Monday, March 30, 2009

You Can Run But You Can't Hide by Jackie Moore

Remember, be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid. ~Basil King

Scripture:But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD. Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. Jonah 1: 3-4 (New International Version)

Recently, I asked a friend, “Why am I compelled to do these messages?” Needless to say, my friend couldn’t answer my question but rather said, “I don’t know, but I thank God that you do.”

You see saints, often times it is very painful to write about some of the things that I do. I sometimes feel that it is a great weight that I carry. No matter how much I try to deviate from writing these messages, I often find myself sitting here with a new story to tell. I realize that I have been given a mission by God and as much as may want to rebel, God will not allow it.

So it is with each and every one of us. God has given each of us a mission. It is our responsibility to carry out that mission whether we want to or not. When we try to walk along a path that is not of God, He will allow things to happen to in our lives that will force us back on the right path. You may be in the wrong relationship, pursuing the wrong job, or maybe you have just ignored the word of God and are following the world instead of following Him. Maybe just like Jonah, you have been given a directive by God but because you don’t want to do it, you try to run away from it. Maybe you are doing things in your life that God finds unacceptable. Or maybe, you have decided that you just don’t want to listen to what God is trying to tell you.I just want to let you know, that if there is something that God wants you to do, He will wear you down until you do it. If you are not listening to his voice, I urge you to pay close attention because God can and will get your attention, by any means necessary.

Be blessed

Prayer:Father God, I come before the throne of grace seeking Your face and Your favor. Lord, often times I hear Your voice and tremble. I tremble because I know that I am not doing your will but rather following my own. Forgive me Lord. I pray that You would forgive me for my mistakes of yesterday and I pray that You would find favor with me once again. Lord, I come standing in the gap for my family and friends. I pray for the family who lost a mother and the family who lost a young child. So many need so much. I ask that You would comfort those who are heartbroken, assure those who are at a lost, strengthen those who are weak. Lord, help us to realize just how blessed we are. We may not have all that we want, but you continue to supply all of our needs. Lord, we just want to thank You for all that You have done in our lives and for all that You are about to do. Keep us all in perfect peace and help us to keep our minds and our hearts set on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In His name we pray. Amen.
Jackie Moore is the author of Serving Justice. Order your copy of Serving Justice today at!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Perfect Woman by K.L.

(If Only in My Mind)

I ask myself, why I am so lucky.
Is there a reason I am so blessed?

But, you’re never supposed to question God’s work.
I say God because how do you explain her patience with me.

There is something about the way she understands my needs.

Are there other women who would love another’s children like her own?

Would another woman be strong enough to trust God and take you back when you have tasted someone else’s fruits?

Her soul is pure enough to douse the evil that once filled my own.

My vanity, pride and smugness have been replaced with concern, endearment and gratefulness.

I now concern myself with more than just my own needs.

Her smile fills my heart with joy.

Her tears burn at my soul and demand my immediate attention or screams for forgiveness.

I am blessed with an equal, so again I ask why I am so lucky.

Does God see something in me I don’t see? He must.

She is sexy beyond belief, even when she sleeps.

Can that comfortable look come from what I have brought to her life?

The world is funny, one minute you’re all alone, next thing all your dreams are being answered.

Thank you, God!

Well the only course of action is to leave all my worries, fears, and concerns at God’s feet.

Something about having the right woman makes each day, night and morning special.

I really do have the perfect woman if only in my mind.

**This is how I see my wife for it is with her I am even a better man than the Lord has made. Combined with her soul, I feel there is nothing I cannot accomplish. That can only be done by submitting ones life to the Lord and trusting that what He gives back is a perfect you, regardless of what others think and feel. **

~K. L. Belvin

KL is an author and poet and contributor to The Soul of a Man. Find out more about KL at and more about The Soul of a Man at

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Understanding the Times and Connecting the Dots by Brian Ganges

Understanding the Times and Connecting the Dots

We are living in an age and in a time where events are happening so rapidly and in such an unprecedented way that it becomes difficult, at times, to decipher the world in which we live. 1 Chronicles 12:32 teaches us that there was an Old Testament remnant of God’s people (the tribe of Issachar) who were skilled with discernment in understanding the times; and today is no different. God has not left the world without witness regarding the end times and understanding of the media melee of information and disinformation that exists. If you are a Christian, then you should have a Christian worldview (Romans 12:1-3). The world has a secular view and unfortunately, many in the Church do too. This doesn’t mean that they are bad people; it simply means that they have been trained to think that way. I am here, in part, to provide what Anton Ego (the food critic from the cartoon movie, Ratatouille) desired: perspective.

Perspective is your point-of-view, your angle or your way of regarding a situation. I believe that I am one of many in God’s army that is anointed to help inform people to see the world for what it is and not for what they think that it should be or what it is perceived to be. For far too long, we have been fooled by Madison Avenue public relations firms, spin doctors and political correctness; while the Spirit of God is living on the inside of us. Paul said that “we are not ignorant of the enemy’s devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11) and we shouldn’t be fooled any longer.

We have been given dominion over this planet (Genesis 1:28), and more specifically this nation. If we (as the salt of the earth and the light of the world) are going to be successful in understanding the times and enforcing our God-given dominion, we must realize a few things. First, we must be cognizant of the fact that we live in a physical world that is influenced by spiritual laws and beings. Although unseen to our naked eye, these beings (God, the Author of good; and the enemy, the author of evil) exist and we see their effects upon our lives and the lives of others on a daily basis. Recognizing and operating in this mindset, quite simply, is called discernment: the ability to comprehend that which might not be completely understood by our five senses. Second, we have to accept the truth as reality. Things in the world may not operate the way they use to or the way we thought they were supposed to; but we have to see things for what they are and move forward. We can no longer rationalize the truth away with incoherent arguments, hope and denial. Third, we must be willing to understand, to admit, and to accept that our way of thinking is or might have been wrong. None of us is perfect, and we should all strive to learn and grow, but if we are not humble enough and teachable, then we raise the risk of walking in continued ignorance. Fourth, we have to understand that just because we are good people and we want to help people, doesn’t mean that everyone else’s motives in the world are good. There are bad people in the world who are selfish, mean and conniving; and there are good people in the world who have a skewed view of the way things should be. See people and their motives for what they are. Remember, people were burned at the stake and labeled as heretics because they believed that the earth was round. Some people have some strange beliefs, but if we have our roots in Christ we will always flourish. Fifth, we must realize that when we are philosophically going to a destination, we must know our current location. If we don’t know where we are, then we won’t know how to get to our desired destination; not to mention that it’s easier to be led astray by others if we are not familiar with our surroundings.

