Drayton's Gazette discusses social and political issues happening around the globe through the eyes of the African American, minority and disaffected communities.

Must Read by: V.Lyn

 This is a fantastic book about two boys who grew up in the same neighborhood, mere blocks apart and with similar circumstances but this is a story about the different route that their lives took.  One went on to become a Rhodes Scholar, a decorated Veteran and a successful business man.

The other Wes Moore’s life took a tragic course one which had devastating consequences for a police officer and his family. This other Wes Moore  is now serving life in prison for the taking of a life in a botched robbery.

This is a powerful book that in no way excuses the now incarcerated (other) Wes Moore’s crime- his participation in  a crime that resulted in a police officer losing his life. This book does however serves to demonstrate the irony and the tragedy of two young African American boys trying to find their way in the inner city. Both fatherless- the authors father’s passing while Wes was a small child- both of these Wes’s by all accounts could have had similar futures. While this is the story of these two individuals from nearby neighborhoods, with the same name, it is also the story of many young black men trapped in a cycle of poverty, dysfunction, absent fathers, and overwhelmed mothers, and young men who all to often make the wrong decisions that not only adversely effects their lives but the lives of their families, and the ramifications of those actions to society.

UPDATE: The author of this insightful book has appeared on Tom Brokaw’s show Bridging the Divide on USA and has appeared on numerous television shows.

It is a must read book!!

Today’s Child Magazine is a  must have  resource  for  parents and/ or grandparent.  It provides information and tools concerning behavioral issues, education, medical as well as ways to better take care of one self.  The only complaint I have is that it is a quarterly issue and I WANT MORE!


Founded in 1998, Today’s Child Communications is a multi-media communications firm that provides products and services to families and the organizations and companies that seek to serve them. Today’s Child Communications’ products and services enhance family life, and help organizations and companies to market, strengthen and promote their services. The company offers the following:

TODAY’S CHILD MAGAZINE – This preeminent national parenting magazine is dedicated to black and other parents of color raising children from infancy through their teen years. Backed by the experts and inspired by parents and caregivers – Today’s Child Magazine delivers accurate and up-to-date information on parenting, child health and development, education, lifestyle and relationship issues.

Get 4 issues for the low rate of $12 US/year.
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TODAY’S CHILD ANNUAL NATIONAL PARENT AND PROVIDER ENRICHMENT CONFERENCE – Brings parents, community leaders, providers, the public and private sectors together to address access to quality health care, improving the quality of education, wealth building, and using technology.

Another must have for the family library is a book by Eddy Souffrant an  associate professor  of applied philosophy at Marquette University.

This is a weighty issue but fascinatinglyt told. Exploring the ramifications of the philosophical applications to foreign affairs, Souffrant paves the way to the construction of a philosophy of inter- and trans-national relations. He offers an analysis of a consistent approach to the applications of ethics and international affairs. It demonstrates the manner in which, for J.S. Mill, social philosophy is linked to international philosophy. Souffrant argues that Mill’s support of colonization is consistent with his overall philosophy of international relations but demonstrates that only an additional independent analysis of colonization could find fault with both Mill’s argument for and his support of colonization. Souffrant concludes with the claims that Mill’s philosophy of international relations extends his social and political philosophy and that an ethics of international affairs privileges, fundamentally, a concept of group responsibility.

Slavery by Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon shatters the myth for many Americans, which includes many blacks and whites, that slavery concluded with the Declaration of Independence. While there were whispers in the black community of slaves long after the Civil War little was ever said about the continued systematic enslavement of blacks in America long into the twentieth century, until 1951 when the practice became illegal, by the judicial system, with the tacit agreement of the  government and benefited by corporate America.

The enslavement was as cruel post emancipation as it had been pre-emancipation. Those “free men and women” were put into bondage through legal means, by the use of trumped up charges. It is an extraordinary book and a must read for all.  Douglas A. Blackmon delivers an incredible story of the harrowing plight faced by blacks in the South, and the benefits gained by the states, lumber mills, rail yards, coal, steel and every other big business that could profit from it, and the duplicity of the American government who allowed it to continue

The New Jim Crow by Civil Rights Activist Michelle Alexander is her first book and it a stirring indictment of the judical system and how it’s penal code has helped continue the disenfranchisement of countless black Americans. As she so succinctly states there are more blacks in prison now than there have every been slaves in America. The ramifications of this tragic fact are undeniable, continued poverty and educational under achievement for the entire family, and a group of people who are not represented politically. Blacks who can not vote because they have been labeled a felon and therefore have no VOICE in this country.  The disenfranchisement of an entire group of people laid out by the founding fathers, first through slavery, then by the denial of the vote, the intimidation by the Klan, and now by a duplicit criminal justice system. All of which is clearly laid out in her book . Here is an excerpt from her book:

Jarvious Cotton’s great-great-grandfather could not vote as a slave. His great-grandfather was beaten to death by the Klu Klux Klan for attempting to vote. His grandfather was prevented from voting by Klan intimidation; his father was barred by poll taxes and literacy tests. Today, Cotton cannot vote because he, like many black men in the United States, has been labeled a felon and is currently on parole.

Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America Eugene Robinson


Eugene Robinson’s book is an objective look at the black condition in America, in particular the black urban community who as  Eugene Robinson accurately discribes, is Abandoned. Abandoned by America and other blacks in the upper class and the middle class. Abandoned is one of four demographics Robinson states that has been created since the civil rights eras end. They(the Abandoned)  are the ones who live in the  projects, inner cities…ghettos of America. As Eugene Robinson states and so many blacks in inner cities fear even if they/we do not articulate it we are the “minority with less hope of escaping poverty and dysfunction than at any time since Reconstruction’s crushing end.”
 Eugene Robinson columnist and Associate Editor for the Washington Post.
These books that I listed are a group of books that should be read as agroup, as they in my opinion will give you a look at the hope, the strength, and the tragedy of the black experience in America. It will also show that much of what are viewed as “issues” in Black America has it’s foothold in slavery, and perhaps as I believe devised and orchastrated by the founding fathers, country and  then and as well as NOW BIG BUSINESS.  



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