A Day In Prison (Review by Mike Ramey)
Everyone has their own view of what prison life is really like. Some of these views are shaped–in part–by various media offerings, such as movies and TV shows. However, one’s viewpoint of life behind bars drastically changes when they have not only ‘done time’ but have emerged from a corrections facility and lived to tell the tale.
“A Day In Prison: An Insider‘s Guide To Life Behind Bars”, by John ‘Doc’ Fuller and Holly Lorincz is a book that gives one the full treatment of what it’s like to spend a day in prison. Fuller, who is a New York based prison consultant, served time in various federal facilities for eleven years. Lorincz assists with the telling and shaping of Fuller’s story (2017, 174 pages, Skyhorse Publishing).
This book is going to quickly find its way to younger readers, and many parents as it gives the before and after of life after the prison doors slam, and one is placed in a cell. Fuller provides a ‘preparatory’ section to get the reader ready for the trip inside…including the ‘Ten Prison Commandments’. Later, the reader is taken on a step-by-step trip through ‘the day’, from lights on and first count at 5am to inmates finishing their day in their cells at 8pm.
While Fuller provides a ‘tour’ of federal facilities–where he served the bulk of his time, he also offers insights into county–and other–corrections facilities. The book ‘wraps up’ with plenty of extra insights, advice, and help for families of inmates, the inmates themselves, and a few pointers for young people who may find their way behind bars. The book also has a detailed glossary AND helps section, with contact information for those who are either incarcerated, or are a family member of one who is on the inside.
“A Day In Prison: An Insider‘s Guide To Life Behind Bars”, is available from your favorite on-line book seller, or may be obtained through Skyhorse Publishing at www.skyhorsepublishing.com.
Mike Ramey is a Minister, Reviewer and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. He brings current and lesser-known titles to light to re-kindle a love for reading and thinking in a sea of modern technology. Feel free to reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2017 Barnstorm Communications.
I’m Still Standing
Crawling Out of the Darkness Into The Light
By Black Men In America.com Staff (Posted March 21, 2017)
In her second book, I”m Still Standing: Crawling Out of the Darkness Into the Light, Mildred Muhammad, the ex-wife of the D.C. sniper, John A. Muhammad, shares her expertise on what it’s like to be a victim and a survivor of domestic violence “without physical scars.” Her authenticity is as remarkable as her unforgettable story of abuse. Mildred explains the perils of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that soldiers suffer when returning from a war zone as well as victims who are diagnosed with the disorder.
As an Author, Recognized Speaker, Domestic Abuse/Violence Awareness Advocate and Survivor, Mildred Muhammad has risen to become a voice for victims and survivors of domestic violence; especially for the 80% who do not have physical scars to prove they are victims.”
Resilient, courageous, strong, and powerful are just a few words, others use, to describe Mildred D. Muhammad. She was a victim who became a survivor and is now a warrior on the issues of abuse. She speaks globally to encourage and empower others to reflect self-assurance, self-improvement and self-love, which is the greatest gift of all! Her style and wit in sharing her story holds the audience attention regardless of the amount of time she’s given. They leave with a sense of hope and tools to use in their own lives, that will bring them the peace of mind that we all strive to have daily.
Transformation is the key to moving forward with your life. Mildred knows that first hand. She had to counsel herself and her children to survive the victim-blaming. They learned to thrive in the midst of adversity, understand their emotions and hold their heads high because they had nothing to be ashamed of or to feel guilty for.
The horrific crime that took place in the Washington, D.C. area in 2002, resulted in innocent people being killed by Mildred’s ex-husband, John Allen Muhammad, the convicted and now executed DC Sniper. This was a crime of domestic violence and child custody. Prior to this crime, John took the children out of the country after a weekend visitation and threatened to kill her. She had been running for her life for three years. She was hiding by changing her name, clothing and locations trying to escape being killed by her ex-husband.
As the shootings were occurring in 2002, law enforcement told her what they did not tell the public which was...“SHE” was the intended TARGET! She and her children were taken into protective custody until he was caught. Now, 15 years later, the truth is finally being told.
About The Author
Mildred D. Muhammad is a Globally Award-Winning, Recognized Keynote Speaker, International Expert Speaker for the US Dept of State, Certified Consultant w/Office on Victims of Crime, CNN Contributor, Domestic Abuse Survivor, Advocate, Author, Trainer & Educator traveling and speaking on a national and international platform to discuss her life of terror, abuse and heartache, all while promoting Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention.
As the ex-wife of the D.C. sniper, John A. Muhammad, who went on a three-week rampage, with the end result, as stated by law enforcement, was to find Mildred and kill her too, the very personal details of her experiences involving fear, abuse and many of times, victim-blaming, has allowed Mildred’s mission to be even more influential and of greater purpose. She shares her expertise on what it’s like to be a victim and a survivor of domestic violence “without physical scars” to various conferences, seminars, workshop audiences which include victims and survivors of domestic violence, advocates, law enforcement professionals, therapists, counselors, mental and medical health providers, university and college students as well as conduct military personnel training regarding domestic violence. Her authenticity is as remarkable as her unforgettable story of abuse. She explains the perils of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) soldiers suffer when returning from a war zone as well as victims who are diagnosed with PTSD.
Her critically acclaimed memoir, Scared Silent: When the One You Love Becomes the One You Fear, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2009.
Mildred has appeared in the following TV shows: Lifetime Movie Network Series; CNN documentary; TruTV documentary Discovery Channel; Investigation Channel Series; MSNBC documentary, and the syndicated TV show, Crime Watch Daily.
Mildred has been interviewed on Oprah: Where Are They Now, Anderson, Ricki Lake, Katic Couric, Issues with Jane Velez Mitchell, The Mike Huckabee Show, TruTV’s In Session, Larry King Live, The Tyra Banks Show, and Good Morning America. She has also been interviewed by various national and international radio shows, internet radio, various national and international newspapers, and Internet blogs and magazines worldwide, including the BBC, NPR, Essence, Jet, The Washington Post, and Newsweek.
Mildred has authored other books and workbooks. Click here to learn more.
Michel Christophe is a leadership trainer; an ICF certified executive coach, a trainer of trainers, a language acquisition specialist, a consultant and an author. He has been in the change management and talent development business for the past 25 years (in High Schools, universities, Government, and private practice) both in the UK and the United States.
The long-awaited memoir of seven-time Grammy-nominated artist Charlie Wilson, the iconic R&B and Funk singer-songwriter-producer—interwoven with his recollections of collaborating with fellow artists such as Stevie Wonder, the Rolling Stones, and Snoop Dogg.
Recognized the world over for his distinct voice and timeless hits spanning a career of nearly half a century, Charlie Wilson is one of the most celebrated musicians of his generation. So it took friends and family by surprise when he checked into rehab and revealed that he had been not only homeless, but also helpless.
Here, in the memoir fans have been demanding, is the story of how love and faith carried him through not only his addiction, but also prostate cancer. Here, too, is the story of his work in the music business, including a career resurgence that saw collaborations with some of the most sought-after artists of today, including Pharrell and Justin Timberlake.
Now over twenty years sober, Wilson recounts a life filled with vertiginous highs and heartbreaking lows. His is a story of triumph over adversity, courage in the face of extreme hardship, and love when all else is lost. It is a tale of the last sixty years in social and pop culture history, and one that will stay with you for years to come.
Wake Up Happy by Michael Strahan (October 2015)
From America’s favorite football player turned morning talk show host—a man who makes just about everything look easy—a mélange of stories and motivational advice to inspire the reader to turn up the heat and go from good to great in pursuit of their personal ambitions.
Michael Strahan spent his childhood on a military base in Europe, where community meant everything, and life, though idyllic, was different. For one, when people referenced football they meant soccer. So when Michael’s father suggested he work toward a college scholarship by playing football in Texas, where tens of thousands of people show up for a weekend game, the odds were long. Yet he did, indeed, land a scholarship and from there a draft into the NFL where he scaled the league’s heights, broke records, and helped his team win the Super Bowl as a result of which he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. How? By developing “Strahan’s Rules”—a mix of mental discipline, positive thinking, and a sense of play. He also used the Rules to forge a successful post pro-ball career as co-host with Kelly Ripa on Live!—a position for which he was considered the long-shot—and much more.
In Wake Up Happy, Michael shares personal stories about how he gets and stays motivated and how readers can do the same in their quest to attain their life goals.
Here are a few of “Strahan’s Rules”:
1) Listen to other people, but don’t take their opinions for fact. Have your own experiences. Draw your own conclusions.
2) You can’t change other people but you can change how you act around them. Usually, that’s more than enough.
3) Don’t pre-judge. Help can—and will—come from the most unexpected places. Be open to everything around you.
Inspiring and chock full of advice that will help the reader make significant strides toward pursuing his or her dream, Wake Up Happy is a book no one, young or old, male or female will want to miss.
