Film Review: Truths and Fairytales reexamines AIDS today

Truths and Fairytales

Kevin V. Tudor, writer/director

Runtime: 68 min

Sandstorm Productions (2015)

Truths and Fairytales Stills

Scene from Truths and Fairytales

 

 

“Nobody cares about this anymore.  The hype is gone.  HIV is the new diabetes!”

Newcomer writer/director Kevin V. Tudor tackles the continuing but often not spoken of, topic of HIV and AIDS.  Told through the review of case files, Tudor explores the lives of three people who found themselves infected by the HIV virus, leading to extreme life changes to ultimately death.  Many of the myths and questions of the 1980s find rise as those infected and impacted by the still misunderstood virus act on fears, misinformation, or denial.  The movement through the lives are tied together by a ribbon of pain, fear, anger, and anguish.

In the film, Truths and Fairytales, Dr. Adam Clark (Sean Richards) is mourning the death of his wife from AIDS complications.  His friend and colleague, Dr. Kathy Ryan (Susan Olupitan) seeks to console him through the work he has done with others affected by the disease. The stories (represented through case files) reveal the sense of anger through Lisa (Maggie Brothers), the naiveté Jessy (Montgomery Hutchinson), and the disillusioned Charlotte (Juliette Fairley).  The confluence of their stories reminds the viewers that HIV/AIDS is no respecter of person.

The stories of the three cases are compelling, evoking the viewer with a sense of hope marred by an understanding of reality.  AIDS/HIV has fallen away from the headlines but continue to ravage within the United States and around the world.  This film is a reminder that the work of AIDS education still has a long way to go.  This film has its place among educational settings where new and fresh perspectives on AIDS/HIV can be discussed and treatment can be reinforced.

Kevin V. Tudor

Kevin V. Tudor

Kevin V. Tudor has soft yet effective touch on delivering a delicate message to today’s audience.  As a storyteller, Tudor, a physician, has found the right language to translate a message that appears to have gone dormant from the general public.

Watch the trailer and then purchase your copy from Amazon.

Guy A. Sims is the author of the romantically romance novel, Living Just A Little, and the crime novellas, The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim.  He is also the head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series and the forthcoming Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation.  BCEPressworks.com

Anthony Anderson Gave It To Ya!: Really Funny or just Real?

AAndersonThe 49th Annual NAACP Image Awards is, how they say in Hollywood, in the can.  The awards show with the purpose of highlighting the very best in public service and the arts aired on Friday, February 6th, 2015 with the versatile comedian, actor–and in his own right–dancer, Anthony Anderson.  This star-studded event was filled with such notables as media mogul Oprah Winfrey, justice department U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, noted actress Angela Basset, and the ever talented Lawrence Fishburne (and the never to be overlooked actress, Gina Torres).  Award winning and award worthy films such as Selma, Belle, and Get On Up were acknowledged for the creative treasure they bring to our collective consciousness.

 

Above all of the applause, laughter, and appreciation for talent, skill, commitment, and creativity, a not-so-subtle message of self-empowerment, self-appreciation, and self-definition was delivered in the deceptive wrappings of humor.  As with most award shows, the host begins with a monologue, a song, or perhaps opening which serves as the overture for what’s coming up.  Most times, the opening can be self-serving or simply a spectacle to enjoy.  This time, those in charge of the NAACP Image Awards felt a need to send an affirming message to the multitude of African American artists, writers, actors/actresses, directors, producers, and others involved in the wonderful world of entertainment.

Group 1

 

Host Anthony Anderson delivered in his unique cadence and style a message to his peers regarding the Hollywood Snubification of African American films, actors, directors, etc.  He begins his monologue (after telling his mother he loves her) with a definitive “So What!”  These two words uttered on such a major platform was so attention grabbing that members in both the theatre and the viewing audience could not have imagined what was to come next.  Anthony Anderson continued with “We got our own show…right?”, as if he both the conviction and responsibility to remind the audience that what many desire is right there before them and among them.  Often times, when a people look for affirmation from someone else, they can easily forget that the strongest affirmation comes from inside, from those who know you best, and from those who are concerned for your best interest.

