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Balogun

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Balogun last won the day on December 13 2012

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About Balogun

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    Regular Member
  • Birthday 02/21/1968

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    http://chroniclesofharriet.com/
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    egbeogun@yahoo.com

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    Male
  • Location
    Atlanta, GA
  • Interests
    Reading; Writing speculative fiction; Afrikan martial arts, languages and cultures; mystery, comedy and speculative fiction movies; filmmaking; history; Steampunk / Steamfunk.
  1. The Good Ship Jesus

    The Good Ship Jesus *The Good Ship Jesus", or the "Jesus of Lubeck," was a 700-ton ship that would become the first vessel to bring Blacks, as slaves, from Africa to the Americas I am Mandinka Jawaaro, Mandinka Warrior From Kunga to Sinkandinga And, with these black fingers Curled around my spear and my shield, I stood with other boys, who wished to become men And learned the dances of death; Learned the Warrior Ways; Learned the tactics, strategies and rules of engagement Training from dusk ‘til dawn, as the Elders instructed, But knowing in my heart that no one would try to attack our village Nor try to rape, rob, or pillage us For we were Mandinka… Wise, fierce and skilled builders of Sankore, Timbuktu and Songhay Praised in parables, poems, plays and song – They Even worshipped us as Gods in Greek and Roman Mythology We gave this world literature, art and technology We were Mandinka… No one could possibly defeat us… That is, until the coming of the Good Ship Jesus I am Mandinka Jawaaro, Mandinka Warrior From Kunga to Sinkandinga And, with these black fingers I gently caress Fanta’s swelling belly Pressing my lips against the smooth, brown skin And singing songs of praise to the growing warrior Resting peacefully within Fanta’s womb Looking up into my Fanta’s big, brown eyes and telling her I love her This beautiful wife, warrior and mother to my child My Queen blesses me with her enchanting smile, As brilliant as a million sunrises reflecting off the surface of the azure sea And I know we must always be together Forever For, to lose her would tear me to pieces… As I discovered with the coming Of the Good Ship Jesus I am Mandinka Jawaaro, Mandinka Warrior From Kunga to Sinkandinga And, with these black fingers I clawed at the shackles placed upon my wrist, neck and ankles as I slept With these black fingers I pounded on my chest as I wept For, immobilized by these heavy, rusty chains I could do nothing to save my beloved Fanta As Tubaab – Those stale-faced beasts, Who slithered out of the pestilent bowels of that old, ‘Good Ship’ Invaded my lovely Fanta; My beautiful Fanta; My crying, screaming, dying Fanta… Invaded her With reeking, filthy flesh And blood-encrusted steel Giggling wickedly with glee As they snatched the little warrior Our little warrior From Fanta’s precious womb Through the jagged chasm they had torn In her once smooth, brown belly These black fingers burrowed into the blood-soaked sands of the shore As I watched my little warrior struggle to take his first breath… Struggle, as Tubaab stood upon his tiny chest Crushing my son under the oppressive weight of his boot-heel… His boot-heel… His boot-heel, crushing my beautiful, black son My cries of anguish, My cries of despair, My cries of absolute, all-encompassing anger Mere whispers compared to the giggles, chuckles and chortles Of those stale-faced beasts, Who slithered out of the pestilent bowels of that old, ‘Good Ship’ And I asked the ancestors, The all-wise Alifa Falolu, To rescue me… To break these heavy, rusty schackles And allow me to taste sweet revenge “Monibo di naa! Monibo di naa! Moniba di naa, ye na muso ning dinga!” “Give me revenge! Give me revenge! Give me revenge, for my wife and my child!” Tubaab smiled… And stared into my eyes, Which burned with sweat, sand and tears Tubaab stared into my eyes, Soiling my soul with their wicked gaze And I felt myself being pulled to my feet; Felt Tubaab’s cold, pale hands clutching at my aching, black flesh; A rope, tossed over my head And then, the tightening… The tightening… The tightening… As I was hoisted higher and higher into a baobab tree Hung on the baobab by Tubaab, Who giggled, chuckled and chortled with glee And, as darkness overtook me, I gave praises to the Ancestors For, I realized… I realized… I realized they had freed us Freed us from the pestilent bowels Of the Good Ship Jesus… The Good Ship Jesus… The Good Ship Jesus… They had freed us from a nine-thousand mile journey On that old ‘Good’ Ship.
