The Colors of August, Chapter 4

Chapter 4

“What’s going on?”

I remember waking up.  I’m in a car.  It’s one of the Crawford cars.  I know the car well because every Saturday I wash it.  I’m surprised when I see I’m in the passenger seat, slumped over and bloody.  August Crawford is driving.  He has a focus in his eyes.  My voice is weak.

“Chuck and his…his fucking people…they violated you,” he says.

He says it as a matter of fact.  He has this depth to him though.   When we were young Beau would take out a wrench.  He’d twist at the old Mueller fire hydrant until it sprayed out water.   The rest of the boys in the neighborhood would run around feeling a relief from the hot Alabama sun.  I was always the weird one to try to plug up one of those holes.  I’d put my little finger in there and see how long I could hold it.   Looking at August I can almost see him doing the same thing as he was driving.  He was trying to see how long he could hold it all from coming out.

“Chuck wouldn’t do that…”

“He did goddam it.  I saw it myself.  I warned you.  I tried to warn you.”

I remember flashes.  It’s all coming back to me now.  I was about to leave for the day when two white boys come in at first.  The door is open.  I remember hearing the others outside.  I remember thinking this is no good.  I remember when they question me about Beau, Lil’ Lonny and Shug. I lie.  They weren’t getting answers from me.  Then more come in and more.  They are nice at first, gentleman-like.  Until one of them gets mad and hits me.  Then it’s a release.  It’s like my hand unplugging from the fire hydrant.  They all feed off that energy.  Wild dogs in the night.

But was Chuck was one of those boys?  Would he really have done that to me?
“Where we going?”

“Hospital.  Then I’m gonna call the law…”

“You crazy?”

August looks over at me.  He has these innocent eyes.  I’d be surprised if he ever met a black person before today.  I’d heard about his type.  One of those boys from up North who felt like the world was full of mythical creatures and fairytales like the type Old Ma’am used to tell Sissy and Lena when she was braiding their hair for church on Sunday.

“Ain’t crazy.  Those boys violated you.  I saw it.  My own eyes.  I push them off.  They just kept laughing.  I could have killed them.  You know that?” August says with his eyes burning red as fire, “I could have killed all them boys.  Right there.  You know that?”

He looks at me as though trying to prove a point to me.

It’s bullshit.  He wasn’t going to kill no goddam body.

“Take me home.”

“You hear what I told you?” he asks, “Those boys violated you.”

I wasn’t in no pain.  I remember one time Shug got mad at me for telling Lena about him with another girl.   He hit me so hard I spoke with a stutter for three days.  That there was a pain.  This wasn’t nothin’.  Nothin’ those boys could do to me.  I was born tougher.

“Cops won’t do shit,” I respond shaking my head, “Not to no damn Crawford.  You wanna know what happens to a po’ colored boy telling the law about a Crawford?”

He gives me a look.  It’s a concerned look.

“No, but…”

“Ain’t no ‘but’.  Take me home.  Please.”

~

Reluctantly August takes me home.  He looks at me every few minutes checking on me with his eyes.  The boy doesn’t speak the rest of the way.  I’m terrified the whole time.  I feel in the back of my mind that he is so damn dumb to go to the law anyway on Chuck Crawford.  I can see it in his eyes.  He’s probably only known privilege.  Where he was from he didn’t have to worry about the fact that the sheriff was on Crawford’s payroll.   Hell one of the most popular judges in Birmingham was a goddam Crawford, some second cousin to Charlie Crawford himself.  Ain’t no Crawford going to jail over me.  Hell, the police wouldn’t even raise their voice too tough to Crawford.

“I’m taking you in,” he states.

I’m worried.  I’m worried about him taking me in.  There is only one thing that worries me more though and that is the idea that maybe August would go to the law.  I couldn’t let him leave while he was still mad like this.  It wouldn’t end up well for me.

“Ok,” I respond.

So, I let him help me.  I wrap my arm around him as we get out of the car.  He’s so goddamn clean.  He smells good.  I smell like I’ve been working in the sun all day.  I feel embarrassed but he doesn’t seem to mind or notice.

I’m surprised how strong he is when he pulls me out of the car.  I’m surprised how toned his body is.  This is a boy who probably didn’t have to lift a heavy box a day in his life.  He is muscular though, strong and toned, to make up for his handsome face and golden hair like sunflowers cropped on top of his head.

“Lawd!”

I already know it’s Sissy from the door.  She runs over to me helping August as they assist me into the house.  She says some other stuff.  It’s foul language.  It’s rare Sissy curses like this. I don’t even notice the specifics.  For some reason, I’m turning over to August.  My eyes are set on him.  And he is so concerned.  I’ve never really seen a white boy show me that kind of concern.  Not ever.  Not even Chuck.

“We got this,” Sissy says, “Thank you, Mr. Crawford, for bringing him home.”

“I’m staying.”

Sissy wasn’t the type to argue with a Crawford.  I know why she doesn’t want him here though.  In a matter of seconds, a shadow walks into the room.  It’s Beau.   Shug and Lonny are with him, of course, but it’s Beau who walks into the room crossing ther room like a beast in the night.  When he sees me he has this look.  As we got older Beau always frightened me, just a little bit.   Shug and I never got along.  We fought all the time.  It’s Beau that was the intimidating one to both Shug and I.  No one ever fought Beau.  No one ever tried.  Maybe it’s because Shug and I had a limit.  We knew when to stop.

I remember one time this dog bit, Beau.  It was a neighborhood dog we all knew and loved.  It didn’t’ have an owner that we knew of.  Beau beat that dog.  We all laughed thinking he’d stop after the first few yelps.

He looks over at us and I remember him saying, ‘Don’t let the same dog bite you twice.  Don’t let the same dog bite you twice.’

We all thought he would stop after he says that.

Beau didn’t stop.

“The hell is going on?” Beau asked.

“Nothin’,” I respond, “I’m good.”

“He’s not good,” August responds placing me on the couch, “Them boys violated him.  They came asking questions about what happened to Carol that night.”

“Are you OK?” Beau asks.

“I’m fine.”

Shug is pacing back and forth.  He’s pissed.  He’s beyond angry, “We can’t let them get away with this.  Look what they did to him!  Look what they did to Stevey?”

Lonny starts crying.  Shug is getting angry.  Beau looks like he’s even angrier.

“We all need to calm down,” Sissy tries to interrupt, “August do you remember who all did this?”

“My cousin Chuck.  He has a bunch of other boys with him.”

“Does it matter?” I ask.

Nothing was going to happen to them anyway.

“Fuck…it’s because of us, ain’t it?” Lonny asks.

“I’d never tell them where you guys are hiding out,” I state.

