Book Review – Revolution: Book 2 in The Nora White Story by Yecheilyah Ysrayl 

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Today is the Release Day for Yecheilyah Ysrayl’s latest creation! I have been looking forward to this one since I read Book 1 – Renaissance: The Nora White Story back in June of last year. Ren

The story of Nora White continues where it left off from book 1 in the series. As expected it was a whirlwind of excitement.
The story once again toggles between New York, Nora’s new haven and Mississippi, her roots.

I found myself enthralled with this story. The way the author blends the actual events Revolutionof the past with her fictitious interpretation is compelling. The visual depictions of the surrounding had me inside the room when Nora was waking from one of her spells. I could smell the open air of the South and feel the breeze on my face at the lake. I had the feeling that if I took a step, I would enter into the realm of Nora and her friends as they prepared for the huge Marcus Garvey event at The Garden.

The lesson in this book is something that is needed so much in today’s society. It also shows, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

My one disappointment was that we never hear from Lisa and what happened to her. I was very much looking forward to seeing how karma was going to deal with her. The author did leave a tiny bit of hope at the end so maybe we’ll see a third book about Lisa and her shenanigans. Here’s hoping. Overall I gave this story 4.5 stars, which in my world rounds up to a 5 star rating!

To purchase Renaissance, Revolution and the rest of Yecheilyah’s body of work Click Here.

 

 

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Invisible Fat Lady Presents – Montgomery, AL

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Hi Lovies,

It’s been a long time. I shouldn’t have left you without a dope place to travel to. Okay, so I am no Rakim, but it has been a while since I wrote a travel blog. Well, the Invisible Fat Lady is back with a historical trip to Montgomery, Alabama. Yaaaaas!

As some of you that follow my blog know, my husband and I recently moved to Birmingham, AL. Never, ever ever in my big thighed life did I expect to live in Alabama! However, when the opportunity knocks, you have to jump in. Since I can write from anywhere, it was only fair to support my hubby in following his career goals. So what do I think so far? Not too shabby! Who knew Alabama, specifically Bham was poppin?

Well, you didn’t stop what you’re doing to read about my likes or dislikes of the Magic City. We are supposed to be chatting about my trip to Montgomery. Don’t get too excited, we took a day trip which meant we had to drive down and back(two hours each way) on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I read about the new Legacy Museum and the corresponding National Memorial For Peace and Justice that just opened and I had to see them for myself.

For a total of $10 per person, we purchased a combo pack of tickets that allowed us access to

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© Lisa W. Tetting

both attractions. Of course we tried to be all tech savvy and purchase our tickets in the car, thinking we could just show the bar code on the phone to gain access. WRONG! There we were, looking at each other, neither armed with a portable printer. Well, damn! Luckily, the lady at the box office/gift shop was nice enough to print out our tickets for us. It only took navigating through a long corridor to find the box office. It was actually a little area that used to be used as a gateway to moves slaves from one holding area to another. It has been renovated and gentrified to house several shops and restaurants in this era.

Once we got our tickets, we walked back over to the museum, which is less than a block away, only to have water poured on my head. I don’t mean literally, but that’s what it felt like. The night before we left, I charged up my Canon SLR and was ready for a day of great picture taking. Well, The Legacy Museum had other plans. You could certainly take your camera inside, because they didn’t want to inconvenience you and make you walk back to your car. However, you were not about to use said camera inside the museum. I had 3 pictures that I needed to get, one of the entry wall, one of the jars of sand collected at the lynching sites all over the south, and one of the sculpture on the way out. Just three measly pictures would have satisfied me, but I was denied.

Security Guards be like… 

Sorry Guys, no pics of the inside of the museum and since I had my petty boots on, I didn’t take any of the outside either. That will show them. Anyway, the tour was self-guided and it didn’t take that long. Give yourself 45 minutes to an hour depending on how busy it is. The displays were ok, but I prefer the ones in the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham. They were totally different so it is not a comparison in that manner, just the overall feel of the place was different.

The theme of the museum is ‘From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration’. The most intense part for me was seeing the jars of soil that were meticulously collected from each documented site of a lynching in the South. The most astonishing thing was seeing so many jars with Unknown listed as the name of the person lynched. It amazes me the amount of hate displayed there. On a positive note, I saw a lot of families touring the museum. People of all races, many from other countries, learning about our country’s shameful past and present. (Remember the Mass Incarceration part?)

