Friday, July 27, 2018

"Better Late Than Never" by Kimberla Lawson Roby - The Conclusion to the Reverend Curtis Black Series

The whole time I was reading this book, I kept saying to myself, "This can't be the last one."

We have come to know and love (and hate at times) Reverend Curtis Black and his family.  From Charlotte to Matthew to Alicia to Phillip to Curtina to Raven to Dillon, each and every one of them has become a part of our lives.  Speaking to fans of Kimberla Lawson Roby and the Curtis Black Series.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then you've got a lot of catching up to do.

I also realized that despite their flaws, they're just like the rest of us (okay, minus the wealth in my case) but they really are just people.  Black folks living their every day lives.  Obviously, being the pastor of a large megachurch comes with its own set of issues, but the raw emotion and feelings are what many of us feel from time to time and we go through life's ups and downs.

I don't want to give anything away, however, I will say at the end of the book, I love them now more than ever.

"Better Late Than Never."  On sale everywhere July 31st.

Curtis Black is no stranger to scandal. Throughout the decades, he has done much in the public eye, both good and evil. But what most people don’t realize is that Curtis has been hiding an abusive childhood that has affected him in horrifying ways.
Sadly, when his estranged sister becomes alarmingly ill, his buried past returns without warning, and his youngest daughter, twelve-year-old Curtina, becomes the kind of problem child he never thought she could be…and this is only the beginning. Worse, all the public scandals they’ve experienced over the years now seem like mere child’s play compared to the turmoil they are facing in private. And who could have known that their deepest wounds would come from within?

Monday, July 2, 2018

Need a laugh? Go to the theater and check out, "Uncle Drew!"

You don't have to be a basketball fan to appreciate the laughs you'll get while watching, "Uncle Drew" which is now in theaters everywhere.

It's a wonderful escape from the world that we're currently living in and the tragedies and bad news on every cable channel and social media.

I haven't enjoyed mindless entertainment like this in a while and it was long overdue.

Kudos to the costume design team and great acting from the basketball greats.

in fact, I had such a good time, I think I'll go see it again next weekend!

Check out the trailer, here!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Book Review: "An American Marriage" by Tayari Jones

A few years ago, I read "Silver Sparrow" by Tayari Jones with my book club.  It remains one of my all-time favorite books.  "Silver Sparrow" opened my eyes to one of the best authors of our time.

Fast forward to 2018 and the release of her newest novel, "An American Marriage."  This book is an Oprah's Book Club Selection.  However, Tayari Jones didn't need Oprah's stamp of approval to encourage me to buy and read her work.

I was so moved by this book in many ways.  

It is the story of a man (a newlywed) conviction of a crime he didn't commit.  What unfolds is a story about love, marriage, betrayal, racism, injustice, life in the South and so much more.

I enjoyed every page.  I suggest you take the journey for yourself.

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forwardwith hope and paininto the future.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"Southern Cafe" to be Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives - Friday, May 25, 2018


Oakland's Southern Cafe on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives"
Friday, May 25th | 9:00pm*
* Check Your Local Listings

Please visit Southern Café at two locations:

2000 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland CA 94602 (510) 336-2013,
Enjoy our All -You - Can - Eat Sunday Buffet and Live Jazz from 5-8 pm 

400 G Street, Antioch, CA 94509  (925) 754-1172,
Sundays choose from Menu Items | Dine-In / Take Out / Catering / Delivery

Monday, April 16, 2018

Waiting While Black. . .The Starbucks incident is only one example of what black folks go through every day

By now, we've all heard about the incident at the coffee shop in Philadelphia where two African American men had the audacity to set up a meeting with a friend/colleague in Starbucks.  Imagine that, a meeting in Starbucks?  You know how the story unfolded.  They ended up in handcuffs being escorted out of the cafe just as the friend they were meeting showed up.

What pains me more than the sight of these good looking black men being "shackled" and kicked out of the establishment was the look of resignation on their faces.  They were smart to know that resisting arrest could lead to being shot by the police.

During the last recession, white men and women all over America pretty much hung up their shingles and made Starbucks their personal "offices."  Heck, they still do it to this day.

I can walk into any Starbucks in this town during open hours and find at the very least six people who are "conducting business" inside Starbucks.  They "might" purchase something.  And if they do, trust me, they nurse that cup for hours.  Just having a "messy" table is enough for them to "squat" as long as they please.

If I'm being totally honest, I too, have stopped in a Starbucks to use the restroom or wait for someone and purchased nothing.  I believe that most Americans have done the same.  Why not?  We know that we've all given Starbucks a good sum of money over time while working, traveling, shopping, in airports, office buildings, you name it.

It's sort of like stopping at a gas station while traveling and using the restroom.  Starbucks stores just like gas stations are everywhere.

And maybe that's the problem.

Maybe they've gotten too big for their own good. 

Starbucks is so convenient for me.

There's one in my building and I go there at least once a day for coffee or a snack. 

Boycotting Starbucks means that I would have to leave my building and take the extra time and effort to visit an independent coffee shop or another chain. There are coffee shops on every corner.

And that is why I think I need to boycott Starbucks (at least until I see some true commitment and change).  Because boycotting Starbucks is easier than tossing and turning in my sleep because I was just too lazy to be inconvenienced.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

50 Years Since Dr. King was brutally assassinated - do we even dare to dream anymore?

I was a small child when Dr. Martin Luther King was brutally assassinated on the 4th day of April in 1968. 

However, I will never forget the squeal that my mom's friend let out when she learned that his wounds were fatal.  She walked in and said to my mother, "They shot him down like a dog!" 

My mom who had been listening to the events unfold on the radio sadly replied, "He's dead."

The blood curdling scream pierced my young ears and remain etched in my memory forever.

In my neighborhood, Dr. King was a saint and someone who gave us a hope and a dream for a better future.

And here we are today, 50 years later, under the "leadership" of a man who dares us to dream (and not in a good way).

I refuse to give in to what many would have us do and abandon all hope.

I will admit - it's pretty darn blurry right now.

We must never forget.  And never stop dreaming.