Thursday, October 23, 2014

MoAD Presents Jewelle Taylor Gibbs in Conversation with Barbara Rodgers - Sunday, October 26th

Destiny's Child: Memoirs of a Preacher's Daughter delivers a powerful and compelling story about an African American family who survives centuries of racial and social struggles to succeed and achieve upward mobility despite numerous obstacles. Part family history, part memoir, Destiny's Child is a thoroughly researched presentation of author Jewelle Taylor Gibbs's roots, both in terms of her mixed-racial heritage and the other prominent figures that helped her develop her identity over the years. It chronicles more than two hundred years of her paternal family's strides and highlights their contributions to the civil rights movement in the United States, often motivated by such well-known pioneers as Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King Jr., and Dorothy Height, who were family friends, role models, and mentors. Gibbs attributes her own success to her family’s legacy and values, which were anchored in religion, education, economic resources, and political activism.

Meet Jewelle Taylor Gibbs, author of "Destiny's Child:  Memoirs of a Preacher's Daughter" in conversation with Barbara Rodgers, Retired KPIX Newscaster/Anchor and currently seen on "The Bronze Report."
Barbara Rodgers

3 to 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 26, 2014

California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA  

(Made possible by the generous support of the National Smart Set, San Francisco Chapter and Dr. Ernest Bates)

$5 for general admission; Free for California Historical Society and MoAD Members

Purchase tickets and RSVP here

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"What's Done In The Dark" by Reshonda Tate Billingsley

"What's Done In The Dark"

Author, Reshonda Tate Billingsley

How many times have you heard someone say, "What's Done In the Dark, Will Surely Come to Light?"

It's one of those clich├ęs that most of us African Americans have heard all our lives.

But, imagine being the one who was caught in the dark and exposed for all to see.

This was my book club's selection this month.  My pick.  And true to Reshonda Tate Billingsley form, she has written another novel that will leave a sister girl with the expression "SMH."

I'm still shaking my head and I finished this book two weeks ago.  

From Reshonda Tate Billingsley:
"Felise is not the kind of woman to cheat on her husband—especially with her best friend’s man. But after one perfect storm of a night, it happened…and she can hardly believe it herself. To top it off, when she woke up in the morning, she found that the man to whom she guiltily made passionate love died of a heart attack overnight. Felise, who is a nurse and a good citizen at that, leaves the hotel room without reporting his death.

When her best friend, Paula, finds out about her husband’s sudden death a day later, Felise is overcome with guilt and grief. She must be there for her friend and her family, but when her husband repeatedly tries to apologize for his absentminded behavior and Paula starts investigating who Stephen was with the night he died, Felise finds it hard to hold herself together. Should she come clean and tell everyone what she did? Or should she just let it go and move past the
mistake on her own?"

This pick certainly evoked a lively discussion among my book club members, along with some mixed feelings about "Should you tell or shouldn't you?"

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Heaven Is Just a Bit Jazzier Right Now - Rest In Peace, Joe Sample

Joseph "Joe" Sample 
(February 1, 1939 – 
September 12, 2014)

When I heard the news two nights ago that Joe Sample passed away at age 75, I was at first saddened, then nostalgic and then embarrassed that I had not thought about all the contributions that Joe Sample made not only to the Crusaders ("Street Life" was my jam!) but to music as a whole.

I realized that while, thankfully, I've gotten older, unfortunately, my radio these days is crowded with so much "noise" that I don't spend nearly enough time enjoying real music.

"Creole Joe" as his twitter handle implies was even a zydeco master.  He did it all.  With style.

I won't reiterate his accomplishments here, as the newspapers have done that.  However, I will pass along the announcement his family posted on his Facebook page.

Services for Joe Sample: Friday, September 19, 2014, 6:00pm-9:00pm, wake and viewing open to the general public, My Mother of Mercy Church, 4000 Sumpter St., Houston, TX, 77020. Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, etc., the family asks to make donations to the Joe Sample Youth Organization, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit. Contributions can be made via paypal/credit card using the following link: or via check to the following address: Joe Sample Youth Organization, P.O. Box 590254, Houston, TX 77259.

As for me, I'm heading to the "record shop" this weekend to pick up some of his classics.  Because there's something about the music store experience that online shopping just can't satisfy.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Where Do We Go From Here? Two Weeks After Mike Brown and Ferguson

Suffice to say, that until two weeks ago, I had never heard of Ferguson, Missouri.

I've never even been in the state of Missouri.  I've heard wonderful things about the African American cultural scene in St. Louis in the past, however, now I'm not so sure I want to visit.

Despite the many and varied reports of what really happened two Saturdays ago in Ferguson, Missouri when Michael Brown and his friend encountered Ferguson Police Officer, Darren Wilson, the only things we can be certain of, are the facts revealed in the coroner's report.  Michael Brown was shot six times, twice in the head, after essentially being stopped for, what amounts to a form of "jaywalking."

What we can almost be certain of is that there is likely going to be no jail time for the cop who killed the unarmed 18 year old.  After all, the burden of proof rests with the prosecution and as of this writing, Officer Darren Wilson hasn't even been charged with a crime.  

One thing we do know is that something has to be done.  We have to seriously address the issue of why our young black men are dying (not only by each other's hands) but far too often, at the hands of the law enforcement whose job it is to "protect and serve."

I don't have a son, but if I did, I'd be afraid to let him out of my sight.  And for sure, I'd sit down with him and we'd watch "Fruitvale Station" together.

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't following you.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Summer Just Started To Sizzle - "The Choir Director 2: Runaway Bride" by Carl Weber

Carl Weber

Just when you thought summer was coming to a close, here comes one of our favorite African American fiction writers, Carl Weber with the long-awaited sequel "The Choir Director 2:  Runaway Bride."

If you thought "The Choir Director"  (now available in paperback) was scandalous, well you haven't seen anything yet.

As with his other novels, he doesn't fail to deliver on being a master plot weaver.  This has a little bit of something for everyone - there's sex, power, religion, lies, deceit and mystery.

And the ending is anything but predictable.

I. Did. Not. See. That. Coming.

So, mark your calendars for August 19th and get ready for Carl Weber's newest offering from the Hachette Book Group.  

"It's been three years since Aaron Mackie succeeded in helping his friend and mentor, Bishop T.K. Wilson, dig his ministry out of financial ruin. Aaron is also responsible for re-energizing the almost defunct choir into something special. His success has drawn national attention, and he's on the verge of signing a huge recording contract. With his life in order, Aaron decides the time is right to propose to Tia Gregory, the church secretary who caught his eye and inspired him to shed his Tiger Woods-like tendencies to become a one-woman man. The stage is set for what might be the wedding of the year, but quickly becomes the disaster of the year when Aaron is left at the altar without explanation. 

Now, during his own hour of need, Aaron turns to the bishop for help. Unfortunately, the line he asks T. K. to cross will force the bishop to choose between faith and friendship, or as he puts it, "between heaven and hell." As the investigation into Tia's disappearance continues, the two men are challenged in ways they never imagined."

 - See more at:

Thursday, July 31, 2014