No one in the community was going to tell them where they were hiding out.  Most of us knew.  They were safe here with Sissy.  Sissy wasn’t combative.  Sissy was the type of girl that white folks took to.  No one would come knocking at her door asking questions for no reason.

“But he will…” Beau states.

Beau stares over at August.

It’s awkward.  For a moment Shug stops pacing around.  Lonny stops crying and freaking out.   For that moment Sissy stops tending to my bruises.  We all stare over at August.  He sticks out like a goddamn sore thumb in this room.  He shouldn’t be here.   We’d all forgotten that he was here.

“Listen I’m here for Stevey,” August states, “I just want to stay awhile.  Whatever you guys did is between you and the law…”

“Whatever we did?” Beau asks, “Just what do you think we did.”

Silence.  More silence.

“Beau, leave him alone,” I state, “I want him here.  He was there for me.”

August might have been a little ignorant.  He might not have known what was going on but at the same time, he seemed like a good person.  He didn’t mean no harm.

“Look, I just want to make sure Stevey is OK?”

“He asked you a question,” Shug states, backing up his family.

They were pressing him.  He was in our territory now.  All the “sir’s” and ass kissing had gone out of the window.  These boys had nothing to do and I was getting scared for August.  What would Beau and Shug do if they thought that August would go to the cops and reveal their location?

August is still so ignorant.  He looks only half nervous.  Didn’t he see the look in Beau’s eyes?  Wasn’t he terrified?

“Carol says you boys raped her,” August states.

Lonny breaks out in laughter, “That lying bitch!  That lying fuckin’ bitch!”

Beau is just watching August like he was watching that dog he beat to death back when we were kids.

I talk over Lonny’s obnoxious laughter, “You’re a good person August.  Let’s just be reasonable here.  You saw how she was acting when she came in that bar.  You don’t believe that, do you August?  Of course, you don’t believe that…”

“I don’t know what to believe,” August states.

Wrong answer.

I watch Shug look at Beau.   Beau doesn’t hesitate to walk to the back room.  When he comes back he has a rifle in his hands.  My heart drops in my stomach.  Beau

“I’m going outside to keep an eye out.  Make sure them boys don’t come back to finish Stevey off.  I’m going to be guarding this house.”

“Beau, August was about to leave first…” I state.

“Maybe he was right,” Beau states to August, “Maybe it’s best he stay awhile.”

August looks at me.  He’s terrified.  I can see the look in his eyes.  Beau grabbing his gun and walking out to the porch was intimidating as hell.  I take the time to follow after Beau.  The others aren’t going to question him but I would.  Normally I’d let Beau to his own devices but he was scaring me more and more with this sort of behavior.

I get outside and look at him.  He’s in the darkness polishing up his rifle.

“Beau we can’t keep him here,” I state, “He’s a Crawford.”

“I’m thinking,” Beau states.

I didn’t like the sound of that.

“Beau.  He’s a good guy.  You don’t have to trust him.  Trust me.  I can tell he’s a good guy,” I state.

I’m begging at this point.  I can see the desperation in his look.

“Is it him?” Beau asks me.

I look at Beau with a confusion.

“What?”

For the first time in such a long time, Beau looks vulnerable.  His masculine, tough face seems to fold.  His big lips separate ever so slightly.  His dark smooth complexion wrinkles up at the top of his forehead and there is a bit of stress at the corners of his eyes.  He’s still handsome but at this moment he isn’t wearing that cold, intimidating exterior that he always has.  Beau is revealing a part of himself that he rarely ever shows.

“Growing up I used to watch you,” he states, “I stared all the time.”

“I noticed.   You stare at everyone though.”

“No.  Not like you,” Beau explains to me, “You guys were there for me when my Daddy died in jail.”

“It was a tragedy.”

“Wasn’t no tragedy.  White folk killed him.   He was ahead of his time.  Daddy wanted a revolution.”

I remember the stories of Beau’s father.  He wasn’t the only one.  There were a bunch of guys growing up like Beau’s dad.

None of them were around anymore.

“It’s a new day Beau.”

“You sure right.   But the past will create the future.   You know they got a guy named Bobby Seale.  He’s talking about a new party.  Black Panther party.  Takes everyone’s resentment and makes some action.”

“Ain’t no resentment.”

“Bullshit.  You got resentment Stevey.  I got resentment.  I always resented the fact that you and Sissy were such good folk but you worked for the same white man who worked your Mama to death.”

“Mama dying had nothing to do with the Crawfords.”

“Bullshit and you know it,” Beau states, “You ain’t talkin’ to no stranger, Stevey.  I saw them work your mama to death.  I loved that lady. I remember when I first met you.   I remember your mama noticed me staring at you.  She noticed me staring in the way that you never noticed.  I was just a kid back then.  Back then you were already friends with Shug.  You guys used to go run around and I’d be so jealous.  You remember that?”

I was friends with Shug first.

I smile, “Yeah I remember. I thought you hated me.  I thought that’s why you didn’t ever come around.”

“You made me nervous,” Beau admits with a half smile, “And so I’d just stare.  And your mama calls me over to her stoop one day.  And she tells me as a black man ain’t nothing going to come easy for me.  As a black man ain’t nothing going to be given to me.  Everything would be taken.  Everything would be expected.  Nothing gave back in return.  So if I wanted something—I needed to go out and make it happen.”

“Sounds like Mama.”

He nods, “She gave me the courage to walk up to you.  She gave me the courage to grab your hand and ask you to come play with me.  I never wanted to let go of your hands since.”

I watch how he leans over to me.  He grabs my hand at that moment.  It’s so sensitive.  It’s so sweet.  It’s so rare to see Beau let go of all that anger he had built up in him.  Even if it’s just for a moment, he was allowing himself to let go of his anger.

“Beau…I’ll always be there for you.”

“Come away with me then,” he states.

“Where?  Up North.”

“Fuck the North.  Fuck the South,” he states, “I’m tired of these white folk.  I want to go back to Africa.”

I laugh at the thought, “You don’t know shit about Africa, Beau.”

“I’ll learn.  I’ll learn with you,” He states, “And stop laughing at me.  I don’t like that.  Don’t goddam laugh, you hear me?  I’m serious.  Let’s get out of here.”

He was serious.  I could hear it in his tone.

“I can’t leave Sissy.  Not like Lena did.  She doesn’t got no one left but me.”

“She could find a man.  Sissy is a beautiful girl.  But you…you belong with me.”

I don’t want to lead Beau on.  He’s so beautiful.  He’s so strong.  He’s so willing, but at the same time, he’s not the one.  I let go of his hand and step away from him.

“I can’t.”

“It’s him…isn’t it?” Beau asks, “It’s that white boy in there that stole you from me.”

That’s what he meant by what he said earlier.

“Beau…you sound crazy.”

“DON’T CALL ME CRAZY!”  Beau barks at me.

