Thursday, April 29, 2010

Arizona on my Mind

I am of the opinion that something’s are right and something’s are wrong. Then there are something’s that I’ve witnessed and something’s I know. As an African American, I can report that I was once Negro, Colored, or worst; so I know mean spirited inhumane laws. The draconian immigration law passed last week in Arizona, directed at a particular group of people, seems like the modern day version of “Separate but equal” or Jim Crow raising like a Phoenix for the “wing nuts", which brings me to Arizona.

In light of what we know, Arizona has passed and signed a law that directs the police to stop anyone under the guise of “reasonable suspicion” to verify that they are not in the state illegally. I guess the real question is how are the police supposed to decide whom they view as a "reasonable suspect" for being in the country illegally? Since the great majority of undocumented immigrants in Arizona are from Mexico, aggressive enforcement of the law would seem to require demanding identification from anybody who looks kind of Mexican. Or maybe just hassling those who are brown and poor. So the state of Arizona wants us to believe that this law is not ripe for abuse. We have been down this road before and know all too well its impact.

This law is appalling, in my opinion, and on so many levels. It stinks of racism; it’s arbitrary, oppressive, and frankly bad policy. It invites racial profiling because it compels police to search for undocumented immigrants based on an ill-defined "reasonable suspicion" of illegality. This means local police will use skin color, accent or limited proficiency in English as the basis for suspicion. There already are many cities in Arizona that have been widely and credibly accused of doing just this in hundreds of lawsuits. When you consider that the police lack any sure fire method for spotting illegal immigrants based on "reasonable suspicion," Arizona police will inevitably target the legal sort as well, in blatant violation of their civil liberties.

Now here comes the insanity. The law allows any citizen to sue local police for failing to enforce immigration law. This means police will be distracted and diverted from other priorities. It is compounded by the threat of fines of up to $5,000 per day for police agencies that fail to enforce the law. It also poisons police relations with immigrant communities. By fomenting the justified fear among immigrants that any contact with law enforcement agencies will lead to questions about their status. The law makes it increasingly unlikely that immigrants will not report crimes, cooperate as witnesses or provide tips to police. Not to mention is it preempts federal law. Federal law treats illegal immigration as a civil violation; Arizona law criminalizes it by using the legally dubious mechanism of equating the mere presence of undocumented immigrants with trespassing.

Now let’s revisit some recent history that speaks to overzealous police actions and we have seen the video’s of what happens. Let’s go back the infamous Rodney King beating, for example, we saw the video and they tried to convince us that we didn’t see what we saw. We must also remember that the cops involved were acquitted at the first trial. You know the “Blue Shield” - protect their own will also happen here. Then there was the young man in New Orleans who was shot in the back multiple times as he ran across a bridge when police said he was charging and shooting at them. Or the bachelor about to be married was murdered leaving a party in New York the day before his wedding.

More recently, there was a situation where a student at the University of Maryland was attached and beaten unmercifully by three officers, who falsified (lied) in the official charging documents. If not for a video surfacing their crime would not have been known. I think it is worth mentioning that this victim was “white”. In Prince George’s County Maryland, it is common knowledge that an interaction with that police force could likely be a death sentence, or a beating for sure, and there history proves this to be true. These are just a few examples to remember in light of this new law. Oh, does anyone remember Professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr., B.A., Ph.D. arrested for being in his own home. I don’t have enough paper to list the many occurrences.

Let me take you back to another act of unconsciousness concerning the history of this place in the desert. They were the last state to consider or honor the Martin Luther King Birthday, after it became a federal holiday. The state was boycotted and when the loss of revenue began to hurt, they reluctantly agreed to recognize it. Then there was the guy who ran for president, who was staunchly against the holiday and like then he supports this too. He calls himself a maverick, but said last week he is not a maverick, never called himself a maverick. Dude there is video. However, he proclaims to be a practitioner of “straight talk”. Could this be described as xenophobic or unprincipled?

It sounds like the people who are responsible for this law probably only had contact with those Hispanics who trim their lawns. This is what I know!!! The law requires police to question anyone they "reasonably suspect" of being an undocumented immigrant. It is a mandate for racial profiling on a massive scale. Legal immigrants will be required to carry papers proving that they have a right to be in the United States. Those without documentation can be charged with the crime of trespassing, jailed, or deported.

