“Revolution: The Nora White Story (Book 2)” by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Thanks so much for sharing! Fam, remember that Revolution needs your support. Part 2 of The Nora White Story. Check it out.

Nesie's Place


Revolution: The Nora White Story (Book 2)

by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Genre: Historical/African-American/Family Life

3.99 at time of posting!

When Nora White is drugged by her friend she is forced to deal with the harsh reality of life in the North. She meets Keisha and the women catch a ride to The Den, a gambling and numbers hole-in-the-wall in Jacobsville New York. Unlike the upper echelon of Harlem, Nora’s new friends are hustlers but down to Earth and feels more like family. They take her to Liberty Hall where she is introduced to Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.).

Meanwhile, Nora has no idea her father has been arrested and back home Molly is hanging on by a thread. When the community discovers the truth of the alleged crime they devise a way to get Gideon out of jail but their actions could mean life or death for everyone involved…

View original post 24 more words

Black History Fun Fact Friday – Juneteenth

I don’t celebrate holidays (this includes Kwanzaa and Juneteenth.) But it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t explore what this day is and what makes it so special for Black Americans; many replacing their 4th of July celebrations with Juneteenth instead. Despite my personal thoughts on it I respect the day as an important part of history to remember and I don’t believe we’ve ever covered it on this blog.

According to the Emancipation Proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln January 1, 1863, the proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” By rebellious states it was referring to those states that had seceded or withdrawn from the United States, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also exempted parts of the Confederacy (the Southern secessionist states) that had already come under Northern control. The freedom it promised also depended upon United States military victory. In brief, Emancipation only applied to those slaves who lived near Union lines.


News of the supposed emancipation did not spread as quickly as the movies would have us to believe. Many slave-owners packed up their belongings and their slaves and moved to Texas in mass. “Since the capture of New Orleans in 1862, slave owners in Mississippi, Louisiana and other points east had been migrating to Texas to escape the Union Army’s reach.” (Henry Louis Gates Jr.) In a hurried re-enactment of the original Middle Passage, more than 150,000 slaves had made the trek west, according to historian Leon Litwack in his book Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of SlaveryAs one former slave he quotes recalled,”‘It looked like everybody in the world was going to Texas.’’ For the next two years, slave owners and the enslaved would live removed from the updates of the war and slavery would go on, business as usual.

And so, when General Gordon Granger entered Galveston, Texas, on June 19th to lead the Union occupation force, he had to deal with ongoing slavery in defiance of the Emancipation Proclamation. To fix this, he issued the following order:

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property, between former masters and slaves and the connection heretofore existing between them, becomes that between employer and hired labor. The Freedmen are advised to remain at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts; and they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

This second proclamation, specifying that all slaves were free, is the foundation to the celebration of Juneteenth, a combining of June and the nineteenth when the order was issued. However, it is also important to know that just like the first proclamation, this order did not free all the enslaved.


“There is much evidence to suggest that southern whites—especially Confederate parolees—perpetrated more acts of violence against newly freed bondspeople in Texas than in other states,” writes historian Elizabeth Hayes Turner in an essay titled “Juneteenth: Emancipation and Memory.” “Between the Neches and Sabine rivers and north to Henderson,” she continues, “reports showed that blacks continued in a form of slavery, intimidated by former Confederate soldiers still in uniform and bearing arms.” Murder, lynching, and harassment were common. “You could see lots of Negroes hanging from trees in Sabine bottom right after freedom,” reported one freed slave, “They would catch them swimming across Sabine River and shoot them.”

Still, Blacks celebrated their freedom with the first official Juneteenth event taking place in 1866 where they read the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and praised Abraham Lincoln as the great liberator. (I find this odd but that’s another topic for another day). The celebrations continued until coming to a halt with the institution of Jim Crow, laws that essentially put Blacks back into a form of slavery where we were fully disenfranchised and outside of the law. Convict Leasing is a great example of this. After the Civil War and the end of slavery, Southern states, who had amassed great wealth from slavery, found their economy in shambles.


