uses a mini
mum amount
of the color
which serves
sort of as pimc-
tuation marks.
Center Medal
lion” from the
1970s, is 91 indies by 79 inch
es features white surface
Please see GEE’S/2D
Auditions for ‘A Chorus Line’ at Theatre Charlotte
Theatre Charlotte will host
open auditions for its season
opener, the musical “A Chorus
The Tbny- and Pulitzer
Prize-winning musical is
directed and choreographed
by Eddie Mabry.
Roles are available for 10
men, nine women, and 10
extras 16 to 40 years old.
Auditions are at 7 p.m., July
23-24 at 'Theatre Charlotte,
501 Queens Road.
All hopefuls should have a
Broadway-style song pre
pared. A jazz combination
will be taught, so come
dressed to dance. Eeadir^
will be done at callbacks. If
you have a picture and
resume, bring them, but are
not necessary.
'Hie play runs September
14-17, 21-24, 28-October 1.
John Stafford is the musdal
director for the production.
In “A Chorus Line,” 16 hope
ful dancers compete for ei^t
spots in a new Broadway
Court: Removing film sex, profanity, violates eopyrights
Sanitizing movies on DVD or
VHS tape violates federal
cop5rri.^t laws, and several
companies that scrub films
must turn over their invento
ry to Hollywood studios, an
appeals judge ruled.
Editing movies to delete
objectionable language, sex
and violence is an “illegiti
mate business” that hurts
Hollywood studios and direc
tors who own the movie
ri^ts, said U.S District
Judge Richard P. Matsch in a
decision released last week in
“Their Istudios and direc-
tors) objective ... is to stop the
infiii^ement because of its
irreparable injury to the cre
ative artistic expression in the
copyrighted . movies,” the
judge wrote. “There is a public
into^st in providing such pro
Matsch ordered the compa
nies named in the suit, includ
ing CleanFlicks, Play It Clean
Video and CleanFilms, to stop
“producing, manufacturing,
creating” and renting edited
movies. 'The businesses also
must turn ov^ their invento
ry to the movie studios within
five days of the ruling.
“We’re disappointed,” Clean-
Fhcks chief executive Ray
Lines said. “This is a typical
case of David vs. Goliath, but
in this case, Hollywood
rewrote the ending. We’re
going to continue to fight.”
CleanFlicks produces and
distributes sanitized copies of
Hollywood films on DVD by
bumir^ edited versions of
movies onto blank discs. 'The
scrubbed films are sold over
the Internet and to video
As many as 90 video stores
nationwide—about half of
them in Utah—purchase
movies from CleanFlicks,
Lines said. It is imclear how
the ruling may effect those
The controversy began in
1998 when the owners of
Arie hits
India. Arie
Testimony: Vol. I,
Life & Relationships
IndiaArie and others,
Motown/Universal Records
India. Arie must have strug
gled to get this record to see
dayli^t. It doesn’t soimd fike
anything on the radio (thank
you, Jesus) and she’s on
Motown. “Nuff said.
But I’m ^ad the sister is
persistent. 'This is what we
should be hearing on radio.
'Though not a great singer,
Arie is one of those rare tal
ents that sings music that fits
her voice so well that it’s as
stylish as it is affective. She
also is a writer who can con
vey hurt, betrayal, anger and
unbridled love without ham
mering you into submission.
She’s straightforward and
simple, yet doesn’t go for the
obvious. She will make you
think as you listen
She will also make you
appreciate this work very
much. “The Heart Of The
Matter” is a brilliant perfor
mance, not just vocally, but
lyrically 'This is really a bit
tersweet song without being
vengeful. 'There is hurt and
pain, but she’s taking her
lumps and moving on while
growing in the process. For
those who couldn’t get
enough of ‘Wdeo” fixim her
first release, “There’s Hope”
is its musical twin. Lyrically
it’s more about beir^ upbeat
than defiant. “I Am Not My
Hair” is certainly defiant.
Arie and Akon team up for
one of the best political state
ments in a whQe. Not very
radio-fiiendly because folks
want to hear music that
makes a booty shake rather
than stir the conscience.
There are a few times when
Arie may have reached too
far. “Summer” teams her
with Rascal Flatts and \^ct;or
Wooten. Wooten’s a funky
bass player and Rascal Flatts
is one of the hottest country
groups on the planet. It’s a
great collaboration, but I
wonder if any of their true
fans wili be acceptii^.
That aside, Arie has hit her
stride at the right time. She’s
gone fixim a girlish curiosity
to a profound woman. It suits
her well.
During the audition, the
dancers bare their souls,
endure physical and emotion
al injuries, and deal with
Sunrise Family \^deo began
deleting scenes fixrm “Titanic”
that showed a naked Kate
'The scrubbing caused an
uproar in Hollywood, result
ing in several lawsuits and
Directors can feel vindicat
ed by the ruling, said Mchael
Apted, president of the Direc
tor’s Guild of America.
“Audiences can now be
assured that the films they
buy or rent are the visicai of
the filmmakers who made
them and not the' arbitrary
choices of a third-party edi
tor,” he said.

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