Don't forget, these were the same types of sanctions imposed upon “Negro” not very long ago. This could very well be what the comedic genius Richard Pryor meant when he famously said, “America got them some new Nigger’s”.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Matriarch of Civil Rights - Dorothy Irene Height

Dorothy Irene Height, (March 24, 1912 – April 20, 2010), the Matriarch of the civil rights movement passed away early Tuesday of natural causes in a Washington hospital. Dr. Height established a national reputation as a graceful insistent voice for civil rights and women's rights. She was regarded as the “Godmother of the Civil Rights Movement” and a tireless crusader for racial justice and gender equality spanned more than six decades.

Dr. Height was born in Richmond, Virginia. She moved with her family to Rankin, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh early in her life where she attended racially integrated schools. She was admitted to Barnard College in 1929, but upon her arrival she was denied entrance because the school had an unwritten policy of admitting only two black students. She pursued studies instead at New York University earning a degree in 1932 and a master's degree in educational psychology the following year.

Dr. Height served on the advisory council of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the National Advisory Council on Aging. Her awards included 36 honorary doctorates from colleges and universities, including Harvard and Princeton. In addition, Dr. Height was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and on her 92nd birthday, she received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest decoration Congress can bestow.

Dr. Height was among a coalition of African American leaders who pushed civil rights to the forefront of the American political stage after World War II. She was instrumental, and a key figure, in the struggles for school desegregation, voting rights, employment opportunities and public accommodations in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Dr Height was president of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years, relinquishing the title at the age of 95.

National Council of Negro Women is a four million member advocacy group consisting of 34 national and 250 community based organizations. It was founded in 1935 by educator Mary McLeod Bethune, who was one of Height's mentors. Dr. Height was a civil rights activist who participated in protests in Harlem during the 1930’s. In the 1940’s, she lobbied first lady Eleanor Roosevelt on behalf of civil rights causes and in the 1950’s she prodded President Dwight D. Eisenhower to move more aggressively on school desegregation issues.

President Obama issued an official statement White House that reads as follows: Dr. Height was "a hero to so many Americans… Dr. Height devoted her life to those struggling for equality . . . witnessing every march and milestone along the way… And even in the final weeks of her life -- a time when anyone else would have enjoyed their well-earned rest Dr. Height continued her fight to make our nation a more open and inclusive place for people of every race, gender, background and faith."

As a young woman, Dr. Height made money through jobs such as ironing entertainer Eddie Cantor's shirts and proofreading Marcus Garvey's newspaper, the Negro World. She went nightclubbing in Harlem with composer W.C. Handy. Dr Height began her professional career as a caseworker for the New York City welfare department. She got her start as a civil rights activist through the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Sr., pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and from the pastor's son, the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., who later represented Harlem in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the 1940’s, Dr. Height came to Washington as chief of the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA branch. She joined the staff of the national YWCA board in 1944 through 1975. She remained on that staff with a variety of responsibilities, including leadership training and interracial and ecumenical education. In 1965, she organized and became the director of the YWCA's Center for Racial Justice, and she held that position until retiring from the YWCA board in 1975.

Dr. Height became national president of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority in 1947holding that position until 1957 when she became the fourth president of the National Council of Negro Women. She was a visiting professor at the Delhi School of Social Work in India, and she directed studies around the world on issues involving human rights.

During the turmoil of the civil rights struggles in the 1960’s, Dr. Height helped orchestrate strategies with major civil rights leaders including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph, Whitney Young, James Farmer, Bayard Rustin and John Lewis, who later served as a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia. Congressman John Lewis said when Dr. Height announced her retirement as president of the National Council of Negro Women - "At every major effort for social progressive change, Dorothy Height has been there." She was also energetic in her efforts to overcome gender bias, and much of that work predated the women's rights movement.

Dr. Height was the most influential woman at the top levels of civil rights leadership, but she never drew the major media attention that conferred celebrity and instant recognition on some of the other civil rights leaders of her time. In August 1963, Dr. Height was on the platform with King when he delivered his "I have a dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Less than a month later, at King's request, she went to Birmingham, Ala. to minister to the families of four black girls who had died in a church bombing linked to the racial strife that had engulfed the city.

