Justice Older than the Law by Katie McCabe and Dovey Johnson Roundtree

  

Justice Older than the Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree by Katie McCabe  and  Dovey Johnson Roundtree 

Winner of the Association of Black Women Historians’ 2009 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize for best publication on an African American woman

  

Justice Older than the Law by Katie McCabe  and  Dovey Johnson Roundtree is the story of pioneering Army veteran, attorney and minister Dovey Johnson Roundtree, co-authored by Katie McCabe. This is a love song to the black family and a celebration of the eternal values that make it possible to transcend our pain and limitations. Dovey Roundtree is an icon, and her story is an inspiration to all families. 

Dovey Johnson Roundtree is a retired lawyer, an Army veteran, and an A.M.E. minister. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.   Katie McCabe is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Washingtonian Magazine, Baltimore Magazine, and Reader’s Digest, among others. Her National Magazine Award-winning article on black medical legend Vivien Thomas was the basis for the HBO film Something the Lord Made, winner of three Emmys and a 2005 Peabody Award.

 Chapter One, “Walking Unafraid,” about Dovey Roundtree’s courageous Grandma Rachel, the woman Dovey calls “the greatest warrior I ever knew.”

 

Excerpt:  Chapter One: Walking Unafraid

Every evening, in the tiny kitchen of the old frame shotgun house where I grew up in Charlotte, my Grandma Rachel marked the day’s end by a ritual etched in my memory with a clarity that belies the eighty years since then. 

She ceased to rush, as she did endlessly in the hours between dawn and darkness, and she commenced to draw water and lay out clean towels and mix an ointment she made of turpentine and mutton tallow.  I would stand, quiet, watching her heat the water on the wood stove, pour it into a metal pan, then remove her stockings and hoist her skirts as she lifted her feet into the steaming bath.  

Her feet were broken.  They were gnarled and twisted and horribly misshapen, with the bones sticking out in strange ways.  As she lifted them into the steaming water, she winced. And I would know, though she had spoken no word and given no sign, that all day long her feet had been paining her.

How frightened I was the first time I saw those poor broken feet. I was five years old, and my mother and my three sisters and I had just moved to my grandparents’ home after the death of my father, James Eliot Johnson, in the influenza epidemic of 1919.  My grandmother had scooped us up and taken us under her wing, whisking us from my parents’ house to the little parsonage where she lived with my Grandpa. All day long, she hovered over us…Like a tiny whirling dervish she moved, and so, when I first saw her grow quiet, I was startled.

Then I saw her feet, so large and misshapen they seemed to belong to another woman entirely, and I drew back, frightened.  Every night after that, I’d look at her scarred, twisted feet, at the skin stretched taut over the jutting bones, and I’d want to ask her what had made them that way.  But something in her silence warned me not to. 

The day came, finally, as I was just beginning to mature into womanhood, when Grandma took me to her in private and spoke to me of what had happened to her feet.

A white man had broken them.

It had happened a very long time ago, Grandma said, when she was a young girl, just coming into womanhood herself…and she had seen the man watching her with a look that told her he meant to do her harm.

“The slave master,” she called him.  He was the overseer on the farm near Henrietta, North Carolina, where her father worked, and when she spoke of what he had tried to do to her, a look of anguish crossed her face unlike any I had seen before or would see after.

“He was meanin’ to bother me, Dovey Mae,” she told me, in the delicate way she had of speaking about things sexual.  “I ran and fought every way I knew how.  And I hurt him. Then he grabbed hold o’ me and he stomped, hard as he could, on my feet – to keep me from runnin’ for good, he told me.  But I kept on runnin.’”

“Wasn’t nothing to do but fight him, hard as I could,” she said. “He wasn’t goin’ to have his way with me.”  

Grandma’s mother had wrapped her smashed, bleeding feet in cloth and rubbed them with the mutton tallow and turpentine ointment Grandma would use for the rest of her days.  But the bones had been so crushed that her feet were forever misshapen, and so twisted that for a while she could not walk at all.  When she did, it was with a swaying awkwardness that late at night became a limp.

And yet, for all of that, she had won.  He had not, as she said, had “his way” with her.

I saw my Grandma Rachel fight everything with that same fierceness – poverty, sickness, injustice, and even despair.  Like a mighty stream, her courage flowed through my childhood, shaping me as rushing water shapes the pebbles in its path.

