Support Shawn's writng with a donation

Monday, July 30, 2012

Shawn responds to Comments on his Halle Berry Blogs part 2

This same Anonymous person also commented on my Halle Berry Baby Mama Drama Blog. It’s obvious to me that this individual has some clearly twisted thinking from living out in L.A. and being part of the entertainment industry. In this blog I’ll try to set them straight and further educate brothers and sisters about the institution of Hollywood. As usual, my responses are light text, the comments are bold text.

Black women had this reputation long before Halle Berry's drama. Halle Berry represents Halle Berry. She does not represent black women.

I’m sorry that’s a LIE. Black women did not have had this reputation. White Supremacists made up these stereotypes to make White women appear superior and make Black women appear sub-human. Moroever, they created these stereotypes so Black women could appear undesirable and unattractive.

When Halle Berry identifies herself as BLACK she represents Black women. When she allows herself to be put on Black magazine covers like Ebony, Essence, and attends awards show like the NAACP Image awards and accepts those awards she represents Black women.

If she’s such a prominent half-white, biracial or mulatto person, why doesn’t she take her ass over to those half-white, biracial, or mixed race publications or those mixed, biracial or mulatto awards shows.


So when she participates in Black events she is a BLACK WOMAN.

And Black women don’t need Halle Berry reinforcing racist stereotypes about them. Each Black woman who acts like a stereotype only further perpetuates the negative perceptions about Black women to the world. And When our most prominent women are seen acting like a ghetto hoodrat It makes other little girls and younger women think this kind of dysfunctional behavior is perfectly fine for Black people and that acting like a decent human being is “acting white”.

Halle is an icon, a product and a carefully crafted image. Most black women, famous or not famous, are not. Therefore, Halle represents herself. Here are the reasons why:

You just contradicted yourself. How can Halle Be an “icon” and not represent Black women? If you are a supposed icon and you look like a Black person then you represent Black women.

It’s clear to me that you have bought into the Hollywood brainwashing. The kind of callous social conditioning that tricks people into separating the humanity from people and makes them think of people as objects. It’s the same twisted way Hollywood executives think of the people who work for them. It’s how they can be cold and indifferent to those people when they hit hard times and cut them off like a light switch.

This kind of thinking is how people wind up becoming disconnected from reality. It’s how they become narcissistic and self-absorbed; living in their own world instead of the real world like the rest of us. It’s how people stop thinking about the needs of others. It’s how Hollywood types cut people off from friends, family and the people who love them.

Halle Maria Berry is NOT an Icon. She is human and has flaws. Icons are made of stone, wood, gold, resin or other materials. Human beings are flesh and blood. They are connected to other people. Each action we take effects other people around us.  

Halle does NOT represent herself. No Black person on this earth represents themselves in an institutionally racist White supremacist society. Every action one Black person makes effects dozens of others in their community and the people outside of it.

When she starred in Monster’s Ball she helped to legitimize the Jezebel stereotype and make it mainstream for the 21st century. And since then the media has bombarded people with images of the lascivious Black Whore in mainstream media.

Anonymous also goes on to say:

1.Halle can get in mainstream movies that most other black actresses can not, even if they are more talented.

Lie #1. Halle gets scraps A-list White actresses have passed on. Most of her lead roles are scripts other A-list White women have read and passed on. And when she does get roles in other types of mainstream movies, they’re ensemble pieces where she is the token Black chick.

2. Halle gets on magazine covers and constantly referred to as most beautiful, even though there are other black actresses who are just as beautiful.

Lie #2. Beauty is in they eye of the beholder.

Halle gets on those covers because Madison Avenue and Hollywood need to sell magazines to brainwashed teenagers and women who don’t know any better.

 Most of those most beautiful lists are bought and paid for by publicists. Most other Black actresses don’t wind up on those lists because have the money to pay for publicity like Halle Berry does.

3. Halle got away with a hit and run pretty much.

Deflection #1. Halle got away with hit and run because she had studio backing. Those Studio suits weren’t going to lose money on their investment in an up-and coming star back in the late 90’s.

The Hollywood corporate machine bought and paid for Halle’s escape from prison time. But with her star fading and With her thumbing her nose at White Supremacist America, I guarantee she won’t get away with any more stuff like that.  

