My Conversation with Roland

ImageOn Tuesday, June 10th, I received an email from the producers of NewsOne Now with Roland S. Martin.  They wanted to see if I would be available for a Skype interview on Thursday, June 12th.  With the Father’s Day Weekend fast approaching, Roland wanted to chat with me about my experiences as a stay-at-home father.

Of course, I responded yes.  Who in their right mind would turn down an opportunity to speak with former Cable News Network (CNN) Political Analyst Roland S. Martin on a nationally televised news program?  As a parent who proudly wore the Mr. Mom label for over seven years, I felt I had plenty to say about this topic.  And now that I am once again serving in this role while simultaneously trying to build a loyal following for my debut novel, ADINKRAHENE: Fear of a Black Planet, I embrace these kind of opportunities.  I just wish I had been given more time to provide more thorough responses to Roland’s questions.  But that’s what happens when you have a twenty-minute segment, and you’re sharing the stage with parenting experts like Kenrya Rankin Naasel and Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever.

If I had been given more time, I would have told Roland that my situation is neither special nor unique.  Husbands all across America are making the hard decision to resign from their full-time jobs to change soiled diapers, transport their children to and from school, while their wives work tirelessly from 9-5 to bring home the bacon.  Back in August 2005, I opted to resign from my job as the Director of the Bruce Wells Scholars TRIO Upward Bound Program (Worcester, Massachusetts) because my son needed the kind of support and influence that only I could give him.  As I stated during the interview, my number one objective is to help him establish his own platform for success.  Yes, he does have a long way to go.  But a prideful smile crosses my face when I realize my fifth grader has been an A-B student since the third grade.  My hope is he maintains this momentum, for the future is bright for individuals who commit themselves to lifelong learning and community engagement.

During my conversation with Roland, I alluded to the fact that the state of black males is not good.  This allusion is based on my experiences as the child to a single-parent mother, and my interactions with black children, youths and parents as a social work professional.  But I wish I had had more time to speak with Roland about possible solutions to this problem, the importance of black men not just blaming unenlightened Whites for the condition of their families.  As my characters boldly proclaim in ADINKRAHENE: Fear of a Black Planet, some of our black men don’t understand how urgent it is for us to lead responsibly in our homes and communities.

If more of us black fathers were committed to great, charismatic leadership in these settings alone, our black children would not be embracing this misconception that they’re inferior to everyone else when it comes to brains but superior to everyone else when it comes to brawn.  They would know that superiority for Black Americans is found at the midpoint of these two extremes, and great, charismatic leadership is clearly evident when more of us are seen and heard leading the charge for fairness, righteousness and equality.

What does being a stay-a-home father have to do with my life as a novelist?  Probably nothing.  But one thing I do know: taking time to sow into my son’s life has allowed me to reap the benefits of becoming a better writer, a published one.  You see, our children get older, become more independent, wiser.  And when more of their time is spent at school, we writers, who also happen to be stay-at-home parents, are free to craft content that entertains, educates and enlightens.

If you’re like me, you see yourself once again securing full-time employment.  I resigned from my full-time Staff Analyst job with First 5 San Bernardino in April 2014 due to an impending move from California to Texas.  When these resignations occur, we ask ourselves, “Will I be able to retire before the age of 70?”  But then our focus shifts back to our product, those boxed up books that are in need of readers.  We tell ourselves, if we can sell enough books, we will never have to work a traditional 9-5 job again.

For us, writing isn’t a job, it’s a passion.  And if it weren’t for those darn bills, we would do it for free.

Thank you, Roland S. Martin, for giving me an opportunity to share.

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Django Unchained, Or The Spark That Moved Me

ImageBy now, many of you have seen the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained.  I have watched it several times, and my admiration for the story, and the actors that brought it to life, continues to grow.  But what you need to know about Django Unchained is it is the spark that moved me to write ADINKRAHENE: Fear of a Black Planet.

