About Reading between the Lines

All writers write with the anticipation that someone will read. Being read is the ultimate honor of a writer who writes to convey information and create change.
A writer leads by what they share and prove to their audience.
A writer for change provokes thought and stimulates conversation with their writing. They are not afraid to share emotions, information, or do their research to show the world around them what they have seen or felt.
I hope that these words and stories will inform, educate, entertain and provoke action to create change and make the world better now and in the future.
When you subscribe to this blog you can expect:
To read stories you may not read elsewhere
Interact through comments with your opinions and reactions
Share story ideas and tips via email ms.evan.taylor@gmail.com
To see stories, commentary and reviews on social issues, social concerns and sociological developments
To touch on current issues with a new perspective
Discover more you can do or get involved with to solve everyday issues
These words are mine from my heart to yours, I hope you enjoy.

The power of an education

Often Americans take access to education forgranted.
When children are arrested and ticketed for truancy from school on “senior skip day” it’s hard to imagine not having the money or even opportunity to get an education.
Not even considering higher education (college and beyond), can you imagine not being able to attend school during your k-12 years?
This was the situation for the girls who shared their stories in ‘Girl Rising’.
They didn’t have the funding to attend school or the opportunity due to worldly circumstances.
At no control of their own they were denied the opportunities to become literate, seek an education or even speak out.
This hit home for me; a woman with two bachelors degrees and a completion certificate of a internship program in DC.
I could not imagine accomplishing anything in a global economy/workforce or find myself prepared to compete against my peers.
I don’t always use the skills I acquired in college but, could not last a day without basic reading, writing and math skills.
A trip to the grocery store would be impossible, that’s just for food to survive.
Education opens doors and windows.
Education paves sidewalks and pathways.
Education changes lives.
‘Girl Rising’ shows some stories but there are more to be told.
To see ‘Girl Rising’ go to
http://www.girlrising.com

For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf Commentary

This book is a choreopoem or a poem set to music. It features poems from different women expressing their thoughts and feelings about the situations they find themselves involved in. I was inspired to read this book after the previews surfaced for the movie. This choreopem is inspirational and thought provoking.

For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf
Ntozake Shange
Made into a play and motion picture

Synopsis
A collection of poems that flow from the minds of women of color. Not white or black as in race but from different mindsets, ideals, and thoughts. These women express themselves through poems. They convey their feelings, expose their wounds, and provoke attention.

Praise for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf
The book carries your mind through a whirlwind of emotions and situations. All the events are relative to real experiences in the lives of men and women. They are understandable and make you examine yourself within and find your own connection. Shange provokes you to put yourself in the situations encountered and find yourself in a character.

Character Insight
There are women of color as the characters. A lady in brown, yellow, red, purple, white, orange, and blue. Each woman has her own story to tell. She has a situation to explain and reason behind her state of mind and her actions. The women find themselves in situations that help them to understand themselves more deeply as the choreopoem progresses.

Recommendation
I recommend this book as a mind stimulator and page turner. If you find yourself in the need of a book that relates to you but stimulates and provokes thought; pick this one up from your local bookstore. This will leave you thinking far beyond it’s last page.

The discovery within that never ends…

Storytellers call it an adventure.
As the plot thickens; through crashing waves and gusting winds,
The adventure ends when the seeker finds what he/she was seeking.
Explorers call it an exploration.
An explorer is destined to discover the unknowns,
To prove the existence or lack of existence of people, places, and things,
The Explorations ends with proof or evidence being found.
Theologians call it a journey of faith.
From Adam and Eve to present day man and woman,
A journey ordained by God for a person to follow and reach eternal life.
All these words come back to a discovery.
Starting with a person in place searching for something,
When it is found the adventure,
The exploration,
The Journey of Faith is over.
But, Self exploration,
Self determination,
Self explanation,
And Self discovery
Is a journey that never ends,
Through monsoons, tsunamis, rainstorms, and rain showers of emotions,
Resulting from choices, decisions, and wishes upon life.
Self exploration is seeking the unknowns,
Self determination is determining yourself based on who you are,
Self explanation is the explanation of whose you are,
Self discovery is discovering a whole new part of you.
Whether you are meek and mild,
Strong and bold,
Young or old;
This journey continues through;
Peace and war,
Calm and strife,
And day and night,
It expels tears and fears,
Rights and wrongs,
Laughs and crys,
Through good and bad times,
The discovery of yourself never ends…
We search with blind eyes without knowing our selves,
We don’t even bother to search within.