Even though Halle is black when push comes to shove, she is seen as "not quite like us." 
Lie #3. Halle is JUST LIKE US. Don’t let the corporate-run media fool you. Any woman who verbally abuses and berates men like she does is JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER BLACK WOMAN OUT THERE.

And the media sees her JUST LIKE US. Throughout the whole custody situation with Gabriel Aubry, people now have a negative perception of Halle Berry. Many see her just like the hoodrat Baby mamas who emasculate their men and humiliate them in public.

I don't for one second believe that her behavior reflects on black women. It reflects on her.

Shawn shakes his head. Whoever this is they are in such denial.

They truly do not understand the reflexive properties of Institutional racism as it relates to Black people.

When one Black woman behaves badly it reflects badly on all Black women. Thanks to White Supremacy and Racism, one Black person’s bad behavior reflects on the group.

And when one of the most prominent Black women is depicted as acting like a ghetto hoodrat Baby Mama in public it reinforces the stereotype that Black women don’t know how to behave in social situations. That Black women are arrogant belligerent females who are combative and argumentative bringing chaos and drama wherever they go.  

When Halle was presented like this to the world it reinforced the institutionally racist notion to the world that a Black woman is the least desirable of all women. That a Black woman is a domineering, controlling bully that emasculates men. That not even a White man (the supreme man in America) can work with Black women.

Halle Berry is mixed. This could be the subconscious reason as why black women don't see it as their responsibility to check Halle's behavior. I would cringe if it was someone like Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, Anika Noni Rose or Kerry Washington behaving like this, but Halle, I don't care because when I look at her I don't see someone who represents my image as a black woman.

When Black women act out it reflects negatively on other Black women. And other Black women need to speak out because the way Black women are behaving is not making them look good. The Black woman is quickly becoming the new COON in modern day America. From ghetto hoodrats booty shaking and getting into fights on WorldStar Hip Hop, Montana Fishburne participating in porn, to actresses like Halle Berry having baby mama drama, the image of the modern Black woman is being maligned and degraded.

Instead of distancing themselves it’s time for Good Black women need to start speaking out against this bad behavior.  Because the way these women are behaving is making all our sistas look bad.

She is half-white anyway. 

Deflection #2. Half white, Biracial, Mixed or whatever people call it is still BLACK in White Supremacist America.  Don’t let the smooth taste fool you. In the eyes of the world a Half-white woman is still a ONE HUNDRED PERCENT NIGGER.

I do agree with much of what you said though, Shawn. Halle is not exactly seen as one of the classiest actresses, beautiful yes, but classy no. She did a superb job of crafting her image early on to get people believe that she was this innocent victim, but the truth is now coming out. And to be able to fool people and keep that innocent reputation for so long, I call her genius.

Halle Berry is NOT a genius. The Hollywood executives and Madison Avenue Marketers are geniuses. If they got a hold of overweight late 30s South Bronx Shawn, they market him as a sex symbol the public would eat it up.

They were the ones who fooled us. Well, those of us who don’t understand the game.

And they fooled us because they saw the opportunity to take this woman and make money off her. So they created a persona, a public image and projected them onto Halle Maria Berry and sold that image to the public as the reality.

It was an investment.

In their eyes Halle Maria Berry is property. She only has value as long as she makes money. When she is no longer able to make money for those people in the corporate Oligarchy of movie studios they’d release her.

And when they abandon her, that’s when she’d find out how human she is. And how disconnected she is from the rest of the world.

I’d advise Anonymous to watch The Wrestler. It goes into full detail about this disconnection to people in the entertainment industry have. After being disconnected from real people, Randy “The Ram” Robinson tries to wrestle with life in the real world after having a heart attack. Because he can’t deal with the real world, he chooses to die in the ring. Because in the Wrestling world he’s still seen as somebody and has a connection to others.

I also wrote about a lot of this in All About Marilyn. In the first scenes I show how Marilyn is seen as an object by Studio executives. How they abandon her when she can’t make money for them.

It’s only her connection to the people around her and her relationship with God that allows her to move ahead in life.

 But it seems to go over people’s heads.

