National Black Book Festival

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oh, my, Oh, my!!! I am getting back!!!


NUMBER 123
You know, the first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue!! Why? I got four jobs and wondering how in the world I am still going and going and going.”  That quote is from Dorothy Parker, a Poet, short story writer, critic and satirist.  She wrote mostly about the 20th century weaknesses with wit and lots of wisecracks.  Some of her most famous quotes, which you may have heard are, “I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true.”  “I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound - If I can remember any of the damn things,” and my favorite, “What fresh hell is this?” and many others.  You may want to go to the library and check her out.  It’s different, but funny.
Why am I mentioning some white lady who died years ago, because I need something funny and her quotes and short stories give me a little push.  I’m disappointed that I missed and will miss two book fairs - National Black Book Festival in Houston, Texas June 8 - 10 - http://www.nationalblackbookfestival.com and the Faith and Fiction Retreat in Dallas, Texas June 29 - July 1 - http://faithandfictionretreat.com  Money got real tight and I wanted the whole month of June off from both jobs.  I was going to drive down to Texas with my faithful dog, Tommy and rent an apartment.  Don’t go and say, “that woman is crazy,” but when you total the costs of plane tickets (which got damn it! Prices shot up!), hotel, food, doggie day care and the amount of books I wanted to buy…it was cheaper to rent an apartment for a month, drive my own car, buy my groceries and buy all the books I wanted.  Oh, yeah, I analyzed it back and forth and I came out way ahead doing the driving myself.  
You know what happened when I put my vacation time slip in; my boss looked at me as if I lost my damn mind.  Hey, I said, you can live without me for four weeks?  I got the time and I will return (I was going to try real hard to find another job while in Texas).  You know he said no.  I just got sad again and tried to find tickets for at least a short trip to Houston, but the money got real funny, so no trip, no happiness, no authors to blush over.  Nothing, but I’ve got memories.  
Last year I had the best damn time of my life.  That trip came when I needed a great, big exciting trip.  It worked, especially since I got a chance to see Earth, Wind and Fire.  They are coming to Charleston at the end of the month and I got my ticket.  Did not wait for a friend, boyfriend (I don’t have one, so it doesn’t matter), or anyone.  I’m going all by myself like I did last year and remember, reminisce and fall in love again with Verdine White.  Oh, I love, love, love that man and his guitar, just love him.  
Cannot get to Texas, but I did get to the SC Book Festival and had an amazing time.  I think there’s a pattern here?  I need these book festivals, book clubs, libraries and such.  I have three things in my life that I worship - GOD, my kid and my books.  I am blessed with other things like a job and such, but my heart and soul is about books that make me glow. Oh, man, do I love that feeling.  
I volunteered at the book festival, (I volunteer at every book festival), and my day begun that Friday, May 18 helping to set up the authors and local book stores.  Barnes & Noble and Books a Million were also there.  They came in with all of their wares and we (My new friends)   


Checked them in and ensured that they paid in advance for their assigned booths. You know one or two gave us hard time, and we walked or directed them to their booth. That was the best part for me because I got to meet many of the old and new authors one on one.  In the middle of the exhibit hall where all of the authors and booksellers were station, was the antiquarian book sellers.  I did not know there were so many antiquarian book stores in South Carolina.  It was fascinating browsing through those books, mostly historical and very expensive.  Jeff, one of the volunteers who worked with me and a regular to this festival, told us that he has over 16,000 books in his house and two cats.  I asked where do you sit or eat.  He says, “I go out and eat, that way I can buy more book shelves.”  He was funny and great to work with and knew just about every bookseller there.  I also worked with Toyette, a first time volunteer, meeting her was like teaching a child to walk.  I excitedly told her all about books, the fair, etc. Whenever an author arrived, I would talk and talk and gush about their books and introduced Toyette.  Oh, the excitement we had.  Will continue later, but let us get to some books, or how about some “free” or 99 cents” books.
Not all books that are free are good.  I have run into some lousily written and very inferior plots.  Somebody told them they could write and maybe they can, but do they have someone else read their work?  I know I do, or you would be writing me back asking what the hell am I doing writing a blog.  “What fresh hell is this?”
K. L. BRADY - WORSE IMPRESSIONS: A ROMANTIC COMEDY (THE JANE SERIES) - FREE - - - Have you ever been a stand out who doesn’t fit in? Ever dream of finding the prince charming who can see beyond your clothes, hair, and shoes, to fall in love with the real you? Meet Basketball phenom Liz Bennett, a clever tomboy who believes her first impressions are never wrong. She dresses down and lives her life under the radar in the high school social scene to keep her name out of the gossip mill. With two trouble magnet kid sisters and a mother obsessed with protecting her virginity, she's already dealing with more drama than an Emmy-winning daytime soap opera. 

