There are several reasons, all equally important, why I wrote this historical fiction as a trilogy, why Desiree is the first book, why Season of Light is the second and why the third book, Reap the Hot September Harvest entitles the entire work. If I had to encapsulate it into one reason, it would probably be to further impress upon America the urgency to overcome its racist inequality. Stop its downward trend into something less than mediocre.

My primary objective in writing the trilogy was to shape literature from the history of the civil rights movement. My personal challenge was suggesting an imaginative perspective based on historical truths to literary America on how we can make the MLK JR. Promised Land—total equality—indeed reality.

White people—those who apparently do not know—total equality is not yours to enjoy as a result of your birthright. That belief is a throwback to slavery and lost its validity eons ago. Guns and the howling cry of second amendment rights are not without obligations The lawful enjoyment of both automatically assumes that you endorse that guarantee to every citizen The stupidity overriding that warranty is negative energy which inhibits the offended as well as the offender.

Total equality for the benefit of a people includes them exercising their God inspired talents artfully in satisfying the intellectual necessities of a heterogenous society. The Harlem Renaissance –birth and rise of a Black artistic magnet—in its demand for recognition negated the falsity in racists rationale for its exclusion from worldwide appeal. Pioneer musical forms and neoteric literary genres resulted in the formation of Whites only clubs with renaissance artists in yes, of all places, Black Harlem They withered in the Great Depression, being tied inseparably to capitalism.

That energizing awakening however, spread throughout black communities and intertwined with an innovative and fertile religious order—the Black Church. Nostalgically I hear the world-famous Wings Over Jordan and the Jubilee Singers expressing their transformative relationships with God through songs of yearning—the Spirituals—for justice and peace. Those blending voices wrought a new music that could not be duplicated. From it the Black Church captured a world-wide conscience beneficial to the civil rights crusade. The Spirituals lent themselves to the formation of several innovative genres, rhythm and blues, swing, jazz, and gospel. Unlike the Black Bourgeoisie—the handful of fortunate African Americans who escaped slavery and grew into a standalone kind of upward mobility—the Black Church augmented the emerging Renaissance.

I vividly recall Black mothers and relatives of yesteryear making certain our Sunday clothes , we called them, were appropriate to enter those sacred chambers. White shirts, neckties and razor-creased trousers or freshly pressed suits with spit-shined shoes. Ladies considered properly dressed wore Sunday hats, some with veils, gloves, and some kind of sheer stockings. They never entered church wearing slacks.  At varying levels of consciousness (intellect) we were infused with a Black Pride a declaration which I believe is a suitable way to segue into an explanation of the Trilogy.

The trilogy, Reap the Hot September Harvest’s theme is literature derived from the history of Blackness in America and the civil rights movement against White racism. The Black Church is thematic throughout the three works. It is the iron rails upon which the Civil rights Movement crisscrossed America’s badlands. Reap means to gain or lose. Harvest means to gather; the accumulation or loss depends on several factors, primarily the level of sincerity and effort involved. September is a month of change, a time for gathering the harvest, refocusing energies in preparing for the oncoming season. Hot indicates urgency.

Writing the trilogy from contemporary American and ancient Egyptian History necessitated a trip to Egypt. In Cairo I walked among those ancient ruins, visited museums, and listened to lectures. In Luxor I rubbed my fingers over hieroglyphic sketches etched in the stone ruins of ancient Egyptians wearing masonic aprons. There, I found a mecca. It’s resplendent displays of the ancient pharaonic era and its astounding influence on the construction of Washington, DC, mesmerized me.  The greater challenge encountered in the blending of histories was in developing appealing characters with the temper-driven grit to forge compelling stories out of that heterogenous chaos. Desiree Pierson representing all Freedom Riders starts the Civil Rights crusade.

As her story unfolds in Book 1, titled Desiree, two major themes emerge, the lingering detriment of racism a century after slavery’s demise and the inability of Christianity to crush it. An elderly Black World War II veteran observes her as an angel of mercy, but eighteen-year-old Desiree doesn’t understand why until she studies yoga. In the infamous Mothers’ Day massacre of 1960 by the KKK, in Anniston, Alabama, the beating shocks her into a deep and helpless state of fear and rage. Her entire being painfully rejects that decrepit existence. “I am not my problem,” she cries. Neither Desiree, her family, nor doctors realize the degree of her suffering.