People are not icons. They are objectified by other people who look to make money off their worship. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Shawn responds to Comments on his Halle Berry Blogs part 1

I had a person leave a comment on my blog regarding Halle Berry’s impact on Black Cinema. In it they make numerous excuses for Halle Berry. From their response they sound like a clueless Suburban Black person who has been indoctrinated into the Hollywood’s twisted way of thinking. After I make my rebuttal to their comments, I’ll explain why this type of brainwashed Black person is dangerous to brothers and sisters and the entire Black community overall.

Their comments are in bold and responses are regular text.

Halle has a soft screen presence that gets attention. It doesn't demand attention. People will look, comment on her beauty, and move on. Her presence and acting doesn't emit that wow factor.

Which is why Halle Berry is not a good leading actress or a good actress period. Having a soft screen presence is not the quality of a leading lady. A leading lady has to have that WOW factor, that ability to command the screen and carry a film.

A leading lady has to have a screen presence. She has to have charisma. She has to radiate energy from her first frame of the film to the last.

Commenting on her beauty is one thing. Paying $12 for a movie ticket is another. And Halle Berry can’t make people excited enough to pay for a movie where she’s star of the show.

Black Cinema existed before Halle came along. She doesn't have that much power to have that kind of effect. She is seen as a beautiful icon who made history. That's it. She is not concerned about black cinema. Halle is only concerned with HER status in Hollywood as the most prominent black actress.

You just summed up the problem. Halle Berry is only concerned about Halle Berry.

Halle’s status as the most prominent Black actress wasn't made by white people spending their money to see her films. It was made by the support of brothers and sisters who supported her. And when she turned her back on the Black community that was paying money to see her in those movies she LOST her position.

Without Black flimmakers offering her roles like Boomerang, Strictly Business, Jungle Fever and Queen There would be no Halle Berry.

And because she’s not concerned about Black Cinema, she doesn’t understand how racists are using her to keep Black cinema from moving forward. As I stated before it’s hard for a Black film to get produced. A Black star like Denzel Washington, Will Smith or Halle Berry can get a film greenlit or put into production by getting behind it.

But when top Black stars like Halle Berry star in five or more box-office failures it makes it harder for other film makers to get their projects made.

A Black actor can’t be an individual. A Black Film maker can't be an individual. A Black Screenwriter can't be an individual. In White Supremacist America One Black person’s actions affect the entire group of Black people.

When Halle Berry fucks up, it fucks things up for other Black actresses.

And That keeps other actresses from getting work. Moreover, it keeps young new talents from finding an opportunity to get work. When a Halle Berry movie fails, that role for a Black woman gets turned into a role for a Hispanic woman, an Asian woman or a White woman.

Anonymous goes on to say:

There are enough talented famous and non famous black filmmakers out there who can finance their own stuff. I don't understand why black people don't do this. I live on little money, yet I financed, wrote and starred in a short film that won Best Thriller at a local film festival here in LA.

This kind of individualized thinking is how Black people wind up being picked off by White Supremacists who want to maintain the power of institutional racism in this country.

Again, this brotha or sister is showing how they have been brainwashed by White Supremacists in Hollywood to believe they are an individual. They think they are a “special” nigger because they made a movie and they won a Best Thriller at a local film festival.

They obviously have no understanding of how Black films are made and financed. Or how they’re distributed in America.

Seriously, Where are these individuals again? Most Black filmmakers famous and non-famous I’ve heard from say that it’s next to impossible to get financing for their projects. And even harder to get distribution when they do get those films made.

It’s a know FACT that Black films are THE RISKIEST films to get made because they RARELY pull a profit in the U.S.

Worse, they can’t be sold in foreign markets usually due to the subject matter and the inept way they’re made.

Now you can self-finance a short. There aren’t that many scenes. But a feature length-film requires serious cash. Like a minimum of $20 million to $40 million dollars.

And it’s already hard to raise money for a Black film. And that money that becomes harder to get from investors when people like Halle Berry star in flop after flop after flop.

Just because YOU financed, wrote and starred in a short film that won at a local film festival doesn’t mean other brothers and sisters will get that opportunity or have access to that kind of cash.

Anonymous also goes on to say:
Halle is not responsible for the success of black cinema. She does not go out of her way to do "black movies" anymore either, and I am not faulting her for this. She doesn't want to be boxed, and that's a good thing.

