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Mama also came up from Jarratt for Debbie’s wedding. I introduced her to Jennifer, but she

was not very impressed. Jennifer and I never married. We broke up before I finished

my master’s program at Maryland. I have not seen her since 1980.

 

 

Letters of an Abiding Faith:

Legacy of a Slave's GrandDaughter to her Son

written by Ella Lewis to her Son (Rudolph Lewis)

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Letter 10

 

January 24, 1979 

 

Dear Son,

I received your letter Some time pass I was So glade to hear From you. I enjoyed your stay. I was So sorry your teeth gave you So much trouble. I miss you so bad. So now how are you doing. As for me I am doing OK. Still working.

You say your mind was wandering. Dont let it Wander up on the wrong thing.* I telling you it nothing out here and it nothing like peace of mind. But you are young. I do hope you find happiness Some Where.

All here is doing OK and all send love to you. Well I tell you a little news. Wanda is expecting a Baby. Also Davie's wife. So I guess they trying to keep up with Celestine.** We haven't had no snow down here yet But rain, sleet, and Cold. So dont you forget to keep in touch with me. As I still praying for you. And I love you Son

your Mother

Ella

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Commentary

*During this period, I was living with a beautiful young woman named Jennifer in Hyattsville, whose family lived in Bethesda. I visited them once and they were probably little impressed by my prospects. Jennifer and I met in a Shakespeare class taught by Dr. Donna Hamilton, without whose assistance and encouragement I would not have finished the graduate program at Maryland. In 1981, Dr. Hamilton, along with Drs. Lawson, and Hammond, heard my defense of my master’s thesis. Lewis Lawson, a specialist in American literature, was my thesis advisor.

**Wanda (daughter of Edith and married to a fellow from Southampton we call Jones), David (oldest son of Annie and married to a Jarratt girl named Gwynn) were both having their first child; both would go on to have several children. Celestine (oldest daughter of Lucinda and a public school teacher) was the mother of Monica Watkins; Celestine would have one more daughter, who she named Jacel. James Watkins, Celestine’s former husband and the father of her two girls, was a football player at College Park. The odds was that James would go to the NFL and make lots of money. But he dropped out of Maryland to marry Celestine and settled for a position as a state trooper. James died recently; maybe it was 2001. How awful it is to have a father die so young; even worse, when that father seemed never to have fulfill his potential.

It was also during this period that Debbie, Celestine’s  whole sister, married Anthony Ferguson, a math major and graduate of Maryland State College in Princess Anne, Maryland. Jennifer and I went to their wedding. I caught Debbie’s garter. I still have it somewhere in a box. Mama also came up from Jarratt for Debbie’s wedding. I introduced her to Jennifer, but she was not very impressed. Jennifer and I never married. We broke up before I finished my master’s program at Maryland. I have not seen her since 1980. I sometimes wonder, however, what became of her, whether she ever married, had children, became prosperous; whether she found happiness, or someone deserving of her charms. For surely she deserved much more than what I had to offer. What a wonderful smile she had and so gentle. I still have fond thoughts of her and a few photos when we were in our youth and carefree.

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

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Non-fiction

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#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
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#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
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#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.WashingtonPost

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 31 December 2011

 

 

 

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