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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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The Apapa Six

Author John Berryman takes the reader on a trip down memory lane, in the 60s. As you read this book, you realize how different the world is today from how it was back then. In The Apapa Six: West Africa from a 60S Perspective, the reader is enlightened about West Africa in the 1960s, how African nations fought for freedom and the impact colonization has, even, today, after African countries gained independence. John Berryman writes about historical events, his encounters with different nationals, and his experience in the continent.

Readers of this book will love how the author makes you feel like you are living in the moment. When talking about family, food, leadership, policy and many other subjects, John Berryman gives a brilliant description of events. This book is an opportunity to learn about various cultures and how different societies live. One major lesson the author offers is learning how to integrate with those from different backgrounds from you. Living away from home may not be as challenging as one could imagine. Reading this book will give you the urge to travel more. By traveling, you expand your mind and become more tolerant of things that you may previously not subscribe to.

The Apapa Six: West Africa from a 60S Perspective has history, real life experiences, and the personal reflections of John Berryman. Reading this book will help you understand the African struggle. As a reader, you get exposed to a different world and understand how the African struggle is a universal struggle. This enlightening book will appeal to readers of history, autobiography’s, travel, and those that love experiencing culture from the eyes of those that have lived it.

Pages: 139 | ASIN : B091TB727Q

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Link-Up 2 Lift-Up

Link-Up 2 Lift-Up by educator and author Doreszell Cohen is written from an emic perspective to give a deeper insight into the lives of the descendants of the enslaved Africans in the United States of America. Cohen is a highly qualified educator living in Jacksonville, Florida. After facing institutionalized racism herself, she realized that a significant reason why instances like this still happen is that there is a lack of knowledge not just for people from outside the community but even from within. She went ahead and established an institution called Link-Up 2 Lift-Up Inc. as a helping hand for African Citizens living in the States, who might need assistance to overcome the hurdles of institutionalized racism and even help eliminate it completely.

Link-Up 2 Lift-Up is a “wokebook” intended to eliminate the ignorance about and within the African community. Cohen’s book also aims to help not only eliminate the institutionalized racism but also create a state of pluralism wherein the African community can peacefully and respectfully coexist with the rest of the population of the States.

The book starts with an introduction to the personal story of Cohen, then dives into the beginnings of Link-Up 2 Lift-Up as an institution. Cohen puts all her emotions and thoughts out on the page for readers. There is nothing held back from Cohen’s telling of her story, there are photos, emails, letters, all attesting to the experiences her family has endured. Cohen relies heavily on her faith to get her through some of the hardest moments in her life. When her daughter was brutally stabbed seventeen times she prayed nonstop for her to recover. Those that take comfort in faith will admire how spirituality helps define who Cohen is and impacts the direction of her life.

Link-Up 2 Lift-Up by Doreszell Cohen presents readers with an emic approach to the lives of African Americans and the sheer amount of social impact that Cohen has managed to create. I would recommend this book to anyone who seeks to get a deeper insight into the lives and struggles of the descendants of the enslaved Africans. A cross between a memoir and reference book, readers will see the world through Cohen’s eyes and learn from her experiences.  

Pages: 108 | ASIN : B08KSWYZ3M

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The Epiphany Moment

Dr. Walter B. Curry Jr.
Dr. Walter B. Curry Jr. Author Interview

The Awakening is the first volume in a narrative history about the descendants of two families that share a common ancestor. What inspired you to write and publish this book?

The epiphany moment for me to write an account about the family was upon the passing of my cousin, Otis Corbitt, on September 6, 2009. Otis was known to everyone in the family, as well as to other African American families in the Wagener-Salley area of South Carolina, for being astute in family history. Before his passing, he instructed me to begin writing a family history book. He said he did not have much time to live and the future of our efforts rested on my shoulders. I agreed. Secondly, I wanted to contextualize the stories of relatives that have been fragmented and forgotten in the past. Many of the relatives featured in the book were well respected in their professions publicly.

I appreciated the amount of history included in this book. What type of research did you undertake to ensure you got as complete a picture as possible?

I conducted several oral interviews with relatives and associates of our family. I also researched primary sources such as newspaper articles and genealogical records. Secondary sources (i.e., history books) were consulted as well.

What was one surprising thing you learned about the family during your research?

I learned that my mother family, The Seawrights, were the first families of both Orangeburg & Aiken County, South Carolina. They lived in the Tabernacle Township in the Orangeburg District during the time Orangeburg County was founded in 1870. Then on March 10th, 1871, the Tabernacle Township in Orangeburg County became a part of the newly formed Aiken County, which was founded by a racially diverse group of men. Out of the group, three African American men who were Civil War veterans and legislators signed the legal document that officially established Aiken County.

What can readers expect in volume two of this family saga?

Volume 2, will be a pictorial history which will have pictures, source images, and captions. It will be an extension of the work in Volume 1, but will include new stories.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Familiy Saga, Vol.1, A Narrative History, is the first volume in a narrative history about the descendants of two families that share a common ancestor, Martha Kitchings Seawright Ellison. The book documents the family saga of Martha’s family of sharecroppers who lived near Williston, South Carolina during the Reconstruction Era and the circumstances that involved her marriages to Dave Seawright, Sr. and Joseph Ellison, Sr. The book documents the saga with contextualized resurrected stories of relatives that were forgotten and fragmented over the years who lived in Aiken, Orangeburg, and Richland Counties, South Carolina.

The book includes the famed stories of Floster L. Ellison, Jr., during the Civil Rights Movement, who became the co-founder of the Palmetto State Barbers Association and the first African American Barber Inspector In the State of South Carolina; and Tommy Ellison, whose experiences as a youth singing on the children choir, inspired him to pursue a legendary career in gospel music, affectionately known by many of his fans as “Mr. Superstar of Gospel”.

The book includes an appendix section which consists of individual pictures, documented history of places and events, and primary sources relative to the family saga.

Skinny House

Skinny House: A Memoir of Family, by Julie L. Seely is, despite the title, a story about much more than just a house. It is about the fascinating people of the Seely family that lived within it. Their stories are brought to the reader by one of the family members, the house builder Nathan Seely’s granddaughter. Her experience and some research allow every reader to understand what goes on in the tiny house.

Seely writes in a captivating and detailed way, giving us insights into her family’s inspirational story and helping everyone understand what each family member has gone through during their difficult lives. As a reader keen on details, I appreciated the effort put into researching and describing the lives of the people the author barely met, like her grandfather Nathan and describing his life at the beginning of the 20th century.

The book does a fantastic job of creating detailed portraits of the people in the family, and it really transports readers to that time and place in a fascinating way, but I felt like the book moved slowly because of all these details. If you are looking for a book that dives deep into the lives of interesting people, then Skinny House is a perfect fit for you.

Skinny House: A Memoir of Family tells an emotionally resonant story that I think every reader will be able to relate to in one way or another because of how realistic and authentic these people feel due to the wonderful writing of author Julie L. Seely. I recommend this book to any reader keen on African American entrepreneur success during a time when racism was everywhere, to readers keen on history and for anyone looking for a book on real life stories that are inspiring.

I would like to end this review with my favorite quote from the book: “Despite its title, this book is no simple story about an odd narrow-built dwelling. It’s about the family who lived in the house and the patriarch who built it”.

Pages: 211 | ASIN: B07N8H4N4C

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