Desiree seeks yoga,-the healing science of mind body and spirit. Her guru explains, Desiree’s entire being retains memories of the trauma. In that stressful situation, her brain passes stress on to her organs, each organ connected to a specific emotion. The organ’s fibrous material records the trauma, which settles in her weakest organs. Slowly, as she recuperates readers are drawn into the action and unconsciously apply their own views to the story including the haunting mystery of the veteran’s suicide. Book 1 entertains as it informs readers of the minute-by-minute danger and attracts empathy for those courageous folk who could have been our next-door neighbors across America, several of whom would never return home. Desiree creates a national public outcry. On November 1, 1961, the Interstate Commerce Commission declares segregation in its facilities illegal. Reverend Alan Duberry, who enters her life after she became a yoga enthusiast, explains it best and wins her heart. ‘’Flowers of sacrifice bloom the lunar year. Desiree, you have been identified for that cause of redemption.”

Book 2, titled Season of Light is a saga of protagonist Alan Duberry, a freshman at New Sankore University in Seven Hills, OHIO, becoming a religious and spiritualist minister. Season’s theme is conscientious Alan defying the destructive power of racism. It focuses scene by scene on the dramatization of his personal rejection to the inhumanity of systemic racism as he bucks the wind of bigotry in his spiritual ascension. Book 2 entertains as it elucidates the merging of MLK’s metaphor, the Promised Land into enlightenment. It being a spiritual objective requires more discipline of the individual and yields more than racial equality. Dates, incidents, and personalities Alan encounters augment his story. Several names, WEB Dubois, Booker T Washington, Benjamin Banneker, George Washington ,Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer Gwendolyn Brooks, Tehuti, and Marcus Garvey, all historic personas add their significance to the novel. Other named persons with whom Alan interacts, including his college mates are the novelist’s imagination.

Alan’ s first goal to add a dimension to MLK’s SCLC does not materialize. By the time he is psychologically and philosophically adept, MLK is unfortunately deadlocked at odds with President Johnson over the Vietnam War. Johnson signs the 1965 civil rights act into law and seeks skeptical MLK’S authority in developing the Great American Society.  MLK’S rejection creates a firestorm of bewilderment. It has the potential to trigger Book 2’s most powerful emotional response. Several opportunities materialize for readers to search deep within to express empathy or apathy with characters illustrating their personal reasoning.

After graduation from the seminary Reverend Duberry determines that in order to achieve unfettered equality Christianity in America must be redefined. How, he reckons, can such a convoluted and multi-interpretive means for salvation be made straightforward redemptive? He is given the means to investigate its beginning right up to the dawn of civilization.  Alan learns that a Portuguese writer interpreted Christianity for his king to strip captured Africans of their human dignity and render them slaves. This becomes the sanctioning of human bondage and racism in North, Central, and South America and Canada.

An investigation into Christianity’s historic beginning takes Alan to Egypt. The elaborate museums and lectures in Cairo, the ruins of ancient temples and burial sites in Luxor and hobnobbing with Nubians and Upper Egyptians in Aswan, descendants of the Ancients causes Alan to believe he will find answers here. Luxor, especially in a lecture-session with a priest, who traces his origin to masters in the Ancient Egyptian Mystery System. The priest tells him where he will find evidence that Tehuti has been there and despite his warning Alan’s determination to tour the ruins of Tehuti’s temple mount. Anxiousness to feel an actual closeness to Tehuti, the ancient scribe of God, compels Alan to defy caution. Although not forbidden, its forlorn and squalid location is not a tourist site identified like others by the Egyptian Minister of Tourism. No guide will take him there. In the Sahara Desert alone? No, but if not, with who? Alan’s need to read (know)Tehuti overwhelms him. He cringes at thoughts long and short that rapidly crisscross his mind.

It flashes back to that year in college when Alan imagined himself a child of the light after reading the play, “Season of Light.” He recalls writing an interpretative answer to the question, Why Kentehuti, the playwright spends every winter in his Cape May, NJ isolated haven? Alan instantly relishes a moment of bliss and feels within reach of the metaphorical pot of gold at the rainbow’s end.

