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Archive for 'African-American'



Michal Scott: Repeating History Isn’t Always Bad
Monday, November 5th, 2018

Philosopher George Santayana is quoted as saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” I believe it’s true that if we don’t remember the mistakes of the past we’ll repeat them, but I also believe there are things in the past that are not only worth remembering, but repeating as well. Case in point: Arthur A. Schomburg.

For instance, what can you tell of someone’s past from their name? My real name is Anna Taylor Sweringen. Except perhaps that I’m female, what would you guess about me? From the way Sweringen sounds (swur-in-gen) would think Dutch or German? My husband’s family name was originally van Swearingen, so if you guessed Dutch you were right. But without meeting me, would you have guessed by that name I’m African American Manhattan born and Brooklyn bred?

What about Arthur A. Schomburg? Male? Maybe with some Latinx ancestry? Some European? You’d be right on all counts. Arturo Alfonso Schomburg was born in 1874 in Canegros,Puerto Rico of African and German ancestry. I first learned of Mr. Schomburg when as a teen I visited the Schomburg on 135th Street off Lenox avenue in Harlem. I remember learning there that one of Schomburg’s teachers told him black people had not contributed anything to history, that black people had no past to remember. Schomburg spent his life dispelling that myth. In 1926, the Carnegie Corporation gave the New York Public Library $10,000 to purchase his collection of books, artwork and other materials that by then exceeded 10,000 items. Mr. Schomburg served as the curator of the collection until his death in 1938. In 1972, the library’s collection was moved from its 135th building to a brand new building next door on the corner of Lenox Avenue and became the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The Center is now a National Historic Landmark and houses over eleven million items.

I’m now 62, but I’ve never forgotten the wonder and pride I felt in my youth as I walked from one end to the other of the original 135th street building looking at the sculptures, the paintings and the books created by people of African ancestry. I’ve always loved history in general, but I’m sure the seeds of my love for African and African American history in particular can trace their roots back to those visits. The Center is sowing similar seeds in present generations through their Junior Scholars and Teen Curators programs. One current exhibits includes work by the teen curators, combined with work by anthropologist Melville Herskovits, who like Schomburg also argued against the myth that those of African ancestry had no past.

If remembering the past leads to revelation and reverence in ways that uplift and inspire the better angels of our nature, then that’s a past I don’t mind being doomed to repeat. If you ever visit New York, make the Schomburg a must-see stop. Until then, enjoy it online at https://www.nypl.org/locations/schomburg.

One Breath Away

Sentenced to hang for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. Never having been courted, cuddled or spooned, Mary now fears any kind of physical intimacy when arousal forces her to relive the asphyxiation of her hanging. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.

Wealthy freeborn-Black Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing a relationship with Mary was foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.

Then just as Eban begins to win Mary’s trust, an enemy from the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…

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God created something unique from Africa’s ebony clay when He made this one. Eban’s broad nose and high cheekbones belonged on a statue in a museum for all to enjoy. Legs long enough to cross the length of Texas in five strides brought Eban in her direction. An expensively tailored jacket hung off shoulders that could span the banks of the Rio Grande. A ruby glinted in his left earlobe and conspired with his shaved head to give him an air of mystery and menace.

Mary closed her eyes and again tried to resist his allure.

The devil often appears as an angel of light.

She sucked in a breath, opened her eyes, and gnawed her lip. This angel of light hadn’t stopped his approach. Clenching her thighs hadn’t stifled the desire swelling within her privates.

Hadn’t smothered the hope reviving in her heart.

Felicity slanted her head to the right. A coy smile gave the angle weight.

“And what brings you to our side of the room, stranger?” She repeated her breast-swelling move and grinned, peacock proud. “See something you like?”

Eban tapped a finger in salute at his brow. “More than like, miss.”

His smile turned up the heat in his gaze. Mary frowned, painfully aware the smell of her passion lingered in the air, despite the woolen barrier of her skirt.

He stepped forward so his hand-stitched boots stood toe-to-toe with Mary’s second-hand shoes. “Eban Thurman, at your service, Miss Hamilton. May I get you something to drink?”

At her service? The air congealed. Mary gasped, trying to suck in air too solid to inflate her lungs.

