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Eric Jerome Dickey

Sister Sister. Between Lovers. Thieves’ Paradise. Naughty or Nice. Naughtier Than Nice. Drive Me Crazy. An Accidental Affair. These are just a few of the many novels that Eric Jerome Dickey wrote. It is with sadness that I write the post. On January 3, 2021, Eric Jerome Dickey, a literary giant, departed this earth, and his death came as shock to his audience.

When I saw the first Instagram post about Dickey’s passing, I immediately searched the Internet to find out if this news was true; I found nothing. A few hours later, I saw another post. I searched the Internet again, and again, I found nothing. I saw a third post. For the third time, I searched the Internet. This time, I found an article confirming his death. and no, it was not fake news. I could not believe it. I stared at my phone; I was hurt. This man was my favorite author. Although I never had the opportunity to meet him, I felt like I had lost a friend.

As I processed this news, my phone rang. It was a friend calling to see if I was okay. She knew that I would be sad about Dickey’s death. When I answered the phone, she immediately asked, “Are you okay?” I totally appreciated that call, so to my friend, LaQueisha Malone, thank you for your act of kindness.

The literary world lost an icon. He had the power of the pen. He was a master of words. He made his readers feel like they knew the characters in his books He made his readers feel emotion while reading his books. He may be gone, but he will never be forgotten. Eric Jerome Dickey, thank you for sharing your talent. God rest your soul.

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Bookmarks Anyone?

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Trethewey’s On the Blog Today

American poet and author; 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; 2012 U.S. Poet Laureate

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Personal Achievement

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Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown, and Me: A Memoir by John A. Stokes

It is the era of Jim Crow, and segregation is rearing its ugly head. From transportation to education even to drinking from water fountains, there is a division between blacks and whites; in other words, everything is separate.

John Stokes chronicles his experience of racism growing up in Kingsville, Virginia, which is located in Prince Edward County. Stokes focuses his attention on education because he and his sister, Carrie, “walk four and a half miles to attend school in Farmville, Virginia.” In contrast, white students ride the bus to a nearby school, a whites only school. The “separate but equal” law is not only in effect but also strictly enforced.

It is 1927, and Prince Edward County finally builds its first high school for black students. Robert Russa Moton School provides education for students in grades 8-12, and they walk to school until “their” bus service begins in 1939. Ironically, the school board opens another Robert Russa Moton School, and the first building becomes an elementary school. Sadly, the school is not large enough to educate over 180 students. “The white school board’s solution to this overcrowding was to add three wood-frame structures with tar-paper walls…it is heavy paper covered in tar that is used for waterproofing and wind proofing buildings. No brick, mortar, or wood covered the wall. Tar paper provided the only insulation.” (Stokes 50). Unfortunately, when it rains, more problems exist; the building leaks. “They are inadequately insulated. There are not toilet facilities in them. We have an enrollment of more than 450 students in a school that was set up for 180 students.’” (Stokes 51).

Fed up with Jim Crow Laws influencing their education, on April 23, 1951, students of Robert Russa Moton School decide to take a stand and fight the powers that be! These “good troublemakers” fight for equality in education in Prince Edward County, Virginia, more specifically, in Kingsville, Virginia. Due to the racism that exists and being tired of it, the students execute the “Manhattan Project.” Read about how these students fight the school board in search of a better educational system for black students.

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Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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from Naughty or Nice Eric Jerome Dickey


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Grand Opening: A Family Business Novel by Carl Weber

How It All Started

In Grand Opening: A Family Business Novel, readers are introduced to Lou, L.C., Larry, and Levi – the infamous Duncan brothers. There is also a story line focusing on Chippy, Donna, and Alejandro Zuniga. Overall, I like the novel because I now know how the Duncans got started with their businesses and how L.C. and Chippy’s relationship began. However, I hated reading about cockfights, dog fights, and helpless piglets because I am an animal lover.