Halle is not responsible for the success of other Black movies. I’ll agree with you on that. But she has been granted a tremendous opportunity because she starred in Black movies. Moreover, she became a star with the help and support of Black people and Black dollars.

When she says she does not want to do Black movies she is spitting in the face of the very people who supported her. Killing her money making potential at the box office.

Halle Berry became a star due to African-Americans paying money to see her movies. If she can’t draw brothers and sisters to go see her movies. she doesn’t have any star power.

That’s why Halle Berry needs to go out of her way to reach back to the people who made her a star. It is HER RESPONSIBILITY to reach back to the next generation of Black filmmakers and help them get that toehold in the cinematic arena.

Halle does not want to be boxed? Ironically, that’s what those White Supremacists in Hollywood have done for the past ten years. BOXING HER into the jezebel stereotype with stuff like Swordfish, Die Another Day, Perfect Stranger and Monster’s Ball.

Packaging people is what Hollywood DOES. Hollywood executives take an actress and put them in films that allow them to sell an actress. The goal of the packaging is to maximize profits at the box-office.

Every big budget commercial film Halle has starred in post-Oscar has been some bland thriller or action pic where they play up her sexuality. Even the arty films like Things we Lost in the Fire and Frankie and Alice all utilize some element of sexuality or sensuality.

And now that they can’t make any money off her at the box-office they’re boxing her in to the Sapphire stereotype. When she turned on Gabriel Aubry, the White Supremacist media turned on her, portraying her as a domineering emasculating Black Bitch who berated and humiliated her man.

I know there are great black writers out there who write scripts, sell them, only to have the studio execs cast only white people in them.

I’ll agree with you on this. It’s one of the reasons I want NOTHING to do with Hollywood. It’s one of the points I detailed in my screenplay All About Marilyn. I’d advise you to read it.

Black people should write and finance and distribute their own stuff. We may not get the results we want in this generation but it will set up the next generation to have it easier.

This person is totally CLUELESS when it comes to life as an African-American. They must come from the suburbs and their parents must have taught them to believe in the God damn rainbow where everyone just gets along regardless of color. They have to be living under a magic rock to be THIS fucking oblivious to White Supremacy and Racism.

Seriously, How can Black people who have no money finance their own stuff when we don’t control the money?

How can we get films distributed when we don’t control the distribution systems?

In America Cinematic distribution is controlled by six conglomerates: Viacom, Newscorp, Disney, Comcast/Universal, Warner Brothers, and Sony. If they don’t buy your film no one will know it exists until it appears on direct-to video where it’ll be stigmatized and seen as crap by the audience.

And where are Black people they going to learn about screenwriting in a White Supremacist education system where many brothers and sisters barely know how to read at a fifth grade reading level? How will they get skills to make films in a world 50% of Black people don’t finish High school?

Now I was blessed enough to teach myself about screenwriting. But film school is a four-year commitment after college. How are Black people going to get to film school if most of them can’t even finish High School?

And how will the next generation of Black people have it easier if a majority of them are being raised by a bunch of illiterate people and stranded in poverty on public assistance or dead-end jobs?

Whoever this is really takes their position in life for granted. They haven’t taken a look at the real world objectively.

If you are Black, there will always be a struggle to make any progress in life. There will be an even greater struggle to maintain wherever you are when you get there. No matter your position in life you will always encounter racism. You will always encounter discrimination. You will always have to FIGHT.

Many of the gains brothers and sisters made throughout the last 25 years after the Civil Rights Movement were wiped out soon after the verdict of the OJ Simpson trial.

Why? Because a generation of Brothers and sisters like Halle Berry and this Anonymous individual got comfortable and took their position in life as Black people for granted. They thought were finally part of this great American Melting pot. They didn’t understand that White Supremacist America NEVER has had a place for Black people.

And because they took their position in life for granted, African-Americans no longer own radio stations. We no longer own newspapers or magazines. We no longer own TV channels or movie theaters. We have no businesses or wealth in our communities. 90 percent of Black America’s wealth is now owned by a White Supremacist corporate oligarchy. 98 percent of Black dollars go out of the community into the hands of someone of another race to make them wealthy.