In 1995, Dr. Height was among the few women to speak at the Million Man March on the Mall, which was led by Louis Farrakhan, the chief minister of the Nation of Islam. "I am here because you are here," she declared. Two years later, at 85, she sat at the podium all day in the whipping wind and chill rain at the Million Woman March in Philadelphia.

She would often remark, "Stop worrying about whose name gets in the paper and start doing something about rats, and day care and low wages. . . . We must try to take our task more seriously and ourselves more lightly." She also famously said, "If the times aren't ripe, you have to ripen the times". It was important to dress well she said, "I came up at a time when young women wore hats, and they wore gloves. Too many people in my generation fought for the right for us to be dressed up and not put down."

"She was a dynamic woman with a resilient spirit, who was a role model for women and men of all faiths, races and perspectives. For her, it wasn't about the many years of her life, but what she did with them," said former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman. Dr. Height is a national treasure who lived life abundantly and for the abundance of others. She will be greatly missed, not only by those of us who knew her well, but by the countless beneficiaries of her enduring legacy.

In my novel “Just a Season”, I talked about a “Dash” that will be place on our final marker between the years of one's birth and death that will represent the whole of a person’s life. I said that to say, this tiny little dash on Dr. Height's marker will not adequately give enough credit for her outstanding life’s work. It should have an inscription that says - “Servant of God, Well Done."

Just a Season

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Mothership is Lost!!!

I opened the Washington Post newspaper this morning and on the front page I found an article by Staff Writer Chris Richards “The Mothership, lost in space”, adding that this is not just a story about a UFO or at least not just any UFO - but “The Mothership”. I am sure many of you, “Funk-a-teers”, are well aware of what I am talking about.

It is probably the most creative stage prop in the history of American music that belonged to funk legends Parliament-Funkadelic. The famed aluminum flying saucer launched in during the group’s heyday in the 70’s was about 20 feet in diameter and decked out with a fantastical display of dazzling lights.

It’s missing!!! Frankly, I was perplexed to see this story on the front page about where it was or that anyone was trying to find it, as if it was a real crime drama. Here are some of the facts: the Mothership was last spotted on stage in Detroit in 1981, belching dry ice fumes and flashing kaleidoscopic lights. Promoters brought it to the DC area “where it vanished in Prince George's County in 1982, rumors of its whereabouts have mutated into local lore. It burned in a fire. It was disassembled. It was stolen. Scrapped. Kidnapped. Thrown in the woods. Chained to a truck by a drug dealer and dragged to funk-knows-where. The band's most devoted followers say it flew off into space.” REALLY!!!

The reporter talked to people connected to the mystery, including George Clinton, front man for the group and the promoter, but all that was revealed was “it wasn't in Detroit. It was in a junkyard in Seat Pleasant and the promoter was the last person to see it because he threw the Mothership away, which Clinton thought that was pretty stupid". At this point in the story I began to wonder if maybe it’s time for the president to bring in the FBI, CIA, or maybe the military because this was beginning to sound like a national emergency.

Here is what was revealed: “It was the spring of 1982 and Parliament-Funkadelic frontman George Clinton and his bandmates were battling debt, drug addiction and each other. Brooks, who ran the group's Washington-based tour production company, says the only way he could pay the band's debts was to pawn its gear. With no place to store a spacecraft, he dumped the Mothership in a junkyard behind a Shell station ... But 28 years later, its final resting place remains a mystery.” Ok, I know you are making faces with puzzled looks or maybe a few laughs but this was on the front page of the Washington Post.

Here is the backdrop to the story: Throughout the 70’s, Clinton and his bandmates blurred the line between escapism and empowerment with a glut of albums that have been endlessly sampled, imitated and analyzed. Look at the decades of funk, rock, techno, go-go, Prince hits and jam bands that came in P-Funk's imaginative wake -- "influential" doesn't quite cut it. Maybe without Parliament-Funkadelic, Lady Gaga would not wear ridiculous outfits and hip-hop might not exist.

Onstage, the band was a living, breathing, panting comic book. Clinton in his stringy blond wigs, bassist Bootsy Collins in his star-shaped shades, Garry Shider in nothing but angel wings, combat boots and Pampers. "They were celebrating the intellectual breadth of the black experience and giving people a grand space to celebrate all that they had become," says California author and funk historian Rickey Vincent. "Sly Stone said, 'I Want to Take You Higher.' George Clinton said, 'Yeah, and I got the Mothership to take you there.' In a sense, he was doing what black folks had wanted to do for generations: Take themselves up."

