Sample Pages: Struggle Continues - Survival

Second Edition: Survival,  for youths aged 11 -  adulthood and families.
(Click book cover for sample pages).

 This book is all about families. Five good friends, Rashida, Mani, Khari, Jojo and Javier return in Survival to reflect on experiences that have had a tremendous impact on their lives and their families. This book allows the reader to take a peek into the lives of African American families. You will see the strengths, the struggle, the plight and the challenges of these families from several different perspectives. And STILL they SURVIVE. Read on and. find out their secret. I'll give you a hint: LOVE, FAITH, TRUST WILL POWER, RESPECT, DETERMINATION.

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Please Don't Go
(My Final Thoughts Before Big Mama Went Away)

My name is Khari Nelson and I want to tell you about Big Mama. Big Mama was born May 27, 1904. If you knew her, you loved her. Her mere presence made the sun light up in the sky during a cloudy, gloomy, bleak and rainy day. She had seen some really hard times in her life and she had survived them all. She would always tell me she survived by the grace of God.

Big Mama was my great grandmother. She was one of the first faces that greeted me when I came into this world.
 A child needs to know that he belongs, needs to know where his or her place is, needs to know somebody cares." Today they call it unconditional love. Big Mama provided me with all of that and more.

Every few weeks my natural mother would come by and eat, clean herself up, play with me for awhile and then leave again. She would get the same unconditional love from Big Mama that I got. Since she only came every couple of weeks, Big Mama would have a long, long lecture for her. When she walked in the door she'd tell her how her child needed her, how God and her mother (my grandmother who had died before I was of age to remember her) would be very sad to see her taken in by the devil's medicine. As I got older I was able to interpret that to mean that both God and my grandmother would be disappointed to know that she was on drugs and neglecting me.

 .... (continued in book).

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Wasted Dreams, Altered Lives

"Pop, What's wrong? What happened? Why are you sitting there looking like that?"

I had never seen my father look like he was in so much pain before. He couldn't even speak

to me. He just sat in the living room with his hands on his head staring out of the window. When I walked up to him and looked in his face, I saw a tear, rolling down his cheek. I touched his shoulder and asked, "Pop, what's wrong?" Pop did not respond.

You have to understand, my Pop has always been a man who spoke his mind. He is very opinionated. Always talking, smiling, laughing and joking around with me and all my friends. He is the type of person everyone enjoys being around. A man with a good attitude and not afraid to say when he was wrong. A family man with a sense of pride. He is a hard worker. He has been working at the Ford Plant since he was 19 years old. He is one of my biggest role models.

How could the man I'm describing, who I've never heard seriously raise his voice in anger be sitting here broken to the point where he is speechless?

 ..... (continued in book).

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