Sunday, June 25, 2017

Once upon a time there were FOUR women (that we know of) who refused to give up their bus seats

Before Rosa Parks there was Irene Morgan. Actually, there was Mary Louise Smith and Claudette Colvin too. Miss Morgan displayed courage a full 11 years (1944), in Virginia, before Mrs. Parks. Miss Colvin expressed her humanity 9 months before Mrs. Parks' 1955 act. Miss Smith expressed herself in October 1955, two months before Parks. At that rate, there were probably a slew more being civilly disobedient.

The earlier women set the groundwork for when Rosa Parks would stand her ground. In any case, all four women declared enough was enough on their particular day in history.

I can imagine. Sometimes, you just gotta say "Eff it! Bring it on!" and let the cow chips fall where they will.

Irene Morgan Kirkaldy

Claudette Colvin

Mary Louise Smith

Rosa Parks

Side note: The NAACP though involved with legal support in all the cases, made Mrs. Parks' bid the one for the history books. Some say she was chosen to carry the banner because she fit the "respectability politics" profile the organization was striving for in that era. Yanno, the whole "show the country we are just like them. just a different color" route. Rosa was older, married, childless and wed to a card-carrying member of the NAACP. Miss Colvin was 15, pregnant and the time of her incident. I do not know what the situation was about Miss Morgan. She was 27 when she was harassed on the bus she was riding. Sources say she had two kids and had married twice in her life but I do not know what her status was at the time of her arrest. Seems the NAACP went with the sure thing theory. It worked.

Whatevs. I applaud these women.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Be still my fluttering heart! POWER returns on Sunday night

POWER. My guilty pleasure like a few other TV shows. Except this gem is on Starz. It gets compared to Fox's EMPIRE but really, they are two completely different programs. Both have formerly incarcerated lead characters who are now legit. But where Cookie and Lucious have left jail behind and are music moguls trying hard to keep on the straight and narrow (Yeah, good luck with that) ..Poor James "Ghost" St. Patrick, on POWER, and his ride-or-die wife, Tasha, aren't so lucky.

Both shows have executives who've built their legacies on past drug dealing but the game just won't leave Ghost et al. alone. This is where it gets rough. Since it's cable, POWER goes places EMPIRE can't. Key characters die on this show. People do truly ratchet ish to each other and claim, "It's only business." Unsettling. As I've said, both are entertaining but one is Yoplait and the other is a kefir with bite.

When POWER's third season ended, Ghost (who'd thought he'd escaped his old life) was being arrested, in one of his night clubs, for murder. He was set up and was sent up the river for a stay at the big house courtesy of the State. There are so many backstories and moving pieces that one can get giddy if one is not paying attention.

Ghost is such a complicated, brooding, adulterous dude. An alpha in every sense. Not my fav type of guy but actor Omari Hardwick pulls it off beautifully. I actually root for him. His TV wife, Tasha, as played by Naturi Naughton is Ghost's equal. Tasha loves her man but she goes to some shocking extremes to let others know that. And endures his cheating ways. Girlfriend is a tad too ride-or-die for me. Let's just say even my mouth dropped at the things she's done.

Season 4 starts with Ghost being sent to jail, his re-acclimation there and a come-to-Jesus visit from Tasha to brainstorm about how who framed him, how to get revenge and how to get his freedom. Since Tasha is the one on the outside, I'll be watching and waiting for her to go into mercenary mode. The ensemble cast is stellar and after the principals I have to admit that the characters of Tommy Egan, Ghost's down-for-anything friend, as played by Joseph Sikora, and Jukebox as played by Anika Noni Rose are a wonder to behold. This season is gonna be off the chain.

Anyhoo, season 4 starts Sunday, June 25 at 9pm EST on Starz. Watch the trailer for season 4 below.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Little known Black history fact - Emancipation Park and the celebration of Juneteenth in Texas

Today is Juneteenth. June 19th, 1865. That's the annual remembrance of when the news of the emancipation of U. S. slaves hit Texas. Finally. As time progressed, freed blacks in Texas had scant places to hold subsequent celebrations of that fact. Finally, some prominent freedmen pooled their meager resources to buy a plot of land to hold the festivities in Houston. Cost? 800 hundred bucks. 800 hundred smackerroos to crave out a place to party. And that's if one could get there.

