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Blackface

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Blackface, by Pamela D. Smith, is a celebration of African American’s success in politics, art, and culture. For the longest time, black faces have been associated with mockery, misery, pity, and everything negative. Pamela D. Smith, however, brings positivity to the words and gets readers to revisit the misrepresentation of the term. Smith is not trying to forget history but she wants readers to use these experiences to become a leader. The Author shares painful memories of African Americans, the impact slavery has had for generations, race dynamics, the struggles Black people have gone through, and how African Americans rose up, and are shining.

Smith has written a powerful and inspiring book sharing her experiences as an African American woman and asks the reader what they would do if they were in her situation. Many of the situations the author describes are some that many readers don’t face that often so this was an eye-opening read for me. I also admired that the author debunks the stereotypes given to African Americans, some of which I wasn’t even aware of.

The author writes in a conversational tone that is not out to point fingers but instead to educate us. I feel this book can be relatable to people of different races, not just African Americans. Smith inspires and provides tips on how to be a leader for yourself and how to be the best version of yourself no matter what you face in the world.

The author is honest and open with the reader and she does not hold back about what African Americans have gone through and still go through today. The author’s vulnerability is inspiring and a remarkable feature of her writing.

Every chapter in Blackface has a lesson that will benefit the reader. My biggest lessons were on how to brand and package yourself for more visibility. By creating an exemplary brand with your name, you will be able to skillfully sell whatever product or service you have, impact lives, sub-consciously mentor future leaders, and live a fulfilling life. Apart from the wise teachings, I also loved the quotable texts in various chapters. One of my favorite quotes from Blackface is ‘To become internally self-aware, we must be open-minded’. This quote is powerful and helped me change my perspective.

Blackface: An African American guide to building a personal brand, developing as a leader, and serving with excellency is an insightful look into how African Americans can grow in their professional lives. It gives a realistic look into the struggles and roadblocks that People of Color face.

Judgement With No Empathy

B.J. Cyprian Author Interview

The Gray Line follows a woman that has dealt with many obstacles and is forced to challenge her belief of what is right and wrong. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

I had a surface concept of who Angel was as a person. I think when we consider people who have had a lot of severe trauma we expect them to be broken or unable to cope. Very few people believe that someone like Angel could thrive despite all of her hardships to the point of maintaining healthy relationships.

I think people often don’t take the time to ask or learn what informs certain personalities and decisions. There is often judgement with no empathy, and this appears to be growing in this country more and more. I just wanted to write about people that you, or anyone could know.

What were some obstacles you felt were important to defining Angel Lamb’s character in the story?

Adolescent and childhood traumas have happened to so many people. We hear stories about these children, but I wanted to look at what could happen after. However, Angel isn’t perfect, nor has she “put her trauma behind her.” Trauma is just that: a wound, an injury. Just like a scar on our outer self can be re-injured, as can internal damage.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?

The answer is in your question… Hope. When I lost my sister, I truly didn’t know how I could go on and I realized it was an absence it hope. I think that’s what the world needs now more than ever…hope. I also wanted to show how love and empathy could go a long way into helping both yourself and others heal.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am still working on the Shadow Resistance sequel. I don’t yet have a release timeline. I’m also working on scripts to stretch my writing portfolio as well as attempt to gain the ability to do this full time.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Angel Lamb has overcome many obstacles in her three decades of life. Rescued from an abusive environment at a young age, Angel has a realistic and cynical outlook on life, yet a strong sense of right and wrong. After she loses her wife in a tragic automobile accident, Angel seeks out the assistance of a local grief support group to help her deal with the crushing loss.

When violence begins to find members of the group, Angel is forced to face her painful past as well as an uncertain future. In order to survive, she will have to challenge her own black and white view of good and evil.

Black, White, and Gray All Over

Black, White, and Gray All Over: A Black Man’s Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement by Frederick Reynolds is a fantastic memoir surrounding his tumultuous life as a black cop in Compton, California. The book deals with sensitive topics such as racism, police brutality, poverty, and crime. As a cop, Reynolds encounters horrific situations that allow him to showcase in his book the many difficulties and traumatic events that cops in America have to deal with daily. Through his unforgettable story, he invites the reader to take a look from the inside at what it’s like to work in law enforcement in one of the most crime-ridden cities of America. This well-crafted book is highly informative and brings a critical perspective on life: it’s not all black and white; there are also gray areas that are constantly being navigated and make things more complicated to understand.