Many people are not interested in the masses understanding what is going on, and many people will tell us outright lies. Why? Because in darkness is where evil is bred; and confusion hides understanding and truth. Jesus told us to let our light shine and shout the Good News from the rooftop. So know if people are hiding the truth or constantly using public relations ads and politically correct rhetoric, just know that a big snow job is coming. You can also discern the situation by the Word and know who is the source of the deception; Jesus said that the devil is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). Look at some of the following quotes by some very famous people (past and present) about how they deceive people.

"Television was our chief tool in selling our policy."—Richard Haas, President of the Council on Foreign Relations

"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."—George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States of America

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.—Vladimir Lenin, Russian Communist politician & revolutionary (1870 - 1924)

“Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have.”-Richard Salant, former president, CBS News

"News is what someone wants to suppress. Everything else is advertising".--Alfred Lord Northcliffe (1865-1922) was a British newspaper pioneer who revolutionized magazine and newspaper publishing in Britain
In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.--Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States of America

"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dare to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell the country for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press. We are the tools and vassals of the rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."-- John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff at the New York Times in 1880

"The average person in the U.S. watches about four hours of television each day. Over the course of a year, we see roughly twenty five thousand commercials, many of them produced by the world's highest-paid cognitive psychologists. And these heavily produced advertisements are not merely for products, but for a lifestyle based on a consumer mind-set. What they're doing, day in and day out, twenty-five thousand times a year, is hypnotizing us into seeing ourselves as consumers who want to be entertained rather than as citizens who want to be informed and engaged. We need to take back the airwaves as a sphere of mature conversation and dialogue about our common future."--Duane Elgin, "On Simplicity and Humanity's Future, IONS, Noetic Sciences Review, December 2002

As you can see, there are some very powerful people who understand the times; and they know that in order to carry forth an agenda that may not be to our liking, they must attempt to blind us from the truth. From Scripture, we know who the enemy of the truth is.

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.—2 Corinthians 4:3-4

I am just one of many workers in the Lord’s vineyard (1 Corinthians 3:7-9), crying aloud and sparing not (Isaiah 58:1) in the midst of political correctness and the constant barrage of bickering amongst the political pundits. Regardless of anyone’s political affiliation, if you are a lover of Jesus, then your first allegiance is to the Word of God, and NOT to your friends, family or race. Think about it…….Christ declared that we are salt (a preserving agent of righteousness) and light (that which dispels darkness); and if we are not being what God declared us to be, then what are we doing? Who will be that salt and light? Shall the rocks cry out? Things have gone south in this country because the salt has lost its savor and in many instances the world is trampling us under their feet; yet the Bible teaches us that the enemy and his way are under our feet (Luke 10:19). Do you see how things can get out of control when we don’t take our proper role in society? Everyone won’t be as active and as vocal as I am, but we all have an obligation to be informed so that we can inform others, choose righteous leadership and ensure that righteousness reigns at the local, state and federal levels (Proverbs 29:2).

I have been around politics and politicians most of my life. I have met mayors, a governor, and interviewed U.S. Presidential candidates on my radio show; and I can say with 100% certainty that a lot of politicians are no smarter than you and me. That is why we have to check them and make sure that they are working for us, regardless of gender, race or party affiliation. Although many may feel that politics is boring and a waste of time to follow, we must remember that politics governs many aspects of our lives. Government regulates our banking system, education, insurance, commerce, determines taxes, and so much more. So it would be to our advantage to make sure that we understand what is going on and know for certain if the news media and politicians are telling the truth or putting their public relations spin on things. We must make sure that we are represented by people who have a vested interest in equality and righteousness in the civic arena. What good is it to know that something has happened, but we have no idea if or how the situation will affect us, our family, and our friends?

For example, in today’s big news stories, we have been told that the economic downturn was caused by irresponsible people taking on bad mortgages from unscrupulous lending institutions. This is only a thimble full of the reason why this situation happened. But the media and the politicians will tell us otherwise. I am only using this as an example because the faster we can get a true grasp on the reality of the affairs of the world, the faster we can stop finger pointing, hating our enemies (the opposite political party), and be leaders and right the wrongs in this nation’s policies. But we MUST start seeing passed east and west, black and white, rich and poor, democrat and republican, so that we can see the big and clear picture.

Well, I am here to do my part, and I hope that you will join me in doing your part in spreading the Good News in the Halls of Justice however God leads you. Live well.

BRIAN GANGES is a contributor to the forthcoming,

The Soul of a Man. Learn more about The Soul of a Man at

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mahogany Aphrodite by Marc Lacy

Mahogany Aphrodite

Illustrious honey bronze
tint seals the bodacious
radiance captured via
her heavenly allure...

Immaculate describes
the curvaceous splendor
appealing to the eye
as it thunderously reeks
of divine symmetry...

History is constantly made
as she passively flexes
her statuesque prowess
which yields optical cavities
for onlookers in epic proportions...

The strength exuded within
her smile profiles
the handsomely girly pearlies
as they cast a glowing ivory
rainbow extending longer than
The Nile...

A picture straight from
scripture is painted within
the garden as she flanks The
Tree of Knowledge awaiting
her Adam prince to take her hand...

Lovely describes her eternal
aura as the sensation per her creation is a major topic...IN GOD'S PLAN...

She is Mahogany Aphrodite

(c)2007 Marc Lacy

The incredible Marc Lacy is a contributor to the forthcoming The Soul of a Man, at Learn more about Mr. Lacy at

Friday, March 13, 2009

Writing Is Much More Than Just Words by Alvin C. Romer

Writing Is Much More Than Just Words...

