Someone Called Him “Nigga”

Someone called him “Nigga”, they yelled it from the door.

His grandmother heard it in her bedroom, the pet name ripped her to the core.

“Hold up”, he yelled from the window, “Need to tell Grams, I leaving.”

He approached his grandmother quietly, tears were flowing, he thought she was grieving.

“Gram, are you okay?  What has upset you so?”

She looked in her grandson’s face only hoping he could see their souls.

The souls of the heritage she knew, her raising was from the deep south,

The souls that would cringe from the pain they suffered from the whips and chains, as the Masta’s spit the name “Nigga'” from their mouths.

“Gram, why are you crying so?  Are you hurt, what can I get for you?”

The souls that took it all, in spite of it all, those who stood tall so you can do what you do.

“Gram, nod your head please speak to me, tell me what you need.”

The words of her grandson hit her heart he was a part of their seed.

She patted her face with her tattered dress, calming herself to speak.

He waited patiently, as the name “Nigga, yo Nigga” was spoken as tough it was a beat.

His grandmother shook her head and wept again, her grandsons feelings were touched.

The love his grandmother had for him had been destroyed in one word, her teachings crushed.

She taught him from the time he was able to walk he was the descendant of warriors and kings.

If he answered to the call of “Nigga” or “boy” what did her teachings mean.

She taught him that although his father and uncles were not what they were deemed to be.

God would see her in the grave before she would let the streets take  another from the family tree.

“Nigga you comin’ or what? What you want me to do”

Her grandson spoke ever so softly, “Gram you know I love you.”

“Go head man and don’t yell no more……by the way my name is Raheem.”

He returned to his grandmother and opened his arms.

“Gram, tell me more about those kings.”

Open Letter to Juanita Bynum

I received this in an email from one of my friends and I felt the need to share if with you all. So read it and tell me what you think. I personally think the person make some interesting points.

Dear Juanita Bynum:

My theology causes me to align with those on the underside of a society. As Matthew 25 teaches, wherever we can identify the poor, the abused, the marginalized, and those living under the weight of structural and systemic injustice, we can find God working on behalf of the “least of these.” This is why my heart goes out to you. Credible reports corroborate your story of being a victim of domestic violence. And, if this is true, you have experienced a heinous act that all too many women are forced to live with and endure on a daily basis.

Having said this, I now must express my concern. I am scared that your actions in recent weeks are rendering you about as credible to the cause of fighting domestic violence as O.J. Simpson. Let’s begin with your, er, umm, performance on TBN. While I can appreciate the efficacious dimensions of prayer and praise, there is also a time for well thought action and spiritual sobriety.

For instance, I did not understand your illogical and irresponsible assertions such as “on that ground that night I slipped into my purpose.” You were a victim of domestic violence, period! There was nothing atoning or redemptive about what happened to you. And all that rhetorical jargon about not breaking the covenant with your husband and being spiritually submissive only recirculates the very notions of power and abuse that fosters domestic violence in the first place. Rather than doing the “Harlem Shake” to Byron Cage that night, why didn’t you use your platform to present the phone numbers to domestic abuse hotlines and women’s shelters? Or how about providing resources for women who currently find themselves in violent relationships. Say what you will about Bishop Jakes’ response, or lack thereof, to your situation, at least he didn’t turn tragedy into a praise-a-thon.

But to be fair, I know you may have gotten caught up in the moment. It was a highly emotional time for you. But this is why you need to be careful. There are real forces that seek to dismiss the issue of domestic violence in the church in general and discredit you in particular. You should know this. So wouldn’t you think that making statements such as “Juanita Bynum will be for domestic violence what Martin Luther King, Jr. was to civil rights,” just might come across as a little self-serving and solipsistic? Moreover, what is up with not being able to discuss your story during an interview on Tom Joyner last week because you had already sold the exclusive rights to Essence magazine? These sorts of comments and actions only add fuel to the flames of skepticism for those who already believe that you are more of a Profiteer than a Prophetess.

But all is not lost, Sister Bynum. Not yet at least. There is still hope that you won’t have to go out like Britney Spears. So allow me to offer a few suggestions that may help you regain both your focus and perspective: First, rethink your desire to be the “new face of domestic violence.” You say this with pride as if you are on a season of America’s Next Top Model. This is neither a popularity contest nor a time to exploit the situation. Rather, this is a time that you can use your status to introduce America to the almost one million women that are victimized annually who cannot hold a press conference at posh hotels nor recover from their wounds with a deluxe spa package. Lift them up. Tell their story.