The Total Emasculation Of The White Man by David Valentine Bernard
From the author of the “powerful, fable-like work” (Publishers Weekly) Intimate Relations with Strangers comes a sci-fi mystery—and a very dark comedy—about several (mostly white) men who are systematically driven insane by a series of bizarre events.
One of the men wakes up in the woods one day with amnesia and is confronted by a dominatrix who tells him they are on a mission from God. She takes him to Atlanta, where he comes upon an unapologetically racist and sexist book called The Total Emasculation of the White Man—which sets him off on an even stranger quest. Another man, a college mathematics professor turned stay-at-home dad, finds himself losing his mind when his son’s demonic teddy bear comes to life. Other men see even stranger horrors, but all these seemingly unconnected stories are part of a grand scheme that is either the work of a mischievous god or something even weirder.
Blending elements of fantasy, mystery, science fiction and comedy, The Total Emasculation of the White Man is a provocative exploration of gender and race relations in America today.
How To Be Absolutely Fascinating: An Entertaining Way To Increase Sales by Gary Johnson
Gary Johnson, not to be confused with Black Men In America.com Publisher, Gary Johnson, has written an e-Book that promises to teach you the art of being interesting and show you how to make everything you do absolutely fascinating to other people. The techniques in this book are designed to increase your sales in business in various forms from online marketing to face-to-face networking. If you have a conventional job Gary claims that you can use these techniques to advance your career by selling yourself and enhancing the skills on your resume.
Zane: The Other Side Of The Pillow (October 2015)
The latest novel from the New York Times bestselling Queen of Erotica about a testy love affair between a woman who’s had enough and a man who’s had it all.
Jemistry Daniels, the beautiful, intelligent, six-figures-a-year high school principal, suffered through one bad relationship after another. No wonder she adopted the “friends with benefits” mentality when it came to men. For Jemistry, there was to be no “catching feelings.” Her biggest mistake would be to open her heart again.
When Dr. Tevin Harris meets Jemistry at a poetry reading in a café, he knows from her confessional writing that her past with men has been difficult. The prominent vascular surgeon, who has been only casually dating for years, is attracted to the embittered Jemistry nonetheless. With a little persistence, Tevin convinces Jemistry to go out with him. She has baggage, but so does he. What about his divorce?
Despite their respective pasts, Jemistry and Tevin’s chemistry is right and the relationship takes off, but not without bumps in the road. When Jemistry encounters her new beau in a compromising position with her bisexual best friend, what follows is an intense, sensuous, and unforgettable drama with surprises around every turn.
About the Author
Zane is the New York Times bestselling author of Afterburn, The Heat Seekers, Dear G-Spot, Gettin’ Buck Wild, The Hot Box, Total Eclipse of the Heart, Nervous, Skyscraper, Love is Never Painless, Shame on It All, and The Sisters of APF; the ebook short stories I’ll be Home for Christmas and Everything Fades Away; and editor for the Flava anthology series, including Z-Rated and Busy Bodies. Her TV series, Zane’s Sex Chronicles, and The Jump Off are featured on Cinemax, and her bestselling novel Addicted is a major motion picture with Lionsgate Films. She is the publisher of Strebor Books, an imprint of Atria Books/Simon & Schuster, and lives in the Washington, DC, area with her family. Visit her online at EroticaNoir.com.
Lead With Mercy by Robert Goodson
Author Robert Goodson cleverly blends two decades’ personal leadership experience with conventional expertise in business, leadership and psychology to make a compelling and pragmatic case for the wisdom of compassion in business leadership. His newly released business leadership book, Lead with Mercy, is published by Outskirts Press.
What is mercy? According to Webster’s it’s: “Compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or one subject to one’s power.” So mercy is a deliberate choice. Nothing forces an individual in power to show mercy to those who are subject to his power. So why do it?
That question is even more intriguing in the context of business. Business is about the bottom line – and environment where soft, intangible concepts like mercy, compassion, patience and forgiveness generally have no place. Some leaders hold staunchly to the belief that compassion and mercy have no place in successful business. After all, business leaders are held accountable for results, not compassion, right?
Goodson, a Fortune 500 company business leader and certified executive coach, makes the case for ethical and merciful business leadership that is, in the end, also a sustainable and rewarding business model. Lead with Mercy presents a discussion of provable, measurable results and positive return on investment.
Warren Bettis once said, “While managers know how to do things right, leaders know how to do the right thing.” Lead with Mercy brings new meaning to these words and offers business leaders a True North to navigate the morally murky waters of today with the timeless principles of yesterday. The book will serve as a touchstone text for generations of leaders seeking a higher purpose in their work. – Dr. Jeffrey Kuhn, Founder and CEO, GrowthLeaders®
Duane A. Garrett, Sr. (Dag) is a Father who has reached the cross (road) in his Spirituality, Choosing between what men have written in books or what I see in the Heavens. While Searching for the truth about myself, I found a truth about world. History wasn’t just written in books or chiseled in stone but our true history is written in the Stars above, all we have to do is look up and remember. My spirit is free and will be called Home to a whole family, the Father and Mother of everything, the Divine Light of Infinity.
Bruce Welch’s Autobiographical Novel “They Made Me an Addict” Offers Raw and Intimate View into Street Life, History Lesson on the Destruction of the Black Community
NEWARK, NJ—Acclaimed author and motivational speaker Bruce Welch is on a mission to divert urban youth and young adults from the lures of the street life by way of his riveting novel, “They Made Me an Addict: An American Tale.” The book, based on his own life, is a literary masterpiece that provides valuable lessons backed up by historical context, taking readers on a rollercoaster journey “to hell and back.”
In writing and publishing the novel, Welch fulfilled a lifelong dream that sustained him through a lonely youth and adolescence that was punctuated by drug abuse and violence. He grew up in Newark, New Jersey and attended West Side High School before graduating from Jersey City State College, seldom straying far from the gritty streets that became familiar to him as a child in the place often referred to as “Brick City.” He drew liberally on his life experiences and the people he knew to produce one of the most compelling autobiographical novels that the literary world has witnessed in decades.
Raised in a sheltered family rooted in church values, Welch’s goal from an early age was to become an author, and to write about the streets. He would read the work of Hemingway and many other literary legends, attempting to mimic their writing styles. However, at the age of 13, he lost his father to the streets and his mother to cancer. His world crumbled as he was left under the care of an uncle indifferent to his plight. Writing was his escape.
“I kind of felt like I was all alone,” Welch said. “I was bullied. I didn’t fit in anywhere.”
Still, he never gave up on his dream, but the path he would take to get there was severely altered. To be an author that would be remembered, he decided he was going to write a book about the streets from the inside. He was going to hang out with the pimps and drug dealers and learn their ways. That meant, do what they did talk how they talked and ultimately, experience what they experienced. It was a decision that nearly cost him his life.
“I wanted the blood of the streets to run through my veins, so when I wrote about it people could feel it,” he said. “But the story I was looking for eventually found me and I was swept up like most of the kids in the inner city.”
Eleven bullets later and a journey through brushes with death, drug addiction and then rehabilitation into an upstanding citizen and author, he shares his story with the world. His lesson for young people is that the street life is not long-lasting or glamorous. The stories of the good looking hustler with all the women, exceptional money making skills who also happens to be a cold-blooded killer do not exist in reality. They are dramatized, he asserts.
“The street life is always celebrated, but it should not be. People resort to that lifestyle because they are desperate – not because it is cool,” he said. “It’s not fun. It’s not glamorous. Desperate times call for desperate measures and these people are trying to survive. Young men should not aspire to that life.”
While “They Made Me an Addict” shares Bruce’s experiences, it also provides a history lesson on many societal issues and details how entire urban communities were consumed by crime and drugs and are still trying to recover to this day. It talks about the mob and crooked cops. It details how Black families were destroyed leaving the next generation of youth to fend for themselves.
Welch is currently embarking on tours to schools and universities to discuss his book and how the street culture has impacted the socioeconomic state of the black community. He is in talks with his former high school to turn his book into a school curriculum. He plans to duplicate that effort in urban schools around the country. Also, he implores parents to be more involved with their children to protect them from going down the wrong path.
“The streets is a trap,” he said. “Therefore, it is important for adults to instill valuable lessons and knowledge in their children before they look to the wrong people for guidance. One thing about the streets – it doesn’t love you back.”
For More information on Bruce Welch, or to schedule an interview, please contact Ivan Thomas at 202-904-4790 or email@example.com.
Book Review of “25 Things…”by Brandon Whitney
I recently read “25 Things That Really Matter in Life.” I have read many books that attempt to break through the self built barriers to success that most people possess. Many are good but they are often long and filled with unnecessary fluff. They often piggyback on older books like “Think and Grow Rich” or “How To Win Friends and Influence People”. Gary does not fall into these traps. Rather, he in simple and direct terms, explains how he pushed himself to operate a successful business and overcome depression and how others can do the same.