She’s also unlucky in love, at least until two popular new guys enter her life and the sparks begin to fly. Trent Whitman, Liz's hot new admirer, pursues and woos her with his silver tongue and hazel eyes. He turns on the charm, and Liz believes she’s finally met “the one.” Darcell Williams, on the other hand, is a star football player, who sticks his cleats in his mouth from day one. When Liz sizes them up, she decides Trent is a dream and Darcell is a devil reincarnate.
During the Back-to-School dance, Darcell spews an oh-no-he-didn't insult that, in her mind, confirms she’s right about him from the first moment they meet and their feud is on and popping! But when a Bennett family crisis reveals Darcell's and Trent's true colors, will Liz's pride prevent her from accepting each for who he really is? 
LaNINA KING - COMPANY, NO MISERY - FREE - - - The story tells of four childhood friends experiencing sudden catastrophic occurrences due to one of the friend’s love life going sour. What began as a normal ladies night out quickly spins out of control as the situation is confronted.
Tonya, the friend in which the drama is stemming from, has a lingering connection with her psycho ex-boyfriend, Cortez. As Cortez’s anger fuels from the dreadful circumstances, he elects to include Tonya’s friends and loved ones in the commotion.

As Tonya’s friend’s attempt to stand by her side helping her through this trying period, Cortez is accused of murdering one of Tonya’s closest friend’s. The authorities were alerted of the happenings commencing with a search for Cortez. After the authorities encounter an unexpected standoff with 
Cortez, and he flees, the truth immediately begins to be revealed.


ARIELLE CROWELL - MONSTER - 99 Cents - - - Christina Calderon is a spoiled little rich girl, sheltered from the outside world due to her father's iron rule over his family. It's tough being the only daughter to Richmond's largest boss in organized crime, but Christina manages. . . that is until she meets Dutch. Her forbidden association with Dutch could threaten the stability of not only her father's empire, but also her family relationships. In a tale of sex, murder, lies, and betrayals, Christina will be forced to come to terms with her family secrets. Will she be devoured? Sounds like on of those Lifetime movies to me.


Ok, I had to buy this one just to find out, “What fresh hell is this?”  
DONNA MONDAY - BEST BLACK VAMPIRE STORY - $5.99 - - - Now, I have already heard that this author did not have an “editor” to review the final book, or one who did not read it well, but I’m willing to give it a try and if I find too many grammatical errors, I’m writing her immediately.  I know the book is cheap, but really, give us readers a break!!!
Rochelle Prescott is adrift. After experiencing the tragic loss of her fiance, Everett, she decides to take a trip through upstate New York, hoping to find a little solace for her bruised soul. Tired and hungry, she pulls into the town of Venice Springs. A local directs her to what seems like a charming, old-fashioned bed and breakfast inn. However, as Rochelle is about to find out, the Sleepy Trail Inn offers more than cozy comfort for weary travelers.
Every guest is a potential meal for the black vampires who own this quaint old place. In spite of her best efforts, the unsuspecting Rochelle finds herself falling under the spell of the handsome Darius Champion. Will her love for the master vampire lure her into the world of the immortals forever?
Darius Champion has lived his life to the fullest. During his 200 plus years of walking the earth, he has satisfied his every whim and lust. Having grown weary of the fast life, he settles down in upstate New York. Yet, there's a place deep down in his heart that yearns for true love and companionship. While he is master of his home and the town of Venice Springs, there is one thing he's not in control of, his heart. Will his blind love for one woman cause him to lose everything he cherishes, including his life?