You missed what could have been a powerful, informative and educational moment on TBN. What if you had told the story of a 35 year old Haitian immigrant that was beaten, raped and sodomized along with her son in the Dunbar Housing Projects of Miami while neighbors closed their windows to her screams for help? This is the face that America needs to see in order to indict us concerning our culpability and complicit silence. Or try lending your support to the case of Megan Williams in West Virginia that was senselessly raped, tortured and maimed by six white supremacists earlier this month. While we have googled you and Bishop Weeks to keep up with your drama, these are the stories that need to be discussed and written about. So shame on us for being all too consumed with you. And shame on you for not redirecting our attention to the suffering of others.

Second, suspend your mentoring class and go get mentored yourself. If you are sincere about your interest in being a victim’s advocate, obtain real anti-violence and awareness training from specialists in the field. Learn the litigation procedures that are already in place and even the appropriate language that should be used. There is no need for you to call your own session of Congress to introduce the Juanita bill, when you can sign your name and support legislation that advocates are already pushing forward. Moreover, to be frank, your hyper-spiritual cliché phrases and homiletic tropes that “move the crowd” on TBN may prove contradictory and quixotic outside of the very insular world of televangelism. I would hate to see you on Oprah trying to jump up and get your whoop on because the “anointing got so’ thick up in here.” And if you are going to be a credible domestic violence counselor, you can’t encourage women by tel! ling th em that you got “beat down to get your breakthrough.” If you are going to extend your influence Juanita, you are going to have to do better than falling back to your familiar.

Finally, take a sabbatical from the media. We know that you are a gifted televangelist. And we know that you are trying to make ground on Paula White (trust me, I am cheering for you). But everything in your life does not have to play out in front of a microphone. You have twisted, flipped and spun this event in every way possible. Your credibility and integrity are both on the line, my dear sister. And times like these call for decorum and tact not a whoop and a homily. Be still and know that God is still God. And if you handle yourself accordingly, others will rise up to fight your battles in public. There are too many who find what happened to you horrible and despicable. And, more importantly, there are too many who realized long before your unfortunate occurrence that domestic violence just can’t be talked about, it must be fought against.

Be blessed, Juanita.

One Luv,


P.S. Please scrap the book idea!

The Fading of A Pioneer for Interracial Romance

Earlier this month, Mildred Loving passed away of pneumonia at the age of 68. Ms. Loving wasn’t an ordinary African American inhabitant of Virginia. She became a pioneer for interracial romance in 1950’s when she and her Caucasian husband, Richard, where arrested for living as husband and wife in Caroline County. Like many states at that time, Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act, also called an anti-miscegenation law, prohibited marriage between the races. As a result, the doting couple went to Washington D.C. where interracial marriage was legalized. Shortly after their return, the newlyweds were arrested and jailed for being in love and having the courage to marry. The couple pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year in jail. Imprisonment could be avoided if the couple agreed to leave the state of Virginia for a minimum of 25 years. If they wish to return, they could not do so together. The basis of this judgment rested in the judge’s belief that if God had intended for the races to mix, they would not have originated on different continents.

The couple accepted the suspended sentence and moved to Washing D.C. In 1963, the Lovings began their court battle to have their sentence declared unconstitutional based on the Fourteen Amendment which prohibits the states to limit liberties without due process. The Lovings were being deprived of the right to marry, since the anti-miscegenation law only applied to other races intermarrying with Whites. The Loving case traveled all the way to the U.S Supreme Court. In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a civil liberty of every free citizen and the states cannot interfere in a free man’s choice of mate. Marrying outside of his/her race is a decision that must be made from within.

I first came across the Loving case, when I was researching the history of interracial and multicultural romance. It was in salute to the 40th anniversary of the landmark case, that brought this couple’s courage to my attention. It was so ironic to see the headline, “No Loving in Virginia” and “Loving v. Virginia”, because the unexplainable act of loving was on trial. Like most who make history, Mildred and Richard Loving only wanted the freedom to love each other and build a life together. For them, it was a desire worth fighting for.

