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Give the Gift of Knowledge
Give Books as Gifts 365!
Creations, The Sankofa Literary Society and The Black Authors Network
are proud to announce the launch of the 2014-2015 "Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign," bringing readers and authors together to help improve literacy.
Each new year, we encourage readers to purchase books to give as gifts 365 days
a year. Listed below are just a few of our book suggestions. Each week we will bring
many more! The books are available in our bookstore and in bookstores near you!
Let's all agree to "Give the Gift of Knowledge" and help to strengthen our future
generations by sharing our wonderful literary legacy! We have selected
several hundred books for your library, check them out at our
bookstore, go here. Please consider share this page and the
featured books with your network!
Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations
Black Pearls Magazine Online-Founder
Black Authors Network Radio-Founder
Social Media Strategist - Internet Publicist - Branding Coach
You Know You Want More!
Left for Dead by Ebony Canion
Ebony Canion is no stranger to adversity. In fact, her countless traumatic experiences in her childhood and adulthood have molded her to be strong, resilient, and faithful, in short—a survivor.
But on that fateful day, June 30, 2012, her strength was tested more than ever before. Run over, then dragged for over two hundred feet,
Ebony Canion was left for dead.
She sustained multiple serious injuries and was in a coma for nearly two months. But keeping with the pattern of her life, Ebony’s spirit of faithfulness was bent but never broken. And it was then, healing in the hospital, that Ebony decided to share her story with the world.
As an inspiration to all who know her, Ebony’s will to overcome, more importantly to survive, is unparalleled. She started a T-shirt company,
Tees, which empower others to let their scars tell their story. Ebony wants to show people all over the world that despite your scars—your journey and disappointments—they tell a story.
Ebony’s scars show that no matter what situation she is confronted with, she will survive. Her book,
Left for Dead (Life Changing Books- Jan, 2014), will show that despite her many obstacles, she will never be defeated—she will survive.
Excerpt from Left for Dead
We were all caught off guard by the argument. Needless to say, we shouted back to the group of girls trespassing on our property. The doors of their car opened quickly, and all five females hopped out. The fuse had been lit. Everyone met in the middle of the street and began taunting each other with words flying back and forth. Suddenly, catching me completely off guard, one of the girls from the car punched me. Out of reflex, I swung back even though I didn’t want any problems. I’d been through enough pain in life already.
All Hell broke loose.
We were all brawling in the middle of the street. Punches and kicks were being thrown in all directions. Over a bunch of yelling and name calling, the girls headed back to their car. Threats were still being made from both sides but only out of anger. The girls finally climbed back into the car. Seconds later, one of them threw a bottle from their car window, targeted at me. It missed and shattered in the street.
The moment that followed changed my life and will haunt my dreams until the day I die. It was at that moment that I had realized why my sixth sense had given me such a bad feeling about going out that night.
The engine of the car revved up. A second later, it sped out of the driveway screeching and burning rubber. As it did, the driver purposely jerked the steering wheel in my direction although she had plenty of space to go in any direction she wanted. As the headlights bore down on me, in a split second, I saw the many flashes of pain in my life: the man forcing me to do sexual things to him at a young age, the fists of the man I once loved crashing into my face, the fists of the men my mother loved crashing into hers, the knife going into her
chest, the stench of the man who’d raped me in that bathroom at fourteen, the day my father moved out, the day I became a widow with three children to feed, and so much more.
Each moment blazed by in blinding flashes. The pain of each moment rushed me. I guess it was a defense mechanism though, an act to instantly prepare me for the pain I was about to face.
The car slammed into me. Immediately, the force made me crumple over the hood and crash my hands down on its surface. At that moment…
Darkness. I can’t remember anything about that night from then on.
From the way the story is now told, my sister India said that car mowed me down like a race car headed to the finish line. One moment I was there, the next I was gone. It was like I had simply vanished. It happened so fast. It happened in an absolute instant. It was so unbelievable and so unimaginable. No one watching could grasp what had happened. She herself at that moment didn’t believe that I had actually been hit.
Pandemonium broke loose. Everyone began to let out the most ear piercing horrifying screams India had ever heard. She said the scream that affected her most though was that of her
nephew. “My auntie!” he screamed. “My auntie’s under the car!”
That was when India’s mind deciphered what had happened. The car had run me over. Along with my family, she ran out into the street to see the car headed up the block. Its engine was revving loudly. Heavy smoke was coming from the hood. The gas pedal was obviously pressed to the floor but the car was moving slower than before. My body underneath was slowing it down.
“Stop!” everyone yelled horrifically. “Stop!”
The driver of the car didn’t stop. She continued to gas the engine and drag me. It was the most horrifying sight my sister had ever seen. Finally the car reached the corner and made a right turn. As it did, my body tore loose from the undercarriage. It flipped and rolled limply over the street top a few times and then came to rest as the car sped off.
My family reached me in a brief second. Although everything had happened so fast, the experience seemed to be going in slow motion. When they reached me, they couldn’t believe what they saw. I was lying on the ground with my arms and legs twisted in unnatural positions. It was obvious my bones were broken. The jagged edges of some were even poking through my flesh. One of my legs was actually touching my back. Patches of hair were ripped from my skull. Portions of my flesh were ripped open. Most of the left side of my face had been torn away. My tongue was ripped from my mouth and dangling, while parts of my dress had been torn away. Blood was spilling from me, not stopping or slowing. A trail of it led from where the car first hit me all the way to where I was now laying. At that moment, as I lay motionless. Everyone had thought the same thing: I had been literally…
LEFT FOR DEAD.
( Continued... )
Watch her video journey: http://youtu.be/DEZrrD391w4
© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Ebony Canion. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.
Purchase copies of Left for Dead
Ebony's Website: http://www.thesurvivalstory.org
Follow on Instagram: http://instagram.com/survival_story
Purchase T-shirts: http://www.survivalstorytees.bigcartel.com
Subscribe to Survival Story: https://www.facebook.com/survival.story.1
a New Year and a New You!
Annual Resolutions for African American Women
by author Hazel Mills
Release those Painful and Negative Bags!
“Suffering is not holding you. You are holding suffering. When you become good at the art of letting sufferings go, then you’ll come to realize how unnecessary it was for you to drag those burdens around with you. You’ll see that no one else other than you was responsible. The truth is that existence wants your life to become a festival.” — so says Osho
A NEW YEAR, A NEW YOU! When people talk about making resolutions for the new year, it usually involves quitting or losing something or someone. For example, millions of people will resolve to quit smoking and twice as many more will promise to lose weight. Beginning the new year, we will be saturated with television and print ad campaigns for gym memberships, weight loss program and equipment deals as well as products to help with nicotine addiction.
Although these changes in lifestyle are great and for some, can mean the difference between life or death, there are so many other things that we, as African American women, can do to make our lives more healthy, positive and meaningful throughout the new year.
