National Black Book Festival

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Monday, September 5, 2011

We Need some Comedy!!

NUMBER 85
Hey, we got a day off of work today.  That’s only for government and Bank employees.  I think the Post Office is closed too but don’t remember who else is off.  I’m just glad to have a day off.  We should celebrate, but who is in the mood.  With so many people without a job and I’m blessed to have two jobs and it still amazes me that many people cannot find a job.  I know, I know, there are lines every where you see on TV or the news and I feel for them.  I know what it is like to be without a job.  I also know that you take what every job you can until you find the job you want.  I also know that making minimum wage, I think it's $7.25 (that's what I'm getting at the part time job) is not enough to fee and clothed one parent and one kid.  It's just awful how hard it is to buy the necessities on such low salary.  I just know.

I left a good government job when I got married the first time (Oh, yeah, I did forget to mention that I was married before, he died and no I did not kill him!!!) and left to live in Spokane, Washington.  Why you ask? I had a best friend who was station out there and my husband at the time was not able to find a good job.  So we packed up and drove from Washington, DC to Spokane, we took his nephew who was, can you believe it, 5 years older than him.  It was a long ass drive, but we figure we were not in a hurry so we took two weeks to get there.  It was fun at times and a few times I knew I saw some KKK in Montana and Idaho.  Got to a small town in Idaho to stop for some food.  We entered the “diner” and noticed that we were the only black people there.  I got scared, but hubby and nephew said we needed to eat.  Didn't see a got damn McDonald's for miles.   We sat at the counter and ordered, hoping like hell that we would not be hung or food thrown at us or something worse.  The waitress and a few other “white” people surrounded us and I knew we were going to be killed.  The time was 1984 and even though there may have, I mean “may have” been some racial harmony, I was not going to take or feel any chances.  The first young white guy asked where were we heading and my hubby told him Spokane.  Remember, this is Idaho, not country talk, but it sounded like country talk with a twang.  The waitress asked, hold on now, if we were the “Cosby” family because I looked like Claire.  I'm not kidding.  I told her no and she was a bit disappointed, but told me, “We don’t get many people like you guys here,” maybe a truck drive now and then, but no black people.”  “You kinda of friendly so what would you like.”  Jesus!! I just knew I was in some crazy horror movie, but knew I was awake too!.  We ordered and they (more white folks surrounded us) continued to ask us questions about DC and our travels.  It was completely surreal and if you can believe it, the food was good and they would not let us pay for it.  They told us they enjoyed out company.  In the back of my mind I'm thinking we will leave the "Psycho Dinner" and end up in some slaughter house waiting to be cooked.  We “haul assed” out to the car and I took over the driving this time and left Idaho.  That placed scared me and after I looked back when we left, it appeared to be some “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” diner with a big old, fat, slimy and greasy white man staring at me.  Too weird, just too weird that I remembered it.  Ding Dong!!, I won't be having any dreams tonight.
Lets get to some books, I need to laugh and so do you.
ERIC JEROME DICKEY - SISTER, SISTER - $7.99 - - - It takes guts for a male writer to tackle the trials and tribulations of upwardly mobile African American women. So, let’s see how he does. Southern California sisters Valerie and Inda are close. Fair-skinned Valerie is the younger of the two and takes after their white mother in appearance. After six years of a lousy marriage to Walter, she knows she's miserable but doesn't know any role other than that of a satellite eternally in orbit around her husband. Inda, who inherited their father's dark skin and features, has a stable career, but a divorce from her white husband has made her pessimistic about men of any color, a situation exacerbated by flagrant evidence of her current lover's infidelities. Inda meets Chiquita, a young flight attendant, whom she instinctively likes, and their friendship is cast when they discover they both have been simultaneously deceived by Raymond, who is engaged to a third woman. Chiquita is drawn into the girls' tight-knit family as she falls for their brother, Brown, and learns something from them about courage and love. In recovering from their individual disappointments, Valerie, Inda and Chiquita risk new relationships, strengthened by one another's humor, candor and understanding. I enjoyed this book due to it’s humor and the relationships, bad and good, of Valerie, Inda and Chiquita.  It’s made me a laugh too!

ERIC JEROME DICKEY - FRIENDS AND LOVERS - $7.99 Paperback - - - Tyrel, whose twin sister MyeGYN nurse, have fallen for each other big-time. It takes Tyrel and the outspoken, harder-edged Shelby, a flight attendant (who hates being called a ``stewardess''), a little longer, but after a rocky start they too find in each other what they've been searching for. Los Angeles seems at first a paradise for the foursome as they enthusiastically hit the beaches, comedy clubs, restaurants, and discos. Then a massive misunderstanding destroys Tyrel and Shelby's romance, leading them to move to San Francisco and San Diego, respectively; by this time, Leonard and Debra are happily married and frustrated with their best friends' inability to resolve their differences. It takes tragedy on a grand scale to reunite lovers destined for each other and to teach both couples that friendship is perhaps the most valuable gift they've been given. With four characters taking turns offering snippets of the story, it's sometimes hard to keep track of who's talking, but stick with the story, Dickey does know how to keep it real and funny. 

