Category Archives: urban lit

Say Word! My review got banned by!

I knew it had to happen eventually. I mean, the realness I write is just too much for the mainstream to digest. Just kidding…

Well, I usually post the my reviews on within 48 hours of submitting them to the websites I review for. So I sat for a couple of days after I posted the review on and noticed that my review for Crave All Lose All never showed up.

So I emailed’s customer service like, “What’s up?!”

Actually, I wrote this:

I submitted a review for Crave All Lose All by Erick S
Gray that has yet to post. What do I need to do to make sure my review is posted?

Here’s what they told me:

Thank you for writing to

Your review of “Crave All Lose All” was removed because your comments in large part focused on authors and their intentions, rather than reviewing the item itself.

Our guidelines do not allow discussions that criticize authors or their intentions. We encourage all voices to respond openly in our store, both positive and negative. However, we do exert some editorial control over our customer reviews.

As such, your review cannot be posted on in its current format. What I can suggest is that you resubmit your review, restricting your comments to critically analyzing the content of the item.

After that was a bunch of blah, blah, blah about reading guidelines, forum discussions and something about if I got an attitude then I could delete my reviews and take them elsewhere. Okay…it didn’t go that far, but I felt slighted.

The nerve!

Oh yeah, I changed some stuff around with the original review, condensed it and resubmitted it. Hopefully it will go through this time. I’ll keep you posted.

(While I’m on the subject, could just one person find one of my reviews on and click yes or no where it asks if the review was helpful or not? I mean, Crave All Lose All will be my 14th review on without anyone giving me any kind of flavor!)

UPDATE 05-14-08

I checked this morning just to be looking and the review I put together by reconfiguring the Crave All Lose All review I did for That’s the original that got banned for talking more about the author’s intentions that the book itself. What?!

Happy Mother’s Day To The Mothers of Urban Fiction

One thing that rings true with Urban Lit, Street Lit or Urban Fiction (whatever you like to call it) is the fact that there is a strong female aspect to the movement. African American females are well represented in Urban Fiction‘s readership and authorship. I would even go so far as to say that most of the readers of this genre are African American females.

Why is that important? Because it is Mother’s Day, of course.

I’d like to take the time to do something special, and unique, and give a Happy Mother’s Day shout-out to three easily identifiable mother’s of urban lit as we know it today.

Sister Souljah, author of The Coldest Winter Ever

Sister Souljah is the perfect example of a person that was meant to be somebody. Look her up on wikipedia to see what I mean. The Coldest Winter Ever is often cited as the novel which inspired many of the established authors of the Urban Fiction genre. Sold out of the trunk of Sister Souljah’s car, this novel went on to be a bestselling classic and street certified.

A sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever is supposed to be released October 18, 2008 entitled Midnight: A Gangster Love Story. Sister Souljah and Jada Pinkett-Smith are in the process of producing a movie version of The Coldest Winter Ever.

Teri Woods, author of True to the Game

Can you believe that True to the Game was turned down? Yes, and it sat in her closet for two years before Teri decided to pump it out the trunk of her car. The realism of this Urban Fiction classic showed future urban fiction authors that they could also put their stories out there and make things happen. Teri Woods is not only a respected author but also a respected publisher releasing quality urban fiction titles on a regular basis.

Vickie Stringer, author of Let That Be the Reason (Triple Crown Publications Presents)

Her publishing company is locally known and internationally respected! Vickie Stringer jumped into the book publishing industry with her debut novel Let That Be The Reason. She later started her own publishing house, Triple Crown Publications, and has literally taken control of Urban Literature.

Turned down by 26 publishers, Vickie has been offered as much as $3 million to sale the flagship of Hip Hop Lit, Triple Crown Publications.

Yeah, but naaaah…

On the heels of my last post, this is the same thing in reverse.

Instead of lumping everything together because of a common denominator, black authors, Simmons Teen Reading writes about a librarian urging her colleagues keeping urban lit separated from the other books in the young adult section. I have to agree with the librarian. Better yet, I have a question for the librarian: Why would you put these books in the Young Reader’s section, anyway?

I wouldn’t dare let anyone under 18 openly have some of the books I come across. But then again, I wouldn’t suggest some of the music and movies that a lot of the youth have access to. Sex, drugs and violence shouldn’t be standard fare for a teenager’s reading supply.

Then, on top of that, why would the urban lit be in the kid’s section anyway? Like I said above, all of the urban lit I’ve read was absolutely adult in nature.

So to Simmons: Yeah, but naaaaah…