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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#BlackHistoryMonth – A Conversation: #MayaAngelou & #DaveChappelle

A fantastic conversation between two geniuses.  They are discussing, among other things, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. And in addition to the depth of the content of what they are each saying, what knocks me out is the obvious respect each has for the other.  They are 45 years apart in age, but Chappelle listens to and respects Ms. Angelou’s wisdom of experience, and she listens to and appreciates him and his viewpoint from a more recent era.   In a way, Chappell is a product of the things Ms. Angelou’s generation fought so hard for.  It’s like he is gaining knowledge on the processes that produced him, and she is learning about some of the fruits of her efforts.

 

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#MotownWriters February Romance Author Feature: Raynetta Manees

As promised, this is the link to my feature article on the Motown Writers website. I am so pleased and excited! Please check it out!

https://motownwriters.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/motownwriters-february-romance-author-feature-raynetta-manees-raynettaman/

 

 

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Motown Writers Michigan Literary Network Raynetta Manees Feature Article!

The Motown Writers Michigan Literary Network will host “Great Romance Authors” during the month of February and I am delighted to be one of the authors showcased on their website!  My feature will appear this Thursday, Feb. 8.  I will post the direct link when the article is up and available for viewing.  My thanks to sister author Sylvia Hubbard of the MWMLN!  Please see the poster below for all authors and dates.

 

#MotownWriters February Romance Author Features

Feb 5th: Mia Bailey – Book

Feb 8th: Raynetta Manees – Book

Feb 12th: Breathless – Book

Feb 15th: Parker J Cole – Book

Feb 19th: Jada Pearl – Book

Feb 22nd: India Norfleet – Book

Feb 26th: Kimberly Batchelor Davis – Book

Please support these authors by purchasing their book, gifting to a reader and then sharing this page 

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Beautiful Poem For Black Mothers And Daughters By Poet Oya

A few years ago I made the acquaintance of a wonderful black woman poet named Oya.  With her permission, I am re-posting this beautiful poem.  Click here to go to Oya’s Facebook page.

12039354_529823913865116_6694816767652268482_nDaughter you are beautiful
Your skin is a wonderful reflection of our ancestors
Daughter I promise to teach you to love the dark richness that others may make you question
Daughter you will learn as a child your history
The beauty and the ugly truths so you can know how strong and diverse a group of people you come from
Daughter if you should ever come home crying because someone called you names or defame you because of your darkness I promise to instill even more strength and power in you
So you can stand proud and stoic and be able to say my black skin is beautiful and walk around with a smile wearing your invisible crown
Daughter I will teach you as a Queen to always uplift other Kings And Queens because you are your sister and brothers keeper
We will pray together
Honor our ancestors
Walk in majesty until our dying day Daughter

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Black History In My Novels – Part II “All For Love: The SuperStar”

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 novel that was a finalist for the 2017 Emma Award for Best Contemporary Romance,  All For Love: The SuperStar.

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

“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 tablecloth, 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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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:

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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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