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Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟

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Currently Reading: Missing by Brenda Z. Guiberson

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“The Cask of Amontillado”

You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; You are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter.

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Adventures with Liyah Presents: Colors at First Sight by Vallean Jackson

Are you a parent who wants to teach your child about colors? Are you an educator who wants to teach your students about colors? Whether you are a parent, an educator, or both, Adventures with Liyah Presents Colors at First Sight is a book that all children should read. Just as the title suggests, this book focuses on Liyah’s adventures through the world of colors. Whether primary, secondary, or tertiary, Jackson’s book brings colors to life so much that young children will want to read it. In fact, it could be the book that children will continuously want to read for their bedtime story or during story time at school.

Liyah, the main character, loves colors, and no matter where she goes on her journey, she sees an item that represents its particular color. For example, when the story opens, readers see Liyah sitting at her bedroom window, looking upward. Readers do not know what she is viewing, but they do know that she has a smile on her face. When they turn to the next page, readers discover that Liyah is viewing the sky, and it is the blue sky that makes her happy. Similarly, each page in the book follows this format. Readers will view an illustration of Liyah in a different location (her adventure), then read about it, which features a new color.

Navi Robins, the illustrator, brings Liyah’s adventure to life. On the first page, readers see Liyah surrounded by the colors that are featured in the story. Each page’s background is in color, and the words are written in white. However, the featured color is written in its particular color. For example, when Liyah tells readers about the color red, every word with the exception of red is written in white. This is an excellent strategy to use because readers can visualize the difference between the colors. In addition, because the illustrations are so detailed and vivid, young readers will not have to guess what the pictures are about. Hence, these illustrations will strengthen readers’ learning because they will be able to identify the pictures and colors as they see them in their every day lives. 

Overall, this book is definitely worth purchasing. It promotes learning, it is well-written, and the illustrations are easy to understand for the targeted audience. It is evident that Jackson devoted much thought about the content of this book and had fun writing it, and Robins’ illustrations clearly depict the words on each page. Hence, children will have fun reading while learning.

     Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Like Judgment Day -Michael D’Orso

“Rosewood” is the movie based on the novel, Like Judgment Day. Directed by the late John Singleton, “Rosewood” tells the story of a thriving, black community, located in Florida, that meets its demise due to a lie. This one lie, which some people do not believe, causes the loss of life, property, and trust. Even more, it produces major fear of the Rosewood residents toward the Sumner community. 

I normally do not watch a movie that is based on a book until I have first read it. In most cases, I do not even watch the movie because I do not want it to destroy the images that I have visualized based on book’s description. The only reason I watched this movie first is because I did not know that the book even existed. Once I found out about Like Judgment Day, I quickly put it on my TBR (to be read) list. 

While reading this book, I naturally compared it to the movie, and both are awesome! But I like the book because it tells the story of this horrendous lie from the perspective of the survivors and descendants who were affected without any Hollywood embellishments. Justice, spearheaded by Arnett Doctor, is a struggle to obtain. But through determination and perseverance, Arnett finds light at the end of the tunnel for all the Rosewood families who witnessed or learned about the deaths in their promised land. In addition, I was most impressed with the words of Josephus Eggleton. He states, “I will tell you this,” he continues, “There comes a time in everybody’s life, and in the history of a state, when we have to stand tall as humans, to recognize our faults and our shortcomings and to do what we have to do in order to right a wrong.” It does not matter the time nor day, be it large or small, if a wrong has been committed, then it should be AND must be corrected. 

This book reminds me of Death in a Promised Land: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. The Greenwood district of Tulsa is a thriving, black community until a lie is told, and it causes sheer pandemonium. If you have not heard about Rosewood, Florida, now is the perfect time to become familiar with this story and the stain it left upon American history.

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My 2019 Completed Reading Challenge!!!