Hence, the birth of Emancipation Park in Houston, TX.

Per the usual, folk began to forget how hardwon the freedom was and started to let the land fall into disrepair, or just plain didn't show up anymore. 2007 was the last celebration. But loal agencies and locals period realized how important this plot of land was and a plan was drawn up to revive the place and the celebration.

This past weekend, a $33.6 million dollar re-do was unveiled and the park was placed back in action.

Long live Juneteenth and Emancipation Park!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Women so beautiful their confidence offends others! Models Nyakim Gatwech, Khoudia Diop and actress Lupita N'yongo

I'm still rubbing my eyes because this woman is uber-gorgeous. Meet Nyakim Gatwech. Sudanese model and beauty extraordinaire living in Minneapolis now. I do hope she retains her high self-esteem as she navigates the dog-eat-dog world of modeling. And stays herself. No imitation of others. And please, girl. No bleaching. No blond weave. No. Just no.

This is the woman whose phenotype has been ignored in historical romance writing, but graces the majority of the heroines in MY historical romances. Alabaster. Lily-White. Rosy, If as a reader, your historical romance heroines must wear those words...Don't pick up my historicals. Okay? You'll be disappointed. Those adjectives are quite absent in my books as they do not describe my heroines. If you want a break from the usual heroines,,,Then we can talk.

Ms. Gatwech's pictorials, and any photo of fellow model Khoudia Diop and any photo of actress Lupita N'yomgo, give me life. Stay true ladies no matter what. Anyone can be somebody else. It takes guts to stay you.

Meet The Beautiful Sudanese Model Nicknamed The “Queen Of The Dark”
Meet The Beautiful Sudanese Model Nicknamed The “Queen Of The Dark”

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Willie Francis vs. the State

I read this book awhile back. Broke my heart. But it's part of America's history and NOTHING TO BE PROUD ABOUT! Not a shining USA moment.

Anyhoo, read about the kid.'s 1st botched execution, the bogus trials and then the final killing blow in 1947, check out the article and consider the books below. There also was a Hollywood film made.

The 2008 book is The Execution of Willie Francis by Gilbert King.

The fictionalized account of the matter was the subject of Ernest Gaines' book A Lesson Before Dying.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Little Known Black History Fact: Nubia, The Black Wonder Woman

First off, I ADORED the new Wonder Woman film. Okay? No shade from me. I love a kick-butt chick in any hue. BUT Diana Prince did have a sister/side-kick/adversary in the comic books. Oh, pardon me. Graphic novels. From 1973 to the 200's Diana had Nubia by her side. A black chick who ruled an island of men. She and her crew kept those suckers in line. The '70s TV show of Wonder Woman was supposed to have Nubia on it. The late Teresa Graves of Get Christie Love fame had been signed for the role but..You know how that goes. Too much fierceness? Too much beauty in one place? Too much competition? I suppose if a black woman wasn't cooking, cleaning or wearing a maid's outfit, TV viewers would be stumped as to why she'd be on the screen. Funny. Julia. The afore-mentioned Get Christie Love. Even Mannix from years before had black female important characters who didn't play servants. Oh, well. I would have liked to have seen Linda Carter and Teresa Graves share the screen. and beat backside together. Maybe Diana and Nubia will be in the current movie's sequel?

Anyway, read more about Nubia at the above link.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Innocent by-stander to a car crash, is horribly engulfed in flames, has guns drawn on him, and is beaten by cops

A deceased uncle of mine would have said, "What mess is this?" And it IS a mess. Not APPEARS to be a mess. It IS a mess. And it's Jersey City, NJ. NO SURPRISE THERE. Law enforcement were a tad TOO eager in their duties. But don't fear. They will find a way to weasel out of any culpability. I think I'm going to puke. This poor guy wasn't even the one they were after. Watch the video and decide for yourself.

My questions:
When has a drawn gun ever put out a fire?
Why have guns been drawn on a man engulfed in flames in the first gotdamn place? It's not even the dude they were chasing!