You see, Django Unchained is a story that casts a black man as the protagonist (I know, I know, Marc H.  Django the hero didn’t kill Candy the villain, but he did get his woman back.).  In an era where black men are rarely the ones saving the day, we have to tip our hats to Tarantino.  He ran against the grain because he seemingly knows that we contemporary African Americans are still salty about the way our ancestors were treated.  You could even argue that our ire is intensified even more when we see and hear Republican politicians and Conservative thought leaders attacking the gains that this country made during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and ’60s. For some strange reason, these unenlightened Americans want their White American brethren to think something was taken away from them when this piece of legislation was passed.  They’re wrong.

For this reason alone, I will be using this series of books to skewer the Republican Party.  I assert that the Republican Party has been co-opted by the Corporate Cabal (i.e., White ruling class), and members of the Corporate Cabal have sold their souls to the demonic Satarian Empire. How else would you explain the GOP ‘s insensitivity to African-American challenges and concerns?  The Devil must be making them do it.  I just hope the unenlightened become enlightened through the reading of my words.

There has been talk that racism and discrimination are things of the past just because America elected its first, black president.  Yes, electing Barack Hussein Obama as the leader of the free world is, and always will be, a good thing, but that doesn’t mean we’re now judging people by the content of their characters.  If anything, the cracks in our unity are becoming more evident, and they are becoming more pronounced because GOP leaders don’t want to relinquish control of the plantation. But they have to relinquish control because we African Americans, like Django Freeman, will never again pick cotton…without compensation.

I still remember seeing an elderly, white woman dragging her husband out of the theater during Django Unchained’s opening weekend.  This was done within the film’s first hour.  She obviously was taken aback by the level of violence that Django, a black man, exacted against the bigoted, white slave owners.  I readily agree that Tarantino’s brand of violence left little to the imagination.  But why should it?  We African Americans know that slave owners and Jim Crow criminals exacted a similar kind of violence against our ancestors.

Adinkrahene T-ShirtIn ADINKRAHENE: Fear of a Black Planet, I give you a cast of altruistic black characters that have been chosen by the one, true God to rebuild what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the Beloved Community.  But I counter their altruism with Black-Out, a black militia group that is committed to avenging the deaths of our fallen African and African-American ancestors by any means necessary. By pitting the Adinkrahene Reparations Management Syndicate (ARMS) against Black-Out, I hope you, the reader, will be able to see why all of us – red, brown, yellow, black and white – have been called to become Progressive agents of non-violent change.

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Self-Publishing Made Easy with John Locke

20140603-093031-34231213.jpgAbout three months ago, I downloaded crime novelist John Locke’s ebook How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months. However, I put it down soon after the purchase was made because I wanted to put the finishing touches on my debut novel, ADINKRAHENE: Fear of a Black Planet. But now that ADINKRAHENE is available for online purchase, I have started reading it again.

I would give anything to sell a million copies of my ebook or paperback. But to do that, in the words of John Locke, I have to identify my audience and then speak to it. While I have identified my audience (i.e., enlightened humans of all hues), I realize now that I haven’t had enough thought-provoking conversations with its members. I plan on doing more of that in the future.

I am looking forward to diving deeper into Locke’s book, and making his system my own. Like all self-published authors, I believe in my product, that it speaks to a generation of Americans who see how the color line is being used by the Corporate Cabal to divide and conquer members of the middle and working classes. But more than anything, these enlightened Americans see how Africans and African Americans are being scape-coated so the white ruling class never has to fully atone for the sins it committed, and continues to commit, against persons of color. A hard pill to swallow, I know. But these types of conversations must occur if we ever hope to build a beloved community of equals.

I have read samples of John Locke’s crime novels, but I have yet to purchase one.  He’s a gifted writer, and I encourage all of my followers to visit his website to see all of the other products he has queued up for purchase.  While I opted to purchase his nonfiction offering to gain a better understanding of his self-publishing system, I’m also smart enough to know that I also need to study his storytelling.  People aren’t just buying Locke’s books because he’s looking kind of cool on the cover to the left.  They’re buying his books because of the content, the way he tells his stories.

Stay tuned. After I finish reading John Locke’s wonderfully crafted ebook, I will share my thoughts and impressions in a future post.