Black History In My Novels Part IV “Fantasy”

Happy Black History Month!  Although I write fiction, I incorporate factual Black History into my books, and throughout this month I will be posting excerpts from my novels that reference Black history.    This is the fourth installment, an excerpt from my classic romance novel FANTASY.

Click picture to purchase!

Click picture to purchase!

 This excerpt is truly personal because it is based on an incident that really happened to me.  I am an avid cruiser, and this happened to me as I boarded a cruise ship several years ago:

“Sameerah stopped for a moment to show her ticket to the waiting steward, then continued up the gangplank to the cruise ship.  A fortyish woman in a blue uniform was greeting passengers.

“Hello!” the woman said brightly to a group of women boarding together.

“Good Afternoon!  Welcome aboard the Fantasy!” the woman said to the couple directly in front of Sameerah.

The woman’s eyes shifted in anticipation of warmly welcoming the next passenger.  Then her gaze focused on Sameerah.  The woman looked confused for a moment, then looked right through Sameerah, not saying a word.

The light-hearted holiday mood that was just beginning to build for Sameerah crashed in flames.  The woman’s gaze and silence said more clearly than words, “What are you doing here?”

Oh, no, Sameerah thought, hurt, angry, and indignant, all at the same time.  Do I have to deal with this crap even here?  Well, Missy Anne, I have as much right to be on this ship as anyone.  And I’ll be damned if I let you get away with ignoring me!

Sameerah stepped to her and fixed the woman with her brightest, phoniest smile.  “Hello!  How are you today?” she called to the woman in the most syrupy, artificial, nice-nasty tone she could muster.  The woman really looked at her then, giving Sameerah the uncertain, frightened gaze of an animal trapped in a corner.

Yeah, girlfriend, Sameerah thought with satisfaction.  We both know what time it is.  You know you were deliberately slighting me, and now you know I know you were deliberately slighting me.  As she continued into the ship, Sameerah chuckled to herself as the woman greeted the passengers boarding behind her, but with quite a bit less gushing gaiety than before.

Maybe you’ll think before you pull that crap again, Sameerah thought as she made a mental note to file a complaint about this heifer with the cruise director.

 

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Black History In My Novels Part III “Wishing On A Star”

Happy Black History Month!  Although I write fiction, I incorporate factual Black History into my books, and throughout this month I will be posting excerpts from my novels that reference Black history.    This is the third installment, an excerpt from my classic romance novel WISHING ON A STAR:

“You should talk—Woodrow.”

Would that it was that simple–no pun intended.  At least there was a President named Woodrow.  My name’s not Woodrow, Shay.”

“It’s not?  Well, what is it?”

Woody looked at her self-consciously for a beat before saying softly, “It’s Woodington.”

“It’s what?”

“It’s ‘Woodington’, Shay.”

Shay paused a moment before asking, “Uh…How did you wind up with a name like Woodington?”

He smiled resignedly, “Wait; it gets worse.”  He stood, and drew himself up to his full height, “My full legal name is Woodington James Hollister–the third.  So you see how I got it.  I inherited it.”

Shay blinked, “Good Lord.”

“Woodington was my great-grandmother’s maiden name, and her father was born a slave.  He was one of the first post-slavery Blacks to get an education, and he became a teacher.”  Wood paused a moment, remembering.

“I’m sure you know that during slavery it was illegal for Blacks to learn to read,” he continued.  “Anyone who taught a slave to read was severely punished.  So my ancestor spent his life teaching other Black people how to read.  However, even though slavery had by then technically ended, he was caught teaching—and lost his life because of it.”

Shay looked up at Woody, spellbound by this tale.

“He had no sons.  Understandably, my multi-grandma, his daughter, was proud of him and didn’t want his name to die with him,  so she named my grandfather Woodington.”

“What a sad—and beautiful—story.  It’s a name you should be proud to bear.”

“It’s a mouthful.  When I was a kid, I got teased, and sure got into enough fights because of it.  But when I got old enough to understand…  Yes, I am proud of it.”

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Black Inventors – Black History Month

In my career as a writer, I have done many #Black #History #Month speeches. In researching information for these talks I have become fascinated with the vast number of inventions the world uses every day that were invented by #Black men and women. Back when I was in school the only Black inventor we were ever told about was George Washington Carver!
In honor of Black History Month please check out my #Pinterest board on #Black Inventors! This board is to honor all those #Black #AfricanAmerican inventors whose triumphs were buried for so many years.   #African
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It’s Valentine’s Day And He’s Here Waiting For You!

No fella this ? No Worries! I’ve got six dudes ready to fulfill your every desire!