The Color Purple Book Commentary

This is the first of many to come in my project to read the staples in black literature and write commentary and recommendations for others to read. I love reading because it allows the mind to openly examine every character, every personality, every action, and every place. When you are not looking at a movie or television show where the story has been interpreted for you; you are allowing the mind to work. Imagination will take a story to a new level to the point where you can sense everything. I hope you enjoy this commentary on the The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

The Color Purple
Alice Walker
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and
Winner of the American Book Award for Fiction

Synopsis

A book filled with struggles, loves, and fights for love, life, and what’s right. A story told in the form of letters to God written by a woman struggling with everyone from the family that raised her to her husband and new family. A life that continues on through time filled with loss of physical, spiritual, and emotional connection with herself and others around. When love and happiness finally surfaces it’s presence and form are peculiar to her.

Praise for The Color Purple

Alice Walker deserves recognition for this page turner. Exciting and unpredictable from the first page to the end; very well developed characters showing connections oceans away through letters sometimes unread. A sense of hope develops in the anxious reader midway through the book hoping for a happy ending the troublesome life of Celie. This book has a connection with anyone who reads whether it’s just sympathy for her situation or deeper connection of understanding of their own relative experiences.

Character Insight

Celie is the female main character who shares the spotlight with her younger sister Nettie, Love of her life Shug Avery, Husband Albert, Grady, Germaine, Alphonso, Squeak, Harpo, Sofia, Henrietta, and many more. Celie expressed her inner thoughts and turmoil as she writes in broken English letters to God. The only one who she feels will understand the abuse of her life; and the love she has just found. When she received letters from her sister that she thought was dead; her formerly letters to God become letters to Nettie. As Nettie is away their love grows for one another and the hope arises that one day they will be back together. Shug Avery is the center of love; she finds love in many in this story; she is a confident free spirit singer. Shug is a pistol and brings out the wild side in all that she encounters allowing people to step outside of the box. Mr._______ or Albert is a mean man that reminds Celie of who she knew as her Pa, Alphonso. He does things to hurt Celie because Celie will never be Shug Avery, the love of his life. Alice Walker describes each character from stature to personality through a series of conversations and interactions; from the raising and rearing of Mr._____ ’s children to the love of Shug Avery.

Themes

The Color Purple has a recurring theme of abuse and neglect. Celie transforms during a series of what seems like never-ending trials and tribulations. Celie’s life turns for the better and then, the reader really feels a connection to this story and wants to know what the future holds for her. As she develops new talents and a new life; the story allows you to see how her new opportunities and successes have sprung from her past and her faith.

Recommendation

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for motivation to see the silver lining. You never know what a person has been through or came from, much less who they will be. When you think you have lost it all, something is around the corner as long as you believe it can and will get better. The Color Purple will touch the heart and soul of all those who read into it. Don’t sympathize for Celie because if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger.

Why? (Celebration of Poetry Month)

This is a poem I wrote when before I started college. I was at the age where I was more mature than those of my age so, I questioned their immaturity. I also looked at the issues the adults in my family and community faced and I searched for the answers to those questions as well. I felt as to what I didn’t understand someone with more wisdom or experience would. We need to question what we don’t understand instead of persecuting those who we don’t understand. This is called Why?..

Why do we continue to put down?
And not lift up,
Why can’t we choose to live life?
Instead of death,
Why is crime going up?
Instead of going down,
What is wrong with us?
I can only ask why.

Why do we abuse?
Instead of refuse,
Why don’t we stop while we’re ahead?
And not behind,
Why can’t we get along?
Instead of fight,
What is wrong with us?
I can only ask why.

As life takes us in all directions,
Here, and there,
I just ask why.
Why, why, why, why, why.
But, still no answer.