What baggage are you leaving behind in last year? I'm leaving behind all doubts, fears, guilt and any unsaid thoughts! I'm starting new...new ideas, new friends, new projects, new goals, new is what's hot!
Here are a few tips to launch a New You:
1. Resolve to spend more time with God. This should be non-negotiable and always first on everyone's to-do list for the new year. He has created so many beautiful and magnificent things, including you. Resolve to attend church or bible study more often than you do now. Make time in your busy day just to say a quiet "thank you".
2. Resolve to ditch the drama.
I can't say enough about this one. The stress of living a drama-filled life can affect your mental and physical health. Find ways to get rid of your own and to avoid getting pulled into the madness of others around you. This is much more challenging to accomplish around the holidays.
3. Resolve to take control of your health.
On the morning of January 1 and the rest of the year, ask yourself the following vital questions: What is my HIV status? What are my cholesterol numbers? When was my last pap smear and/or mammogram? When did I last see a dentist? If you can't answer these questions definitively, call your doctor(s) and make an appointment.
4. Resolve not to starve your savings account. Last year was a year of economic hell and we have all cut back on rewarding ourselves with luxuries like new cars and vacations. Some may have dipped into the piggy bank just to make ends meet. In the new year, try to make a point to put a little something away from each paycheck. It doesn't have to be much. Pennies add up to dollars.
5. Resolve to be more generous. I am not talking about money here. Your time is more valuable than your dollars. Volunteer to read to hospitalized children, to serve food at a local women's shelter or build a home with Habitat For Humanity. The warm fuzzy feeling you'll get from knowing you helped someone else will be worth more than rubies.
6. Resolve to learn something new.
The new year is a great time to create new adventures by learning to do something new. Check out your local community college for course selections. Many classes are available in the evening. You can learn all sorts of interesting things like how to play golf, speak a new language, play a mean game of chess, tune-up your car's engine or countless other hobbies. When we stop learning, we stop growing.
7. Resolve to re-unite with an old friend or relative this year.
Invite your room-mate from your college days out for dinner and some catching up or call and chat with a cousin whom you haven't seen since the last family reunion years ago. Sharing a laugh always lifts the spirits. But when planning a reunion, remember to heed number 2 on this list.
8. Resolve to be more informed about social and political issues.
We all could use a nudge in this department. Celebrity gossip rules the talk show circuit and magazines covers but how well do you know the political climate of your own city? Let's resolve to spend time expanding our minds this year about what is going on in our world and with those we have elected to represent our interests in government.
9.Resolve to take yourself on vacation.
Getting away on a shopping excursion with the girls is therapeutic and relaxing on a tropical beach with your significant other is wonderful. But why not take the concept of "me time" to a whole new level by treating yourself to a weekend at the spa? Treat yourself to a one night stay at a beautiful hotel across town. No phones, no text messages, no emails. You can't take care of others if you don't first take care of yourself.
10. Resolve to speak the truth in love. Hard but necessary. People don't always want to hear or accept the truth. Lies make life so much harder than it has to be. If you tell the truth with sugar rather than with salt, it is usually a littler easier for the other person to swallow. They may not agree with you but you don't need a fan club. Respect, from others and for yourself is the goal.
This list is a great place to begin to think about your life and the direction in which you want to go in
2014. Empower yourself to be a better person than you were in years past. There is always room for improvement and you don't have to wait until the new year to make a change. Today is a good day!
Copyright 2013. Article written by author Hazel Mills.
Living the Four Agreements
and Study the 4 Agreements, go here.
Intimate Conversation with Soul Sistahs Book Club
all of the book club interviews, click here now.
The Soul Sistahs Book Club
was founded in 2011 by Kenya Ervin of Chattanooga, TN. Initially comprised of coworkers, membership has been extended to close family and friends that share a passion for books. Soul Sistahs Book Club's mission is to promote literacy and encourage sisterhood among women of all ages and backgrounds through the love of reading and lively conversations.
BPM: Introduce us to your group. What was the first book you read as a group?
SSBC: Soul Sistahs Book club was founded in September 2011 by Kenya Ervin. Currently, we do not have officers assigned, but everyone comes together to get things done. We are located in Chattanooga, TN and we have seven active members. The first book that we read was G-Spot by Noire. It was a very lively and interesting discussion.
BPM: Why was your organization created? Do you write and post book reviews? Do you host events?
SSBC: Initially, our organization was created because I loved to read and I wanted to discuss what I read with an interested party. Most people that I talked to did not share the same passion that I had for reading. I asked a few coworkers if they would be interested and it took off from there. Now we are a group of sisters that not only share a love of reading, but we share things about our personal lives as well. The members that write book reviews are Kenya Ervin, Shannon Pasley, and Treneka Jackson. Our club anniversary is usually a festive occasion. We have author visits (Tameka Newhouse and Electa Rome Parks), food, entertainment and lots of dancing. We have also hosted other authors during the year. In 2014, I hope that we can have a greater presence in the community.
BPM: What are some of your pet peeves when it comes to book promotions?
SSBC: Flooding our newsfeed and email with their books and flyers. It's ok to post one or two. Anything more than that can become annoying.
BPM: Do you prefer to only read books written by authors of color? Do you support self-published authors?
SSBC: We try to support all authors but we do prefer authors of color. I think it's easier to identify with the subject matter that's presented by authors of color based on life experiences. We also support self-published authors.
BPM: Would you ever stop buying printed books? Do you think digital books will ever replace printed books?
SSBC: I love printed books! I don't believe I will ever stop buying printed books. Although digital books have become very popular, I don't believe they will ever replace printed books. I have several book club members that love digital books and I am slowly embracing them. I love that it allows you to get a book faster than regular mail.
BPM: Does the price of a digital book play a big part in your purchase?
SSBC: I think the price of a digital book plays a part in my purchase. If the digital copy is the same price as a printed book, I would purchase the printed book instead. I think the free ebooks are a double-edged sword. It's great that the price makes it easier to get books in the hands of more readers but the quality of the material in the books have decreased somewhat.
BPM: Does social media influence your reading selections at all? Would a online radio interview, video chat or Twitter chat influence you enough to purchase a book?
SSBC: Social media is a huge influence on our reading selections. I have chosen several of our book of the month selections based on online radio interviews and Facebook chats. It allows the reader to get up close and personal with an author to see how passionate they are about their work. An author's passion, dedication and great attitude makes us want to support them as much as we can.
President: Kenya Ervin, Soul Sistahs Book Club
Everything Old, Is New Again
by A. Yamina Collins
If Amazon's recent Kindle Serials debut back in 2012 is any indication of current publishing trends, then releasing a novel in episodes may be the hottest new thing publishing has seen in a while - even though there is actually nothing new about the serialized format.
