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I’m an Author, Not an Armchair Activist

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In our last episode, we mentioned that as an author, nothing else should be expected of me rather than what you read in my books and to keep the discussion there. I prefer to speak about the imagery in “Take a Minute and Pause” in the Voices of South Central than to discuss endlessly about the subject matter in the book. I’m trying to sell it to you, the reader, not to start a rant outside of the pages of that book as many armchair activists have done online.

Armchair activists. If you have a Twitter and Facebook account, you too can play this game by constantly posting what’s wrong with our world and society that spirals out of control. However, as an author, my job is to tell you what’s going on in this world and that’s by talking about the themes and topics in the things I’m passionate about. This may offend a great deal of friends who are already posting current news and/or opinions from the philosophers or great men and women of influence in the past, but newsflash: your ‘fans’ are interested in YOU, not the postings of an anti Obama tirade. Yes, you may appeal to your fans who are just as interested as ‘freeing the sheep’ but unless you talk about your book, the same book you put an effort to produce and eventually publish, then outside of that circle, chances are the gains to attract new readers will fall short.

Look, if you’ve read my posts this far (over a thousand) then you know on what issues I stand and where my heart lies with the subjects that concern me the most. But I am a poet and author who speaks on life’s foibles, not an armchair activist who posts something on social media which eventually will be pushed further down in the news feed within a manner of seconds. If any reader wants to know who Charles L. Chatmon is, I have a website, an updated bio, even a guestbook if they want to maintain in touch (and I do suggest you sign the guestbook, smile) with me. Chatwrites2@yahoo.com is my email address. The one thing I am not nor will ever be, is an armchair activist. I have good speaking ability, but not of the legendary quality. I have stood behind a pulpit and preached a sermon twenty years ago, and while my gift of writing may be used as a ‘bully pulpit’ on paper and on screen. My job as an author is to share with you, the reader what I wrote in my published books and keep a dialogue with you in this forum about future appearances, etc., rather than recreate the Civil Rights Movement here. As I said last time, better and greater men and women than I can succeed in that task.

In a forum like this, a blog (how many folks continue to read blogs anyway?) it’s my responsibility to provide content that reveals my thoughts and feelings. You, the reader must decide if future visits here are worth your time. In a past article, I referenced websites such as the old Black Voices and Net Noir where folks had their say about Presidents Clinton and Bush, touched on the same issues as Black people we’re still going through and yet…..those websites are closed, shut down. So our armchair activism really didn’t account for much, did it?

Social media is all the rage right now, but as an author it is my hope that it doesn’t take away the human factor in going out for book signings and/or events such as the L.A. Black Book Expo. It’s created a monster in that everyone, everyone has an opinion, an agenda, a cause, a mission, you name it, everyone’s on the internet distracted from the things that matter including ‘pulling out of thin air’ philosophies that make no sense at all. Personally, I will continue to use my social media pages to post important news stories while focusing on the book scene. I seriously doubt my tirade to the president, congress or even Shoe Shine Boy will make a difference. The machinations of men will continue to grind with or without an insightful and conscious probing post. Perhaps those memes of Kermit the Frog sipping some tea while telling you whatever is none of his business will make our ‘leaders’ quake in their boots. An author shouldn’t waste time dealing with foolishness like that, nor he or she should encourage it.

Reminder: I’m an author, not a world leader, revolutionary or armchair activist. I write books and articles, not social policy.

Charles L. Chatmon
Author, President, Chatmon’s Books

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

I’m An Author, Not A World Leader or Revolutionary

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I’m an author, not a world leader or revolutionary. I write books and articles, not make strirring speeches which fire up the soul or go out in the campaign trail. Yet somehow, in this world we call the internet, it seems anyone can assume the mantle of ‘saving us’ by posting quotes from social role models, etc. It is far too easy for someone like me (and you have almost one thousand examples of this) where I use my talent to ‘influence’ others on what’s happening in the world and my own observations of it.

There comes a time when I try to heed what Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12:12 ”But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.” (New American Standard) So if the wisest man who has ever lived can make a statement like that and if writing (of books or anything is endless), then perhaps our minds are ‘worn out’ by constantly offering every opinion, every personal agenda, every point of view we hold in our social media, without knowing we’ve built a ‘fan base’ who reads and absorbs all of this – and yet we are writers.

If you have a moment, google some famous authors you know and admire. Look at their websites. If they have a social media account, look that up too. See how they interact with their fans, watch how they respond to each criticism or praise. They don’t spend time ranting about drama they have or will never control, don’t go on about the conspiracies we’re force fed to believe, the authors I’ve seen interact, keyword – INTERACT – with their fans and answer every question given to them, Maybe they offer a remedy on chicken soup, but they stay within themselves and speak their minds about a current event of the day, but not required to answer all of life’s questions in their posts. They’re human, just like you and I.