Got to get one in for Black History Year
PEARL CLEAGE - BABYLON SISTERS: A NOVEL -  $9.99 - - - I have always been a fan of Ms. Cleage and remember finally meeting her at the Avery Black Research Center in Charleston, SC years ago.  I remember her being funny and talking about her life and her contacts with so many people around the world.  I also remember her being the nicest person I have every met.  She was so giving of her time to autograph every book, some people brought many of her books to sign, and she took a minute or two more to talk to each one.  It has been some since I read this book, but I think I remember the people who surrounds Catherine, especially her daughter’s father, who she never really spoke about until now.  I also remember laughing at Ms. Mandeville, a real nut, who just hit pay dirt in a big way.
Catherine Sanderson seems to have it all: a fulfilling career helping immigrant women find jobs, a lovely home, and a beautiful, intelligent daughter on her way to Smith College. What Catherine doesn’t have: a father for her child– and she’s spent many years dodging her daughter’s questions about it. Now Phoebe is old enough to start poking around on her own. It doesn’t help matters that the mystery man, B.J. Johnson, the only man Catherine has ever loved, doesn’t even know about Phoebe. He’s been living in Africa.
Now B.J., a renowned newspaper correspondent, is back in town and needs Catherine’s help cracking a story about a female slavery ring operating right on the streets of Atlanta. Catherine is eager to help B.J., despite her heart’s uncertainty over meeting him again after so long, and confessing the truth to him–and their daughter. 
Meanwhile, Catherine’s hands are more than full since she’s taken on a new client. Atlanta’s legendary Miss Mandeville, a housekeeper turned tycoon, is eager to have Catherine staff her housekeeping business. But why are the steely Miss Mandeville and her all-too-slick sidekick Sam so interested in Catherine’s connection to B.J.? What transpires is an explosive story that takes her world–not to mention the entire city of Atlanta by storm.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

