What I Believe

I believe:

That we are spiritual creatures on a human journey

That most animals are more intelligent than humans

In peace, acceptance and respect of everyone, regardless of the skin color, nationality, who you love, what gender you identify with, religion, or political party affiliation. I may not agree with your opinions, but I will defend your right to have them.

That we all are in need of love, home, comfort, food and medical care.

That when Jesus said “Love one another…” He didn’t finish the sentence with “except”.

We are all in this life together to help our brothers and sisters.

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Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Small Great Things

This is such a wonderful book that I’m reposting my review.

I was thinking today of some of my greatest influences, even as a child. Dr. King, Selma, Maya, Mahalia and Dinah Washington.  For some reason, maybe reincarnation? I have always felt a pull.  The first time I heard Dinah sing, “This Bitter Earth”, I cried. When I heard Mahalia sing, “It is No Secret”, I cried.  Maya’s “Still I Rise”, Dr King’s “I Have A Dream”, and when I learned of the events in Selma, I cried.  And recently, after reading Small Great Things.  I don’t cry easily, I really don’t.  And I can’t stand racism, bigotry and xenophobia.

Back to Small Great Things. This book moved me to tears. It is sad, poignant, though-provoking, touching, gripping and compelling.  Without a doubt, this book will be on my favorites shelf.

I have often said that I am “colorblind and a humanist”. I very much believe that everyone should be regarded equally with respect. To me, we are all God’s children. Black, white, gay, straight, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim or Mormon none of it matters to me as neither does creed or religion. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, I believe you should be able to live your life, in peace.

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?  The infant ends up dying and Ruth is charged with murder and committing a hate crime.

Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

A couple of poignant statements:

“I am not a racist, Ruth. And I understand that you’re upset, but it’s a little unfair of you to take it out on me, when I’m just trying to do my best—my professional best—to help you. For God’s sake, if I’m walking down a street and a Black man is coming toward me and I realize I’m going the wrong way, I keep going the wrong direction instead of turning around so he won’t automatically think I’m afraid of him.” “That’s overcompensating, and that’s just as bad,” I say. “You say you don’t see color…but that’s all you see. You’re so hyperaware of it, and of trying to look like you aren’t prejudiced, you can’t even understand that when you say race doesn’t matter all I hear is you dismissing what I’ve felt, what I’ve lived, what it’s like to be put down because of the color of my skin.”

“Active racism is telling a nurse supervisor that an African American nurse can’t touch your baby. It’s snickering at a black joke. But passive racism? It’s noticing there’s only one person of color in your office and not asking your boss why. It’s reading your kid’s fourth-grade curriculum and seeing that the only black history covered is slavery, and not questioning why. It’s defending a woman in court whose indictment directly resulted from her race…and glossing over that fact, like it hardly matters.”

Oh my God. I am guilty of that and I am sorry.  I would never intentionally dismiss what anyone has lived through, especially the black community.  A tweet today from the Women’s March:  “Throughout history, violence has been committed and justified in the name of white womanhood.  Terence Crutcher is no exception.”

I remember Dr. King saying “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”  And I am left with the question, what can I do to make a difference?

 

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Welcome

At the beginning of all the book reviews I have inserted a hyperlink, which when you click on, will take you to the Amazon page where you can purchase or research more about that particular book.

Enjoy and your comments or questions are appreciated.  Thanks for stopping in.

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Anti-racism fights back.

#BREAKING Protesters in #Durham topple confederate monument downtown pic.twitter.com/a3BNIavyxC — Derrick Lewis (@DerrickQLewis) August 14, 2017 DURHAM, N.C. – A group of anti-white supremacy protesters tore down a Confederate monument Monday during a rally outside a North Carolina courthouse. Amid chants of “No KKK, no fascist USA,” the group used a ladder and rope to pull down the monument. Several protesters then kicked and spit on the twisted statue as the crowd cheered, according to WNCN. The protest was organized […]

via Protesters topple Confederate monument in North Carolina — kplr11.com

My Buddy Jay

He’s one of my first friends here and has helped soooo many times! He’s a brilliant writer and oh so funny. One thing I love about his writing, it’s always fresh. His ideas, his thoughts are original and often make me ponder. I’m proud of him. Hopefully I am sharing this correctly!