In the book Gary explains what matters to him and why. He shows how faith led him to start his own business, the joy that family brings, and even the importance of great sex. What really stands out about the book is the portion that asks the readers to list the 25 things that matters to them. This is a very personal part of the book that allows the readers, if they are serious about truly becoming successful and happy, to figure out what they truly want so that they plot their own direction in life rather than letting others do it for them.
I truly enjoyed “25 Things…” and recommend it to anyone who is unsure of where they want to go in life and to those who know the course they want to travel but want to enrich the journey.
Brandon Whitney is the creator of Homelandcolors.blogspot.com a blog that focuses on issues that affect the African American community.
“Remember, other people don’t have to ‘get’ your dream. It’s not theirs–it’s yours.
They aren’t supposed to get it. The dream was given to you!”
–Dr. Clarence M. Lee, Jr.
Book Review by Mike Ramey
Godly single parents have been taking it on the chin in our mainstream (and social media) for a number of years. Even many of our churches have mistakenly pushed the upright ones off to the side. Godly single parents have grown to be marginalized because they don’t fit the agenda template to wipe God from the marketplace. Enter Dr. Clarence M. Lee, Jr. with his work: “Well My Mom Says” (173 pages, 2014, WestBow Press) to set the scales of faith in God, parental love and common sense back to a right balance.
All one can say as they read this work is: “Wow!” “Well My Mom Says” sports 25 chapters, divided into four power-packed sections. It’s a book that will make a great reference book for young people, and will make many a parent ‘get their voices back’ concerning needed advice, wisdom and training for their children that many thought had been relegated to the back pages of history. Lee ‘walks’ the reader through his various ‘growing pains’ that his mother had to address, as he was navigating the often-bumpy roads of life: Difficult teachers, hard life choices and honorable dreams in a warped society. Eventually, Lee’s mother remarries–and the advice keeps on coming from his stepfather. Nevertheless, the advice is more profound and more needed by a ‘double dose’ of parental love.
Lee, a medical doctor makes no apologies for being a Christian nor a former college athlete. Chapters deal with the subjects of Trust, Faith, Perseverance and Appreciation. This book may also serve as a ‘kickstarter’ for some adults in the audience! In an interview with On Line Reviews, Lee noted that this work was ‘on time’ for a lot of young people in our present society…some of whom have been raised in a single-parent environment. He also noted that there is a good possibility that a workbook will be designed to be used along with the book in the near future.
“Well MY Mom Says” is one of those books that you can’t finish in an afternoon. In fact, it’s one of those books that would best be considered a ‘reference’ work, because you will refer to it again, and again…with pencil or highlighter in hand. It’s available through your favorite on line bookseller, or through Lee’s website at www.cmleejr.com.
Mike Ramey is a Minister, Reviewer and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. On Line Reviews brings current and lesser-known titles to public light in the quest to re-kindle a love for reading in a sea of modern technology.
Legally Stupid: Why Johnny Doesn’t Have To Read
By R. C. Murray
“There’s no excuse for accepting excuses. Administrators who pressure teachers to dumbed-down traditional teaching methods and expectations are only harming students and destroying our nation’s future. That sounds a lot like treason, doesn’t it?”
–R. C. Murray, Author
With the recent headlines and court fights over administrator firings, common core and teacher tenure, parents are hard-pressed to find one book that can help them sift through the ‘alphabet soup’ that has evolved into the modern, American public school. Enter R. C. Murray to the fray with: “Legally STUPiD: Why Johnny Doesn’t HAVE To Read” (312 pages, 2007, Peach-Pine Publishing). Murray, a military vet who spent time on the firing line of a high school classroom as an English teacher, eventually had to leave the classroom for health reasons. Nevertheless, the teaching profession’s loss is your gain, as you get a work that is written from an insider’s view. Murray is a Christian, an accomplished writer, and a believer in using the King James Version (KJV). This work is loaded with not only spiritual insight, but a means of pointing out where the classroom has gone wrong, from the college campus down to your local schools. Urban parents and churches will particularly enjoy Murray’s biblical and common-sense approaches to public education.
“Legally STUPiD” is a great “I told you so” book. It’s best thought of as a edu-reference book; a parental primer FOR exposing the current education system’s shortcomings as well as a firm warning to those who might be considering entering the teaching profession. The Glossary alone contains 13 pages of definitions, deciphering the mysteries of ‘edu-speak’. What Marva Collins did in ‘shaking up’ the education establishment 20 years ago, Murray continues WITH a new level of shaking in this work. Furthermore, it gives the parent the keys to rate their own child’s teachers and school as to whether or not their child is being taught–or indoctrinated.
Murray includes the charts, diagrams and examples of how classroom learning HAS been and how it has changed over the last 50 or so years. Some may consider some of his solutions ‘simplistic’. Some may not. However, for a parent who may have a bright child, and has been watching them ‘fall out of love’ with learning; or a child that may have been wrongly labeled as unable to learn, Murray offers a lot of wisdom and evidence as to how parents may be able to turn their child’s academic career around. “Legally STUPiD” is available at your favorite on line bookseller, or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Ramey is a Minister, Reviewer and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. On Line Reviews brings current and lesser-known titles to public light in the quest to re-kindle a love for reading in a sea of modern technology.
Introducing Dr. C. M. Lee–and his new book!
Here’s an excerpt from the book “Well My Mom Says,” by C. M. Lee, Jr.
Every Day, Be Thankful
As I step out of my door, I see the sunshine and breathe the fresh air and I’m thankful—thankful for this world, thankful for my health, thankful for my mobility, and so on.
I have the privilege to help people when they need a physician. I’ve gotten a bigger perspective on life just seeing people hurting and dealing with things I couldn’t image. This makes me thankful for the smallest of things, because not every person has the ability to see, talk, walk, speak, and read. The small things, when taken away, really make a huge impact.
As you sit and read this, no matter your situation, know that other people have made it through what you’re going through. If you can breathe on your own, be thankful; some patients have a machine breathing for them. If you can walk, be thankful; there are amputee soldiers that are wheelchair bound. If you have children, be thankful; some couples are infertile. I could go on and on and on.
There is always something to be thankful for. Don’t let one situation, one isolated aspect of your life, take your joy and skew your view. You have great things going on in your life. Make it a habit to always give thanks.
Excerpt from Chapter 8 Appreciation from Dr. Lee’s book “Well, My Mom Says…” published this past May by Westbow Press.
As a physician, speaker, entrepreneur, and CEO of CMLEEJR Co. Dr. Clarence Lee embodies the importance of faith and persistence in life. The first physician, college athlete, and Air Force flight surgeon in his family; Dr. Lee is dedicated to helping others remove perceived barriers in their lives. Dr. Lee has been featured in The Word, the Sacramento Business Journal, Appeal-Democrat, and others. He lives in California and loves spending time with his wife and daughter on the coast.
By Henry S. Miller, Author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness
Amp up the amount of happiness in your life each and every month of the year by intentionally focusing on 12 strategies that the science of happiness and well being has proven can increase your feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Even better: know that, if you add these actions to your life, your feelings of increased positive emotion can last for days, weeks, and even months!
If this is the year you decide to get serious about adding happiness that lasts to your life, here are 12 happiness strategies for 2014 and suggestions to make them work for you:
January: A Month of Hope and Plans
The beginning of the year is traditionally about new years’ resolutions. This year, write one positive goal you have for the coming year down on your calendar each morning of each day of January. Also write your plan to make it a reality. Then, resolve that you will intentionally invest your time and energy to work on your resolutions during the year and to live a happier life by implementing these 12 happiness strategies – one each month.
February: A Month of Gratitude
Gratitude is the antidote to greed, envy, and jealously. We feel much happier when we are being grateful for what we have, rather than envious of what we don’t. Remember, no one has everything! This month, each night before going to bed, take a daily gratitude inventory. Write down three things you are grateful for about your life – your relationships, your work, your character, your family, your country, the world around you, your life.
March: A Month of Kindness
Plato said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” And, if you look around, it’s still true today. This month, find one opportunity each and every day to perform some kind act for someone else – even the simplest act of holding a door open for another will do. And, each day, after your act of kindness, enjoy the feeling that, for at least one shining moment, you are the personification of all that is good about the human race.
April: A Month of Optimism
Each day this month, be more conscious of your negative thoughts – if you have any. And every time you do, immediately “dispute” it by intentionally replacing the negative thought with a positive one. Do this each time you think a negative thought for a month, and notice how your thinking might change.
May: A Month of Friendship
Close relationships are one of the longest-lasting of happiness-increasing strategies. But, sometimes, we take our friends for granted – or are “too busy” to see them. This month, at least one time per week, reach out to a friend and arrange to spend time with them. This can be as simple as a walk, a meal, coffee, drinks – whatever you choose. But find the time to visit with your friends face-to-face this month.
