An Open Letter to Assata Shakur

Dear Assata,

I hope that this letter finds you in the comforts of your freedom. I won’t take too much of your time.

One day (about a month or so ago), I visited my favorite herbal apothecary. I picked up a 21 day guided journal and I as gifted a bracelet with “Exist Like Assata” etched into it. I am a firm believer in the intentions of the universe. I took it as a sign that during this current time and space in my life, I was supposed to be learning something from you. Prior to receiving this bracelet, I had no idea who you were, what your impact was or how much you’d change my life. All I knew was that I was being encouraged to “exist” like you….whatever that meant.

Being the bookworm that I am, I decided to begin with your literature. I’ll be honest, I typically finish reading books in about three days. Your autobiography took me over a month to finish.

As I read, I researched. I researched words. I researched locations you mentioned. I researched the Black Liberation Army. Your autobiography was my first introduction to it. In the history of my education, it has NEVER been mentioned and after reading, I fully understand why.

As I read, my blood boiled. I became frustrated. The frustration led to anger. The anger led to feelings of such helplessness that I cried and had to continuously put the book down until I pulled myself together.

Assata, I am in awe of your spirit, strength and the courage that carried you. Thank you for inspiring me to make greater efforts to be an advocate for our people. Most importantly, I thank you for sharing your truth. I wish you continued freedom, light and love.

-Racquell

Guilty as Accused

Slap! Charlene took yet another hit to the face as Brandon’s wife continued her office assault. It was like the middle of a real life Jerry Springer brawl right there in the office of Diane and Lane Consultants. Somehow Nyla, Brandon’s wife found out Charlene’s name. Men. If you’re going to cheat, at least be good at it. Nyla clearly had been plotting this attack for months. She even went as far as having flowers sent to Charlene’s office and home address on several occasions. Apparently today was reserved for the ultimate smackdown.

Nyla had the receptionist page Charlene to the front desk by somehow convincing her that she was an unexpected client. But before Charlene could get the fuck out of dodge, Nyla popped her right in the face. As Charlene lay stretched out in the floor getting clobbered, yelled at and spit on her mind slowly started drift away from her present life. She deserved this ass whooping and she knew it.

It all started a year ago when the affair began………

 

Tangled

So I’m only a few months shy of my ten year high school reunion. Yes it’s already been ten years since the Northern Vance High School Class of 2008 has been together. It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting Mr. Pearce’s AP English class being convinced that Emily Dickinson was the greatest American poet. If no one else, I’m especially stoked to see a few familiar faces.

What a coincidence. Tangled by James W. Lewis is just about that! Tangled gives us the dramatic unfolding that takes place at the Monte Clara Class of 2005 high school reunion. I wish I could give you all the juicy details but then you wouldn’t be compelled to read it.

But here’s what I CAN tell you.

James does a fantastic job of placing readers into the heart of the fictional drama. The fact that I’m around the same age as most of the characters added to the effect of the emotions and frustrations that the characters experienced throughout the book.

The books chapters are divided into characters. This allows readers a glimpse into each characters perspective while still keeping them all interwoven up until it goes down at the reunion. Gerald, Lisa, Greg, Aanya, Quinton and Yara could very easily identify as people that I know.

Everyone knows that life happens. James introduces each character by catching us up to speed on how their lives have evolved since high school. The stories are very familiar. The hopes and dreams that we have post-graduation are often deferred for various reasons. He details how these deferrals have affected each character. It was easy to relate to where I thought I’d be in life at this age. Like Lisa, I too thought that I’d be a homeowner, business owner, wife and mother by now.

Gang, I really wish that I could go into greater detail but I can’t. You’ll have to read it for yourself and then we can discuss.  Tune in Saturday April 28 at 4:30pm EST via Pretty Dope Reads Book Club to discuss Tangled on Facebook Live with my book club. Make sure you read that facts that James shares at the end of the book in addition to reviewing it on Amazon. Oh yea, and tell a friend to tell a friend too.

http://www.jameswlewis.com/

*A very special thank you goes out to the author, Mr. James W. Lewis himself. Thank you for reaching out to me and getting a copy of the book in my hands. I am forever grateful.

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