They're at it again, Part Time Job at the Asylum


NUMBER 122
Since I was having my blog reviewed before I post it.  Yep, I do give it to someone to edit to be sure I’m not screwing up, when I returned to work on Saturday and you know “ “Part Time Job at the Asylum” continued like no other.
Gail was fired, this time she was fired.  I got to the store Saturday and saw her standing in front of the store dressed in a pair of white cut off short, shorts.  A thin white blouse, under which was a bright blue bra, with a lit cigarette dangling in her hand, while her hands were flying up and down, cussing and fussing about something.  When I got closer, I thought she was fussing at Joyce and Carol.  
Joyce, a big young girl, about 20, who is always happy and very nice to the customers.  Carol, young and dumb, there is no other way to say it.  I can’t understand her much because she talks fast and Geechee.  No offense to “Geechee” folks, but sometimes I just don’t understand what they are saying and I’m always asking them to repeat themselves.  She is such a pretty girl with a beautiful shape and nice, but she is one of those young people who don’t care about nothing except partying, hanging out with friends and talking/texting/posting on the phone.  She barely graduated from high school and dropped out of college the first semester.  She is also very lazy and someone is always telling her to get off of the phone and do some work.  
When I got closer to the front of the store, Gail screamed, “that bitch fired me!”  I thought it was a joke and ask the other girls.  They both nodded that it was true.  Gail continue to fuss and cuss, but I told her to calm down and tell me what happen. She just continue to cuss and fuss.  I continue to ask her to go home and cal me later since she wouldn't calm down.  No, that’s not what you might to someone in that position, but I didn’t know what else to say since I had to clock in at work.  I clocked in and walked back out front to check on Gail.  A few seconds later, Kat’s (the manager) daughter walked, and Gail said, “Oh, she told her stupid ass daughter to come in, huh!, well, I can kick her ass too!!!
“Hold up, Gail, you ain’t doing nothing but going home and stop fussing and cussing, it’s not doing you no good,” I said.  She ignored me.  Joyce and Carol left, since it was the end of their shift, and I went back in to start working.  Gail continue to come in and out of the store and at one point asked me to give her a large sweet tea.  I did and told her I will talk to her later, hoping she would leave the store.  While Kat was also up front closing out the early morning registers for the second shift and her daughter still sitting in the lobby, I went to the back to start working.  I came back up front a few minutes later to see Gail still standing outside the store smoking and fussing.  I then saw Kat’s daughter standing at the entrance to our registers and asked how she was doing and why is she just standing there and not coming in, she says, “I’m just watching my mom to be sure no shit get’s started, because I will finish it.”  That was it, I’m was done.  I ignored the remark and move the subject along by asking her about her time in juvenile detention, OK, I didn’t say those exact words, so I was nice, this time!! and how was she doing now, then proceeded to make a joke or two to her and her mom.  I was just hoping to diffused the situation, while Gail was still outside the store fussing and cussing and Kat, shaking a little; her daughter, looking like she was ready to fight and me, standing there thinking,  “Damn, I can’t go a whole got damn week without some crap happening at this store?”  The devil is having good time, a ding-dong good time.  The old sucker!
Oh, this story ain’t finished, It took a few hours later before I got the full story from the sister of Gail.   I got to leave now, I’m volunteering at the book fair this weekend and I’m late already, so on to books:

You want to read more drama, then really read ROBERT K.MASSIE - CATHERINE THE GREAT: PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN - $17.99 - I’m still reading it, but the players are the same, CRAZY!  Sophia, who became Catherine the Great, had a diva for a mother, loving father, converted from Lutheran to Eastern Orthodoxy, against her father objections.  Thus the name changed from Sopia to Catherine.  Married a drunken, good for nothing, war obsessed nut, who looked like a girl with bright red lipstick and no backbone.  His aunt was a known slut who took him in and had set up the marriage, in order for her to take control of Russia.  After his parents death, he was left schooled by a man who resembles the nurse from “One flew over the cuckoo’s nests.”  Nurse Ratched, a woman more dictator than nurse.  Come on, drama from 18 century Russia.  I’m enjoying the hell out of it and can’t wait to finish it and I'm only on page 55 or a 600 page book.  Whoa, momma!!
I’m was working at the library again this week when I picked up - VICTORIA CHRISTOPHER MURRAY - JOY - $6.99 - - - I knew she wrote lots of books and I also know I missed some of them.  I’m reading SINNERS & SAINTS - $9.99 and just brought DESTINY’S DIVA’S - $9.99 - I am hooked on this writer and I need more.  I’m reading all of them at the same time so that I can catch up, but then saw JOY at the library.  What is my problem!!! I need help
Destiny’s Divas - Reminds of Sparkle.  The movie is coming out in August with Whitney Houston.  Sierra, Raine, and Liza are Destiny’s Divas, a fresh, new gospel group whose unique blend of singing and testifying has gained them fans across the country. They tell the world about how good God has been to them, but off-stage, each is living a life totally opposite to what she preaches—and each is harboring a secret that could ruin them all.
Twenty-something Sierra Dixon speaks about the joy of being single and celibate, though she is anything but, drifting from one relationship to another. Although she stresses the importance of unconditional love within the family, Raine Omari has hit her breaking point with her mother-in-law and is ready to take drastic steps. And when Liza Washington discovers that her pastor-husband is in the middle of a scandal that could bring down more than just their ministry, she knows she must do something to stop him. One fateful evening their secrets are exposed, and one diva commits an act that could land her in prison for the rest of her life.