  2. REDEEMER: Glitch Part 2

    REDEEMER: Glitch Part 2 12DEC We now continue the celebration of the release of my latest urban science fiction novel, Redeemer, with Part 2 of Redeemer: Glitch, the episodic short story based on the book. Don’t worry, there aren’t any spoilers – the story is an alternate timeline, told from the point of view of our hero’s younger, wilder, vengeful self. So, sit back once more and enjoy part two of Redeemer: Glitch! REDEEMER: Glitch Part 2 Glitch: A minor malfunction, mishap, or technical problem; a snag Danny Sweet forced a smile as he sat across the table from Virginia and VirgilCarver – the notorious Carver Twins – the only threat and obstacle to Sweet’s total domination of rap and R&B music in the South and the Southeast. Norm and Detective McGraw stood, menacingly, at Sweet’s back. Z sat alone in an apartment across the street – one of Sweet’s safe-houses – monitoring the closed circuit cameras and microphones that he and Norm had planted in the restaurant the night before. At the Carver Twins’ backs were two men who Z recognized as former Navy Seals, Manny and Steve. The duo had been securing the Twins since Old Man Carver was still alive and running the family business and the twins were in high school. “This is my favorite spot,” Sweet proclaimed, his voice crystal clear in the microphones hidden in the lamps, wall panels and power strips throughout the room. “The food…the ambience…perfect!” “My husband – God rest his soul – proposed to me here,” Virginia Carver said. “Ah, the memories!” “And I banged my first piece of ass here,” Virgil snickered. “In the restroom. Ah, the memories!” Virginia punched Virgil in the arm. Virgil winced from the pain. “Ow!” he screamed, rubbing his aching bicep. “Please, forgive my brother,” Virginia said. “So, what exactly, did you want to discuss with us? It sounded urgent on the phone.” Sweet took a bite of the steaming, fried catfish that lay on the plate before him. He licked his lips and pointed at the fish with his fork. “That is some good fish!” Sweet then pointed the fork in the direction of the Carver Twins, shaking it as he spoke. “For ten years, we’ve been rivals…” Sweet sucked a piece of fish from between his teeth and spat it into a napkin. “We first competed on these streets and now, in the music business. Congrats on signing Point Blank, by the way…he’s sure to win Best New Artist at the Hip-Hop Awards. Hell, he might even give my boy, Skinz, a run for his money for Best Album.” “Thank you. We’ll see,” Virginia replied. “Well, we’ve been bitter rivals,” Sweet continued. “But we’ve never broken the peace with each other. There has been no violence between our families and we’ve all grown because of that.” Virgil glanced at his watch and then yawned. Norm glanced at the young gangster. Virginia shook her head. “Look, Sweet,” Virgil began. “I’ve got a date with a certain supermodel talk-show host in a couple of hours, so, if you don’t mind…” “Virgil!” Virginia shouted, as she placed a firm hand on her brother’s forearm. “It’s okay, Virginia,” Sweet said, struggling to maintain his smile. “You’re right, Virgil, I’ll get straight to the point.” Sweet took a deep breath. “Two nights ago, someone killed three of my best men. One of them was a Lieutenant. A reliable source describes the killer as some kind of Special Forces, ninja-type motherfucker. Me!” Virgil shrugged his narrow shoulders. “So, what does that have to do with us?” Norm stepped to the table. His face twisted into a manifestation of pure rage. “We’d fuckin’ like to know if you set it up, you disrespectful little wanker! That’s what!” Virgil pounded his fist on the table. Plates jumped and a few forks fell to the floor. Virgil glared at Sweet, not once acknowledging Norm’s presence with his eyes. “I am Co-Boss of the Carver Family, Sweet! Since when do you allow your Captain to speak to a Boss at a sit-down?” “Since when does a Co-Boss who rides the