Maybe it's just me but would not covering him in cloth, or spraying him him with water have stopped the fire? Not kicking and unholstered guns?

I'm weary. So weary.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The 23rd Regiment of the United States Colored Infantry

The regiment was crucial to many battles won  during the American Civil War. They were the 1st of the Colored Troops to engage Gen. Robert E. Lee's Confederate troops in combat. Lee's Army and the 23rd clashed on May 15th, 1864 in Spotsylvania, VA. They went on to be joined by the 30th Colored Infantry to beat down an advancement made by Gen. Thomas L. G. Rosser  Southern troops. Success in another battle was legendary: Battle of the Crater in Petersburg, VA (re-enacted in the film, Cold Mountain). Read more about these brave souls at the link above.


Take a gander at this playa! William A. Messley, a member of the U. S. Colored Infantry Regiment just chillin'

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Dorothy Counts - Little known Black history fact

As a teen, she was the 1st African-American to integrate Harry Harding High School in Charlotte, N. C. She was spit upon and had trash tossed at her as she walked the gauntlet to the school's entrance. I really don't think i possess such guts. But bless her. The level of ugliness is, was unfathomable. Look at those cretins! But it cracked a system that certain towns and cities STILL try to circumvent today. Hats off to you in any case, Dot! You are truly the BETTER woman.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

David Blackwell - Statistician and math wizzard

David Blackwell (1919-2010). Mathematical genius and a 1st in many circles. Wow. I used this man’s math textbook back in high school and didn’t know it had been written by him. His 1969 text, Basic Statistics is STILL used today.Terrible in math as a child, his mom made him face what made the discipline hard to grasp. And when he mastered that…The rest is history. His statistics textbook made the subject easier for me. As far as statistics goes as being in anyone’s top ten, it reached number 4 after trigonometry for me. Don’t ask me about geometry. I detested it and still do ‘til this day.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

HARLEQUIN lays down the hammer!

HARLEQUIN. The name that when people, not in the romance writing business, or people not familiar with the romance writing business, or people who could not care less about the romance writing business, hear makes them stare blankly or go “Oh, please!” is set to close out five (5) of its series category lines. Fewer bosoms will quiver. Fewer shirtless chests will gleam. Fewer swarthy, foreign billionaire/potentates will have the opportunity to toss their domains at the feet of American nannies, secretaries, exchange students. And zero black heroines and heroes written by black authors will be presented in a line devoted to them. Scheduled for demolition are the category lines SuperRomance, Love Inspired Historical, Western, Nocturne, and Kimani.

Seems indie publishing is kicking the venerated, old girl’s butt. They supposedly are not bringing in the money like they used to nor the readers. Seems the old warhorse can’t figure out how to keep pace with what the indies are creating. I see the problem as the indies are just that: creative. They are telling stories which is what storytelling is about. Not how well one can follow boring, limiting submission guidelines. And Harlequin has boring guidelines for each of these lines like they do for all their lines. But have you ever read them? Yikes. Behind-the-times is what comes to mind when one reads them. Behind-the-times because abiding by those guidelines will have Harlequin forever playing catch-up with the competition.

To progress, a business can’t keep churning out the same type of books, grab the attention span of today’s reader and stay afloat. I know the company made its bones on delivering on the fantasies of women, married and unmarried some 50 years ago. That tried-and-true base grew to love the formulaic, the routine the comfort and the stability in their lines. But times have changed. Seems readers want it hot and hotter. They want it more realistic and unpredictable. A company cannot keep churning out sheik romances, Indian romances (American and East) and any European magnate or royalty romances without adding some authenticity to them.

Just can’t do it.

Nope. Not if a company is looking to attract more readers. Readers who are younger, more-worldly, are not all white, and mainly who are not game for fakeness or stereotypes, no matter how unintended. Sorry. But books with made-up countries run by foreign rulers who act like Westerners don’t cut it. Case in point. I tried a book, ONE BOOK by a rather prolific, popular Harlequin author from one of those lines. Her specialty seems to be contemporaries with Middle Eastern characters who rule unreal lands and are smitten by the spunky American. Oh man. I don’t know what reference materials, if any, the woman uses to check for any shred of the world she thinks she’s opening to someone. Hell, maybe that’s it. The someone she writes for doesn’t care. Just write gushy feelings with uber-masculine men and malleable females. Alright. Let me leave that right there. That summed up 4 lines.