Before the Mothership was built, it was a concept, says 68-year-old Clinton. Parliament released "Mothership Connection" in 1975, an album with a title track about hitchhiking to cosmic transcendence: "Swing down, sweet chariot. Stop and let me ride." Clinton started dreaming up a tour to match. After watching the Who's 1969 rock opera "Tommy," he asked himself: "How do you do a funk opera? What about [black people] in space?" The Mothership was assembled in Manhattan and made its first descent in New Orleans from the rafters of Municipal Auditorium on Oct. 27, 1976 and minds were blown.

Washingtonians greeted the Mothership with unparalleled fervor. The nation's capital had long been a stronghold for the band and in 1975, Parliament released the "Chocolate City" album, a supremely funky mash note that popularized the nickname Washington had earned for its majority-black population. Most people, actually nobody, had never seen anything like it. "Here's a guy coming out of a Mothership with a mink coat and platform shoes,… And a cane? And a fur hat? C'mon, man. Black folks been down so long. . . It was jubilation… The audience went crazy… the Mothership in all its glory.”

Going down with the ship. In the case of Parliament-Funkadelic, the ship went down with the band. "The volatility of the record industry at that time -- the disco crash, they called it -- made it really hard to subsidize that big touring group," says funk historian Vincent of the band's early-80’s collapse. "They ran out of juice and they ran out of money."

The band would later reform as the P-Funk All-Stars, and a second, less impressive Mothership would be built in the 90’s, but the group never eclipsed the highs of the late 70’s. Bernie Worrell rattles off the factors that dragged Parliament-Funkadelic down: "Discontent. Tired of all the unfairness. Being owed money. Lack of respect within the group. The management. Learning that money was stolen."

Some of Worrell's keyboards were sold to a young Trouble Funk, cementing P-Funk's role in go-go's creation myth. Too bad go-go didn't need a spaceship. Today, the group's feelings are mixed citing massive expenses racked up from touring with an extensive entourage, elaborate costumes and a gigantic metal spacecraft. "I was glad it was gone," he says. "With the Mothership came no money."

Thomas Stanley, an assistant professor at George Mason University claims that he's recently seen the wreckage of the Mothership -- touched it. Stanley is a true funk scholar and author of the book "George Clinton and P-Funk: An Oral History." He also penned articles for Uncut Funk, Mills's Parliament-Funkadelic fanzine. But he doesn't want to give up the location.

I find it much more satisfying to imagine this sacred artifact bound firmly in the bosom of the strong black communities that straddle the D.C. line. This was always the heart of P-Funk's base of support in Chocolate City," he writes. "It is very important, I think, that we not seek truth at expense of myth. Music and Myth are, after all, P-Funk's most enduring legacy." So is it really out there? Does it really matter? Perhaps there's no grand cosmic truth to be found in the wilds of Prince George's County. Just myth. But Stanley swears the Mothership is still out there -- rusted, rotted out and funkier than ever.

I found this article very interesting in that - for all the problems we face this was one of only six stories to make the front page – WOW!!! It was, however, an entertaining way to start the day. Maybe I would not be so sarcastic if there was a reward. Let me thank and give credit to the reporter, Chris Richards, because his article and detective work was the source of my writing.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Whistling Dixie – Same Old Tune!!!

I like to think of myself as a historical junky, not that I know all things about everything, but I do know most political issues have an agenda that contains a subliminal messages designed to alter reality. Thought Provoking Perspectives is a vehicle that provides me a forum to express a point of view and this issue is one that begs commentary. The new Conservative Republican Virginia Governor, Robert F. McDonnell, this week issued a proclamation proclaiming April as Confederate History Month. However, he excluded any mention of that “little thing” called slavery, which was the primary reason the war was fought.

As a result, an immediate a barrage of nationwide criticism came for the exclusion causing the Governor to modify the proclamation conceding that it was "a major omission” acknowledging the states complicated past. I must admit, my first reaction to the initial proclamation was, this was just another veiled attempt to rewrite history like what is being done in Texas where the Conservatives are rewriting text books about history to fit their agenda? I am not opposed to rewriting history but I am not a proponent of HIS-story, which is what this was designed to do.