Sinners & Saints - Jasmine Larson Bush and Rachel Jackson Adams are not your typical first ladies. But they’ve overcome their scandalous and drama-filled pasts to stand firmly by their husbands’ sides.  You see, I need to catch up that’s why I’m trying read all hers and ReShonda Tate Billingsley books.  

When a coveted position opens up, president of the American Baptist Coalition, both women think their husbands are perfect for the job. And winning the position may require both women to get down and dirty and revert to their old tricks. Just when Jasmine and Rachel think they’re going to have to fight to the finish, the current first lady of the coalition steps in, a woman bigger, badder, and more devious than either of them.
Joy - Anya Mitchell seems to have it all: a thriving business, a large diamond on her left hand and a solid relationship with the Lord. But her life is not as perfect as it seems. Her hunky fiancĂ©‚ Braxton, turns out to be self-absorbed and faintly conniving. He files for custody of his son from a previous marriage without telling Anya, and then tries to persuade her to sell her business and be a stay-at-home mom once they wed. Adding to Anya's nagging doubts about Braxton is David, a charming (and single) financial whiz whom Anya has just hired. When Anya is attacked by a rapist who's been stalking her for months, she realizes she needs to rethink her life. Should she marry Braxton or pay attention to the inner voice that has been telling her for weeks that their relationship is unsalvageable? The plot is predictable; most readers will figure out the identity of the stalker pages before Anya is raped, just as most will predict that she'll dump Braxton for David. And the subplot a visit from Anya's recently divorced cousin Sasha doesn't add much. Anya spends most of the book trying to bring Sasha to faith, but Sasha's sudden conversion at the story's end manages to seem simultaneously inexplicable and predictable. 


Got to mention another of my “facebook” author friends, JUSTIN AMEN FLOYD - ANYTHING 4 PROFIT - $2.99 and ANYTHING FOR PROFIT 2: NOTHING TO LOSE - - - Since we (at least I am) are in the drama mode, I’m going to give Justin props.  It’s street lit, but do not be fooled.  

The story is honest, rich, funny and I did not finish reading it when I saw I had about 5 pages to go.  I stopped to think and regroup.  Why, you know my part time job in the asylum is nuts, but this book remind me about them and how they live day to day in one of the worse disastacle economy and children not being raised right.  It has all of the drama any book has and I hope a message that people will adhere to.  Reminds me of a good mystery, not too stale and will keep you going back. 

SHAWNEDA MARKS - MY TRUE ESSENCE (CHRISTIAN FICTION) - FREE - - - I just got this from my e-mail listing of free books.  Since all this talk of drama, need something to bring me back to life.  
Rebecca has everything she ever prayed for and more, and is living like she doesn't care if she loses it all. Dani's business is thriving and her faith is strong. Her diagnosis will expose her own insecurities and life's truth. Jenessa epitomizes the definition of a strong woman. A routine doctor's visit forces her to confront the genetic cloud that has hovered over her since childhood.
Got to get one in for Black History Year
RICKEY HOOD - IN DUE SEASON - FREE - - -   In Due Season is a collection of poetry and prose that reflects the life experience of a man that has struggled and made peace with his faith, sexual orientation, and loss of loved ones. This work is a holistic view of life; the bad, the good, and the lovely. The essay “The Mountain before Us” speaks of the life of African- American writers and the African- American readership. How the two are in disconnect till the larger audience gives its approval. The poems in section one encompasses political and social themes giving voice in such poems as “Dreams and Reality”, “Sing, Freedom, and I saw it filled with roses and butterflies.”
The essay “Legitimate Discourse” on gay relationships in the black community is a thoughtful examination of gay life in black culture. It examines family relations, personal struggle, why men are on the Down Low, spiritual/religious struggles, and acceptance or rejection of their sexual nature(s). It is an essay that shows how being an African- American man and gay can be complicated. Part 2 has a collection of traditional love poetry. Such poems as”… And I loved you”, “Just the thought of you”, and “Smile”, these poems are well crafted and multi-layered with meaning that will satisfy and entertain. These are the type of poems you would love to read to your loved one. 