“No—no, thank you. I’m not thirsty.” Her stutter mimicked the tremor between her thighs. She clasped her hands and planted them hard against her lap.

“It’s a really hot night.” He turned his hand palm up in a silent plea. “Perhaps you’d find a waltz more cooling.” He eased his fingers into her clenched hands. “May I beg the honor of this dance?”

“Beg?”

“Yes, Miss Hamilton.” He tilted his head, slanting his smile to the right. “Beg.”

“You don’t strike me as the begging type, Mr. Thurman.”

“To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.” He tongue-swiped his full lips as if he’d just tasted something he wanted to taste again. “I know when it’s time to beg.”

Buy links:
Wild Rose Press: https://bit.ly/2Oog1Ny
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DmrZWC

About the Author

A native New Yorker, Michal Scott is the pen name of Anna Taylor Sweringen, an ordained United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church USA minister. Using the writings of the love mystics of Begijn for inspiration, Michal Scott writes Christian erotica and Christian erotic romance (i.e. erotica and erotic romance with a faith arc), hoping to build a bridge between the sacred and secular, spirituality and sexuality, erotica and Christ, her readers and a well-written spiritually-stimulating and erotically-arousing story. As an African American, she writes stories to give insight into the African American experience in the US. She has been writing romance seriously since joining Romance Writers of America in 2003 and had her first novel published in 2008. She writes inspirational romance as Anna Taylor and gothic romance as Anna M. Taylor. You can connect with Anna on Twitter @mscottauthor1 and learn more about her and her writing at her various websites: www.michalscott.webs.com, www.annamtaylor.webs.com and www.annataylor2678.webs.com.

Michal Scott: African-American History Exhumed
Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

A Reminder about CONTESTS!

These contests are still open!

  1. Contest Roundup! Reminder to Authors! And a Very SEXY Excerpt!
  2. Diana Cosby: International Food Bank Food Drive Challenge (Contest)

African-American History Exhumed

If asked to place African-American slavery and freedom geographically, most people automatically cite the South with the former and the North with the latter. But did you know slavery existed in the North as late as 1860? I’ve spent many enjoyable hours unearthing the hidden and not so hidden history of African slavery in the North. One of my best resources is The African Burial Ground National Monument (ABGNM) at 290 Broadway in lower Manhattan, which not only instructs but inspires.

ABGNM’s exhibits show the lives of northern slaves had much more in common with their southern counterparts than that of Boston slave poet Phillis Wheatley. The 24-foot high Ancestral Chamber—designed to resemble a ship’s hold—provides a place for remembrance and prayer. The walls of the Ancestral Libation Chamber’s Circle of the Diaspora surround you with symbols from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean as you spiral down a processional ramp that brings you “physically, psychologically and spiritually close to the ancestors and the original interment level.”

Rarely do we realize how we are witnesses to history in the making. I received a blast from my native New Yorker past as I read ABGNM’s timeline and the five scrapbooks that chronicle the community activism I witnessed on the news and read in the local papers that ultimately led to the creation of this national monument.

In 1989 before excavating to build a new federal building, records showed the proposed site was once an African burial ground. It is estimated that 15,000 free Africans and African slaves were buried in the “Negros Buriel Ground” from the 1690’s until 1794. Government researchers concluded that “after 200 years there are no remains, but recommended archeological testing.” Test excavations proved the assumption wrong. Untouched human remains protected by 25 feet of soil were discovered.

A whistle blower call to the office of then State Senator David Patterson revealed that the government was going to do a “backhoe” excavation, i.e., use a backhoe on the grounds decimating whatever was there. The caller asked could their office do anything to stop it. Community indignation and activism combined with political will resulted in the halting of excavation on the site. Meetings were held, enabling the community to give input on how to go forward. The result was the creation of the African Burial Ground National Monument in 1993. A multidisciplinary research team, African Burial Ground Project, recorded and measured the remains of 419 men, women and children. The project concluded in 1999 and the remains were re-interred on the site in handmade coffins from Ghana.

The African Burial Ground National Monument is an amazing amalgamation of videos, interactive exhibits and displays that show the effectiveness of community activism, strengthen my sense of African American pride and stimulate my historical romance writing imagination.

How about you? Where and when has a museum visit, a book or a conversation sent you on a journey of discovery?

