An Advanced ‘Thank You’

This is the year for great things to take place and I wanted to take this time before the Fall comes to thank all of my readers, subscribers and supporters. I’m sharing this on all of my blogs ahead of time.

Some of you have been with my blog since the beginning of time when it was just the few of us. Soon, you will be able to witness how far this indie author has come. Who can remember my first profile photo for this blog?

None of us can really pinpoint what the future may hold for our writing, but the most important thing is to keep on writing because you never know where your writing will take you.

Once you reach that level and most writers know what I’m referring to, don’t be afraid to look back on all the obstacles you have overcome. Think about the hard times, think about the bumps you may have encountered along the way and if you experienced heartache or pain along the way, keep that in mind too. Why? Because such reminders will keep you humble.

My heart is full knowing what is to come. I know I’ve said that a few times before, but it’s really full. There are not enough words to explain. 🙏🏾❤️🙏🏾

Until next time…

Hazel Scott

Born in 1920, Hazel Scott was a Trinidadian classical and jazz singer, actress and pianist. She was considered a musical prodigy at a very early age due to her musical abilities. Most notably, her rare ability to play two pianos at once. In fact, she was the first to do it.

Hazel was given scholarships by Juliard at an early age because she was extremely talented and gifted. This was unusual and unheard of because prestigious scholarships were not offered to Black people at that time.

Because so many people were obsessed with Hazel and her musical abilities, she was given her own show, The Hazel Scott Show. Hazel was the first Black person to have her own television show.

Hazel was big on civil rights and equality and she did not allow racist or prejudiced Whites to control her. Hazel controlled her own wardrobe, insisted on final cut privileges before she would perform and she refused to play live for segregated audiences. Her defiance and stance made her a force to be reckoned with because she also refused to play stereotypical roles.

One aspect of Hazel’s life that I did not know was that she was married to the late Adam Clayton Powell Jr., a man who needs no introduction. As a Black man, Adam too played a pivotal role in fighting for civil rights and equal rights for Black people. Their son, Adam Clayton Powell III, is the only child from their marriage.

I can go on and on about Hazel Scott because I found her to be intriguing, but I want you to take some time to read more about her on your own time. If you watched this year’s Grammy’s, Alicia Keys payed homage to her and did an amazing job.

To see a brief clip of Hazel in action, click here.

Until next time…

Ten Questions

I was given the following ten questions to share on my blog. These were some really good questions. I was eager to answer them and share them on my blog.

1. What was the first book you learned to read? Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

2. What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing? Staying focused. My mind tends to wander when I’m writing.

3. What is the one thing you wished all readers would do after reading one of your books? Leave a review! I’ve received almost a hundred direct messages from readers who enjoyed reading my first novel series, The Chronicles of Neffie. Very few took the time to also leave their review on my book. Good or bad, I want readers to leave a review. The Chronicles of Neffie has more ratings on Goodreads than Amazon.

4. Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired? No schedule. I write when the inspiration and motivation hits me. I don’t like to force it.

5. If you had the choice to rewrite any of your books, which one would it be and why? My debut novel Poka City Blues. I rushed it because I was anxious to publish it. A huge mistake on my part. I was told by some top reviewers that if I had of taken a little more time to tweak it and spent more time on promoting it before its release, it would have done far better because of its reading potential.

6. What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title? I think it’s very important. If your cover looks like crap and your title is boring or sucks, you can forget about readers buying your book(s).

7. Which character(s), created by you, do you consider as your masterpiece(s)? Neffie and Miss Reisa from The Chronicles of Neffie. Neffie is by far the most loved character I have written about and Miss Reisa is by far the most hated. I’ve been blown away by the direct messages from readers. Readers who read The Chronicles of Neffie are anxious to see what happens to Neffie in the second novel series. On the other hand, I’ve had some readers express a desire for Miss Reisa’s demise. Many want her to die because of how sneaky, conniving and cruel she is.

8. Do you see writing as a hobby or a passion? Both.

9. How active are you on social media? I’m not that active. I rarely post on Instagram or Twitter because I find both to be quite boring to me. That’s one of the reasons why I linked my blog to Twitter. My blog posts counts as “tweets”.

10. What advice would you give to your younger self? Stress less and don’t sweat the little stuff.

Now I have a question for you. What was the name of the first book you learned to read? Leave your answer in the comment section below.

Until next time…

Invisible Man

Invisible Man, published in 1952, is an award winning novel by the late Ralph Ellison. It touched on personal identity, individuality and the Black experience.