 

Now, a message like that is often difficult to deliver, especially when you only have about three minutes to do so.  The writers of the show knew that the adage a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down was apropos and created a delectable-hip treat for the audience to suckle on.  Anthony Anderson and his posse did a song-satire-and-dance number to the wildly popular Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars but his message wasn’t about asking the audience to “stop and wait a minute, to fill his cup and put some liquor in it”.  Anderson observed, “Stop, wait a minute, look at this place with all this talent in it!”  It is clear that the audience is grooved to the beat (just check out the cute Blackish kids) but more importantly, the message clearly resonated.  Anthony Anderson did more than remind his peers and colleagues that acknowledgement from the major awarding bodies are not the end. “Forget them!” he shouts–I mean sings.

“Tonight he’s gonna give it to ya!

TV One’s gonna give it to ya!”

The piece de résistance is the closing line of the bar, “Stop beggin’ the man to give it to ya!

Group 2

 

Over the past several months, commentary about the relationship between Hollywood and African American artists has made its way to the media forefront.  Comic/actor Chris rock wrote a scathing piece in the Hollywood Reporter (Here), as well as phenomenal actress Viola Davis’ comments on the lack of diversity in Hollywood during her acceptance speech at the Screen Actors Guild (Here).  These are just two of the many voices over the decades addressing the issue in their own way.

 

Anthony Anderson’s message, though upbeat and funky, is downright important and necessary.  It speaks to the second principle of Kwanzaa, Kujichagulia–that we should define ourselves, name ourselves, and speak for ourselves instead of being defined, named, and spoken for by others.  When we as a people wholly understand that we will have truly gained the greatest prize.  Don’t believe me…just watch!

If you missed it…take a listen!

Guy A. Sims is the author of the romantically romance novel, Living Just A Little, and the crime novellas, The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim.  He is also the head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series and the forthcoming Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation.  BCEPressworks.com

 

American History: The African-American Edition

I is the Future

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February marks the beginning of the national observation of the history, achievements, and reflections on the current state of our nation from an African-American lens–Black History Month.  From its beginnings in 1926, the former Negro History Week was conceived to educate the masses and celebrate the progress of Negroes in the United States.  The brainchild of Dr. Carter G. Woodson took foothold in American society and in 1976 was expanded to include the entire month of February, historically corresponding with the birth month of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Central to Black History Month is the impetus for the furthering of education.  Education not simply for repetition or regurgitation but for the building of our culture, communities, and this nation through the understanding of the sorrows and successes, the hindrances and honors, the what has been and the what could be for us as Americans.  Twentieth century philosopher, George Santayana…

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The Case for White History Month by Guy A. Sims

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Note: This has been updated as things haven’t changed.

It’s almost February 2016 and I didn’t have to wait long.  Every year inevitably there is a post or a tweet or blog asking the question, “So when is White History Month?”  Grant me the leeway to be naive and receive this inquiry at face value. I will even go as far as to set aside the response that Every month is White History Month for the sake of argument.  I strongly believe that each and every one of us have the inalienable right to have our interests, culture, and perspectives heard and recognized. That is what makes this country, the United States of America, great.  In addition, to Black History Month there are Women’s History Month, Hispanic-Latino Awareness Month, Asian-Pacific Month, and other cultural recognitions.  We also have Irish-American Heritage Month, Jewish American Heritage Month, Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, and Italian-American Heritage and Cultural Month.  To add more dates to recognize on the calendar there is a veritable cornucopia of days highlighting everything from popcorn to dentists to grandparents to encouraging smoking cessation.  If we have room on the calendar to celebrate all of these, why not a White History Month?

 A White History Month could be a wonderful compliment to the diverse ingredients that make up the Great American Melting Pot.  Of course, it goes without saying, White History Month has to be more than a collection of trivial facts and happenings but a comprehensive look at the history and the impact on history through the Caucasian/white lens.  The time should be set aside to recognize trailblazers, those who sacrificed in the face of adversity as they worked to move the culture forward, as well as events serving as milestones of pride and motivation.