The look in Beau’s eyes is so intense.  It scares the hell out of me.

“Beau, I’m sorry…calm down.  I was just teasing…”

“Get back in the house,” Beau states, “It’s not safe in these dark nights.”

~

We are in the house for a while.  Lonny and Shug leave.  They are going to tell people what happened to me, I’m sure.  Black Birmingham was just a grapevine of goddamn gossip.  I knew this wasn’t going to be good on either side.  I’m irritated with the fact that Beau just lets them do it.  Sissy goes to sleep early and with Beau outside keeping guard, I’m left alone with August.

It’s so weird to see him sitting on Sissy’s couch.  I’d never seen any white person sit on this couch before.  It shouldn’t be weird.  He’s a human just like me.  But it is.  It’s weird.

“Am I a prisoner here?” August asks.

“Of course not,” I respond.

It was a goddam lie.  I had no idea what Beau would do if August got up and left.  I didn’t know if I want to know.  For a second he does seem nervous and I find myself sliding up next to him on the couch.  He was there for me and I wanted to be there for him for a while.

“Your friends don’t seem to like me.”

“Relations here aren’t so good.”

“Really, because you seem to have a close relationship with Chuck,” he states, “You don’t believe that he was one of the boys that did what they did to you, do you?”

“Chuck wouldn’t do that.”

He seems irritated when I say that.

“Why do you think he’s a good guy.  Chuck is the devil.”

“See this house?” I ask, “When Mama died, the bank was going to take it back.  It’s been in our family since they were freed from slavery way back when.  I know it doesn’t mean much.”

“It means everything,” August corrects me.

I smile that he notices that, “Exactly.  Well long story, short, Sissy couldn’t afford to keep it.  That’s when Chuck stepped in.  He bought it for us.  Handed it over.”

“In return for what?” August asks.

“You insinuating something, Mr. Crawford?”

“Not about you.  About him,” August states, “I know you think I’m ignorant and I don’t know shit.  But up North, there are powerful men too.  And when they see a young attractive person that they like…they use what they have to get what they want.  That isn’t a regional phenomenon.”

I sigh.

“Chuck is a piece of shit,” I state, “But when a piece of shit puts money in your pocket and a smile on your sister’s face…it doesn’t stink so much.”

“You deserve better than a piece of shit,” August tells me.

He looks over at me.  He stares at me in the darkness.  It’s that same look of expectation that he has always had.  What did he expect to happen when he looked at me like that?  What did he want to happen?  Lord knows this white boy was handsome as all hell.  Lord knows there were white girls all over Alabama who would denounce their Gods to have a chance with a man like August Crawford.  He was the most handsome Crawford and somehow managed to be a good person through all of that.

“Chuck started having sex with me two years ago,” I admit out of nowhere.

I’m not sure why.  This wasn’t something that people talked about.

“A relationship.”

“Sex.  Like I said.”

August gives me a look, “Like I said. You deserve better than that.”

“Whose going to give it to me, Mr. Crawford?”

August slides towards me.  He isn’t afraid.  It frightens me the power in his action that he’s able to muster.  No one had been that abrasive…not even Chuck when we first had sex and he stared at me like a nervous boy for ten minutes giving subtle hints about how attractive he felt I was.  August had managed to surpass all of that boyishness at this moment.

At this moment I didn’t think I was staring at someone who was ignorant and immature.  That seemed to all melt away.

“ A real man,” August states.

“Chuck wouldn’t appreciate you staring at me the way you are staring at me.”

“You said it was just sex.”

“I’m still his, Mr. Crawford.”

“Slavery ended a long time ago,” August tells me, “You don’t belong to anyone.  You know what that means?  That means I’m free to kiss those lips if I wanted to.  But then again…maybe you still feel like you belong to Chuck Crawford.”

I don’t know why this turns me on.  Here we were, this white boy in the 60’s having the audacity to speak to me about my freedom and challenge it, none-the-less.

And that’s when I take him up on his offer.  I kiss him.  My lips lock next to his lips.  It’s a quick kiss.  Far too short.  Somehow though we managed to collide our chests together.  Both of us wanting this embrace more than we are willing to admit.

We’re interrupted though.

It’s Beau.

He walks in the house, rifle in hand and anger enlightened in his eyes.  There is anger, but there is no surprise.

“It’s time for you to go,” Beau tells August.

August looks at Beau. Then he looks at me.

“You going to be OK?” August asks.

“Go…”

This wasn’t the right time.  Not with that look in Beau’s eyes.

August gets up.  He walks past Beau.  Beau doesn’t give him another look.  I wish Beau was like Shug.  I wish he’d explode with anger like Shug would.  Hell Shug would probably smack me around a little bit.  He’d let it all out until he wasn’t angry anymore.  Beau wasn’t like that.

Beau just saw me kissing a boy.  A white boy, at that!

“He’s not the enemy,” I whisper to Beau in the silence.

“They all are the enemy.”

The way he says that and walks towards the back room scares me.  I follow Beau into the backroom desperate to understand what he is talking about.

“Beau,” I plead, “What are you going to do Beau?”

“Tired of hiding out here.  Time to stop hiding,” he states.

“What’s that mean?”

Beau repeats the same words he’s said before in a darker way.

“Don’t let the same dog bite you twice.  Don’t let the same dog bite you twice.”

  • Brandon Cruz

    I need more backstory of Stevey and Chuck having sex. I’m loving August more and more. Some people might not like August for whatever whatever reason, but I like him. He knows what he wants and yes Stevey you need a real man. I want someone like in my life. Anyway Chuck is the devil and Beau you have anger for the wrong person. I do feel bad for Beau, unrequited love sucks.

    • Lee namefree

      Poor Beau, he’s been crushin on Stevey since he was a little boy. I think Ralph is right though, and Stevey just prefers white boys.

      • Brandon Cruz

        And that okay. Everyone can have preface on who they are attractive too.

  • Ralph Jones

    It’s sad that Beau literally poured his heart out to Stevey and he ignored him. Basically laughed at his dreams and ideas which is so disrespectful. Beau is just a man who is fed up with the world treating him and his people like shit and I respect that. This honestly reminds me of the love triangle in Black Sheep.

    • Brandon Cruz

      Love triangle, Stevey got 3 guys. More like love square.

    • John Warren

      Is Stevey clueless to Beau’s true feelings toward him. Does he feel so strongly that he “belongs” to chuckie that I cannot see beyond the situation that he says is “just sex”. I really felt bad for Beau, but at the same time, Beau had to have had some inclination that Stevey didn’t return the feelings in the same way. If he did, when they were younger, then they either no longer exist or sickening as it is, they’ve been replaced by chuckles.

