Melanin Book Club | April Book Selection: “Nigger” by Dick Gregory

 Nigger by Dick Gregory, originally published in 1964, is the autobiography of comedian and social activist Dick Gregory. “You didn’t die a slave for nothing, Momma. You brought us up. You and all those Negro mothers who gave their kids the strength to go on, to take that thimble to the well while the whites were taking buckets. Those of us who weren’t destroyed got stronger, got calluses on our souls. And now we’re ready to change a system, a system where a white man can destroy a black man with a single word. Nigger.”

178528 Thank you to our book club member Lisa, for selecting our April Book Selection.

As we finish reading and discussing Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin as the month of March nears its end I encourage you learn more on James Baldwin. As an activist, Baldwin attended many speaking engagements, debates, and conversations on the state of Black Americans. Since it is The Year of James Baldwin, we will continue to post content on one of America’s greatest writers.

In May, Dick Gregory will be speaking at The Faith Community of St. Sabina on the south side of Chicago in which all Melanin Book Club Members are invited to attend.  Later that month, we will have our FIRST in person Melanin Book Club meeting in Chicago where we will discuss the authors, the content, and the teachings that we’ve learned thus far in The Club.  We will snack and enjoy each others company in conversation for a fulfilling and enriching experience.



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Melanin Hair Care

As part of my Soul Sister Project, I am celebrating and promoting the beauty of African American natural hair:

For Braids, Twists, Locs, Afro Styling/Maintenance, & Head wraps

Natural Hair Care Advising & Products

No harsh African braiding techniques or hair mistreatment (no pulling, no heat, no pink lotion)

Contact Melanie at for inquiries and appointments

Chicago, IL

Affordable Pricing

*Nappiest of Hair Textures welcomed
*Women, Men, & Children welcomed

Melanin Hair Care

Black is beautiful.

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VIDEO // Ancestral Witnesses: Literature and the African American Religious Imagination | James Baldwin and Audre Lorde: A Revolutionary Hope

Columbia University School of Arts has declared this,

The Year of James Baldwin!

The Year of James Baldwin is a year-long, city-wide, multi-disciplinary celebration of the life, work, and legacies of James Baldwin (1924-1987) on the occasion of what would have been the author’s 90th year.

In honor of the Melanin Book Club March Selection, Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin, Enjoy:

Ancestral Witnesses explores the intersections of religion and African American literature produced during the social upheavals of the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements and their aftermath.

( Full article and more information here )

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Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata”

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Bridging the Gap

I spent close to an hour in conversation with an elder, a guy who had to be in his 70s.  He had beautiful gray hair and smooth black skin.  He was a Black Vietnam veteran, a photographer, and an artist.  He was dressed sharply, spoke intelligently, and wore a hat with more army pendants than I had ever seen on one person.  We were gathering to hear Common speak on the south side of Chicago and since we had arrived an hour early for the event, we engaged in fruitful conversation as everyone did as we eagerly waited. I’ve spent the last few days deep in thought about the knowledge and wisdom that he had shared with me.  Although I forgot his name and was too distracted by Jackie Robinson West to get his contact information, I do not meet people by chance so I cherish moments where I am able to converse with people about meaningful content.  It’s always a lesson. Continue reading

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sit in flyer(1)

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March 18, 2015 · 10:52 am