Much like everything that was once opposed, multiculturalism and inter racialism have a long history. The Loving case, while not the first was the most progressive. Court cases involving interracial marriage date back to 1883, where the state of Alabama ruled in Pace v. Alabama ruled that interracial sex was a felony and was not unconstitutional since both participants were punished equally, while extramarital sex without the interracial component was only considered a misdemeanor at the time. The debate for mixed marriages came up again in Arizona with the court case Kirby v. Kirby. In the case, Mr. Kirby was seeking an annulment because he deemed the marriage as invalid based on his wife being of negro descent. The court judged based on Mrs. Kirby’s physical appearance and reached the conclusion that she was of mixed race thereby granting Mr. Kirby his request. In support of the “one drop” law, the state of California in 1939 invalidated Mr. and Mrs. Monk’s marriage because Marie Antoinette Monk was one-eighth negro in a disputed probate case over Allen Monk’s estate. Despite taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1942, the marriage remained invalid.

It was in 1948 with the California case, Perez v. Sharp, that the ban on interracial marriage was finally viewed as being in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Shortly thereafter, various religious groups including the Presbyterian and Roman Catholic faiths announced no condemnation for interracial marriage.

Having won their battle, the Lovings went on to live the life they had planned together which included a family of three children. In 1975 Richard Loving died in a car crash. Mildred went on to witness the growth of the family her and Richard started together.

On the fortieth anniversary of the landmark case, Mildred Loving, who rarely gave interviews, had this to say:

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about (


A Different World

April was filled with a series of firsts in my writing career. It was the first time:

  •  I traveled to a new state alone without the intention of meeting family, friends or coworkers.
  • I attended an RWA sponsored writer’s conference.
  • I attended an African American writer’s conference.
  • I visited Chicago, Illinois.
  • I considered truly being self-employed without feeling a panic attack brewing in my chest.

 When I attended the RWA sponsored Desert Dreams conference in early April, I had every intention of comparing and contrasting that experience with my participation in the predominantly African American focused Romance Slam Jam set to take place later in the month.

 These two experiences really reflected the industry distinction between two groups who have the same appreciation  for love and romance but operate on different levels of support.

 At Desert Dreams, which was hosted by my local RWA chapter, I was the only African American author and the only author who wrote interracial romance.  Despite that fact, I felt the readers and writers in attendance really took an interest in my platform, because to them it was unique and different. One Caucasian woman took an extreme interest because her daughter was the product of an interracial relationship. Talking with an editor from St Martin’s Press only solidified my conclusions.

 While Desert Dreams was a great experience, one that I will repeat again in the future, I really felt at home at the Romance Slam Jam conference. There were a lot more readers in attendance who were hungry for great romantic stories and excited to meet the authors of those stories. Even though I was a newly published author, I was an important contributor to these attendees. It was nice to be around people who looked like me and appreciated what I was called to do. While I didn’t have any agent/editor appointments at this conference, I actually had one seek me out. She was an editor at Red Sage and she introduced herself to me because I seemed familiar to her. Upon hearing that I write interracial romance, she invited me to submit to her.

 The conference was nearly a week long and it was great to laugh, learn and party with my sisters and brothers. It was great to put names to faces and personalities. It felt like a reunion although all of those in attendance were virtually strangers to me. I was able to meet some of my virtual critique partners and it was like vacationing with sisters. I made so many contacts and so many new friends that there’s no doubt the next Slam Jam will be even better.

While Slam Jam didn’t have the exposure to the New York publishing market like Desert Dreams did, it is clear that we are garnering attention. Representatives from RWA were there as they were a low-key sponsor as well as Avon and a local Chicago book-club. It becomes obvious that we are growing in numbers and our economic power is being watched when those in mainstream start to take notice.

 On returning to the regular day to day, a raging fire was ignited in me. I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Writing, reading and being around those that appreciate these endeavors is how I see my future and now I have the courage to pursue it with laser-like focus. Since arriving home, I have been up late every night writing and researching ways to freelance full time. It is still my primary desire to write novels, however, freelancing appeals to me as well. I am no longer satisfied being at the mercy of one company no matter the industry. Even in writing, I plan to write in multiple genres for various publishers and companies.

 I’ve search for many years for that one product I would market in order to stake my claim among the self employed, and these conferences have taught me to look within. The product I can promote the best is inside of me.

