June 2001 Issue

Vol. 1 No. 2

Guest Columnist: Kimberley L. Wilson

Article by Lee E. Meadows 

Article by Cathi A. Wong

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From the Publisher/Editor 
Wanda Elayne Moorman


This month's edition of LitLine provides articles and information from a few of the literary community's newest writers.  It is a monthly newsletter designed to empower, enlighten, educate and showcase literary talent from a myriad of authors and topics.

My special thanks goes out to Reverend Cornelius R. Wheeler, Lisa R. Cross and Adam Wilson, writing under the pseudonym Clayton Powell, the three returning columnists.  I appreciate your continued contributions and look forward to your future involvement.

Thanks to my guest columnists, Michelle McGriff in the May issue and Lee Meadows, Kimberley Lindsay Wilson and Cathi Wong, in this issue.  Thanks also to those who have expressed an interest in submitting future material.

LitLine will only be as successful as the readers make it.  Thanks to you all, and like my motto says, "It is the readers who make authors successful!

How to Raise A Thug
Kimberley Wilson

"My baby is a good boy! He didn't do nothing wrong!" 

The woman who spoke these words sat, crying in a rocking chair on her porch. Her 18-year-old son was in jail awaiting trial for a very serious crime. She was a close friend of my mother's and had known me all my life. My mother had come to comfort this poor woman and I tagged along. In an effort to calm her shattered nerves Mamma spoke soothing words and coaxed her into going inside and lying down. 

I said nothing. I couldn't. I've known her son since the day he was born and I was both sure that he was guilty and disgusted at his crime. 

Later, the boy was convicted and went to prison. About five years into his sentence his mother died and he was allowed to attend the funeral. He wore a nice blue suit accessorized with handcuffs, shackles and two matching US marshals on either side of him. 

Most of the folks at the funeral shook their heads and complained that it wasn't necessary for the officers to bring him into the church that way. I said nothing. All I could think-and I know this will sound unkind--- was that his appearance was a fitting testimony to the way he'd been raised.

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Dead Meat
Rev. Cornelius R. Wheeler
Co-Pastor, Vermont Avenue Baptist Church
Washington, DC

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”  (Romans 12:1)

The Apostle Paul, in a way like no other could, urges us, in view of God’s mercy, to offer ourselves as sacrifices to God as our act of worship.  I would guess that this verse is not for every body!  Those of you who have no awareness, no spiritual appreciation for what God has done for them are excused.  As well, if you possess no feel for the power of order, logic and discipline God brings to your life, then you also may be excused.  And I will go so far to excuse those of you who just don’t care.  But for the rest of us, God calls on us to participate in the ancient ritual of offering flesh and blood as a “substitute payment” for our sin.  The best and most concise explanation I can give of the requirements of “sacrifice” is that it has three elements; consecration (setting apart), expiation (covering of sin) and propitiation (satisfaction of divine anger).  For ages, ancient people would sacrifice the first and the best and the purest to appease and placate their gods.   More...

The Influence of Contemporary Protagonists of Color Within the Mystery/Fiction Genre
Lee E. Meadows

The 1980’s and 1990’s have been acknowledged as a Third Renaissance period in the growth and distribution of fictional novels written by, plotted around and primarily marketed toward African American readers. As much as Terri McMillan’s much heralded ‘Waiting To Exhale’ launched an explosion of contemporary romance spin-off’s, less recognized, but equally as important is the pivotal role Walter Mosley’s ‘Devil In a Blue Dress’ did to build a foundation in which an impressive list of African American authors have broadened the landscape of the mystery genre and made significant contributions to its growth among African-American readers.

The sporadic, but critical history of African American writing in the mystery genre has its roots in the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Art Movement and the Third Renaissance.  The windows of opportunity for African American writers during these periods seem to open and close as quickly as the movements they supported. The numerous voices of anger, regret, love, outrage and protest found a welcome audience within the African American community, but very little push from mainstream publishers. Though anger and romance were dominant literary themes, the few voices in mystery went relatively unnoticed among the reading public, though the writers maintained a strong commitment to clearly Afrocentric themes.   More...


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