Now, on to the KIMANI line. It was a line (don’t quote me on this) that originally was ARABESQUE at another publisher but Harlequin bought it. It featured BLACK people as main characters in books, and the books were written by non-White authors. Why, you ask? In another post from ages ago, I wrote that the romances business NEVER included non-White people as main characters in romance books decades back. It was the reason for a line like KIMAMI and others. At least it was place for those stories crying to be told. I’m glad great authors got their chance to be heard. But upon closer analysis, it is blatantly outdated.  Segregation really because a romance book is a romance book not a BLACK romance book. Anyway, dynamite writers like Farrah Rochon and Kianna Alexander and Zuri Day headed that line.

The funny-ironic, not funny-ha-ha, thing about the shuttering of these lines is, billionaire romances will continue to be written. Sheik romances, or any romance that calls for a just-a-bit-exotic hero will continue to be written. Western romances with “untamed” Native heroes will continue to be written. Historicals with scant history will continue to be written. Thing that go bump in the night will continue to be written. And Harlequin will find some way to remold the manuscripts of the authors who write those themes for those 4 discontinued lines so that they won’t have to leave the fold completely. And if they do have to leave, other traditional publishers will at least look at their manuscripts.

Just watch.

I predict a whole, other scenario for the authors with the KIMANI line. They have faithful readers who will buy and read anything they write. BUT having been writers for a single line, backed by a big company, will they keep that mainstream reader who tried them BECAUSE they were attached to a big company like Harlequin? Let’s face it. Some mainstream readers won’t read a non-White author unless a big name says that author is OK. The KIMANI writers are excellent without Harlequin. I hope the “stamp of approval” that came with being published by Harlequin stays with them as they are released into the wild.
The KIMANI authors are talented pros. Do the rest of the Big 5 see that? And will any of the Big 5 pick them up as simply romance authors and not BLACK authors who write BLACK romance? With the dissolution of KIMANI will Harlequin now accept their manuscripts as plain romance and place them where appropriate into the company’s other mainstream lines? Or will they be rejected for being too ethnic? To remain on the radar will they resort to writing non-Black main characters to get published? I’ve seen this happen. I’m not saying these authors can’t succeed. What I’m saying is, their path to future publication (if done through the traditional channels) will have additional obstacles that the displaced authors of the other 4 lines won’t have.

Just watch. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017


To all the lovely, courageous, blessed and tired women (or guys who do double duty as mom and pop), enjoy your Mother's Day!

Kids, cherish your Mom while she's still around. Remember she wouldn't be here forever. Give her her flowers now. She can't smell 'em when she's gone. So, go visit her!

Thursday, May 11, 2017


OK. Listen up! My latest, DISSENT, book 2 in my standalone, historical romance series where BLACK women take the heroine leads, will be a KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEAL! I repeat. DISSENT , in in its ebook form will be a KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEAL!

Here are the dates: MAY 13TH TO MAY 16TH.

Usually, it is $4 but will be $1.99 during that period. Remember it is in KINDLE UNLIMITED too!

Buy mom a romance book. Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mellody Hobson and her golden life

If acknowledged at all by people, she is probably known only as “that black woman married to that Star Wars director.” But Mellody Hobson is a force in her own right. She is no come-up queen or IG “model” who made a sex tape to gain likes, followers and hopefully some rapper’s or baller’s attention. NOPE. Ms. Hobson was a scholar who graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and set her sights on taking care of her own business. Starting at Ariel Investments of Chicago not long after graduation, she rose through the ranks by her smarts and is today its president. Take that!

She met George Lucas at high level social functions. No insta-relationship (as she was not thirsty and he’d been at bat before in marriage), they dated for 7 years before tying the knot. They have one daughter. She now is Chair of the Board of Directors of Dreamworks Animation and is the 1st African-American woman to head the Economic Club of Chicago.