coattails of his sister – the real Boss of your family – disrespect the Boss of Bosses?” Sweet spat. “The Boss of Bosses?” Virginia said, shaking her head. “You go too far, Sweet.” Sweet took another bite of catfish and spoke as he chewed. “Look, we both know that there isn’t a Boss in the Southeast who will stand with you against me.” Sweet sprinkled hot sauce on his fish and took another bite. “But, if you have broken the peace, Virginia, the other Bosses will side with me against you. None of them like the idea of a female Boss, anyway. Me? I’m more progressive.” Virginia scooted her chair away from the table and stood up. Virgil rose almost in unison with her. Manny and Steve stood at the Carver Twins’ flanks. “This sit-down is over, Sweet!” Virginia said. “Did you order the hit on my boys, Virginia?” Sweet asked. “Goodbye, Sweet,” Virginia said, as she walked away from the table. The Carver Family sauntered out of the restaurant. “Fuckin’ wankers!” Norm shouted. “What do we do now, Sweet?” McGraw asked. Sweet stared out of a large window, which ran from floor to ceiling in a wall near his table. The Carver Twins were hopping into their limousine. His upper lip curled into a sneer. “We prepare for war.” TO READ THIS STORY IN ITS ENTIRETY, PLEASE VISIT: http://chroniclesofharriet.com/2012/12/12/redeemer-glitch-part-2/.
  3. REDEEMER: Glitch Part 1

    To celebrate the release of my latest urban science fiction novel, Redeemer, I will share an episodic short story based on the book for the next three posts. Don’t worry, there aren’t any spoilers –the story is an alternate timeline, told from the point of view of our hero’s younger, wilder, vengeful self. So, grab a cup of chai tea, or your favorite brew, sit back and enjoy part one of Redeemer: Glitch! REDEEMER: Glitch Part 1 Glitch: A minor malfunction, mishap, or technical problem; a snag The din of raucous laughter echoed throughout the private dining room of Sayles’ Lobster Bar. “Sweet” Danny Sweet had just told one of his anecdotes, which were always entertaining and, usually, quite funny. Sweet’s charisma and “favorite uncle” demeanor was in stark contrast to his brutality; his ruthlessness. Those same qualities made him one of the most powerful record industry moguls in the world and the most powerful criminal in the Southeastern United States. Z loved Sweet. When his father was brutally murdered, it was Sweet who stepped in to give him and his mother support; it was Sweet who found the man responsible for his father’s death; and it was Sweet who gave him the opportunity – and the will – to kill that man. Next to Sweet sat the giant, “Nigerian Norm” – the man responsible for Sweet’s safety and for Z’s training. Norm, too, was a man of contrasts – massively muscled; brutish; a master of murder, mayhem and pain. But he was also a graduate of the prestigious Oxford Law school, well-traveled, fluent in five languages and one of the most formidable attorneys on the planet. Norm was Z’s instructor in the ways of death and, in that role, as all the others he played, he had done exceptionally well. At fifteen years of age, Z was already an experienced and respected assassin-for-hire and was determined to one day be the absolute best. Z thrust his fork into a mound of spaghetti gamberetto and then twirled it, wrapping the platinum utensil in a cocoon of pasta and shrimp. He shoved the pasta into his mouth, savoring the spicy-sweet flavor. The smell of stale cigarettes and coffee assaulted Z’s nostrils. “McGraw,” he whispered. Homicide Detective Terry McGraw sauntered into the dining room. His thick, brown fingers fumbled with the buttons of his tweed blazer as he approached the dining table. Behind him shuffled a stout, fireplug of a man, his plump belly jiggling with each step. “McGraw, what’s the good word?” Sweet inquired. “I’ve got good news, Sweet,” McGraw replied, reaching across the table to shake Sweet’s hand. “Good,” Sweet said. His