Music Monday: Black Velvet – Alannah Myles

musicmonday

Music Monday is a meme that was created by Drew @The Tattooed Book Geek. All you have to do is pick a favorite song or video and share it on Mondays.

I’ve thought about taking part in this meme for ages now, but always forgot to post when Monday rolled around. That all changes today… I finally remembered!

Lately, I’ve been going back and listening to some of the music I loved when I was a teenager, so my contributions to Music Monday are mostly going to be old songs I loved back in the day.

Today I’m sharing Black Velvet by Alannah Miles.

 

Lyrics:
Mississippi in the middle of a dry spell
Jimmy Rogers on the Victrola up high
Mama’s dancin’ with baby on her shoulder
The sun is settin’ like molasses in the sky
The boy could sing, knew how to move, everything
Always wanting more, he’d leave you longing for
Black velvet and that little boy’s smile
Black velvet with that slow southern style
A new religion that’ll bring you to your knees
Black velvet if you please
Up in Memphis the music’s like a heatwave
White lightning, bound to drive you wild
Mama’s baby’s in the heart of every school girl
“Love me tender” leaves ’em cryin’ in the aisle
The way he moved, it was a sin, so sweet and true
Always wanting more, he’d leave you longing for
Black velvet and that little boy’s smile
Black velvet with that slow southern style
A new religion that’ll bring you to your knees
Black velvet if you please
Every word of every song that he sang was for you
In a flash he was gone, it happened so soon, what could
You do?
Black velvet and that little boy’s smile
Black velvet with that slow southern style
A new religion that’ll bring you to your knees
Black velvet if you please
Black velvet and that little boy’s smile
Black velvet with that slow southern style
A new religion that’ll bring you to your knees
Black velvet if you please
If you please, if you please, if you please
Songwriters: Christopher Ward / David Tyson

Alannah Miles (Released: 1989)

Album: Alannah Myles
Released: 1989
Genre: Rock
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When They Call You a Terrorist: A #BlackLivesMatter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & asha bandele #Review @OsopePatrisse @ashabandele @StMartinsPress

When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir cover

When I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. Like so many others, I have often watched the news in horror when yet another African-American man or woman (or worse, a child) has been killed without provocation, when they were doing nothing wrong. It was horrible enough when the killer was just a regular citizen, but the horror I felt increased ten-fold when their deaths came at the hands of police officers—someone who is meant to serve and protect all of us, regardless of race. (I guess I’m a bit naive, because I always expect justice to be served, punishment meted out for the guilty party—and I’m stunned when it doesn’t happen.)

I remember suddenly hearing “Black Lives Matter” being talked about on the news, seeing the hashtag on social media, and—almost as quickly—seeing negative opinions about it on Facebook. I wanted to know what Black Lives Matter was about, and—rather than take some random naysayer’s opinion as fact—I looked it up. Their mission statement begins:

The Black Lives Matter Global Network is a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission is to build local power and to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.

The entirety of the mission statement can be read on the Black Lives Matter website.

I won’t pretend to have a deep understanding of what African-American’s daily lives are like when it comes to racism and all that it encompasses. I don’t, and as a white woman,  I can’t—but I am aware of it. And while I will never understand how people can feel that way about someone of a different race, I do want to understand how it impacts the lives of the people targeted by that hatred. I want to understand the anger, the fear, that they feel as a result of being treated in unacceptable—and often terrible—ways.

When They Call You a Terrorist is more than just the story of how Black Lives Matter began. It tells the story of Patrisse Khan-Cullors, sharing significant events that happened throughout her childhood—either to herself or a loved one—that shaped her into the community organizer and social activist she would become.  There are many things she shares about her life, but one part that left me feeling especially heartbroken and outraged was reading about how her mentally ill brother, Monte, was abused while in jail. I won’t go into the details in this review, but suffice to say it’s something I doubt I’ll ever be able to forget.

As I always do when reading a book for review, I wondered what words I would use to describe the book. All the way through, I kept coming back to three words:

Raw.

Emotional.

Powerful.