 As long as there are readers looking for stories that reflect their unique experiences in a world that is not just black or white, I will be striving to meet the demand.






Stephanie L. Jones – The Enemy Between My Legs

Stephanie L. Jones, author of The Enemy Between My Legs, has a divine mandate on her life to help abuse victims break free the pain and bondage of their past.

Mrs. Jones is a highly sought-after speaker for organizations, schools, and churches. After spending several years working for Fortune 500 companies and as a successful publicist for book authors, she opted out of the corporate world to become a sexual abuse advocate. Having experienced sexual abuse for over seven years beginning at age five, she knows the effects that it can have on a victim’s life. She is known for her honest approach in dealing with sexual abuse, a subject that few people will openly discuss. She has the ability to understand and connect with abuse victims, especially teenagers and young adults.

Be sure to visit her on her website at: to learn more about THE ENEMY BETWEEN MY LEGS and to find out where she will be next!

DG: Stephanie, thank you for being a willing vessel to share and uplift others. I commend you on the courage you have and for your willingness to educate us on the real issues concerning child sexual abuse. Please tell us what gave you the courage to write a book that describes your own personal experiences?

SLJ: My courage came from my personal relationship with God, as well as the fact that I’m completely healed from the past. Because I am healed, I was able to write my story without any fear, shame, or guilt. I must also give credit to my husband, Robert. His support keeps me encouraged!

DG: Your title, The Enemy Between My Legs, what does it mean and how did you come about giving your book a title such as this one?

SLJ: I struggled with the title for a long time. However, I prayed about it, so that settled it. I now realize that a lot of people think that I’m describing my genitalia as the enemy, but I’m not! The title describes how I was attacked as a child. I wasn’t abandoned. I wasn’t beaten. I wasn’t ill or physically challenged. I was attacked sexually – between my legs!

DG: Do most sexual abuse victims become promiscuous and why and is it true that a good many sexually abused victims become sexual abusers?

SLJ: Yes, many victims become promiscuous. Think about it – almost 70% of all teen pregnancies and abortions are preceded by sexual assault. For many victims the abuse is not a one-time incident. It’s something that happens over a long period of time, especially if the perpetrator gains the child’s trust and/or believes they will not tell. After a while the victim may begin to like the way it feels. This is not to say that they’re attracted to the person or the act itself, but it does feel good to the body. It’s very difficult to deny the feeling of lust and sexual desire once it’s there. I was sexually abused for almost eight years. At ages 14, 16, and 18 it was hard to say no to men and deny my body the desire for sex at that point. Victims also tend to group sex and love into the category, especially females. They try to use it as a method to get the love, attention, or other things they desire. Many of them are given hush-money, candy, and other gifts as children. In a way it’s like teaching a child a form of prostitution at a young age, an exchange of their body for something in return.

Unfortunately, many victims become victimizers, especially during their childhood and teenage years. Children oftentimes share their experiences with other children – sexual abuse included! I hear this from people quite often. They’re not only hurting about what happened to them, but they’re ashamed about what they did to someone else as a direct result of what was done to them. That’s why it’s so important to talk about this issue. We must stop the generational cycle of sexual abuse!

DG: What is your thought on children being allowed to “spend the night” or stay over at a “sleep-over”?

I’m not against either, because we still have to allow children to be children. However, both of them must be done with extreme caution and should be limited. Parents shouldn’t allow for their children to spend the night just anywhere, and this includes over certain family members’ homes! If a child is allowed to go to a sleepover, parents need to ask questions. Who are the other children attending? Who are the adults providing supervision? What are the sleeping arrangements? I recall being asked to drop someone’s child off at a sleepover. I was upset because the parent knew nothing about the child or the parents. That’s ridiculous! It wasn’t my decision to make, but I went in and scoped-out the place! I asked several questions. I got names and all of the information that I possibly could get.

DG: It seems that most of the cases we hear about relating to sexual abuse is usually tied to a parent, a relative, a trusted friend of the family, or a babysitter. Please share your knowledge on this….is it a fact or fiction that children are molested, raped or taken advantage of by the list above in a high percentage?

SLJ: Ninety percent (90%) of all sexual assaults take place at the hands of a family member, trusted leader, or close family friend! 90%! Yes, we have strangers lurking in the park and internet predators, but we need to address what’s happening right in our own homes!