This revealing memoir tells the emotional story of the author’s road to personal improvement. Reynolds describes perfectly what it was like growing up in a dysfunctional family and how he almost kept going down the wrong path as a young person. We get to see the dangerous lifestyles that many people are introduced to from an early age and how hard it is to get out of them without the appropriate support system. His job as a cop helps him build a life for himself and his family. However, this didn’t come right away. Many obstacles had to be overcome, getting to witness in the process one of the most heartbreaking and cruelest realities of the worst areas in Los Angeles County.

Reynolds tells his personal story with great detail. His descriptive writing is carried out through every chapter. From his life as a child to his eventual retirement, he gives as much context as possible to the reader, creating a complete and holistic perspective of his life. He makes sure to display the real problems and corruption that he saw while working as a cop. He also shows the reader how challenging and thankless the job of being a cop in America is. This allows him to exhibit the complex and traumatic lives people who work in law enforcement have to deal with. His detailed accounts of murders, shootings, drug deals, and gang violence were very tough to read, and it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to lead a life where such events are part of your daily routine.

Black, White, and Gray All Over: A Black Man’s Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement is a relevant book that will help readers understand the history of racism and discrimination that this country has had. Police work is probably one of the most demanding jobs out there, and through this book, you’ll get a better understanding of all the sacrifice it takes to carry out this necessary profession. Bad people come in all genders, races, shapes, and sizes; some even wear badges, so it’s important to remain human and avoid judging too harshly those that happen to look different than us or have had the misfortune to grow in disadvantageous circumstances.

Pages: 477 | ASIN : B09JF9VB4Z

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Dear Daughter

Dedrick Moone and his daughter, Haelee, have conquered many things in their life together. From the separation and divorce of Dedrick and Haelee’s mother to the car accident that almost ended his life, Dedrick and Haelee have managed to find strength in one another. Their relationship is a truly special one. From her birth to their ultimate move far from the only home they both have ever known, the pair battle everything life throws their way with grace, dignity, and incredible resilience. Dedrick’s love for his daughter and his determination to keep her safe and supported is unmatched.

Dear Daughter, by Dedrick L. Moone, is a poignant personal story of the author’s relationship with his young daughter. This beautifully constructed children’s book/memoir details every joy Moone experienced from finding out he would soon be a father to winning a hard-fought custody battle which allowed him to give Haelee the life she so wanted. In addition, Moone includes each of the challenges he and his daughter faced. He sugarcoats nothing, and his honesty is appreciated. Moone’s work will touch the lives of more families than he will ever realize.

Moone grew up without a father and was determined to not fall into the stereotype of an absentee father that plagues the African American culture when it comes to divorce. His goal was to be present for all the important moments in his daughter’s life and this collection of letters shows that devotion. The letters are not all joyful and positive memories, instead, they show the real challenges he faced including going to jail. The darker memories are still told in an age-appropriate way that is not scary for children, rather factual and honest.

Dear Daughter: A Love Story, will show readers the intense love and admiration Moone feels for his daughter. It can be felt on every page of this heartwarming account of their lives. This heartwarming picture book is highly recommended to any parent who has faced overwhelming challenges in raising their children. Moone and his daughter give readers something that is difficult to find in today’s world–they give us hope.

Pages: 57 | ASIN : B09QZG1YFV

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Lilac Bush: A Poetic Journey and Cultural Awakening for Future Generations

Lilac Bush: A Poetic Journey and Cultural Awakening for Future Generations by [Pamela Nwokeji]

Lilac Bush calls attention to the longevity and persistence of discrimination against black Americans. The call comes as author Pamela C. Nwokeji shares with us her negative experiences during her childhood in Roxbury. Beyond this, Pamela also extols her positive experiences and relates them through analogy and poetry to lilac tones.

Within her exceptional writing, the poet shows how education is transformative in everyone’s life and especially in hers. Such movement leads young people and adults who read her work to be more critical and more aware of their role in the world. Persistence and education are words that mark Pamela’s ideals, as being the most powerful key to a person’s development and success.