eyes shifted to the clammy-skinned, beer-bellied man beside McGraw and then back to the detective. “Who’s the J? And why is he at my table?” “He witnessed the robbery-homicide at Frankie’s spot,” McGraw answered. “His name’s…” “Chuck Alexander Etheridge,” the fireplug of a man said, extending his plump fingers toward Sweet. “But, everyone calls me ‘Shakespeare’.” “Okay. Have a seat McGraw,” Sweet said, ignoring Shakespeare’s hand. “…Spear-Chucker.” The corners of Shakespeare’s mouth curled into a weak smile. “That’s Shake…” McGraw placed a hand on Shakespeare’s shoulder and shook his head. Shakespeare wisely shut his mouth and both men sat across from Sweet. “Hey, Norm,” McGraw said, nodding toward the giant. Hey, John Hop,” Norm said, leaning forward in his chair. “You had best brought some good Brad Pitt for this Buster Keaton.” McGraw shook his head. “Damn, I’ve known you for, what? Eleven…twelve years? And I still can’t understand a friggin’ word when you talk that Cockney shit.” “Well, if you cleaned the wax outta your sighs and had any eighteen in your loaf, understandin’ me would be lemon squeezy,” Norm said. “It’s British Ebonics,” Sweet snickered. “You catch on after a while.” Sweet turned his gaze toward Shakespeare. “So, what you got for me, Shake-n-Bake?” “It’s…ahem…well, I was at Frankie’s spot when it happened,” Shakespeare replied. “It must have been around eleven, because I arrived at my regularly appointed time of ten-fifteen and had already taken my nightly dosage of opiate.” “Opiate?” Sweet cut his eyes toward Detective McGraw. “H,” McGraw answered. “Oh,” Sweet said. “Go on, Salt-Shaker.” “He came out of the darkness,” Shakespeare said, with a sweep of his stubby arms. “Swift; silent…like Death, on gossamer wings.” TO READ PART 1 IN ITS ENTIRETY, PLEASE VISIT: http://chroniclesofh...eemer-glitch-1/
  4. Lively inDEED! I have been an avid reader of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror since early childhood, starting with comic books (Thor and the Fantastic Four). I now write speculative fiction as much as I read it, particularly Sword & Soul and Steamfunk - both with elements of horror - and Urban Science Fiction. I read - and write - speculative fiction because I enjoy doing so and because I feel speculative fiction inspires us to ask "What if?" - a question that must be ask before building anything, including a better future.
  5. What We Can Learn From The Chinese Author Neil Gaiman shared a fascinating fact. While appearing as a Guest of Honor at China’s largest state approved Science Fiction convention, Neil decided to enquire why Science Fiction, once frowned upon by the Chinese government, was now not only approved of, but encouraged, with China now the world’s largest market for Science Fiction, with the highest circulation of Science Fiction magazines and the largest Science Fiction conventions. The answer Neil was given is very interesting. China is the world’s manufacturing powerhouse. But it doesn’t invent or design most of the things it manufactures. China wants to capture the creativity and imagination of the culture that has produced companies like Google and Apple. So Chinese researchers talked to people involved with those and other companies to see what factors they had in common. The answer? They all read Science Fiction. TO READ THIS ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY, PLEASE VISIT: http://chroniclesofharriet.com/2012/04/17/what-we-can-learn-from-the-chinese/.
  6. No Longer a Dirty Word

    I would consider the woman in the photo fat and obese. I have spent a good amount of time in west Africa and most sisters are actually not large chested. They DO have ample butts, though and are well-toned.
  7. Indeed, it is a paradox, Cynique. However, since many of my associates put little value on fiction, Yet are avid readers of nonfiction, I felt the dissertation was a necessary one. Thanks, so much, for your feedback!