June: A Month of Love
Traditionally, June is a month of weddings – and love is all around us. Each day this month, call, write, or email someone you love or care deeply about – one per day – and tell them how much they mean to you – and how happy you are that they are a part of your life – even if you haven’t been the best communicator up to now. Notice reactions – yours and theirs.
July: A Month of Spirituality
Studies have proven that people who have spirituality in their lives – whether it’s their own secular belief system, their own faith, or some organized religion – are happier. We don’t know if it’s because of the fellowship of a caring group of like-thinking folks, or the spiritual beliefs themselves. This month, make a conscious effort to spend some moments each day – perhaps during lunch – repeating to yourself at least one “prayer” or belief you hold.
August: A Month of Health, Fitness, Skill
Summer is a great time to focus on increasing your health and fitness – and on using your skills and abilities to their max. This month, begin some daily fitness regimen (check with your doctor first if needed) – even if it’s only walking. In addition, make a list of your top skills, talents, and abilities and assess if you are using them to their fullest. If not, take one step per day to begin doing so.
September: A Month of Contribution
Making a meaningful contribution to make the planet a better place is one of the longest-lasting, happiness-increasing strategies known. What are you contributing? This month is your chance to decide what difference you’d like to make in the world. Spend a few minutes each day at lunchtime and write down ideas about how you can make a positive difference in the world. At the end of the month, decide on a plan of action – and begin! The world needs you and your contribution!
October: A Month of Savoring
Fall is a season to enjoy the changing foliage in many parts of the world. Consciously spend at least five minutes each day focusing your attention exclusively on something of beauty outside – changing leaves, trees, clouds, sky – something. Five minutes of complete attention to savor the beauty of life around you – each day, every day.
November: A Month of Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a powerful, although a slightly more complicated, happiness strategy. We forgive others to make us feel better. This month, examine your life and see if there are any lingering resentments you are holding on to that are holding you back from joy. If so, do two things: First, write the apology letter you would have liked to have received from the person who has wronged you. Second, rise above your desire for revenge, and write your letter of forgiveness to them. No need to mail it, just recall the hurt or violation, write about your feelings. End the letter with your statement of forgiveness. Just this simple act of writing a forgiveness letter can often grant you freedom from your negative thoughts and give you increased happiness.
December: A Month of Generosity
The end of the year is a time for giving – a time to donate your time, your money if you can, your skills, your positive energy, your attention – to others to help make their life a little better. Each day, find one opportunity to give something of yourself to help another – and notice your feelings.
For the best results, remind yourself of each month’s happiness strategy by adding these topics to your calendar – every day of each month. Then, each day of the year, find creative ways to act on these strategies – and enjoy your reactions and your increased feelings of happiness. You’ll notice that these feelings will last far longer than the happiness you feel from just partaking of the pleasures of life – and will be more meaningful to you.
No matter what your situation, remain hopeful about increasing your happiness. The truth is that no one is ever out of the game when it comes to living a happier and more fulfilling life! As the months of this year unfold, continue all of the 12 strategies that work best for you. If you do, a year of happiness can be yours.
Henry S. Miller is the author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness: Everything You Need to Know to Flourish and Thrive, and Inspiration for the Pursuit of Happiness: Wisdom to Guide your Journey to a Better Life. He is also the creator of the online membership program Get SERIOUS About Your Happiness: 20 Transformational Tools for Turbulent Times. As President of The Henry Miller Group (www.millergroup.com), he is a speaker, trainer, and consultant helping organizations improve engagement, performance, and productivity specifically by increasing employee well being. In prior careers, Henry was a Senior Consultant for the Tom Peters Company training and coaching senior management teams worldwide in leadership and his initial career in corporate America was with IBM.
Online Book Review by Mike Ramey
The Management Methods Of Jesus: Ancient Wisdom For Modern Business by Bob Briner
Tired of the reams that have been written on business success that have left you empty? Surprisingly, you may not have to look any farther than the Bible on your bookshelf for the best wisdom available on achievement.
On Line Book Reviews stumbled across this mid-nineties treasure at a local bookstore. This is one of those books that is great for not only the person who is starting up their own business, but those who have been bitten by the unemployment bug as the bad times continue in the job market. It forces one to ‘re focus’ upon that which is important as either an employee–or employer.
“The Management Methods Of Jesus: Ancient Wisdom For Modern Business” by Bob Briner has more than a snappy title…it has practical advice within its covers, and is not apologetic when it comes to how Jesus Christ was able to rock this world with a leadership style that more could benefit from in our modern era. In light of a host of recent scandals from the White House to Wall Street, a return to honesty, integrity and humility will do wonders for many levels of American public life.
One of the central criticisms of our day about the use of religion in the business realm is that “…it doesn’t belong…”. Yet, the same critics who disregard biblical wisdom will eagerly lap up the ‘flavor of the month’ offerings of a variety of business publications–and wonder why they don’t have much depth. Briner gets biblical without being preachy in this 115 page book. Some of the more noteworthy chapters from Briner’s work are: “Choose Your Own Associates” and “Handle Corruption Immediately,”
The methods of Jesus when relating to disappointment, and on paying one’s taxes are worth studying and modeling, according to Briner. The chapters are short, the book is compact, and one can spend an afternoon–or a weekend–‘freshening up’ their game. IF you are thinking about starting your own business, are employed at an existing firm, or getting back into the swing of the job hunt, this book has some great material for your study! One can find this work at Amazon.com, and several other on line sites, as well as checking your local Christian bookstore, or Thomas Nelson Publishers. A great return…for a small investment.
Mike Ramey is a freelance media, movie and book reviewer/commentator who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. He can be reached at email@example.com. Used with permission. © 2012 Barnstorm Communications International.
Lisa K. Winkler is the author of A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America. She’s also a journalist and an educator who has written numerous essays for book anthologies and magazine articles. Lisa contacted us to see if we would be interested in learning more about her book. After some quick research on our part, the decision was a “no-brainer,” as Lisa has written a great book.
Question: Why did you write “On the Trail of the Ancestors: A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America?”
Lisa Winkler (LW): As a teacher, I’ve witnessed how young people know little of history. In urban areas, youth learn about slavery and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a few more facts during February, Black History Month. Yet they have little if any connection with these historical figures. When I began my own reading after meeting Miles, I became fascinated with these people whose contributions to the development of the US are largely unknown. Most adults haven’t heard of these people. American history needs to include all races and genders to truly demonstrate who built this nation, their struggles and sacrifices and stories. From my research, I couldn’t find any records of other African Americans who have ridden a horse across the country in modern day, with this purpose in mind. A cross country journey in itself is a story. I loved the idea of this young boy growing up watching western movies and television shows and dreaming that he too could become a cowboy.
What is your background? What qualified you to write this book?
LW: I worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance journalist before becoming a teacher. While teaching, I earned my Masters degree and wrote for several professional journals. I interviewed authors of children’s and young adult literature, reviewed books, and had teaching units published. I’ve written study guides for three books published by Penguin Books. After I met Miles, I received an assignment to write about the history of the black jockeys for Smithsonian magazine’s website. This article was published in April, 2009. (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-Kentucky-Derbys-Forgotten-Jockeys.html).
How did the ideas for the book originate? What happened in your life that specifically connects to the book?
LW: In addition to my teaching experience, I had the good fortune to travel across the country a few times as a child. My father, a poultry farmer from Connecticut, had a blood clot that forced him to take some time off from our farm. He bought a mobile home and took the family – I’m the oldest of four children- on trips every summer and school vacation. I grew up riding horses, riding until I reached high school, so understood what it’s like to be around horses, the passion of riding and the bonds that develop between horse and rider. Furthermore, I grew up in the 1960’s. My parents were always involved politically in local campaigns and Civil Rights. They participated in the March on Washington in 1963. I remember clearly their reaction when they heard that King had been assassinated. (They cried.)
When I met Miles, I was hooked. His passion for his subject and determination to accomplish something that few would undertake awed me.
What special research was involved in the writing of your book?
LW: I read a lot of books that I found in libraries or bought. These included biographies, geography and books about horses. I consulted maps and also interviewed some of scholars Miles met on his journey. I poured through the Internet. I read Miles’ website and transcribed his podcasts he arranged with the Star-Ledger and interviews he conducted with people he met.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
LW: There are many messages. Overall, I want readers to be educated and entertained. There’s the message of having a dream, and not giving up, even if it takes years or decades to fulfill. There’s the message that our history is a shared history- all ethnicities, men and women, contributed to the growth of this great nation.
Why should people buy your book?