I dare to say Black people today are worse off today than they were during slavery. And the next generation will be worse off than our slave ancestors 20 years from now.

At least the slaves had skills like tailoring, blacksmithing, carpentry, and farming when they were freed. And our Northern Free people of Color like Fredrick Douglass had skills in publishing, barbering printing, law, Medicine, and other trades.

Most of today’s Black people don’t even have those abilities. All they’re being raised to be are entertainers and athletes.

And every Black person can’t be Halle Berry or Lebron James. Hell, they can’t even be Shawn James.

Here’s the facts. The next generation of Black people will NOT have it easier. That is a delusion of grandeur Black people in denial say to themselves.

The next generation of Black people are going to have it WORSE than my generation in 20 years. 70 percent of them are being raised by single mothers. 70 percent are living in poverty 50 percent of them don’t have can’t even get a High school diploma even though the material has been dumbed down to the sixth grade level. Most are destined to be stuck in low-wage jobs for the rest of their natural born lives or in and out of the prison system.

Brainwashed brothers and sisters like this are dangerous. They’ve been programmed to believe that they are “individuals” or “Americans”. That their actions only effect them and only them. That their mistakes don’t affect others.

They’re the kind of Black people who take their position in life for granted. They think everyone has an opportunity not understanding that America has historically denied equal opportunities to Black people for over 400 years. That White Supremacists in a corporate oligarchy continue to use a combination of business policy, laws and unwritten social rules to keep Black people oppressed.

When Black people like this are in positions of power And they have the ability to make decisions that impact the lives of brothers and sisters in the Black community. And because they’re clueless, their decisions keep other Black people in poverty.

All while they say they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.

Not understanding the many privileges they were blessed with over brothers like me who grew up in poverty.

None of us are individuals.  Not me, Not Halle Berry, and not this Anonymous person. We are all connected to each other on this planet. When one of us acts it impacts other people. And when you’re Black your actions can either help other black people or hurt them.


This individual also comments on the Halle Berry Baby Mama drama without the understanding of why Halle Berry’s behavior is embarrassing to All Black women. I’ll be commenting on that in the next blog. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Why Independent Bookstores Must Support Local Self-Published authors and Small Presses!

I got a comment from a small Independent bookstore owner regarding my blog about the closing of the Hue-Man Bookstore. In it she stated stating that self-published and small press books don’t sell well as books from trade publishers.

I’m gonna have to call bullshit on that.

With small independent bookstores in crisis from competition from online booksellers like and chain stores like Barnes & Noble, I’d think they’d want to take every advantage offered to them.

But they’d still rather thumb their nose at authors and self-publishers like myself who want to help them and bring business to them.

Selling the work of small press and self-published authors like myself give small independent bookstores an opportunity to stand out in the ruins of the collapsed American book market. Our work allows small independent bookstores a chance to form a relationship with the customer. When we’re allowed to do book signings and readings and take the time to promote our work there, we show the people in the neighborhood who shop there they have a value there beyond just being customers. When people from the neighborhood can get their work sold at a local independent bookstore it shows them the bookstore is a part of their neighborhood. That it’s a part of their lives. That it’s THEIR bookstore.

A person can buy a book from a trade publisher at any Barnes & Noble or order it from an But they can’t buy a relationship with a retailer.

A business owner can’t put a price tag on forming that kind of connection with a customer. It’s the kind of bond that produces customer loyalty that lasts generations. A loyalty so strong that people will bring their business to a local shop first before going over to Barnes & Noble or logging on to The kinds of customers who are so committed to a shop’s owners they’ll pay extra just to put that money in the till of a friend and help them out.

Salespeople at most modern retailers maintain their livelihoods on these kinds of relationships. They’re the kind that allow them to make six figure salaries.

When people provide this kind of support to a business has a tremendous impact on it and the community. It’s how a small local shop becomes a community staple, an iconic place everyone wants to go and needs to be.

Today’s small independent bookstore owners don’t seem to understand that they’re not selling books. They’re selling an experience. When someone comes to their store they’re not just coming for a book. They’re coming for memories.

Moreover, they’re selling a relationship with the customer. Customers want to go to a place where they’ll be treated with dignity and respect. Where they’ll be seen as someone with value. Where they’ll be presented with something special they can’t get anyplace else.