Follow this link for more information on the landmark itself: https://www.nps.gov/afbg/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm.

*~*~*

Better To Marry Than To Burn

Freed Man seeking woman to partner in marriage for at least two years in the black township of Douglass, Texas. Must be willing and able to help establish a legacy. Marital relations as necessary. Love neither required nor sought.

Caesar King’s ad for a mail-order bride is an answer to Queen Esther Payne’s prayer. Her family expects her to adhere to society’s traditional conventions of submissive wife and mother, but Queen refuses. She is not the weaker sex and will not allow herself to be used, abused or turned into a baby-making machine under the sanctity of matrimony. Grateful that love is neither required nor sought, she accepts the ex-slave’s offer and heads West for marriage on her terms. Her education and breeding will see to that. However, once she meets Caesar, his unexpected allure and intriguing wit make it hard to keep love at bay. How can she hope to remain her own woman when victory may be synonymous with surrender?

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Excerpt

She locked her legs and glared with her hands on her hips. Defiance flashed in her eyes like a bronc not yet broken. “I haven’t agreed to your terms.”

“Yet.”

“I’ll be honest with you then. You’ll have to force me.”

He crossed his arms. “That’s not the way I want it.”

She crossed hers. “That’s the only way you’ll get it.” The impudence of a Black who had never known the overseer’s whip ripped through her tone.

He blinked into her glare. Would she really make him force her? He wanted her willing submission, but what if he couldn’t obtain it? The anticipation of the struggle, of her eventual surrender flipped his stomach.

And not in a bad way.

“I will, if you make me.” He grabbed her upper arms and pulled her tight against his chest. “Remember, I’m no gentleman.”

The soft but firm press of her breasts more than pleased. He flicked his tongue behind her ear, tasted lemon soap, perspiration and enticement.

She broke away, chest heaving. “You have to be one hell of a negotiator, Mr. King to get me to yield on that point.” She’d spoken rapidly, breathily. He heard capitulation in her panting, despite the insolence in her glare.

“I’m known in these parts as a mighty fair horse trader, Mrs—”

He froze, stunned by the sight of Queen squatting. She reached between her spread thighs and withdrew a dark rubber phallus. He gawped, amazed how the strange contraption mirrored his aching member in size and shape.

“Wha—what in the name of heaven are you doing with that?”

“Preparing me for our first time.”

He groaned, captured by thoughts of the dildo priming her for his use.

“You are full of surprises, Mrs. King.”

She walked to the washstand, doused the phallus with water and laved it with his own sage-scented soap. A vision of her doing the same to his cock knocked him back a step. Yes, dinner could definitely wait.

Suddenly, he stiffened. The meaning of her earlier words penetrated.

There are many ways to prevent your seed from taking root, Mr. King.

“Wait a minute.” He pointed a shaky finger at the dildo. “That wasn’t in your sex when I fingered you in the wagon. I’d have felt it.”

*~*~*

Buy links: https://amzn.to/2JyLKu1, https://bit.ly/2DHdb0x
Website: www.michalscott.webs.com
Twitter: @mscottauthor1

Michal Scott: Better To Marry Than To Burn
Friday, April 27th, 2018

Growing up I was a sucker for history. How people lived in ages past always intrigued me. Born in 1956, I grew up a child of the 60’s Black is Beautiful movement. Nacent pride in being Black — as we were calling ourselves then — intensified my curiosity. I hungered for anything and everything that could teach me African American history. That’s why TV shows touching on the hidden stories of African Americans stick with me to this day.

I remember Ossie Davis guest starring as an ex-slave caring for his son on Bonanza. Watching Yaphet Kotto on High Chaparral where I first learned about Buffalo Soldiers. I can still see the boxed paragraph with illustration in the pages of the old TV Guide highlighting the episode. Little did I know as I watched those shows and others like them I too would be using historical fact to create historical fiction.

My most recent novella, Better To Marry Than To Burn, was inspired by a true story.  African-American married women in Arizona mining towns advertised back East to bring marriageable women West. They convinced the unmarried miners to settle down instead of fighting over prostitutes all the time. What a great set up for an opposites-attract second-chance romance.