 My recommendation for the formulation of a White History Month is to draw from the Black History Month blueprint.  In 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week as a reaction to the lack of recognition of Negro history and accomplishments in most of the textbooks at that time.  Dr. Woodson promoted the idea of Negro History Week which quickly caught on and was soon celebrated around the United States.  Fast forward, the year 1976 was central to the advancement of this body of cultural knowledge.  The country was celebrating its bicentennial and it was the 50th anniversary of Negro History Week.  It was decided that Negro History Week was to be expanded to Black History Month.  I don’t propose to begin with a White History Week although it might be a good place to start–as a way for it to catch on.  A new cultural recognition often takes time to gain popularity–consider Kwanzaa as an example.  It’s still a hard sell for some African Americans.

 The month of February was selected by Dr. Woodson because two important men in Negro history were born during that month: Frederick Douglas (Feb. 14) and President Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12). It would be important to identify the month with individuals who best represent the lives, culture, and philosophies of White Americans.  My recommendation would be the month of October.  October is the birth month of President John Adams (Oct. 3) and Bill Gates (Oct. 28).  President Adams was a statesman, diplomat, and a leading advocate advancing independence from Great Britain.  Adams was also opposed to slavery and never owned any (he gets a vote from me).  Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, not only changed the world technologically, he also represents the philosophy of Corporate Social Responsibility with his Millennial Scholarship (another vote from me) and his world-wide philanthropies.  These two individual could serve as the anchors for this period of recognition.

One of the most challenging but equally important aspects of White History Month will be the programs and activities highlighting the month. These programs should be designed to uncover and highlight the trials, the accomplishments, the trailblazers, and unsung heroes and heroines of the struggle.  This is an opportune time to bolster pride in children who feel they have not been recognized, negatively portrayed, or simply absent in history, literature, the sciences, the arts, politics, or merely as citizens.  It is a time to invite dynamic speakers to articulate the connection between the hardships of the past with contemporary issues and the hope for the future.  Moreover, while there may not be a White National Anthem it would be appropriate to conclude your activities with a song while crossing arms (right over left) and holding hands with your neighbor to visually exemplify the struggle, perseverance, and the cultural connection.  As you select the song please remember that the National Anthem belongs to everyone and (for the few who might suggest) Dixie was written by black men from Ohio.  One additional programming note: dismiss the feeling that your programs are not successful if people from outside your culture do not attend or it feels like you’re preaching to the choir.  Remember, others may feel uncomfortable, may not have a white friend to go with, or may not feel the program has anything to do with them.  It’s okay.  Have the program and know there’s more food on the reception table to go around.  You can even wrap some up and take it home (just an insider’s tip).

 Need more of a reason for an attempt at a legitimate White History Month?  A recent tweet gave President George Washington credit for significant work with peanuts, not George Washington Carver.  This is such a slight for all that George Washington has done for the United States.  A White History Month would serve well to provide opportunities to learn so that historical faux pas such as this can be avoided.

I look forward to participating in White History Month activities with my friends who get it and learn an interesting thing or two by the month’s end.

Guy A. Sims is the author of the romantically romance novel, Living Just A Little, and the crime novellas, The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim.  He is also the head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series and the Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation.  BCEPressworks.com

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Top Ten True Love Zone Songs

lovers

It has been said that music is only love looking for words.  Sometimes, no words are needed.  Other times, it is pure emotion floating on a melody.  I was moved to ponder and explore music and its power after reading a post from a friend of mine.    She shared a song, Stranger by Jeffry Osborne and mentioned how powerful a song it was.    I agreed, knowing the tug and pull songs like this have on the heart and memories.

This got me to thinking.  There are some songs that make you bob your head.  Others that make you get up and dance, with a partner or not.  Still, some other songs infiltrate your backbone, rising the need to get close, get your belly rub on.  While all sounds good, I want to share the songs that create the hypnotic sense of euphoria.  I want to identify the songs that when they pop up on the radio, shuffle in on your Ipods, or a plays over a stereo speaker,  all you can do is, as the Floater’s sang, float on.

There are thousands of songs that put you in the mood, not in a sexual way, but in a true loving way.  The songs whose words, whose phraseology capture the truth of the true desire of the heart. It is understood that different songs do this for different people so know this is merely a foundation for the universal collection of songs that restore your faith in love, in life, and the quest for unquenchable satisfaction.

I struggled with more contemporary songs.  Perhaps I haven’t had any experiences associated with anything by people like Beyonce, Tamar, K. Michelle or anyone in their ilk.  I’ll leave their songs to someone else.