McDonnell said he left out any reference to slavery in the original proclamation because he wanted to include issues he thought were most "significant" to Virginia. He also said the seven paragraph document was designed to promote tourism in the state because next year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. In the first paragraph of the proclamation it says "the people of Virginia" joined the Confederacy in a war "for independence” and "fought for their homes and communities and Commonwealth." The proclamation urged reflection on their "sacrifices" because it was too bad they were "ultimately overwhelmed" by the North's "insurmountable" resources.

How does one, anyone, interpret this statement or his decision to declare April Confederate History Month? Was he referring to the, nearly 50% of Virginia’s population at the time, who were owned and held in bondage as beasts of burden, raped, beaten, starved or taken away from their families and sold? Or maybe he though being a slave was an honorable duty. How could he not realized the insensitivity of this action would cause a firestorm as national media, and rightly so, to descend upon Richmond as Democrats and African Americans accusing the new governor of ignoring the state's role in slavery. After all it was the home of the Confederate Capital.

As the usual suspects were paraded out to voice their displeasure concerning the governor’s position he issued a mea culpa for the document's exclusion of slavery. "The proclamation issued by this Office designating April as Confederate History Month contained a major omission. The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed." He didn't quite say it explicitly but it sure sounded like the same old racist position of state’s rights. There is no other way to interpret it.

To that point: "There was a right side and a wrong side in the late war, which no sentiment ought to cause us to forget." -- Frederick Douglass, 1878.

I wondered; does he really believe his original position or was he furthering the conservative’s mission as to what Virginia's Republican Party stands for when it comes to the state's African American and other minority citizens. Was this a formal admission that effectively endorsed the South's cause in the Civil War with the suggesting that it will rise again? Nowhere did the original statement did it condemn or even acknowledge the fact that the South was fighting primarily to defend a society based on slavery, as the Confederacy's own leaders said at the time.

To Donnell’s credit, he did admits to the lack of any reference to slavery was a "major omission." He did amend the proclamation to say that "the institution of slavery led to this war, and was an evil and inhumane practice." It must be stated that he only modified the original proclamation under severe pressure from almost all quarters when he added a vital new paragraph clarifying his original proclamation for the Confederate History Month, which in reality was treason as a result of their succession.

It is crucial that we not, from my perspective, afford any admiration to the Confederacy with the explicit admission that it fought for a repugnant cause. Here's a historic parallel. I'd say that during Hitler’s rein the holocaust was the worst crime administered by an abhorrent government and one of the worst crimes known to man. In my opinion, the Confederacy ranks a few notches down from Nazism in the hierarchy of immoral regimes and dare I say crimes against humanity.

It's important to keep in mind that, for many Virginia conservatives, tea bagger, and wingnut today's struggles against or acceptance of a Black Man as President of the union they succeeded from is really a continuation of the efforts by Jefferson Davis and other secessionists. In a Washington Post interview the first lieutenant commander of the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which lobbied McDonnell to issue the proclamation said, "They were fighting for the same things that people in the 'tea party' are fighting for now."

The modern day Rebel also said, “he'd favor seceding again and tonight is not soon enough" -- because of high taxes, illegal immigration and energy legislation. He called today’s government as a "War of Northern Aggression". This is pretty far out particularly when he stated that the Confederacy and slavery was a "tired old argument" regardless of the historical facts. This is a pretty good indication that one would consider this as a group's on the political fringe with talk of secession.

I would just remind him of this vivid account provided by the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens in 1861. He said, the Confederate government's "foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural . . . condition." Quotes like that make me wonder whether it's ever justified to honor the Confederate "heritage” at all particularly as I know the KKK was born from this linage.

"Governor McDonnell's decision to designate April as Confederate History Month without condemning or even acknowledging, the pernicious stain of slavery or its role in the war disregards history. It is insensitive to the extraordinary efforts of Americans who died trying to eliminate slavery and bind the nation's wounds, and offends millions of Americans of all races in all parts of our nation” - not to mention all sane reasonable thinking human beings.

It is a matter of truth that a full accounting of the era must include a discussion of slavery and its lingering effects. So for all those who think this is now a post racial society and that racism no long exists – think again.