They had to figure out how to keep a slave-like system going and like sharecropping, convict leasing was another answer. Black Codes and Pig Laws, unfairly penalized poor African Americans for crimes such as stealing a pig. It was also a crime to be unemployed. These laws could be imposed on Black men easily, sending them to jail and thus former slave owners turned “entrepreneurs” could lease them to various companies that would work them to death and treat them like they were slaves. This made the states tons of money. In 1883, about 10 percent of Alabama’s total revenue was derived from convict leasing. In 1898, nearly 73 percent of total revenue came from this same source. Death rates among leased convicts were approximately 10 times higher than the death rates of prisoners in non-lease states. In 1873, for example, 25 percent of all black leased convicts died.

Texas Juneteenth Day Celebration, 1900 (Austin History Center, Austin Public Library)

Juneteenth didn’t make a full resurgence until The Civil Rights Movement when Blacks began to celebrate it in full again. And while many Blacks have celebrated it for centuries, it still did not become an official Holiday until it was made a Texas state holiday in 1980, and it wasn’t until 1997 that Congress recognized June 19th as “Juneteenth Independence Day,” after pressure from a collection of groups like the National Association of Juneteenth Lineage and National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation.

For more Black History Fun Facts, be sure to visit the BHFFF Page HERE.

New lynching Memorial Evokes Terror of Victims

Visitors to the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice first glimpse them, eerily, in the distance: Brown rectangular slabs, 800 in all, inscribed with the names of more than 4,000 souls who lost their lives in lynchings between 1877 and 1950.

Each pillar is 6 feet (2 meters) tall, the height of a person, and made of steel that weathers to different shades of brown. Viewers enter at eye level with the monuments, allowing a view of victims’ names and the date and place of their slaying.

As visitors descend downward on a slanted wooden plank floor, the slabs seemingly rise above them, suspended in the air in long corridors, evoking the image of rows of hanging brown bodies.

The memorial and an accompanying museum that open this week in Montgomery are a project of the nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative, a legal advocacy group in Montgomery. The organization says the two sites will be the nation’s first “comprehensive memorial dedicated to racial terror lynchings of African Americans and the legacy of slavery and racial inequality in America.”


PRE-ORDER – Revolution: The Nora White Story 2 (paperback only)

I am beyond elated to inform you that I have finally set a release date for Revolution: The Nora White Story Book Two and that it is available now for pre-order in paperback. We’re releasing book eleven on May 30th, four days after my 31st birthday. (If you have not read book one, Renaissance is on a $0.99 ebook sale on Amazon.) I feel good about this one. I do believe the wait was well worth it. Its been almost a year since we released book one and needless to say, I am thrilled to finally be on the finishing end of this project.


When Nora White is drugged by her friend she is forced to deal with the harsh reality of life in the North. She meets Keisha and the women catch a ride to The Den, a gambling and numbers hole-in-the-wall in Jacobsville New York. Unlike the upper echelon of Harlem, Nora’s new friends are hustlers but down to Earth and feels more like family. They take her to Liberty Hall where she is introduced to Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.).

Meanwhile, Nora has no idea her father has been arrested and back home Molly is hanging on by a thread. When the community discovers the truth of the alleged crime they devise a way to get Gideon out of jail but their actions could mean life or death for everyone involved. Will Nora come to her senses and return home in time to help the family or will her naiveté lead her astray once again?


Renaissance Ebook 99cents from now through Friday 12/29


After letting Revelation: The Nora White Story Book Two, sit for about two months, I am right back into revisions and getting excited all over again. As such, I decided to give those of you who have not read Book One an opportunity to do so.

Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One) is now available for just 99cents in eBook on Amazon from now through Friday, December 29, 2017. Also, be sure to leave me an honest review if you feel so obliged after this short read.  Reviews greatly help readers to understand what to expect from these books and are a great source of feedback for Indie Authors. As always, your support is golden.



“The writing is of a very high quality, evoking period and place so well that I was transported to the Jazz Clubs and writers’ circles of nineteen twenties New York and to the equally hot and humid atmosphere of the Mississippi Delta.”

– Frank Parker


Shadows and Lights of Harlem – Interview with Author Yecheilyah Ysrayl

I am mobile and will be over the next few days so I’ll be sharing Guest Posts this way because I cannot reblog.

Be sure to stop by Sarah’s blog for my latest interview on Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)

Special thanks to Sarah for having me.