Part 3, the essay “Quest for God” starts in the 1980’s during the height of the televangelist movement and tracks my spiritual life into the new century. The essay “Christian Gnosticism in Islamic Theology” is a scholarly critique on the symbiotic relationship of Islam and past Christian beliefs found in the Gnostic scriptures. Quest for God’s group of poems is meant to express words of praise and joy to God, our Creator. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Gonna Rise and Fly!! I hope.


NUMBER 121
Back from a very long commercial break, let’s return to “Part Time Job at the Asylum,” before I get to my fantastic volunteer assignment at the SC Book Festival in Columbia, SC and so many other happenings over the past three weeks.  
If you remember Gail, who was moved up the ladder a notch after Leslie was fired to Shift Manager, (If I did not bring that up earlier in my blog, my bad, I will update you on that later!), she told me that Kat, the manager, tried to get her fired because she was not updating the daily books and did not call in that Tuesday. She tells me she did not care because she knew something had been up since Kat hired Betty and Doug.  She always felt something was not right when those two were hired.  Kat did not hang out with anyone on the job, but all of a sudden, she was hanging out with Betty and they were caught whispering and laughing together.  Also, it bothered her that Kat hired more people when there really was not a need.  I did meet one new person hired, a young black kid name Rodney on my following Saturday, but by the next Saturday of my shift, (I only work Saturday and Sunday), he did not call in and did not return.  Supposedly, he wanted more hours and was looking for another job.  Did not have one to go to, but was living with his mother, girlfriend and their baby.  Since I started in February of last year, out of 17 staff, 7 people were either fired or just left after one or two weeks.  Now when I meet a new employee, I hide in the back of my mind, “how long are they going to be here?”  “How long?”
I told Gail, “what did you expect,” you and Cynthia (her sister who also came down from New Jersey with one baby and expecting another; by two different men.  One of which is in jail who continues to call her at work asking for money, but that’s another story to tell), did not listen to me when I told them to get your act together and move forward with passing their online tests to move up in management.”  

Both complained that the computer was always down at work and they did not have the time to go to the local library.  They were too busy with their babies and such.  Now the crap is coming back to haunt them and it’s only a matter of time.  A week ago, the online training/management sessions were discontinued.  They think they are OK, but my gut tells me differently.  
When you apply for a job at this company and receive an offer, you have to go online and take the required testing.  Either for a cashier, stock or management.  It’s pretty easy (I took the cashier.  Was not in all of hell and heaven interested in managing nobody or nothing) and simple since the answers are provided, but it was discontinued and I don’t actually know why, but once again, my gut is telling me something different.
Gail came back and stated, “yeah, you’re right, but it’s wrong of Kat to do that.”  “Oh, yeah, I said, whose the manager, you or her?” she is and she can do whatever she wants.”  Unfortunately and fortunately, when Kat submitted the paperwork to fire Gail, the owners rejected it.  Writing back that you cannot fire someone when another staff member called and informed you that Gail was admitted to the emergency ward.  
I was gone only one week and every time I return to the “asylum” someone has been fired or quit and personnel issues are off the chain.  I can’t help but laugh sometimes because these are not all young people.  The ages are 19 to 50, and they still have not learned a damn thing, not one damn thing.  Gail was not fired and started applying for other jobs.  Got a good interview with another store, but her car broke down.  I remember telling her to please go to a real car dealership and not some on the road dealer, but she did, and they are giving her hell with the car.  She will be paying for that car for years and years to come.  She lost out of the job, but I’m sure she will try again.  Maybe if she get’s her teeth fixed, they do have free dental for people on medicaid/food stamps, but she rather deal with boy friend in New Jersey who has a wife, girl friend in New Jersey, who is a psycho .  Oh, my bag, did I mention that she is bi?  with another girl friend here.  Now that one scares me.  She is hard core with the baggy pants hanging down from her but, cut to the bone hair style and work in construction with the worse teeth I have every seen.  Does anyone in this state go to the Dentist?  Let's get to some books:
I do not always read and buy books by African Americans, I buy every type there is.  You never know what you will find and I usually read 3 to 5 books at a time, it keeps my hunger down, and one in particular which I’m enjoy so much is ROBERT K. MASSIE - CATHERINE THE GREAT: PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN - $17.99 - - My major in college was history, specifically, Roman history and since I heard about this book on my New York Times Book Review podcast and it mentioned how much she loved books, reading, and her communication with the most famous literary figures of all time: Voltaire, Frederick the Great, Marie Antoinette and the American John Paul Jones.  I knew, that's my kind of book.

