Writer’s Wednesday – Beyond the Colored Line

Sooo. Yea. One reason I don’t like saying what I am going to do is because I end up not doing it (don’t ever say what you will do. Bad idea.) So, when I said Chapter 3 of The Men with Blue Eyes was coming this week I did not anticipate not finishing it. But yea, it’s not finished. So, this week I am sharing a Chapter from my novella “Beyond the Colored Line” (2015) instead. Enjoy.


September 4, 1923

“You’s white.”

Margaret and Josephine had their hands on their hips again, Josephine taking the lead role as always. The wind felt soft against their skin and swayed the handmade dresses in all directions, hovering well below her long, skinny legs.

Her pony tails were twists that never really wanted to stay together. Stella got lost for a minute. Slightly envious. She wished her hair was as thick as Josephine’s. But instead hers could never keep a braid. School had just started at Crestwood Elementary of Belvedere City, just south of Boone County Illinois and already Stella could see this would not be a good year. Same as always.

“I’m not white; I’m Negro, same as you.”

Josephine rolled her eyes, “You look white. You sound white. I thinks you white.”

The girls laughed. Meanwhile, Stella’s blood boiled. Her hazel eyes darkened, blonde hair glistened in the sun, and the blush of anger showed quickly in the space of her cheeks and around her ears.

“You’s white ‘cause we say you’s white,” said Margaret.

“That’s right”, co-signed Josephine, “what kind of name is Stella anyway? What, you some kind of slave?”

“Naw, said Margaret, “she ain’t no slave, she massa.”

Josephine turned her head toward Margaret and laughed in her ear but Margaret saw it coming from her peripheral.

“Josephine!” she yelled. But it was too late. Stella was already on top of Josephine pulling her neatly pressed hair and slamming her face into the dirt. She could hear the screams of the teachers nearby calling her name but she just couldn’t stop.

“I’m not white! I’m not white! I’m the same as you!” she yelled, hot tears streaking down her face.

Josephine was crying now as Margaret tried to peel Stella off her.

“I’m Negro the same as you!” she yelled, slamming Josephine’s face into the ground, the screams from the teachers nearing, inaudible to the anger that consumed her.

Later that Day

Judith stood by the door, tapping her foot impatiently against the hardwood floor as she burned a hole in the back of Stella’s head who sat silently on the sofa, her head down.

“You’re going to have to learn to control yourself Stella.”

“But Mom—”

“Did I ask you to say a word?” Scolded Judith, opening the door at the same time. She expected her guest and opened before she could knock. Mrs. Velma Connor, Stella’s teacher, walked in.

“Good Afternoon, I’d like to apologize again for what happened today. May I offer you some coffee?”

“Never mind that”, said Velma, “I don’t specs to be here long.”

“Well”, said Judith, “let me offer you to a seat then.”

The women walked over to the sofa. Judith sat beside Stella as Velma took the sofa across from them and cleared her throat.

“Stella seems to be having a difficult time adjusting. Her temper is far too easily tickled, if you catch my meaning.”

I do”, said Judith.

“We think perhaps she would be better off in a more comfortable environment. Somewhere more of her liking, if you catch my meaning.”

Judith straightened and looked Velma in her sparkling blue eyes, “Not exactly.”

“Well, Ms. May, the accusations from some of the children are hard to ignore.”

“What accusations?”

“Well, you know. Children will be children,” Velma laughed, “It’s just that they don’t take very well with our kind. Surely you ‘d prefer for Stella— “

“Our kind?” interrupted Judith.

“Why, yes.”

“You don’t have to say anything more Mrs. Conner”, said Judith standing. The fair-skinned woman smoothed the apron hanging from her waist and walked to the door. Opening it, she turned to Stella.

“Stella Mae?”

“Yes mama?”

“Go on upstairs so me and your teacher can talk.”

“Yes ma’am”, said Stella, hurrying up the stairs.

Velma remained seated, “Is there a problem?”

Judith smiled, “No. There’s no problem but I do want you to leave my house.”

Velma’s cheeks turned red as she stood, pointing her nose in the air and strolling toward the door. Her face cringing a scowl.

“By the way, the school has placed Stella under suspension, you understand why.”

“Oh, I do”, said Judith, “you see, defending ourselves, is what we’re taught.”

Confusion washed over Velma’s face as she stared into the green eyes of the white woman in front of her, disgusted that she would stoop so low as to lay with one of them.

“What we’re taught? I’m not sure I follow.”

“Oh yes,” said Judith, “It’s one of the first things my Negro father taught me. You know, our kind I guess.”