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Note: Excerpt used for promotional purposes. Permission given by University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MS)

Review from Summer 2010 Women Lawyers’ Journal, posted on MS. JD web site:
http://ms-jd.org/summer-reading-justice-older-law-katie-mccabe-and-dovey-johnson-roundtree
Review from The Charlotte Observer, August 23, 2009, posted on Black Christian News web site:
http://blackchristiannews.com/news/2009/08/new-book-tells-of-pioneer-for-justice-women-and-civil-rights.html

» Justice Older than the Law by Katie McCabe
Purchase your copy today!
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 160473132X
http://www.amazon.com/Justice-Older-than-Law-Roundtree/dp/160473132X

The Truth As I See It by Nakia R. Laushaul

The Truth As I See It by Nakia R. Laushaul

The Truth As I See It by Nakia R. Laushaul
Author’s Personal Introduction

I love the written word. Ever since I was nine years old I knew that I wanted to write. I still remember the first real novel I ever read, and the impact that novel still has over my life. Somehow, life, love, and discontentment squeezed itself in between the coils of Gods purpose for my existence. I buried my dreams.

Whatever the case, it doesnt matter anymore. What is important is that I am here now and oh how happy I am to be exactly where I am, introducing myself to you. I commit to the integrity of my thoughts soulfully arranged on paper.

I know this is the first you may have heard of me, but it won’t be the last.

This is my dream, not to write poetry, but to tell stories. Stories that bruise, scab over, and finally heal as though there was never a bruise. There were so many nights I lie awake crying and thinking about what it really meant to be a woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a member of society, and most importantly a child of God. I thought it was insomnia (smile), but it was purpose calling out to me.

Finally, I put pen to paper and I let my fingers tap incessantly across my keyboard until the joy and pain within poured out of my spirit. I offer to you my stories in the form of poetry &  prose. This is The Truth A I See It. Please enjoy.

Brink of Submission by Nakia R. Laushaul

Intimate Conversation with author Nakia R. Laushaul
Nakia R. Laushaul is currently employed as a Finance Administrator. She is a poet, novelist, and inspirational blogger. In her free time, she enjoys performing her poetry and hanging out with her teenage son. Nakia serves on the Board of Directors for a non-profit, KCCP, purposed to encourage arts participation in youth. Nakia is committed to challenging everyone in her reach to find compassion and empathy in the differences that exist among us all.

View the video book introduction here: http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CP8jN9GQ


BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?

The God in me makes me feel powerful. I have overcome so many obstacles in my life that tried, yet failed each time to break me. I woke up one day and felt like yeah I finally got this, I got me. I am no longer ashamed of where I come from, who I am, what I lack, what I have, or where I’m going. All I know is that I am writing with the authority of God and that makes me a powerful woman.

BPM: Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
My hope is to inspire generations to come. I want future readers to know— if you follow the hollow ground I’ve walked on, it will take you generations to be free. Learn from the past and take the shortcut, young one — here, take this shortcut.

BPM: Introduce us to your book of poetry, The Truth As I See It.
My book is called, The Truth As I See It: In Poetry & Prose. It’s an inspirational collection of poetry and essays about everyday life from my point of view. Although I absolutely love poetry, I am a storyteller to the depths of my soul. Therefore, you will see a complete story in every poem. Every chapter tells a poetic story about You and Me, Love, God, Life, and how I came to be free in a way that every reader, no matter their favorite genre, will enjoy.

BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
I have been (and still am) working on a novel for many years. I won’t even tell you exactly how many years it has been, not just yet (smile). All those years, I was afraid to write because I feared what I would come out of my pen and the impact it would have on others. I knew that whatever I wrote would be so drenched in truth that some people were bound to get their feelings hurt. In the process of avoiding what I was born to do, I was disobedient to God’s purpose, and my life was a mess. I woke up before dawn one day feeling distressed because God fills my head with so many thoughts, I don’t sleep well.

I found underneath my desk, a beautiful journal that I had never opened. Inside was an inscription by Picasso that read, “Everything you can imagine is real.” I wrote underneath, Then I imagine I love myself. I turned the page and wrote down all the reasons I loved myself. Those reasons turned into the first poem I wrote for this collection, “I Am A Tree.”   By that evening, I had a title for the entire book, The Truth As I See It. It was all poetry in the beginning, but I was hooked on blogging; hence, prose entered the book.