DG: What advice would you give to others on being more cautious and aware about sexual abuse?

SLJ: People must stop thinking that it can’t happen to their children! Sexual abuse is rampant! Single parents must stop bringing men and women home to their children. Too many females have told me that they were molested by ‘a mother’s boyfriend.’ Too many males are being molested by their female babysitters. People have to probe their children by asking them hard and honest questions. They know a lot more than adults give them credit for. Again, stop allowing for children to spend the night anywhere and everywhere. Parents should learn more about their child’s daycare center. Get to know their friends and the people they’re around often. Children need to play outside and not indoors behind closed doors! Be nosey! Yes, that’s right! A lot of information can be found right up under parents’ noses inside of diaries, on websites such as MySpace and CrushSpot, and in text messages. Oftentimes it can be seen in their attitudes and behavior.

DG: Have you forgiven the individual who sexually abused you and do you offer this as a method to helping one to heal from the hurt and scars inflicted on them by the abuser? Please share your thought/opinion or personal experience.

SLJ: Yes, I have forgiven my abusers. I purposed in my heart to let it go. Forgiveness, which is a decision and not a feeling, is required in order to heal. Anger and bitterness will only keep a person stuck in the past. It’s a choice one makes. I’ve had women tell me that they’ll never get married or have sex because of what happened to them. Men have told me that sexual abuse caused them to question their sexuality and hurt or act out violently toward others, especially women. Individuals such as this can only move on by forgiving those who offended them.

My healing process was a journey. It didn’t happen overnight. While there may be other necessary steps, I believe that healing begins with: 1) prayer for strength, courage, and understanding, 2) forgiveness, 3) talking about it, and 4) a change of attitude and personal choices, such as a choice of friends and certain behaviors.

DG: Stephanie, thank you for sharing your knowledge and for having the courage to write about your painful experience. I encourage you to continue spreading awareness on the issues of child sexual abuse and sexual abuse at the rate you have. Much continued success to you.

To learn more about Stephanie L. Jones and her novel, The Enemy Between My Legs, please click here to listen to her interview: Stephanie L. Jones “Keeps It Real” with Rev. Al Sharpton! – Vox


  • 66% of teen pregnancies and abortions are preceded by sexual assault.
  • 96% of prostitutes were sexual abuse victims.
  • 75% of rapists were sexual abuse victims.
  • 60% of children who experience abuse and neglect are more likely to be arrested.


  • Only men sexually abuse children.
  • The child must be removed from the home and the perpetrator automatically goes to prison.
  • My child will tell me (only 15% of abuse cases are ever revealed).

The Development of Political Controversy


 During an election year, a potential candidate’s perceived flaws and strengths are put on display for all to see. The public scrutiny is not limited to the candidate alone, but is broadened to include the people closest to the contenders. It reinforces the meaning of the old proverb, “Birds of a Feather Flock Together.”


 Throughout this long election campaign, many are interested in the types of birds that flock with our candidates. Hilary is constantly haunted by the professional and personal misdeeds of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, while Barack was called to justify his friendship and respect for militant preacher Jeremiah Wright until that very friendship was fractured under the pressure.


 The search for controversy has no statute of limitations as even the bachelor’s thesis of Michelle Obama, which examines the changing attitudes of middle and upper class blacks in Ivy League white academia toward lower class blacks and the black community during various stages of academic attendance, was a target for ridicule and judgment. Understanding the political climate and the inevitable existence of dirt digging and mud slinging, Michelle attempted to reduce the potential impact of her racial research from 23 years ago. It is not unreasonable to investigate to whom the presidential candidates are coupled and Michelle knew her words could have an impact on her husband’s campaign. It is an example of another old saying, “you are  judged by the company you keep”. As a result, it has been reported that she requested her thesis be removed from the Princeton library until after the election in November 2008.


 In a respected move, the Obama campaign quickly released the thesis upon request of media outlets. Some judged this act as Obama’s attempt to capitalize on the the controversy surrounding the dated words of his wife, the very words she was trying to keep private for the benefit of his campaign.   


