The Ways Of Black Folks: A Year in the Life of a People is about just that, people. These are ordinary stories by ordinary people. It’s just that simple. Some subjects were specifically chosen for the book, while other subjects were picked at random. Their stories, however positive and negative, are their own as individuals. No story is more important than another, however collectively, all of these stories tell us something about who we are as African Americans, Afro Brazilians, Afro Caribbean and West Indians in Britain. For fourteen months, I traveled nearly 150,000 miles searching for these stories. From the frigid cold of Toronto, the rainy streets of London, the smoggy skies of Sao Paolo, and the warm beaches of Ghana, black people had stories... In this revealing new book, Lawrence C. Ross, Jr., author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller The Divine Nine, profiles men and women from diverse walks of life, economic backgrounds, and cultures, with one thing in common. Here, such figures as New York Times bestselling author E. Lynn Harris; poet Nikki Giovanni; Dave Matthews Band musician Boyd Tinsley, and Member of British Parliament David Lammy are filed side-by-side with everyday brothers and sisters living through similar challenges and triumphs. They allow the author, and in turn the reader, to walk in their shoes...and the results are as unique and unforgettable as the black experience itself. Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud, shouted James Brown during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. But what connects black people today, in the 21st Century? Do any qualities transcend income and social status, being born in the United States, Britain, France, or the Caribbean, to create a universal black culture? In a fascinating look into the intimate lives of over a hundred black men and women, Lawrence C. Ross, Jr., the celebrated author of The Divine Nine: A History of African American Fraternities and Sororities in America, creates a fascinating, eye-opening portrait of black identity today. Each profile chronicles a day in the life of a diverse group of people who speak of the current black experience. Doormen, lawyers, students, artists, and even prisoners raise their voices along with those of the rich and famous, including celebrities such as Jeffrey Wright, Cornel West, Sonia Sanchez, and Nikki Giovanni. With different languages, different world views, and different standards of living, all of these people has their African heritage in common...but what else? What beliefs, values, and everyday activities unite a Jamaican Rastafarian, a British soccer star, and an American welfare mother? The answers discovered by author Lawrence Ross become a rich compendium of shared experience and astonishing revelations. Illustrated with forty photographs, The Ways Of Black Folks is a provocative overview of a people, one that will inspire dialogue and controversy while it celebrates a unity that neither circumstances nor geography can divide.
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