In the aftermath of the publishing industry collapse of 2008 I’d think a smart independent bookstore owner would be looking to build their business working with local self-published authors and small presses. Trying to build a relationship with people who can draw people into their shops. Trying to give their customers that unique shopping experience they’ll never forget; the kind they’ll tell their friends about. Offering distinct products that people can’t find at Barnes & Noble or Stuff that usually has to be ordered. Stuff that takes a week or more to be shipped.

Usually when books like these are on hand, people tend to buy them. And they tell their friends where to get them.

That’s how Borders built its business back in the day.

But the surviving independent bookstores don’t seem to think that business model will help them to compete against the Barnes & Noble, Amazon or the other online booksellers.

No, they want to be dismissive of the work of small presses and self publishers like the now defunct Hue-Man was. Not understanding how this condescending attitude towards local self-published and small press authors is part of what’s turning people away from their businesses to online retailers where they can buy those same books in bundles at discounted prices with free shipping.

Hue-Man touted itself as a community bookstore. A place where African-Americans from the neighborhood could find the works of other African-American authors.

Unfortunately it never supported authors from the African-American community and their work. Most small presses and self-publishers like myself were completely blown off.

Instead it became a place where uppity Niggers hobnobbed with celebrities and dignitaries forgetting the very brothers and sisters in the neighborhood they were supposed to be serving.

And those slighted customers walked right past Hue-Man. Right over to the vendor tables at the end of the block. Now those African brothers with the book tables knew how to treat a customer. They were polite, friendly and often had the most recent merchandise. Many were receptive to buying and selling the work of a self-published or a small press publisher. Forming that relationship with the nobodies who would eventually become the somebodies who they felt would take their business to the next level. Building another business that takes money out of the Black community and making wealth for someone else.

All while the local neighborhood Black-owned bookstore packed up and left the neighborhood leaving brothers and sisters out of work.

I wanted to help Hue-Man by promoting my work there. And I still want to help the small independent bookstores out there. But because many independent bookstore owners are indifferent and belligerent towards me, I can’t form that relationship with them. Sure people can find my work at But there’s nothing like interacting with the reader and giving them an experience that goes beyond the page. That’s what builds the word-of-mouth that brings sales to bookstores long-term.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

R.I.P Hue-Man Bookstore

I recently read that the Hue-Man Bookstore in Harlem will be closing on July 31, 2012. The owners of Hue-Man say that they lost their lease and they couldn’t afford the rent anymore.

I can’t say that I’ll miss it.

I went to visit the Hue-Man Bookstore several times on my trips to Harlem as a publisher and as a customer. And on both fronts I wasn’t impressed.

Some will say that eBooks killed Hue-Man the same way it killed Borders.

eBooks had nothing to do with the demise of Hue-Man. From a business perspective, Hue-Man was a hot mess.

Plain and simple Hue-Man was mismanaged. From what I saw on the sales floor the owners were clearly not prepared to compete with other booksellers like Barnes & Noble and online stores like

While the store had a great layout with lots of lighting and a comfortable environment, customer service was poor. On my two trips there I was greeted coldly by some clerks and ignored by others. I’ve had family members tell me they were rushed out of the store and greeted gruffly, asked what they wanted and how long they were staying.

That’s a huge difference from the experience I had when me and my sister visited Barnes and Noble on 86th Street and the one on 47th Street. If I wanted help, I could just go to an information desk or a computer kiosk. And the store was so inviting I’d stay there for an hour or so perusing the shelves looking for something to buy.

Along with the poor customer service there was the poor quality merchandise at Hue-Man. When one first walked into the store, they were greeted with magazines several months behind those on the newsstands further down the block on Lenox Avenue. Worse, they were dog eared, creased and not fit for sale.

No book store manager worth their salt wants old dog eared and creased magazines on their shelves. It’ it leaves a bad first impression on customers. And it makes a statement about the management of the store that it doesn’t care.

Along with the old damaged magazines Hue-Man stocked old editions of paperbacks. Books from as far back as 1991.

A good store manager makes sure to make sure that the most recent edition of a book is available on the shelf. If they don’t have that edition, then they discount an older book. 

