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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Review: Our Color, Our Kind

Note: the following is from North Bay Media Review.com

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Our Color, Our Kind

Luther C. Wallace III

Paperback: 200 pages

Publisher: Authorhouse (August 31, 2005)

Language: English

ISBN: 1420865099

Product Dimensions: 9.0 x 6.0 x 0.5 inches

 

In 2005, Luther C. Wallace III wrote Our Color, Our Kind in what’s described as ‘ a male bedside reader’. Unfortunately, he will never enjoy the fruits of his labor as he passed away later in the year. However in this posthumous collection of short stories, Mr. Wallace’s deft but insightful storytelling is a pure delight for the readers who will never get to know the real Luther C. Wallace, except through his words.

In Our Color, Our Kind, you witness stories of a couple who through their son’s violent act, are forced to face the hideous fact everything they’ve gain, they might lose in ‘Rage Noir’; ‘Mack Daddy’ is a wonderful change of pace showing  why players get played, a black woman gets an education in “B’FUPY and the Native’, speaking of education, one man learns quite a lot from a lover in “Education Is a Dangerous Thing”, “What’s Wrong with Me?” deals with the addiction that has many people asking the same thing, and “I See the Party Lights” shows us the folly of war and the results of veterans who witness the atrocities of it.

The book takes an extraordinary view into the black experience through objective eyes and Mr. Wallace definitely displayed the skills of a great writer. His literary candor is excellent, his characters riveting. You feel pathos and disgust towards them while at the same time, you feel the pain, the joys and the life of a man or woman in ebony skin goes through on a daily basis.

Our Color, Our Kind is truly a gift from a great man who shares the human condition of this life through well-written tales and our place in it.

 

-Charles L. Chatmon

Author of The Depths of My Soul

and The Voices of South Central

Websites: http://www.charleslchatmon.com, http://www.chatmonsbooks.com

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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Review: Heart of Thorns

Note: the following is from North Bay Media Review.com

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Heart of Thorns

Abdullah K. Rahmani

with Carolyn L. Miller

Milligan Books

ISBN: 0976767848

January 2006

 

Imagine going through life as a young boy, witnessing the brutal beatings of a father upon a mother; realizing your deeper fears come true with the caretaker of the house, watching your country invaded by an outside nation, then escaping to a place called America, finally realizing you have a life and a right to live out your destiny as you see fit.

This is the life experience growing up for one Abdullah K. Rahmani’s  Heart of Thorns, as told to the readers by Carolyn L. Miller. In this book, you’ll read about Mr. Rahmani’s years growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan before the Soviet occupation in 1979, during the invasion and after, fleeing to America for safety. Along the way, you’ll read about how Mr. Rahmani grew up, the friends he made, the people that violated his body and mind, and it will shock you to find out who, and feeling his heartfelt love for his family although his father’s violent displays towards his mother and his mother’s denial of affection create a heart of thorns that eventually Abdullah learns to shed, no matter how painful it is.

Upon reading this book, I didn’t quite figure out right away Mr. Rahmani was part of a family of influence in his native country until later. He gives a vivid and graphic detail of the rapes he encountered, the feelings of sadness when he doesn’t feel the love his heart requires from his parents, his fears about the day the Soviet tanks entered Kabul is a emotionally stirring account of what he witnessed on the streets while at the same time, reuniting with his parents and planning their escape; and while the reader may not agree with Mr. Rahmani’s sexual preference, they will come away with the feeling that there are things you can change, and things you cannot. I found this to be a good read and through history lesson. It is amazing that Mr. Rahmani could remember in exact detail all of the bittersweet things that affected his maturing years and uses them as a form of catharsis to heal himself. Heart of Thorns is a benefit into forgiveness and healing each of us can profit from, no matter who or what we are.

 

Charles L. Chatmon

Author of The Depths of My Soul

and The Voices of South Central

Websites: http://www.charleslchatmon.com, http://www.chatmonsbooks.com

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Mildred Harrison: First Black American Woman Imprisoned in Vietnam

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Note: the following comes from North Bay Media Review.com.

Mildred Harrison: First Black American Woman Imprisoned in Vietnam

Vantage Press

ISBN: 0533136288

New York 2002

Imagine if you were locked away in a foreign prison for three days. You share a cell with people you barely know, uncertain when or if you’ll ever see freedom again. Then be dismayed if the people who put you away are from a country which is an ally of the United States.

Sounds impossible to be true? Not for Mildred Harrison. It happened to her and in her book, Mildred Harrison: First Black American Woman Imprisoned in Vietnam, it was very true. Although the book is only 63 pages long, and doesn’t offer the ‘shock’ value of contemporary novels, reading Mrs. Harrison’s story will make you cry, make you weep and provokes anger. The book begins with Mrs. Harrison, an entertainer who desires to perform for the troops stationed in South Vietnam. What she finds is something she had not prepared for. A brief detainment with Vietnamese customs begins a nightmare for Mrs. Harrison which will test her faith and spirit as she holds out hope for her release from prison.