LW: It’s a story about an ordinary man who accomplished something extraordinary. I think there’s a romantic aspect of the cross-country journey, no matter what form of transportation that many people don’t really grasp. Reading my book, readers learn some history they might not know, understand what it’s like to ride a horse every day for 6 months, about five to six hours a day, and what it’s like to be in a new place practically every night. The geography and people of the US are fascinating.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
LW: Never give up. It takes tons of patience, fortitude and sometimes luck to get published. With self-publishing there are many options to get your work out, but it’s a very tough (and can be expensive) road. Believing in your story is paramount. If you have passion for it, others will too. Also, there’s no “quick fix.” While an occasional book might sell hundreds of copies the first week, thousands the first month and so on, most don’t. I believe marketing really becomes a personal adventure: why would someone want to read my book? I view it as my journey: one sale, one reader, one book at a time.
What are you working on now?
LW: I try to keep up with my blog, accessed through my web site, www.lisakwinkler.com. I enrolled in a memoir writing class online to keep the “writing” juices flowing, and am completing the Educators Guide to accompany the book.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
LW: I love yoga, road cycling, reading, cooking, knitting and theater. I have three grandchildren under 3 years old so that keeps me busy too.
How can readers find you? Are you available to give talks?
LW: Yes! I’d love to talk about the book to any groups, bookstores and libraries that will have me. I’m available to present the book to all ages, and especially to educators who will use the book in their classrooms.
About the Author
Lisa K. Winkler’s other writing includes two essays published in book anthologies; one in “I’m Going to College – Not You! Surviving the College Search with Your Child.” (St. Martin’s Press, 2010), and the other in Wisdom of our Mothers. (Familia Press, 2010). She also writes for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. Her interviewees include authors, college presidents, scientists, and artists, among others, including Miles Dean in February 2009. Lisa is an avid reader, knitter, yogi, cyclist, and grandmother. You can learn more about Lisa and contact her through her official web site at www.lisakwinkler.com.
Edited by Floyd Dickens, Jr.
Description: An intriguing fictional mystery with quite a twist from your everyday novel; the ordinary becomes extraordinary. It is a story about real people caught in the deepest challenges of faith, love, and how they view religion.
Be prepared to feel the power of fear, suspense, and joy as you join the citizens of small town Sutters Junction. They face a trial so unexpected that no one could have guessed it was the modern world. Click on the link below to learn more:
Watch author Jacqueline Dickens talk about her new novel.Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
“Sunday Morning: A Testimony of Life”
By Richard Brown
EAST ORANGE, N.J. – In his book, “Sunday Morning: A Testimony of Life” (ISBN 1463700768), Richard Brown shares his personal testimony on life as a gay African-American Christian. Brown hopes to shed light on the world of gay Christians and the struggles they face from the organizations and churches that have challenged the idea of who is worthy to serve the Lord. “Sunday Morning” attempts to stand as a contrast to the developed practices of today’s churches and asks for a change to solidarity at all costs.
Through personal experiences and scriptures, the author seeks to show the reader that God loves all people, including homosexuals. He expresses that the growing interest and coverage of same-sex marriage has allowed Christian organizations and churches to express their disdain on the topic of homosexuality.
In “Sunday Morning,” Brown uses the same tools as these organizations to show the readers that it is possible to be a homosexual and Christian at the same time. He shares his personal experiences of living as a gay Christian and his times of prayer and communication with God to show readers how he made it through life’s struggles.
“After I look at what God has done for me, I now have to testify as to His power and love, and how He accepts me for me,” Brown says. “I believe my message will be better served by suggesting and supporting that every individual has the ability to hear from God on their own through study, fasting and prayer.”
Brown hopes “Sunday Morning” can be good news for homosexuals who are constantly the focus of Christian scrutiny. He hopes that all Christians will be able to worship God together, and use his work as a source of hope and relief.
“Sunday Morning: A Testimony of Life” is available for sale online at Amazon.com.
ON LINE BOOK REVIEWS BY MIKE RAMEY
“THE FEMALE FOOL” BY MELISSA DIANE HUDSON
“A good man is not hard to find if God sends him to you.”
–Melissa Diane Hudson
Author, “The Female Fool”
The late Dr. Edwin Lewis Cole, one of the guiding forces behind the rise of the Christian Men’s Movement in the later part of the last century, had the following summation of Christian relationships: “A man MUST major on manhood; and minor on womanhood.” In order for our young, single brothers to understand the latest going-on concerning young women of today, I highly recommend the book: “The Female Fool” by author Melissa Diane Hudson. Furthermore, I would urge the women who scope out my reviews to also get several copies, keep one for themselves, and give them out to their female friends.
The ‘full’ title of the work is “The Female Fool: 10 Reasons Why You Aren’t Attracting A Good Christian Man.” (Creation House Publishing, 2011/Paperback, 80 pages). Hudson, a writer, widow, and motivational speaker, has gone where few female Christian relationship writers have dared to go; challenging the sisterhood to ‘grow up’ God’s way, into the women that He wants them to be–in order for true Christian men to find their Queen.
In Hudson’s view, females may be in the broader view of society, but real Christian men are hunting for ‘grown up’ Christian women who would make great wives. She has the life history to write such a work. A woman who is firm in her faith, Hudson is a widow with a son. Her work is a plea to her sisters, both inside of and outside of the church, to follow the biblical path to a marital relationship. She walks the talk, and the talk is right out of the Word of God and a lot of common sense.
“The Female Fool” is ideal for the Pastor who is looking for a work to have older women in the church to teach younger women the realities of Christian womanhood. Chapters include; “Gold Digger, Money Trigger”, “Low Self-Esteem” and “Accept That It Is Over”. This book IS a welcome breath of honesty out of the relationship book forest.
MOMMA’S A VIRGIN
By: Travis Hunter
Zola Zaire didn’t grow up in an ordinary family. She had the displeasure of growing up with an abusive mother named Sarah, a step father who raped her, and never knowing who her real father was. Ravon, her brother, was the only one she could trust. Zola didn’t have the one thing she wanted most in her life, Jason, her only son. He was temporarily adopted by Chad and Carmen Benjamin who just happened to be Caucasian.
Because Zola was so used to being abused, she began dating Andre who also physically abused her even though he allowed her to live a posh lifestyle. That is how she unknowingly met Ian DeMarco. Ian was facing his own struggles. His wife and daughter had been murdered in front of him and his son, Christian, months prior. Ian witnessed Zola being beaten by Andre and he stepped in to rescue her. She didn’t know who this man was and why he would help her.
While recovering from Andre’s drastic beating, Zola’s mother was murdered. Zola appeared to be the prime suspect. Her brother, Ravon, was just released from prison and he walked in on the murderer and killed the murderer. Ravon was following up on leads to his mother’s murder and it leads him to Ian. Ravon realized Ian wasn’t involved after they both became the target of whoever had hired the murderer.
Zola now knows that the Benjamin’s plotted to set her up. They hired Andre to woo Zola until she would commit a crime for him, get caught, and go to jail. They didn’t realize Andre would accrue real feelings for Zola so they then offered him 1 million dollars to kill her or have her killed. Andre just couldn’t do it. The Benjamin’s wanted this just to be able to keep Zola’s son Jason to themselves. Zola’s mother was also involved. Prior to Zola losing custody of her son to the state, Sarah asked the Benjamin’s to step in and get custody or she would expose some of their dirty secrets. In order keep their secrets under wraps, the Benjamin’s had hired someone to murder Sarah and attempt to murder Ian and Andre.
Zola & Ian finally met on more pleasurable terms and they began dating.
I enjoyed this book. This book is a fast and exciting. Travis Hunter did a great job of going into the minds of the characters. You won’t be able to put it down.
For more information visit Travis’ official web site at: http://travishunter.com.
Excerpt from The Hot Box by Zane
Two women plus four men equals nothing but drama. “Hotbox” is a baseball drill that can be played with three or more players and two to four bases. The players take turns between being fielders and runners, ultimately trying to tag the rest of the players out. In “The Hot Box” by Zane, best friends Milena and Lydia are playing the game along with Jacour, Yosef, Glenn, and Phil. The only problem: the men do not realize that they are playing.
Milena is a veterinarian who has lived a sheltered and dismal existence ever since leaving Jacour Bryant at the altar. Jacour had recently signed an eighty-five million dollar contract with the New York Yankees but Milena could not have cared less once she discovered his doggish ways. Jump ahead eight years and Jacour has returned to rural North Carolina to win Milena’s heart back… but there’s a serious problem. Milena has a new man; one that no one ever knew existed who has seemingly appeared out of nowhere. What ensues is a competition between Jacour and the mysterious and handsome stranger, Yosef, to win Milena’s heart, soul, and body that hasn’t been touched by a man in nearly a decade.
