I loved Ramona. My teacher Mr. D introduced us to Hatchet, The River, Sounder and Old Yeller. To Kill a Mocking Bird is still one of my favorite books of all time. I read it every time I come across it. Atticus Finch, Boo Radley and Scout are like family to me. I suffered my first heartbreak on a Bridge To Tarabithia. Things were changing fast, not just in me because i was going through puberty. The books were no longer innocent they started addressing real life issues. For Black History Month we read about Mary Mcloud Bethune, Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King J.R.. I started to see how much people who looked like me had to go through in order to gain freedom and equality. Nat Turner said God inspired him to do the things he did. There was Benjamin Banneker and Booker T. Washington. Harriet Tubman told the slaves to “Wade by the water.” Dubois wrote the Souls of Black Folk. My Russian friend Oleg introduced me to Malcolm X, Will Durant and Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “The Brother’s Karamazov and Crime and Punishment. My friend Lumumba introduced me to his friends Geronimo Pratt, Eldridge Cleaver, Heuy P. Newton, Angela Davis and Bunchy Carter. The Panthers were relolutionary, but they weren’t ready to play chess on a geo-political level. They soon found out that they bit off more than they could chew.
My mom made me read Victor Frankel as a punishment for coming home late. Jokes on her I loved the book. Mr. Frankel found reasons to live when all he saw was death and despair. When I went through the toughest times in my life I too had to find the will to keep living. But that’s a different story. That’s my story for when I write my book. Alexander The Great conquered most of the world by the time he was eighteen. I felt Janice Joplin’s pain as she tried to drown her sorrows in Southern Comfort. Jimi Hendrix got a guitar as a gift, he was left handed so he had to restring the guitar so he could play it. He said “in a room full of mirrors all he could see was himself.” Nikki Giovanni bared her soul to me in her poems. I spent hours with Sonia Sanchez as she spoke of “slow suicides in seclusion.” Buffetology made me contrarian in my thinking, because sheep usually get led to slaughter. Man Child In The Promised Land spoke to troubled youths. I felt that little girls pain in The Bluest Eyes. I’ve spoken to George Washington and Caesar Augustus. Abraham Lincoln suffered many losses, both political and personal. Ivan van Sertima showed me around Africa. The Prophet and the Alchemist were deep.