Skip to main content

Discovering a Grand Slam!

Life on the Color Line
by Gregory Howard Williams
It’s not easy finding a book to appeal to my mood when I need it. Before the Internet I would do like Barb@RisqueReviews used to do, ...rake those shelves with a fine toothcomb looking for that certain for-sure unshakeable read.

I purchased Life on the Color Line, hesitantly so, thinking…, ‘do you really want to read another book about race and racial divides?’ The last thing I wanted to read was another story about how white and black people live and see. I mean, what other book could top Black Like Me? To which least I omit the other (on the color line) books I’ve purchased where my instincts hadn’t exactly kicked in.

Reliving the moment…The book was lying there…ugh…on my desk for about a month. Normally I won’t purchase a book unless there’s a strong compelling reason to do so. Deciding factors include the cover design… and I’m not looking for commercially appealing covers either. I’m looking for verbose covers. Title is another catch, and again it must speak to me. The synopsis is another way to catch me. But also, comments… interviews… or vibes picked-up on in discussion forums wheel me in too. I can’t recall what exactly that compelling factor was for buying this book, but if I recall correctly I believe it was on the latter scale… the vibe thingamajig… that and being intrigued about a white man discovering he was black.

Sensory dial turned up to its utmost point I was dead on accurate with this selection… even if it took a famished mood for me to find out. This is the mood where I get jumpy hoping on a book to feed my soul. Where looking over my unread library of books piled high on my desk, I start thinking… ‘okay… my pile is not exactly library (or e-reader) capacity impressive, but come on… one of these books has to be that soul-feeding read. And yes, I actually said this too, ‘I bet that 'on the line’ book is going to be a really good book.’

Only at chapter 12, I’m hard-pressed to put the book down. Despite having a fairly good idea of Billy’s adult destiny, his growing up experiences he so keenly recalls are remarkably stirring. To write with this much compassion for the people who have been a part of his life, *and remain both sincere and frank*, is absolutely phenomenal! Add this factor onto small font of many words where dare I neglect how not one word is wasted, and I’m now talking a grand-slam memoir.

Wanted to say the book is raw, yet it’s not. It’s there alright… like take chapter 5 “Learning How to be Niggers,” except the way the author laid that chapter, and the others on the page, read like he was telling me how to ride a rollercoaster without screaming and closing my eyes. What I’m saying is not only is my courage and faith renewed, but my soul indeed is being fed tonight.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Rumor About One Race

It’s a funny thing, how some things you hear stay with you in that sixth sense sort of way, as if the information will serve some future purpose.

True Story. I was in elementary school when a teacher got to talking about three true races—Caucasian, Mongoloid, and Negroid, and how one day there would be One Race. For a placeholder I attended Philadelphia (PA) Public Schools, K-straight thru-12 (99.98% black student population) where there was always ‘that’ teacher who would put aside a textbook to impart ‘move to the edge of your seat’ information... something I later figured out would take “dynamic positioning” to find its originating source. I even think the teacher may have said we wouldn’t find this information written anywhere.

At any rate, I’m all kinds of fuzzy about how the original three races came to be, but recall 3rd grade hands going up in the air asking why this and how that and what about this, and then somebody saying, “unt un... my mother said...”

Naturally I was intr…

When Opinions Cross the Line

Two literary topographies brought this historical commentary together; a social media Headline asserting some books are irrelevant, and Stacey Dash’s memoir, ‘There Goes My Social Life’. (My other thoughts here).

I didn't pause long enough to so much as note the social media headline, but did pause after catching wind of Stacey Dash's outspoken stance on supporting American businessman and Republican politician, Mitt Romney. Stacey is an American Actress notable for her role in the film CluelessSIGH—I’ve never seen Clueless, but have seen this actress in other films... which was what inspired me to want to read her memoir. Being a Big Picture thinker, I couldn't make heads or tails out of the hoopla behind her outspoken political views.

My great-great grandfather, born in America in the mid 1800’s, was a Republican. Per my father, historically the American working class primarily voted Republican, though he, and then me, marveled about my great-great grandfather's r…

What Makes a Book Feel Good? ...A Top 10 List

When you it’s said... live and learn, you learn LOVE comes in stages. So far, I’ve come across three stages of love. Puppy Love. Hormonal Love. And the ultimate love. Unconditional Love.

Lo and behold albeit, after finally getting around to reading Roy Blount’s memoir, “Be Sweet” (a memoirist who has at least twenty some years on me), I got to reading him summarizing unconditional love as ‘just an expression’ ..."like any other two words." Now, because his memoir is largely satirical, and given the title, on top of knowing better to think I know more than my elders (haha), it was hard to tell whether to take the definition seriously or facetiously. Whichever the case, as of today I define unconditional love without conditions. Unlike puppy love, built largely on a giddy childish infatuation superficially marveling over things or people, or that hormonal love responding to the cyclones and ebbs moving our hormones in this invisible like cylinder, there are no ifs, ands…