    • Lee namefree

      Now you know I loved Black Sheep. Are you talking about the Joshua, Jamison and Keon? I think Beau is being a whole hell of lot more open and honest about his feelings than Keon ever was. And Jamison was just a liar!

      • John Warren

        I know what the term “Black Sheep” means, I felt like the “Black Sheep” of my family for years. Somehow I sense you are talking about something other than “The Colors of August”. Do I dare show my ignorance yet again….Black Sheep???? Who are Joshua, Jamison, & Keon.

        • Lee namefree

          Black Sheep was a story Staten Posted in January of 2017. People went nuts over this story, because a lot of readers have been the “black sheep” after coming out, but also because of the love triangle between the lead character Joshua, his brother Jamison, and Joshua’s very first crush, Keon. Staten drove us nuts over these relationships, then continued to drive us insane with the sequel, “Green Snake”. I have been begging for another installment to this story.

          I won’t give you details, in case you should decide to read it over the weekend. The only thing I will say is, Keon was wronged!!! He was seduced and driven nuts by the bubble-butted Wallace boys! I demand justice for him!

          • John Warren

            Oh I’ve already started just because of this thread…I mean after all Staten didn’t see fit to give us a chapter on Thursday! LOL What i wish was some chronological guide to the stories since so many interact or play upon the other. I took your advice about “Number 666” “Witch Doctor” “Bite Down”. But Staten has a zillion stories and I’ve literally only read less than half under the Fantasy section, about half Action/Violence, The Doll House and I’m keeping up-to-date on the 2 newest stories. But like with Doll House, I recall comments linking it to prior stories. But I think once I finish Black Sheep along with the other 3 above, I’m just going to start at the bottom of Thriller/Mystery and work my way up from there. That should keep me busy for at least a week. When I started the first 3 Assassin stories, I couldn’t stop….I’d fall asleep at 3, 4 in the morning with my laptop almost falling to the floor. Staten is a great writer, holds my interest so easily, and I just can’t put the story down.

          • Lee namefree

            Yeah my sleep hygiene is way the fuck off schedule because of Staten and his stories, and my addiction to blogging!! Sometimes I don’t remember what I was doing before I started reading Staten’s stories!! Hmmm… I’m sure I did something…….working, relationship, seeing the sun…. I don’t know…something.

      • John Warren

        Ralph/Lee….Okay, so in between basketball games today and I even missed my precious fucking Warriors playing (ugh, Steph is injured again….seriously I’m gonna commit adultery for a night with him or especially Clay, YUM) okay I really digressed. Where the Splash Twins are concerned, hubby and I agree, full permission. Its nice to dream though really it is.

        I think Black Sheep just may have gone to the top of my favorites list. I don’t care for any of the gang stuff, I know it exist, but i do love the romance. I actually was pulling for AK & Joshua, I guess too many “street” obstacles got in the way. Maybe the next book clears that up. I find it hard to believe that in 5 yrs time Keon and Joshua not only hook up but are raising twin 3 yr olds. Or is this all a lead in of sorts for Staten to fuck with my head.

        I’m not sure I agree Lee, how long has Beau been holding back his true feelings, no less dangerous for him to do so, than for Keon. Christ dear brother almost murdered Keon over his “hushed” cumings & goings. It seems to me they have both been holding back and picked bad timing to have true confession. IMHO! I don’t know much about Beau yet, but I like me some Keon! And AK sounds like he would jsut rock your world.

        I’ll knock out Green Snake tomorrow while waiting on Staten to “grace” us all with another of his chapters. And I expect him to deliver on both counts. Well one for sure, I know Green Snake is going to be just as good. In my short time with this board and these stories, seems like half the stories, the sequel equals or betters the original. That is talent and I knew he had talent via my first introduction to his writing in “Semester of the Dead” which I was reading via Nifty at the time. Now of course I’m a card carrying member of “Crushed Crown” and loving it.

        • Lee namefree

          Let me say the overwhelming opinion of fans, is that Joshua & AK should be together. I strongly disagreed in about 62 comments throughout. AK didn’t win points for me until later in the story. Look forward to your final thoughts.

          • John Warren

            my thoughts….damn. what tragedy and i’m not talking Jax. this family is serious messed up. i thought when the camping trips were mentioned it was fishy. the whole dynamic between the brothers is so off. joshua was wronged, but 2 wrongs don’t make things right.

            killing the dad makes more sense now as well. what doesn’t set well with me is Jamison exiting prison. He does 5 years for murder. Please don’t throw stones, but in what court of this country does a young black man only get 5 yrs. He got that because of his brother. But yet all he has is contempt for Joshua once he learns Keon and Joshua are together. And he knows they were together by a fluke, a set up by Keon, yet he continues to play the victim. He failed for so long to see Keon was the catalyst in the Keon/Joshua relationship. It certainly appears that AK/Joshua were well on their way to having something meaningful. Keon, Joshua are the only ones who visit him in prison, Joshua makes sure he has money throughout his incarceration. But everything is poor little Jamison. He blames Joshua before he knows the facts, and when he does realize early on it really played out he continues this vendetta. Okay, Joshua took his share of the business, how else did Jamison expect to have a legal team….let me think 5 yrs or life….I’ll take 5 yrs and surrender every penny i have and be happy about it.

            However, in the end, as well as these 2 brothers can patch things up, they do. It is so sad it took a “slip” by Keon to make Joshua realize he had been played, Jamison for once (make that twice, story about camping trips) told the truth. I love happy ending, i love boy meets boy, boy falls in love with boy, boy marrys boy and lives happily-ever-after. This is close. I was just rooting for Keon/Joshua from way back, and I didn’t hold the whole Keon/Jamison hooking up against Keon, after all Joshua had left and for all they knew and witnessed, he wasn’t returning.

            I would have been giving it too you though for dissing AK. I liked him from the start, even the bathroom scene where Sosa tells his gang to kill Joshua. AK had no choice, we saw what happend when he did pick Joshua over his brother. I loved that Joshua took him in. I loved it even more, when Keon showed up looking for refuge too. Now that was some funny writing by Staten. AK showed a good side of himself almost from the beginning, yeah he stole Joshua’s suit the 1st time they met, but he somehow had enough respect not to cross the line, even though he could easily have, by raping Joshua. He wasn’t ever doing that without Joshua’s consent. I had a lot of respect for the guy.

            So I’m a bit saddened with the complete cliff that Keon has jumped off of. I want a part 3 so damn bad. I want a redeemed Keon, I want to see how Staten pulls it off yet again. I want Keon to have his happily-ever-after too.

            Oh well that is my 2 cent review, you can know print this and wrap fish in it, that is what anyone’s review is worth, right? My opinion.