I found this book to be a testament of what happens to normal Americans, even those sent to encourage our boys in uniform, in other countries where there are no rules, no sense of protection and no hope. The reader will discover, as I unfortunately did, of the government’s reaction to Mrs. Harrison’s plight and after all these years, how she coped with her ordeal. Mildred Harrison may not be provocative as modern tell-all books, but this is one book everyone needs to read and learn from.

Mildred Harrison, 2005

 

Charles L. Chatmon

Author of The Depths of My Soul and The Voices of South Central

Websites: http://www.charleslchatmon.com, http://www.chatmonsbooks.com

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Arts in Action Interview, 2010

The following is from Vallejo’s cable station, VCAT. The program is Arts in Action with host Shaaron Fox. In this 2010 interview with Chatmon’s Books co-owner Charles Chatmon, they discuss the creation of the mobile bookstore, the events Charles has participated in, and the books sold. This is also pre-ChatmonsBooks.com. The two interviews are approximately 30 minutes long. If you have time, please take a seat and enjoy.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

The Sentencing of Mrs. Douglass for Teaching Negro Children to Read

The Sentencing of Mrs. Douglass for Teaching Negro Children to Read
1853 Norfolk, Virginia

Judge Baker awards maximum punishment to foster respect for Virginia slave code

….Upon an indictment found against you for assembling with negroes to instruct them to read and write, and for associating with them in an unlawful assembly, you were found guilty, and a mere nominal fine imposed……The Court is not called on to vindicate the policy of the law in question, for so long as it remains upon the statute book, and unrepealed, public and private justice and morality require that it should be respected and sustained. There are persons, I believe, in our community, opposed to the policy of the law in question. They profess to believe that universal intellectual culture is necessary to religious instruction and education, and that such culture is suitable to a state of slavery; and there can be no misapprehension as to your opinion on the subject, judging from the indiscreet freedom with which you spoke of your regard of the colored race in general. Such opinions in the present state of our society I regard as manifestly mischievous. It is not true that our slaves cannot be taught religious and moral duty, without being able to read the Bible and use the pen……

A valuable report of document recently published in the city of New York by the Southern Aid Society sets forth many valuable and important truths upon the condition of the Southern slaves, and the utility of moral and religious instruction, apart from a knowledge of books. I recommend the careful perusal of it all whose opinions concur with your own. It shows that a system of catechetical instruction, with a clear and simple exposition of Scripture, has been employed with gratifying success; that the slaves of the South are peculiarly susceptible of good religious influences. Their mere residence among a Christian people has wrought a great and happy change in their condition: they have been raised from the night of heathenism to the light of Christianity, and thousands of them have been brought to a saving knowledge of the Gospel.

Of the one hundred millions of the negro race, there cannot be found another so large a body as the three millions of slaves in the United States, at once so intelligent, so inclined to the Gospel, and so blessed by the elevating influence of civilization and Christianity. Occasional instances of cruelty and oppression, it is true, may sometimes occur, and probably will ever continue to take place under any system of laws; but this is not confined to wrongs committed upon the negro; wrongs are committed and cruelty practiced in a like degree by the lawless white man upon his own color; and while the negroes of our own town and State are known to be surrounded by most of the substantial comforts of life, and invited by precept and example to participate in proper, moral and religious duties, it argues, it seems to me, a sickly sensibility towards them to say their persons, and feelings, and interests are not sufficiently respected by our laws,……

…….The first legislative provision upon this subject was introduced in the year 1831, immediately succeeding the bloody scenes of the memorable Southampton insurrection; and that law being not found sufficiently penal to check the wrongs complained of, was reenacted with additional penalties in the year of 1848, which last mentioned act, after several years’ trial and experience, has been re-affirmed by adoption, and incorporated into our present code. After these several and repeated recognitions of the wisdom and propriety of the said act, it may well be said that bold and open opposition to it is a matter not to be slightly regarded…….

There have been no occasion for such enactments in Virginia, or elsewhere, on the subject of negro education, but as a manner of self-defense against the schemes of Northern incendiaries, and the outcry against holding our slaves in bondage. Many now living remember how, and when, and why the anti-slavery fury began, and by what means its manifestations were made public. Our mails were clogged with abolition pamphlets and inflammatory documents, to be distributed among our Southern negroes to induce them to cut our throats….These, however, were not the only means resorted to by the Northern fanatics to stir up insubordination among our slaves. They scattered far and near pocket handkerchiefs, and other similar articles, with frightful engravings, and printed over with anti-slavery nonsense, with the view to work upon the feeling and ignorance of our negroes…..Under such circumstances there was but one measure of protection for the South, and that was adopted.

….In vindication of the policy and justness of our laws, which every individual should be taught to respect, the judgment of the Court is, in addition to the proper fine and costs, that you be imprisoned for the period of one month…….