Lydia is the complete opposite of Milena; she does not believe in recycling her virginity. In fact, she utilizes her sex daily to get what she wants. Working part-time as a grocery cashier is simply not the life that she desires. Residing with Glenn, her lover of three years, she is also sexually active with his best friend, Phil. Glenn is her Mr. Right but Phil is her Mr. Good Sex. Lydia dreams of getting away from small town America but, until she can make that happen, she is prepared to do whatever it takes to continue to have her bills paid… on time. Everything is all-good until Phil decides that he wants to change the parameters of their relationship, forcing Lydia to make a choice that she is clearly not prepared to make.
Two women. Four men. Two love triangles. Three sections: Curveballs, Bases Loaded, and The Sweet Spot. Reading has never been this hot because once again, Zane is taking you outside of the box.
EXCERPT-PAGE 115 of The Hot Box by Zane
About The Author
Zane is the New York Times Bestselling Author of numerous titles, the Publisher of Strebor Books, an imprint of ATRIA Books/Simon and Schuster, and the Co-Executive Producer, Creator, Scriptwriter and Subject of “Zane’s Sex Chronicles,” a CINEMAX Original Series.
The Next Phase Of Life by Charmaine R. Parker
A story of companionship, compassion, and family reunion—a forty-something woman meets the challenges of finding romance, while reuniting with a long-lost sister, and monitoring the escapades of her friends.
Tai Wilson has hit forty and finally is ready to settle down with the man of her dreams—now she just has to find him. An executive who has success, her dream home, and a flourishing employment agency, she wants a partner to make her world complete.
Her attempts to focus on the right guy get pushed aside as her long-lost sister returns, and she balances the time between the two. Tai and her only sibling, Trista, were separated as children when their parents passed away. Trista’s past is completely unlike Tai’s upscale world. Tai introduces her to fine restaurants and treats her to spas, but Trista has trouble trying to fit into her sister’s world.
Tai treasures female networking as she celebrates friendship with her sidekicks, Candace, a fashionista; and Nevada, a journalist turned private detective. Each has their own lifestyle but when they unite for ongoing adventures, they are as one.
Will Tai and Trista finally create the sisterly bond they both crave, or will their attempt to establish a strong union crumble before their very eyes? Will Tai find the man of her dreams? Add in some friends with issues of their own, and Tai is definitely ready for The Next Phase of Life.
About The Author
Charmaine R. Parker is a former journalist who has worked as a reporter, copy editor, and managing editor. The publishing director for Strebor Books, she is the sister of national bestselling author Zane. She has a bachelor’s of fine arts from Howard University and a master’s in print journalism from the University of Southern California. Charmaine lives in Maryland with her husband and daughter. Visit the author at www.facebook.com/CharmaineRobertsParker or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Cold Piece of Work
By Curtis Bunn
As an Essence Magazine #1 bestselling author, national award-winning journalist, and founder of the acclaimed National Book Club Conference in Atlanta, Ga. Curtis Bunn has effortlessly developed the ability to build genuine stories that expose real-life thinking and desires of men – as shown in his 2001 bestselling debut novel Baggage Claim. Now, with A COLD PIECE OF WORK (Atria Books/Strebor Books; 978-1-59309-349-5; July 2011; $12.00), Curtis offers the most complex insight of a man revealing the depths f his soul, offering readers an unfettered, organic journey that lends honest, raw perspective and provides the how and why men act as they do in relationships.
In A COLD PIECE OF WORK, Soloman Singeltary is the ideal catch. However he has always been known for avoiding relationships with women due to painful experiences he encountered in his past. Having had his heart broken when he was young and impressionable, he guards his heart at all costs as an adult, leaving women before they could leave him, turning him cold, ruthless and non-committal. However, one day he meets Michelle Williams and his life is changed forever.
Though, in the beginning of their courtship Soloman persistently distanced himself emotionally from Michelle, deep down he always had strong feelings for her, more than any woman he’d ever been in a relationship with. However, once the opportunity presented itself, just as he had done countless times before, Soloman makes an abrupt exit out of the relationship in the early hours of the morning as she slept, leaving Michelle confused and bitter for years to come.
Eight years later, a chance encounter with Michelle and her young son, Gerald, sparks something in Soloman he never anticipated: to seek forgiveness, from her and himself. The quest for that forgiveness opens up character traits he never knew existed. And a surprise discovery regarding Gerald further leaves him full of questions and regret. Additionally, he later discovers disheartening information about his best friend, Ray, again exposing raw nerves and emotions.
A COLD PIECE OF WORK offers the most unique insight: a contemporary man revealing the depths of his emotions, vulnerabilities and flaws. It is a story of a strong man admitting his vulnerabilities and overcoming them with the help of a woman who eschewed the pain he caused to take a chance at love.
Curtis Bunn is a former national award-winning sports journalist from Washington, D.C. who became a literary phenomenon with the release of his debut novel, “Baggage Check,” which became a word-of-mouth sensation, ascending to No. 1 on the Essence best-sellers list. Curtis went on to create the National Book Club Conference I Atlanta, GA, now known as the premier annual literary event featuring African American readers and authors. When not writing, Curtis teaches in the Journalism and Sports Department at prestigious Morehouse College.
Book Review: Nigger For Life
by George Murevesi, Radio Host – Africa Live, Radio Awaz107.2 FM, Glasgow, Scotland
Dr. Neal Hall cuts with precision not only in the lab but also on the flesh of an establishment, which festers, on lies, indoctrination and institutionalized racism. The theme may not be favoured by mainstream publishers but Dr. Hall’s technique helps his cause. It gets you engrossed to the last page. It also gets you into that pensive and reflective mood post-reading which makes it a classic.
The seamless flow of one poem into the other is genius; it stands out as a book in the category of poetry. There is also an unpretentious approach which is liberating, no rhymes or your conventional stanzas. It is the reinvention of poetry which makes an explosive theme accessible.
My gut feeling when l first got the book was that it would be another piece of work laden with fantasies of academia. Reading through the first pages l was, however, quickly stripped of this misconception – the book is at the centre of reality. It bares the subtle as well as reiterate the brazen discrimination existent in the world’s biggest economy.
To the victims this is an empowerment, an empowering literary work that unsettles the establishment. An establishment purporting to be built on the Declaration of Independence yet some of its offspring, to borrow from Animal Farm, are more equal than others.
This magnificent work is tongue in cheek, a no-holds-battle with perpetrators and architects of race structures. Though set in America, people from all walks of life who suffer any form of prejudice and discrimination can relate to it; motives are different but the result is the same.
On another level there is a desperate call in the book, which weaves through all its various poems. This clarion call is to judge people on ability and not heredity. It is surely a world of great promise if all the suppressed people are allowed to unleash their potential. We need not look any further than the contributions of the so called people of colour in all aspects of life, be it film (Will Smith, Denzel Washington etc), sport (Muhammad Ali), music (Nat King Cole) among others. Surely the world would be poorer without the contributions made and which can be made by people of colour. Discrimination is abominable in any form and should be confined to the dustbins of history centres on the atrocities of race classes. Atrocities perpetrated daily yet pretended not to exist. Perpetrated in all manner yet.
Nigger For Life is a mirror of the generational struggles of the marginalized, marginalized not because of ability but marginalized and thrown onto the margins of society purely on the basis of a perceived wrong skin colour.
Here is a book, not for this year or the next, but for posterity. This anger is resonated in other artworks such as Hip Hop but Nigger For Life articulates it on a simplified and intelligent level yet to be climaxed.
The perpetrators must be ashamed for Nigger For Life is here to expose their duplicity and seeds of evil. A must read for all truth-seekers.
For more information visit the official “Nigger For Life” web site at: http://www.surgeon-poet.com/book.html.
Dr. Julianne Malveaux New Book Reveals The Achievements of Black Business Leaders
Book Review by Kam Williams
The African-American Tradition of Giving
By Randal Pinkett & Jeffrey Robinson,
Author of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness
African Americans have a long-standing tradition of philanthropy, or giving back to improve the human quality of life. It is rooted in the African concept of family, which formed the basis for social life and social values in Africa.
In the twenty-first century, giving by African Americans reflects many of the traditions that have been established over the years. Modern African American giving has distinct underlying philosophies and characteristics, namely:
- A broad conceptualization of family and kinship ties that include not only blood relatives but also distant relatives, friends, neighbors, and long-time acquaintances. This is embodied by references to other African Americans-even when they are not related to us-as “brothers,” “sisters,” “cousins,” and the like.
- A relative preference for giving directly to individuals as opposed to nonprofit organizations.
- A higher value for contributions of time than money. The church is the single greatest beneficiary of African-American monetary donations. More than two-thirds of African-American charitable dollars are contributed to churches.
- A deep feeling of obligation to help members of the Black community and others in need or crisis as a result of being helped by others. To the extent that someone is known or perceived to have abandoned this obligation they may be labeled as a “sellout” or an “Uncle Tom.
- A sense of responsibility to not leave anyone behind, and success alone is insufficient without helping others to also be successful. Helping any part of the community is interpreted as helping the entire community.