The obstacles experienced by the author are mostly due to racial and cultural prejudice, and also because she is a woman seeking independence in a society shaped by patriarchy. However, even with all the problematizations implied in this work, the characteristics brought out by the poet is joyful and motivating in several aspects. The representation carried in the title makes all the difference to this milder perspective, which is lilac. This shade chosen by the author carries several positive meanings, among them spirituality, something that the author also addresses in her book.

Her affinity and relationship with God and His purposes are made explicit several times, not only in the religious sense but also in her home and in her strong and united family. The poems by Pamela Nwokeji are inspiring, but beyond all of this, she brings us a portrait of the many evils experienced by African Americans, in order to get to know and, through knowledge, transform this reality. As a reader, I felt graced to have the opportunity to read such a work, which intrigues and delights throughout the journey in the universe of Pamela’s poetry.

Lilac Bush is an inspirational and thought-provoking collection of potent poetry that explores a variety of issues with beautiful and flowing language.

Pages: 207 | ASIN: B09HQ59QGV

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Fires of Social Change

Julius Thompson
Julius Thompson Author Interview

A Brownstone In Brooklyn follows a young man and the struggles he faced growing up in the 60’s in Brooklyn and how these struggles were impacted by the Civil Rights Movement. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for A Brownstone in Brooklyn came from my time as an undergraduate at The City College of New York and what I had to overcome to graduate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The sixties in Brooklyn was an era that had a personality, a feel, and a life-force that changed a generation. I felt this energy and experienced these fires of social change. I wanted to put this into words on a paper.

What were some driving ideals behind Andy Michael Pilgrim’s character development?

Some of the driving ideals was a strong family bond and a relationship to every person in the Brownstone where I lived in Brooklyn. Andy was the Rock Star and hope of people who moved from the oppressive south and wanted the young people to have a better life than they had. He was a hero, a vision of the future, that blacks could advance and compete with white American young people. It was a strong racial identity and that fueled this push for success. Andy wanted to rebel, but knew he would be letting a lot older people down. H was full of respect the older generation.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

As a product of the inner City, I wanted to show that Bed-Stuy and other African-American enclaves were populated with good people who wanted to achieve goals and success and not what was pictured on television and in the Black-Exploitations movies of the era.

Black Americans read and created literary works of significance.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Killer Kudzu (Sci-Fi): Publication Date January 2022.

Killer Kudzu is a pre-apocalyptic, semi-horror novel where science has gone terribly wrong. There is a southern twang in the characters voices and a distinctive down-home feel in the locale. It is written with a social twist and a commentary about the relationship between blacks and whites in the south. Killer Kudzu is in the vain of the creeping menace like Pandemic, The Atlantic Gene, The Hot Zone and The Day of the Triffids.

Killer Kudzu Book Trailer:

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Website

A Brownstone in Brooklyn chronicles the life-altering events that shape the future of Andy Michael Pilgrim, a young man growing up in the turbulent sixties.

Cultural Reconciliation

Author Interview
Doreszell Cohen Author Interview

Link-Up 2 Lift-Up offers a route towards mental liberation and total independence for African citizen in the US while imparting personal experiences and observations. What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

Every idea or position that I expressed in my book was inspired by the zeitgeist of our time: To abolish institutional racism (AIR) so that all Americans can breathe. My postulations and assertions are based on my studies and/or life-experiences. As I embarked on a self-imposed writing challenge, it became clear that some of my ideas were evidence of my latent learning. These unveiled ideas were held within my heart and mind – and revealed when our nation and world were altogether shocked by the blatant disregard of a black man’s life: George Floyd. Therefore, I really cannot place a rating on the relevance (e.g., important or not-important) or a scale (e.g., greatest or least) on the idea(s) written in my “Culture Kingdom” wokebook. That said, I’d really like to know what some ideas that readers found important?

