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The Herbert Lewis Family

 

 

Herbert Lewis and Frances Bryant

On the Occasion of Herbert's 75th Birthday

9 August 2008

Fran ushers Herbert into his surprised birthday party

at Shoney's in Emporia, Virginia, where family and friends have assembled to celebrate his 75th.

 

Fran greets Chapel Hill Baptist Church's Reverend Bradley and his "first lady." Herbert is one of Chapel Hill's most respected deacons.

Son of Arthur Lewis and grandson of Daniel Robinson and Mary Lewis, Herbert Lewis (born 7 August 1933) is the father of three sons and two daughters: Caroline Lewis Coleman, Herbert Lewis, Jr. (wasn't present; wife was ill; lives in Florida); Michael Lewis, Sharon Lewis; and Shawn Lewis.

 Uncle Arthur and His Lady Friend (unknown)

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Arthur Lewis ("Uncle Arthur") had three children: Martha Lewis Teagle (5 February 1935; died 1 November 2002);  Mary (Foodie) Lewis Faison (born 5 January 1939); and Herbert Lewis (born 7 August 1933). I have known all three all of my life, though we have not been very close. I have always been very fond of Foodie, as a young woman she was fine, really pretty, and humorous. Martha and Mary spent most of their lives in Philadelphia, while Herbert remained in southern Virginia most of his life, except for that period in Philly from December 1951 to May 1963.

I was especially fond of Uncle Arthur's children because it was their father who taught me my letters and numbers. When I was a little boy, he bought me a blackboard and chalk and taught me to focus. I remember my lessons taking place out in the front yard (1953). Because of him I was well prepared for the first grade and excelled all my classmates and skipped the third grade and graduated high school when I was sixteen.

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Chontel Coleman, son of Carolyn Lewis Coleman; Jennifer (Sparkle) and daughter Genesis

 

Jennifer (Sparkle); daughter Genesis, and her grandmother Carolyn Coleman

 

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 Herbert and his buddies: Peter Givens, in front of Herbert; Leslie Eldridge (friend & neighbor),  against the wall

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Leslie Atkins, Herbert's stepson

 

Darlene Atkins (Fred's wife) 

Carolyn sent an email informing me of Herbert's surprise birthday party. I had not met any of the children of Martha, Mary, and Herbert, though Caroline and I have been emailing each other for sometime and she has been supporting the work of ChickenBones. I think she got to know me from the "family stories" I had published on the website. Calvin, Martha's son, had also discovered the stories as well. On their paternal grandfather's side of the family it was a blank, damn near. So they have been very pleased with the work I have done to keep our ancestors alive in such stories as Conjuring & Doctoring (which includes Uncle Arthur); Black Mama, White Son (tale told from the view of Mary Lewis, the Queen Mother of the Lewis Family), and then there is Father Son and Mary (which includes the man who raised me, William "Pompsie" Lewis, and his father George Graves).

Fran (Herbert's lady), Mary (Herbert's sister), Herbert; Calvin (Martha's son), and his wife Wanda

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Left to right in photo: Calvin Lewis, Martha's son;  Wanda Lewis (Calvin's wife); Caroline Lewis Coleman (daughter),

Mary (Foodie) Faison  (sister); Herbert Lewis, Sr; Michael Lewis (son); Sharon Lewis (daughter); Shawn Lewis (son).

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Fran and Herbert

 

Alester Teagle (Martha's daughter)

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Herbert's 75th birthday was a joyous and simple occasion. He was in good form.  I got to meet and be with my folks. They were kind and received me as a celebrity. Calvin bought me dinner and we had a long talk and reviewed some of the stories he had read on ChickenBones. We also talked about the family cemetery in back of where Grandma Mary used to live, near the edge of the woods. Calvin has begun his own family project, working up a book that will include the family tree beyond what I have in my family stories.                               Herbert (left)  and Rudy (right)

Calvin wants to leave a tree behind for his children and his cousins. I encouraged him to check out the old family cemetery. All of Mary's sons are not there, Daddy (William Lewis) is buried here at Jerusalem. Richard is buried in some cemetery in Baltimore. Percy became white and disappeared in the 50s. Edward and Irvin were buried on the Owens farm, where they all worked as semi-slaves. Their bones have been plowed under, probably, to enrich the earth on which they gave their lives.

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Lewis Cemetery

Below are those I know buried there. Some were buried in wooden boxes with their names on tin plates. Those graves are sunken and have not been well attended. Exactly where Mary is buried there I don't recall. Mama when she was able built the graves back up and cleaned around them. It probably would be very nice if a stone or metal placard was set there with all their names inscribed. That would be a nice project for the young folk. It could be a sacred place for family to meet and refresh their ties with their ancestors.

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Mary Jones Lewis King, mother of William Lewis

Arthur Lewis, brother of William Lewis

Joe Roy Lewis, brother of William Lewis

John Willie Lewis, son of Edward Lewis (brother of William Lewis)

Ernest Myrick, “Blind Dick," nephew of Mary Lewis

Theodore “Billy” Lewis, brother of William Lewis

Toy Lewis, wife of Billy

 

Ernest King, Sam Jackson’s stepson

Nathaniel King, husband of Mary Lewis

Edward King (“Ned,” son and grandson of Nathaniel King)

Mary Lewis had eight sons: Edward, Irvin, Joe, William, Richard, Arthur, Percy, Theodore.

 May her generations live forever.

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
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#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
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#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

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#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

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#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

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
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#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#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
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#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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Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what's in your heart than what's in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America's shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, "Happy can make you money, but money can't make you happy."

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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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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Negro Digest / Black World

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Enjoy!

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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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posted 21 August 2008

 

 

 

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