Alan satisfies himself that he looks like an Upper Egyptian. Close but with an uncertain ways to go, he confirms that he will not return home with nothing and plots a scheme with a forty-eight-hour window. If(a big one) he can find the seventy-five-dollar Nubian bride that loud-mouth scoundrel had offered him shortly after his arrival.  So, he departs for the airport but instead goes downtown to the Cairo Sheraton. There he secures a suite for two nights, buys a New York Times newspaper, and purposely acts nervous while browsing and glancing at his watch. He chuckles at the innkeeper and bellhops watching him act like an impatient business person. At mid-morning he goes to a restaurant he and his guide had frequented, orders breakfast and sits in a window eating and casually observing passersby.

Surely, as if destiny had planned it, Alan glances up. The Nubian woman’s beautiful face captivates him so much that he gags on a sizeable chunk of unchewed egg and lamb. Though hastily regaining composure, he waves for her to join him, she and that scoundrel who offered to sell her. All the while glistening in nervous sweat, Alan accepts Hebeny’s hand in a disgusting marriage deal for which he pays a paltry sum.  Alan suspects it is a scheme and has planned a swift counter escape. After very few preliminaries, in the hotel Alan gently persuades her to change into expensive Muslim garb. She will be safe Hebeny agrees, even if traveling alone. Then Alan engages her in a fun and games sketching contest to determine if she knows Aswan and Tehuti. She draws resounding affirmatives to both inquiries and after a few bouts of a tug-of-war over preliminaries they are off to Hermopolis.

At the edge of the Sahara Desert In the hot wind and sand whipped temple ruins, forlorn but not surprised Alan finds the unkempt ruins of Djehutihotep’s (Tehuti’s) tomb In the near distance ahead however, in the New Hermopolis International Cultural Center he didn’t know existed Alan is privileged to read some of which were salvaged of Tehuti’s (Hermes)the ancient scribe of God’s writings.  Elated beyond comparison, staring at a treasure-trove of knowledge six thousand years older than the Bible a brief scan induces, Alan to believe that lessons developed into practices derived from it can convince millions of equality seekers it is worth seeking in this lifetime. Does he satisfy or pacify his conscience in the relationship with Hebeny?

Satisfy, if she has been sincere. If not, Alan believes his generosity to compensate for whatever inconvenience he might have caused is adequate. Hopefully, he reflects, after seeing her safely on the midnight train, Hebeny is in Aswan with her people. Alan returns to America armed with the knowledge providence assured him existed. He marries Desiree as it is published in Book 1. Alan’s perseverance pays off. The dominant take away in Book 2 is that History reveals that ancient Egyptians from whom he finds the evidence he sought were revered by Europeans, namely Greeks and Romans. Their scholars were students in Tehuti’s Mystery School. Jews wrote the first Bible and introduced Jesus to the world. Emperors Constantine and Theodosius shut down the Egyptian Mystery System and instituted Catholicism (Christianity).

In Book 3 my two protagonists, Desiree and Rev. Alan Duberry realize that the most viable way to gain the confidence of the masses of deprived Americans in order to steer them toward total equality would be through the Black Church. It though being so powerfully big and steeped in American Christian ideology that try as they might, neither mentally grasp the resistance to their challenge. Alan explains with obvious evidence that a Jesus mentality and a heavenly home with Christ will not yield racial equality. So, it doesn’t require much enticing for Desiree to sway the Reverend into developing an African yoga philosophy. Their holistic spiritual approach is one that enhances enlightenment—heal and elevate the mind, body, and spirit. It’s rewards are greater than racial equality.

Their methodology attracts several yoga initiates and participants from a White yoga retreat. Alan and Desiree begin an implementation to elevate the mindsets of the initiates and in that progression all involved in that hybrid mix begin demystifying the mythology of white supremacy. Then an interracial couple seeking solace stops in. Well, well, the plot thickens.

Book 3 is in the editing and development stages. A complete synopsis of it will be added to a revision of this blog when its ready for publication. I invite interested readers to peruse my website I will respond to your inquiries.

Desiree is available at Amazon or at Barnes and Noble



Why I Wrote the Trilogy Reap the Hot September Harvest