One of the major challenges you’ll face as a successful and busy individual is making decisions about the approach you’ll take toward your giving. What is your strategy for giving? “Strategic giving” is a phrase we use to describe giving in the right way at the right time for the right reason, cause, or issue.
We believe the four foundations of giving are time, talent, treasure, and something we refer to as touch. It is our personal responsibility to find ways to give back generously in each of these areas. It’s been said that we should all donate 10 percent of our time, talent, and treasure to worthy activities and organizations that make the world a better place. The basic principle here is an ancient one called tithing – a concept that both of us wholeheartedly endorse. The idea of tithing has biblical origins. The people of God were required to give 10 percent of their earnings back to God. The priests received the tithe on God’s behalf, and their responsibility was to distribute this money, as well as other goods and in many cases livestock and crops, to widows, the fatherless, strangers, and the homeless and destitute, and keep some for the operation of the house of God – the temple or the church. Clearly, this practice had positive ramifications throughout the community.
The above is an excerpt from the book Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness by Randal Pinkett and Jeffrey Robinson. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.
Adapted from Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness by Randal Pinkett & Jeffrey Robinson with Philana Patterson (AMACOM; October 2010; $24.95 Hardcover; 978-0-8144-1680-8).
Randal Pinkett, Ph.D., coauthor of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, was the winner of season four of The Apprentice and the show’s first minority winner. He is the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of BCT Partners, an information technology and management consulting firm. Dr. Pinkett is based in Somerset, New Jersey.
For more information please visit www.randalpinkett.com and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.
Jeffrey Robinson, Ph.D., coauthor of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, is a leading business scholar at Rutgers Business School and lives in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC
An unprecedented women’s history of the Civil Rights Movement, from sit-ins to Black Power
In Hands on the Freedom Plow, fifty-two women–northern and southern, young and old, urban and rural, black, white, and Latina–share their courageous personal stories of working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement.
The testimonies gathered here present a sweeping personal history of SNCC: early sit-ins, voter registration campaigns, and Freedom Rides; the 1963 March on Washington, the Mississippi Freedom Summer, and the movements in Alabama and Maryland; and Black Power and antiwar activism. Since the women spent time in the Deep South, many also describe risking their lives through beatings and arrests and witnessing unspeakable violence. These intense stories depict women, many very young, dealing with extreme fear and finding the remarkablestrength to survive.
The women in SNCC acquired new skills, experienced personal growth, sustained one another, and even had fun in the midst of serious struggle. Readers are privy to their analyses of the Movement, its tactics, strategies, and underlying philosophies. The contributors revisit central debates of the struggle including the role of nonviolence and self-defense, the role of white people in a black-led movement, and the role of women within the Movement and the society at large.
Each story reveals how the struggle for social change was formed, supported, and maintained by the women who kept their “hands on the freedom plow.” As the editors write in the introduction, “Though the voices are different, they all tell the same story–of women bursting out of constraints, leaving school, leaving their hometowns, meeting new people, talking into the night, laughing, going to jail, being afraid, teaching in Freedom Schools, working in the field, dancing at the Elks Hall, working the WATS line to relay horror story after horror story, telling the press, telling the story, telling the word. And making a difference in this world.”
“This amazing book rethreads the needle of memory with a stronger cord woven of the testimonies of sisters who never gave up or in. Its gifts are immeasurable as a historical document and a blueprint for ongoing national and international struggles for human rights. We must take our cue from the lessons they teach and tighten our grip on freedom’s plow, pushing on, regardless.”–Darlene Clark Hine, coauthor of The African American Odyssey
“The testimonies of these remarkable women are an indispensable part of the history of the southern movement against racial segregation. They enable us to see the Movement up close through essays that are intensely personal, and at the same time they thoughtfully illuminate the larger struggle for justice.”–Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present
“Hats off to the Hands On sisters! Each story is a treasure, each woman a measure of the Civil Rights Movement’s strength. An overdue and indispensable contribution to the Movement’s historiography.”–Julian Bond, Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP Board of Directors
“This is a splendid, spectacular, stirring book. At last the long-marginalized women of SNCC tell their galvanizing, enspiriting stories in their own words. Everyone concerned about women’s rights, human rights, and the future will want to get, give, or assign this fabulous collection.”–Blanche Wiesen Cook, University Distinguished Professor, John Jay College and The Graduate Center, CUNY, and author of Eleanor Roosevelt, Volumes 1-3
“An extraordinary contribution to historical understanding of the Civil Rights Movement, this work illuminates the ground swell that was SNCC. It’s a complex story, well told by the participants, whose real voices bestow this collection with remarkable authority. These gripping narratives by tough, resilient women, these tales of courage, perseverance, hope, and dedication to a cause, portray an amazing time in America.”–Orville Vernon Burton, author of The Age of Lincoln
“This marvelously broad and deep collection of SNCC women’s voices gives the reader a rare insight into the trials and triumphs of the black freedom struggle of the 1960s. These stories related by women at the center of the struggle are simultaneously simple and complex, diverse and united. At the same time, as they relate their own personal struggles for freedom, their voices are punctuated by passion and pain, and frustration and determination.”–Cynthia Griggs Fleming, author of Yes We Did? From King’s Dream to Obama’s Promise
“Hands on the Freedom Plow is, quite simply, a stunning collection. These stories of courage, hope, and, yes, conflict, will inspire all Americans who believe in the possibilities of democracy. This volume belongs on that short shelf of books on the Movement that must be read.”–John Dittmer, author of Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi
“This collection provides the texture and tone of that eclectic group of women who joined together in common cause, still debating and disagreeing along the way, but united by overlapping values, newfound courage, and the ambitious dream of changing the political face of the nation, which, in large part, they did. A treasure trove of stories and reflections by an amazing group of women activists.”–Barbara Ransby, author of Ella Baker and the Black Radical Tradition: A Radical Democratic Vision
“These women’s lives, spent in the freedom struggle, call to us. Their political insight and creativity make them American heroines; their strategic vision allows them to point a better way forward for all, worldwide, who aspire to equality and democracy.”–Wesley C. Hogan, author of Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC’s Dream for a New America
“A remarkable achievement, sweeping in scope, rich with detail, and infinitely readable. Without question, this is the new starting point for learning about the central role that SNCC, and women, played in the African American freedom struggle.”–Hasan Kwame Jeffries, author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt
Faith S. Holsaert, Durham, North Carolina, teacher and fiction writer, has remained active in lesbian and women’s, antiwar, and justice struggles. Martha Prescod Norman Noonan, community organizer, activist, homemaker, and teacher of history including the Civil Rights Movement, lives near Baltimore. Filmmaker and Movement lecturer Judy Richardson’s projects include the PBS documentary series Eyes on the Prize and other historical documentaries. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Betty Garman Robinson, a community organizer, lives in Baltimore and is active in the reemerging grassroots social justice movement. Jean Smith Young is a child psychiatrist who works with community mental health programs in the Washington, D.C., area. New York City consultant Dorothy M. Zellner wrote and edited for the Center for Constitutional Rights and CUNY Law School. All of the editors worked for SNCC.
The Little Black Book Of Success: Laws Of Leadership For Black Women
Nearly 40 percent of black women report that they don’t have other black women who can serve as role models, and there have been no books that specifically focus on black women and leadership—until now. Black women in today’s workforce face unique challenges as they seek to advance their careers. Performing as well as their colleagues is not enough to win leadership positions; they also need a special brand of strength and confidence to rise above the double burden of racism and sexism and tap into their true leadership potential. But where can they turn for advice?
With THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF SUCCESS: Laws of Leadership for Black Women (A One World Hardcover; March 2, 2010)—an engaging and invaluable resource guide for black women at any stage of their professional lives—Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, and Rhonda Joy McLean have pooled almost 100 years of collective wisdom and leadership experience to create the guide they wished they had along their own remarkable career paths.
What these dynamic, successful black female executives show is that the building blocks for success are often right below the surface. As they point out, “although they’re able to get jobs, many of today’s young black women don’t realize they have the potential to move themselves forward. Many black women hold leadership roles in their communities, schools, and churches, but aren’t aware that they can transfer skills from those leadership positions to the workplace. Research indicates that their talents often remain invisible both to the women who possess them and their business managers. But leadership can be taught.”
With THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF SUCCESS, you will learn how to:
• Use your duality to build strength—turn the lessons learned from the double burden of racism and sexism to your advantage
• Distinguish between “church values” and “business values”—adapt your spiritual values to business ethics without selling your soul
• Consider yourself a VIP—cultivate high self-esteem and self-leadership to maximize your potential
• Stay Positive—use your well-honed tools of affirmation to change the way you think and to develop a leader’s mental attitude
• Control and learn from your emotions—don’t let others get in the way of what you want
• Communicate like a leader—develop critical superb verbal and written communication skills
• Use the “N” word: Networking—and be sure to network outside your comfort zone
• Reach back and bring others along—when given the chance, offer a helping hand
Some leaders are born, but most leaders are made—and THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF SUCCESS will help black women at all professional levels realize their leadership potential, whether their goal is a promotion or a seat at the table in the C-suite. Let’s talk soon about THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK.