            Honestly I’m so glad to have become a part of the forum. It is like a book club of sorts, even though I’m not thrilled with the racial overtone of August, I also get that is exactly the point, white people aren’t comfortable with this topic, we’d rather gloss over it and move on. Pretend it doesn’t/didn’t happen. I’m glad that I’m learning from reading others comments and I really do hope I contribute too. Most of the time I’m a complete 100% smart-ass, but strangely I can be serious when called upon. “The Colors of August” has me in 200% serious mode. I want to be better and this story is not only giving me a completely different perspective I think the education and opinions/comments from readers has helped make me a wiser person. I already cared, I now care more.

          • Lee namefree

            John I totally appreciate your comments and your willingness to tackle the incendiary topic of racism. You’re right, this is a very uncomfortable topic for whites. Amongst my own friends, those whom I’ve actually debated this topic, all are gay white men. From a relational context I’d say August’s own gay identity gives him a greater empathy toward the plight of African Americans.

            It should be noted that throughout the history of slavery and the civil rights movement there were always Whites who protested and fought for the civil liberties of African Americans. These people risked and lost their lives to end the injustice of racism. For their bravery these folks were labeled as race traders, nigger lovers, miscegenist. Even J. Egar Hoover found it necessary to tarnish the reputation of White civil rights activist Viola Gregg Liuzzo, a 40 year old wife & mother of 5, who was murdered by the KKK for helping African Americans register to vote in Selma, Alabama. The director of the FBI leaked false information to the media claiming Liuzzo was having an affair with African American teenager Leroy Morton, civil rights worker murdered with Liuzzo. The FBI “uncovered” that Liuzzo was a “bad” wife & mother. Despite the effort to discredit her, President Johnson was moved to pass the Voters rights act of 1965 in part, because of her murder.

            Liuzzo was murdered just 2 years and 100 miles from the events taking place in The Colors of August.

            I can’t resist making my 100th comment on Black Sheep & Green Snake. It’s like crack to me. So….. Women & men think of sex differently. Which might be why AJ’s “molestation” of Joshua didn’t strike me as a “relationship maker”. From an erotic pov, hands down AJ was the guy for Joshua. But relationships should be about more than sex.

            I didn’t believe Joshua was in love with AJ. He tells Keon he loves him, and less than 10 days later, he tells Joyous, under duress, that he loves AJ. Nearly every run in with AJ, and even DJ Battery is preceded by an argument/rejection from Keon. Even at the end of Green snake, I feel that Joshua now turns to AJ because once again, he’s been let down by Keon.

            I didn’t and don’t believe Jamison ever really loved Keon. As we learned more of their relationship in Green Snake, it’s clear theirs was one of dependency. We find out that Keon suffered a severe depression the 1st time Joshua left, and Jamison filled in the void. I get now why Keon was so hesitant to leave his closeted relationship with Jamison. Jamison was his crutch. Jamison was safe & predictable, not like Joshua who threatened to leave often.

            I started out loving Joshua, but his rigidity and punishing behavior towards his brothers & husband, makes me think that Joshua would be just as rigid and punishing towards his daughters. The people he loves are not allowed to make mistakes. It bothered me that Joshua wouldn’t allow AJ, Joyous or Keon to communicate with him. He loss so much time feeling wounded and being angry.

            I want redemption for Keon. I want him to earn his family back. I’m not sure if he & Joshua are okay for each other. They make each other crazy, but that might work. . So I’m wanting a re-do for Keon. I want him to come back with his head wrapped tight, and on a mission to get his family back.

  • Ralph Jones

    I low-key don’t like Stevey he’s an apologist who wants to excuse the actions of the Crawfords like they have some redeemable qualities about them. They just advocated for you getting your ass beat nearly to death and worked your mother to death. And the boy that you’re so enamoured with is going to trust the crooked ass law to treat these black men as humans despite knowing how rich and powerful his family is. Like you just seem so pitful. Your gonna let this boy just come whisper sweet nothings in your ear as if it isn’t the 60s and he isn’t white. It honestly seems like he just wants attention from a white guy and he’s finally got it in August.

    • Lee namefree

      So I’m gonna defend August and his naivete. Racism in the northern states is so different than racism in the south. August may have been exposed to some level of racist views in Philadelphia in 1967, but it is nothing on the level of what he’s experiencing in Alabama. In 1967, Philly native Bill Cosby was on television weekly, Sonia Sanchez was in Philadelphia lecturing at Temple, the black muslims had/has a mosque on Broad Street and there are black politicians on the city council. Police brutality was what was in the news in Philadelphia in 67, even so, there were black police officers on the force.

      August is not naive about the world in general, he’s just expecting black people in Alabama to act like black people in Philadelphia or blacks he sees on television. Stevey and his friends are baffling to August. If August had taken Carol to a black bar in Philly, and she later cried rape, the cops would be questioning why her ass was in a black bar? So I get why August doesn’t understand why Stevey and his friends ran from the cops. August must feel like he’s in an alien environment. This is not how he experiences the world.

      Stevey might just prefer white men. If it’s vanilla he prefers, than August is right, he can do better than Chuck.

    • John Warren

      I kinda get your attitude with Stevey. A question for you now though, after reading this chapter, has your opinion on August changed any at all?

      • Ralph Jones

        August is who he is i still don’t like him for believing that the world is all honky dory when it clearly isn’t. This isn’t the 21st century (where we still have massive racial issues) it’s the 60s where black people still got lynched all the time. Emmett Till’s murder is still fresh and it got massive media attention in the North so August knows what goes on in the south probably has for some time if he’s like 21 story happens in 65-67 he’s know what been happening in the south for 10 years so he knows what happens but chooses to ignore it. But I do acknowledge that he is the only Crawford trying to do the right thing

        • Lee namefree

          Ralph, back then, media attention on anything, wasn’t like it is now. In the 60’s, the way these stories were reported, were not as we understand them today, but as strange events disconnected from “normal” society. Protests were labeled as “riots”. Protestors were “trouble makers”. Some people still believe that blacks were a different “species”!! Emmett Till’s murder was some 15 years prior in Chicago, not the south. It got more media attention many years later.

          What I’m trying to say is that not all news stories got equal coverage in all areas of the country. While August may be aware of race riots, racial equality protest, and other large history events, none of this could ever prepare him for the level of racism experienced in the deep south.

          Funny you should mention Emmett Till. As a black boy living in Chicago in the 50’s he did know racism in the north, but that was poor preparation for Mississippi. In Chicago, had he called a white woman “baby” at most, he’d had been fined, but in Mississippi, it was enough to end his life.

          I can’t fault August for not having any idea what racism is like up close and personal. It’s not the same as reading about events that occurred in the newspaper. You think you know what racism is, but you don’t really know, until you experience it in places like Alabama.