Besides, Old books aren't how a new bookstore competes in a city where there's a Barnes & Noble and local bookstore almost every ten to fifteen  blocks with fresh discounted merchandise on the shelves. 

And it's not how a new bookstore competes with used bookstores and street vendors You can get the same 1991 edition of that book cheap at a used bookstore, a Goodwill or from a street vendor for just 99 cents to a dollar.

 On top of the paperbacks being old, they were being sold at full retail price. I’ve seen paperbacks priced as high as $21 on my trips there. That’s not competitive, especially for a small bookstore looking to compete with Barnes &; Noble and Discounts are the lifeblood of the book business and small bookstores should always have titles on sale to compete with the big chains.

Along with the poor inventory, people couldn’t find books they wanted. I’ve had family members and several friends go there and ask for titles only to be told they couldn’t get them. Simple stuff like Manchild in the Promised Land, Autobiography of an ex-colored man, Three Negro Classics or anything by Richard Wright, Maya Angelou or Ralph Ellison.

That’s ridiculous.

Every bookstore large or small should be connected to the Ingram database and the Baker & Taylor database. Every bookstore should be able to order a title for a customer by punching in the title. Bronx Book Place on Fordham Road in the Bronx used to do that easily back in the day when it was running.

But Hue-Man couldn’t.

Nor did the owners focus on the three big seasons of the publishing world like most book retailers and publishers did. Everyone in publishing knows that the summer, Back-to-school and Christmas/New Years’ are the biggest periods of the year in the book world. That’s when publishers release new titles and stores order new merchandise.

But Hue-Man was never stocked for those busy periods. They never had Children’s or YA books stocked for the summer reading lists. They never had new romances on the shelves for the women for their beach reads or summer vacations. They never had Black classics on the shelf for the Back-to-school rush or the college rush.

Then there was the way Hue-Man mistreated local authors and self-published authors. When I went to promote The Cassandra Cookbook back in 2008, I was completely blown off.

And when I went to promote All About Marilyn in 2010 and ask about a book signing and stocking my title there, I was told I’d have to bring my own books and pay them $100 an hour for the session.

On hearing I'd be charged to do a book signing, I left and never came back. And I’m sure other local self-published authors did as well.

I feel that was one of the nails put in Hue-Man’s coffin.

Small bookstores make most of their money from selling books published by local self-published authors and small press authors. These publishers provide small retailers with niche books that allow them stand out and compete with the big chains. When customers can touch and peruse these titles first hand there’s a high chance they may buy them and tell their friends where to buy them as well.

That kind of word-of-mouth is money in the bank for a small business.

And the book signings from self-published and small press authors provide the type of publicity that bring in foot traffic from casual buyers and people off the street who want to find out what’s going on. It’s these small events from small authors that build a book store’s long-term reputation and leave a big impact on the community allowing customers in the community to form a relationship with the store and its staff. Again, these smaller events are the kind that build the word-of-mouth that bring new customers into a retail establishment.

But the owners of Hue-Man didn’t understand that.

Instead they tried to bring traffic into bookstores with book signings from celebrity authors like Bill Clinton, Toni Morrison, and Hill Harper.

Now celebrities may bring floods of customers in for the short-term, but it doesn’t work in sustaining a bookstore’s reputation long term. People may come to see the celebrity for a day but they don’t have an experience that allows them to form a relationship with the business.

A person can get a copy of a Bill Clinton, Toni Morrison or Hill Harper book from a Barnes & Noble. They could probably get his autograph there too.

But they can’t get a Shawn James book there. Nor could they meet him, get his autograph and talk to him live and in person. Nor could they tell their friends about his new book and the unique bookstore where they bought it from.

That was the advantage Hue-Man pissed away pandering to celebrities.

People need to come to the bookstore for a reason. They need to form a relationship with a store, and the staff who work there. They need to remember something special. Something like meeting a small local up-and-coming author from the community. Someone just like them. Someone who will inspire them to come back and buy more books or even write their own.

Moreover, they need to see distinct products they can’t get at the chain stores like Barnes & Noble and Amazon. The kinds of products priced at a competitive discount that give them an incentive to not hurry over to and order a book online.

