The Grace I Would Offer Donald Trump

I have been giving serious thought to something the brilliant writer and political activist Victoria Christopher Murray said to me after a comment I made following the death of former President George H W Bush. She had only positive things to say about the late President while I felt the need to set the record straight about Willie Horton, The Southern Strategy, and parts of the Bush legacy nobody was talking about. She said, “ I have grace because I pray that grace will be given to me. At the time of my death, I pray that I’m not judged by the worst thing I’ve ever done. Not rewriting history, just handing out what I pray will be handed out to me. At the time of a person’s death, I can ask that they Rest In Peace. It’s God’s judgment now, not mine.”

How was I supposed to respond to that? Nothing I could say even sounded good to me. We both agreed it would be much harder to show grace to the current occupant of the White House once he reaches his inevitable demise, as must we all. I began to wonder what would I say if called upon to eulogize Donald J Trump, focusing on the good he has done without outright lying. Slowly the words began to come, with thanks to the late Richard Pryor for the beginning.

“We are gathered here today on this sorrowful occasion to say goodbye to the dearly departed. He was dearly and he has departed. Thus, that’s why we call him the dearly departed. In other words, he’s dead.

Donald Trump in his own way has been a strong advocate for literacy, demonstrating that being well-read is essential, with people failing to do so at their own peril. Trump made clear that honesty is a virtue, he set an example for us all that character and reputation matter.

Donald Trump united people. He brought together diverse factions like Muslims, the LGBT community, black people and Hispanics, and women. In fact, much of the world has come together as a result of the policies of Donald Trump. ‘Some people’ think he’d have made an excellent recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Donald has no problem reaching out to people others have shunned, skinheads, Neo-Nazi’s, white supremacists… are they not American’s too?

Most of all, Donald Trump was a family man. He instilled in them the same values that got him to the White House. Not one of them (so far) has been convicted of perjury, fraud, money laundering, or obstruction of justice, despite all the rumors.”

I still have some work to do to exhibit the grace Victoria challenged me to show. I’m still a work in progress.

What’s Everybody Reading?

These days there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism into literature to ignore the real world. I made an inquiry on my Facebook page asking what people were reading and was amazed at the response. I picked up several suggestions for my reading list and have already read; “Wrapped In Rainbows The Life of Zora Neale Hurston” by Valerie Boyd and “Down The River Under The Sea” by Walter Mosley as a result and have started “Barracoon” by Zora Neale Hurston. These were all a change of pace from my normal reading and I’m glad others lead me to these.

If you’re reading something fascinating or just finished a book you want to share? Make a comment and let the rest of us know what’s on your reading list? Be sure to include those guilty pleasures, we won’t judge! Try not to anyway.

AAMBC Literary Awards Nominee: Glory Edim

The full title describing Glory Edim nominations would read something like; AAMBC Literary Awards Nominee for, “Literary Activist of the Year” and “Book Club of the Year.” The Awards are being held June 7–10, 2018 in Atlanta, GA.

In August, 2015, Glory started a book club to connect with like-minded women in Brooklyn, beginning with an analysis of Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Between The World And Me.” Last year, I wrote a story about Glory and her book club. “Well Read Black Girl,” (WRBG) which then had over 20,000 followers.

Ten months later, WRBG has over 50,000 members and is growing exponentially. The club has an International presence, yet also has monthly meetings and literary events where she hosts black female authors from across the diaspora. Guests have included authors; Naomi Jackson, Yaa Gyasi, Margo Jefferson, Angela Flournoy and Jacqueline Woodson. LaShonda Barnett even invited the group to her home.

On April 20th Glory will receive the, 2017 Innovator of the Year Award from the Los Angeles Times. Carolyn Kellogg, Times Books editor said, “We are delighted that our Innovator’s Award will go to Glory Edim, founder of Well-Read Black Girl. Going from a hashtag to a cultural force, Well-Read Black Girl created a vital new space for literary discussion and engagement.”

In addition to providing a forum for her members, WRBG provides resources to aspiring authors. Every meeting has what Edim calls, “the resource share,” where “we’re talking about things that are happening in the community, or we have announcements about workshops or residencies … or if there’s a conference happening … we’re talking about what everyone’s needs are, what’s happening in the literary space.” Last September she hosted the WRBG Writers Conference and Festival, putting authors in the same room with publishers and literary agents.

As if all this weren’t enough, Glory is currently editing her own book, “Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves.” The AAMBC Journal will provide information about its release. WRBG produces a newsletter, and hosts live Twitter chats. Glory is partnering with “Raising Mothers” to bring monthly reading suggestions for both parent and child. Brooklyn Magazine once called Glory, “The Future of Reading.” They may have underestimated her. Glory Edim, AAMBC Literary Awards nominee for “Literary Activist of the Year,” and, “Book Club of the Year.”

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