When I was 10 years old I wrote my first essay, was mesmerized with Walt Whitman and discovered Ralph Waldo Emerson. The former, who penned a poem that I had to learn and recite helped shaped my love for the poetic form of interpretive expression. Both of these historic figures has shaped my journey as a writer. ‘O Captain! My Captain!’ by Mr. Whitman still reverberate in my consciousness, and if asked to recite today I still remember the words! Emerson, whom I consider to be the greatest essay writer ever urged independent thinking and believed that scholars learns
best by engaging life and writing about it! Over the years I’ve endeavored to do that as the writing life has been good to me for the most part. It has allowed me to extend beyond margins and use imagery to dig deep within for literary value. I developed a love for words and set out to learn as much as I could on the origins and how to use them. The gist of this essay lends itself to my assessment that writing, if done from a foundation citing passionate roots for the craft and a willingness to get to the levels here notoriety carry more weight then obscurity, can be the lease on life in garnering individual success. Herein lie my thoughts on the subject:

Much More Than Words...
Emerson also said that, "Talent alone cannot make a writer." It's a phrase most journalists and serious authors can relate to but often finding themselves falling prey to indifference. I may add my two cents by saying; writing is more than just words”. Aspiring writers and veterans too, should be aware that when proper syntax, hyperbole, and metaphor are structured for reader analysis, words become central to dramatic effect and intent. But more often than not, not all things come together for all intended purposes for a good read. Albeit, sometimes even the best ideas, combined with top notch reporting and research can be hard to translate onto the page. Still, there are some writers technically have paid their dues and have learned the craft, and understand the importance of denouement. It’s all about knowing how to turn complex, even tedious, material into compelling stories to keep readers enthralled and pages turning. As an avid Book Reviewer, and Editor even, I run across books that do not adhere to any of the aforementioned. A well-structured manuscript should subscribe to all of the literary elements for telling that story the way you want your readers to get your point. You don't want to waste the reader's time with a book that is not prepared for adequate adherence to literary worth.
The title of this correspondence is one that I've always wanted to verify - that not all authors and books born without enhanced content will buttress this industry for stability. I asked a question among my students as part of an essay writing contest - 'what makes a writer a great author' and got a plethora of answers and unique responses. Having worked as a Journalist and adjunct literary professional wearing many hats, I've seen and read quite a few books that couldn't hold water, as well as a few that were outstanding in presentation and qualitative verve. Authors that stood out were those that wrote from a model that exemplified a deep passion for imagery. I've always surmised that writing is much more than a string of words thrown together from one end to another hoping that the middle won't sag. The reality is that all aspiring authors (and a few veterans, too) must face the fact that the odds are higher that they will not hit the bestseller lists. Nor will they become rich writing as a career, especially without a substantive written legacy among other attributes.Thus, no matter how talented, hardworking and prolific they may be, the market simply cannot sustain more than a few James Pattersons and Toni Morrisons. But writing that seminal novel takes much more than what you and I may see on the surface. We all know that perseverance more often than not will balance the law of averages for some semblance of success when all the 'i's are dotted, and 't's crossed to say that you did your homework. How will it effect context and content? It may even call for that extra-curricular mustard spread out evenly sandwiched between slices of anticipated success to give written works justified tastes for easy consumption. When a story is well-written authors go the length to make sure that the foundation has been put in place and that storyboards are followed and the necessary research done to give it legitimacy. When words flow and jive coherently the aforementioned Mr. Emerson would be proud!

Moreover, when I read I want to identify with what authors are trying to convey…I want their mindsets to further propel me to feel that I’m part of the action. Truly, that’s page-turning delight for me! I love history and can appreciate yesteryear’s timing and sequences; I’m a sucker for a good period piece that tells me what I need to know. But it also has to be written in a way that holds my interest. The topic must be compelling enough, important enough, and conducive to warrant that words are not mere pawns holding the story line hostage. I guess I’m becoming too astute in my judgment of the type of writing that has become mundane and fitting the industry’s penchant for status quo. Because I want more, I have no problem extending my reading file as I’ve become accustomed to ‘reading across the board’. That’s akin to not being limited or inhibited to certain genres that won’t allow a broader base of reference.

Comprehensive journalism and entertaining literature written where words dance on the pages allow metaphoric drama to guide adjectives that render readers spellbound. Alas, the most important feature of this type of writing is finding a personal connection and a reason to say – “damn, that was a good book!"

Of late, I’ve been writing more, especially in the non-fiction mode preparing for publication of a series of my essays and articles written recently. I get a chance to reflect, write and choose from my personal journals, freelance assignments, and memoir that’s relevant from my observance of life seen from my catbird seat. I want to become that vital wordsmith with something to say where the words actually are meaningful. I want the essays that I’ve contributed over the years to academic journals to give credence to my faithfulness. I’ve come to love giving insight on how things should be done, even. I feel that every ‘how-to’ story should offer readers a set of action items or a start-to-finish process they can easily follow and begin to implement the minute they're finished reading. The substance provided needs to be detailed enough that readers find value, but not so detailed that it seems overwhelming and impossible to put into practice.
Words are important to me. I choose them carefully when I articulate orally and written. In my estimation, wit and wisdom are progenitors of them if placed with eloquence beyond ordinary thought. As a researcher writing articles, I want my words to signify a greater sense of flow…I want them to act as a filter, sorting through the information collecting and presenting the pieces that are most useful and significant. I am always reminded by several of my author friends who chide that a good story shouldn’t just sound an alarm -- it should marshal an army of intellectual resources to help readers to respond to stimuli! As you read this piece and formulate your next writing project, put some oomph in your choice of words while writing, think about how you may better present your novel idea so that your words can be that command performance before an enthusiastic audience chomping at the bit for them. Words are characters of content; they need to be dressed right for style and substance. Great writing indeed is much more than words when you’re ready to perform with them!

Obscurity Vs. Notoriety
In my opinion, writing is personal but should be shared. I also believe that an author should revise work as often as needed. I can look no further than my own situation and transition to an becoming an accomplished writer. Am I good enough to be a one with style, substance, and laden with enough talent to be among the published authors with books already on bookshelves? Yes, I ask myself this constantly, and have given it much thought. My lifelong dream was not always to write a book, have it published and to see my name among other authors and titles on those same shelves. Rather, all I ever wanted was to be able to write period and do so with clarity. I feel that somewhere down the line publishing that first book will become a reality in due time.
How daunting is this task if you’ve persevered beyond the nuances and obstacles along the way? I carry my pen and pad savoring poignant and pensive moments capturing and preserving them by writing them down so that thoughts and mindsets for future articles and essays are not lost. There have been times where I’ve been reluctant to share...not wanting people to see that perhaps I may not ready to be unveiled. I’m human and may be prone to eschew workshops and other writing classes because I’m impatient and insolent even, thinking that I’ve been there and done that.