They’re at 

valentines-day-collage-2017-02-14-11_09_43

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Black History In My Novels Part II “All For Love”

Happy Black History Month!  Although I write fiction I incorporate factual Black History into my books, and throughout this month I will be posting excerpts from my novels that reference Black history.    This is the second installment, an excerpt from my classic romance novel ALL FOR LOVE.

(The first excerpt was from my award-winning Christian romance, FOLLOW YOUR HEART.  CLICK HERE to go to that post)

click to purchase!

click to purchase!

“Got to have some music,” I told her.  Hoping Angie would like it, too, I put on a CD I loved, the original cast recording from the movie “Cabin in the Sky.”

Angela looked at me in disbelief.  Apparently, I had hoped wrong.  “I can change it if you’d rather hear something more…contemporary,” I said apologetically.

“Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, and Duke Ellington?” Angela said, sitting down on a blanket.  “That stuff is timeless.”

That was my girl.  This woman had class and taste.

“I’m just floored,” she was continuing, “because when we’ve talked about music, you never mentioned being into show tunes.”

“Well, when we talked about music, you never told me that you sing, either.”  I got her with that one, from the sheepish look on her face.  I sat down on the blanket on the other side of the table cloth, across from her.

“I heard you tell Stew that you sing,” I went on.  “You can’t sing for him unless you sing for me first.”

“I…I will, Dare.  But don’t change the subject,” she said, changing the subject.  “How long have you been into show tunes?”

“When I was coming up, my folks wouldn’t allow any music in the house except religious music, classical music, and show tunes.  They said other types of music were too ‘worldly.’  I was weaned on this stuff.  I can remember my mother singing me to sleep with ‘Oh, What a Beautiful Morning’ from ‘Oklahoma!’  I especially love ‘Cabin in the Sky’ because it was one of the very first all black musicals to appear on Broadway.”

I said a short prayer, and we started eating.

When “Taking a Chance on Love” began, Angela said, “I love this song!  Darryl, sing it for me?  Please?”

As if I could deny her anything.  I started to sing along with the recording.  Angie reached over, and turned down the volume, so the music was more in the background.  As I sang I reflected how perfect this song was for where we were in our relationship.  I now knew that she cared for me, too.  That, and having her by my side, gave my voice wings.

When I finished, I gave her a smile, and said, “Guess I should leave Broadway to Brian Stokes Mitchell.”

Angela’s smile warmed my heart.  “That was magic.  I only wish I’d been recording it.  Thank you.”

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Remembering Rosa Parks on Her 104th Birthday

Born in this day in Tuskegee, Ala. 1913, Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man helped to launch the 1955 Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott and contributed mightily to the civil rights push.

Born on this day in Tuskegee, Ala. 1913, Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man helped to launch the 1955 Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott and contributed mightily to the civil rights push.

(Thia article was originally published in 2013.  Today, Feb. 4, 2017,  is the 104th anniversary of her birth)

Today is Rosa Park’s 100th birthday.  I had the honor of meeting her and doing an interview with her when I was in college in the 70s.   When she passed away in 2005 my daughter and I jumped in our car and followed her funeral procession—as did hundreds of people in the Detroit area.

Her story is a classic example of how one action by one person can inspire so many others on to great things. Who knows? Perhaps if she had not refused to move to the back of the bus in 1955 Barack Obama would not be the President of the United States in 2013.

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Black History Month-Black History In My Novels Part I “Follow Your Heart”

Happy Black History Month!  Although I write fiction I incorporate factual Black History into my books, and throughout this month I will be posting excerpts from my novels that reference Black history.  The first is the following excerpt from my award-winning Christian romance, FOLLOW YOUR HEART:

CLICK PICTURE TO PURCHASE!

CLICK PICTURE TO PURCHASE!

“Do you think Ty is in danger?”

Tameka was confused, “Danger?  I don’t understand what you mean.  He’s in jail, but as far as I know he’s not in any danger.”

Palmer chuckled sadly, “You’ve led a sheltered life, haven’t you?  Unfortunately, in this country one of the most dangerous places for a black man to be is in jail.  I can’t hear the words ‘southern sheriff’ without seeing fire hoses, billy clubs, and police dogs.”

Tameka recalled the terrifying grainy black-and-white films of atrocities that occurred in southern towns before she was born.  She remembered her mother’s haunting narratives of being spit on during civil rights marches when she was a child.

“I understand now.  But this southern sheriff is a black man and an old family friend.  He doesn’t allow the mistreatment of any of his prisoners, black or white.  Ty’s in no danger.” 

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