Therefore, I think it’s laughable to think even I as much as I’ve shared a lot of my personal thoughts and opinions (it is my blog you know), I have to assume the duty of a wise sage, a soothsayer for my readership. They can buy my books and look at my poems to see where I stand which is always up for debate. I also tried to offer opinions on the writing business and the changes happening before our eyes. It’s tempting not to ‘stay within oneself’ and pretend that I’m some ‘leader’ who’s leading our race towards the mountaintop. Better and greater men than I have the ability to encourage, influence and inspire the multitude. I’m not nor will ever be that person. Again, I’m an author, not a world leader.

Charles L. Chatmon
Author, President, Chatmon’s Books

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

I Love My Father, And Here’s The Reason Why

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He was there at the beginning; I was there for him at the end.

 

Note: I wrote this piece on another blog years ago. It’s appropiate to share with you now in honor of my father, Charles L. Chatmon, Sr who passed from this earth two years ago. This is a challenging day to hold on to the positive memories, the good times we shared. I often say ‘submitted for your (dis) approval’ as a nod to Mr. Serling, but I hope you folks reading this understand the effort. Thank you.
-Charles L. Chatmon

There’s a lot of sounding off by our black women these days towards black men.

They reveal hurt, disgust, disappointment and certainly a lot of pain.

The women say there are no more ‘good men’ out there and as much as the few men try to insist there are, the women continue to refuse.

But I would like to talk about the one true man I know, he’s someone I’ve learned a lot by walking in his footsteps, holding his hand and hugging him whenever possible.

My father.

Let me share this with you and I hope you understand what it means to be a true man, because desiring a man with a tool in his pants pales in comparison to what’€™s in his heart, his soul, his all. Years ago, my father approached me with some disturbing news. After a visit to the doctor, he was told he had six months to live. As anyone would react after hearing your life will end in a number of days, he broke down and cried. I should know because I broke down with him on that day back in 1992.

However, my father rebounded and with the help and love of a supportive wife and son, he attended counseling sessions at the hospital with a group of other individuals diagnosed with the same affliction. He poured out his heart, sharing his fears yet willing to go through chemotherapy to beat the disease, or to slow its progress. After the dreaded six month period, my father was the only one, the only one who continued to attend counseling while the others, passed on.

I’m sure we in this woeful generation are so fixated on our material needs, our sexual wants, and trapped in the vain fortress of our egos that we fail to realize what the true measure of a man really is. It isn’t sexing up every woman he comes across, it isn’t about the size of his hands or his tool, it’s not about the six figures and the toys that come with it, no, hell no. It’s about what you have inside, a willingness to look death right in the face and tell it to back off, there’s still more living to do. I wish I could tell all of you the times my father would return from the hospital completely worn out from chemo, not willing to go through with it any further, or going to the hospital for repeated visits and finding out someone in your class didn’t make it to see one more day. No, we’re too busy cussing each other out, pointing fingers and indulging in foolishness to learn this lesson. This is what a true man is, this is what he’s made of. It’s just a damn shame we refuse to see it even when we should.

I can say after six long years of battling his disease, my father’s illness is now in remission and continuing to live his life for as the Lord allows him to live each day. Learning from this experience and even drained of all the support I had to carry for three people, my father, my mother and myself. I learned during that time that death does call each of us and when it’s our time, we must adhere to it. However, we all have a spirit to fight, to resist, to delay the inevitable because there is still more living to do.

So the next time anyone dare says a black man is full of…..you know, I can only look at the one man who laughs at all that, who didn’t have time to listen to all that emotional verbiage but focused on what was truly important; living out the rest of his days and winning a round over death.

The true, ‘good’ man is my father.

I, as his son, am proud to know and be a man just like him.

I love him, and always will. That’s a true man to me.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

A Message to the Graduates of 2019/2020

Although he did not get to share this special moment with the graduates of 2019/2020, author and teacher Charles L. Chatmon has special words for them as well as a piece of helpful advice and encouragement for their future.

Good luck graduates! A pleasure to share one part of the journey with you. Here’s for better adventures ahead!

Charles L. Chatmon
Author, teacher and President, Chatmon’s Books

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Poetry Night, Part 3

In this edition of Poetry Night,there are a few poems for your viewing and listening pleasure.

First we would like to present, Bang! Bang!