Along the way I’ve learned that writing forces you to be disciplined if the passion is genuine, With it, in your mind you KNOW that you must perfect the craft, and be considered worthy of your audience having confidence in you. If you’re like me, you’re driven by wit, words, and wisdom from your creative mind to be productive and provocative. You have some modicum of success as an Independent Book Reviewer perhaps, you have written columns online, and consider yourself an Essayist with at last count, over 120 essays written within the last year and a half; you have joined a number of online book and reading groups to stay vibrant and in touch with the literary Diaspora, and you blog. And oh do you blog! Blogging is fun, In addition to mly signature ones, I write columns for several online blogs and I love It! The website you may have produced gives you a certain sense of success, but it’s not inclusive of the broad range of success that can be yours only within confining margins of acceptability and success, but who wants only marginal success? I want more, and it’s time!

Obscurity. That word makes me cringe, and I admit it unnerves me in a way that I began to feel like success will elude me. When I sit down to put words to paper, be it via computer or what, I feel the butterflies in my stomach from anticipated fervor knowing that something is going to happen. My creativity is like that, so full of nervous energy until the ink flows indelibly without any inhibitions. This current essay purports to give insight to the persistence of the unknown writer, the writer that needs to shed his cocoon sprout wings and take off. Ask me am I committed and you wouldn’t find anyone more determined to belong. I know Jean-Paul Satre and his defining principles of existentialism and commitment – the necessity of defining oneself by choosing, continually choosing, always an uncompleted act but simultaneously completing, needing to feel accomplished! I was a young man as far as I can remember being someone who wanted to be accepted as a writer – no, I was already sure that I was a writer, even though I had not started my freelance writing career, and hadn’t yet seen anything published with my name attached to it.

Remembering those days before the monies started coming in were dark and wistful, but I always found the courage to stay the course. To understand the elements that went into Satre’s work, is to be existential and the determining agent responsible for my own choices. This is what drove me, and continues to give me that burst of psychological energy needed to keep focused. I feel no negativity being connected to his idealism because to some extent, all writers will have experienced what I’ve felt in wanting to be accepted. Talent notwithstanding, vestiges of existentialism is present in the form of terms that are synonymous with productivity, often the harbinger of doubt. We tend to call it anxiety, writer’s block, ennui, angst, or my favorite – melancholy blues. But is this the best way to define moments like that when nothing of note comes across your pad, the times when you fail to connect the dots?

It gets back to how committed you are and want to be. IIs the passion still relevant and intimate? I’m aware of what needs to be done to give me mental stability and to keep my head above water to reach that higher level. I think about the stages and initiatives to let the powers that be to know whom I am and why I write as I do. It means not bowing down to those that may not understand or even have the type of intellect I do to allow them to see me as being pedantic. And yes, I have had a few of them who feel that I must come down to their level to be accepted and understood. I shrug and admonish them to get a bigger dictionary, or turn the other cheek when they see me coming. The persistence of the unknown writer will always be to harness obscurity, and get his/her work out there to be seen. Notoriety then, will take dare itself.

I’m challenged all the time when I write, because I want to know that each and every bit of work I produce can be the parts of a greater whole to obtain that seemingly obscure notoriety. When there’s no check in the mail I feel the sharp edge of terror gripping me, and reality is much more than the imagery I tend to substitute it for.

I lament the fact that no agent has called me and asked for my manuscripts; no editor has offered me a chance to be redlined and marginalized with trial and error; and certainly no options to be given a pink slip of rejection, even. I suppose that there’s a consolatory rung on the ladder toward acceptance for a writer of my caliber, and it’s the hope that perseverance would continue to prevail against all odds, and that continuity is the core of it. What is the lesson for others to learn having to deal with obscurity? For those of us still languishing in obscurity we have to remind ourselves that we STILL have to keep plying our trade...and that we are not yet part of that viable network until and when we produce something that will be prominent to someone in the right time and the right place. Ralph Ellison in his superb Invisible Man classic in the portrayal of the ‘Battle Royal’, gives an excellent analogy of Black men blindfolded and put into a boxing ring in which they strike out blindly until only two are left standing depicting winners, but actually winning nothing in the process! We are sure that there have been writers who have been told in many ways that their writing is of no significance, who face this serious and continuing crisis every day. I get people e-mailing asking what does it take to be a freelance writer, or what is needed to write with clarity, etc. I tell them unequivocally that patience and perseverance is testing time and learning as much as you can.

There problems are no worse than mine, being obscured waiting for that chance to be seen, recognized and accepted. I tell them also that they MUST pick up the gauntlet and run…for proverbial pens will yield the necessary ink one day to smear obscurity with determined moxie. We will honor what it took to get us where we are today, because insatiable desire has always rendered us thirsty enough to not drink only a half-filled glass as long as there’s room at the top with it running over with our inexhaustible desire to make it! Time will tell for sure. God has led me to Christian non-fiction writing as well as being further encouraged to write more essays. The soul of this man will be barred and the world will know that I’ve arrived!

The Brilliant Alvin C. Romer is an editor, essayist, professor, owner of The Romer Review, and is a contributor to the forthcoming The Soul of a Man: A Triumph of My Soul Anthology at

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Female Problems by Maurice M. Gray, Jr.

As much as we African-American men love our women, they are, at times, aggravating and frustrating (as of course are we, but this is about us!). It’s been my (and many other brothers’) experience that some (not all) sisters can be manipulative, confused, confusing and dishonest; the same as we men can. We aren’t perfect either, but that “all men are dogs” line is tired, played out and needs to be laid to rest. It’s been my experience that, when faced with the sort of man she professes to want, many sisters I’ve encountered don’t know how to deal with him and wind up driving away the very man they claim doesn’t exist.