Years ago, it was the print novel that was being serialized rather than digitized works of today, and no less than Charles Dickens helped to establish the format with the release of his first novel, The Pickwick Papers back in 1836. In fact, that book is largely considered to have been the prototype of all serialization and indeed most of Dickens subsequent novels were originally published serially as well - in both weekly and monthly magazines, and often in as many as twenty monthly installments.
And make no mistake - Charles Dickens was not the only famous author to have tried his hand at serialization. French author Alexandre Dumas dolled out his Count of Monte Cristo in eighteen parts in the Journal des Débats, with publication running from August 28, 1844 to January 15, 1846, while Uncle Tom's Cabin, the American classic by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was serialized beginning in June 1851, over a 40-week period in an abolitionist periodical called National Era.
It's true that serialization sputtered in the early to mid-twentieth century and pretty much died. It's also true that now days audiences seem to have the attention span of two-year olds, making it difficult to hold readers interest in books that are dolled out slowly for public consumption.
Yet it should not be assumed that there is absolutely no consumers for the serialized format.
In fact, one could make the argument that series books such as Harry Potter, Twilight and the Hunger Games, are themselves episodes told in larger, lump sum quantities (seven novels for Potter and three for Twilight and Hunger Games respectively).
There have been even success stories of authors actually serializing a single novel in this day and age. In 2011, for example, author Hugh Howey wrote the indie sci-fi book "Wool". The book had been conceived as a stand-alone shorty story, but as its popularity increased, so did Mr. Howey's need to expand on the story, and thus a series was born - and a wildly successful one at that.
But what are some of the benefits of serializing a book today? For starters, serialized formats can help build up readership for unknown authors, and help create greater interaction between an author and his or her audience (it has been said that for Charles Dickens, this format created greater intimacy between he and his readers).
Another advantage is that authors can revise the novel even after it is serialized, in preparation for its stand-alone publication. As recent as 1984, Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities, ran in twenty-seven n parts in Rolling Stone magazine for which he was paid $200,000 for and yet, Mr. Wolfe went on to heavily revised the work before it was released in full form.
Yet another advantage, As Mr. Howey once explained in an interview with Wire.com, is that stand-alone books might remain invisible in a sea of books, but with a serialized novel one gets the same strange title sprinkled throughout the charts together, and that "sorta build(s) on top of each other like individual ripples growing into a much larger wave."
In other words, ten entries of a book title are better for that book's chart hopes then just a single entry.
It is for all of these reasons I am releasing my two-book novel "The Last
King" in a serialized format. I want to engage my readers even during the on going writing process; I want have a chance to correct some things I might miss down the road; and I want a chance build up an audience before the full, stand alone novel is released in late 2014.
It's also helpful that with Amazon's Kindle Serials, readers save money. When readers buy a Kindle Serial, they receive all existing episodes on their Kindle immediately, followed by future episodes as they are published at no additional cost. This will prove to be cheaper than buying all eleven episodes at separately.
I can't wait to see how serialization will change and grow throughout the next coming years. It's a totally new way for authors to think about publishing - even though it's also a very old idea.
About the Author
A. Yamina Collins is the author of the quirky short story collection The Blueberry Miller Files. She has written for publications such as New York Resident magazine, Our Town and the Manhattan Spirit. A graduate of New York University, she lives in Manhattan.
The Last King is her first novel.
The Last King
(Book I, Serial #1)
Science Fiction, African-American, Romance, Religious
Follow Yamina's Blog for more news: http://www.yaminatoday.com
Ms. Clara in 2B
by Debbie Sickler
“You have a lovely garden ma’am. Been meaning to tell you so for quite some time now.” The old woman’s voice startled me as I jabbed my key into the lock of my front door. I had grown accustomed to viewing the silent figure by the door of 2B, as a piece of furniture. Nothing more.
“I beg your pardon?” I pulled Jason’s cap down below his ears and fussed with the collar of Brian’s polo shirt. “I don’t have a garden. The patios here are too small for that. And forgive me for saying so, but if I were to have a garden, how would you know it’s lovely? I always thought you were blind.”
“There are all sorts of gardens ma’am. All sorts.” My neighbor sat rocking slowly in her wooden chair as she spoke her riddles.
“I used to have me a wonderful garden, I did. So beautiful. Shoulda spent me some more time enjoying it while I had it. Drunk driver put an end to it though. Put an end to my eyes too.”
“Well, I’m sorry for your loss. Maybe one day you’ll plant another?” I was running late to get Jay to school and was too short on patience to figure out the ramblings of an eighty-year-old blind woman with imaginary gardens.
“My time for gardening has come and gone. There won’t be any more flowers springing up for this old soul. Just make sure you enjoy yours while it lasts. The blooms fade so quickly sometimes. So quickly.”
“Yes, well, I really must be going.” I tried to scoot the boys past her door and down the hall.
I had almost made it to the elevator when she called out. “The names Clara Johnson. Ms. Clara’s fine. You have a lovely day and take care of that garden now.” She continued rocking and staring off into the distance with eyes as clouded as her thinking seemed. I pushed the down button a few extra times without saying another word.
When we returned that afternoon, I was in a foul mood; Brian’s diaper had leaked all over me. I hardly noticed Ms. Clara with all the scolding I was busy doing.
“Bri, when are you ever going to learn to use the potty?” The overstuffed diaper was creating an awful stench and I couldn’t wait to get inside.
“Sounds as though you’ve got your hands full.” The crackle of her voice matched the creaking of her rocker perfectly. I hardly glanced up as I dug around for my keys, which had managed to settle to the bottom of my purse already.
“Oh. It’s this stupid diaper. It leaked all over my new blouse.”
“You have to expect a little dirt if you want to have a garden.”
“Dirt I wouldn’t mind. It’s this fertilizer that’s getting to me.” I managed a smile at my own cleverness. “If this kid would just stop being so dense and catch on. I think he takes after his father. He wasn’t too bright either.”
“Now how on earth will your buds blossom if you pelt them with pebbles like that?” A wry smile spread across Ms. Cara’s wrinkled face.
I had to stop and think about that one for a minute.
“Each one is different. Some will thrive in the bright sun, while others would simply wilt. Some need constant pruning so they won’t snap beneath their own weight. Others are meant to grow free and confident. It is up to the gardener to recognize their seedlings and apply the proper care.”
I still wasn’t sure Ms. Clara was all there, but she was starting to make sense. I looked down at my little ‘garden’ as she called it. They really were great kids and it had been awhile since I’d stopped to admire them.
Keys finally retrieved from my bag, I turned to unlock the door.
“Have a good evenin’ ma’am.”
I paused and looked back across the hall at apartment 2B. “My name’s Meg. You have a good night too Ms. Clara.” I herded the boys through the narrow doorway with a gentle, guiding hand.
