I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. – Langston Hughes

Moonlight, Bluestone, Pearl: What's in a Name?

What’s in a Name? Pt. 4: Moonlight, Rondo, Pearl

My love for Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight and how I came up with the names for my novels Bluestone Rondo and The Weight of a Pearl. I hope Barry Jenkins discovers this blog entry so that he can tell me all the deeper meanings of his amazing story and how it became a personal memoir!

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Native Son - Walker Smith Books

What’s in a Name? Pt. 2: Native Son

Native Son by Richard Wright – Reading a Richard Wright novel is torture. That is why he is one of my favorite authors. He doesn’t just describe what the characters feel; Wright makes you put on their skin, drink their poison, and suffer every hot, jagged stab of their existence.

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What's in a name - walker smith books

What’s in a Name? Pt. 1

What’s in a name? Do you ever wonder what’s behind the title of a book or a film? At a recent book reading, I was asked how I came up with the titles for my novels.

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Gay in America Before “Out” was “In”

The Stonewall Uprising occurred in 1969. Gay-bashing was suddenly all over the news, although it had been going on for decades. The word “pride” was used strictly in the context of “that’s my boy!” — but only if you were a straight boy.

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The Original “La Causa”

In a world split by lies disguised as truth, where do we turn? Why should we stand up for Dreamers and immigrant families divided by manufactured fear? Why should we stand up for families of color ripped apart by street executions with no due process? Why should we vote?

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The Power of Words

We all know the connotations attached to words like “black” and “dark.” And what about Negro? The dictionary tells us that the word “negro” is

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Symbolism

My all-time favorite novel is Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Early in the book, a turtle is making a slow journey down the road that Tom Joad will travel. One car swerves to avoid the turtle, and one car swerves to hit it and knocks the turtle end over end into a ditch….

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Rhythm in Writing

The title, Bluestone Rondo, is a story in itself. Bluestone can be read two ways: “blue stone,” which represents the symbolic aquamarine cuff links that both brothers covet. Those cuff links signify a divisive talisman that brings the illusion of good luck to one brother, and bad luck to both….

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