Black History Fun Fact Friday – The Fultz Sisters



As a twin, I could not help but to be attracted to this story, and as I studied their life in preparation for writing this article it wouldn’t take long for me to see the red flags. From the media perspective, you’d think the quads and their families were rich, with a house on 150-acres of land and the live-in nurse and all. However, like I said, there were red flags, starting with their names. I introduce to you The Fultz Sisters:


Mary Louise, Mary Ann, Mary Alice and Mary Catherine were born on May 23, 1946, at Annie Penn hospital in North Carolina. Also, known as “The Fultz Quadruplets”, they were the first recorded identical black quadruplets in the world, and the first set of quads to survive in the South.

Quads Nurse
The odds of single-egg identical quadruplets were one-in-a-million, but the fact that they survived and were thriving by their first birthday created a national sensation. (Source: Ebony magazine)

If the fact they are all named marry isn’t weird enough for you, it’s worth noting that they weren’t named by their father, mother, or any genetic relative. They were named in fact by their doctor. Dr. Fred Klenner delivered and named the girls after women in his family. His wife name was Ann (Marry Ann), his aunt’s name was Alice (Mary Alice), his daughter’s name was Louise (Mary Louise), and his great aunts’ name was Catherine (Mary Catherine). What authority did this doctor possess to name someone else children? We’ll come back to this question at the end of this post.

The Fultz Quads
Klenner holding one of the Fultz quadruplets. (EBONY)

The girls were born at the segregated wing of the hospital in what was referred to as the basement, and Mr. and Mrs. Fultz were poor. Mr. Fultz (whose name was James, not Pete as he was called) was a Sharecropper, and Mrs. Fultz being both deaf and mute, couldn’t read and write according to And Then There was One by Lorraine Ahearn, (August 2002). Besides this, the Fultz’s had six other children, was without a car, without electricity, phone and running water.

Thus, they didn’t debate when Klenner negotiated a deal with a Pet Milk Company who paid all medical expenses, food, land, a house, and a live-in nurse to care for the girls. All of this was in exchange for using the girls for promotional purposes. Klenner even created a schedule where people could come and visit the quads, who were put on display behind a glass screen.


Pet Milk sales skyrocketed as the girls helped to brand the product, becoming the face of Pet Milk. Pet Milk?

“And so it was that the Fultz Quadruplets left Annie Penn Hospital: under contract, named after their white doctor’s relatives, headed home to a glass-enclosed nursery and driven there in a pair of McLaurin Funeral Home ambulances.”

– Lorraine Ahearn

Blogger Ladyrayne on Talking Stuff, who wrote a post on the Quads after listening to The Tom Joyner Morning Show last year wrote, “According to Edna Saylor, the nurse who worked at the Annie Penn Hospital and who would eventually become the quads legal guardian, the farm that was given to the Fultz family really didn’t amount to much and PET could have done a better job when it came to helping the Fultz family. Ms. Saylor stated that PET took advantage of the Fultz family because they were considered backwoods type of people.”

The Quads were adopted by Charles and Elma Saylor, who moved them to Yanceyville, and their travels became more frequent. They flew to Chicago at the invitation of Ebony publisher Johnnie Johnson, who featured them on his cover four times, appeared in Chicago’s star-studded Bud Billiken Parade, went on TV with Roy Rogers and Texas Pete, and would go on to appear in many more ads and make TV appearances. At thirteen (1959) they performed as a string quartet in the annual Orange Blossom Festival in Miami, Florida and at sixteen (’62) they were featured in a Pet Milk ad for an autographed picture. Many remember them most from their visit to meet Presidents Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy.

fultz-quads fcf00d32ee11965a393ed39af2ea23c2quad13tumblr_o205uivjeh1qknkb7o4_400

Now, back to our question: What authority did this doctor possess to name someone’s children?

I believe we have to understand the climate of the era first, let’s take it back:

  • The Three-Fifths Compromise – I’m not going to debate the “Three-Fifths” human being thing because it’s a silly debate to me. What I will do is discuss only the facts.