So, to get a man on her level, she didn’t resort to boobage, butt, or hair overload. She had a high sense of her worth and her own thing going on BEFORE she met Lucas.
So, next time you hear her name or see the couple in a photo, think of her as “that attractive, brilliant CEO that that Star Wars director was lucky to get.” 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A precursor to rap?

Seems there was a Lauren Hill before there was a Lauren Hill. Who knew? A little rough and definitely afro-centric. Nancy Dupree. Go take a listen. I'm sure Amazon has it. It has everything.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Little known Black history fact - Joseph Westbrook, undercover in the KKK

Well. This man had cojones. A doctor and scholar who infiltrated the Klan and lived to tell about it. Can you imagine how harrowing and sobering it must have been to sit in on those meetings. Meetings where you heard about the planned demise or destruction of your people's lives or property like a Sunday afternoon outing. Geesh! Chilling. Anyhoo, read about it. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

L. A. riots - 25 years ago

The anniversary of the L. A. riots is this Saturday. Twenty-five years. 25. Phew! Time does fly. And no one was having fun. Most of the principal players are dead or have moved on. Most major networks or cable channels will be having shows on it this weekend. All will have different slants. Looking at you FOX NEWS! In any case, the smell and energy lingers. God. It was a very ugly time had, and done, by all. It was the aftermath of a court acquittal of law officers who'd done some pretty rough stuff to a citizen and it had been captured doing it in  real time with new technology. My stomach still roils at the carnage done by L. A. inhabitants after the verdict and at the brutal beating of Rodney King by the cops that precipitated it. Do you recall where were you when it all erupted?

Sunday, April 16, 2017


                                          HAPPY EASTER TO ALL WHO CELEBRATE!

DISSENT - Now part of Kindle Unlimited!

My latest historical romance, DISSENT (LOVE VANQUISHES ALL) book 2 in my historical series is now a Kindle Unlimited and a KDP Select offering if one is subscribed to those programs!

A well-known website devoted to romance books posted, yet, another think piece on diversity in romance publishing as it pertains the historical romance – Thing is the poster got her point across; it was the comments’ section that missed it entirely

I’d given up on reporting on the nonsense that passes for sincere engagement on the matter of diversity in romance publishing. Look. It was always diversity in the field. Be it the characters in a book or the kinds of authors writing them. It’s was the industry (mainstream writers, traditional publishers, bloggers, reviewers) that was loathe to acknowledge it. I’d gone on to simply write what pleases me. You wanna read it; you will. I can’t make you. I know that the arrangement I have with my medium-sized romance publisher In Canada, and my occasional venture into self-publishing will keep me sane. It will keep me from taking seriously the project called “inclusion.” So, I’ve weaned myself off these rants unless I stumble across something that further exposes the deliberate tone deafness amongst the players in the mainstream industry.

Look. I do not know how many times I must say this. But I’ll say it again for those late to the party. This diversity in romance publishing mess is a shell game that the Big 5 publishers own. They aren’t letting go anytime soon. These publishers direct the game where, how, and when they want it. If one wants one’s “diverse” anything published by any of the Big 5, one WILL follow their rules. And if one is a writer of color, and one craves publication with any of the Big 5, one will fall in line and write what the Big 5 tells one. And that means how to pen that character of color if one wants that tome to see the light of day. That’s the price one pays for validation and inclusion. So, ok. Go for it.

I will re-iterate. If one wants a book not tinkered with by gatekeepers, one’ll have to go fish in the Indie pond. The truth is the “diverse” historical as published by traditional houses is engineered like a GMO product. I give props to any writer who can create in that atmosphere.