 Upon reading her thesis firsthand, I had trouble detecting the controversy. It became apparent that the point of contention rested in what the thesis might say instead of what it actually said, which explains why the Obama campaign released it. The speculation is always worse than the reality. Once it was made available, some of the silliest remarks were made regarding its validity and its ability to convey Michelle’s findings. I read comments like, “well there are no white history classes” and “that thesis was full of grammatical errors”.  I found humor in these meaningless judgments. My first thought was, there’s no white history classes because nearly all history is white history. It makes sense that at a predominantly white academic institution of the 1980s the majority of classes, clubs, and activities would spotlight white culture, placing all other cultures in the dark.


 What Michelle’s thesis really focused on is the attitudes of middle class and upper middle class blacks toward the black community and the white community prior to, during and after attending a predominantly white affluent Ivy League institution like Princeton. The sample was compiled of 400 names of black Princeton alumni collected by choosing every fourth name in a list of 1200 obtained from Princeton’s Alumni office. A survey of 18 questions yielded a 22% response rate or 89 respondents, which consisted of 60% males and 40% females. Ms. Obama delved into the lifestyles and the perceptions of these undergraduate alumni, considering their dating and religious practices, their friendships, as well as their comfort level with whites and other blacks. Their economic and educational backgrounds prior to admission to Princeton was also considered. She wanted to discover the following:

·  Attitudes of black undergraduate alumni and the intentions between blacks and whites.

·  The Ivy League Black’s feeling of obligation to help lower class blacks

·  Interaction with white students on campus

·  How experience at Princeton changed personal values

·  How the obligation to give back to the black community was affected by social practices while attending Princeton 

 Her research revealed that a black alumni’s loyalty to the black community had a lot to do with whether integration and assimilation took place while attending Princeton. Those from lower class families and neighborhoods felt more comfortable with other blacks and were more likely to participate in separatism, thereby not interacting with whites by choice. As far as giving back to the black community, Michelle determined that benefiting a given group had a lot to do with the time invested in getting to know that group. Those who integrated and assimilated into white culture were more likely to give back to the community of whites and blacks as a whole rather than focus on black society specifically.

Other theories such as the need to band together within the black culture before integrating into white society were discussed. In the introduction, Michelle wrote about her experience as being on the fringes of Princeton academic society but not being welcomed to embrace it. 

This study analyzed the affects of the white upper middle class academic experience on blacks and how that experience shaped their evolving views of black culture, the black community and their obligation to contribute to that facet of society during various stages of the academic experience. In the end, Ms. Obama had to derive several new hypothesis models that spoke to the general social climate between blacks and whites which were in effect regardless of economic class.

Finally, social research studies such as this are designed to encourage analysis of society, it’s effectiveness and one’s place in the evolving entity that is our environment. As with any research study, Ms. Obama posed a question that spoke to her own experiences and curiosities while attending a upper middle class Ivy League school as a black woman in the 1980’s and determined based on the responses that her hypothesis had to be adjusted as the outcome was not solely based on each person’s social history or economic status. In fact, Michele Obama’s thesis and the social scrutiny of the presidential candidates demonstrates how a person’s character and value go beyond those in their current inner circle by taking into account their past and present social environments.

Cultural loyalty is affected by the overall social climate of the period. Much is the same in our current political climate, as each candidate’s potential to successfully carry the presidency must be analyzed by their intelligence, a commitment to their values and their ability to convey and personify a sincere message of hope for all those involved both within the United States and around the world.





2008 Romance Slam Jam Winners

2008 Romance Slam Jam Winners


The Romance Slam Jam was a blast! Some of the most influential writers in the African American literary industry were present for the 2008 Romance Slam Jam Conference which took place this weekend in Chicago, IL.


The winners of 2008 Romance Slam Jam book categories:


Beverly Jenkins-Author of the Year
Favorite anthology
Favorite hero
Favorite heroine
Favorite novel
Favorite novella
Favorite suspense
Cover of the Year-Deadly Sexy


LaConnie Taylor-Jones: Best Debut Author

Francis Ray: Favorite Sequel

Deatri King-Bey: Favorite Steamy Novel
Listen to the Black Authors Network tribute to the Romance Slam Jam authors and the quality literature that each author presents.
Click Here>>



Happy Spring Beautiful People! Wow, it’s hard to believe that it is May already.The weather is warming, flowers are blooming and we are spending more and more time outside.  I hope that you all are well on your way to accomplishing the goals you’ve set for 2008. Remember, 2008 is the year of new beginnings.