          • Ralph Jones

            Two things Emmitt Till’s murder happened in Money, Mississippi where he was accused of whistling at a white women (which she admitted was a lie recently on her death bed). The CHILD was beat to death shot in the head and drown after being dragged from his relatives house in the middle of the night by a group of white men. The funeral where the famous photo was taken happened in his hometown of Chicago. That is what happens in the south the black people. That is what happens when black people act like act like people in and from the North. The are murder there are countless cases that i can name from the Freedom Riders to Malcolm X’s assassination that recieved massive new coverage in the North and Internationally so the idea that August doesn’t have some idea of what happens in the South is foolish. My second point is that protesters and protests (just google riot and black lives matter and you’ll be provided with evidence) are still treated as delinquents and riots respectively by the media and people who actually care taje the time to acknowledge the difference between people protesting for their lives and people rioting. August turns a blind eye thus far and I will hold him accountable as there are plenty of people that were in his position and choose to be allies instead of a moderate. Granted the situation is different here but alas I don’t the sitation nor do I like his actions with Stevey as they endanger his life further.

          • John Warren

            I won’t even bother to state how sickening this is. Any decent human should be! I will admit this is the first time I’ve heard the name Emmitt Till and the story. I know its to much to wish this was an isolated event, quite the opposite is what my head tells me.

            I’m not picking a fight but ask an honest opinion, what is August to do? In your eyes, how does he make himself acceptable and/or redeemable. I am reading everything you and Lee both have written. I’m thinking to myself that this is a man in his early 20’s, probably fresh out of school. He has been relocated from his home for reasons he doesn’t even know. He is also sitting on a pretty big secret of his own and carefully guarding that. I don’t know of your sexual orientation nor is it my business. I can tell you that as a gay man growing up as a teenage in the 70’s I was scared shitless of anyone finding it out. At age 30, within a week of telling my mom, I received a letter of more than 10 pages. Quoting bible scriptures, telling me to quit choosing to sin, my own mother telling me how i will otherwise burn in hell. I truly understand August fear of his sexuality being discovered and probably to a great extent drives his actions or lack of actions. I also know that doesn’t make inaction in this case, right! Anyway I try and think where my mind was at around the same age as August is, and in my case we were in the very early days of cable and to have more than 3 TV stations and even some staying on past the late night news (my parents didn’t get cable TV until my JR year of college). I know my own case, my head was buried in the books and to the topics that concerned me that I needed to graduate and get the hell out. I didn’t watch much TV and certainly wasn’t that up on current events. I’m probably about 20 years younger than August would have been and I know that at least in Oklahoma, most news coverage was local. Yes we had the big 3 nightly newscast for 30 minutes M-F and that was the only exposure we had. Now in my case, I’m coming from a small town that had a newspaper that literally was about 6 pages daily and 2 of that were personal ads of some sort. Not to contradict you at all, but wanting to understand. I just know in my case, I wouldn’t have been so knowledgeable about what was happening in other parts of the country. Parents shielded children to a lot of that and during those nightly newcast on the national level, I doubt during my H.S. years I was inside in front of the TV that much.

            I know how I see August through my eyes, I really want to understand him through others as well.

          • John Warren

            P.S. If there is a God above, he most certainly will have welcomed Emmitt into his kingdom. He most certainly will deal with the white woman too. For Christ sakes, admitting on her death bed is just pure chicken shit. What on earth did this lady have to gain by such an accusation of a child, this shit just boils my blood, such carelessness? And to those who took “justice” into their own hands…well i hope there is a special place in hell for them. Surely living in MS at the time, she had to have known what would have happened to him even as young as he was. ’55 was definitely before my days begin, as bad as ’67 would have been, I wonder if it was “Paradise” in comparison to the 50’s. And yes, “Paradise” is stupid to say on my part, I’m strictly thinking of how much life would have/could have changed in that 12 year gap.

          • Lee namefree

            Carolyn Bryant, wife & sister of murderers Roy Bryant and J.W. Miliam, is still alive. She confessed to lying to her husband in 2007. According to Mrs. Bryant, she never told her husband that Emmett made advances towards her. At the time of incident, Mr. Bryant was away while Mrs. Bryant was tending the store alone. She claims now not to remember if anything happened while Emmett was in the store, but at the doorway of the store, he was supposedly overheard by townspeople saying, “See you later baby.” This part may actually be true, since the only reason Emmett was in the store, was because his cousins dared him to ask the white lady at the counter on a date (Emmett had previously been bragging that he dated white girls in Chicago).

            According to Mrs. Bryant, when her husband returned 3 days later, he overheard rumours of the incident and confronted her, at which time Mrs. Bryant either told her husband Emmett whistled at her, made lewd comments, held her hand or all three. She can’t remember now, but at her husbands trial, she testified that Emmett had made lewd comments and whistled at her. In a 2017 interview she now says that nothing Emmett did ever justified his brutal beating and murder. I don’t know what satisfaction this woman gained from her initial lie.

          • John Warren

            I will give her the benefit-of-doubt that she was somehow more scared of the rumor mill that her husband apparently heard. Even so, she is evil and again, I truly hope there is a special place in hell for anyone who ever used a whip, lit a cross, strung a rope, hid behind a sheet, spat upon another, told the lie. There is no justification for actions of this nature, I don’t care if I don’t understand how times where back then. Murder of an innocent person is still murder regardless of skin color.

          • John Warren

            I don’t understand why, but the comment I made prior to the one above has this status:

            John Warren Ralph Jones • 18 hours ago
            Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by crushedcrown.com.

            Has anyone else had this happen? Why?

          • Lee namefree

            I’ve noticed this actually with a few of your comments, and I think one of Raven’s. I just thought you were going back to edit. Your comments come through in my email notifications. Hmm??

          • John Warren

            I have also noticed one of my comments to Ralph is flagged as spam. I still see what i wrote but not sure if others do.

          • Ralph Jones

            Whenever i go to approve a comment that is pending like that, it always says approved already so I just assumed that it was a glitch in the system. Even when I reapprove the comment, nothing happens so I have no idea what could be the issue.

          • Lee namefree

            I tried that too, re-approving the comment, with no effect. I sent Staten an email about it.

          • I’m not sure why this happened, maybe someone accidentally flagged the comment. I went ahead and approved it as well as added you to the trusted user list. Sorry!

          • John Warren

            Thanks Staten, I give you my word, that I will not abuse that. Unless it is to give you hell because you do something I don’t like. I still don’t like how Semester of the Dead ended. The good guy should always get his man! And I’m mad Assassins is over, at least for the moment. And I’m mad there wasn’t a new chapter out Thursday, now just an extra day I’ve gotta wait. And I don’t like where this damn story is headed, unless Stevey and August both grow a set. But otherwise I’m a harmless reader who sometimes has something intelligent to say.