  8. WHEN KEEPIN’ IT REAL GOES WRONG: Is Fiction More Powerful than Nonfiction? I am a “Conscious Brother”. What is that, you ask? “A Conscious Brother” is a Black man who possesses a knowledge of – and love for – his history, culture and people. He knows that, because of the color of his skin, he is – by law, or tradition – politically, economically and socially discriminated against and he works – in a myriad of ways – to fight against said discrimination. Of course, there are also “Conscious Sisters”. I hang out with Brothers and Sisters who are both “conscious” and not-so-“conscious”. Now, talk to most “conscious” people and they are intelligent and very well read. Most of us can quote Chancellor Williams’ Destruction of Black Civilizationfrom cover-to-cover. I have read everything from Soledad Brother to Flash of the Spirit. Our shelves are filled with great works of nonfiction. I love to read nonfiction. Hell, I even wrote a nonfiction book – Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within. I also love to read – and write – fiction. After forty years of voracious reading and after nearly three decades of studying the workings of the brain and the mind, I have come to the realization that fiction is a more powerful tool – for learning and delivering truth; for shaping opinions and for affecting change – than nonfiction. Recently, I asked one of my “conscious” friends why – out of over a thousand books – not one is a work of fiction and why he doesn’t allow his children to read fiction. His answer? “All that Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, Steampunk shit ain’t real, bruh. I keeps it real, son…for myself and definitely for my seeds (“children”). I got no interest in those ‘escapist’ hobbies, yo.” Sadly, many Black people – particularly those who consider themselves to be “conscious” – feel that Science Fiction, Fantasy and role-playing games are pointless; useless; a waste of time; and maybe even harmful. But they’re wrong. My time spent playing role-playing games, reading comic books and storytelling during my childhood and teen years were crucial, formative experiences that were as real and memorable as my time spent running track, competing in the Academic Olympics or grappling on the sparring mat. Once an event has passed into memory, it is the feeling of accomplishment, reward, mutual achievement and victory that is important. How I feel these feelings is irrelevant. The triggering event does not matter. To fully understand this, let’s examine what the brain is – and how it functions – a bit deeper. The Human Brain is the Most Complex Entity in the Known Universe Our brains are organs of staggering complexity, having approximately 100,000 miles of capillaries…and it can grow more. Your brain has 100,000,000,000 cells. It also has 100,000,000,000,000 to 500,000,000,000,000 connections between those cells and no matter where you are at in your own brain development, you do not even use a fraction of 1% of your brain’s capacity. Your Non-Conscious Thinking is 5 Times Stronger Than Your Conscious Thinking Your brain thinks in six different areas at the same time. You have six parallel processes going on at once. Only one of these is your conscious process. The other areas of your brain are not accessible by your conscious brain. You have a different set of neurons that comprise your conscious thinking and you cannot directly access your non-conscious thoughts. You have a powerful friend or foe in your non-conscious brain. It is 5/6 of your thinking power. Because you cannot directly control or access your non-conscious brain, you have to work at some techniques that will help you control it. Your Non-Conscious Brain Sees, Hears, Smells, and Touches. I am sure you have all heard of subliminal pictures. Your conscious mind cannot perceive a picture that lasts for less than about 1/50,000 of a second. However it is proven that your non-conscious brain does see and remember it. Scientists monitoring your brain activity can tell what picture your non-conscious brain saw by observing the firing patterns in your brain when one of these pictures is flashed in front of you. Your non-conscious brain is aware of everything that is going on around you. It is drinking in the world to a much higher degree than your conscious mind. Just because you are not aware of it at the conscious level, does not mean that you are not thinking about – and reacting to – it. Your Non-Conscious Brain Treats Everything as Real Notice how when you are watching a scary movie, you actually get scared? You react emotionally even though your conscious brain knows it is not real. The same thing is true for fiction. You experience fear, happiness, sadness and other emotions when you watch a movie or read a book because your non-conscious brain is watching the movie too and it does not know the difference between fantasy and reality. Your non-conscious brain believes that everything it thinks, sees, hears and feels is real. It cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy or between the truth and a lie. The Power of Fiction Is fiction good for us? We spend huge chunks of our lives immersed in novels, films, TV shows, comic books and other forms of fiction. Some see this as a