    It is a fact that the label minority in reference to many ethnic groups, namely African Americans and Hispanics, is misleading. Not only do ethnic peoples represent the majority of the nation but in the fight to maintain slavery, enslaved persons outnumbered whites in the slave states (or rather states that were admittedly slave states). It was the desire of the Democrats (who were pro-slavery) to overturn the legislation if they could get a majority vote. There was however a problem: Blacks weren’t even considered human and therefore had no rights.

    It was not uncommon for a dog to sleep in his master’s bed and an enslaved to sleep on his master’s floor. That said, the Slave states wanted to count the slaves and the “Non-Slave” States didn’t want to count the slaves. Slaves never counted so why count them now? Well, as said, blacks have always made up the majority so the North weren’t having it. With a desire to weaken the slave states they couldn’t have them counting the slaves. They told the south that listen if you count your “property” (it is a historical fact blacks were property, like clothing, milk, and cotton) then we can count our property too. We’ll count our cattle, furniture, pets, and so on in our tallies. Of course, the south refused.

    So, we go back and forth until a compromise is made. Enslaved Blacks in slave states would be counted as three-fifths of a person. It is a fact that blacks were always looked upon as being subhuman, animals or otherwise. Members of the North thought it was hypocritical to count blacks for purposes of representation but not grant them their full rights as human beings and citizens. Still, despite this, they still compromised. The reason the debate was occurring at all was because the South wanted to maintain slavery and their perception that blacks were not human beings

  • Authority and Ownership – Typically, people name their pets after their relatives or give them their last names. It’s a historical fact that enslaved blacks wore the last names of their Slave owners which many still have until this day. Our names reflected our masters because we were their property, they owned us and when you own something, you can name it whatever you want. Parents name their children what they want because they belong to them.
  • Jim Crow Laws – Though no longer chattel slavery, 1940s North Carolina, like the rest of America, enforced segregation through Jim Crow laws (named after a white man performing black face in mockery of blacks in minstrel shows). As such, many cities and states (South AND North) could impose legal punishments on people for interacting with members of another race. The most common types of laws forbade intermarriage and ordered business owners and public institutions to keep their black and white clientele separated.

  • Eugenics – Blacks have long been used for the sake of medical experimentation in America. In the late 30s, thirty states in the U.S. utilized sterilization laws (1938) and by 1942 The American Birth Control League had changed its name to Planned Parenthood. Needless to say, by 1946 we are smack down amid The Eugenics Movement.

    A term coined by Francis Galton (cousin of Charles Darwin, whose Origin of Species is a short form of the longer and original title: “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life”), Eugenics is the process of improving a race by getting rid of those less desirable and fit. That said the physician-slave relationship is historically well known.

    In 1847 a state medical convention in Alabama issued a recommendation that doctors caring for slaves seek liens upon the human chattel if their bills were not paid. (Source: New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal 4, 1848, pg. 678). By 1858, 75 percent of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company policies were written on slaves.

Deu 28:50 a fierce-looking nation, which shows no regard for the elderly nor show favour to the young,

All the Fultz sisters developed breast cancer later in life with only one sister who survived it (Mary Catherine). With historical maltreatment of blacks going back to Saartjie Baartman, Ota Benga, The Muse Brothers, and The McCoy Twins, the sad reality is that even though Pet Milk wasn’t a product for pets specifically, the imagery and racial symbolism that have always been associated with blacks (far as being animals or animalistic), is enough to see that Klenner and the dairy companies saw a financial opportunity from the inception and knew exactly what they were doing.

“For no matter what the public thought, the highly publicized Pet Milk advertising contracts had brought in just enough money—$350 a month— to keep the Fultz Quads off North Carolina’s welfare rolls.” (Chares L. Sanders, Ebony Magazine, November 1968)

Pet Milk became the first to offer nonfat dry milk, an advance over the powdered milk developed in the 1920s. Sales soared when Pet Milk took advantage of the post-war baby boom and promoted The Fultz Sisters who were a national sensation due their rarity, making 1950 the all-time-high sales year for Pet Evaporated Milk.

EBONY, “The Fultz Quads” by Charles L. Sanders, Nov. 1968.

Ebony’s Spread on the Sisters can be found on Google Books HERE (Page 212) (Its cool going through the Ads from 1968 too!)

News & Record


“And then there was one” by Staff Writer Lorraine Ahearn, Aug. 2002.


Talking Stuff Blog