Now on to the post in question. The website’s (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books) past post on the subject of historical romance when the main characters in the book AREN’T Anglo and rich is a winner. There is nothing wrong with the actual essay. The guest poster (an academician) penned an entry that asked when were writers going to pen characters OTHER than Anglos in their historical romances. The credentialed poster knew her stuff (listing eras that had non-White people with terrific tales doing things that needed to be written about). She simply wanted to know what would it take to have these tales appear. Where were the stories? Who was writing them? “Cuz she wasn’t seeing them and apparently, girlfriend was T-I-R-E-D of reading about titled, pale males in love with equally pale women.  She dared to suggest that these missing stories were worth creating and that since most historical romance authors weren’t tackling it, they needed to start. Her other issue was that since Anglo authors weren’t writing what she wanted to see, that perhaps, (gasp!) non-White authors were or would.


Those suggestions brought out the wide-eyed and willfully ignorant who all wondered, with mouth gaping, what the poster was talking about because those books are everywhere. Then mainstream reader after mainstream reader, and several mainstream authors, proceeded to list every mainstream historical romance book that had ever included a character with as much as a sunburn. They flooded the comment thread with recommendations. Oh, there were a few divas present, who from their tone were itching to show their azzes, but amazingly, it did not devolve into “Mean Girls” 101 like this topic had before on that blog.

And people think the romance biz is gumdrops and rainbows and unicorns? OH MY.

Problem was every single book rec’d was by a White author and had…wait for it, wait for it…a half-Anglo/half -Something-or-Other-Hero/Heroine. Anglo-Indian. Anglo-African. Anglo-Chinese, etc. Characters where one probably had to squint, cock one’s head to the side and then ask them to stand in a certain light to see that they were not Anglo. Just a smidge of another ethnicity to make the hero/heroine “exotic” and qualify to be mentioned on the thread. A sort of “Look what they wrote. See. These books exist!” Ok. I get it. These books were written by folk who know their audience. Their audience does not want to see any full-blooded anything get the happy ending. Unless, it’s some bare-chested, Navajo brave getting it in with an Anglo chick . Wait. I’m digressing. Anyhoo, the writers know that a real story is secondary and their audience is reading it for the sex scenes. Lots of readers don’t mind that. So, these cobbled-together books with scant stories peopled with half-Anglo sheiks or brahmins or Indian chiefs are now representative of a DIVERSE historical romance. Yanno, my grandma used to say, “Half-assed is half-done” and “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” Personally, I believe it’s an Interstate by now.


Every book rec’d had that kind of main character at the center. Written half-assedly. Why? Because that side of a mixed character is all those writers know. Because it’s safe and it’s their ethnicity. Every non-White writer on that thread saw that 1,000-lb. elephant in the room but few Whites on that thread did. Yet they, and readers, continue to complain that today’s historical romances bore them, are colorless.

WELL…in order not to be bored, wouldn't one need to read a historical by a non-White romance writer? One who does not have to follow guidelines, right?

Yo, you can’t get a different view of a landscape when you insist on staring out the same window.

Anyway, the comments to the post went on and on and finally morphed into excuses by the time the thread ended.

Another eye-opening experience.

Let’s cut to the chase. The truth is the mainstream reader has little interest in reading a historical with non-White characters written by a non-white writer because too much REAL will dull the fantasy. They want nothing to interfere with that fluffy dream. Tea-Time, carriage rides, frilly dresses, gardens and aristocracy is what they want. As far as tons of readers are concerned, and have been brainwashed to believe, fully Black, Hispanic, Chinese characters should only play the help and scurry around in the background serving drinks, or doing chores or warming someone’s bed. That type of reader cannot fathom any of those people being front and center in a story, not exhibiting those tasks. “It’s too implausible” I’ve heard some say. It’s sad because a non-White author is the ONLY one who is going to give plausibility to them. It’s disturbing that some readers can’t handle it. They aren’t used to it. I guess reading that non-White folk made a life for themselves, NO MATTER WHAT ISH SWIRLED AROUND THEM makes ‘em uncomfortable. And goes against what they've been taught.

How do I know? Keep reading.