I bring to you the Top Ten Songs that Send You Into the Love Zone.

1.     Where Do We Go From Here – Enchantment (1979)

The Line:  So should I just turn my head (Turn my head), Like nothing has been said (Nothing’s been said), Or take a chance on your love

2.     Don’t Go – En Vogue (1990)

The Line: Let’s make sweet love tonight, I won’t put up any fight, Your wish is my command

3.     Sukiyaki – A Taste of Honey (1981)

The Line:  If only you were here, you’d wash away my tears, The sun would shine and once again you’d be mine, all mine

4.     The Answer Is You – Phyllis Hyman (1978)

The Line: When you touch me there’s something deep inside, That tells me you’re the reason I’m alive

5.     Firefly – Temptations (1975)

The Line: Even when I have to lie, I shouldn’t have lie

6.     Dear Lover – Teena Marie (1984)

The Line: ‘Cause I’ve been wishing on the rings of Saturn, Calling on Jupiter and Mars.Praying on ten zillion light years, To bring you closer to my heart

7.     Will You Cry (When You Hear This Song) – Chic (1978)

The Line: Tears roll down my cheeks and you were never around to wipe my eyes. For years you played hide and seek with my love. You are just that kind of guy.

8.     If Only For One Night – Luther Vandross (1986)

The Line: Your eyes say things i never hear from you and my knees are shaking too. But i’m willing to go thru, I must be crazy.

9.     Tell Me If You Still Care – SOS Band (1983)

The Line: I was so insecure with you. Did you still want me? So I let go of the feeling that you were still all mine.

10.     Love’s Calling – James Ingram (1981)

The Line: Let’s make some plans tonight.  Start loving the wrong to right.

The goal is not for you to agree or disagree with this list.  I just want you to think about what puts you in, as Billy Ocean put it…the Love Zone.

What song does it for you? Let me know.

 

Guy A. Sims is the author of the romantically romance novel, Living Just A Little, and the crime novellas, The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim.  He is also the head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series and the forthcoming Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation.  BCEPressworks.com

COMMUNITY DIALOGUES: LGBTQ CAMPUS CLIMATE

“Change Starts and ends with us”

                                              ~Dana L. Stringer

 

Sometimes we can walk across our campuses, taking in all of the familiar sights and sounds of college in the fall; football, fraternity and sorority rush, watching freshmen get lost on their way to class.  All of this and more makes for a wonderful collegiate experience.  Unfortunately, for some, navigating the daily life of college has to be strategic, and sometimes covert.  The challenges facing today’s college campuses as it applies to students who identify as gay and lesbian are not new.  Issues centered on homophobia, heterosexism, identity, and campus safety continue to need to be discussed, addressed, and placed on the front burner for resolution.

Our conversation is guided by the words and wisdom of some impressive contemporary voices.

Managing Editor of the Advocate.com, Michelle Garcia helps to set the tone for how we should engage with one another.

Garcia

Kevin Powell, activist, writer, and president of @BKNationOrg, expresses the sentiment that we all have the duty to embrace and engage with people of all backgrounds.

Kevin

Students, faculty, families, and allies are challenged to be both brave and open, in order to grapple what needs to be done to create and maintain an environment that is welcoming, inclusive.  We all must be willing to seek to understand the differences present on our campuses.

Eliza Byard, executive director of GLSEN (Gay and Lesbian and Straight Education Network) encourages the Bluefield State College community for taking the steps to broaden our collective knowledge through discussions of this type.

Eliza

In achieving the vision of a diverse community at Bluefield State College it is necessary to examine, recognize, and support the different groups and cultures that make our campus so rich and unique. Understanding and embracing our differences will lead to a more effective, safe, and engaging college experience for all students.  The benefits gained from appreciating a wider range of perspectives, opinions and experiences will better position students to navigate and succeed in the contemporary multicultural workplace.

Talk show host & blogger of The Tatum Talks, Tanya Tatum, reminds us to keep in mind that all of our perspectives are valuable and should be treated as such.

Tatum

In this community dialogue we will gain a better understanding of the impact of LGBTQ campus climate, learn to recognize the presence of homophobia and heterosexism, and how to take action to create an inclusive environment.

