Black History Fun Fact Friday – The Inspiration Behind “Renaissance”

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Since this is our last Black History Fun Fact of the year (There won’t be one next week. I will be on vacation), I decided to share my inspiration for the first book in my soon-to-be released novel series Renaissance: The Nora White Story.


renaissance-ebookDespite the wealth of information online, in books, and in movies, there’s still a misconception about what it meant to be black in the south and black in the north in the early 1900s. One recycled piece of information that no doubt holds some truth, is the mass movement of blacks who packed up and carried their southern roots north to escape Jim Crow and to acquire better financial opportunities. But not only were blacks escaping Jim Crow, but the north had a reputation of being prosperous and successful. This image largely shaped by the south’s brutal history.

Slavery is so much the outstanding feature of the South, in the unthinking view of it, that people often forget there had been slaves all over the U.S. Slaves were auctioned openly in the Market House of Philadelphia; in the shadow of Congregational churches in Rhode Island; in Boston taverns and warehouses; In Chicago and weekly, sometimes daily, in Merchant’s Coffee House of New York. The north has been painted as the picture of staunch abolitionism when in truth Northerners bought, sold, and owned slaves.

In the presence of such information, many blacks came to look at northern cities as a saving grace. Not only did it represent freedom from bondage, but discrimination in the north has always been so well organized that it did not have the same up close and the personal effect that the south had. The south was more brutal, more abusive, and more personal whereas the racism in the northern cities was sugar coated (I should use the present tense here).

Blacks then looked up to Harlem and Chicago and many in their hearts scorned their brothers and sisters in Mississippi and Alabama and Louisiana who picked cotton instead of sleep on the floor. Blacks opted to tread north to share rooms with rats and roaches in overcrowding apartment buildings while leaving an impression among their southern brethren that they were in the lands of milk and honey. And even when we returned, many of us maintained this air of superiority and this created a silent fuel between blacks in the south and blacks in the north.

Deep down southern blacks knew that northern blacks thought themselves too proud because they were in New York trying to live like white men but being black men without a pot to piss in, and a window to throw it out of. This was my inspiration behind The Nora White Story.

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Shaped by such views, Nora is not as appreciative of the sacrifices that her parents made as she should be. She’s naïve, pampered, and sees the North through the same eyes as many who came before her. Before and during The Harlem Renaissance, many black women tried to mimic the traditional image and role of white women. Many of them saw themselves as  elite and often tried to appear “white”. (Many black women lightened their skin or passed as white as portrayed in Book Two of The Stella Trilogy “Beyond The Colored Line” which you can read free HERE). Since the days of chattel slavery blacks have been faced with a constant reminder of America’s sweetheart.

Her blonde hair and blue eyes graced the workplace, newspapers, women’s magazines, and everywhere in their daily lives’. When the end of slavery happened and blacks were given the opportunity to escape the south, a symbol of their captivity, many adapted the model of the white world and white standards of beauty and not only beauty but the concept of success itself, that is to exude whiteness.

Nora is a descendant of freemen, not just slaves. Her family does not sharecrop but they own land, and Nora does not live in a shabby home in the middle of corn fields. This story, Nora’s story, is not of your stereotypical black southern family. Nora’s lineage is a prestigious one. The only question is, will she realize how good she’s got it before it’s gone?


book-and-e-reader-nora-wRenaissance: The Nora White Story Coming July 15-16, 2017

Meanwhile, The Road to Freedom is $0.99! Don’t miss out. Get your copy at this super low price now HERE.

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“Deeply concerned about the state of Black America, a fight with his brother compels a young Joseph to leave his mother’s house and join his friends for a trip to Atlanta for SNCC’s (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) second conference. Excited to live life on their own, Jo and his friends have left school and the lives they were living for a chance to become part of the movement. With no money and essentially no plan the seven friends, three black and four white, set out for the road when they are stopped by a racist cop who makes them exit the car. The teens are unaware that a mob of Klansmen also await them at the New Orleans bus terminal.”