It's clear to me the owners of the Hue-Man Bookstore clearly didn't understand the book business. While they had a noble mission in serving the African-American community it's clear  they took their customers for granted from day one. They thought that by just being Black-owned and Black themed was enough to compete in the retail book market.  Unfortunately, A good book retailer needs more than color to get customers to peruse the content of their shelves. In a world where a person can easily download an eBook with a tap click from an e-reader, tablet, iPod or a cell phone, a smart bookseller understands they need to offer readers things like unique titles, good customer service and a relationship that keeps them coming back to buy paperbacks and hardcovers.

Monday, July 23, 2012

George Zimmerman is at it Again-Don’t Fall For The Game

According to George Zimmerman it’s God’s will that Trayvon Martin died.

Sorry, but Trayvon Martin wouldn’t be dead if George Zimmerman obeyed the 911 operator and didn’t pursue him.

Shawn sees what George Zimmerman is up to. The sociopath is trying to manipulate people yet again.

George Zimmerman knows he can’t apply the stand your ground law in his court case since he was on a public street when he pursued Trayvon Martin. And he knows that most people now see through his racial smokescreen. So now he’s applying a new strategy in the hopes of avoiding prison time.

So he has his lawyers leak stories about molesting a family member. Then he goes out and gives interviews where he appears he’s crazy talking about how it was God’s will that Trayvon Martin died, acting crazy during media interviews with Sean Hannity and Barbara Walters.

It’s all part of a methodical plan to stay out of prison.

Wanna-be tough guy George Zimmerman doesn’t want to spend the next 25 years of his life in a cell being ass raped and spit roasted by guys named Bubba, Jojo, and Big Earl. And he’s trying to avoid catching a shank from pure Aryan White Supremacists who will see his mixed race ass as a mongrel in prison. 

Zimmerman knows he won’t survive in prison. In the cage, wanna-be badasses like him either get turned into prison bitches who get their hair braided or they wind up getting beatdown by hardcore prisoners who won’t put up with their bullshit.

So he figures he’ll act nutty on television in the hopes he’ll to get a jury to acquit him by reason of insanity and he’ll spend the next five years in a mental hospital.

Only he’s not insane. He’s of a sound mind. He just doesn't have a conscience.

That was shown in the way he and his wife hid over $150,000 in donations for his legal defense fund from the court while crying poverty.

Most sociopaths like George Zimmerman are master manipulators. They often think they’re five steps ahead of everyone else.

But smart people are right in front of them. And ready to call them on their bullshit.

Sociopaths like George Zimmerman love to manipulate simple minded people like Sean Hannity and racist institutions like Fox News. They know weak willed people like this are so caught up in their racist personal agendas and their emotions that they aren't paying attention to them.

And because people like Sean Hannity are so blind sociopaths like George Zimmerman take advantage of them to get what they want.

Zimmerman’s plan is to win. And what he wants to win is his freedom. And he’ll do anything to remain free.

With the racial polarization strategy a failure, his new plan is to go over the Cuckoo’s nest, take Vicodins and Xanax, and veg out in front of daytime TV at an asylum for five years then be back out on the street.

However, George Zimmerman’s actions clearly show how dangerous he is. If this strategy fails, he’ll keep trying to manipulate people until he finds his way out of the inevitable life prison sentence he’s trying to avoid.

Only the American public can’t allow themselves to be manipulated by this madman.

The people of the State of Florida have to look at the murder of Trayvon Martin objectively. The facts clearly show that George Zimmerman broke the law when he disregarded the 911 operator and pursued Trayvon on his own.

A man who is supposedly a part of the neighborhood watch and supposedly respects and supports law enforcement would have obeyed that order. A man who cared about his community would have waited for law enforcement to do their jobs.

But George Zimmerman willfully and intentionally chose to disregard the order of law enforcement officials. And when he went out on his own that night led to the events that led up to Trayvon Martin’s death.

Trayvon’s death wasn’t God’s will. It was the desire of a madman who wanted to maintain control over his fifedom.

Based on those facts, They can’t put this sociopath back on the street. Zimmerman is a clear and present danger to all the people of the United States of America. I feel if he’s put back on the street by a jury of his peers, it’s not a matter of if he kills someone else, it’s a matter of when he kills someone else.