positive thing, arguing that imaginative stories cultivate our mental and moral development. However, others argue that fiction is mentally and ethically corrosive. That it is a bundle of lies, while nonfiction is the truth. This controversy has been flaring up ever since Plato tried to ban fiction from his ideal republic. In 1961, FCC chairman Newton Minow said that television was not working in“the public interest” because its “formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons”amounted to a “vast wasteland.” What Minow said of television has also been said – over the centuries – of novels, theater, comic books, and films: They are not in the public interest. Fiction does, indeed, mold us. The more deeply we get into a story, the more potent its influence. In fact, fiction is more effective at changing beliefs than nonfiction, which is designed to persuade through argument and evidence. Studies show that when we read nonfiction, we read with our shields up. We are critical and skeptical. But when we are absorbed in a story, we drop our intellectual guard. We are moved emotionally and this makes us malleable – easy to shape. Fiction enhances our ability to understand other people; it promotes a deep morality that cuts across religious and political creeds. More peculiarly, fiction’s happy endings make us believe that the world can be more just than it is right now. Fiction giving birth to the belief that a better world is attainable may even help explain why humans tell stories in the first place. As the psychologist Raymond Mar writes, “Researchers have repeatedly found that reader attitudes shift to become more congruent with the ideas expressed in a [fictional] narrative.” For example, studies reliably show that when we read a book that treats white men as the default heroes, our own views on white men are likely to move in the same direction – we view them as heroes. History, too, reveals fiction’s ability to change our values at the societal level, for better and worse. For example, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin helped bring about the Civil War by convincing huge numbers of Americans that Black people are…people, and that enslaving us is a crime against God and man. On the other hand, the 1915 film The Birth of a Nation inflamed racist sentiments and helped resurrect an all but defunct Ku Klux Klan. Fiction can, indeed be dangerous in the wrong hands because it has the power to modify the principles of individuals and whole societies. However, virtually all storytelling, regardless of genre, increases society’s empathy and reinforces an ethic of decency that is deeper than politics. Psychologists have found that heavy fiction readers outperform heavy nonfiction readers on tests of empathy, even after the psychologists controlled for the possibility that people who already had high empathy might naturally gravitate to fiction. One study showed that children ages 4-6, who were exposed to a large number of children’s books and films, had a significantly stronger ability to read the mental and emotional states of other people. Similarly, psychologists recently had people read a short story that was specifically written to induce compassion in the reader. They wanted to see not only if fiction increased empathy, but whether it would lead to actual helping behavior. They found that the more absorbed subjects were in the story, the more empathy they felt, and the more empathy they felt, the more likely the subjects were to help when the experimenters “accidentally” dropped a handful of pens.  Highly absorbed readers were twice as likely to help out. It appears that ‘curling up with a good book’ may do more than provide relaxation and entertainment. Reading fiction allows us to learn about our social world and as a result fosters empathic growth and appropriate social behavior. While fiction sometimes dwells on lewdness, depravity, and simple selfishness, storytellers virtually always put us in a position to judge wrongdoing. More often than not, goodness is endorsed and rewarded and badness is condemned and punished. Fiction generally teaches us that it is profitable to be good. Furthermore, traditional tales – from heroic epics to sacred myths – perform the essential work of defining group identity and reinforcing cultural values, acting as a kind of social glue that binds fractious individuals together around common values. On the continent of Africa, history, culture, the sciences, social norms and religious practices are imparted through storytelling and the storytellers – Babalawo, Iyanifa, Sanusi, Djeli – are held in the highest regard and are figures of great power, authority and respect. The traditional African man and woman have long understood the workings of the brain. Indeed, the study, state and function of the three levels of the brain and mind – or “Ori” – are of the utmost importance in traditional Yoruba society. The more stories – called Ese (sounds, ironically, like “essay”) – a Yoruba knows, the more knowledgeable, wise and understanding he or she is considered to be. The Yoruba “keeps it real, son.” And so should you. Read your nonfiction…then get “real” and pick up a novel. Preferably, one written by me (just keeping it real).