 

Next, The Divided States of America

 

Third, there is a reason why The Fire Still Burns

 

The Tears of a Mother

 

Last, a piece that will no doubt provoke a reaction, but much needed for our times: I Am A Man

 

Thank you for your support over the years of poetry and conscious pieces to be heard. Please contact us if you have questions.

Charles L. Chatmon
Author, President: Chatmon’s Books

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Literary Speak Interview

This is an interview for Literary Speak for KPAS Channel 56 in the beautiful city of Pasadena, California. (2007).

I had the pleasure of sharing the interview with the ultra-talented author Margo Candela (More Than This, good-bye to all that). If you have time to spare (with this pandemic, I’m sure you do) Take a look at this interview moderated by C. Debra Thomas. I believe you will enjoy what you’re about to see.

Charles L. Chatmon
Author/President, Chatmon’s Books

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Adding My Two Cents

Hey folks,

I posted this on several of my social media feeds yesterday. I wasn’t looking for likes or follows. That wasn’t my intent. I wanted to show a solution to all of the negativity surrounding us recently. I only hope the message below shows that and begins to lead to a better way for all of us. I love you all. Take care.

Charles L. Chatmon
President, Chatmon’s Books

Screenshot_2020-06-04 Charles L Chatmon ( chatwrites) • Instagram photos and videos

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The Real Answer on #LABBX


Here it is; the $64,000 question:

“Mr. Chatmon, did you enjoy your time as executive director of the L.A. Black Book Expo?”

There is no one answer, right or wrong on this subject. I will say that my first year was probably the best. I enjoyed holding it at the Expo Center which to me was the perfect place to hold it. After that year, that’s when it became a challenge. If you reader, seen my comments on #LABBX before, rest assured I do not regret my decision of assuming control of the Expo from the late, great Dr. Itibari M. Zulu who passed away last year. He sent an email to me in 2006 after the LABBX for that year was cancelled. He accepted a job out of state and because of my work with the California Writers Collective, I accepted his request and began right to work on the event.

If one were to ask me what did #LABBX do to my writing career? I will have to say it suffered a setback. Truth be told, #LABBX basically steered me away from writing more books at that time. The Voices of South Central was already in its third year plus I have attended all of the local literary events I could, but felt #LABBX was needed to help promote my fellow authors in L.A. There weren’t too many literary festivals outside the Black Writers Festival at the Howard Hughes Center and the Black Writers on Tour. As far as my creativity in writing more books, I feel now #LABBX took me away from my primary goal of becoming a writer/author. I should have stuck with my dream and just said, “Thanks, but not interested.” If I had done that, I don’t know how much farther along I would be in my writing career right now. Perhaps I may have published another book or two.

Like I said I don’t regret my time as #LABBX executive director at all. I have met lots of interesting authors who are actresses, businesswomen, entrepreneurs, fellow visionaries, and just plain writing for the joy of selling a book and selling it. It was the sales part at the expo that often caused the most trouble (smile). I am a writer. I love it, enjoyed this ‘hobby’ since elementary school and with all my shortcomings, I love this literary artistry the most. I look back at this now and wonder what I would have done differently. What should I have said, what could I have done to make #LABBX a positive experience for everybody? Maybe I shouldn’t have listened to too many people who offered suggestions on the venue, how to increase the size of the crowd, what programs to add. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that and just kept it simple as when Dr. Zulu ran his portions of #LABBX. Perhaps I was too ambitious, maybe I wasn’t ambitious enough.

I know to this day I will be criticized, praised, however folks who were past exhibitors, attendees, or associates feel about their time at #LABBX. It doesn’t really matter anymore. I don’t plan on running another literary event, ever. The growth of digital platforms and our changing city of Los Angeles are taking care of that. It’s becoming a city now where someone who looks like me isn’t welcome. So that’s it. I guess in the final analysis, my answer now might be, I enjoyed my time at #LABBX. I can’t regret that. I only regret that it took away my momentum on the writing I was involved with. I’m glad Itibari chose me, definitely glad. I just wish it wasn’t at the cost of my writing career.

Charles L. Chatmon
Former Executive Director
Los Angeles Black Book Expo

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Poetry Night, Part Two

Here’s part two of Poetry Night. I’m going to force you folks to listen to my poems darn it! (smile). I hope you enjoy what you hear and if you do, please let me know. Thanks!







 
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Posted by on May 13, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Poetry Night

Most of you know our owner is an accomplished writer and poet. Here he is sharing his written works with you. Please enjoy the following selections at your leisure. Thank you.







 
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Posted by on May 12, 2020 in Uncategorized

 
 
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