          • Lee namefree

            I remember television in the 60’s. You got 30 minutes of news in the evening and 60 mins on Sundays. The newspapers circulated twice daily and on Sundays. There was no internet. Black faces in the news, were generally not top news, and usually pertaining to a crime or protests. Depending on where you lived in the country, that story was delivered with as much impact as readers or viewers in that area found interest in it. So August may have gotten a 5 minute daily update on “politics” in the south, but it’s just not the same as living in the deep south.

            You’ve seem to be expecting this white man from the north to know and get black experiences of people living in the south because he might have been reading about it in the newspaper?? Emmett Till, a young black boy from the north, didn’t understand just how racist the deep south is? I, an African American women, raised in Philadelphia, didn’t get just how racist the deep south is until I experienced myself. It’s not the same thing as reading about it.

  • Lee namefree

    I believe Stevey is traumatized, or petrified, or Out-Of-His-Fucking-mind-ified! It seems as if he is choosing to block out that Chuck had anything to do with his assault, yet Stevey was staring at Chuck when August found him bleeding from the ass. The way he tells this story though, is that several of Chuck’s friends attacked. He never saw Chuck. I suppose I can understand why Stevey would doubt Chuck’s motives, but after August told him he saw Chuck, why would he remain in denial? Why is his denial safer than the truth?

    The way Stevey tells it, Quid pro quo style, Chuck started fucking him after he bought the house for Sissy. I’d say after 2 years of fucking Stevey, that debt is paid! Yet Stevey is giving excuses to both Beau and August about why he can’t end things with Chuck. If what he has with Chuck is just sex, why can’t he walk away? Why does he imply that he “belongs” to Chuck? Could it be that Stevey & Chuck have a sub/dom relationship going on?

    If Stevey & Chuck have a Sub/Dom thing going, then Chuck’s behavior makes sense to me. I’m wondering if Chuck allowed his friends to violate Stevey as a way of punishing him for spending time with August? Chuck has questioned August repeatedly about what was going on between him & Stevey. Chuck was definitely jealous August was talking to Stevey. Either he raped Stevey with the rake handle, or he allowed one of his friends to do it. I wonder if this is the first time Chuck has “punished” Stevey this way? Is Stevey being victimized, or is he a willful victim?

    I feel for Beau. I wish he would go join the black panthers or other movements that revolutionized how black people saw themselves and their ability to effect change. Sadly, it seems that Beau’s plan is to kill a Crawford. One racist family, one very small barrier, to what a black man can achieve if he only focuses on the barrier and not the prize.

    • John Warren

      Lee, I’m not sure I would agree with the Sub/Dom analysis, yet it could be as good as any explanation. Thinking back a few chapters, when Stevey is alone in the shed, Chuck comes up behind him, pulls down Stevey’s pants and goes to town. Now for me, the way I read that seemed more passive if anything. If he really feels he belongs to chuck, then he just takes what is coming.

      I do hope you are wrong about Beau’s plan to kill a Crawford. That would bring a holy hell war on a lot of innocent people who are already suffering because of the Crawford name and the strength that carrys.

  • JJ

    Firstly I’m surprised they allowed August to use the car to carry Stevey anywhere. I guess August was right when he said he was ready to kill them all and Chuck must not have wanted any part of that.

    I’m going to need Stevey to wise up. Whether Chuck participated in the attack or not; it was still his friends that he brought there and he did nothing to stop any of them. Case closed on whether he has your best interests at heart Stevey.

    I’m still curious what kind of arrangement Chuck made with Stevey. Stevey talks like he’s one of Chuck possessions; could that have been the deal? Chuck gets Stevey’s body for x amount of time.

    Beau is a timebomb waiting to go off. I believe he will attack the Crawford home in retaliation.

    Maybe August can carry everyone up north to find a better future.

    • John Warren

      JJ, chuckles, according to August, not only participated, but he was the organizer of this little party. In public he has continued to go after Stevey even though they all have agreed he had nothing to do with it. Carol hasn’t accused him, she knows he was there with the other guys and hasn’t yet (that we know about) mentioned this to anyone. You are absolutely right, Stevey need to wisen up. He shouldn’t trust anyone, not even August at this point. August needs to do something major to prove he is beyond the Crawford name.

      I hope for a “Happily-Ever-After” Disney fair tale ending….August takes Stevey up North and in their 70’s they finally are able to legally marry.

    • Lee namefree

      Yeah this arrangement between Chuck & Stevey is really beginning to piss me off. For as hard as Stevey’s mother worked for them, the house should have been the pension they never paid her.

      Stevey doesn’t need August to carry him up north. His sister Lena is already in the north. Stevey has the means to escape the area, but he’s using his sister Sissy as an excuse for staying in the area. I think this thing with Chuck is more than “just sex.”

  • John Warren

    I’m glad I gave myself until “the next chapter” to really weigh in my feelings about August. I have to admit, there were definite reasons to not like, #1 on the list-he is a Crawford. But this chapter he showed to me anyway, that he cares more about Stevey, about what is right, than he does about his name. At this point, I’m glad I reserved judgement, I’m actually really liking him. I can understand that others don’t share that opinion, that good too.

    Now I also say this with a lot of innocence and naivety, especially considering we are talking about a way of life from 50 years ago. I’ve admitted I don’t have a lot of background in this area (other than high school text books in the 70’s) From Staten’s writing above “August looks over at me. He has these innocent eyes. I’d be surprised if he ever met a black person before today. One of those boys from up North who felt like the world was full of mythical creatures and fairytales…” In a lot of ways I’m August and I think I’ve said that previously. I’ve made comments before about not understanding how Stevey just lets this shit happen to him (Lee has helped explain a lot, great history to learn from a peer, I’m putting myself up higher to be on Lee’s level). I really do have an attitude a lot of the times “Why can’t we all just get along”, I’m learning that letting go of some of the history isn’t as easily done as said. While I’ve met many black people and call many men/women of various nationalities my friend, I also am like August. I think we both see a world like we want it to be, think it should be, and definitely looking through “rose colored glasses”. And that isn’t necessarily bad either. For myself nor August.

    I do worry about what Beau’s next actions are going to be. Is he going after August (does he see him as competition for Stevey’s heart), Is he going after Chuck (honestly as long as it can’t be tied to him, I don’t have a huge problem with this), could Carol be the target (he does seem to be first-name basis with her).

    I also wonder what is said to August when he returns back to the Crawford’s home. Does chuckie confront him privately, or has he already told the family how August swooped in to stop any further action and take him presumably home. What would the family think/care if they knew what chuck and friends did to the family gardener.

    And damnit Staten, I know we will have to wait until next week before we get another update.

