Monthly Archives: December 2020

The Story of Shontell, Explained

From Thoughts on a String, 1/4/2018:

For those of you just tuning in…….

2018 has already started to be a year of hard choices and challenges. I should act as if I should care, but I really don’€™t. Whatever is going to happen will and whatever doesn’€™t, nothing to get excited about. It is all about the Storm, though…..

Let’€™s get to the main event; The Story of Shontell. This is a poem that is part of Storm over South Central, the anthology coming out this year. I’€™d like to share more of Shontell’€™s story and why it’€™s important for her tale to come out. You may state a Black man has no business writing about a young Black girl, but as a teacher who has met many Shontells over the years; this is very much my business.

As a ‘€˜conscious’€™ writer or as someone who writes about South (Central) Los Angeles, I must be honest and present the positive as well as the negative of what goes on in the neighborhood. In 2003 when The Voices of South Central was published, much of the poems I wrote about were a reflection of what I’ve seen, heard and experienced as a teacher, a volunteer counselor for my local YMCA, a resident of the community. So I know of what I write about here.

There is a Shontell in each of our lives. She’€™s faced so-called ‘€˜directionless dudes’€™ who left her nothing but a bloated belly and a newborn in their wake. The reality of writing ‘€˜conscious’€™ poetry is to touch on the subjects we’€™d rather not discuss or talk about. To keep them private as we celebrate Black Girls Rock and Black Girl Magic. Shontell may eventually have her day in the sun but as the poem will show, that day is a far off. We men have to be more disciplined when approaching a young woman like Shontell and display our gentleman-like qualities to them or better yet, practice before you approach.

Women want a real man, and when they say that from their lips, they want a man young or old, to have a depth of knowledge, able to speak clearly and concisely about what’€™s on our minds, to prove our passions aren’t restricted in our pants but rather what do we have to advance ourselves and hopefully a woman who takes a chance to build a life with us. It’€™s no mistake Black women are in the media doing big things now. It’€™s not because we Black men have failed, but there haven’€™t been many of us who tried and succeeded past the street-like attitude we’€™re content to remain in, our social quicksand, so to speak.

Of course, we Black men have heard this before along with the criticisms that devalue our worth in this society. This isn’€™t to place the blame squarely on those directionless dudes, but to acknowledge Shontell is in the predicament she’€™s in merely on her choices with the men she’€™s fooled around with. You and I make choices that affect our lives believe it or not. Whether or not we stand our ground or run away from those decisions depends on each of us. Shontell made her decision in the poem as you will find out. It is a life choice many of us rich or poor, Black, brown or white either has made or will make. The Story of Shontell is a poem that I hope book clubs, schools, libraries and readers will give great pause and consideration for discussion. It’€™s time we deal with the Shontells in our lives. Not to learn or criticize their example, but to take the time out and show them how much we love them without prejudice, to be by their side if help is needed.

(P.S. Here’s the poem)

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 31, 2020 in Uncategorized


Thoughts on a String Podcasts #1

In July, Charles started his series of podcasts based on topics from his blog, Thoughts on a String These thoughts are Charles’s musings on the world we live in, plus an opinion or two of the state of the writing business. For this first entry, we present the first three TOAS entries: The Opinions Expressed….., Cancel Social Media, and Rely on Faith. We hope these musings provide food for thought as we enter into a brand new year.

For more TOAS and poetic content, be sure to subscribe to Charles’s YouTube channel.

The Opinions Expressed………..
Cancel Social Media
Rely on Faith
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 31, 2020 in Uncategorized


Last Poems for 2020

As we’re headed to the end of a very interesting year of 2020 A.D., here are a few selections of the poetic works of Charles L. Chatmon, our owner. You will see by the book covers of the following videos where the poems come from, plus a couple that are not published. Please take some time from your busy day to listen to these inspirational words. Happy New Year to all of you.

A Girl in a Woman’s Body – The Depths of My Soul
The Story of Shontell from the upcoming book, Storm Over South Central
The Story of The Homeless – from the upcoming Storm Over South Central
The Drug of Racism – unpublished poem
South L.A. is not What it Seems – unpublished poem
So You Wanna Be a Leader – The Depths of My Soul
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 31, 2020 in Uncategorized


This Week’s Picks

Selected books for December 11, 2020

Books featured are available in our bookstore.

Through The Fire…..journal of a child star

Order it here

Danielle Spencer

Once described by Entertainment Weekly to be “easily one of the best bratty siblings in TV history.”, Danielle Spencer describes her surreal transition from her life in New York City to Hollywood. With humor, she details her life and activities after the show What’s Happening ended, until she is met with a challenge that reveals her inner strength.

Streetz Gon’ Cry

Anthony Barrow & Tracey “Big Tray Deee” Davis

Order it here

West South Central itself is the size of most average cities. Overall, it is inhabited by doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, laborers and students. Interwoven within that fabric of citizens are die-hard gang-bangers, murderers and drug-dealers. Of this latter component, you have the King Crips and the Vernon Boys, who have an on-and off rivalry. Both sets have their vision locked on controlling the coke trade in the Crenshaw District. Notorious ride-or-die and hustler, Carter, from Vernon Boys is fresh out of the state penitentiary. During his absence, surreptitious acts of betrayal have placed his hood on the brink of implosion. Yet, Carter has returned with a plan and a purpose. With his mentor Wolf directing traffic from behind the walls of federal prison, Carter only needs to clean up his own backyard and then put the remainder of his pieces in their proper position in order to assume authority of the West Side’s illicit cash flow. Motivated by a deeper intent than mere ballin’ and flossin’, each of his executions are strategically calibrated to propel Carter and the Vernon Boys ahead of any and all competition vying for the top spot in the game. Will he survive long enough to realize his dreams?

Upon the Face of the Deep

Geri Chatmon

Order it here

“How many steps are required to discover the truth? Geri Chatmon has answered by chronicling her longtime pursuit of one of life’s most elusive necessities. First marching, then performing and now writing, her personal pilgrimage assists us all on our journey down the vital path to truth. For Geri, the first phase of pursuing truth was frontline activism. The rhythm of some of these writings mimic the tangible sounds of feet marching for civil rights and justice in the American south. Each step brought her, and now us, closer to the truth.

That’s it for this week! Please select the ‘Order it here’ link if any of our week’s selections interests you. We plan to make this a weekly feature with all of our books.

Be sure to visit us at to see all of our titles! See you then!

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 11, 2020 in Uncategorized


Our Inventory (First Post)

How many of you good folks are looking for a book to read this holiday season? Guess what? Here at Chatmon’s Books, we may have what you want. Just take a look at the few books on display here and if you don’t see anything you like, please visit our website at Chatmon’s Books. Make buying a good book for a friend or family member part of your end of 2020 plans. We hope you will check us out. Take care!

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 9, 2020 in Uncategorized

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: