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Monday, July 19, 2021

"IT'S ALIVE! " I MEAN LIVE. MY KINDLE VELLA STORY IS LIVE! SHADE, A SUSPENSE THRILLER

My serialized story for Kindle Vella is LIVE today.

Read the 1st three episodes for FREE. Purchase tokens to access the next three and to continue on from there WEEKLY if you so choose.

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/product/B098M6N8GL



Saturday, July 17, 2021

Amazon 's Kindle Vella has launched and I have an episodic story called SHADE slated for a July 19th release!

ALERT! ALERT!
There is a new way for a story to unfold on Amazon.
It's called KINDLE VELLA, and it has launched! They are stories designed to be read in episodes on one's phone, or on Amazon's website. Whichever way one prefers. Every story starts with 3 FREE episodes, and Amazon is giving new Vella readers 200 FREE tokens to start their Vella journey.
This is an announcement that I have a Kindle Vella story and it's called SHADE. It's not available yet. The initial 6 episodes will go LIVE on MONDAY, the 19TH. Remember the date. I'll post again on that date. To re-cap, the 1st three episodes are FREE to read, then you can access subsequent ones through a token purchase if you decide to proceed. This will be a serialized story with my release schedule being weekly.
SHADE is my 1st attempt at writing a suspense/horror thriller.
Here is the premise:

Mel Reynolds has been psyched for months for her 2 weeks of time-off from her combination lab tech/assistant supervisor position. She's looking forward to languishing in the lavish Tampa condo of the wealthy parents of her old prep school bestie of 15 years, Callie Hobbs. The two young women have not seen each other for a few months but stay in constant contact by phone and text every day. Little does Mel know that this vacation will be far from relaxing. Her friend Callie, ever the dilettante, will make the announcement that she has quit yet another cushy dream job to build a platform as a "social media influencer. " Then out of the blue, Cash, who is Callie's older brother, a hotshot salesman at Nouvelle, a major cosmetics company, and also Mel's old college crush, will show up to begin his job as second-in-command at the sales division of Nouvelle's Tampa branch. He's been promoted and transferred to work his star magic on that branch's lagging sales. Oddly, his arrival coincides with the onset of women going missing in the city, one being Mel's co-worker. Nope. Vacation will not be a heavenly time for Ms. Reynolds this year and just might feel like it is a season in Hell instead..



Sunday, June 20, 2021

Making JUNETEENTH a federal holiday - A flimsy splint on a compound fracture

 https://www.phillytrib.com/commentary/michaelcoard/coard-congress-patronizes-with-juneteenth-ignores-lynching/article_45ea7a14-3ac4-545e-8dae-d5247df39e2e.html


Look. I am not pissing on the new federal holiday JUNETEENTH. It's nice that it's being recognized. It's not new. Well, maybe to White Americans. Yes, the late comers. We, Black Americans, had been recognizing this holiday for YEARS! 




It's also so much more complicated than it's been presented. 

The EMANCIPATION PROCLAIMATION had been announced by Lincoln in January 1863. It freed the enslaved in Confederate held states. BUT slave-holders who had more or less said, "Screw this ish!" simply MOVED their "property" to sympathetic territories. They played the ultimate shell game as they were not gonna give up their free labor. SOOOOO, it took TWO FRIGGIN' YEARS (1865) for the message to reach the hinterlands of Texas where folks had stashed their "property." 

What a gangsta move.

Even though slaves were forbidden to read or write, how did Massah and Missy keep this under wraps in the Big Houses? Not a one of them discussed this monumental revelation at the dinner table? Not a one discussed this monumental revelation while sipping their beverages on the veranda? Slaves weren't deaf. This had to be a massive cover-up to keep their "property" working for as long as possible. They knew they were in a safe space. Even the Union Army wouldn't enforce the 2-year-old ruling. 

And please don't give General Gordon Granger credit for "freeing" the enslaved in Texas. Boyfriend didn't find out the news on the morning of June 19th and then ride out to proclaim it. He had had the info for TWO YEARS ALSO; apparently felt sympathy for the plantation owners. His delay in bringing the truth made it possible for them to get at least 2 to 4 more plantings and harvestings out of the slaves and to collect the moolah from them. He finally had to write the order when The United States Army Color Troops (all Black men and women) compelled him to.

Oh, it's so much more to this. Okay. Thanks, Congress and President Biden for the federally recognized holiday but so much more is needed and is being sat on by the GOVERNMENT..

With the establishment of this federal holiday, understand that this a cash cow for mainstream America not an awakening. I cringe at  the thought of  Macy's or Walmart or Amazon pitching their Juneteenth sales. UGH! 




Oh well.

Read the above referenced article, It embodies my thoughts totally.




Tuesday, June 1, 2021

TULSA, OKLAHOMA MASSACRE! 100 YEARS AGO AND COUNTING!









First of all, let's get the wording correct. 

The Tulsa Oklahoma Race Riot of 1921 (May 30th - June 1st) was NOT a riot. It was a MASSACRE. A SLAUGHTER OF INNOCENTS. A POGROM. Plus, this kind of incident was not a "one off." It was business as usual across America for decades - Detroit. San Francisco. East St. Louis. Chicago. And on and on.

A race riot is one where the parties who are gonna rumble KNOW WHEN ish is gonna go down. The parties KNOW HOW it's gonna go down and the parties are BOTH ARMED in preparation for the confrontation.

No such conditions existed for the Tulsa, Oklahoma MASSACRE. It was a total surprise. An ambush of a successful, thriving, peaceful, self-sufficient BLACK community by a bunch of scared, misinformed, insecure, inadequate, bloodthirsty WHITE citizens.

What was at the root of this slaughter you ask? The stereotypical scenario. On May 30, 1921, a White man heard a scream and then witnessed a Black man (19 year old Dick Rowland)  exiting an elevator in a building in the White part of town. An elevator that was operated by a 17 old White girl (Sarah Page). The witness said the Black man had exited the car quickly and that the girl looked "extremely distressed' and apparently had been the one who'd screamed. Police were called and a search was on for the young Black man. Rowland was found and arrested.

In that short period of time rumors had circulated that Page had been sexually assaulted by Rowland in the elevator. The local newspaper had printed as much even though NO EVIDENCE was discovered to confirm the story. That set the stage for tragedy.





The next day a mob of seething White men assembled in front of the courthouse bent on lynching the teen. In response, the sheriff barricaded Rowland on the top flor of the courthouse. About 25 Black men showed up to guard the boy but were turned away by the police. Later almost 100 Black men returned to the courthouse but were met by a now armed, angry White mob. Fighting and shooting ensued. The Black men fled back to their neighborhood.

The White mob, still fueled by the fantasy of the girl having been raped by the Black teen, and by the rumor that Blacks from near by towns were coming to Tulsa to kill the Whites there, stormed into Greenwood (the Black section of Tulsa known as "Black Wall Street") and began shooting, pillaging, plundering and burning everyone and everything in sight. Hell, there were even reports of PRIVATE aircraft dropping incendiary devices onto Greenwood! Shades of the bombing of the MOVE compound in 1985! By the morning of June 1st, Greenwood was a smoking pile of rubble. Its Black residents had either been killed or had ran away. They left behind businesses and homes. Homes and businesses that were now smoldering heaps of nothing. Schools, a hospital, a movie theater, 100s of established enterprises, churches, banks, restaurants, grocery stores, hotels. All were gone.

The only good from it all was that Sarah Page refused to press charges; the charges were dropped against Dick Rowland and he was escorted out of town. Never to return.






News of the slaughter was suppressed then and for for years, decades forward. Until Black survivors, finally unafraid in their old age, began speaking out publicly.

Dick Rowland. Sarah Page. Some said they were a secret "item." Who knows? Whatever happened in that elevator will never be known. But the murder and the pain rained down on Black Tulsans, and  stirred up in the wild imagination of a White mob will be known forever.


P.S. incidents like this occurred across America continuously. Sometimes taking out whole little towns of Black people. Sometimes taking out groups of Black people as small as a few dozen homes and businesses. Generational wealth wiped out because a bunch of cretins could do anything without impunity. These repeated incidents are the main reasons Black Americans who are descendants of the those originally enslaved here STILL to this day have far less than their White counterparts financially. We are forever at the stating line, shoeless, hobbled and expected to "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps" and "work harder." Yes, we are owned reparations. Every last one of us. Then maybe ish would be even. Maybe. But knowing America, she would move the goalposts. She loves doing that when she feels the rules of the game she created are not in her favor.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

The history and effort to save a Maryland settlement (San Domingo, Wicomico County) founded by free Blacks in 19th century America


 


https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/eastern-shore/bs-prem-md-san-domingo-20210520-5fypwdi45vdaxenrclaxj4nezu-story.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna13924064

https://roadsidethoughts.com/md/santo-domingo-xx-wicomico-profile.htm

https://tulsaworld.com/archive/descendants-of-settlement-trying-to-preserve-community/article_f016fd95-6ac7-59c3-94cb-fd4c24278ff4.html




San Domingo is a small community in Wicomico County Maryland initially settled by ex-enslaved in the early 19th century. It sits between Mardela Springs and Sharptown, about 50 miles southeast of Annapolis. It is an ageing place and with an ageing population comes the lost of culture. And this settlement is full of culture. Oral histories and documentation are required. Maryland was my maternal grandmother's stomping ground.  My father's people (Gullah) are from the islands off the coasts of the Carolinas. So my heart is in both places.

It is sad as the diminishing Gullah culture in the Low Country of America. Both the people of San Domingo and of the Low Country are valuable to African-American culture. If this little Maryland community is lost,  the land will go to the investors like the precious land of Hilton Head. I hope San Domingo can save itself because if it is waiting on the U. S. gov't to help...Forget it!

Anyhoo, read the accompanying articles. They are a wealth of info.




Saturday, April 10, 2021

An example of Black generational wealth stolen without any qualms - Charles and Willa Bruce and Bruce's Beach

 https://abc7.com/bruces-beach-manhattan-property-seized-from-black-family-1924/10502275/

Charles and Willa Bruce  Photo courtesy City of Manhattan Beach staff report


The beautiful, young, regal couple (Charles and Willa Bruce) pictured above were the proud owners of a thriving beach-front resort, they'd built with their sweat and labor, in Manhattan Beach, California in 1912. They'd bought land for $1225 and added parcels over time. The resort comprised a dance hall, a cafe, and a bath house and of course the beach. It was a haven they'd established for BLACK people at a time when we were NOT allowed entrance to establishments run by, and occupied by, Whites. It was called Bruce's Beach.

Sadly and shamefully, over time Whites in the area began vandalizing the property, ruining the vehicles of the Black patrons and finally, invited the KKK to pay a visit in 1920. The couple pushed on through every adversity until the city condemned the property and the accompanying parcels in 1929. L. A. seized the resort through the pretense of "eminent domain" stating it need the land to built a "much needed" city park for the area.. The Bruces were put out of business and all the other Black families living on the parcels the couple had purchased were forced out too.

The Bruces and the displaced families fought in court and were awarded paltry sums for their effort. The couple could never re-gain their initial momentum, and as part of the settlement, if they had ever been able to rebuild,  they were not allowed to open a business any place else  in the city. They ended their days as servants for others instead of being the masters of their own fates as they had planned.. 

But that wasn't the end. More horse shyte went on. The "much needed" park wasn't built until 1960! And that's only because L. A. was nervous that descendants might notice that the land was VACANT AF! after all that whining around needed recreational space and SUE.

Anyhoo, after that horror story a fairytale might emerge. 

There is a chance the descendants of the Bruces might be able to reclaim the land. But I wouldn't hold my breath if I were them. The Manhattan Beach City Council adopted a resolution acknowledging and condemning the city's actions. No mention of restitution. No fine "how do you do." Sounds like good old lip service to me. Lip service how you question? Let me give an example.

Example: Let's say you're visiting me and you bring your bad-ass kid. And you know your kid is bad. Said bad-ass kid bangs on my glass coffee table with its Tonka truck and shatters the surface. All you do is say, "I'm so sorry." You clean up the glass and leave. No go, hunty! You need to clean up, apologize, offer to replace my coffee table and PAY for the replacement. Otherwise, it's small claims court.

This type of half-assed action after doing major theft from Black/Brown/Indigenous people is de rigueur for this land's system of gov't be it local, state or federal. It's that "piss on me, and tell me it's raining and be happy it's warm" type of legal move. Fight, Bruce descendants! Fight!

The Manhattan Beach City Council's resolution is a start. See how far they are willing to go to right a wrong performed by an ill-mannered child almost a century ago.




Monday, March 29, 2021

Random thoughts on COVID-19, Black Americans, Bridgerton and consent. Or not

 Hi! This post will probably make no sense but the last 12 months haven't either. Permit me my ramblings. It's been tiring.

No COVID-19 didn't get me nor have I gotten "the shot." I'm not eligible yet. I'm still debating. I mean do I put my trust in a gov't that suddenly is verklempt about the health of its country's Black citizens? Pardon me while I side-eye the land that has never gotten worked up about "saving" us from disease or worse. If anything, it took pride in initiating disease in us for the sake o medical progress. We have been used as guinea pigs for new treatments, procedures and medications WITHOUT our knowledge to better the lives of the dominant society. 

Talk about non-consensual. 


In this new reality of lockdown/quarantine (whatever you wanna call it), due to COVID-19, people have become fierce "streaming addicts." Streaming services viewership has gone through the roof. Many die-hard romance readers discovered BRIDGERTON on Netflix. And word sped through Romancelandia, first, that the cast was gonna be DIVERSE (How I loathe that word). And the second biggest concern with those familiar with the romance books the series is based on was how the project was going to handle the rape scene in one of the books in the author's series about the Bridgerton family. The rape scene.  Oh the virtual hand-wringing that ensued about the book "The Duke and I"s infamous "rape scene." I must be out of the romance world's loop because I'd never heard of it. And after I had, I didn't care. Seems the concern was how it was going to be interpreted. In the book, the heroine, Daphne seduces her duke of a husband, Simon, after finding out from her maid, ex-governess, some other more sexually experienced broad, that to become preggers (something Daphne wants badly), the man has to "complete" the act of intercourse inside the woman. Apparently, in the book, Daphne takes matters into her own hand and gets what she wants forcefully. 

When Julia Quinn's Bridgerton books came out in the early to mid 2000s, consent was not the hot button topic it is now in romance writing. In the eyes of SJWs, Daphne is a rapist. O-O-O-kay. So what is Simon? He's no upstanding gentleman either. He straight up lied to his wife because he didn't want kids (there's a reason), and knew he could act any way he wanted because she was an innocent, trusted him, and was madly in love with him. He just took it upon himself to control their sex life. So he's no better on the consent front. 

So how did Netflix and Rhimes handle the delicate situation from the book? They let it play out the way it was written by Quinn but provided Daphne with additional lines where she admonishes Simon for his deception. To please the SJWs, Daphne gives Simon a post-coital speech on how he had been depriving her of what she wants most, how he had taken advantage of her inexperience to dupe her into thinking sex was always like the way they had been doing it and that she wasn't pregnant because she was probably barren. Whew!

Now excuse me but I was sick of BOTH of them by the time these scenes rolled around. I. DIDN'T. CARE! .Girlfriend knew the man did NOT WANT CHILDREN but she wed him anyway. He was a stone idiot to think he could keep on playing Mr. Pull Out their entire marriage and she wasn't gonna ask some other married woman were his actions normal. I got zero sympathy for her and him. They both were playing games. How since we had been captives in our abodes for months, this series and the handling of the "rape scene" was big news on the romance blogs. It was talked up so much that romance readers were getting "pre-triggered" about the upcoming scene. And that is where I removed myself from reading about the much-ado-about-nothing issue. People! It's a scene in a fictional work, between 2 grown-ass, fictional people. 

Personally, I YAWNED through the parts of BRIDGERTON I did manage to stay awake for. I suppose it was titillating for lots to see a White woman with a Black dude in long, drawn-out sex scenes and it not be a PornHub production. Maybe it was just me but I found Daphne and Simon to be the most boring couple in the show. Anyhoo, another tempest-in-a-teapot was the presence of Black people period in the show. Many could not fathom how there could be Black aristocracy in Regency Era Britain and were pissed at the show's "insertion of diversity for diversity's sake." OY!

Look, folks. black people had been in Britain for quite some time, and not just as servants, by the time the Regency rolled around. Story goes that famed show-runner Shanda Rhimes was on vacay and had brought some beach reads with her. One being the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn. Seems Rhimes was taken with the books and had a vision for them. Rights were acquired and  the backside of actor Regé-Jean Page is a household staple now. My beef? My pet peeve? Why couldn't Shonda Rhimes have picked up a beach read set in the Regency Era with a cast of BLACK characters, written by a BLACK ROMANCE WRITER since she was looking to put a twist on a classic for a property to show run? There are a number of BLACK ROMANCE WRITERS who pen Regencies. All she had to do was Google them while lolling on the sand if she truly wanted to be innovative. 

But No. She chose to showcase a White romance writer's work. The original books that the series is based on has NO BLACK CHARACTERS in them. She then changes crap around to fit her vision for Netflix.  Shonda. Shonda. Shonda. You could have put a sistah on the map but you chose to big up a non-Black woman who had already made her mark on the romance writing scene. A Regency-writing sistah could have used the boost to her readership and to her bank account. A sistah could have used the shine. 



But I digress. 

Back to the "virus" and that freshly created government concern for Black Americans' health. I call theater. I call BS. I see carefully orchestrated photo ops of Black people getting "shots in arms." Where was the medical community before Black people started dropping like flies from COVID coupled with serious co-morbidities like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, COPD, asthma, etc. Whatever. Black folks will get the vaccine or not. I know some people who've had bad side effects. I know people who've had COVID-19 who recovered and have no after effects. 

So what am I gonna do as my turn approaches? I'll continue to ask questions; educate myself. I'm concerned that "vaccine passports" will become a requirement to move about the country. I'll decide my fate because isn't that what consent is about?

Monday, March 1, 2021

SHAMELESS RECURRING PROMO POST! I SAID, "SHAMELESS RECURRING PROMO POST!"

 Yes. Yes. It's shameless plug time. Ignore if you are weary from hearing about it.

Today's featured author promotion on the Historical Romance Books website is a book by ME!
The 1st book (KINDRED: An AMERICAN LOVE STORY) in my stand-alone historical series that centers Black heroines only is the focus.
Yes. It came out a few years back but this promo is to celebrate the recently released paperback version of the book and familiarize potential readers with an historical set in an era other than Regency England and a female main character not usually the star of the story.



e-book cover

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Remembering Malcolm Little who morphed into Detroit Red and then lived and died as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz on the 56th anniversary of his assassination as new info surfaces about his killing

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/confession-letter-from-former-cop-claims-link-between-nypd-fbi-and-malcolm-x-killing/2901005/ 

https://abcnews.go.com/US/claims-surrounding-malcolm-assassination-surface-letter-written-nypd/story?id=76031383



02/21/1965

56 years ago today (02/21/2021) Malcolm X was assassinated in the Audubon Ballroom in the Washington heights are of Manhattan. 

His family has demanded a re-opening of his murder investigation. Deep digging and a death-bed confession from a cop have exploded onto the scene revealing that the FBI and the NYPD conspired to kill Malcolm.

Where will this lead? What will these revelations bring? 

Justice I truly hope. But people in Hell want ice water too. And to whom were any of these tidbits news? 

ASÈ





Thursday, February 4, 2021

Stagecoach Mary or Shotgun Mary? No matter. This ex-enslaved woman who carved out her own place on the Western frontier as a housekeeper, a station agent, and as a mail carrier donned both names

 Well, it's that month again. I'm four days late in posting some shares.

