It's one of the most controversial books I've written so far. I'm always up for controversy and conversation about social issues that are going on in the world today. I mean I'm a poetry prose author who writes about social issues so it's only fitting that racial issues came to the forefront of my writing.
While I've written about a plethora of topics and some are related to racial issues (Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun series) tackles the racial tension between police officers and black men in America. With 'I Woke Up A Black Man,' I needed to bring forth what it's like to be a black man everyday in America and I had to hit the nail in the coffin.
It had to go beyond the Childish Gambino song and music video, "This Is America." It had to go beyond the Black Lives Matter movement that is still continuing today. It had to go beyond kneeling at football games and bringing forth the divide and conquer agendas that plague not only America but the world.
I took it to another level...if you look at the book cover carefully and read what it says, it'll give you an idea of the direction I went with this book. I went the route of a white man waking up a black man and having to go into the real world and experience what it's like for a while.
Was it easy to write this book? Yes and no. I'll explain in depth. Yes because I'm half black and I deal with plenty of issues on a daily basis. Just because it's not verbalized, I feel it from a silent perspective or should I say, "a facial reaction" standpoint. Silent racism exists in this world whether you believe it or not. Some are open about it, but there's some that won't say a word but it’s their aura you'll feel.
While not giving away the book, let's just say that some of these chapters in this book I've experienced personally and then there are chapters that friends and family have experienced themselves. We all deal with certain situations and circumstances that can either end fine or end deadly.
Now for the "no" aspect of whether it was easy to write this book. I say no because I didn't tackle every single thing, I just hit on a good amount of the normal things that you would see that's plastered on the news. But then I tackled some things that you don't see but may hear of.
I knew this wasn’t going to be easy to write because I had to make this book believable. Eric couldn’t just be a white man who wakes up a black man and experiences life as a black man. There’s a backstory to Eric’s life, his mindset, his upbringing and what makes him who he is today. There is a story line to Warren and who he is as a man in America and the perception of who he is as a black man in society and in the media.
The goal of this book is to truly enlighten people to a plethora of things that go on in America. Yes I hear the, "it's not that bad" or any other oblivious, insensitive comment you can think of, I won't spend time typing them in this blog because you'll be reading for an eternity.
While I can sit here and take all of the credit for writing this book, I can’t thank my good coworker Rob for reading a few chapters of this before I published it, getting his insight on his struggles as a black man in America. We definitely had some late night discussions and he really pushed me to my limit to write greatness and it made this book come out more.
I also have to thank my supervisor at my job who read some of my book an gave me some insight. We had some insightful conversations about what he deals with, what I've experienced and the battles we face. A lot of things are so relatable and it's not only scary but also very concerning.
What I will say is, if you're not ready to read about the racial issues and tension that plague not only this country but the world, then I strongly suggest you don’t read the book, it will make you uncomfortable.
You can find the paperback on Bookpatch and ebooks at B&N, Apple, Kobo and Scribd. The audiobook is available on Payhip.
Be good everyone and go accomplish your goals!
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