The “Angry” Man Holding The Gun

The world’s fear of the angry Black man has been replaced by the fear of a man whose anger is even more dangerous because, instead of being rooted in oppression and hardship, this man’s anger is an outward symptom of the prejudice and fear festering inside him.

hand holding pistol


What I Hear Them Saying


Look at him.

Young, black, and going nowhere.

Stop… and really look at him.

He thinks that he is invisible, that nobody really sees him.

But look again.

There is an angry man inside of him, and maybe the angry man is to blame for the violence that makes society see him as a menace instead of a man.

If you look, really look, you’ll see that his anger is inherent. He began life as the son of an angry, broken black man or the son of a black man who was missing from his life. Poverty and hopelessness made him angrier. And then racism and discrimination turned anger into rage.

Now, look at him.

Who do you see? What do you see?

Do you see him? Do you see the violence, the guns, and the bloodshed? Or could it be that in your eyes, black males and violence are synonymous – one and the same?

He sees himself through your eyes. So, the answers to those questions – who and what you see – have defined who he is and how he sees himself.

He knows who he is. He is a son. A brother. A friend. He is uniquely different. A promise yet to be fulfilled. But, that is not who he sees.

He knows the reality of life for young, black men like him is incarceration and early death, so he sees himself the way you see him – as a statistic.

He knows that murder is the number one cause of death for young black men between the ages of 15 and 34. In fact, young, black males are ten times more likely to die by homicide than white males in the same age group.

He knows that nearly 40 percent of all African Americans who died between the ages of 15 and 34 were victims of homicide, which makes him wonder how society would view this statistic if 40 percent of all white Americans who died between the ages of 15 and 34 were murdered.

He knows that one in three black men can expect to go to prison in his lifetime and that African-Americans are incarcerated at a rate six times higher than white Americans. He knows the statistics and what they mean. Young, black men are targets.

He has not learned to see himself as someone with a future. He has not learned to dream. Nor live.

Look at him.

Who do you see now?

There is an angry man inside him.

Look at him.

This young, black man wants to beat the statistics. He wants to live. So, he’s searching for a way to calm the angry man inside him – searching for a way to get rid of the inherent anger and the anger borne from years of living in a world that does not see him.

But, because he lives in a society where young, black men are targets, he’s always ready. Strapped and waiting for another angry man to ignite the gunfire.

Who Would You Choose?

The Pages We Forget coverOne man’s touch ruined her life. The other’s touch saved her.

In this heartfelt, emotional drama, singer-songwriter June is trying to find the answers to love. Will she end up with the man in so many of her songs—the one who broke her heart—or with the musician who brought her to fame?

It’s been ten years since June’s first love, Keith, walked out of her life without saying goodbye. Ten years, two months, and sixteen days to be exact—since the night he first made love to her, then tiptoed out of the room while she lay in bed pretending to be asleep. June’s life was over after that night, but she didn’t stop living. Instead, she found a reason to live in her newborn son, and a reason to love again in Alex, an aspiring musician.

With Alex, she finds fame, fortune, and contentment. But now, her enviable life as one of music’s brightest and most beloved stars is about to change in a way she never expected. Before her last song ends, June will come face-to-face with the horrible truth about that night ten years ago. And who will she choose: the man whose touch ruined her life, or the man whose unconditional love saved her?

A “USA Today /  Happy Ever After Must-Read Romance” – Dec. 2014

What’s Wrong With My Children Calling Me Alexis?


I don’t know who to blame.

I could blame my oldest first cousin, Gloria, since she was the first one to call our grandparents “Momma” and “Daddy” and her parents Ann and Charles.

I could blame my grandparents for not relinquishing the titles “Momma” and “Daddy” when their grown children became parents.

And I could blame my mother and my uncles Charles and Archie for not insisting that we call them by their proper titles.

I could lay the blame on all of these folks, but until the family was all gathered outside under a tent watching boxing one Saturday night, I never knew there was anything to blame them for.

We were watching the Floyd Mayweather boxing match when my cousin Tonja’s daughter turned and asked, “Antmar, do you think there’s something wrong with my children calling me Alexis?”

Before I could answer, Alexis’ sister, Natasia, chimed in. “You couldn’t pay one of my children to call me by my name.”

TaSonia, their cousin, nodded in agreement.

“Well, I don’t see anything wrong with it,” Alexis countered. “Even if they call me Alexis, they know I’m their mother.” Then she turned and tried to get Tonja’s attention by calling out, “Ma.”

Until that moment, I’d never noticed that all of my cousins’ children call them Momma or Daddy. None of them refer to their parents by name.

My cousin Sonja, Tasonia’s mother, eyed me as I pondered Alexis’ question. As usual, she was ready to pounce on my response if it wasn’t what she thought I should say. So I knew I had to choose my words carefully. Before I could figure out how to answer this question in a way that would please everyone, Alexis inquired, “Didn’t all of y’all call Grandma Doris ‘Momma’ and your mommas Ann and Lois?”

She had a point.

My brothers and I called our grandmother “Momma” and our mother “Lois.” My Uncle Charles’ children called our grandmother “Momma” and called their mother “Ann.” My Uncle Archie’s children did the same. They called our grandmother “Momma” and their mother “Boot.” And, to all us, “Daddy” was our grandfather.

So I agreed with Alexis.

I also agreed that even though we called our grandparents “Momma” and “Daddy,” we all knew who our parents were. Our parents gave up the title in My brothers and I lived with my mother and grandparents, but my cousins lived with their parents.

When we were growing up, a lot of my friends used to ask why I called my mother Lois. I knew what they meant, but I usually responded, “That’s her name.” I’m guessing the real reason we called our parents by their names and our grandparents “Momma” and “Daddy” was because we were copying our uncles who were still teens and our parents.

I thought this would answer Alexis’ question, but it didn’t.

“But is something wrong with children calling their parents by their name if the parent doesn’t mind?” she asked again.

I want to agree with Alexis because I’ve called my mother “Lois” and my father “Tyrone” my entire life, and I think I turned out okay. But judging by the response of my cousins, who also did this, I think I may have missed out on something by not being a parent like them.

So I’m turning this one over to you.

What do you think?

Life on the Half Shell – Real Life TV


Apalachicola’s Oyster Men

Life is lived on the half shell around Apalachicola Bay.
Life is raw. Fresh. Distinctive here.
There’s plenty of sunshine, salty air, and natural beauty in this idyllic coastal town on Florida’s Panhandle.
The people here work hard. They play hard. And then work even harder.

Their lives are tied to the shallow waters of Apalachicola Bay, and in Apalachicola Bay oysters rule.
Oysters are big business here. Apalachicola oysters account for more than 90 percent of Florida’s harvest and 10 percent of the nationwide harvest of oysters each year.
At the heart of this industry are the men and women who work tirelessly tonging for wild oysters in the bay. Here, on Apalachicola Bay’s working waterfront, wild oysters are still harvested the old-fashioned way – using tongs that look like giant scissors.
To make a decent living tonging oysters from the Bay, these oyster men have to be tougher than tough.
They have to brave the elements – the brutal Florida sun and sudden, violent storms. Other creatures in the Bay can cause havoc too. If the elements and other marine life don’t knock them off of their boats, then the River Keepers or enforcement agents who regulate the Bay and oystering just might. If the oyster men get past those hurdles, it’s time for them to put on their salesman’s cap and find a Buyer who can turn their harvest into cash.
Life really is lived on the half shell around Apalachicola Bay. It’s raw. It’s fresh. And it’s distinctive. But no one ever said life here was easy.

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