Mr. Kevin McDonald, Vice President and Associate Provost for at the Rochester Institute of Technology, shares his thoughts on the importance and impact the diverse campus has; not only for the student but for society as a whole.

Writer, playwright, poet, and screenwriter, Dana L. Stringer, charges us to come together and have a community dialogue.

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How can we achieve this?  That’s one of the questions we will discuss at the Community Dialogues on LGBTQ Campus Climate hosted by Bluefield State College.  The conversation will be facilitated by Mr. Scott Pitt, Educational Outreach Counselor in the office of Student Support Services at Bluefield State College  and chair of the BSC LGBTQ Advisory Committee.

Steven Petrow is a writer and journalist for both the Washington Post and the Huffington Post.  He celebrates our willingness to come together to share, ponder, question, and engage in this important and necessary conversation.

Petrow

Bring your voice and opinions to the Community Dialogues on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 @ 11:30 AM (EST) Basic Science Building room 111.

You are encouraged to come and share your thoughts and perspectives on this topic.  If you can join us in person, that’s great!  If you can only be with us through the magic of the internet…follow and tweet at #BSCTalks or @GoodDocSims.

This program is sponsored by the Office of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion of Bluefield State College.

Dr. Guy A. Sims (@GoodDocSims)

Assistant to the President for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

 

Replay: A Cupboard Full of Coats by Yvvette Edwards: A Review

THE JOURNEY TO TRUTH IS OFTEN LONG AND OPAQUE.

Reviewed by Guy A. Sims

 

 

CFC New

The is the new cover for the U.S. market…it is “Yankee” tight!

Sometimes we have the pain of which we cease to feel…or perhaps refuse to feel. Jinx is a distant mother, mortician, an ex-wife, and responsible for her mother’s death. She’s a ball of pain, pressure, and questions which cannot be quelled by either isolation or destinationless running. For fourteen years she has held the guilt of jealousy, hatred, and loss until a familiar stranger knocks at her door.

 

 

A Cupboard Full of Coats, the maiden voyage novel of Yvvette Edwards (note the double Vs in her name…that’s how the sisters do it in London), is an intimate journey of unresolved pain, misunderstood understanding, restrained loss, and unresolved love. Drawn in close quarters, Edward’s protagonist, Jinx, has lived a life walled by her guilt of causing the death of her mother; manifesting her guilt through the disconnection of her son and estrangement with her husband. Edwards crafts an environment which gets more and more emotionally claustrophobic as Jinx’s life is illustrated as one confined to both the home and her memories.

The tension rises like a pot of boiling ox-tail stew with the sudden appearance of a long-time family friend, Lemon. Though with reluctance, she invites both him, memories, and truth to come sweeping into her self-made prison. Through the Caribbean delicacies prepared by Lemon, memories conjured by the wine, and unfolded mysteries disguised as casual conversation, Jinx is pushed down Memory Lane to a place of confrontation and truth. The journey is suspenseful, funny, painful, and sensual. Suspense is the ingredient which brings the final satisfaction to the reader’s intellectual palate. Issues of jealousy, abuse, abandonment, and desire fill the rooms of Jinx’s home with a cupboard full of coats as the conduit for what was and what could have been.

Edwards brings to her readers across the pond a snapshot of the unfamiliar Black life in London. She illustrates the confluence of American and Caribbean culture with an East End vibe. Her passion, humor, and exposition brings to readers an understanding of her world beyond the Hollywood and tabloid descriptions of London.

Yvvette Edwards has lived in London all her life. She grew up in Hackney and is of Montserratian-British origin. Yvvette continues to live in the East End and is married with three children.

Listen to Yvvette discuss her book right here.

Publisher: Amistad, 2012

Pages: 275

Click here to secure your copy of A Cupboard full of Coats

Guy A. Sims is the author of the novel, Living Just A Little, and the crime novellas, The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim.  He is also the head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series and the forthcoming Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation.  BCEPressworks.com

 

Mysterious Me: A Review

NO GREATER MYSTERY THAN THE EYES OF THE SOUL

Reviewed by Guy A. Sims

These dudes want to bring you down

They say hurtful things

To make you feel like a clown

Demeaning others to boost their self-esteem

Coward

Where are your balls?