I have read to the point of her “non-loving and feeling not as important as a she should be seen and admired, mother.  An impending marriage to, of course it was arranged due to the political climate, Grand Duke Peter, heir to the Russian throne, who lost his mother and father and left in care with servants and a very nasty nutty teacher.  Massie’s writing catches you by the way he writes each chapter of a particular time in her life then closes the same chapter by connecting the dots.  Fascinating.  I did not know much about Peter the Great or many of the other Russians players, but I’m learning now.  This book also, so far, got suspense and I tell you, it’s like reading a murder/history/love story.  All rolled into one.  

JOSEPH F. GIRZONE - THE HOMELESS BISHOP - $9.22 -
I found this in the library while volunteering and I asked the guy about this book who is always in there reading.  I thought he was homeless, but found later that he lives in one of those senior shelters.  I liked him from the beginning and he is always telling me all the time about what he is reading and have read, as well as bring me new authors to read.  He recommended this book and I liked it.  A story about the treatment from the Catholic Church and very rich and snooty people who look down on others and how invisible these people are to them.  Marty saw such a homeless person (Charlie) in church one Sunday and saw the wretched treatment he received.  Yes, he smelled badly and wore tattered clothes, but the bad treatment he received from others in the church made him ask if he is like that.  He followed him after services and over the course of time, realized that this man was smart, giving of himself to total strangers and actually following Christ lead.  I know how it feels to be treated so differently or badly because you don’t have enough money or finer things.   This book, even if you are not Catholic, will have you think again, don’t judge a book or person by it’s cover.  God is good in his own time and way.  It also has a great ending that you will love.