Blog Host Note: The 1831 Southampton insurrection the judge is referring to? Clicking on this link will explain fully why this slave code was enacted.

Article taken from The Negro Heritage Library: The Winding Road to Freedom (1965)
A Documentary Survey of Negro Experiences in America
Edited by Alfred E. Cain

Note: all articles are typed verbatim – exactly as printed in the book.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Editorial in the Inaugural Edition of the North Star

Editorial in the Inaugural Edition of the North Star
December 3, 1847, Rochester, New York

Frederick Douglass dedicates his newspaper to cause of Negro

TO OUR OPPRESSED COUNTRYMEN

We solemnly dedicate the North Star to the cause of our long oppressed and plundered fellow countrymen. May God bless the offering to your good! It shall fearlessly assert your rights, faithfully proclaim your wrongs, and earnestly demand for you instant and even-handed justice. Giving no quarter to slavery at the South, it will hold no truce with oppressors at the North. While it shall boldly advocate emancipation for our enslaved brethren, it will omit no opportunity to gain for the nominally free, complete enfranchisement. Every effort to injure or degrade you or your cause – originating whosesoever, or with whomsoever – shall find in it a constant, unswerving and inflexible foe.

We shall energetically assail the ramparts of Slavery and Prejudice, be they composed of church and state, and seek the destruction of every refuge of lies, under which tyranny may aim to conceal and protect itself.

Among the multitude of plans proposed and opinions held, with reference to our cause and condition, we shall try to have a mind of our own, harmonizing with al as far as we can, and differing from any and all where we must, but always discriminating between men and measures. We shall cordially approve every measure and effort calculated to advance your sacred cause, and strenuously oppose any which in our opinion may tend to retard its progress. In regard to our position, on questions that have unhappily divided the friends of freedom in this country, we shall stand in our paper where we have ever stood on the platform. Our views written shall accord with our views spoken, earnestly seeking peace with all men, when it can be secured without injuring the integrity of our movement, and never shrinking from conflict or division when summoned to vindicate truth and justice.

While our paper shall be mainly Anti-Slavery, its columns shall be freely opened to the candid and decorous discussions of all measures and topics or a moral and humane character, which may serve to enlighten, improve, and elevate mankind. Temperance, Peace, Capital Punishment, Education, – all subjects claiming the attention of the public mind may be freely and fully discussed here.

While advocating your rights, the North Star will strive to throw light on your duties; while it will not fail to make known your virtues, it will not shun to discover your faults. To be faithful to our foes it must be faithful to ourselves, in all things.

Remember that we are one, that our cause is one, and that we must help each other, if we would succeed. We have drunk to the dregs the bitter cup of slavery; we have worn the heavy yoke; we have sighed beneath our bonds, and writhed beneath the bloody lash; —— cruel mementoes of our oneness are indelibly marked in our living flesh. We are one with you under the ban of prejudice and prescription – one with you under the slander of inferiority – one with you in social and political disfranchisement. What you suffer, we suffer; what you endure, we endure. We are indissolubly united, and must fall or flourish together.

We feel deeply the solemn responsibility which we have now assumed. We have seriously considered the importance of the enterprise, and have now entered upon it with full purpose of heart. We have nothing to offer in the way of literary ability to induce you to encourage us in our laudable undertaking. You will not expect or require this at our hands. The most you can reasonably expect, or that we can safely promise, is, a paper of which you need not be ashamed. Twenty-one years of severe bondage at the South, and nine years of active life at the North, while it has afforded us the best possible opportunity for storing our mind with much practical and important information, has left us little time for literary pursuits or attainments. We have yet to receive the advantage of the first day’s schooling. In point of education, birth and rank, we are one with yourselves, and of yourselves. What we are, we are not only without help, but against trying opposition. Your knowledge of our history for the last seven years makes it necessary for us to say more on this point. What we have been in your cause, we shall continue to be; and not being too old to learn, we may improve in many ways. Patience and Perseverance shall be our motto.

We shall be the advocates of learning, from the very want of it, and shall most readily yield the deference due to men of education among us; but shall always bear in mind to accord most merit to those who have labored hardest, and overcome most, in the praise-worthy pursuit of knowledge, remembering “that the whole need not a physician, but they that are sick”, and that “the strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak.”

Brethren, the first number of the paper is before you. It is dedicated to your cause. Through the kindness of our friends in England, we are in possession of an excellent printing press, types, and all other materials necessary for printing a paper. Shall this gift be blest to our good, or shall it result in our injury? It is for you to say. With your aid, co-operation and assistance, our enterprise will be entirely successful. We pledge ourselves that no effort on our part shall be wanting, and that no subscriber shall lose his subscription – “The North Star Shall Live.”

The North Star, December 3, 1847

Article taken from The Negro Heritage Library: The Winding Road to Freedom (1965)
A Documentary Survey of Negro Experiences in America
Edited by Alfred E. Cain

Note: all articles are typed verbatim – exactly as printed in the book.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
 
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