                                                                       ~Words Can’t Break Me

 


The words and sentiment of poetess Nerrissa Jenkins flow like water over treacherous yet familiar terrain. Her collection, Mysterious Me (2014), moves and surrounds with strength, passion, thoughtfulness, and sensuality. Sometimes times the words invite you in to stroke your sensibilities. Other times they gang up on you to pummel mind into understanding the trials that exist in forgotten communities. There are poems lying bare on satiny blankets awaiting your arrival and with a simple stroke you’re captured. Mysterious Me also holds your hand as the lives of the everyday are illuminated into lives extraordinary. It is more than musings and reflections; it is an exploration of internal dimensions.

Mysterious Me is the first published work of native New Yorker Nerrissa Jenkins. This collection is a journey of expression, motivation, and inspiration. It is more than a catalogue of traditional topics but a collection of life experiences: love, tragedy, strength, sorrow, self-esteem, and selflessness. What is also unique about Nerrissa Jenkins’ work is her homage to the lives and achievements of people and places in her life circle.

Nerissa is not afraid to show the ugly sides of unhealthy relationships when that’s all you have. The poem Infliction is a cry of pain and regret:

The phone rang at 3 am

“Open the door”

He said

They were standing there him and her

I let them in

We did our thing

Her observations are kept ‘real’; checking the fake and the phony when presented.

He isn’t a thug

He walked around here with

His pants below his butt

He walked around pretending to be tough

But when he became cuffed

He was calling all of us

                                                   ~Hard Headed

 

Nerrissa also shares her high praise for unsung heroes and those who struggle everyday to simply make a way.

Cocolita has her days

Of course

She’s overworked

Lack of sleep

A caring mother

But

She’s DOPE

                                                 ~ Cocolita

 

The poetic style moves effortlessly from expressions of personal experience to the casual observed. Each section is composed of common themed stanzas which keeps the reader engaged; building a better understanding of the woman, the writer, the poet. The works speak to everyday life from the perspective of a mature, strong, cautious, caring, and straightforward woman. Mysterious Me is not to be rushed. It demands time for the words and meaning to take hold in the mind and spirit. Take your time and you will find out that Under every hood is a mysterious woman.

To secure your copy of Mysterious Me, visit http://www.iselfexpress.com

Guy A. Sims is the author of the novel, Living Just A Little, and the crime novella, The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim.  He is also the head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series and the forthcoming Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation.  BCEPressworks.com

On Being Dad…or Pops…or Fava…

Father’s Day in my home growing up was an event. While the whole event was designed to surprise our father with breakfast in bed and a bottle of Hai Karate, it was all orchestrated by my mother, who without a doubt, made sure our father was in the right place at the right time to receive our awkwardly wrapped tokens of love and illegible cards scripted in crayon. What was most amazing was the Oscar-worthy expressions of what’s all this from my father each and every year. As a child I wondered, were we that good?

My and my Dad

Actually, the secret to a great Father’s Day is a great relationship with father. The day marked an annual culmination of good times, discipline, moments of clarity, and revelations of who our father really was. While he was never campaigning for Father of the Year, every now and then he would do something, say something, or take us somewhere that was added to the highlight reel of our lives.

Sterl

Now as a father myself, I too enjoy acting like I didn’t know the day is Father’s Day. I openly question my three kids, why are you guys serving me breakfast in bed? What’s this tie for? It’s all part of the ceremony–which I learned from my father. Now, being the Modern Dad that I am, I do openly mention that I am campaigning for Father of the Year when my children and I have a super special moment: be it riding the craziest ride at an amusement park (and not holding my lunch—that’s what dads do), surprising them with something their hearts desired, or simply offering the right words when they feel things have gone wrong.

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While I can’t say I knew everything about my father, he was there every day and a lot of my discovery of who he was outside of his role was discovered by observations, by the stories he told, or through the tales of family. What I do know most about him was that he was there…everyday! When his car pulled up in the evening, time stopped momentarily, either to prepare to share something cool that happened in school or to get ready because something was broken or a report card…well, you know. But all in all, his coming through the door was more than an expectation, it was just part of nature, like taking your next breath. This is something I have created for my children.