Remembering the advice to enjoy my garden while it lasted, I inhaled deeply. Then I remembered Bri’s current potty emergency and regretted it. I rushed him to his changing table, but not without offering up a silent prayer for my wonderful garden, fertilizer and all.
About the Author
Sickler, a mother of three boys, began writing as a hobby in 2005. She has since won several awards and been published both online and in print. She is currently working on a Christian fantasy screenplay. Contact her at
© 2006 Debbie Sickler. Article Source: Faith Writers
Overcoming Personal Stress with Pending Uncertainty
Do you know what the future holds in 2014 for you?
Are you now dreading the new year with more demands on the job, an unconcerned boss about your personal welfare, and new threats of pending layoffs? All of these things create stress and anxiety for working professionals as the
new year begins. Many smart buyers do not want to overspend in this economic crisis, creating a situation where the economy recovers even slower. Leadership strategists offer advice to working professionals to reduce stress related to all the uncertainties in 2014.
Sadly, our standard of living is eroding. Families cannot make ends meet despite working multiple jobs. Companies are demanding more. It is no surprise that folks are stressed out. According to the third annual Work Stress Survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College, more than eight in 10 employed Americans are stressed out by at least one thing about their jobs. Additionally, the study showed poor pay and increased workloads were top sources of concern for many employees (1,019 surveyed by phone). The results produced a significant increase (73% to 83%) from last year's survey, which found that more employees were stressed at work.
Another holiday season has come and gone. After the presents have been given out and the year comes to a close, many people will reminisce about the past year. Sadly, some people's lives will be filled with many defeats, broken relationships, and unfulfilled dreams. These many setbacks may be relatively minor in nature.
Depression can happen to anyone. Christian Maslach and Michael Leiter, authors of The Truth about Burn-out, explain how stress can burn out people and impact their mental state. In fact, many professionals are succeeding in the corporate environment while failing miserably at their own personal relationships. If you are human, you will experience some disappointments. It does not take a genius to understand how someone can get depressed. Some call it a "Pity Party."
With the ongoing global crisis and individual financial struggles, more and more Americans need to find better coping tools for survival. Individuals should not lose hope. The following positive tips are suggested:
* Seek out mentors who can assist you with your personal goals.
* Get rid of unnecessary stress in your life and negative people.
* Surround yourself with a positive network of individuals.
* Become a good steward of your finances. Do not attempt to spend more than you have.
* Evaluate your current situation at work and home. Are you moving forward or just standing still?
* Consider a hobby, interest, or a community cause which requires going outside your comfort zone.
* Consider how to improve your individual condition with self-learning, trade/professional certificates, and newer job strategy approaches.
We all know that 2014 and beyond are full of a lot of uncertainty. You can spend your days in despair or you can take control of some things to have a more successful life. This does not happen by chance.
Certainly, depression sets in for some of the 15 million unemployed Americans, causing some women to grow weary and some men to grow angry. For millions of individuals, a pity party is a regular affair. However, individuals must be persistent during the current economic crisis and a good outlook goes a long way. Your attitude will greatly impact how you retool your life so that you can be successful in the future.
About Daryl Green
Dr. Daryl Green has done extensive research on cultural issues impacting today and future leaders. His last book, Job Strategies for the 21st Century: How to Assist Today's College Students during Economic Turbulence, has been rated number one on Amazon.com. For more information, you can contact him at www.darylgreen.org or www.nuleadership.com.
by Jan Ackerson
Dan and I married young—we were children, really—but I was charmed by the curls that played at his neck, and by his raspy chuckle. Those were reasons enough to marry, as it turns out. Years later, those same qualities still quicken my breath.
Not long ago, we waved at our darling Lily as she embarked on a new life with her own curly-haired charmer, in a flurry of lace. Dan’s arm tightened around my waist as their car disappeared, and he whispered in my ear. “We’re still young, sweetheart. Time to do something new.”
"Something new" was a spiritual itch that had plagued him for months. Dan wanted to be a missionary—had felt the call and started to research mission fields and financial arrangements while I was occupied with Lily’s wedding. I strained to hear the same voice that had reached my husband’s ears, but God was silent to me. I followed Dan anyway, transported to a distant land by the power of my love for him.
The air in my new country was richer than that of my home, thicker with exotic smells. Colors were more brilliant, the music filled with stranger harmonies. The language, when I learned it, fell softly from my tongue. The children were precious with their quick and dazzling smiles, the women sweetly shy. Yet I resisted falling in love with my new residence. My heart was home with Lily and her husband, with the granddaughter whose growth was chronicled in a well-worn photo album.
A few mornings ago, I awoke realizing that I had dreamed not in English but in my adopted tongue. I felt bemused, as if I was losing myself. The feeling intensified as I shopped for vegetables in the open-air market. Surrounded by the liquid syllables of native speakers, I was startled when an English-speaking tourist grasped my elbow and asked for directions. I blinked at her, uncomprehending, having to translate her words mentally before I could formulate a reply.
And yesterday, I sat in the front row of our cinder-block church, listening to the linguistic dance of Dan and his co-pastor, partners in the Lord. Dan spoke, his partner translated, the congregation laughed at his self-deprecating humor—and I realized that I had not heard Dan’s words at all, but had waited for the translation. I am fading away, I thought. If we stay here, I will disappear.
I spent the afternoon in something more closely resembling whining than prayer. "Your work is flourishing here, Lord. Dan loves it. But I have done nothing for Your kingdom, and I am all alone. Why did You bring me here if only to watch me evaporate? How can I serve You if I don’t know who I am?" My vaulted and chained spirit locked out God’s reply.
This morning, I kissed Dan good-bye, wrapped a colorful skirt around my waist, and prepared a cup of the local tea, spicy and sweet. While I sipped, I listened to the cacophony of accusing birds in the trees outside and explored the borders of my soul. My reverie was interrupted by a knock at the door.
It was my neighbor, a quiet woman with whom I’d occasionally shared a loaf of flat bread or a fruit-filled treat. Tears streaked her cheeks and she fell into my arms, weeping her husband’s name. He had been unfaithful to her, I learned, because of her inability to bear him a child. His mistress was now pregnant, and he had put her from their home, penniless and bereft.
I held her stiffly at first, unsure how to minister to this grieving woman, but my arms relaxed as a peacefulness settled upon me—a warmth that spread from the roots of my hair to my sandaled feet. My neighbor’s tears subsided, and she whimpered a proverb used to communicate despair: literally translated, she told me "with every rising of the sun, my teeth are broken anew."
God’s words filled all of the empty spaces in my spirit. “He is faithful,” I said, using the pronoun that means 'the Holy one.'
“With every rising of the sun, His mercy comes anew.”
She cradled her head on my shoulder, drawing deep breaths. The mirror on the wall reflected my blonde hair mingling with her raven tresses, her chocolate arms intertwining with my pale ones. I locked eyes with the missionary in the mirror and smiled.