    • Lee namefree

      It may be August’s first experiences with black people, but it’s also Stevey’s first experience with a white person who is not first thinking of the differences between. August is trying to get to know Stevey, to understand him and vicariously his culture. Chuck thinks he knows all about black folks. He knows all he cares to know about Stevey, which is apparently nothing, or he would have known who Stevey’s friends were. I am so hoping Stevey will wake up and realize the difference between these men. Three men are lusting after Stevey. August is right, Stevey can do so much better than Chuckles!

      I’m also wondering what the reception will be for August when he returns to the mansion. Will he be asked to return home to Philadelphia for interfering? Or will nothing be said? I’m thinking the family will act as if nothing occurred.

  • John Warren

    I know this is un-related to this story in particular…but did you all happen to catch the news coming out of Sacramento tonight. Peaceful protesting, of a murdered unarmed black man, shut down the arena for tonight’s Kings-Hawks game. After the game the owners took the mic from the arena floor and flanked by the Kings expressed his sympathy to the young man’s family. The camera’s showed a crowd that looked more like they were there to watch a practice session than an actual NBA game. I can’t wait to see how they cover this shooting up and sugar-coat yet another murder at the hands of police.

    • Lee namefree

      I want to say this kind of thing (cover up of police shooting someone black) happens all the time John, but I would be generalizing based on decades of evidence of police tampering and media coverage that was either nil or so maligned the character of the victim as to make the victim seem deserving of his fate.

      Within hours of Trayvon Martin being fatally shot by George Zimmerman, the media begin leaking rumours of Travon having smoked pot at some point in his life. There are no stories of psychotic, unstable, erratic or violent behavior from Travon because of the supposed pot smoking, yet the media found it necessary to try to find something wrong with this black boy, innocently walking to his home, rather than on Zimmerman’s use of a firearm during a neighborhood watch.

      It will be interesting to see how the media illustrates Stephon Clark’s death. I’m astounded that footage of the officer’s body cam’s have been released to the public. The officers have stated that they were seeking a suspect who was reported vandalizing vehicles with a crowbar. Footage show them approaching Stephon Clark in his grandmother’s backyard, someone shouting, “gun, gun gun” before the officers pumped 20 bullets in him. Clark didn’t have a gun, but a cell phone in his hand. We’ll wait and see if the media began searching for reason’s why this victim “earned” his fate.

      I think your comment about this most recent shooting of an unarmed black man is right in line with the story we’re reading. We’ve been debating if media coverage in the 60’s would have made August more aware of the plight of African Americans? I think it certainly has given August a reason to believe there’s a need for change. Stevey is giving him a personal stake in making change happen.

      • John Warren

        Lee, the body cam footage is down right frightening. I’m so damn stupid, naive, or just the wrong skin color or something. I don’t understand the hate. I didn’t understand it as a kid and have less tolerance today. I’m not even going to go so far as to say in post civil war years that hate is justified, but damnit that was over 150 years ago, can we not get over it, people are equal and should never be seen as less. Now while I don’t know/understand all the injustice in those same 150 years, i do get the mis-trust and I wish I knew the magic that would take away the pain and the mistrust.

        Coverage like what is happening today would not have happened in ’67. An organization such as “Black Lives Matter” would have never gotten off the ground. Even in recent years, this would have just been met with more violence such as what we saw in Ferguson. Although the violence was more because nothing happened to the officer. It is always justified, the officer feared for his life from the guy running the other direction unarmed, yeah, I can get on board with that bullshit, ugh it infuriates me so much.

        The thing that gives me any hope at all, and my primary reason for the post, it was a complete non-violent demonstration of people….not black people, but people. People who care, people who are damn tired of this crap. As far as I know the demonstration, disruptions to the highways during rush hour as well as access to the arena for the game were all done in a peaceful/civil manner with no arrest. This gives me hope. But if these officers get away with this due to some stupid technicality, then we are right back in the mess again. At some point, these officers, these men/women sworn to protect us, are going to have to do just that, protect us the people. If they aren’t held accountable for their actions, they might as well be wearing hooded white sheets.

        George Zimmerman, what a fucking douche bag (excuse my french), nothing but one violence accusation after another. I hope the media keeps the heat on him. Of course Florida has made no attempt to really review their “Stand Your Ground” laws. And so what if Travon smoked pot or was stoned. He was shot for one reason only and that had nothing to do with “Standing Your Ground”. Hell I was at the dispensary buying various forms of it myself just 2 days ago, should I be shot for it.

        • Lee namefree

          Africans were enslaved in America for 300 years before the Emancipation Proclamation, during which time Scientific Racism asserted Negroes are a lower evolved species of man, more closely associated with apes. The Negro is thought to have larger skulls, smaller brains; more sexual, and mischievous in character.

          Imagine that directly after the Civil war, largely because the aforementioned theories, mostly southern whites are inclined to believe that African Americans are less than human. Northern whites aren’t doubting humanity but challenge our intellectual aptitude. As late as the 90’s there is published theories suggesting that African Americans are intellectually unfit and prone to criminal activity.

          African Americans have been free for less time than we were enslaved. There is no magic potion to erase the scars of racism. Our efforts must be in effecting change. Changing the way people think takes time, awareness, a willingness to change, a plan for change, and a united community of peoples to make it happen. As people continue to bring awareness to cases of police brutality,use of excessive force and how police officers profile African Americans, it is the 1st step in creating change.

          • John Warren

            Lee, this is going to take me more than 2-3 rewrites to convey my thoughts. They are actually all over the place and I’m sounding like a stupid white fool. Your last paragraph is the crux of it all. Change! the pace is way too slow and there in lies much of the problem and creates more, IMHO. I got sleep on this. I’m already in hot water with hubby because I wouldn’t go to bed until I finished Black Sheep! Damn Staten!

          • Lee namefree

            Yeah! So glad you read Black Sheep. Of course you have to continue the saga with Green Snake. I await your thoughts on the sequel, as well as your comments here, which I am truly enjoying!

          • John Warren

            Both were excellent and of course I want more. I gave a more detailed write-up somewhere else that was in response to both you and Ralph. Every story I read I just become more amazed at this man’s ability to captivate and keep my interest over so many topics.

          • Lee namefree

            I added an extra long response to your comment, somewhere below. All you had to do is mention one tiny thing about Black Sheep……anyway, I submitted a thesis somewhere below.

          • John Warren

            At this point, i’m tired of talking…Words are hollow as hell without actions. So that , and this crazy addiction to Staten, are where i should focus my voice and action. But i do want to keep having intellectual educational discussions with yourself, Staten, or anyoe else who will jump in. Don’t be afraid either as long as we are civil, respectful, I know I can learn.

            ***************************************************************************************************************************
            How about these words worn by both the Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings prior to their game last night. Players as well as team personnel.

            Black shirts with white bock lettering:

            Front of shirt ACCOUNTABILITY.
            WE ARE ONE

            Back of shirt #StephonClark