Got to get one in for Black History Year
TOURE` - WHO’S AFRAID OF POST-BLACKNESS? - $11.99 - First I had to pull out my dictionary to read Erick Jerome Dyson’s forward, but the book did not come across as I expected.  What he is saying in essence is to stop trying to be black, but be yourself.  Stop worrying about people stating to you that you talk white, who gives a damn.  Stop worrying about what people say when you do something that is not “black.”  I hate when people tell me, “you are the only black person at this function, too bad.”  No, too bad for you.  You’re the one sitting down and complaining about what “white people” are doing instead of doing something yourself.  
His book is asking you “what is black” and do you have to be “black” to do the things you want to do.  On on particular chapter, “How to Build More Baracks” It was great that Obama was elected.  We would be proud and help the man, not knock him down because he is “black” and grew up with some resemblance of common sense and intelligent.  We should be raising our kids with that same resemblance of common sense and intelligent.  He did not rise up by himself.  But on the other hand, this book does not help the lower class blacks who did not have someone to push them.  Maybe I’m off the wrong track, but I didn’t get it.  I’m black and proud and not afraid of any Post-Blackness.  I thought the book was OK, but read Monique A. Williams review, maybe she got it right and I’m just missing something:
“Dr. Carter G Woodson's "The Mis-education of the Negro," Dr. Frances Cress Welsing's "The Isis Papers," and Elijah Muhammad's "Message to the Black Man in America" are standards in African American studies. I've read these books and came to realize and recognize the plight of the Black man and woman in America. I learned that white supremacy/racism is as real as leftover lasagna. Unfortunately, reading these books did not give me a better understanding of myself because they do not describe my experience. These books provide insight into someone else's Blackness and have, in various ways, made me feel far removed from what is deemed a genuine and authentic Black experience. However, Toure's "Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?" articulates my heart's understanding, a reflection of my own journey, my own walk in the magical forest of Blackness.
Post-Blackness suggests that we are in an era where, if there are 40 million Blacks, there are 40 million ways to be Black. Toure' says "Post-Black is not a box, it's an unbox. It opens the door to everything. It's open-ended and open-source and endlessly customizable." "Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?" delves into this theme, but is not littered with annoying factoids and shady statistics. It instead is a collection of pensive prompts and provocative posits that will inspire intense conversation. Toure's tome becomes the catalyst for our own catharsis, the mirror with which to examine our personal role in Blackness. He weaves together indisputable facts with his own personal anecdotes as well as those of 105 revered Black thinkers and professionals. Many of the personal accounts brought me to tears as we see how far we are from Post-Racial and how the current Post-Blackness is a harbinger to such a time. Jesse Jackson, in particular, contributed powerful musings.
A highlight of the book is "Chapter Three: The Rise and Fall of a Post-Black King" where Toure' intellectualizes "Chappelle's Show." It's truly a delight to read his analysis on the well-loved and familiar segments in such detail as it relates to Post-Blackness and offers a thorough examination into the work of one of the most brilliant philosophers of our time.
Though I do not consider myself as an Obama fan, the chapter "How to Build More Baracks" was spot on in its characterization of the man who became the first Black President of the United States. Without subscribing to the Illuminati/Boule' or One World Order theories, Toure' offers some of the more obvious reasons for Obama's rise to the highest seat of the land while detailing the nuances of Obama's movements that are similar to those of other high powered Blacks before him. This section is a necessary read for all school teachers and parents in helping to mold Black children into world leaders.
"We are Quintessential Americans" felt a little heavy on jingoism, so I was reluctant in conceding that yes, we are. These passages describe quite a love-hate relationship while making no excuses for racism, instead empathizing and wiping away tears with each empowering word. I completed it with a better understanding of how we can say something like "I'm from Brooklyn, but I'm not American." It's been said that a cat born in the oven is not muffins, but is a kitten, yet those of us groomed in America cannot separate our Black consciousness from our environment as if we're raised in the vacuum.
"Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?" is an excellent guidebook in learning how to effectively toe the line between the conventional Pro-Black militancy and current, more progressive and less limiting Blackness, i.e. Post-Blackness. Toure almost betrays the "tokens," exposing the tricks of the trade employed by the easily assimilating Blacks, the "browning sauce Blacks" who can fit in every dish injecting flavor without changing the environment's composition. This is an important read for detractors as the uber-Black will want to pick apart the notion of post-Blackness with the veracity of vultures on hyena. Toure' is more than ready for their attacks.
But "Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?" best serves those like me who have had to justify, explain, reason, or excuse our behavior to the Blackness Police time and again. It's of great comfort to the "Oreos," particularly as Toure' and his contributing sources explore the infamous "talking white" phenomenon plaguing our community with such clarity and honesty that those who have used this reference will be embarrassed at the notion. This book serves as commiseration for those of us who were post-Black before there was a Black President. "Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?" puts my open-minded, highly confident take-over-the-world ideals of childhood into perspective, before being jaded by the "discovery" of my Blackness. This book was written for me. Maybe you can relate. If not, pick up a copy to better understand why you don't.”