We held each other for many minutes, two women discovering grace.
About the Author
is a Christian who has traveled though sorrow and depression, and has found victory and grace. She dedicates all writings to her Heavenly Father. Contact Jan for writing projects at
firstname.lastname@example.org © Jan
Ackerson--2012 Article Source: Faith Writers
HEART AND SOUL
by D. A. Sears
There are approximately 2.2 billion children who live and play in the global village we know as Planet Earth. We are connected to each of them. And they are connected to us. They are our children – the heart and soul of our global village. Their melodious laughter, incessant inquisitive banter, and irrepressible enthusiasm is infectious and inspiring. We feel their joy. The village – our global village – would be a desolate place without them. Can you imagine living in a world devoid of laughter, joy, and irrepressible enthusiasm?
Yet, we allow approximately 1 billion children in our global village to live in poverty.
We allow 640 million children in our global village to live without adequate shelter. We allow 400 million children in our global village to live without access to safe water. We allow 270 million children to be denied access to health services. And every year, death silences the melodious laughter, incessant inquisitive banter, and irrepressible enthusiasm of approximately 1.4 million children – our babies -- because they do not have access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation in our global village.
How will living in poverty and not having access to adequate shelter, safe drinking water, and adequate sanitation shape these children’s perception of the world outside of their immediate environment and their place in it?
Will they see a world that offers unlimited opportunities? Will growing up in abject poverty without access to adequate shelter, safe drinking water, and adequate sanitation shatter the souls and break the spirits of these children – our babies – and the global village’s Next Generation of Husbands, Wives, Mothers, Fathers, and Leaders?
Then there is the issue of the education of our children – the heart and soul of our global village.
The number of children throughout our global village who are not attending school is shocking and tragic. At least 67 million primary school-age children are not attending school. Approximately 45% of these “out of school” children live in sub-Saharan Africa and approximately 24% of “out of school” children live in South and West Asia. Forty percent of “out of school” children in South and West Asia were previously enrolled in school but dropped out of school at some point.
In Arab states, “out of school” children number approximately 5.8 million; 2.2 million “out of school” children exist in North America and Western Europe; Central and Eastern Europe estimates that its “out of school” children number 1.1 million; East Asia and the Pacific has approximately 8.3 million “out of school” children; and approximately 2.8 million “out of school” children can be found in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is estimated that at least 72,000,000 children of lower secondary school age are “out of school” and approximately 10,000,000 children in sub-Saharan Africa drop out of primary school each year.
The village suffers when its children – its heart and soul – are allowed to languish in poverty, live without adequate shelter, safe drinking water, health services, sanitation, and not attend school or drop out of school We must rethink how we can provide access to economic opportunities to the parents of the children in our global village who are impoverished. We must build and adequately maintain sewage treatment plants that will pump out unhealthy and deadly waste materials and water treatment plants that pump in water that is safe to drink, cook with, and bathe in throughout our global village. It is imperative that we create accessible and affordable health resources and support services. We must look at why so many of our children – the village’s heart and soul – are not going to school or are dropping out of school.
Let’s resolve the issues that prevent our children from attending school and staying in school. Let’s rethink how we are educating our children. Are we providing them with the skills they will need to become productive and successful adults in a global marketplace that is driven by information technology?
Now, take a minute to think about yourself. When you were born, you were the heart and soul of the village. When the adults of the village gazed into your probing and sparkling eyes, they saw hope and the promise of a new day. You were loved. You were nurtured. You were valued. But what if your entire journey from childhood to adulthood had been spent living in poverty, without adequate food and shelter, and no access to safe drinking water, health services, and adequate sanitation. Would you have matured into a purpose-driven, productive, and successful adult? Would you go through life being angry or happy?
Would you have a sense of direction or would you spend your life wandering around aimlessly? Would you be a vibrant, trusting, forgiving, and loving person? Or would you mature into an emotionally and spiritually detached adult? Would you be an asset or a liability to the village? Would you even exist?!
Shouldn’t our children – the village’s heart and soul – experience the same intense caring, nurturing, and mentoring that you enjoyed during your journey from childhood to adulthood? Don’t they deserve to feel protected, loved, and valued?
Connect with the Author
D.A. Sears, 2012 International Men's Day - United States Coordinator
Managing Editor - IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R)
Member, International Men's Day Coordination Committee
Member, University Council for Fatherhood and Men's Studies Program at Akamai University
7 Ways to Empty The Cup
by Talayah G. Stovall
There is a saying, "Empty the cup. Every time you empty it, it comes back twice as full."
Thanksgiving is a time for expressing gratitude and appreciation for our many blessings. Real wealth begins with giving. Here are several ways that you can make a difference this holiday season by pouring into the lives of others:
1. Give Your Time
- Babysit for someone who can't afford to hire a sitter. Take food to someone who is sick. Visit a nursing home. Send a note to brighten someone's day. Volunteer at a local shelter for whatever cause you support - women, children, the homeless, even your favorite animal shelter.
2. Give Your Talents
- What can you do that would make a difference in someone's life? Can you knit? Style hair? Sing? Do you like to clean and organize? Extend yourself this holiday season by using your gifts to help and cheer others.
3. Give Your Blood
- Every two seconds someone in America needs blood. Currently, only 3 out of 100 people give. Every pint of blood can save up to three lives. Contact the Red Cross for information.
4. Give Your Organs
- Leave a lasting legacy. Register with your state and sign the donor form on your drivers' license.
5. Give to a Good Cause
- There are many organizations that are doing great things to help those who are less fortunate. Rather than recreating the wheel, consider giving to an established organization. I'd suggest:
a. Joyce Meyer's Hand of Hope Ministry is providing shelter, clean water, schools and more in countries all over the world, including India, Pakistan, Haiti, Zimbabwe and more.
b. To help halt the cholera outbreak in Haiti, the International Preparedness Network provides Lifestraws, that filter drinking water for flood victims for a $5 -10 donation.
Is Stress Damaging Your Marriage?
by Jewell R.
Life is busy. Life is stressful. These are facts of life, but how we handle that busyness and stress makes all the difference in our lives and especially in our marriage. A common scenario for busy couples is for the husband and wife to get wrapped up in their individual projects and issues. Instead of managing the stress together, they may find themselves trying to deal with it all alone, which can actually create space between husband and wife, rather than creating unity. Being able to identify when stress may be damaging your marriage is the first step for taking control, so you and your spouse can work together to focus on protecting and strengthening your relationship.
The Bible actually addresses stress and anxiety many times and for good reason. Our human side, our flesh has a tendency to give into stress, so we NEED the reminders and promises from God to help us keep our Godly focus and know where to turn when challenging times come. Can you identify certain issues in your life that create the most stress? Whether they are problems within the marriage itself or external stressors, the same promises from God apply.