BPM: Whom do you want to reach with your message in The Truth As I See It?

Initially, The Truth As I See It was God’s attempt to reach me. God was calling out to me through my own voice, God to Nakia. Come in Nakia. I discovered so much about myself during the writing process. Now I know I can’t force anyone else to change. However, my goal is to encourage a positive and willing acceptance of what is true and right. (photo: fans at a special event for Nakia)


BPM: What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?

The thing with writing poetry is that others always assume every poem is about the poet. I can’t tell you how many poems are actually about you and what you are going through in your life, what I’ve read, or what I’ve overheard. I am a thief of juicy conversations. I wrote a poem about abortion, “Liberated,” that spawned from reading a Gwendolyn Brooks poem called “The Mother.” I heard the testimony of a famous gospel singer and wrote “Happy Mother’s Day.”

I wrote a poem that deals with what will surely happen to our future if we don’t do something called, “Deuteronomy.” Many of my messages are a bit taboo and I wrestled intensely with writing them, but either I stand up for what I believe in, or I should have called my book, The Lies I Tell Myself. That was not going to happen because I’m done with lying to myself just to make someone else feel comfortable.

BPM: How will reading your book shape the readers lives?
When my readers put my book down, I want them to imagine me saying personally to them, “You are strong, you are beautiful, you can make it, and you are uniquely fashioned in His image. You are A Tree!” I want my readers to concentrate more on being who they are and not what others want them to be. I would like them to feel empowered enough to break away from generational curses and self-defeat, find their purpose, and truly live.

BPM: What was the most powerful poem in The Truth As I See It?
I cannot pick a most powerful poem as each one tells a story that is special to me. I would very much appreciate if my readers would send me an email letting me know which poem affected them the most and why. On the other hand, my novel, Running From Solace is my baby waiting patiently to get here. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the excerpt I included at the end of The Truth As I See It.

BPM: What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
Ecclesiastes 1:9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Since there is nothing new to be done, the only difference between my book and others’ is the way I choose to offer my poetic stories. I give them in a page turning, here’s the truth, now deal with it—plain and simple sort of way. You will not need a decoder to decipher the message because I give it straight up—no chaser, so be ready.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Presently, you can purchase and autographed copy of The Truth As I See It: In Poetry & Prose on my website. It will soon be available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and through other Internet sources where books are sold. I am currently working on my novel, Running From Solace.

BPM: How can our readers reach you online? Share with us your online contact info.
I am a real life Social Butterfly, so I welcome you to rant it up with me on my blog, Random Rants of Truth of a Social Butterfly: http://nakialaushaul.blogspot.com/.

Friend me and get chatty on FaceBook, or stop by my website anytime you like to see what I’m up to and what’s new: http://www.nakiarlaushaul.com/.

Go on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq5T85tMQ68  and check out a hip rendition of one of my poems, “Brink of Submission.” I also welcome your emails, so share your thoughts about my work: Nakia@nakiarlaushaul.com.

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Living Life After Tragedy by Loretta Faith Harris

“Living Life After Tragedy”
by Loretta Faith Harris

So, how do you pick up the pieces after the winds and waves of life has apparently knocked you so far to the ground that it seems nearly impossible to recover? What I am about to say may sound like a cliché, but it’s not. You are out for the count and there is no HELP in sight!

Tell you what, TRUST GOD!

Ha, “Trust God” she says. “Where was God when I needed Him the most? How can I trust a God that would allow such devastation to occur in my life?” I know that some of you may be feeling like this and you DEMAND answers. Listen to me, because I was there. I struggled to understand the ways of God. I asked the resounding question, “Why do bad things happen to good people.” Honestly, after surveying God and throwing my fist up towards the Heavens, I finally asked myself, “What’s so good about me?” If this trial did not occur in my life, it definitely would have occurred in someone else’s life. What makes it wrong because it happened to me and not the next man?

It’s easy to stand on the sidelines gazing into the life of that person on the news, but what happens when it’s your turn to have the “spectators” and “naysayers” hover over you awaiting your next move. It is during these unexplainable moments my friend when you MUST trust God. He has already ordained your TRIUMPANT comeback! He is carrying you through the fight of your life!

