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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Give A Little - It Means A Lot

This past Christmas holiday, some co-workers and I managed to give a little.  As it turns out (and of course, we knew it would) our small gesture meant a lot to the young women at Alternative For Girls.  It warms the heart to help those less fortunate.  This thank-you letter makes me smile.  Simply knowing that your contributions help someone along the way brings a sense of joy and fills the spirit with hope for tomorrow. 

I challenge any and everyone reading this to consider adopting a family or organization for the holiday season in 2012.

Many Blessings,


Monday, December 26, 2011

Book Review: Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness by Toure'

Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness by Toure’

Review by Tavares S. Carney

“Rooted In, Not Restricted by Blackness”

I first learned about this book when a friend mentioned having picked it up to take along on her travels. Shortly after, I began seeing “tweets” from Goldie Taylor, a CNN correspondent, which further peaked interest. The tweets pertained to “eating watermelon at the Ritz.” I just had to learn for myself what the buzz was swarming around Toure’s Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness.

During the Civil Rights era, there was a commonly understood meaning and acceptance of what it meant to be “black.” Post-civil rights era, what does being black really mean? Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness delves into this thought-provoking subject matter; however, after reading it, I gather there is no definitive, unifying response to the question. Toure’s latest release embarks upon discovering possible answers and commencing the conversation of what it means to be black in America in today’s day and age. Obviously, being Black today is not the same as being Black in the 1950s and 1960s, even the early 1970s.

Toure’ moves that the definition of the Black culture is the “plasticity” amongst our individual belief systems, morals, values – in essence, you can’t put Black in a bottle, it is many, many things. One thing I carry with me personally after reading “Post-Blackness,” is that Blackness is a gamut of individual actions and reactions to the environment, society and the world in which we as Blacks navigate in present day. I am open to acceptance of the realization that Blackness is a constant change and can be dependent upon individuals themselves, timing, places, things and events.

Additionally, I am accepting of the fact, too, that everyone is not as accepting of this idea of “Post-Blackness.” For example, Toure’ discusses the “old perception” vs. the “new perception” of what it means to be black. Of course, times and circumstances are not the exact same as in the Civil Rights era. Many doors have been opened and many roads paved by those before us. Because of these very things, Black people today do not have the same issues; however, this is not to say there is no struggle. Present-day struggles of Black people are quite different. We know that racism still exists, just in more subtle ways. Let’s take climbing the corporate ladder for example - I so agree about the judgmental peers who critique a friend for “talking white.” Why does the friend have to be “talking white” as opposed to “speaking proper English” or “being professional?” I so felt this topic. Who is one group of Blacks to judge, or even another, on what Black is or is not. Blackness is many things.

Like the book says, “to maximize yourself as a human is to maximize your Blackness.”

I recommend this book to anyone interested in race relations, self-improvement or anyone who is developing relationships personally or professionally with people of color, including people of Caucasian descent. This is where the conversation begins.

Review by Tavares S. Carney

For more on the author, Toure', click here:

*No Compensation or Gift-In-Kind Received for this review.*

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Flight 777, One Layover – Judgment Day!

When my mother phoned me and asked my daughter and me if we would like to attend a gospel stage play with her this past Saturday, I had no idea the good time I was in for. OK, so I did – Admittedly, I am a fan of gospel stage plays. But let’s face it, however, everyone cannot write a good script. Furthermore, it takes all parts of a machine to make it go – so hats off to the actors and actresses as well.

The play, Saints On The Plane written by Tirrell McCoy, is very aptly titled. The premise is based upon individuals, ranging in age from elementary school-age to seniors, who have died unexpectedly and all wake in the boarding area of Flight 777. The layover is where they learn their destiny. Some of the topics delved upon are lust, greed, infidelity and suicide.

The entertaining factors for me were the injections of real-life scenarios with periodic injections of comedy, which by no means took away from the message the playwright attempts to convey. And what would a gospel stage play be without angelic melodies by the actors and actresses. I also enjoyed the praise dancer performances. The play makes one think and ponder the question, “Are you ready?”

What warmed my heart the most though, is Mr. McCoy’s very emotional thanks and praise to God, as well as his invitation to audience members to accept Jesus as their personal savior at the conclusion of the performance. To see so many people moved by this awesome work is very encouraging, especially in the world we live in today.

I recommend this play to people of all ages and from all walks of life. Everyone can relate.

For more information, e-mail or follow Tirrell McCoy on Twitter at @GoodMedEnt.

Review By: Tavares S. Carney

*No compensation/gift-in-kind was received for this review.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What's On Your TBR List?

As we approach the New Year, I'm searching for upcoming book releases to add to my To-Be-Read list.  I typically prefer Christian fiction, or novels with an overall theme of inspiration, motivation or encouragement.  As long as a lesson is learned, no matter what the trial, tribulation or circumstance, I will consider the read.   In the coming year, I plan to include books with social, cultural and economic themes. 

What's on your reading list for the first quarter of 2012?

Here a FEW titles on mine.