You can’t help but feel the undercurrents of anger and pain as you read this book. There are many passages where I had to take a moment, stop reading, and reflect on what I’d just read. I wanted to deeply consider the the events that were described. How might I have felt, if the police came to my door—without a warrant, without a reason—and made me stand in my yard, with multiple guns pointed at me and my loved ones, while they spent three or four hours searching my house? Afraid to so much as gesture with my hand as I spoke, for fear they might shoot me? How might I feel, if that happened to me, with a child present who was treated with the same cold disregard as I?

I would feel terrorized. I would feel that they didn’t think my life mattered.

The rallying cry of “Black Lives Matter” will not go down in history as words spoken by terrorists, but rather words spoken by a people who have been made to feel that their lives don’t matter at all—who had the courage to do something about it.

The year has barely begun, but I have a feeling When They Call You a Terrorist will be one of the most important books published in 2018.

If you read only one nonfiction book this year, I urge you to read this book, particularly if you don’t understand what the Black Lives Matter movement is all about. It will open your eyes to a lot of things that—like me—you probably didn’t know about.

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of St. Martin’s Press.

add to goodreads

Authors: Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele

Title: When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir

Genre: Memoir, Social Activism, Social Justice

Published: January 16th, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

book worth reading

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

About the Book

The emotional and powerful story of one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter and how the movement was born.

From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors’ story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.

About the Authors

PATRISSE KHAN-CULLORS is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, CA. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter, she is also a performance artist, Fulbright scholar, popular public speaker, and an NAACP History Maker.

ASHA BANDELE is an award-winning author and journalist. A former features editor for Essence magazine, asha is the author of two collections of poems, the award-winning memoir The Prisoner’s Wife and its follow-up Something Like Beautiful, and the novel Daughter. She lives in Brooklyn with her daughter.

Bookblogger Problems: Procrastinating Writing Reviews

I’ve been book blogging a little over two years now. Long enough to know that putting off writing reviews until later is a bad idea—and yet, I find myself doing it all the time. If I don’t immediately write my review, I’ll put the ‘bones’ of it together, save it as a draft, and move on to the next book… or books, even.

Well, I’ve “latered” them enough that I’ve managed to rack up sixteen unwritten reviews. Sixteen, y’all!

Untitled

Now I have a review mountain to go along with my TBR mountain. Greaaaaat.

Obviously, I need to get more disciplined about my review writing. I’d save myself a lot of time if I wrote it up after I’ve finished reading. If I did that, I’d spend an hour or so writing it up. But when I wait? It usually takes double the amount of time, because I’m constantly having to go back to the book to refresh my memory on names, or about a crucial event that takes place in the book. I can easily recall the overall storyline, but it’s those specific details that tend to get fuzzy after a while.

So why do I do it? Why don’t I start writing my reviews immediately afterwards, when everything about the book is still crystal-clear in my mind? Why do I put it off, making extra work for myself in having to look up specific details that have gone hazy in my memory?

As the scorpion told the frog, I suppose it’s simply my nature. I’ve always had the really bad habit of putting things off until later. Whether it’s important, trivial, or somewhere in-between… I’m bound to put off something until “later” every day.

procrastinate

But I’ve got to stop procrastinating when it comes to my reviews. Receiving advance copies of books—whether it’s a physical or digital copy—is a privilege that I don’t treat lightly. As an enthusiastic, life-long reader it means a lot to me to be able to help promote books and the authors who write them. Being a book blogger has inspired me to read out of my comfort zone. It’s helped me to become a more thoughtful reader and to pay more attention to the flow of a story and character interactions in ways I probably wouldn’t have done before. It’s allowed me the opportunity to tell authors how much I loved their latest book… something I only dreamed of being able to do in the past.

For all of this, all I’m asked to do in return for access to these advance copies is to share my thoughts about them… and I allowed myself to fall behind on getting that done. sigh As The Doctor would say…

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(Quoting lines from my favorite TV shows is something that is also in my nature. Haha)

So… how do I plan to get caught up? I’m going to start posting mini reviews. Or rather, I should say I’m going to give myself permission to write mini reviews—the last time I started writing a mini, it ended up being a regular-length review, so who knows what the finished length will end up being! I’m going to plan on doing at least two a week, in addition to any current reviews that need written, until I get them all done. Once I’m all caught up, I’m HOPING I’ll stay caught up. Fingers crossed!