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Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews Special Edition: Introducing William Spivey’s “Strong Beginnings”

Title: Strong Beginnings

Author: William Spivey

Publisher: TBA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StrongBeginningsaNovel/

Blog: https://enigmainblack.wordpress.com/

E-mail: wspiv001@aol.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/william.spivey1

Twitter: @wspiv001

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

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This is the last book review of the year and what a way to go out. Today’s review is a special one.

I am honored to introduce to you William Spivey, a regular contributor to the Inner-City News where he writes about politics and popular culture. He also blogs as “Enigma in Black” where he explores poetry, religion, politics and all manner of things socially relevant. He is the founder of the Facebook pages Average Citizen Forum, and Enigma in Black. William is also the winner of a University-wide Essay Contest while at Fisk University titled, “The Value of a Liberal Arts Education”. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Fisk and resides in Orlando, FL.

His goal now is to make his voice heard and make a difference, and he has given me the honor of advanced reading his soon to be released Political Fiction/Romance novel “Strong Beginnings”.


When Frederick Douglass Strong witnesses the murder of four African Americans on the Moore’s Ford Bridge in Covington Georgia in 1966, he set into motion a string of events that would influence the actions of his family for years to come. After all, Frederick wasn’t the only one to witness what would be known as The Moore’s Ford Bridge Four but so did Chris Lee Thomas, the teenage friend of his son Roosevelt and the son of one of the white men who just murdered the four.

Gripped with anxiety, Frederick goes home and is unable to sleep. With a thorough understanding of the time, he is drenched in the fear of what could happen next. Neglecting to reveal the details to his pregnant wife, he suffers silently until a knock is heard on the door. It’s Chris Lee Thomas and he wants Frederick to step outside. Frederick does and is faced with a lynch mob. Meanwhile, his son Roosevelt is peeking through his bedroom window, watching as the men chase his father.

However, Roosevelt is also seen by Chris just as his father was and the family is panicked with a decision of a lifetime. After Frederick’s death, it is clear, they must leave Covington if Roosevelt is to survive.

The story goes on to follow the life of Roosevelt and his family fifty years after The Moore’s Ford Bridge Four in Orlando Florida. His daughter, Voncelle Strong is one of the foremost voices of the novel. She is a passionate teacher and blogger and we watch as she positively influences her students, battles the unfair school system, juggle relationships and come face to face with relatives she didn’t know she had. As a former teacher, I enjoyed Voncelle’s fight for the student’s well-being.

As for the incident, can the Strong family outrun their beginnings? What will happen when they come face to face with their past?

There were many things to love about this book, such as the History, the family bonds, and education. Most of all, I loved how the title to this book is appropriately titled. Not only in its relation to the Strong family and the symbolism of new beginnings, but the beginning of this novel also starts out strong. I was nervous for Roosevelt as the family was deciding what should be done before making the decision to leave Covington. I also enjoyed the relationships, how they were tied into the story in a realistic way. For instance, when Voncelle travels to Europe she meets two young men who have more in common with her than she thinks and when a family member contacts Roosevelt all those years later for a family reunion, it sets in motion a string of revelations that would impact the family for a lifetime I am sure.

I recommend Strong Beginnings to anyone with a passion for the plight of African Americans, for those concerned about the politics of education and those who have a love affair for strong families.

Ratings:

Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5

Entertainment Factor: 5/5

Characterization: 4/5

Authenticity / Believable: 5/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5

Strong Beginnings is not yet available. Stay tuned.

Don’t forget to Follow this Author online!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StrongBeginningsaNovel/

Blog: https://enigmainblack.wordpress.com/

E-mail: wspiv001@aol.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/william.spivey1

Twitter: @wspiv001


I hope you enjoyed our final review of the year! It’s been amazing and I am truly honored to be in the company of such a talented group of individuals. Don’t forget that you can contact all of the authors on the new Indie Author Page HERE. It’s a new page so there isn’t much going on right now but over my break (which started about…5 seconds ago) I intend to update it so it looks more “authorly” (whatever that means lol).

I have many more authors to come so be sure to return to The PBS Blog after the new year. If you’re an author in need of more reviews, be sure to register your book HERE for consideration. Also, do not forget to update me on any special occasions or anything exciting you have going on! I love supporting the authors I review so let’s stay in touch. Each one, reach one.

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