The pink rushed to the woman’s nose as she hurried out the door.

And that’s how things had been for us growing up. I couldn’t understand what made Mama so strong. She loved Daddy with every bone in her body but society would never have of it. Mama was Negro sure enough as she was white but Papa didn’t trust it. Being with the love of his life was just too costly for him I guess. I thought about Papa that day and all the days afterward as I stood at the top of the stairs, and watched as my mother waved goodbye to my racist teacher with a smile on her face.

– Stella


This book is available now on Amazon.

Get it free in exchange for an honest review. Email me HERE


“Stella: Beyond the Colored Line is a fascinating walk through the ages–from slavery, to segregation, to the black power movement, to modern times. Through the eyes of one mixed race woman, the author touches on major events in African American history, allowing the reader to experience them in real time. The story deepens when Stella decides to live as a white woman and raise her children as whites. As her family grows and develops within a changing society, Stella and her children reveal complex perspectives and attitudes that make it clear that it doesn’t matter who your ancestors were. Nothing is just simply black or white.”

– Christa Wojo.,

Amazon Customer Review

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So Far So Good

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Today was a good day in the writing world and I didn’t even write! This morning was crazy busy as I strive to finish the last minute details for my upcoming signing and tend to house duties as well. As I was preparing dinner, I got a text from my sister stating that my GoFundMe goal has been met. For those of you who have been following me, you know that I am raising money to assist with my Book Signing in Atlanta in about a week. So any who, I am very excited to see that level of support pouring my way and to know that all of the money I set out to raise is done. Not only is it done but I raised more than I set out to.

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The promo sale is also doing well so far. I set out to reach the Top 100 and according to last hour I was at #17 in the Amazon Kindle African American Historical Fiction section. So it appears I have exceeded my expectations in another area. Of course, the numbers fluctuate so this is only the beginning. I ask for your continued support in keeping me at the top as we get closer to Launch day. I also want to thank everyone who have been supportive of my work so far. All of the re-tweets and Facebook / Blog shares are monumental. As I put in this footwork on the ground, I ask for your continued online support.

Now, time for me to get my grub on.

TheWalkingDead-S6cast

Oh, and BTW, The Walking Dead comes on at 8:00p CST, just saying.

Author Spotlight: Yecheilyah Ysrayl

My Author Interview with Dottie Daniels.

The Write Perspective

Hey.

Here’s another author (she’s a poet as well) who also has a page here on WordPress. I consider myself and anyone else aware of her to be pretty lucky already as this author has a pretty powerful perspective and is more than capable of articulating her experiences and thought processes as it relates to the cultural upbringing of the African American experience. Her name is Yecheilyah Ysrayl and I had the pleasure of doing a Q&A session with her a few weeks ago. Below is the interview along with her social media contact info.

  1. I’ve read you were born in the South side of Chicago (so was I!), what were some of your earliest memories?

Hi Dottie. First, I want to thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. Yes, I am from Chi-Town indeed. Since I’ve been in Chicago for the better part of my…

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Silver’s Book Reviews – “Beyond the Colored Line – Stella, Book 2,” by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Another Review is in! Check it out.

Colleen M. Chesebro

  • Title:  Beyond the Colored Line – Stella, Book 2
  • Author: Yecheilyah Ysrayl
  • File Size: 443 KB
  • Print Length: 64 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher: Lulu.com
  • Publication Date: July 27, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B013PQCKK8
  • Formats: Kindle, Stella – book 1: Kindle
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Literature, Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

Introducing – Stella May

In 1916, Stella May is born, the great-granddaughter of a former slave also named Stella May. The original Stella May changed her family’s surname to May upon gaining her freedom. Stella is born of mixed ancestry which for all appearances gives her light skin, blond hair, and hazel eyes.

An amazing beauty, Stella is teased by her black classmates because they don’t believe she is black enough. She looks white and…

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Dear Atlanta,

I’m coming for you!

Any Bloggers in the ATL? I’d love to meet you!

The Release Date for Book #3 of The Stella Trilogy has been pushed back to accommodate my travel schedule. The book signing and presentation will take place in Atlanta GA on Friday, February 26, 2016. I will already be in the city for the Black History Month parade so this really works for me.

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Please click this link for more information and to see how you can donate toward the event. I just finished putting it together. I am raising money to help purchase books in bulk since I am preparing for a large crowd. Everything else is covered but this final financial hurdle. It would mean a lot to me if you can support this work either financially or by coming out to see the presentation in person. I’m not a fan of traditional book signings so you can expect this to be extremely interactive, yessss.