The problem with our relationships is that not enough of us know and love Jesus, not enough of us know and love ourselves and that when it comes down to it, we’re just plain too stubborn to admit that there’s a problem. Yet here we are, the descendants of Adam and Eve, consecrated by God to play out this drama called love and relationships, drawn to each other even as we fight.
Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

From the journal of Erik Dawson


“Get out my way!”
Erik didn’t have time to react before someone shoved him knees-first into the nearest table. As a laser blast of agony seared through his already traumatized left leg, he gritted his teeth and suppressed a scream.
The offender’s friends tried unsuccessfully to get him to leave, if not apologize. Erik steadied himself, braced on his good leg and glared up at a man a foot taller than his own five foot four.
“What, you short, crippled and deaf? I said get out my way!”
Erik’s response was to remove his collapsible cane from his pocket and click it out to its useful size. He planted it on the floor for balance, stared the man down and held his ground.
“Oh, you must notta had your butt kicked lately. Otherwise, you’d get it out my way!”
You might’ve re-injured my leg just to show off for your friends, Erik thought. I don’t care how big you are- I ain’t taking this.

Sam Sanders was halfway to the door when a crowd across the room drew his attention.
What’s going on over there? Oh man, not a fight.
Sam strained to see over the crowd, and saw a six-foot brother cursing out a five-footer.
The little dude is Erik from church. He’s the guy who survived that car crash last year. Everybody talks about how well he handled his rehab and what a nice guy he is. I better help him out before Pastor has to say how nice he was in the eulogy.

A ray of common sense peeked through the curtain of Erik’s anger and revealed just how much trouble his temper had landed him in.
This is for real. Maybe I can convince him that it wouldn’t do much for his rep if he kicked my butt in front of all these people.
Erik stepped aside to let the drunk and his entourage pass.
“Look bruh, let it go. We all had a good time tonight- no need for all this.”
“Forget that! I seen you looking at my girl earlier, shorty. It’s on now!”
I had to run across a drama king. I can see the headlines now. Erik Dawson, age thirty, killed in comedy club for allegedly looking at a woman’s butt. Like you could miss it in that outfit.
Erik shook off his musings and stared at the big drunk, wondering how he’d get out of this one.
God, now would be a good time for an Old Testament miracle. Can a brother get a sling and five smooth stones right quick?

“Aw man, not again!”
Garvey Flowers emerged from backstage after a successful routine and saw the same thing he’d seen at the Comedy Cave for the past three weekends: Big Dante causing trouble.
Fool can’t get up in the morning without picking a fight.
A thought occurred to Garvey, and he headed towards the disturbance.
Maybe if I help bounce his big behind, they’ll give me a permanent gig.
Garvey sighed and made his way through the crowd, questioning why he chose this profession in the first place.
With no hope of a diplomatic solution, Erik brought his cane up and held it like a Star Wars character’s light saber. The drunk snickered.
“Oh, you went and got your own switch? Give it here then, and take your whipping like a man.”
Erik surprised even himself by flashing an obscene gesture with his free left hand. In his mind, Big Dante exploded forward like a panther. In reality, he moved like a turtle on Prozac. Erik had time to sidestep, make a sandwich, pivot on his injured leg, eat the sandwich and use the cane to trip Big Dante headfirst into a table.
Bystanders laughed as Big Dante stood up, apple martinis and beer dripping off his head. Erik tensed for a second attack.
I’m only gonna get one shot at him- it’ll have to count.
“Boy, I’m’a bust your - - -.”
“What’s your problem?”
A voice sounded behind Erik just as he prepared to hit Big Dante below the belt. Sam pushed his way through the crowd of onlookers, grabbed Dante and spun him around. Erik blinked in surprise at the sight of an unexpected benefactor, but stayed focused on Big Dante, determined to use the cane on him again if he so much as flinched in Erik’s direction.
“Is it a problem over here?”
The voice from behind Dante startled all of them. As Dante turned, Garvey steeled himself against the man's toxic breath and got right in his face.
“You ain’t gonna come in here every weekend causing trouble. Take your bad-breath-having-rode-the-short-bus-to-school behind on somewhere before I put my foot in it.”
Big Dante blinked in surprise. “Oh, you want some too? We can go!”
Sam stepped closer. “Since you’re not into fair fights, how about all three of us?”
Big Dante looked uneasy. Sam was his height, and Garvey was about five inches shorter, but stocky enough to give him pause. And Erik was short, but armed.
Erik wanted to break into a holy dance, but maintained his cool.
“Like I said bruh, let it go. It ain’t worth all the drama.”
Big Dante allowed his humiliated girlfriend and the couple with them to lead him away. Erik kept his cane ready and watched Dante and his entourage until they cleared the door.
Garvey put a hand of Erik’s shoulder. “You a’ight, man?”
“Yeah.” Erik smiled and relaxed. “Whew, that was close. I almost had to jack him up!”
Garvey and Sam looked at Erik, looked at each other and then exploded with laughter. Erik tried to maintain his poker face, but lost the battle and laughed until his back hurt. He sat down, still laughing.
Sam regained his breath first. “Man, you should be the one onstage!”
Garvey gasped for air. “You ain’t kidding- that was funnier then anything I said all month!”
Erik caught his breath. “Seriously though, thanks, both of you. It was about to get ugly.”
“Man, that was a hour past ugly!” Garvey laughed. “He was gonna knock you into next week and beat you again when you got there!”
The three men introduced themselves and exchanged brother-hugs and hand pounds all around. The crowd around them dispersed and spread the story about the almost-fight to those who were too far back to see what really happened.
“Listen fellas, thanks for having my back. I was about to go get something to eat. Come with me and I’ll hook you up- it’s the least I can do.”
Garvey's eyes lit up. “I don’t turn down free food. Lead on!”
The three men ended up at the Golden Dove on DuPont Highway, one of the only restaurants in the state of Delaware open past midnight. It wasn’t crowded, and they got a table right away.
Sam picked up his menu. “Erik, what were you gonna do if we hadn’t stepped in?”
“Appraise his family jewels with my cane.”
Sam and Garvey cracked up.
“And if that didn’t stop him, I was gonna lie there and try to control the bleeding until the ambulance came.”
“Good plan. Ever consider running?”
Erik frowned. “I don’t run well these days, Garvey. Besides, he took me there. It didn’t make one bit of sense for me to stare him down like that, but when he pushed me, I lost it. And by the time common sense kicked in, it was too late to back down.”
Sam drank from his water glass. “Did I see you give him the finger right before he came at you?”
Erik blushed. “Yeah. Not the smartest thing to do under the circumstances.”
“Man, that dude was from Beat Down, Alabama and he was ready to take you home for a visit!” Garvey shook his head. “The police woulda found you lying in the parking lot and wondered if those were tattoes on your butt or footprints!”
They all laughed, but Erik stopped suddenly.
He’s right. That moose would’ve worn me out. I almost threw away eight months of physical therapy for some idiot.
“You okay, bruh?”
Erik forced the self-recriminations down. “Yeah, I’m cool. It was stupid for me to challenge him. I mean, I ain’t been out the hospital that long and he would’ve put me right back in. Glad you two were there. It looked like everybody else there wanted to watch him feed me my cane!”
“I gotta admit, I helped you for selfish reasons.” Garvey chuckled. “I been performing there the past three weekends, and darn if Big Dante hasn’t acted a straight fool every time I’m there. I figured if I helped throw him out, the owner might offer me a contract.”
“Whatever works. I’m just glad you did it. How about you, Sam? Why’d you jump in it?”
“Guess I’ve got a Batman complex or something. I couldn’t just let that big joker push you around and not do anything about it. Besides, if Pastor Nathan found out I saw you in trouble and didn’t help, he might have put me out of Calvary!” Garvey blinked. “Oh, you do go to Calvary! I thought I seen you there. You sing on the choir, don’t you?”
“Yeah, the Men’s Choir. I’m about the tallest guy there- you can’t miss me!” They laughed and talked for another hour, barely pausing long enough to eat. Erik paid the check and they stepped out into the cool night air. Both Sam and Garvey noticed that Erik winced within a few steps outside and had to pull out his cane again.
Sam reached out a hand to steady Erik if necessary. “You okay?”
Erik waved him off. “Yeah, I’m good. I just overdid it tonight. I’m supposed to walk as much as I can without using the cane so my leg will get stronger, but fighting a homicidal drunk is definitely pushing it too far.”
Garvey thought for a moment. “Erik, if it’s none of my business, just tell me. However, I’m real nosy and I want to know what happened. Your accident I mean.”
The three of them had reached their cars. Erik sat on the hood of his father’s Buick LeSabre, and the others followed suit.
“Since you had my back tonight, the least I can do is tell you. I gotta warn you though, this ain’t a short story. We could be here a minute.”