You are listening to someone who the doctors gave up on and left to die. I am the one that they said, “She won’t make it.” Death came for my soul and I was no match, BUT GOD! He delivered me and much more than that, brought me back better than before! I am here to encourage and uplift those who feel like giving up. Please, DO NOT throw in the towel! God is not finished with you yet! Your moment of TRIUMPH is sooner than you think!

The writer of James says it best, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So do not try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way” (James 1:2-4, MSG). So when you are involved in a head-on collision with misfortune, know that you are predestined to OVERCOME. It is a fixed fight!

Loretta “Faith” Harris, M.Ed.
Children’s Heart Publishing, CCR certified
Author of, “The Journey Less Traveled: Choose to Turn Your Tragedy into Triumph”

Email: LHarris@chpublishing.org
Website: http://www.chpublishing.org/
Professional Reviews: www.myspace.com/chpublishing

Children’s Heart Publishing where we are “capturing the heart of the writer”…™

Beautiful Struggle

The Beautiful Struggle
A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Beautiful Struggle 

 
Description:

An exceptional father-son story about the reality that tests us, the myths that sustain us, and the love that saves us.

Paul Coates was an enigmatic god to his sons: a Vietnam vet who rolled with the Black Panthers, an old-school disciplinarian and new-age believer in free love, an autodidact who launched a publishing company in his basement dedicated to telling the true history of African civilization. Most of all, he was a wily tactician whose mission was to carry his sons across the shoals of inner-city adolescence—and through the collapsing civilization of Baltimore in the Age of Crack—and into the safe arms of Howard University, where he worked so his children could attend for free.

Among his brood of seven, his main challenges were Ta-Nehisi, spacey and sensitive and almost comically miscalibrated for his environment, and Big Bill, charismatic and all-too-ready for the challenges of the streets. The Beautiful Struggle follows their divergent paths through this turbulent period, and their father’s steadfast efforts—assisted by mothers, teachers, and a body of myths, histories, and rituals conjured from the past to meet the needs of a troubled present—to keep them whole in a world that seemed bent on their destruction.

With a remarkable ability to reimagine both the lost world of his father’s generation and the terrors and wonders of his own youth, Coates offers readers a small and beautiful epic about boys trying to become men in black America and beyond.

About the Author

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a former staff writer at The Village Voice and Time and has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, O, and numerous other publications. He lives in New York City.

The Beautiful Struggle
A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

ISBN: 9780385520362
ISBN-10: 0385520360
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (Random House)
Publication Date: 2008
Format: Hardcover, 227 pages

 

Purchase your copy today here

 
 
 

Not On Our Watch

Not On Our Watch
A Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond
by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast

Not On Our Watch

Not On Our Watch
Item# 9781401303358

Description:

If you care about issues of genocide and other mass atrocities, but you just don’t know what to do and you truly want to make a difference, this book was written for you.

Mass murder. Rape. Torture. Starvation. The brutality of civil war in places like Sudan, Northern Uganda, Congo, and Somalia seems far away and impossible to solve. Six million graves have been freshly dug during the last couple of decades in this modern-day holocaust, and many millions of people have been driven from their homes.

You’ve heard the bad news. But the good news is that these horrors can  be stopped. It is in our hands:  citizen action in the United States and around the world can make a huge difference to the protection and survival of entire communities and peoples.

Angered by the devastating violence that has engulfed Darfur and other war zones in Africa, famed actor Don Cheadle teamed up with leading human-rights activist John Prendergast to shine a haunting spotlight o these atrocities. Here, they candidly reveal heart-wrenching personal accounts of their experiences visiting Darfur and Northern Uganda, and highlight the stories of extraordinary people across our country who are saying that genocide and other mass atrocities should not be allowed to occur. “Not on Our Watch!”

The book outlines six inspiring strategies that every one of us can adopt to help bring about change:  Raise Awareness, Raise Funds, Write a Letter, Call for Divestment, Start an Organization, and Lobby the Government. Simple, but powerful.

No personal action is too small. For the sanctity of the human race, it is imperative that we not stand idly by as innocent civilians in Darfur and other war zones continue to be victims of unthinkable brutality.

Take a stand. Raise your voice. Find out how you can make a difference. The time to act is now.

Not On Our Watch
A Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond
by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast

ISBN: 9781401303358
ISBN-10: 1401303358
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Publication Date: 2007
Format: Trade Paperback, 252 pages

Purchase Your Copy Today