  9. Book Hooks

    Hilarious...and sad at the same time! What emoticon fits that ? Umm...
  10. What is Steamfunk? Watch this video from the Steamfunk Panel at the Mahogany Masquerade and discover the history...the philosophy...the films; the literature; and the Movement!
  11. Thanks, Troy! Yet another author whose work I must explore. Thank you!
  12. Atlanta, GA November 30, 2012 - Sent nearly thirty years into the past as an unwilling subject in a time travel experiment, Ezekiel Cross must save his younger self from the deadly path that forged him into the ruthless killer he is. This edge-of-your-seat thriller is both gangster saga and science fiction epic – “Goodfellas” meets “The Time Machine”. AVAILABLE NOW!
  13. BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY? Urban Fiction’s Impact on Black Literacy! My introduction to Urban Fiction in literature began with Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, which I read when I was eight or nine years old. A few years after going nuts over the film version, which released in 1972 and The Godfather II, which released in 1974. My love for The Godfather, led me to seek out gangster films and books with Black people as the heroes, thus became a lifelong (not so) secret love affair with Blaxploitation films and Urban Literature. I could quote every line from Shaft, The Mack, Coffee, and my favorite, Gordon’s War and Donald Goines’ Cry Revenge had an honored place in the trunk that held my most prized comic books. The youth have always loved Urban Fiction. And not just tweens and teens from the inner city. Teens in rural communities also crave these gritty, action-packed stories. A recent study showed 93 percent of libraries across the country – both urban and rural – carry Urban Fiction in their collections. Librarians actively use Urban Fiction as a tool to create relationships with teens. “Street Lit” is bringing teens who normally do not read into the public library. And it is bringing adults who normally do not read to the brick-and-mortar and online bookstores. Writers such as Teri Woods, Miasha Coleman, K’wan and Shannon Holmes not only outsell such renowned authors as Alice Walker,Toni Morrison, Richard Wright and other authors of classic literature, but even more mainstream authors, such as Dan Brown (The DaVinci Code). And the readers of Urban Fiction are loyal customers, quick to make a purchase and insatiable in their desire for more stories. Even with its popularity, however, Urban Literature still has its detractors – mainly African-American writers of contemporary and speculative fiction. While the authors of Urban Fiction may not possess a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, or may not have a clue what the Lumineferous Aether is, they do have a gripping story, interesting characters, a do-it-yourself attitude and extraordinary hustle and heart. And that is why Urban Fiction outsells every other genre of fiction on the shelf. So don’t hate; congratulate…and get your hustle up! While many of us moisten at the thought of recognition from some mainstream publishing company, the authors of Urban Fiction are possessed by an entrepreneurial spirit that enables them to self-publish and sell hundreds of thousands of copies of their books at bus stops, barber shops, beauty salons and street festivals. They don’t seek out mainstream publishers; mainstream publishers seek them out. And – more than any other genre – Urban Fiction inspires people to read and write. “But Street Lit glorifies drug dealing, murder and misogyny,” you say. Some does. So does some science fiction; so does some horror; so does some fantasy, romance and even some of the classics. However, there is Urban Fiction that gives the reader strong, independent and competent women, healthy, loving relationships, and characters with high moral standards. Furthermore, reading Urban Fiction can evoke necessary discussion on issues that plague us all. TO READ THIS ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY, PLEASE VISIT: http://chroniclesofharriet.com/2012/12/06/by-any-means-necessary/
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