Today's subject is Stage Coach Mary also known as Shotgun Mary.

https://www.blackcowboys.com/maryfields.htm



There are a few articles on Mary Fields but I love the one I've referenced for this post.

Shotgun Mary was an ex-slave from Tennessee who after the Civil War set out for the Western frontier. Montana to be exact. She found a position first at a mission run by Ursuline nuns. She was hired to haul and prepare all foods to do with maintaining and stocking the mission. Basically, she was what my grandfather would have called, A TOTAL NEGRO. Meaning? The all 'round helper. The one who, no matter what goes on, will get ish done. The title might sound complimentary but it is not. Believe me. If a Black person is ever seen as that by another Black person, it means the person is being taken advantage of. Used up to the brink of exhaustion and not getting compensated fairly for their labor. For most Black freedmen and women, freedom post-early Emancipation was just doing the same work they'd done in slavery for little pay. It was still backbreaking and dehumanizing. Mary being 6 feet tall, tough and robust and not to be messed with, and a toter of 2 six-shooters and a ten gauge shotgun was perfect for the label.

A story which depicts this all is when she was on a supply run for the convent. Wolves attacked her wagon, knocking it over and destroying a lot of her haul. After spending a harrowing night on the prairie fending off the creatures, she somehow righted the wagon, piled the goods that were salvageable into it and made it to the convent. WELL. This is where the "being taken advantage of "part kicks in. The ungrateful nuns boo-hoo'ed about the goods that were lost. They did NOT thank Mary, or ask HOW she was after the encounter. They only cared about the lost stuff and DOCKED HER PAY!

Her stint at the convent ended when she was a part of a shoot-out. Which occurred behind the nunnery. Some ass of a White cow poke who worked at the convent found out that marry being paid 2 bucks more than him a month. One can imagine the colorful way he brought that up. His approach didn't sit well with Mary and after that, as they say, it was on!  She wounded the dude and filled the laundry hanging behind the nunnery full of holes. She was fired. The next job was as mail person for that area of Montana. She always carried her weapons and it was said no mail was ever stolen.  She'd go through 2 or 3 more jobs before passing at the age of 80 from liver failure.

No nonsense. Feisty. Cigar Smoker. Brawler. Frontierswoman. Daredevil. That was Mary Fields.






Monday, January 18, 2021

The King I revere

By now you all know how I feel about MLK DAY. 

His name is MARTIN LUTHER KING. Not MLK. Happy Birthday, sir (Actually, it's the 15th).

The day has been watered down and diluted and hijacked!

That said, hear from the man himself how he'd done a 180 on his original stance and was closer to Malcolm X in his thinking. 

This interview with Sander Vanocur was done 11 months before King's murder.

This is the KING I celebrate. 

Listen and learn.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xsbt3a7K-8




Friday, January 1, 2021

KINDRED, AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY, THE 1ST BOOK IN MY HISTORICAL ROMANCE SERIES IS NOW IN PRINT!

 After finally getting the print rights back to KINDRED, AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY (Book One in my "LOVE VANQUISHES ALL historical romance series), I am able to offer a print version of the book. My original publisher still offers the digital version but does not do print for an ebook unless A LOT of ecopies have been sold.

So, after being asked by people who had the ebook, "When will a print version be available?"I took matters into my own hands.

BOOM! Here it is:

I went with Ingramspark. That outfit is the distributor and handles all with supplying books to bookstores. So, if you want to purchase a physical copy of the book, go to your favorite brick-and-mortar bookstore and order it. It won't be on the shelf as shelf space is precious in a bookstore and booksellers want books by BIG NAMES on those shelves. Known moneymakers. Best-selling writers.

Lil, ole me is an unknown. So, if you want it, walk in and order it! BUT if Amazon is the only bookstore you bother with, wait until next week. By then Amazon should have updated its book inventory, and then you can order a print copy. Either way, I'd be ever so grateful. Thanks!