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© Lisa W. Tetting

When we left there, we loaded back into the truck, after a brief walk around the area to see what we could see. I found it amusing to find the Hank Williams Museum just steps away. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you the historical significance of the location of the museum. It is housed in a restored building that once served as a warehouse/holding cell for slaves between the time they disembarked from ships and were sold at the market, which is only a few blocks away.

Once we left that area, we traveled over to what I deemed one of the greatest memorials I have ever experienced. I say experienced, because that is exactly what you do there. The National Memorial For Peace and Justice is a sight to behold. Thankfully, the guards allowed pictures there. Starting out along the entry of the walkway, you are greeted by a beautiful quote from one of today’s most important writers, Toni Morrison. Continuing up the slight incline you reach a breathtaking sculpture representing the enslaved ancestors. I was speechless as I viewed the art installation created by West African artist, Kwame Akoto-Bamfo. The attention to detail is evident as you view each representative down to the braids of one woman’s hair. Just beautiful and sad at the same time.

As you continue to walk up the pathway, the wall on the right continues to get taller and taller, with inscriptions leading you along the way. Then you get to a stopping point where you can look over the wall to inspect the lawn down below. The view is stunning, but you continue because you must. The first sight of the monuments is at eye level. You’ll notice the pattern throughout the monument of the name of the county and state where the lynching took place, followed by the names of the people who were brutally murdered, and the dates of the lynching.

Some are individual instances, while others appear to have been a massacre. We counted on one structure at least 17 people all killed on the same day in the same county, but the most unnerving thing was they were all listed as Unknown! I can’t tell you the amount of pain this brought to my soul. Imagine families being dragged out and murdered in the streets for no reason. They didn’t even know the people’s names, just their race.

 The memorial is well structured throughout. As the incline increases, so do the structures. They move from eye level to rising overhead at a slow steady pace. You will be entranced at this level, but I will warn you to watch your step. On the structures that are hanging above you, the name of the county and state are etched into the bottom, causing you to look up. Although the designers have installed frames directly underneath the structures, you will be distracted looking up and may run into one. I witnessed a lady doing just that.   You have been warned.

The next corridor has more structures, but also a display along a wall that tells the stories of several families and individuals and why they were lynched. There is a peaceful water wall placed there to honor the dead. From there it continues. It goes on and on and on. The path leads you around to what I call the garden, where the structures are now laying to rest on the earth, in the same fashion as a coffin. It truly resembled a graveyard. Once you reach the end of this path, you are greeted by a tranquility park, set there to honor civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells. It is a place for peaceful reflection.

Just on the other side of the peaceful little corner, there is a pathway that takes you back around to the start of the tour. Here you will find more sculptures that depict racial violence from both the past and present. On your way out don’t forget to read the poem Invocation by Elizabeth Alexander that reflects on the past, but gives hope for the future.

I couldn’t believe how many people were killed in this horrific fashion, not to mention their murders going unpunished. I want you all to stop and think about this. How can this country ever heal if we can’t get justice for the blood that has spilled? This memorial is a good step in the right direction and I applaud EJI for sanctioning a memorial worthy of the mall in DC.

I encourage every man, woman, and child who is drawing breath in their bodies to take the trip to Montgomery and see this memorial. We must start the healing process in order for things to get better for ALL of us. That’s all for now.  And remember… meme53

 

 

 

 

 

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Indie Shine – Candis Johnson

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In this edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to ‘Shine’ the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome writer/publisher Candis Johnson!

 

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©Candis Johnson used with permission

 

Bio: 

My name is Candis Johnson. I am thirty years old from Camden NJ. I attended public school and graduated from a performing arts high school in 2006. I attended Delaware State University and graduated in 2010 with a BA degree in Mass Communications and a minor in Political Science. I published my first poetry book in 2008 via Lulu.com called “Splurging on Poetry” and a second in 2009 entitled “Somebody had to say it” Currently, I am in graduate school obtaining a MA in Business Administration. I have also created my own literary magazine called “SOUL” (Say On Universal Languages). So far I have released four issues and many more to come. My future goal is to ultimately own and operate my own publishing company.