I started my reading challenge in January 2019, and I reached my goal of reading 50 books. I almost thought that this goal would not be obtainable because there were months when I did not read a novel. However, I refused to set a personal goal and not reach it. As you can see, I completed this reading challenge. Yeah me! (Photo Credit: Amazon.com)

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Forever Reading

Slavery in 1921?

This book focuses on a piece of history that Freeman’s friend found and shared with him. “A friend had been looking through some historical material on his family in the area of middle Georgia where these events took place, and he found a brief account of the killings in a local history book” (Freeman 92). Deeply affected by this story, it was one Morgan knew he had to tell. Read this story to learn about the concealed system of slavery. 

The year is 1921, and the places are Jasper and Newton Counties in central Georgia. These two counties become widely known due to the horrific murders of eleven plantation slaves. The accused, John S. Williams and Clyde Manning, are on trial for these horrendous murders. This loss of human life occurred as the result of peonage.

In 1865, the institution of slavery officially ended in the United States, but unofficially, it did not.  This unofficial form of slavery was known as peonage. Peonage was a system in which “blacks were fined for vagrancy or other supposed crimes and then forced to work off the debt on local farms for what often became a lifetime of brutal conditions” (Freeman 60). This was the situation for Clyde Manning and other African-Americans on the Williams’ plantation. For whatever “crime” they committed, these individuals wound up on the plantation and never left. 

Freeman allows his readers to clearly understand the racial dynamics between whites and blacks during the time in which these murders occurred. Also, the way Freeman describes these murders are quite vivid but not in a good way. The details are horrific, and heartbreaking. As a reader, this is what made this novel extremely difficult for me to read. In fact, I almost stopped reading this novel, but I was determined to finish reading it because I wanted to know the fate of these two men after the jury rendered its verdict. If you want to learn about a hidden piece of history, then this novel is for you.

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Weekly Quote

“There are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.”

Rita Dove

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The Scars We Choose

Have you ever had a childhood sweetheart? The love of your life? In The Scars We Choose, the main character, Scarlett Elizabeth Nell Waverly, known as Lizzie Nell, has a love of her life. He is Julian Rose, who resides on the Florida Gulf Coast. When her family buys a beach house on this coast, she meets her prince, Julian “Hemingway” Rose. Although she is nine, and he is eleven, their puppy love begins. Lizzie Nell has vitiligo, and Julian has scars on his face. Lizzie Nell is white, and Julian is biracial. Sadly, while her parents prefer that she is only friends with peers of her race, this does not stop Lizzie Nell and Julian from becoming fast friends. 

Scarlett, as Lizzie Nell prefers to be called, is now living in Grand Isle, Louisiana, and it is the summer of 2013. Scarlett is telling her friends, Ms. Pinkie Perideaux and Genevieve, Ms. Pinkie’s adoptive daughter, about how she met Julian. But she does not just tell them about him, she also tells them about everything, meaning her life. 

As Scarlett divulges the details to Ms. Pinkie and Genevieve, she goes back and forth between her childhood and her present life. This style of writing will not allow Lee’s audience to lose interest in the story. In fact, it will keep them turning the pages. The more I read, the more I wanted to read, so I ignored my bedtime. I just could not and would not put down my iPad.

Also, I love Lee’s ability to allow her readers to broaden their vocabulary through Scarlett. Scarlett receives her first dictionary from her grandmother, Gramma Nell. Gramma Nell encourages Scarlett to learn a new word each day. Scarlett shares the new words that she learns, and explains their definitions in a clear manner. 

This novel deals with the themes of friendship, acceptance, love, race, and loyalty. The way Lee addresses these themes will make you think about the dynamics of life. In fact, it may make you think about your own life. If you want to read a great novel that you will not be able to put down, then read The Scars We Choose because you will not be disappointed. Let me warn you about the exciting cliffhanger at the end. It will make you want to read the sequel, which is currently in the works!

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Weekly Quote

Stop saying these negative things about yourself. Look in the mirror and find something about yourself that’s positive and celebrate that!

Tyra Banks

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Currently Reading

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