I personally found this novel to be both deep and telling. I could relate to some of the things he wrote about because I’m Black and I know how it feels to be “invisible” at times. Invisible in the sense where I’ve been purposefully overlooked or left out due to my color. Such experiences happened while at work and yet, they think I don’t notice. I notice it, but I must confess, I’m used to it. The majority of Black people are.

Since I’m an observer and thinker by nature, I would like to hear thoughts from those who also read this amazing novel. Regardless of your race or racial background, I would like to know what were your thoughts on Invisible Man. I enjoy hearing other people’s opinions and point of views. As always, if you are too shy to leave your comment, you can always shoot me an email.

If you have never read Invisible Man, you should. There is a reason why it won the National Book Award.

Until next time…

Moms Mabley

For Black History Month, I had to blog about the late Jackie “Moms” Mabley. I couldn’t end Black History Month without talking about her. I grew up listening to her comedy records.

Moms Mabley was a stand up comedian whose comedy roots started in the Chitlin Circuit. Moms Mabley and her stand up acts were in a class of its own. She was sharp, blunt, honest, but she would also have you in tears from laughing so hard.

Born as Loretta Mary Aiken in 1894, Moms Mabley used comedy to deal with her tragic childhood. At the age of 11, she was raped by an elderly Black man and when she was 13, she was raped by a White sheriff. At the urging of her grandmother, Moms Mabley ran away and ended up joining the traveling minstrel show that starred the infamous comedy duo Butterbeans and Susie.

Determined not to allow her painful past to stifle her, Moms Mabley went on to make an incredible name for herself. A name that was echoed and still echoed worldwide. Moms Mabley has often been imitated, but she will never be duplicated. She is the original Queen of Comedy.

If you want a good laugh that will leave you in tears, click here. You can thank me later. 👌🏾.

Until next time….

Homer Plessy

When I mention the name Homer Plessy, that name doesn’t seem to ring a bell to most people. When I mention the landmark case he was involved in, then his name suddenly rings a bell. What landmark case am I referring to? Plessy v. Ferguson.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this case, the Plessy v. Ferguson ruling backed and upheld the practice of racial segregation in regards to the Separate Car Act. Keep reading because the elements of this case is very intriguing.

Homer Plessy, a shoemaker, laborer, clerk and insurance agent was by law an Octoroon. If Homer wanted to, he could have kept his African ancestry hidden and passed for White, but he refused to. Instead of passing, Homer along with other Free People of Color decided to use their racially ambiguous appearance to challenge the Separate Car Act.

Below is a picture of the first African American governor P.B.S. Pinchback, another racially ambiguous man.

P.B.S. Pinchback

Homer, along with the Citizens Committee, decided to violate Louisiana’s separate car law. Homer and the Citizens Committee wanted to show that if you can’t always tell who is White and who is Black, then why should there be laws in place to separate Whites from Blacks? They had a valid point. Keep reading because it’s about to get even more interesting.

When Homer boarded the “Whites Only” train car, he had no problems boarding. When the conductor came to collect his ticket, Homer told him he was 7/8th White and that he refused to sit in the “Blacks Only” car. Needless to say, everyone within that Whites only car immediately became upset. Why? Because they assumed Homer was White. Had he not revealed himself, no one would have ever suspected his racial background.

Homer and the Citizens Committee had hoped to prove their valid point that if you can’t tell who is really Black and who is really White, why create separate laws? They lost their case due to the insurmountable racism and discrimination that existed during their time, but their efforts were not totally in vain.

The Plessy v. Ferguson case played a huge role in the Brown v. Education case. The Plessy v. Ferguson case was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court decision in the Brown v. Board of Education case. Racial segregation was completely outlawed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Ask yourself this: If Homer Plessy were to stand in front of you, would you be able to detect his African ancestry? What about the rest of the racially ambiguous men who were apart of the Citizens Committee? These men were Free People of Color who could have passed for White as well. Do you know who the racially ambiguous man is below?

I’ll give you a hint: he played a major role in the Plessy v. Ferguson case, he too could have passed for White, was often mistaken as White, but he wasn’t White. In fact, he was half Haitian and half Cuban. Drop your answer in the comments if you think you know. 🤔 I will reveal the answer Tuesday evening.

Until next time…

Freedom

Good morning good people! I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes for Black History Month. These quotes represent what freedom meant for these individuals (during their lifetime) and / or their desire to attain it. These quotes touched my heart and I wanted to share them with you. Enjoy! 🙏🏾 ❤️ 🙏🏾

Until next time…