Maurice M. Gray, Jr. is an author and comedian and a contributor to The Soul of a Man: A Triumph of My Soul Anthology. Female Problems will release this June. Learn more about Mr. Gray at, and more about The Soul of a Man at

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Resurrection of Street Lit by JIHAD

So often and for so long we, as African-American authors, have been pigeon-holed into very few categories. Let's be real, Mr. Charlie publishes what has been proven to sell: mainstream, baby-momma (daddy)-drama, and romance. Now over the last decade, Mr. Charlie has added Christian Fiction thanks to Victoria Christopher-Murray, Erotica thanks to Zane, Urban Erotica, thanks to Noire, and Street Fiction thanks to Teri Woods.

Street fiction: dead? I don't think so. Saying street fiction is dead is like saying poverty is non-existent. Street fiction is the re-emergence of the Harlem renaissance era. Look at Chester Himes, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Claude Brown, James Baldwin, and others.
Yes, there are a lot of authors writing poorly edited and meaningless street tales, as there are a lot of authors writing poorly edited mainstream, Christian Fiction, and Erotica stories. Let me give you some names of some Street Fiction authors that should be mentioned in the same light as Toni Morrison or Alice Walker: K'wan, Y. Blak Moore, Sister Souljah, Keith Lee Johnson, and Treasure Blue.

It is so easy to focus on the negative, and there are some atrocious stories, but I would much rather see us writing, than stealing, drug dealing, and killing. There's no glamour in having gone to prison, it's a stage that many black men go through unfortunately, but if we write about the life that we have lived, then just maybe we can prevent others from following in our footsteps. I did time in prison, a lot of it, and I was the first to write and publish a street fiction book, in August of 2000, (Wake Up Everybody: The Life of a Player) later renamed Street Life, since the days of Donald Goines. And it was the Street tales of Goines and Iceberg Slim that captivated me enough to keep my fingers turning pages. These books inspired me to read and I moved on to write about my life and the streets, for the sole reason of preventing our youth from following in my footsteps. You see, there are boys, girls, men, and women that are reading, that would have never picked up a book if it weren't for the Vickie Stringer's and Nikki Turner's of the world. Illiteracy has taken a heavy blow because of Street Fiction. What we need to do is help those who want to write and teach them the craft.

I've watched and listened to Nick Chiles and so many others degrade the art form of Street Fiction, and it is sad. It reminds me of Delores Tucker and the Reverend Calvin C. Butts who so adamantly campaigned to stop Hip-Hop in the early 90's. But, let's take a look at Hip-Hop. Look at Nas, Common, Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Q-tip, Grand Puba, Public Enemy, Krs-1, Rakim, Outkast, Gnarls Barkley, Paris, Tupac, and so many others that are teaching, and preaching about conscious, political views, and a history that Pastors and schools are not teaching and preaching. If Hip-Hop ended, millions of people would not take any time to reflect on issues such as the diamond trade, which was brought to the consciousness of many solely because of Kanye's song Diamonds are Forever.

So, let's lift the Street Fiction up that is good and relevant. The bad will eventually be weeded out, and hopefully these authors that really love to write will begin studying the craft. But we have to stop assaulting Street Fiction. Instead, assault bad writing and bad editing; Assault these mainstream publishers that won't sign someone if they write conscious street fiction, but will sign someone writing inconsequential garbage, solely because they've sold a lot of books in the past.

Love and Life.

ESSENCE Magazine best selling author JIHAD is the author of several novels and is a contributor to The Soul of a Man. Visit to learn more about JIHAD and visit to learn more about The Soul of a Man.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Beauty of Natural Black by Tyrell DeVon Floyd

The Beauty of Natural Black
Tyrell DeVon Floyd

Her Natural Beauty is enough,
even when covered up
she exemplifies God's Grace in the finest way

Her attitude is flawless,
and her self respect is strong enough
never to be tarnished;
truth be the word that best describes her

The way she takes nothin' and makes somethin'
is nothin' short of being an art form,
and her warm spirit reaches out to everyone
even when it goes unnoticed

She's as natural
as clouds sit high in the sky,
yet somehow her mind remains grounded

She's sexy without having to
parade her sexuality;
her attire consists of a dress
that's long enough to sweep the floor,
her hair swings low
like a chariot swings low
as it hangs to the middle of her neck

She's Beautiful,
and even more beautiful
as she holds fast to the struggles of life with a smile

