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This book deals with confrontation, but it also deals with growth and transformation.

 We are all products of our environment and based on the sum total

of our experiences, we approach situations differently.



Snake Walkers

By J. Everertt Prewitt



Luke 10:19 NLT reads “I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.” Thus begins Snake Walkers, an engrossing mystery and coming of age story, partially set in Cleveland, with well developed characters and lots of surprises.

Anthony Andrews witnessed something as a child growing up in Arkansas that so traumatized him that even as an adult he suffers recurring flashbacks, nightmares, and headaches. Because there has been no news coverage of this event Anthony decides that he wants to become a reporter and majors in journalism in college.

Jobs as newspaper reporters are scarce and it is even more difficult for black reporters to find work in Arkansas. He is elated when he is hired by one of the largest newspapers in the state. He is even more thrilled when asked to investigate racial atrocities that have occurred in the state. Anthony’s investigation takes him from cities and towns in Arkansas all the way to Cleveland, Ohio.

Snake Walkers is as much about the strength of the black family, courage and principles as it is about a newspaper investigation. The author grabs the reader’s attention on the first page and holds it until the last.
--Jacqueline R. Avery, Antioch Speaks

In the summer of 1962, I was sitting in Riley's Poolroom on East 105th Street, in Cleveland, Ohio, listening to the elders talk about their lives growing up in the south. They discussed how black men and women were brutalized during their time and how each one of them knew at least one person--usually a family member--who had to leave the south under the cover of night to escape the wrath of someone they might have offended.

One elder that day, though, a Mr. Johnson, told a different story. After everyone had finished, he said softly, "We didn't all lose, and they didn't all win." Everyone nodded, but no one said anything further. Mr. Johnson, a quiet and dignified man, was probably in his sixties at the time. For some reason, what he said that day stuck with me over the years and occasionally I would hear similarly veiled references to "they didn't all win," from my elders, including my parents.

The 1960s were fast and turbulent years for me and my friends. The freedom movement witnessed, among others, the emergence of Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, John H. Glenn, Jr., and John W. Coltrane. I graduated from Glenville High School during that period, went on to Ohio University and then Lincoln University in Pennsylvania where about fourteen of us were almost involved in a shoot out with Klansmen coming from a rally in Rising Sun, Maryland.

I was drafted into the Army and graduated from Infantry Officer Candidate School in 1967. I missed the Glenville riots in 1968 because I was in Viet Nam. But Viet Nam had its own racial conflicts, and as a first lieutenant, I was made commander of a supply company that had been involved in an uprising in 1969.

For the young black men who served in Viet Nam, especially those I met from the south, it was the first time some had served on equal terms with their white counterparts. Sometimes the experience was good and sometimes it created friction. There was usually one outcome from almost all of those encounters, though. If the black kids thought that whites were in some way superior to them before the war, they didn't think so afterwards.

After the army, I began to write about my experiences, but I didn't follow through and put the idea of writing on hold. It stayed on hold for almost thirty years until I decided to take a creative writing course at Cleveland State University. I learned a lot in that course and in subsequent writing workshops that encouraged me to pick up the pen again.

There were so many stories to tell, but I most wanted to write about the strong black families, and black men and women I had known. Somewhere along the way, as I tried writing a number of short stories and toyed with writing a book, I remembered Mr. Johnson's words again, "We didn't all lose, and they didn't all win," and I began to write in earnest.

In 2001, my cousin and I videotaped my aunt, uncle and my father as they related their history growing up in Arkansas. Their stories gave me even more impetus and a lot of the subject matter for my book, thus the story Snake Walkers was developed. Snake Walkersis fiction, but what happened to the characters in this book did happen to someone, somewhere (I've heard enough of the stories.) The beauty of fiction is having the freedom to blend several stories into one.

This book deals with confrontation, but it also deals with growth and transformation. We are all products of our environment and based on the sum total of our experiences, we approach situations differently. As those experiences change, our approaches are subject to change. We look at circumstances in a new light, and hopefully, we grow.

Snake Walkers is about a young black man who was traumatized as a kid, and is later faced with a series of situations that at one point become life threatening. Although he isn't prepared for them, with the help of those he meets along the way, he adapts and becomes a different person in the end.

This is a story that has been told a thousand different times in a thousand different ways, but although I enjoyed reading a wide variety of books when I was growing up, my heroes were always people that looked like my mother and father. So from that perspective, at least, my story is one I rarely read.

They say that you should write about stories you would want to read. I did, and this is my story. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

--J. Everertt Prewitt,

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About J Everett Prewitt

J. Everett Prewitt believes in the power of unity. His first novel, Snake Walkers, is a testament to strong black men, women, families and communities--like the ones in his Glenville community of Cleveland, Ohio--where part of the story is set. He believes "Your history, created by your ancestors, is a road map for your family's future. If you know your history, you also know your potential for greatness in yourself and your children."

Prewitt graduated from Glenville High School, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, and earned a Master of Science degree in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University.