His Novel: Watching a Glass Shatter to be Published! – http://wp.me/p8c7Vu-2N

This Is A National Emergency. America’s Brown Shirts Must Be Stopped.

Bruce DeSilva's Rogue Island

America needs to be clear about what happened in Charlottesville, VA, this weekend, even if President Trump is not. This must NOT be dismissed as a case of dueling protests that turned violent on both sides. This was a planned, coordinated act of domestic terrorism by organized groups of white supremacists and neo-Nazis and should be investigated and prosecuted as such.

The people of Charlottesville, who had peacefully debated what to do about a Confederate-era statue, and whose representatives had arrived at a decision, were invaded by thousands of helmeted, torch-carrying thugs armed with bats, brass knuckles, and in some cases firearms. These thugs marched through the streets toting torches, waving banners and spewing chants that were racist, anti-Semitic, and even (“Blood and Soil!) naked evocations of Nazi Germany.

Yes, they have the same right to free speech as every American, but that right does not include the right to…

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Unbridled by Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Unbridled

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

I began reading poetry back when I was about 8.  I had a certain type I liked – “free verse” they called it.  It didn’t rhyme, it didn’t have meters and cadences.  What I considered poetry was the flowing words that would capture, break, open, touch (any or all) of your heart.  Grasping your soul in tight clenches so that your breath can’t even escape, for someone else has felt this same way that you have and put it together in a rhythm that no dance could ever accompany it.  The first book of poetry I had, my mom gave to me on a birthday.  I still have it.  I started writing poetry at the age of 10 and at the age of 12 had won contests and had a public showing of my written words on display at a local mall.  I’m telling of this, because, well, I’m critical of other poets.  And it takes a LOT of talent to catch my attention.  I’m a curmudgeon.

That being said, Jacqueline was looking for support for recently published book of poetry.  I told her I would be happy to review it and it would be an honest review.

The synopis: Unbridled is written for souls hurting, for healing and becoming. It is served to be well-thumbed and mulled over. Written in free verse each poignant poetry vibrates with a life of its own. Bold and uncensored verses that talk about societal issues of rape, domestic violence, sadness, infidelity, racial discrimination, sex, depression, loss, pain, femininity, grief, suicide, womanhood, relationships, love, resilience, courage, anger, mental health, pedophilia, child abuse, break up, conflict, loneliness, aging, life, lust, optimism, Poverty, Race, Death, Justice, Beauty, Endurance, Faith, Dreams and Empowerment. The author’s words epitomize the poetic impulse to capture concentrated images from experience and observing life’s moments; impassioned, ecstatic, sad, fiery, sensual; they are naked intimate expressions saying as much as they can say in few words.

First, I do want to say that some of the poems may be triggering for those recovering from abuse.

Second, I want to say, this is beautiful poetry.

The free verse is strong, descriptive, haunting, lovely.  Jacqueline paints with her words. like an artist.  This is no Monet, this is a Helen Frankenthaler with her bold marks and colors.  There is a section which is written in relation to abuse and some of it is very dark.   Darkness is gut wrenching at times, but the light of hope that shines through is blinding. My heart agonizes for the girl who has lived through excruciating torment.  But the woman she has become?  She is an Amazon; a warrior of her own heart.

I am very moved by Jacqueline’s words.  I already have my favorites and it’s amazing how Jacqueline reaches in and I feel warmth.  The last 20 poems are exquisite and delightful.

I give this book a high recommendation, for yourself, for a friend… maybe for an Amazon you know.

Thank you Jacqueline.  You are amazing.

And my friends, please reblog this to everyone you know.  Jacqueline’s story needs to be read.

 

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