She'll starve before climbing
the money hungry tree of greed;
instead she makes do with what she has

She's pure in nature and
respectable in appearance,
she has ingegrity;
so she cares less about the rainbow's colors
of fortune and happiness,
instead she's content just
being Black

To those unaware of her beauty;
they say she's quiet, sheltered, lacluster, and bland
but on the other hand a good man
acknowledges her as his
greatest compliment

She has everything that those counted
above her lack,
and for that,
she'll always be the true Queen
until the others gain what she has;
and that's,
the fortitude to
remain who she is despite
what others think

Her beauty embodies the naturalness,
the naturalness,
of the color Black
Tyrell DeVon Floyd is a radio personality based out of Seattle, Wa, and is a contributor to the forthcoming The Soul of a Man. Please visit to learn more about The Soul of a Man, and to reach Tyrell DeVon Floyd, E-mail:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Urban Lit is Dead by Joey Pinkney

Urban Lit is DEAD! by Joey Pinkney

Yep, I said it… Urban Lit is dead. Done. Finito.

Who am I to say that? I don’t have the same status in the Urban Lit industry as Nas has when he said the same thing for his music. I don’t have to. I read a lot of Urban Lit, and it’s dead.
Why do I speak such blasphemous words? This sentiment stems from an email conversation I had with Therone Shellman after reading and reviewing his novel No Love Lost. (Read my review of No Love Lost, click here.) His novel was atypical and his approach to life after the streets was refreshing. Another one that comes to mind is Erick Gray’s Crave All Lose All. (Read my review of Crave All Lose All, click here. Read my interview with Erick Gray. Part I, click here. Part II, click here.)

In brief, we discussed how Urban Lit doesn’t do justice to the situations that people are relegated to in hoods across America and beyond. The immorality and reality of the streets isn’t present in a lot of stories on the market today. Without going into detail, that book was the first one that I read in a long time that actually shined the light on the side of the game that most people see but few want to talk about.

Call the Coroner…
The Urban Lit genre is pumping out books with the same book covers and the same stories. Most of the authors have to boast their jail experience to get the attention and respect they think they need to sell their stories. (Sounds like rappers who have to talk about their hood exploits in order to be respected, instead of being lyrically proficient.)
The Urban Literature landscape is taking the natural life cycle of all cultural trends. It’s just like Hip-Hop, born from desolation and neglect. Just like the Hip-Hop that influenced its current direction, Urban Lit has gone from being an obscurity to being shunned to being assimilated into popular culture. That’s why the larger publishing houses are following suit and creating imprints to cater to ravenous readership that Urban Lit definitely has. That’s why you can go to Barnes and Nobles or Borders or even Wal-Mart and see the latest and greatest in the (unofficial) Urban Lit section. It’s selling.
Before it got it’s name, authors like Omar Tyree (who recently stopped writing Urban Lit), Sistah Souljah and Teri Woods wrote books that spoke to a group of people who couldn’t get the time of day from the larger publishing houses. The prevalent thought at the time was that “those people” don’t read. Urban Lit has now been digested and regurgitated by the large publishing houses just like Master P did to rap music during his hey day. And just like his albums covers, words are blinged out, the men look mean and the women look horny.

From the Cradle…
With a “for us, by us” mentality, what would later become Urban Literature was strictly a person-to-person enterprise. Authors were printing up there own books and selling them out the trunk, on the corner, mom-and-pop stores and beauty salons. Full of sex, violence and grammatical errors, these books and the readers who loved them were looked down upon by the mainstream book industry.
Then the book industry got hip. “Those people” were buying those books terrible books. “Those people” were requesting sequels and anything else their favorite hood author put out there. Why? Because those books were entertaining, but they also had an underlining message. Readers could relate.
Fast forward a couple of decades. Now every book cover either has a young black dude with braids, two ear rings, tattoos, sagging jeans and a mean mug or the book has a young female in her early twenties wearing something that makes it easy to figure out what the birthday suit is like. The stories are still about the hood, but nowadays there is a twist. The money, clothes, hos, jewelry, expensive cars, huge houses and the swagger runs the stories.
Urban Lit authors still have to get on their grind, print up the copies and sell them by any means necessary. The difference now is that they have to compete for shelf space with the larger publishing houses. A lot of times, they have to compromise the integrity of their story to fit what the readers will buy. It’s no longer a novelty to have a book with the hood as the backdrop.

To the Grave…
The immorality and reality of the streets isn’t present in a lot of stories. This article actually stemmed from an email conversation I had with Therone Shellman, author of No Love Lost. Without going into detail, that book was the first one that I read in a long time that actually shined the light on the ___ side of the game. (Another one that comes to mind is Erick Gray’s ___.) Shellman is a person is has been there and done that, and it shows in his approach to his story.
A lot of people complain that most of the Urban Lit books are the same three or four stories with a different title and character names. For that matter, most of the authors have the same felonious background story in their bios. It’s just like Hip-Hop nowadays. You could take a black male between 16 and 36 (because you know we stay young looking for a while) and give him a grill, some tatoos, a fitted, a throwback (or white tee), some sagging jeans (and boxers), a gold necklace with some goofy pendant, a diamond encrusted watch, and some Air Force Ones. Then put him in front of a mansion with a couple of Lambourghinis and Escalades with a buch of women in their early 20s in bikinis. Throw on some music, let him pose and point around aimlessly showing off that goofy pendant. Oh yeah, I almost forgot let him rap…
That’s similar to what you see in Urban Lit. Most Urban Lit books has the guy that’s a drug dealer with all the name brand clothes and cars. He has enough jewelry to finance a small army. The problem is that that guy gets robbed and/or killed in real life. A perfect example is all of these rappers getting their chain snatched left and right. They talk all that stuff on the albums and still get robbed when they leave the studio. Where are the guns? Where are your boys?
On top of the hood watching you, the cops are watching harder. Most of the dudes that make it to BET’s American Gangster get an episode because of one big mistake, being too flashy. Make a solid gold crown if you want, the cops will do everything they can to take that and everything else, including your life.
I understand what’s going on. People don’t read Urban Lit to get the scoop on reality. Like my girl Davida Baldwin said it, “You don’t read Street Lit for self-help and motivation, you don’t read street lit to help out the community, you read it for entertainment.” If you put the average thug n!gga or hoodrat on the book cover, it wouldn’t sell. It would probably make it hard to sell the book right next to it, too. (LOL!) If it takes a model on the cover to get noticed, then sex has sold again. To be honest, authors don’t spend months and years to write a book for it to sit in a book store. They write it to hopefully put money in their pockets.
The larger publishing houses are in the game to sell units. If you like it, they love it. Business is business, but we the readers should expect more from Urban Lit authors.