After all that kumbayah, hand-holding, I-Read-Others solidarity on that SBTB post of a few weeks ago, a post just THIS WEEK on the same blog asked visitors what they were reading. And what did the readers say? They responded with a slew of books they were not that fond of but had kept slogging through anyway. Mind you, some of these were the SAME people who’d been clamoring for recs of diverse historical romances written by non-White authors weeks before on the other post. So what happened? Didn’t they even bother to check out WOC in Romance to see what diverse historicals were there? Guess not. If they had, they would not have been slogging through that standard BDSM pill or that New Adult snooze-fest. If they’d gone to WOC in Romance they would have picked up some great books. Whatevs. Like I’ve said before: Either the historical romance centered on non-White characters WRITTEN BY NON-WHITE AUTHORS, who have another insight, is wanted or it is not. 

Just like one can't be a little pregnant.

So, Progressive Reader, you want historical romances with diverse, main characters who don’t bore you? Stop thinking that all non-Whites played subservient roles in history. Not all life in the past for non-Whites was one of misery. But to unearth that, an author has to do research. Imagine that. Writers of color who pen historicals do that all the time. The mainstream, traditional authors you stick to. The ones who you hope will give you that, don’t and won’t. So, if you are truly interested, you’ll find them. Now put down that boring book, stop with the excuses and go get what you say you want.

I rest my case.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Tavares - The other brothers on the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack

With tomorrow night's televised tribute to the Bee Gees on CBS, and their contribution to music in general, and to the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever  (release date: December 16, 1977! Oh God. I saw it the DAY it came out!) in particular, I'd like to mention the other group of bruthas who are brothers who were on the film's soundtrack.


This American RnB group of Cape-Verdean ancestry from Providence, RI topped the 70s charts. Feliciano, Perry, Antoine, Arthur and Ralph are known for the song,  More Than a Woman from the film. Other hits were Heaven Must be Missing an Angel, It Only Takes a Minute and Don't Take Away the Music. 

Want some tea? Feliciano was married to my fellow Philadelphian singer/dancer Lola Falana once. Harmonious sounds, great footwork and fly outfits were their trademark. Ralph and Perry retired but the rest are still touring.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Yasuke, the Black Samurai - So Shogun Sho'nuff really lived?

Remember that gem of a movie from the 80s,  THE LAST DRAGON? I do. Crazy, od fun. And who could forget how the young hero (Bruce Leroy) of the film, needed and found, a mentor, to teach him how to kick some butt. Enter Shogun Sho'nuff. Actor Julius J. Carry III played the mentor and was the only thing to recall from the film. BUT...In real life there was a man, a slave, from Portuguese Mozambique who was brought to Japan by Jesuits.

Anyway, he getting his own movie!

I said, "He is getting HIS OWN MOVIE" "Bout time. Now, if only some black screen writers could get a crack at it. One can dream. Read all about it at the link below and check out the renderings.

Wax on. Wax off.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Little known Black history fact - Vernice "Flygirl" Armour

The U. S. Marines 1st Black female aviator and U. S. Armed Forces combat pilot! COMBAT PILOT! Vernice Armour. And she's from this era. Young and vibrant and a motivational speaker. Lord...The stories she must have about the Boys Club. A sistah in the clouds. Ahhh! Read about her and bask in her greatness.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Paul R. Williams - Master Architect

In the world of early to mid-twentieth-century architecture, the name Paul R. Williams quietly stands out. You’ve seen his work and probably didn’t know it. St. Jude's Children's Hospital. The Beverly Hills Hotel re-design. The homes of Frank Sinatra, Lucile Ball and her hubby Desi Arnaz, Lon Cheney. The list goes on. This orphan hailed from Los Angeles.reached for his dream and achieved it. He kept pushing forward, never knowing if his desire and skill were going to take him where he KNEW he belonged. After years of study, apprenticeship, and the usual, deliberate roadblocks, he accomplished his heart’s desire. Architect Beyond the Norm,, he is a touchstone for architects of all hues, but especially for black ones. His remarkable works dot the U. S., L. A. in particular, as he was the go-to guy for Hollywood stars during the 30s, 40s and 50s when they wanted a unique abode. He was barred from entering the major attractions and buildings he designed, even banned from purchasing the parcels of land the homes he built stood on, due to racism, but he got the last laugh because he is remembered today for the beauty of those structures.

The "R" stands for Revere. Is that patriotic enough for ya, America?

February 18, 1894 - January 23, 1980