Elaine Meryl Brown, former VP, Special Markets and Cinemax Group at HBO, is an Emmy® Award-winning writer and producer who has won numerous awards in the broadcast industry. In 2007, Brown was chosen as one of The Network Journal’s “25 Influential Black Women in Business.” A favorite of Black Enterprise, she was featured in the magazine and at their Women of Power Summit. A Wheaton College Alumni Trustee and member of the Coalition of 100 Black Women (Bergen/Passaic Chapter), Brown is also the author of two novels published by One World. She lives in New Jersey.
Marsha Haygood is a powerful motivational speaker and a dynamic career and personal coach. She is the founder of StepWise Associates, LLC, a career and personal development consultancy that represents the culmination of her 25+ years experience in human resources. She was the EVP of Human Resources and Administration at New Line Cinema and at Orion Pictures, among other companies. Haygood has won numerous awards including the YMCA Black Achievement Award and the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources Trailblazer Award. In 2005, Haygood was chosen as one of The Network Journal’s “25 Influential Black Women in Business.” She and her husband live in New York and Florida.
Rhonda Joy McLean is Deputy General Counsel of Time Inc. and former Assistant Regional Director of the Northeast Region of the Federal Trade Commission. A graduate of Yale Law School, she served as chair of its alumni association, which has more than 10,000 members, and was recently elected to its fund board of directors. In 2007, McLean was chosen as one of The Network Journal’s “25 Influential Black Women in Business.” Born in Chicago, IL and reared in Smithfield, NC, McLean is a classically trained pianist and mezzo-soprano. She performs sacred music with chorales throughout the New York metropolitan area, where she resides.
Visit the book’s official web site at and social networking sites below:
- Web: www.littleblackbookofsuccess.com
- Facebook: thelittleblackbookofsuccess.com
- Twitter: @blkbooksuccess
“Going Rouge” by Sarah Palin
Reviewed by Kelly Y. Alexander
In Sarah Palin’s new book Going Rouge it is repetitively clear who she loves – Alaska. And America. And God. And Ronald Reagan. And it’s very clear who is on her enemies list – there’s the media, good old boys who condescend her, elites. Oh, and she really hates cynical McCain campaign staffers who, in her view, sabotaged her vice-presidential campaign. In essence, Going Rogue is part reticent spin, part autobiography, part payback hit job.
That’s pretty much everything you need to know about Going Rogue, the former Alaska governor’s new memoir. But Going Rogue is really a book designed to re-introduce Palin as a national political force, and — though she’s coy about this — to lay the groundwork for a 2012 presidential run.
Palin positions herself as a populist, but her populism is entirely cultural. She never misses an opportunity to tell us how weepy she gets when she thinks about our country and its military. I wouldn’t deny Palin a bit of her popularity if her populism had any economic or political substance. Early in Going Rogue she talks in detail about how Exxon exploited the people of Alaska in the Exxon Valdez disaster. And her experience with oil companies taught Palin about how big business conspires with the government to create capitalism that harms the common good. And yet, she’s incapable of understanding how the very pro-business economic agenda she peddles makes this possible. Palin’s overall political agenda amounts to nothing more than tax-cutting, deregulating and the endless repetition of GOP talking points. This is the Republican Party’s great populist hope?
In Going Rogue Ms. Palin talks unintelligently about fiscal responsibility and a strong foreign policy, and about the importance of energy independence, and she is quite up front about the fact that much of her appeal lies in her “hockey mom” ordinariness. She doesn’t pretend to have any particular knowledge about the Middle East, the Iraq war or Islamic politics — “I knew the history of the conflict,” she writes, “to the extent that most Americans did.” And she argues that “there’s no better training ground for politics than motherhood”. My thought and that of many Americans on Palin is that she’s too shallow and dangerously inexperienced for the presidency — a conclusion that early Palin supporters like George Will came to during the 2008 campaign. For conservatives in search of a great populist white hope, there is nothing in Going Rogue to challenge that conclusion. It’s like this: Palin spends seven pages whining about her appearance on Saturday Night Live, but just over one page discussing her national security views.
The self-portrait created in this book echoes my early impressions of Sarah Palin just after her debut as McCain’s VP choice: a gutsy girl who knows how to field dress a moose who was a former beauty queen with a George W. Bush-like aptitude for murdering the English language. (The first paragraph of the book contains the phrase “I breathed in an autumn bouquet that combined everything small-town America with rugged splashes of the Last Frontier”). What the he****???? Huh?
Ms. Palin’s planned book tour resembles a campaign rollout — complete with a bus tour and pit stops in battleground states — and the latter half of her book often reads like a calculated attempt to position Ms. Palin for 2012. She tries to compare herself to Ronald Reagan by repeatedly conjuring up his name and record. She talks about being “a Commonsense Conservative” and worrying about the national deficit. And she attempts to explain and rationalize the revealing mistakes she made during the 2008 race. She says that she was manipulated into doing that famous series of Katie Couric interviews (which would do much to cement her image as well-caricatured blockhead) by Nicolle Wallace, a communications aide for the campaign, and that Ms. Couric just seemed to want “to frame a ‘gotcha’ moment.”
Much of the book doesn’t deal with politics but with Ms. Palin’s life in Alaska and her family. Sarah Palin is selling a personality, not a platform. That’s not dumb. She’s doing the best she can with what she has to work with. I think it was her father who said after Palin resigned from the governorship that she was not retreating but instead reloading. If this book is any evidence of that then I think she is heading into 2012 shooting blanks.
About The Reviewer
Kelly Alexander is a freelance political writer based in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Her work has appeared in the Tennessee Tribune, Hudson Valley News, Seattle Post Intelligencer and in various online magazines. Kelly is currently is working on a collection of short stories and a novel.
The Audacity of Help by John F. Wasik
Reviewed by Gary A. Johnson
What a timely book. The Audacity of Help by John F. Wasik is one of the most comprehensive books about Barack Obama’s Economic Plan and his vision for America. Wasik is no slouch. Unlike many so-called experts, Wasik is uniquely qualified to write this book having spent time studying and following President Obama for years.
Given all of the media attention to the President’s economic plan and the distortions and misrepresentations about the President and his policies, The Audacity of Help is a comprehensive and yet easy to understand breakdown of Barack Obama’s economic plan and challenges for America.
The Audacity of Help is like reading a history book. The author provides charts and blueprints about packages passed by Congress and allows you to understand the bills and what they really mean. Wasik also takes a look at how the President’s policies will affect healthcare, education, the environment and taxes.
Each chapter is clearly structured to show “what Congress passed,” and “who benefits most,” on issues such as Unemployment Insurance Benefits, COBRA, Home Energy Credits, Early Childhood Education, and more.
This book is no joke. It deals with issues that matter to all Americans.
For me the best part of the book are the thought-provoking questions. These are the questions that really make you think about the impact these policies will have on my family now and in the future. For example:
- How will it stimulate the worst economy in a generation?
- Who will gain?
- Who will lose?
- What are his plans for reviving public education, small business, the environment, credit reform, health care, homeownership and entitlement programs?
- Which industries will benefit?
- What new jobs will be created?
This book appears to leave no stone unturned as it also compares the President’s plan with the New Deal.
Honestly, reading the book I felt as if I was studying toward an economic degree and liking it. And I hate math and economics, but I could not put this book down. The current economic climate and the author’s knowledge about the economic plan are a great match.
When President Obama took office, banks were severely impaired, companies were cutting pensions, and market disruptions and unemployment left more than 45 million people without health insurance or retirement security.
The book end asking the $64,000 dollar question: Who will pay?
The soaring national debt begs the question: How will this money be paid back? According to author Wasik, the Obamanomics mission will ultimately lead to President Obama being judged on how well his can restore and maintain prosperity. Or in other words, how will he remake or preserve the American Dream.
If you want to understand what is going on with our country’s economy, THE AUDACITY OF HELP: Obama’s Economic Plan and the Remaking of America (Bloomberg Press, August 2009), is a must-buy.
Check out Get Ready for “Son” of Stimulus Plan by John F. Wasik , on our main web site’s “Money Talks,” page.
About The Author
As the award-winning author of 13 books, John Wasik has spoken to crowds from coast to coast on investing, retirement and protecting your money. As a personal finance columnist for Bloomberg News, the world’s third-largest news service, his columns reach 400 newspapers on five continents and have appeared in The Financial Times, International Herald-Tribune, Washington Post, Orange County Register and other papers in Canada, Europe, Japan, South America and Africa.