Alyssia

Just as my job as a father is to help my children with the lessons of life, I learn everyday what being a father is all about. Sometimes the lessons come from my home. Other times it is from the observations of other fathers. Sometimes it is from fatherless children. In all of these lessons, I constantly evaluate and re-evaluate the kind of father I want to be and the model of a father I hope my children take with them.

Tara

I miss my father. He passed away 18 years ago, just as I was on the crest of a major phase of my life. Although there are times I wish I had his advice and guidance for career issues, with financial questions, and child rearing, the truth is that I already have the answers. His consistency in my life provided the blueprint needed for me to construct the kind of Father-ness I want for myself and children.

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I know and understand that not every child is blessed to experience what I have experienced. I know that there are father’s out there who are not connected to their children. That is why I treasure what I have and make sure that when I am no longer on the scene my children will say, “That’s what Pops would say!” (Yes, that’s one of the many things they call me.)

kids

Well, Sunday’s coming and it’s time to get ready for my close up…and I love it!

 

Happy Father’s Day!

Guy A. Sims is the author of the novel, Living Just A Little, and the crime novella, The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim.  He is also the head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series and the forthcoming Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation.  BCEPressworks.com

The Garvey Protocol: A Review

Where the Spook Sat By The Door, The Garvey Protocol Kicks It Down

Reviewed by Guy A. Sims

GP  If you hadn’t noticed that young African American males were disappearing in large numbers from  American urban  centers then they have achieved their mission.  If you have an idea that something  wrong is going on in the black  community and the problems are centered on drugs, crime, or  unemployment, then you’re being deceived.  If you  know that the young African American male is  the prime target of a clandestine group supported by the United  States Government…then you’re  next!

 

The Garvey Protocol: Inspired by true events, the novel (2012) by author/poet/educator Eric Christopher Webb weaves together a tale based on the whispers from barbershops and categorically denied classified documents of the U.S. government hidden away in ghost files.  A thrilling run down side streets of Pittsburg, PA to claustrophobic rides beneath our nation’s capital, The Garvey Protocol requires the reader to take a deep breath with each turn of the page.  It is a story of intrigue where a simple gaze at a video image taken by happenstance brings forth faceless assassins with “right between the eyes” as their target.  District of Columbia reporter, Cinque Solomon, a survivor of the streets and journalistic politics, finds himself swirling deeper and deeper in a whirlpool of government backed cover-ups, deceptive diversions, conferred conspiracies, and the bitter pill of paranoia.  What begins as a page three story about a drug-related death, Cinque quickly learns that truth is only a five-lettered word–so is death.

The Garvey Protocol is a thriller unparalleled in contemporary literary offerings.  The tome requires the focus of the reader as seemingly unrelated characters and scenarios can serve as just found puzzles pieces, bringing illumination to the opaque understandings of the protagonist.  The action builds like a rollercoaster ascending toward its first drop with twists and turns of revelations requiring the reader’s mind to grip-tight as all that is know is challenged.  The Garvey Protocol burns down the veil of how the sinister is acceptable, how the truth is denied, and how the innocent is a matter of definition.

Webb brings a fresh and undeniable urban-scholarly style to the presentation of his work.  There is such ease as he blends elements of Tom Clancy with the poetic flow of Langston Hughes.  His transitions from the poorest neighborhoods of Pittsburgh to the complexities of a backroom tactical commission are as smooth as a new ride cruising down I-95.  Fiction is accepted as fact when brought together in an unceasing expressway of deceit, deception, mayhem, lust, and necessitated justifications.  The Garvey Protocol is dynamic; its intensity is only matched by its intellect.

The Garvey Protocol: Inspired by true events-a novel is the latest entry by Eric Christopher Webb.  His other works include Coming of Age: The waking of Sleeping Giants, The Recipe for Revolution, and the National Black Author’s Tour bestseller, Love Letters, Death Threats, & Suicide Notes: New and Selected Poems and Essays.

Check out the book trailer.

To secure your copy of The Garvey Protocol (before it’s banned), visit here

Guy A. Sims is the author of the novel, Living Just A Little, and the crime novella, The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim.  He is also the head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series and the forthcoming Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation.  BCEPressworks.com