My Personal War Within is a journey through Ted Bagley’s upbringing and life until adulthood. Growing up in a world of prejudice and not quite understanding the sense in it. Wanting to worship but not being able to do it at any house of worship. This book offers a look at the fight for civil rights from the perspective of a little boy. Wondering about segregation but somehow accepting it as the norm.
Ted Bagley takes the reader on a scenic journey through his life. His descriptions are vivid and help the reader develop the appropriate mental image. It is a well-written book with a historical backdrop. It is lovely how the author has woven history into his story in a way that makes the book incredibly enjoyable.
The book flows easily and is written in simple language. The author’s writing reads like a velvety baritone narration. The story while not flashy or sprinkled with pizzazz is very much enjoyable. It provides a different perspective on civil rights and the struggle for it during Ted Bagley’s youth. This book does not make that generation feel out of place in a different era. It embraces all and bares all. While I enjoyed the candid nature with which this engaging story is told, I felt that is sometimes digressed, swerving occasionally into little side stories.
This book has a different tone from Ted Bagley’s other book, Demolition of Democracy, but it still has the Ted Bagley spirit. It is an important book especially with the current wave of racially charged violence playing out in our country. It is important to understand how unfounded and unnecessary racism is. Ted Bagley says that some of the people who hated him in his childhood do not actually remember why they did today. Hating him for the color of his skin was sort of just required.
My Personal War Within is well written and eye-opening. The language is polished and I recommend this book to anyone looking for an intriguing civil rights history lesson with a personal touch.
Pages: 180 | ASIN: B0793SPWP5
In a fictional city, a black couple is coming back from a fair when they are mistakenly stopped by a police officer, unfortunately, it ends with a murder. What follows is the complex dichotomy inside the police department, the obstacles that a mother and recent widow has to endure for justice, and the length to which the parties that seek to benefit from this tragedy will go.
A Betrayal in Black by Mark M. Bello is a story that doesn’t shy away from the harsh reality that black people in America face and how they have to adapt in order to survive.
A Betrayal in Black opens up in a lighthearted way and then transitions to a much darker and cruder story. Throughout the story I felt that the author had a clear understanding of law and police affairs.
When it comes to the technical parts of the story, Bello does a great job of immersing the reader into the world of law and order, with details that show the deep knowledge he has over legal prosecutions and police internal affairs. However, while this is immersing, it sometimes gets tedious and almost didactic, for example, when describing what a grand jury is, it almost feels like you are reading a law school book. But this is a minor flaw in an otherwise engaging story. The dialogue was interesting, and could even be funny at times.
A remarkable thing about this book is how it details every single aspect that goes into a case, from the murder itself to the conviction, all throughout detailing the victims grieving and the lawyers seeking justice. A particularly moving chapter is when the wife of the victim is speaking with their mother and they are retelling a story of how racism has evolved in this country, and, as angry as she may be, she can’t show it, because she is a woman of color.
This book was written in 2019, but the murder it describes is all too recent. The different ways black people have to think to present themselves to white people in order to be considered “equals” and not be dismissed as rude, is all too familiar. The themes in this book come at a crucial time, where stories like these are needed to paint a more vivid picture of the struggles minorities face in America. A Betrayal in Black is a must read.
Pages: 272 | ASIN: B0827D7LGX
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William Bowie a slave and skilled carpenter along with his family were freed by the will of Roderick McGregor of Prince George County Maryland in the year 1858. Fifty- Five years later in 1913, his grandson William Augus Bowie and John Whitelaw Lewis co-founded the Industrial Savings Bank in Washington DC and together they would make important and lasting contributions to the African-American community of Washington. Thomas and John Vreeland Jackson were manumitted by Richard Vreeland in 1828 in Bergen County NJ. Oystermen by trade they would go on to become two of the first black property owners in Bergen County and conductors of the Underground Railroad who helped thousands of slaves to escape to freedom. In 1823, Joseph VanArsdale was freed by the will of Abraham VanArsdalen in Somerset County, New Jersey. Joseph would become one of the earliest black property owners in Princeton, New Jersey. This is their story in Slavery and Freedom.
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In 1850 Charleston, South Carolina, beautiful and headstrong Willow Hendricks is forced to grow up surrounded by turmoil, secrets, and lies. Brutality and cruelty form the world around her. Dysfunction between her and her father rule her life until she finds commonality in spunky, outspoken Whitney Barry, a northerner from Boston. In an era where ladies are considered mere property, these Charleston belles are driven to take control of their own lives. Fear and chaos encompass these feisty women in their quest to fight for the rights of humankind. Slaves—powerless and crippled by an assumable superior race—fight against all odds to secure freedom and equality. Only when losing it all do they find a new beginning. Book 1 embraces the hardships the slave endured at the hands of their white masters.
Available March 2018
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This is a drama filled novel following the lives of four main characters who are all connected in different ways and share similar struggles. A modern day Romeo & Juliet novel but focused on interracial couples and the stigma and struggles they are forced to endure despite racism being a supposed thing of the past.
Set in a city filled with violent crime and heavily focused on the animosity that exists between black communities and the police, this story explores the stories from all points of views. From the courtroom of a major murder trial to a high-profile rape case and the subtle racism that exists in big city law firms, you will learn how to respect other people’s points of view after reading this compelling story.
Ben Burgess Jr. has written a fantastic book that makes you feel you are a fly on the wall of all the scenes. The author makes you feel like you are in the outcast communities actually feeling the struggle young black people feel on a daily basis. You can’t help but feel disgusted towards police at points in the story but then the next chapter has you feeling empathy for the police as you hear the same story from their point of view.
This all leads to a roller coaster of emotions as you watch the story unfold from different characters perspectives and you feel yourself torn between which person you should root for. The undertone throughout all sides of the story is the huge amount of prejudice both sides of an interracial couple have to deal with which is a sad reality that despite how far we have come as a society, we are still so judgmental of others even when it has no affect on us at all.
There are some graphic sexual scenes that, for this story, are necessary to make the story truly feel real and believable. Although you feel uncomfortable reading them, I think that is the exact feeling the author was hoping because the truth of sexual crime is harsh and hard to swallow.
This is a novel begging to be turned into a movie or TV show or at the very least will have many novels written in the series because once you reach the end of the book you have become so enthralled by the tale you don’t want to say goodbye to your new found friends and want to see where their journey through life takes them next. The world needs more stories like this to continue to bridge the gap between races.
Pages: 340 | ASIN: B0732MBZQB
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