January 14, 2021
Troy Johnson is settling into his new life as a Tulsa resident, checking out all the local eats and awaiting the day the music scene comes back swinging.
After spending most of his career in the defense and financial services industries, Troy founded The African American Literature Book Club (AALBC.com) in March of 1998. Today, AALBC.com is the oldest, largest, and most frequently visited website dedicated to books written by or about people of African descent.
Outside of entertainment and sports, Black culture is a marginalized aspect of American culture. In order to help broaden and deepen the narrative, Troy helps celebrate Black culture through books for readers of all backgrounds to enjoy. AALBC.com not only sells books, but also writes book reviews, interviews authors, promotes other booksellers, publishes weekly newsletters and hosts a discussion forum for all things Black culture. You can also have your manuscripts edited and books printed through AALBC.com.
If you ask Troy how it all happened, he will tell you he sort of stumbled upon this whole thing surreptitiously while he was learning how to help a client make money with her website back in 1997. In an attempt to garner more knowledge on the subject, Troy created an e-commerce site selling books. In the process, he discovered an array of amazing books and writers that he had never been exposed to before. Inspired by his findings, Troy immediately stopped building websites for other people and channeled his focus to AALBC.com and sharing what he was learning with others. In 2008, he quit his corporate job and AALBC.com became his livelihood.
This past year has been a season of growth for AALBC.com. In reaction to the tragic acts of racism in our nation, readers from all over the country purchased books on combating racism and specifically chose to purchase those books from independent, Black-owned booksellers. Troy is inspired by acts of resilience and the conscious decision to learn more about Black culture; and he focuses on sharing these stories through AALBC.com.
Given his profession, most people assume that Troy reads a deal more than he actually does. The reality is that he spends the majority of his time managing the site, and doesn’t have as much time for reading as he would like. On top of running his business, Troy is also an adjunct professor at Baruch college in NYC, which keeps his plate pretty full. When he does have free time, it’s typically spent outdoors going for a hike, riding his bike, or doing water sports. If he’s not outside, you might find him sitting around a table with a few cool people and a few cold beers playing poker or dominos. If that table happens to be outside, even better! Since moving here, Troy has made his way through the local dining scene, finding some of Tulsa’s best eats. Check out a few of his favorites below! We are thrilled to have Troy as part of our community. Now, go browse AALBC.com and buy your new favorite book!