LURMA RACKLEY - LAUGH IF YOU LIKE, AIN’T A DAMN THING FUNNY: THE LIFE STORY OF RALPH “PETEY” GREENE AS TOLD TO LURMA RACKLEY - $31.99 Hardback - - - I know the price of the book is high, but if you were born and raised in Washington, DC and a bit older, over 35 I suspect, then you may or may not remember listening to the radio station WOL’s show Moonman.  Petey green was the only black man, at that time, who could say what we wanted to say and everyone listen.  I remembered my mother, while working at Walter Reed Hospital with my grandmother and great aunt, coming home and talking about the black men in the hospital just arriving from Vietnam, the Korean War and how they got hooked on drugs and alcohol.  They also talked about their youth growing up in Georgetown (it’s now all white), Howard University Hospital, which was called, Freedman’s Hospital in the 1800s, which served freed, disabled and aged blacks and their love of Petey Green.  I did not listen to him, but I know about him from them.  It was our black history living in DC with GoGo music and funk.  Petey Greene died before the book was completed and his funeral was the largest in the history of DC for anyone who was not elected to office, but I’m sure Lurma has done a great job.  If you never heard him you can see a movie on his life with Don Cheadle called, “TALK TO ME” which was directed by an African American woman, Kasi Lemmons.  Who also directed “EVE’S BAYOU” with that crazy ass Samuel L.Jackson, Jurnee Smollett and my girl Lynn Whitfield (Do you remember her in “Madea’s Family Reunion” and “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate with Martin Lawrence).  I can go on forever about connections to books and movies, but you need to get this book and those movies.  Halluyah!!

TYLER PERRY - DON’T MAKE A BLACK WOMAN TAKE OFF HER EARRINGS: MADEA’S UNINHIBITED COMMENTARIES ON LOVE AND LIFE - $11.99 - - - I don’t think there’s more to say.  It’s “hilarious”

CARL WEBER - THE CHOIR DIRECTOR - $8.99 (It went down a $1.00) - - -   I’m here to tell you, that man knows how to tell a story.  I read the second in this series, THE FIRST LADY - $4.47 The First Lady, just to get a better knowledge of Bishop T.K. Wilson, who I think is one of the best characters in novels around.  He has the looks and intelligent of a man of the cloth, but still a man with some serious needs in the bedroom just like any other man.  Second book is about his wife coming back from the dead to help him find a new wife.  The women in this book, scared the living day lights out of me.  It has been a long time since I’ve read about so many evil-minded and venomous bitches to get a man and his church.  Then I read his newest one.  Took the woman’s hair our by mixing the woman’s hair shampoo with Neet hair removal.  Taking a sister down by accusing her, maybe a new boyfriend, of being a rapist.  Stealing money from the church, yes I said it, stealing money from the church, even though that’s not really unusual in today’s society.  Damn, are we woman that desperate for a man?  Wo-cheggin!!!  
I laughed so hard, my dog fell out of the bed and gave me a, “what the hell is wrong with you look,” and one of the best lines, let me set it up for you first.  Mackie is getting it on with Sandra.  Knock at door, Mackie hides Sandra in bedroom.  The two men at the door are Bishop T. K. Wilson and Reverend Jenkins,.  Bishop is offering Mackie a job and Reverend is a mentor to Mackie and his boss at their church.  Mackie turns down the job offer and both men leave.  Mackie goes back to finish “getting it on” with Sandra, but there’s another knock at the door, this time its just the Reverend.  Mackie is thinking the Reverend is coming back to thank him for not taking the job, but my boy the Reverend pulls out a gun and accuses him of having an affair with his wife.  Mackie lies and says no, but the Reverend knows he is lying because when he was there earlier with the Bishop, he saw his wife’s hat pushed into the sofa.  Tells Mackie to show him where the wife is and they find her naked on the bed, she is shock and trying to cover her self with clothes and an excuse.  The Reverend tells Mackie to take the job and leave town or he’s going to shoot him.  Reverend smacks wife and knocks her off the bed, then says, “She may be a ho, but she’s my ho, bought and paid for.”  Damn!!! 
You have got to read to this book.  If you want to laugh, take my word for it, Carl Weber can make you laugh.  I’m glad I got a chance to meet him at Books A Million in Charleston and saw him again in Atlanta.  He was funny and he still wants to own a McDonald's.”  Side joke. 

WANDA SYKES - YEAH, I SAID IT! - $10.99 - - - I’m not a big fan of hers, but some of the comments received about her book tells me I may need to get it.  Let me know if you have read it or know someone who has.  They say it’s hard to write comedy than do it on TV or a movie, that is probably why I would not buy the book because I rather see them in concert or on TV, but who knows, I'm not the expert.

CHRIS ROCK - ROCK THIS! - $10.00 Hardback - - - According to my sources, these are his routines and it’s funny.

CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER - GROWN-A$$ MAN - $6.50 Hardback - - - 
I’m going to get this book because I did not know he had a book out.  I love me some Cedric.  Can’t go wrong with this guy!! Word!!!


Got to stick on one for Black History Year.  
BERNIE MAC - I AIN’T SCARED OF YOU: BERNIE MAC ON HOW LIFE IS - $11.99 - - - I’m sorry that he passed away.  I always thought he was one of those actors who could play anyone.  He just had the gift of talking you into anything, especially with those big eyes.