An entrepreneur, Prewitt has been president of Northland Research Corporation since 1982. The firm provides real estate appraisals and consulting services. He has received numerous honors and recognitions for his professional contributions and community service including: the Realtor of the Year award from the Cleveland Area Board of Realtors; the Distinguished Alumni award from Cleveland State University; the Distinguished Alumni Citation from Lincoln University; and the Award for Civic Service from the Citizen's League of Greater Cleveland.

Prewitt has served as president of both the Cleveland Association of Real Estate Brokers and the Cleveland Area Board of Realtors. He is chairman of the board for the East End Neighborhood House and vice-chairman of the board for the Greater Shaker Square Development Corporation. He is also a Trustee Emeritus at David N. Meyers College.

Prewitt wrote
Snake Walkers because he didn't see enough books about strong black families like his own. He also didn't read many books about families that fought back against racism in the South and won. "I know it happened because I heard the stories," Prewitt offered. He remembers the Glenville community as an embodiment of "the village" where everyone contributed to the well-being of others. Everyone had a role. Children were nurtured and guided to adulthood and elders were respected. Prewitt believes that for us to continue to grow as a community, we have to embrace that village concept.

His literary inspiration comes from writers like Cheikh Anta Diop, Malidoma Some and Maryse Conde. He also likes the futuristic novels of Octavia Butler and Tananarive Due. He grew up reading authors as varied as Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Robert Ludlum, Jack London and Ian Fleming. He cites Earnest Gaines and John Oliver Killens as "two of my favorite writers."

Prewitt is also the author of a nonfiction work, Urban Residential Real Estate Market Analysis. He is the father of two and when not writing, enjoys tennis, backgammon, billiards, working out and reading.

Book price: $24.95. Northland Publishing Company / 2775 S. Moreland Blvd. #202 / Cleveland, Ohio 44120 / 216.752.1357 / 216.752.4612 / /

post 20 April 2005


A Bio Statement by Austin L. Sydnor Jr.

I was born the second child, first of twin, and first male, named after my father. I have one sister, and two brothers. I grew up on the west-side, near downtown, Baltimore. My father was an ordained minister and my mother was active in the church. Later, she became a deaconess and director the gospel chorus at the church.

My father and mother were older parents. But that did not bother me, because I realized that I did not have any choice and this was a blessing. This was the strength I needed to face whatever life or even death brought my way. I took piano lessons, but later on that was not my fortitude. It did help me later. I directed two choirs over at my mother’s church—the young people and later on her chorus.

I graduated from Baltimore City College in 1969. I had a social conscious belief in other as I met several people from high school. I participated in the S.O.U.L. School, Black Student Union, and Black United Front. I later went to Liberation House Press. I joined VISTA. This is where I learned typesetting. During 1970, there was a student rebellion, and when I was downtown, a person, Walter H. Lively, asked me to get involved in printing. I could never actually print per se, but I had an interest in pre-press, now called word processing, but back in the day it was called typesetting. I was fascinated by typesetting, because it helped me to be creative and it helped me later on to understand the art of computer through the word processing field.

I have been to several community colleges and also have courses in theology from a Baltimore seminary. I received “Employee of the Month” in 1993 at one of my employments and a certificate for computer skills at one of the local community college in the state.

Currently, I am assisting NathanielTurner.Com, ChickenBones: a Journal, with Brother Rudolph Lewis, who is the editor. I helped in word processing and scanning photographs for the journal. I have a son and two grandchildren whom I have supported.

I tried to be open-minded, persistent, and persevere. I always believe in helping the disenfranchised through many activities within the neighborhood, church affiliation, volunteer service and actively being involved with ChickenBones for the past few years. The first thing you learn is who you are, and I realize that through the good and bad situations, that I persevere through this knowledge of “who I am” and “where I need to go” to handle the condition and/or situation and not only of myself but also through the conditions of the poor and oppressed.

Some of the scriptures that interest me the most are: Psalm 84:10: For a day in the courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness; Proverbs 18:24: A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother; Mark 3:21: And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself; II Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new; and Hebrew 13:8: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

I pick these scriptures because I believe that theology, like in life, should be from the bottom up. The poor and oppressed people are slave in an endless cycle and they are on the bottom and do not have any way out except to reach up. Blackness is not exclusive as white Christian theology, but it includes everyone who has been rejected as Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was rejected twice in his home town of Nazareth. As feeling like Jesus, because he was rejected on my behalf, this helps me to be accepted through his suffering, dying, and rising that He did—not for selfish glory—but the liberation of the poor and oppressed.

This helps me to endure the suffering of others—so that we all can be free. Black theology gives self-confidence, self-control, self-discipline, self-esteem, and self-interest. This theology helps us to overcome as our forefathers and mothers tried to do for us. This is not “foolish” pride or a racist ideology/theology, but a love that was way back on Calvary, that sets us free. Black theology takes risks. White theology takes risks for “worldly pleasures.” The haves (white theology) against the have-nots (black theology). I assist in ChickenBones, so that we learn from our past, live in the present, and prepare for the future. This journal is important so we will learn the truth. The Bible says “the truth will set us free.” “Living for me, living for me, all my transgression and now I am free, all because of Jesus is living for me.”

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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#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

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#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
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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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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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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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