Stressors Are To Be Expected
In Isaiah 40: 30,31, we can read,
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." This verse shows us that YES stressors will come, you will grow weary, you will fall, but when you place your trust in the Lord, your strength will be renewed and you will soar.
So don't get down on yourself or your marriage if you and your spouse are experiencing stress. This is normal and to be expected. However, allowing stress to damage your marriage relationship is where you have to draw the line. While we cannot control the stressors we encounter in life, we can control our responses.
Choosing the right responses to stress will minimize or even eliminate problems it can create in marriage.
Signs Stress May Be Damaging Your Marriage
None of us is perfect, and the human side of us may allow stress to do some damage. Below are some warning signs to look out for in your marriage relationship:
* Arguing or "snapping" at each other
* Tension that seems to hang around continually.
* Rarely spending time with each other.
* Difficulty communicating without arguing or disagreeing.
* Decreased intimacy, both sexual and otherwise.
* Financial struggles.
* Critical comments or even just critical thoughts about each other.
If one or more of these seem to be a common occurrence in your relationship, it is time to seek some spiritual healing for your marriage as well as the Godly insight to help you learn to cope with stressors together as a couple. The good news is that God is more than capable of helping you through this stressful time. Trust in Him, connect with God and each other through prayer, and you will find your relationship bond is strengthened and you have the firm foundation you need to withstand the storms that life can bring.
5 Ways to Deal with Stress as a Couple
Whether you are newly married or have been married for years, learning how to deal with stress as a couple is a learned skill. Rarely is it something that people just know how to do intuitively. Instead, it is a choice that one must make. However, it is never too late in the marriage to begin making good choices and learning new coping skills.
Unfortunately, too many people rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms that do not strengthen the marriage and in most cases do nothing to alleviate stress and may even cause MORE stress. Alcohol, drugs, sex, affairs, gambling, overeating and shopping are some of the activities that may seem to improve stress levels for a moment, but the repercussions can be devastating.
Yourself in 5 Easy Steps
By Delaina Miller
all struggle to find the energy we need to make our dreams a reality. Yet
there are many easy and fun things you can do to motivate yourself into
action. In this article I share five ways that I motivate myself and others.
Take the five or ten minutes of your snooze time to do two things. First,
think about all of the things you are grateful for in your life. If you wake
up feeling a little grumpy and cannot think of anything to be grateful for
start with your bed.
Second, envision your day. Start with the tasks you are not excited about,
ticking them off of your list quickly, and then envision all of the things you
want to accomplish. When that alarm goes off, jump out of bed because you are
all fired up to get on with your day.
(The key to both of these assignments is to feel good about your life. As the
warm glow begins to rise in your heart, focus on it and how good you feel. )
It is a basic law of physics that a body at rest stays at rest but a body in
motion stays in motion. Most people do not like exercise, so don't exercise,
play! Allow yourself to feel like a kid again and just play with movement.
Dance or invest in a rebounder and jump. Kick your legs out and feel the air
rush around your head and play. You will find yourself bouncing, twisting, and
doing high leg kicks you didn't know you could do. Before you know it, you
will have cleaned out your lymph nodes, worked up a sweat, and all with a big
grin on your face.
Because many of us are auditory learners affirmations can be used as personal
validation as well as motivation tools. We need to hear good things about
ourselves and expecting others to fill this role is unrealistic. It might seem
ridiculous the first couple of times you do it but before you know it these
positive declarations will become personalize positive feedback.
Mentally affirmations are healthy because they allow us to validate ourselves.
As you are telling yourself such things as: "My challenges are
opportunities to grow," you are giving yourself positive reinforcement.
After all if you are not in your own corner then who will be?
Creating Your Next-Up List
So what's a next-up list? It's the small actions or goals that are up next on your list of things to do and accomplish. Not a major dream or ambition, but something you can do within the next few days to improve the quality of your life.
With a pencil in hand and a pad of paper close by, write down your answers to the questions below. When finished, your next-up list will be ready to go!
What one small thing could you do to change or improve your character or personality? Would you like to be a bit more outgoing? Patient? Accepting? When you have it in mind, what step can you take within the next three to five days to put it into action?
What one small thing could you do to change or improve your health? Is there particular food you should do without? An extra day of exercise you could throw in the routine? Perhaps you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor for a checkup? Write down your next-up health goal along with the action you'll take.
What one small thing could you do to change or improve your career? Is there a project you'd love to get your hands on? Do you need to complete one that is already in the works? Whatever it is, write it down and match it with a specific action you can take within a few days to make it happen.
What one small thing could you do to change or improve your finances? Do you need to balance your checkbook? Schedule a meeting with a financial planner? Create or edit your monthly budget? When you've chosen the direction in which you want to head, write down the first step you'll take to put the plan into action.
What one small thing could you do to change or improve your relationships? Is there a friend or family member you've been meaning to call but haven't? Someone close to you that needs more of your time and attention? A letter to write that would make someone's day? Add it to your goals and your next-up list is ready for action!
Get hundreds of simple motivation tips, along with your free Motivation123 Welcome
Kit, at the Motivation123.com website. Visit www.motivation123.com today.
Yourself of Procrastinating Ways
by Daryl D. Green
Can you afford the same procrastinating ways in 2014?
Why aren’t you pursuing your dreams? At some point, we have all procrastinated, not wanting to move on an action. You say, “Now is not the right time.” Yet, you take no action. People have different motivations for taking action. Taking action means taking risk. Taking risk may cause you fear. This process creates self-doubt. Self-limiting beliefs are doubts that you create about your abilities. They cause you to feel inferior. You feel like you don’t deserve the best. You allow others to set your expectations. When you think like this, there is no way to win. You create negative ideas that you aren’t smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough, connected enough, creative enough, or powerful enough. “I can’t” becomes your motto. This article discusses how to overcome procrastination.
With the current economic situation, people can afford to procrastinate on critical actions. Employment and sheer survival may be at stake. In August of 2011, America posted no job gains. This economic slump is historical since it’s the first time since World War II that the economy has shown precisely zero net job creation for a month. Retail, manufacturing, information services, and construction all lost jobs. With over 15 million people unemployed in America, individuals must be internally motivated.
Most people want to accomplish something in life. A new year could spark a new beginning; however, it gives most people time to make excuses for unfulfilled dreams. The more you repeat these self-limiting thoughts, the more you become trapped in your ways. Remember the definition of insanity: “doing the same thing that you always do and expecting something different to happen.” That’s a crazy way for anyone to live. Some people get caught up in this vicious circle. For example, look at the vicious cycle of New Year’s resolutions. Are you one of these procrastinators?
