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Confession, I Love Black Men.

Indeed, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience decent relationships with many good men... though not to be construed that I LOVE anyone, or anything else, any less. I’ve befriended a number of Sheros who have helped me when I couldn’t help myself, and in fact, relished working for some of the toughest women (of many hues and different backgrounds) in firms where I’ve been employed!

I only kicked off with that headline after reading ‘The Soul of a Man 2’, published by Elissa Gabrielle; written by a collection of black male American authors. (Other thoughts here). The moment I caught sight of the title I thought, ‘even if I can’t relate to anything in that book, I must buy a copy to support these black men reaching out.’

While I wasn’t sure what to expect from reading the book, an inkling told me at least one of the stories was going to rock me to the core. Funny though, given the next line I was about to write, but I ended up putting this post on pause to verify how many of my favorite books were in fact written by male authors. WHEW, wiping sweat off my brows it turns out I’ve enjoyed as many books written by male authors as female authors, despite so obviously not giving a lot of prior thought to the matter.

All to confess, I do not discriminate. Irrespective of the author’s gender, skin color, heritage, native origins, political affiliations, religious beliefs, even personal beliefs or any other social or biological demographics, the most engaging stories are those without filters, that get right to the point, straight up no chaser. While telling it like it is doesn’t indubitably translate into a fact, getting right on with it, without filters and fillers does allow realities to be easier detected and better appreciated. Besides, 'doing unto to others as I would want done to me, is good form.'

A pitch I’ve given myself, “Asserted truths cannot hurt me, if the assertion is genuinely meant to help me.” We must learn to be frank with those we care about. No more. No less. – RYCJ.

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For those who will desire to miss it, (my You Tube video sharing what books enhanced my mood this year), I took time to spell out the list.

In no particular order:

- Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson
- Pain Don’t Hurt by Mark ‘Fightshark’ Miller
- Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker
- Tha Doggfather by Snoop Dogg
- My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King
- My Mistake by Daniel Menaker
- When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
- I Choose to Stay by Salome Thomas-EL
- The Journey Home by Clifton Taulbert
- Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women, and Money by Kevin O'Leary

Thank you, Authors. I HIGHLY recommend reading from this list. I've read many phenomenal books this year, and these rose to the top. Every one of the memoirs, not all written in 2017, kick-started my mood, were humorous in spots, touched me to the core, and in my estimation... promises to grow a Smart, Engaged, Literate Society.

M E R R Y  🎄  C H R I S T M A S