Q & A

What do you do and Why do you do it?
Currently I am a freelance blogger and editor of SOUL magazine. As cliché as this might sound my response to this question is simple. I do it because I love it. I found my passion at age 10 or 11 and have been hooked ever since. Also, as it pertains to SOUL, the goal is to help other artists have a platform to use their voices to speak about any and everything they feel is important. Particularly unknown or undiscovered artists, writers, and poets.
SOUL Mag4Tell us about your most recent work.
My most recent work is SOUL issues 1-4. It is a literary magazine that caters to creativity such as poetry, short stories, blogs and any other creative format one wishes to use. I created soul because I felt like there was a need for undiscovered artists to have a place to use their gifts.
Who inspires you?
God is truly my greatest inspiration.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time?
At this time I would consider SOUL my “Masterpiece”
What is your motto in life? 
“Life is what you make it, so make it epic!”
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true. 
This is a difficult question because I have so many dreams. However, I want to say winning a Pulitzer Prize for my work.
What is your favorite quote? Jan quote
“In complete darkness we are all the same. It is only our knowledge and wisdom that separates us. Don’t let your eyes deceive you.” Janet Jackson
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for?
I’d like to be remembered for the passion I have for my gift and for my ability to help others achieve their goals.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?
Currently, I am working to create a website for my books so that readers and writers can get to know me better and have access to my work.
Where can fans purchase your work?
My work can be purchased from Lulu.

Social Media

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©Candis Johnson used with permission

Twitter: @_harlems_child

Instagram 1: _s.o.u.lsistahmagazine_ 

Instagram2: soulliterarymagazine

Facebook: Candis Johnson

Snapchat: candythepoet

Friday Happy Dance – Janet Jackson

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Today’s Happy Dance is in response to the state of the world today. I have chosen to express my angst in a positive manner and thus have decided to share “State of the World” by Janet Jackson. The video is a Lyric video so the words can have more impact.

Book Review – Renaissance: The Nora White Story by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

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Book and E-Reader- Nora W.

It has been a year of Sundays since I did a book review on this blog, but when this book came along, I couldn’t help myself. It gave me so many feels I couldn’t help myself!

Here are my thoughts:

Nora White is a farm girl from Mississippi who dreams of moving to Harlem and becoming a writer. Her biggest wish is to write alongside the legends of the era like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston!

Ok, I must stop here! This book was after my heart. I absolutely love both Langston and Zora! In fact the main character of my first book is named for them. I was swooning when the main character not only befriended, but became a contemporary of these icons! Nora was living the life J would have wanted, had I lived in the 1920s.

The book flashed back and forth between Nora’s family back on the farm and Nora living in NY.

Nora meets Zora while she is working her job as a maid/assistant to the grouchy Missharlemwriters.gif Charlotte, who insists on being called Godmother. She is a strange and temperamental woman who gives Nora a hard time. Nora is a bit of a Zora fan girl, but managed to keep her composure long enough to procure an invitation to a party where all of the who’s who of Harlem literary society will be.

Nora is overjoyed to meet them all, but makes it her mission to befriend Langston, who she is crushing hard on. That is until she realizes he is same sex oriented, or so the rumor goes.

The author really did her research, touching on the feud between Zora and Langston over a play written by both, but only Zora was given credit. The way she wove Nora into the middle of the feud was genius. It was reminiscent of Forrest Gump a bit.(That, in my world is a HUGE compliment – I love Forrest Gump)

There is no way I wasn’t going to like this book. Zora, Langston, Harlem, a bit of WEB DuBois and a roommate named Lisa! Wow! It turns out Lisa has an agenda at the end, but because the book ended on a cliffhanger we have to wait to see exactly what that is.

There were some serious shenanigans going on and I suspect there is a little mysteryIMG_9255 hiding just under the surface. I can’t wait to see if my theory is correct. Unfortunately my thirst to solve this mystery will not be satiated until December when book 2 is released.

In the meantime, I have all kinds of scenarios to mill around in my head to keep me busy. This book left me breathless! I want more and I want it now!

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That would be a big fat YES5 Stars*****

Now that I have you excited to read this masterpiece, I have to drop a little bomb. You ready? It will not be available until July. I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a copy as part of EC’s ARC Team.

However, while you wait you can help Yecheilyah spread the word about her book by supporting her Thunderclap campaign. Don’t worry, it doesn’t cost a thing. It just takes a couple of minutes and your approval to share info about this book on your social media. You were going to do that anyway, right? So click here to support her campaign!

 

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©Yecheilyah Ysrayl used with permission

Yecheilyah Ysrayl is an Author, Poet, Blogger and Book Reviewer at Literary Korner Publishing.

web. www.yecheilyahysrayl.com

Friday Happy Dance REMIX

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OMG! This video just blew my mind. Thanks to my blogger friend Nadine Tomlinson for posting it on her Twitter feed. This is a celebration of 40 Years of Hip Hop mixed by The Hood Internet on Youtube. This brought me back to my days growing up so I had to share.