This month, PassionScape features author and poet, Péron F. Long. His list of titles includes If It Ain’t Right, It’s Wrong and the recently released Pulpit Confessions. Péron is also a wonderfully talented poet.

I was fortunate to have the oppportunity to briefly interview Péron about his art of writing.

HM: I really enjoyed your poetic piece, Southern Swagger Girl. What inspired the poem Southern Swagger Girl?
PFL: I attended a Frankie Beverly and Maze concert back in Oct. 07 and as they were singing “Southern Girl” thoughts began playing in my head, later that night I “Love Jones” came on and before I knew it the words to the poem were there.

HM: I have read several of your poems. Are there any plans for a book of poetry?
PFL: No Plans for a book of poetry. In reality I am not a poet, I only dabble in it from time to time. You know when the words appear.

HM: Tell us about your latest release Pulpit Confessions.
PFL: Pure DRAMA! LOL…. Pulpit Confessions is a story about transgressions and ultimately conviction.  Basically we often see the outside of people. We never really get the opportunity to understand fully those who walk in the Light.  I set out to create a story that chronicled the life of one individual that went full circle in how he was created into the person that he had become, who wrestled with the person he actually was.

HM: How would you describe your writing style?
PFL: I’m not even sure if I know what it is. If you read each of my works you will see that all are quite different.  I work hard at trying to create entertaining stories while at the same time provoke societal views.

HM: Do you base any of your work on real life experiences?
PFL: I have used small amounts of real life experiences as a base but for the most part, my work is about 95% imagination.

HM: What is the message that you want readers of Pulpit Confessions to come away with?
PFL: The message that I hope to relay is one of understanding not only of conviction, but the process of conviction.  We as a society often look for the results before the process.   I always tell people that Salvation is a daily journey for some while a lifetime struggle for others.  Without process there can be no positive results. 

HM: What is next from Peron F. Long?
PFL: My Next book “Livin’ Ain’t Easy” will be released in January 09 from Urban Books.  I am also currently working on a new project “The First Person.”

HM: What lessons have you learned as an author that you would like to share with aspiring writers?
PFL: The most important things that I’ve learned that I often share with others, is do your research, hone your skill, do your research, hone your skill, do your…..Okay you get the point right? LOL….


Here is Péron F. Long’s lyric piece Southern Swagger Girl


Southern Swagger Girl


When You Walked Into That Room Girl
Displaying Your Southern Swagger Girl
Had My Mind So Confused Girl
Cause You Had Me In Such A Way Girl
I Just Couldn’t Find The Words To Say Girl
All The Things My Mind It Wanted To Relay Girl
I…Err….Uhh….Ummmm….Heaven Bless My Soul Girl
For Your Southern Swagger Has Taken Control Girl
As I Bumble, Mutter, And Slumber Girl
I Can’t Help But Remember That One Fine Day Girl
When You Asked If I Was Your Darius Lovehall Girl
You Made My Heart Dance A Jig Girl
But Still I Must Tell You Girl
That Love Jones Ain’t Got A Thing On Us Girl
Cause It’s Your Southern Swagger Girl
That Has Taken Me To A New Dimension Girl
As I Continue to Sputter, Stumble, and Stutter Girl
I Can’t Help But Realize Girl
That Nina Mosely Ain’t Got Nothing On You Girl
For I Never Knew Love Could Feel So Just Girl
Through All The Pains And Lust I’ve Seen Girl
My Lord You Killing Me Softly Girl
I Say This Cause For My Heart It’s So Costly Girl
I….Err…Uhh….Ummmm….Oh Lord Have Mercy On My Soul Girl
For Your Southern Swagger Has Taken Control Girl
One More Time Let Me Tell You Girl
Love Jones Ain’t Got SHI…..Ahh …Let Me Hush My Mouth Girl
But It’s Your Southern Swagger Girl
That Has Me Saying And Displaying New Things Girl
I Wish I Could Explain Girl
But All Of This It Happened So Fast Girl
Now I Understand Why Jesus Wept Girl
For Your Southern Swagger Has Taken Control Girl
Péron F. Long ©2007 all rights reserved

Find out more about Péron F. Long by visiting ,  and
Pulpit Confessions  and If It Ain’t Right, It’s Wrong are available for purchase at or wherever books are sold.