This wasn’t my first encounter with the concept of mail-order brides. I used to watch a show called Here Come The Brides about three brothers who owned a logging company in Seattle. Bobby Sherman, a teen idol back then played Jeremy the youngest Bolt brother who stuttered and David Soul, later of Starsky and Hutch fame, played Joshua the middle brother. Its premise was the Bolt brothers had loggers who were tired of having no women in their lives and were ready to quit. The solution was to send oldest brother Jason, played by Robert Brown, back East to Massachusetts and return with single women looking for husbands. Many would be available and willing thanks to the lack of men created by the Civil War. I remembered the show had done excellent episodes on finding mates for Jewish and Chinese characters. Somewhere in the dusty recesses of my memory I knew they had done an episode trying to match African Americans, too. Was the memory real or had I made it up? Lo and behold, Google showed my memory was still good.

“A Bride for Obie Brown” had aired in 1970. I was pleasantly surprised to rediscover who had played the roles of Obie and his intended bride Lucenda. They’re now household names although I wonder if some of you may not be old enough to know who they are. Here’s a hint: their equally famous partners were actress Tyne Daly and jazz musician Miles Davis. Can you name them?

Better To Marry Than To Burn

Erotic African-American historical romance
Release date: April 25, 2018

Learn more here: https://amzn.to/2JyLKu1, here: http://bit.ly/2DHdb0x and here: www.michalscott.webs.com.

Freed Man seeking woman to partner in marriage for at least two years in the black township of Douglass, Texas. Must be willing and able to help establish a legacy. Marital relations as necessary. Love neither required nor sought.

Caesar King’s ad for a mail-order bride is an answer to Queen Esther Payne’s prayer. Her family expects her to adhere to society’s traditional conventions of submissive wife and mother, but Queen refuses. She is not the weaker sex and will not allow herself to be used, abused or turned into a baby-making machine under the sanctity of matrimony. Grateful that love is neither required nor sought, she accepts the ex-slave’s offer and heads West for marriage on her terms. Her education and breeding will see to that. However, once she meets Caesar, his unexpected allure and intriguing wit makes it hard to keep love at bay. How can she hope to remain her own woman when victory may be synonymous with surrender?

Excerpt:

With thanks to God, he pushed past her flimsy drawers to the moist welcome of her center. Her 
vaginal walls gripped his fingers with surprising 
force. No amount of twisting or turning wrenched 
them free. God, to have that grip surrounding his 
shaft.

He pulled back and studied her face. Eyes still 
closed, a sly smile bowed her perfect lips. She 
enjoyed this battling as much as he.

“Was I too brutal for your enjoyment, Mrs. 
King?”

Her eyelids rose with the slow grace of sunrise. A gleam as sly as her smile shone in her gaze. “You call that brutal, Mr. King?”

She unclenched her lower muscles, allowing his fingers momentary retreat. With great care, she grasped his hand then slid his fingers between her folds once more.

“Holy Christ, woman. What—?”

The gentle rubbing robbed him of his ability to think.

“Jesus, have mercy,” he wheezed.

She slid his fingers from her wet sex into his mouth. He moaned, lost in her delectable taste.

Without taking her gaze from his face, she raked her gloved hand down his chest, across his belly, to his groin. Anticipation tensed his muscles in the wake of her touch. He watched mesmerized as, with a practiced ease, she unbuttoned his fly, pushed past the fabric, sought, found and stroked his cock. Her woolen gloves imparted a delicious friction he couldn’t oppose, even if he’d wanted. Delight enlivened every muscle in his body, including his jaded heart.

Jesus. This couldn’t be more than arousal. Could it?

Her fingers squeezed and his body arched upward on the yes swelling his spirit with joy. He threw back his head, mouth open, ready to shout as he neared the point of release.

Then she let him go.

He doubled over, slain by the abandonment. His lungs constricted, bereft of air. Reason deserted him too.

She stood and smoothed down her skirts with the hand that had massaged his shaft more deftly than he ever had. Reseated, she grabbed the reins and snapped the leather against his horse’s rump.

“Get up there.”

The wagon jostled Caesar from side to side. Still unable to straighten up, he looked into eyes gleaming with triumph. Her lips curved in a regal smirk.

“Was I too brutal for your enjoyment, Mr. King?”