Yet, the economic climate speaks against such procrastinating ways. Samuel Johnson said almost two centuries ago, “When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, he concentrates his mind wonderfully.” You need to wake up. Procrastinators try to put off until tomorrow what they should do today. However, you can change and move in a new direction. The following suggestions are offered to overcome procrastinating habits:
1. Identify where the task is in terms of your priorities.
2. Create a motivation for taking action.
3. Develop a plan for seeing your task through.
4. Set a deadline for completion.
5. Break the activity down into smaller components.
6. Reward yourself after each task.
In 2014, individuals must rid themselves of negative habits that prevent their success. Therefore, a person can’t wait any longer to change his or her unproductive actions. Tomorrow is not promised to you. Now is the time for action. All it takes is a little act of courage on your part. Individuals need to stop waiting and move. One speaker said, “There’s a fork at the end of the road. What do you do? Take one.”
You have now approached the busy highway of life. Can you afford to slip back into the same procrastinating ways of the past? The answer should be ‘no!’
Individuals can start today by ridding themselves of these procrastinating ways in
About Dr. Daryl
Dr. Daryl Green provides motivation, guidance, and training for leaders.
at critical ages and stages of their development. He has over 20 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, you can go to nuleadership.wordpress.com or
www.darylgreen.org. ©Daryl D. Green
My Uncomfortable Secret to Motivation
A five-letter word is my secret.
As you probably know, routine casts a trance-like power with devastating impact. As a result, it is an absolute necessity to break free of its grasp.
If you can't find a way out of the vicious pattern and into a new set of thoughts, feelings, and actions, you have no hope of changing or improving your life.
Consider this five-letter word my guaranteed release.
Working with remarkable speed, it personally shakes me out of autopilot, delivers an eye-opening wake-up call, and motivates with more force than anything I know.
Not bad for a five-letter word. My hope--and my assumption--is that it will have the same positive effect on you.
The Word, My Release
I know a time will come when I'll no longer be able to act on the things I want, the things I've dreamed about experiencing and things I've always wished to become.
I will have to let them go. I will have to let go of all those exciting ideas I tossed about in my mind, all the goals carefully constructed while daydreaming.
They will have to be put to rest, once and for all. And I will never experience them.
This is a frightening thought for me. It is startling, can be gut-wrenching, and tip-toes toward terrifying.
But it's also something else. And it's here, on the other side of the coin, that I find my secret.
The Flip-Side of the Word
Coming to grips with reality can be scary.
So much so, that most men and women choose the other door. They hide from the truth and tuck their dreams into the fairytale 'someday.'
'I'll do it someday...someday.'
A sigh of relief follows and it's back to the safe and comfy routine. No need to face fears, no need to rise to challenges, no need to take action. That will all happen someday--but not today.
If only this were true. It is not. Here is the truth: Someday eventually meets the edge of the cliff. Someday eventually runs out.
Someday eventually turns into never. Frightening? Perhaps. But it's also your way out. It's also your release from the routine that strangles your hopes and dreams.
By focusing intently--and I mean intently-- on 'never,' in regard to your lifelong wishes and wants, you will be shocked out of your pattern of procrastination and jolted into a new mindset.
You'll have the motivation you need to stop hesitating because you know, without question, if you keep it up, you'll never experience the life you've been waiting for all these years.
Without action, talk is only noise. Below is what I do in particular to get the most out of this five-letter word. It's something you can do, anytime and any place, to dismantle procrastination and ignite your inner drive.
Action Steps - Short
Think of something you want. Not a lip-service dream, but something you truly desire, something either for yourself or for someone else.
Our results have shown that people imagine themselves experiencing the joys of progress or success when asked to think of a goal.
This time I want you to do the opposite.
I want you to imagine, vividly, that your idea, your chosen dream or goal, cannot happen. No matter what you do, you'll never get it. Never. Never.
If you do it right, you'll feel anxious, like you have to get up out of your seat right now and do something before time runs out. This is the power of 'never.'
Don't hide from the truth. Let it smack you in the face and punch you in the gut. Only then can it snap you out of the routine and drive you into action. Only then can it change your life.
If you don't do something now, you may never do it then. Never hide, never avoid, never run from 'never.' Use it as a fire to place beneath your greatest ideas and accept it as a truth that can set you free.
Motivation123.com. Get hundreds of simple motivation tips, along with your free Motivation123 Welcome Kit, at the Motivation123.com
website. Visit www.motivation123.com today. See
the original source.
Conversation with Toshona E. Carter
Divas Leaving No Pages Unturned
Give us the history on your club. How many members do you have? Tell us about
My name is Toshona E. Carter and I am the Founder and President of this great
group of women called Divas Leaving No Pages Unturned. My bookclub got
started on July 17, 2010 as a request from some sister friends whom loved to
read. They knew I had previously been a member in another club.
The members names are the following:
BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Do you host events during the
Our bookclub focuses on community service. We want to promote literacy and help
provide a positive atmosphere for children & families. Also to provide a
nuturing environment for all women of color. When were not reading and having a
book discussion, we are usually participating in some type of community service
project. We recently participated in a homeless facility called the Union Rescue
Mission where we packed boxes for families for Thanksgiving. We
also donated to the Ronald McDonald House and took up a cash donation
forThe Salvation Army.
BPM: Have you always liked to read? What you love most about
reading? Favorite authors?
I have loved reading since I was a small child. I feel that reading opens your
mind to so many possiblities. I do believe knowledge is Power. Some of my
favorite authors include Mary Monroe, Adrienne Thompson, Francis Ray, Terry
McMillan, Daniel Black, E.Lynn Harris, Rita Williams- Garcia, Zane, Toni
Morrison, and Dr. Maya Angelou.
BPM: How may we find out more about you or your group?
Readers can join our group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/142447232464866
Conversation with Sistah Minds
in Motions Book Club Atlanta
Minds in Motions enlightens your mind through the power, spirit, soul of
sisterhood, and reading. We want to address every aspect of a women's world,
physically, spiritually, socially and emotionally. We are a small, newly formed
African American book club and social organization for positive, spiritual women
who enjoy reading! Our book selections will fluctuate to include non-fiction,
fiction, inspirational, romance and a wide variety of other topics chosen by our
members. We meet once a month, on the 4th Saturday.
BPM: Give us the history on your organization. How many members do you have?
SMM was established in November 2009 by Bobbi Ramey, our President. Our first
official book club meeting took place on January16, 2010. Lashandra Searcy is
the Treasurer, Rhonda Sidibe is the Events Coordinator, and I am Shannon Powell
the Secretary. We are in Atlanta, Georgia and we have about 10 members.
BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Do you host events during the
The idea was to bring together a diverse group of women who enjoy reading and to
bond spiritually. . . Sistah Minds in Motions stemmed from a vision of desiring
to bond resilient African-American women in cultivating friendships,
encountering new and unique experiences, social gatherings, networking, taking
part in community events and the overall encouragement of each member. We will
be attending the Cancer Walk this year and we are in the process of choosing a
family in need for our annual Thanksgiving Basket, that we put together based on
the need of the family that includes but not limited to food, toiletries,
clothes and books for inspiration and books for the kids
BPM: What legacy will your club leave for those watching in the community?
We hope to show that reading can be fun and show especially our young kids that
reading is not something you have to do only in school. It allows you escape and
use your imagination.
Bobbi has also started Sistah Minds in Motions Little Divas, which is a Book
Club for young girls from the ages of 8-13 to show them that getting together
and reading can be fun and show them how girls can come together in
"Sisterhood" and support one another. They also learn things such as
cooking, sewing, braiding and other things girls love to do
BPM: Has there been a book that helped shape your life?
The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah is the book that got me started to
reading. I was not going through anything at the time, but the story captured me
and I was not able to put it down and from there on out, I was hooked.
BPM: Do you feel as if African Americans are represented in a good light in
the novels you read?
I think all the books that I have read show us in a good light, whether good or
bad, if it's real, the story needs to be told. I love to read positive novels
but the ones that compel me most are the ones that tell about the struggle of
day to day life and stuff that I see or have seen in real life and the outcome
still comes out good.
BPM: Do you think digital books will ever replace a printed book? Does the
price of ebooks play a big part in the purchase? Would you ever stop buying
There are only two members of our group at this present time that has an
E-Reader, I have one, a Kindle, and I love it. The price is cheaper yes and that
does play a big part in my purchase decision, and no I will never buy another
printed book because of the Kindle. I have been introduced to some authors that
I know I would not know of if it wasn't for the Kindle, but we have another
member LaShandra that states that she will NEVER buy an E-Reader, she loves the
feel of printed books and she likes to see them on her book shelf and she also
never buys used books. So no I do not think E Books will replace printed books,
publishers may just start printing as ordered.
BPM: How may we find out more about your club?
http://www.sistahmindsinmotionsbc.com or visit us at:
Interview completed by: Shannon Powell (Secretary)
Sistah Minds in Motions, Atlanta, Georgia
Conversation with Coffee Beanz N Readz Book Club
Welcome! Please share with us the history of the organization. How did you
Hi my name is Sheridan Akens founder of Coffee Beanz N Readz Book Club
but you can call me Mz. Coffee Bean. I was born in Los Angeles CA. and
moved to Texas at an early age. I currently reside in Houston, Texas where I’m
raising two beautiful daughters. I’ve always had a strong passion for reading,
so it was no surprise when I began my search within the city to find a book club
to join. But to my surprise I found this task somewhat challenging. So I decided
to do the next best thing and start my own club.
of my cheerful spirit and the strong family-oriented values bestowed upon me, I
made the choice of this not being just a club but a SISTAHOOD. The name
Coffee Beanz N Readz was created from my thoughts of snuggling up with a good
book and having a smooth cup of coffee. The two together are a great blend
and well the ladies are the whip cream on top. The club is a way for each
“Bean” to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A place and
time where you can sit, relax and savor a great discussion with your
Coffee Beanz N Readz Book Club began in April 2010 in Houston, Texas .
The motivating factor to start a club came with the network of the book Push
by Sapphire to my co-workers on the job. It was then, that I realized there
were many people around me that shared my same passion. I asked co-workers,
family and friends to join. We were blessed to have our first meeting with a
noted author, Brianne Smith. Her novel, Ms. Onda-Stould became our
first book to read.
family consists of 12 members from different walks of life. And like our
background differences, each sister has a nickname derived from different
flavors, roasts and blends of coffee (i.e. Mz. Richly Brewed, Mz. Columbian
Bean, Mz. Frappuccino and Mz. Premium Roast). We meet every third Saturday of
each month. We select a different host each month. The host does make the
selection for our “Book of the Month”. Our reads are compiled
from different genres, but all from African-American Literature. We
are also actively involved in community volunteer events (i.e. Methodist
Hospital Stride for Stroke Walk, Walk to Cure Diabetes, Susan G. Komen Walk,
etc.). December 2010 we started our own Adopt-A-Family program in
which we were able to make a mother of three, holiday season less stressful.
Chellsi Akens (Miss Vanilla Bean Whipped) – Spirit Leader
Katashia DeWalt (Mz. Frappuccino) – Administrative Assistant
Sheila Henry (Mz. Café Latte) - Treasurer
Antrese Knighten (Mz. Premium Roast) – Photographer
BPM: What is the vision for Coffee Beanz N Readz Book Club?
Our mission is to enhance our member’s passion for reading and inspire others
to appreciate the joy of reading. To promote sisterhood by building lifelong
friendships. To support and network with African-American authors,
while purchasing their books and attending their literary events. To
support our community by volunteering in different organizations.
BPM: Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
Reading will open your eyes to a world you’ve never known. It gives you a
world of knowledge, power, relaxation, inspiration, travel, courage, hope, love
and much more. Reading is the BEST gift a person can give to themselves.
BPM: On your nightstand now:
The Eternal Engagement by Mary B. Morrison
BPM: Favorite book when you were a child:
Freckle Juice by Judy Blume
BPM: Book you've bought for the cover:
Moth To A Flame by Ashley Antoinette. Those eyes read “something serious is
going down – turn the pages and follow me now”.
BPM: Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor:
72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell . This book was very emotional and
eye-opening to the issues on mental illness. It also showed the unconditional
love a mother has for their child(ren).
BPM: Book that should be a movie or play:
The Million Dollar Divorce by R M Johnson
BPM: Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
Mary B. Morrison, Allison Hobbs and Kimberla Lawson Roby
Sheridan Akens, President and Founder Coffee Beanz N Readz Book Club
“Enhancing your passion for reading”
New Year! The
Black Pearls Magazine
would like to thank each of you for
joining us monthly in celebrating the best in literature and the arts. Our
team of writers, bookclubs and authors are so humbled that you have allowed us
entrance into your life. It amazes me each month as I check our subscribers how
many of you deem us worthy of your time and support.
appreciate each of you for telling 10 people about the magazine and for driving
people to this site. YOU make Black Pearls the magnificent publication that it
is, by sharing the Gift of Knowledge!
know, as we prepare each issue for you, we look for those stimulating
conversations, the most thought provoking articles and most of all, the best
books on the shelves. We want each page of this magazine to add value to your
lives! Your comments and feedback are welcomed. Join our
blog and share your news, advice and wisdom with the other readers. Tell us
what you want to read too!
As we take off in this new year we hope to bring you more provocative topics
and life empowering books to shape your lives. We have contests for the readers
and more interactive sections added to the magazine. Let us know what you think
of the fresh new content by emailing
us here. Thank you!
Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations
Founder & Editor In Chief Black Pearls Magazine