Introducing The “John T. Wills Chronicles – Black in America”
“The Unspoken Truth”

Book Trailer

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The John T. Wills Chronicles - “Black in America”

A few months ago, during Black History Month, I wrote a series of articles documenting the African American Diaspora covering the ghost of the greats, Jim Crow, segregation and my favorite the “Brownsville Series”. Many replied with comments suggesting that some of my work should be made into a documentary, particularly the “Brownsville Series”. Of course I was honored and grateful for the kind words. Little did I know that someone was admiring my work from afar. I would like to be able to report that an “Angel” reached out to me with an offer to lead me to the promise land rather it was “A Goddess” who called from Beverly Hills extending the hand of fate.

Her voice was clear and excited as she spoke, as if she was “Mosses” holding the tablets written in stone, saying simply “it is your time”. I paused briefly, wondering if my life was about to flash before my eyes. She went on to say that “your words of empowerment and knowledge need to be heard”. As she shared her vision, maybe more like inspiration, she said I have an idea and it’s called the “John T. Wills Chronicles – Black in America”. It was then that she introduced herself, “I am the Celebrity Chick publisher of Kimpire and the Pink Carpet Celebrity Magazines. Would you be interested? I said, slowly Y-E-S.

This angel, affectionately known as Kimberly J. Bowles, went on to say this series was inspired by my enormously popular and empowering blog “Thought Provoking Perspectives”. It speaks an Unspoken Truth defined by you from a biographical perspective that is empowering and therefore needs to be heard by the masses. She went on to say, “John you are an Author, A father, A professor, A Journalist by way of blogging, The Radio show Host of ”Black Empowered Men” and someone who watched the unraveling of the black community from the beginning”.

You make no excuses for your life or for other people’s actions. You simply offer explanations causing people to look at and understand the root cause of the asymptomatic behaviors helping people to understand that there is a conditioning in “certain” communities that are not excuses but explanations as to why these behaviors were never unlearned. The behaviors were past down from generation to generation. As a result, you empower by educating people though truth concerning issues that many blacks STILL face today from untreated wounds of America’s forefathers.

The Pink Carpet Celebrity Magazine will be having multiple political and controversial conversations with me as the magazines “Honoree” throughout the Month of April, to discuss “baffling” topics such as black on black crimes, unwed mothers, the decline in the black family, the shortage of black men, and offer solutions to how “Brown / Black / and Caramel people can come together as a whole to change things for future generations.

I want to personally thank Kimberly and her media empire for this wonderful opportunity. So stay tuned as Pink Carpet Celebrity Magazine present the John T. Wills Chronicles – Black in America “The Beginning”. You will be EMPOWERED!!!

You can read and hear the audio interviews at Pink Carpet Celebrity Magazine

My powerful thought provoking “Five Star” novel “Just a Season” can be purchased at my Official website:


". . . Thank you for your example of tenderness and discipline in what I know is a story of love, delicately shared with readers in a way that says, this life, though brief, is significant. So hold it in highest regard for "the dash" is our legacy to love ones, indeed to the world, which we are blessed to share, albeit, for Just a Season." Excellent! -- Sistah Joy, Poet, Cable TV Host

"Wills pulls you in from the very first page... Just a Season is a heart-wrenching story about growing up and believing in yourself. I highly recommend this book to young men in high school, trying to find themselves and feeling like they have nowhere to turn." -- Cheryl Hayes, APOOO Book Club

"This is the stuff movies are made of... not since Roots have I read anything that so succinctly chronicles an African American story." One Word phenomenal!!!
Cheryl Vauls, Library Services

"Not since The Color Purple have I read a book that evoked such emotions. John T. Wills possesses the ability to transport the reader directly into the life and struggles of his main characters story. This book actually touched my heart and inspired me to increase the equity in my "dash"! Excellent -- Tonja Covington

"JUST A SEASON is laced with thought-provoking commentary on the Vietnam War, the assassinations of the 1960s, the migration of crack cocaine into inner-city neighborhoods, and a myriad of other ills that have rocked America. This is a very good piece intertwined with several history lessons spanning many decades." -- Dawn Reeves, RAWSISTAZ Book Club

"Just a Season is a work of love, respect and honor... A book filled with the wonder of life, and the pain and growth encountered in living it." Outstanding! -- Ron Watson, Editor, New Book Reviews.Org