The passionate Joey Pinkney is a contributor to the forthcoming The Soul of a Man: A Triumph of My Soul Anthology. Learn more about Joey at and learn more about The Soul of a Man at

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Domestic Violence and Abuse Sucks! by S. D. Denny

When I was seventeen, I met a handsome young man who I eventually discovered turned violent when he became jealous. After getting hit in the head on more than one occasion, I walked away from the situation and refused to see him ever again. I never imagined that I’d be confronted with this kind of violence again, but in my twenties I became involved with yet another man who would use violence to try to control my life. This time, it wasn’t as easy to walk away from the situation because I’d had a child with him. For years, I lived in fear of being hurt or even killed. I thank God that He protected me from harm and showed me what real love is. On the other hand, not everyone is able to escape this sickness as easily. I continue to pray for a family member who has been the victim of domestic violence for over 15 years now. It’s as though she doesn’t think she deserves anything better; like this is what her life should be like. What about her innocent children? Should they be made to suffer as well?

Domestic violence doesn’t just affect the victim. It reaches far and wide and there are indirect victims who suffer as well. For instance, the children of the victim suffer as they watch their parent or guardian abused and demeaned at the hands of their perpetrator. And there are family members who are helpless as they watch their child, sister, or brother constantly in danger, not knowing when or if the phone will ring or if a knock will come at the door bringing bad news.Domestic violence is more common than some of us may be aware.

Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives, according to a 1998 Commonwealth Fund survey.If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence and would like to get help, here are a couple of resources where you can start: or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Have you or someone you know ever been the victim of domestic violence?

What affect did it have on your life or the life of your family and/or friends?

How did you become free from the situation?

“She speaks!” I listen…

Visit to learn more about S.D. Denny and her forthcoming debut novel, The Baker's Dozen.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Burnt Cookies by LaToya S. Watkins

I think we were friends before. Of course, I can’t remember now. Mere adversaries today. Tomorrow might be better, if one of us chooses to retreat. Marriage, humph. As sacred, which equals scary, as the whole institution is, I loved it in the beginning. Seven or eight months ago. Maybe this morning too. I wonder when I lost track without even knowing that I had stopped counting the days since I had arrived at my sweet paradise. I wonder when Eden faded and something close to, but not quite Hades was birthed. Maybe it was the loads that became tons of weekly laundry that would only respond to my hands or my touch. Or maybe it was the cookies that kept burning in the oven every time I tried, because mommy, employee, student, and wife, overthrew baker. And I forgot the cookies, no I forgot the oven existed.

I know… it was ironing clothes for two days for three children while reading, Through Women’s Eyes, for Thursday night history in the Masters program, coupled with reviewing galleys for work the next morning, all the while looking forward to a precious four hours of sleep. It was creating my own schedule so that the kids had a ride to school and didn’t have to wait in the rain after they were released for a ride that would never come. It was me, the magician who got up first and alerted the family that daybreak was underway and it was time to start the day. I didn’t only push start on the coffee pot; I ground the coffee fresh daily.

And in all my venting and ranting and raving, I love him. Today, I don’t like him, but always I love him.. I burnt the cookies tonight and I am upset. I burnt them last night too and he braved the cold and drove to the nearest grocer to buy more.. He was sorry that I had burned them. He blamed himself. He said that he has learned to watch the oven when I bake because I have so many roles that I tend to loose track. I promised me last night, no more burnt cookies. Or maybe it was no more angry love. No more pouting, I promised. I think. But after more burnt cookies and an hour of wailing Bob’s Could This Be Love, I pout. Did I mention it was because of burnt cookies? Can you believe I tossed the whole pan across the kitchen? He ran in (this was not the first time I had thrown the burnt cookie pan). I had already placed my earplugs back into my ears and pushed play on the Ipod and Bob was back in my ear with his melodic hymn about love, life, and peace by the time he made it into the kitchen.

He was careful with his words and looked me directly in the eyes (even though I avoided his). I think he does this for control, but he’ll say that he does it to indicate that he is paying attention to me. He spoke gently, but loud enough that his voice drowned out Bob’s, “Why do you do that?”

I didn’t look up from the dishes (that I had started to wash to take my attention off of the cookies), but I was aware that the cookies still lay on the ground beside the fridge where they had landed. “Don’t come in here,” was my sharp reply.

He stood a bit longer, willing me to look at him. When I didn’t he disappeared down the hallway, to give me and those cookies time to cool off.

He returned later when I had folded Bob’s voice up and placed him on the counter. I was in the den now, folding warm clothes from the dryer. He was in the kitchen, sniffing through the Alfredo that I had prepared for dinner. I still avoided his eyes, which he seemed unfazed by. He looked over the bar into the den and asked, “Hey babe, want me to fix your plate?”

He is a good man, burnt cookies don’t faze him. I fear though, that this angry love I am giving will push and push and push and push. He will be a hurt man, an angry man, a burnt man. Much like the cookies I tossed tonight. I don’t want to love him angry. So I pray:

Lord, give me the patience to handle the everyday obstacles of being a matriarch. I don’t take it lightly, but I know that there is a perfect balance in your plan. Give me vision to see anger before it has a chance to engulf my spirit. For your word says anger but sin not, and in my anger I am prone to sin. Humble me before my husband as he follows you, I shall follow him. Position my family so that the true head is the head and I am but a help-mate. Give me comfort in the fact that there will be plenty more burnt cookies, but let truth be in no more angry love.

LaToya S. Watkins is the author of the forthcoming

In Love with Losers. Find out more at

Sunday, March 1, 2009

2009 Black Book Club Rock Awards!!!!

Elissa Gabrielle has been nominated for the 2009 Black Book Club Rock Awards in the category of Sistah of Excellence!

Voting begins February 6 and ends March 15, at Please support Elissa by casting your vote!

February 10, 2009 at 9PM/EST will be the official kick off party on the Sistah Confessions Radio Show with a monthly spotlight thereafter.

God Bless You All.