Are we avoiding the issues of importance?
For the trash,
Instead of solving the issues,
We pollute ourselves.
I can only ask Why?

Taking the Ultimate Responsibility (Celebration of Poetry Month)

This is a poem about taking responsibility and being held accountable for you actions. Sometimes we look to ourselves or others for fault; but is that a true measurement or something we have created to avoid taking responsibility? Are we continuing our nature of hypocrisy? Have we been denying responsibility with ignorance, or are we truly waiting for the person of blame to stand up? It’s questions that may never be answered but, needed to be asked. Like Socrates I believe in free inquiry. The title is Taking the Ultimate Responsibility…

Have you ever been,
in a situation you shouldn’t have been?
Have you ever been,
in a place you shouldn’t have been?
Have you ever done,
something you shouldn’t have done?
Who’s fault is it?
You take the ultimate responsibility.
But what if,
you didn’t know,
you were in a situation you shouldn’t have been in?
But what if ,
you didn’t know,
you were in a place you shouldn’t have been?
But what if,
you didn’t know,
you did something you shouldn’t have done?
Who’s fault was it?
Does ignorance make it not your fault?
Does ignorance keep you from the ultimate responsibility?
What else might we be the blame for?
Who dictates who is to blame?
Who is to blame for our suffering?
Who is to blame for our sorrow?
Who is to blame for our tears?
Who is to blame for our lost years?
Who will take the ultimate responsibility?

I Trade Tears for Fears (Celebration of Poetry Month)

I wrote this on one of those days when you cry and you can’t stop or you don’t understand why you are crying. You think about it and you understand something that was there all along. Sometimes what you feel comes to you and I always want to write it down. It turned into this poem. I just felt that there was a strength yet vulnerability and a purpose behind all my tears. Tears of expression flow freely. This is I Trade Tears for Fears…

I trade tears for fears,
Nights and days,
I trade tears for fears,
When I lay my head,
When I hear that a loved one is dead,
I trade tears for fears,
When I lay down my burdens,
When I see or hear of suffering,
I trade tears for fears,
When my heart feels broken,
When my mind doesn’t feel open,
I trade tears for fears,
When I feel helpless,
When help is on the way,
I trade tears for fears,
As I surrender and as I forgive,
As I let go and as I live,
For different reasons, during different seasons,
I will continue to trade tears for fears,
Until all my fears disappear.

Without Him (Celebration of Poetry Month)

This is a poem I wrote about my faith. I feel that without faith you cannot live and without God you are living a meaningless life. The Lord is my motivation and my purpose. Living to spread the word of God and gain souls for the Lord. I feel as though we fall and come up short but, ultimately God forgives us and we continue to serve him. In order to lead you must first learn to serve. God is the love of the world.This poem is called Without Him…

Without him,
My victories would be losses,
My successes become failures,
My loved now hated,
My rights are wrong.
Without him,
My body is worthless,
My life becomes wasted,
My service helpless,
My words fall on deaf ear.
Without him,
My faith is ceased,
My belongings are no longer mine,
My body is crucified,
My sins are unforgiven.
Without him,
I am nothing my existence will cease,
Without him,
This poem has no purpose my time is wasted,
Without him,
What are we here for?

Leading by Reading

Everyone is a teacher and a leader. As long as you are literate and you encourage others to become literate. Gain knowledge you are a leader. Leading by Reading is important so, that our generation can do better than the previous generation. It all starts with reading. Without the knowledge that we have read; we cannot teach and lead others.

We need to read; newspapers, magazines, dictionaries, thesaurus’, and encyclopedias. We have to do the research to reap the benefits. Not only will we gain the rewards but, reward the community with opportunity. Without those who taught and lead us; who would we be? Without those who taught and lead them; who would they be?

We must do better and not worse than the generation before us. In order to progress we must learn and share our knowledge. We must lift while we climb instead of acting like crabs in a bucket. We spend too much time hurting others to make ourselves feel better when we should be leading by example. If the African American community could achieve progression in stagnant times then we can succeed and create opportunities for others.