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

Because of my self-imposed 30-day writing challenge criteria, I had to refrain from elaborating or sharing too many actual details from both my academic insight and real-life experiences. Therefore, the hardest thing to overcome was writing a cohesive and comprehensive theme – as a co-worker in the kingdom of culture – in a concise way. After I developed my writing flow, I didn’t find my story hard to write about at all because I am brutally honest – all the time; which is sort of a blessing and a curse. However, I was surprised by the deep emotions that overtook me at times while writing about life-altering past experiences. One writing difficulty occurred when I recollected the memories of my thirteen-year-old daughter who was peer-pressured to attend a block party in our community; whereby, she was stabbed seventeen times from her head down her back – lacerating both lungs, one kidney, and undergoing a blood transfusion.

Another surprising, suppressed memory aroused my emotions when I recalled into my mental being my overt encounterment with institutional racism; wherein, a judge, with the stroke of his pen and the power of the Duval County court system, denied me of my rights – under both the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and State of Florida Family Laws. I felt like a slave woman (whose owner sold away her offspring) when that judge ordered the courts to unlawfully remove my four minor children from my parental custody during my diabolical divorce proceedings.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?

I hope readers understand and assert equal rights and justice for all Americans; regardless of the socially constructed race, gender, or class system that we have been assigned and subjected to live within – in the great American experiment. Historically, our environmental context has been to survive and thrive by complying to the societal norms set forth by our ancestors and predecessors who did not view diversity, human rights, and quality of life as we do today. Unfortunately, most people have learned to avoid speaking openly and candidly about variables, such as cultural privileges, cultural constraints, etc., so institutional racism continues to affect us as it lives on today– much like the Coronavirus – not seen but felt and experienced by us all subtly in some way or another. Furthermore, I hope readers take away from my story a boldness to be straightforward and confront our own biases, prejudices, discriminatory, and bigoted attitudes and behaviors, so that we can begin a pluralistic cultural reconciliation – as one nation for our future generations.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book is on my former dissertation prospectus topic – Leadership. It is also a mix between memoir and reference book; as I share scholarship combined with my life-experiences from my days as a community activist in the south (October 2005 through October 2015) and from my short unsuccessful political run for mayor for the City of Jacksonville, Florida (November 2016 through August 2018). My next wokebook is expected to be available October 2022.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

LINK-UP 2 LIFT-UP: Sorting through Our Culture Kingdom for Our Future Generations is written using emic perspectives to respond to the problems that still negatively impact descendants of slaves in the United States of America. This short and sweet like candy “WOKEbook” will keep our engaged and intellectually energized people working to abolish institutional racism; while simultaneously creating an institution of pluralism for every citizen.

LINK-UP 2 LIFT-UP: Sorting through Our Culture Kingdom for Our Future Generations shares integrative approaches, ecological models, universalistic perspectives in interpreting our problems. This book boldly offers a humble route towards mental liberation and total independence for citizen Africans in the United States; as was aspoused by Thomas Jefferson; in his ideological Declaration of Independence.

A Brownstone In Brooklyn 

In order to evolve, it is necessary to observe the past, so that we do not make the same mistakes. The fictional work A Brownstone In Brooklyn by author Julius Thompson exemplifies this theory very well. The story takes place in 1960, a turbulent period in America. The story deals with the dilemmas experienced by Andy Michael Pilgrim, a young man who like many others in that context, had his conflicts being measured with social and economic conflicts. Racial struggles and prejudice were important markers of the time, not only in New York, but in the world.

The accounts brought by the author are totally necessary to understand the path taken by society, which even today cannot be considered a vanquished struggle, and racism has not been decimated by far. The description of the story and the dialogues between the characters give the reader a feeling of familiarity and belonging to the plot, because it is done in a simple and ordinary way, showing the daily life of a peripheral place. In this way, the reading becomes instigating and easy, turning an extremely serious and pertinent subject into something of simple interpretation for everyone.

To approach a theme of this magnitude and lead the reader to search his or her conscience is not easy, however, Thompson has done it masterfully in this work. The importance of the racial movements and their precursors is made evident at every moment in the stories of the Brooklyn residents’ daily lives, and the positive impact they had on the way they see themselves not only as citizens, but also as people who deserve to be culturally appreciated and recognized for their beauty.

A Brownstone In Brooklyn by author Julius Thompson allows readers to be immersed in the story and really understand the sixties in America in a contextual and individual way. It will make a lasting impression on readers who enjoy stories based on reality and African American historical fiction.

Pages: 184 | ASIN : B004ZW98S4

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