Archive for the ‘books’ Category


Date of Interview: 03/27/2013

© 2013 Clayton Perry

Ted Gioia is a pianist, music historian, and one of the founders of the jazz studies program at Stanford Univeristy. The New York Times has named two of his works notable books of the year: The History of Jazz (1997) and Delta Blues (2009). Gioia is also the author of West Coast Jazz, Work Songs, Healing Songs and The Birth (and Death) of the Cool.

In promotional support of The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire (Oxford University Press: July 6, 2012), Ted Gioia spoke with Clayton Perry about the evolution of music criticism, defining moments in jazz history, and the importance of music education.



where-did-our-love-go-coverWhere Did Our Love Go is the third anthology edited by Gil Robertson IV that examines critical issues affecting the quality of African American life. My contribution to this effort is “R&B Love Letters,” a reflective essay that explores how contemporary music shaped and re-defined my conception of love. Additional contributors include: soul icon Anthony Hamilton, journalist Byron Pitts, and sociologist Dr. R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy.

“In an era where the decline of the African-American family and the estrangement of black women from black men are real and abiding dangers, this book reminds black folk of a simple, soul-saving truth: love is, still.” — Pulitzer Prize winner journalist Leonard Pitts

Where Did Our Love Go is a critical look at relationships in today’s African-American community. Marriage is an essential part of the vitality and character of a community. For this reason, the decline of marriage rates within the black community in the United States and its potential implications are of real concern. While marriage rates among African Americans have long been lower than those among other ethnic groups, the gap today is so pronounced that it has sparked an intense national dialogue.


Gil L. Robertson IV is a veteran journalist whose syndicated column, “The Robertson Treatment,” appears in more than 30 newspapers and reaches more than 2 million readers around the country. He is also the editor of Family Affair: What It Means to be African American Today (Agate Bolden, 2009) and Not In My Family: AIDS in the African-American Community (Agate Bolden, 2006).

Where Did Our Love Go: Love and Relationships in the African-American Community | Publication Date: February 12, 2013 | Publisher: Agate Bolden


Date of Interview: 04/08/2012

Over the past two decades, Greg Tate has garnered a reputation – and eventually dubbed by The Source magazine – as a “Godfather of hip-hop journalism.” Much of his most-popular writings were published during his stint as a staff writer with New York City’s Village Voice between 1987 and 2003. Greg Tate’s publications extended beyond the outlet, however, and include the following titles: Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking From Black Culture (New York: Broadway Books, 2003) and Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2003). His forthcoming works: Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader (Duke University Press) and James Brown’s Body and the Revolution of the Mind (Riverhead Press).

A co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition, Greg Tate also serves as the leader of Burnt Sugar, an improvisational band that fuses funk, jazz, rock, and African music through experimental – yet cohesive – performance. Currently, he is serving as a Visiting Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University. In 2010, he was awarded a United States Artists fellowship, an organization whose mission statement is “to invest in America’s finest artists and illuminate the value of artists to society.”

In response to a “special request,” in support of the body of literature composed during his incredible journalism career, Greg Tate managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on his love of hip-hop, the founding of Burnt Sugar, and an “unappreciated” De La Soul emcee.


Date of Interview: 03/01/2012

Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum, Jr., is the Pastor of The New Olivet Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. In addition to his pastoral duties, he is a member of Memphis City Schools’ Board of Commissioners, the Stellar Awards Gospel Music Academy, and the Recording Academy.  Blending a lifetime of wide-ranging experiences, he released his critically-acclaimed book, Hip-Hop Is Not Our Enemy, in 2010.

Hip-Hop Is Not Our Enemy [digital; print] is an insider’s critique of the Black church’s role and responsibility in co-opting hip-hop culture. In support of the book, Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum, Jr., spoke with Clayton Perry about “hip-hop theology,” mainstream condemnation of hip-hop culture, and methods in which the church can connect with members of the hip-hop generation.


Cecil Murphey

Date of Interview: 07/07/2010

Cecil Murphey is the best-selling and award-winning author of more than 100 books and 700 articles. Although best-known for his collaborative projects with notable individuals, like Franklin Graham (Rebel With a Cause) and Ben Carson (Gifted Hands), Murphey also spends a considerable amount of time ministering to the public as a full-time pastor and public speaker. His topics of interest include: faith, spiritual balance and strategies to cope with tragedy, trauma and abuse.

Since October 2006, Cecil Murphey has been a permanent fixture on the New York Times bestseller list, due to the massive success of 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life, which has sold more than 5 million copies and been printed in 40 languages. His most personal project, however, would come four years later. Bearing his heart and soul in an honest, therapeutic text, Murphey offers guidance and solace with the Kregel publication of When a Man You Love Was Abused: A Woman’s Guide to Helping Him Overcome Childhood Sexual Molestation.

In the midst of a promotional campaign for this forthright book, Cecil Murphey squeezed some time out of his busy schedule and settled down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on the challenges he faced with Christian publishers, the barriers to productive conversations about male sexual abuse, and the steps that must be taken to create a national dialogue both inside and outside of the church.



Date of Interview: 11/20/2009

© 2009 Clayton Perry

Whenever a listing of hip hop’s “greatest” emcees is created, one name consistently ranks in the top tier: KRS-One.  As a solo artist and founding member of Boogie Down Productions, Lawrence Parker has maintained unprecedented levels of notoriety and respect throughout his quarter-century reign as “The Teacha.”

Within the past few years, KRS One has received countless “Lifetime Achievement” Awards – honoring his impact on hip hop culture, as well as his philanthropic efforts revolving around the Stop the Violence Movement.  On October 6, 2009, his first book, The Gospel of Hip Hop: The First Instrument, was published under the powerHouse imprint.

In the midst of a promotional tour for the Gospel of Hip Hop, KRS One managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on the philosophical teachings of Edgar Cayce, the prophetic wisdom drawn from Louis Farrakhan, and the burden of responsibility hip hop’s emcees must bear.


Keli Goff

Date of Interview: 04/10/2008

© 2008 Clayton Perry

In days gone by, politics was a game that only men were allowed to play.  But today, women have gained access to the political arena in every dimension.

One of these women is Keli Goff, who has emerged as one of Washington’s key political commentators and serves as a regular contributor to CNN, FOX News Channel and Bloomberg Radio.  Although her public arrival is several years in the making, it is quite fitting that Goff—a young, Ivy-educated, African-American female—is weathering (and dissecting) a political climate steeped with the rhetoric of change.

On February 25, 2008, Keli Goff published her first book, Party Crashing: How the Hip-Hop Generation Declared Political Independence, under the Basic Civitas imprint.  And in less than 300 pages, Goff manages to introduce America to a new generation of black voters that challenges antiquated notions of racial politics.

Upon review of Party Crashing, Keli Goff managed to squeeze some time out of her busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on race, politics and the ever-evolving news media.