Title: Black Coffee
Author: R.L. Byrd
Publisher: R.L. Byrd Publishing
There are ALWAYS two sides to every story. In R.L. Byrd’s debut novel, Looking for Sweet Love, the Love Forum Divas told their side.
DK, in his pursuit to finding good love himself, discusses relationships from a black man’s point of view and enlist the help of the husbands, boyfriends and lovers of the Love Forum Divas. Known as the Brotherhood; DK, Quentin, Miguel, Michael, Donnell, Pastor Levine, Dr. Houston and Brass aim to set the record straight and talk about dating black women, marriage, infidelity, personal struggles, what distinguishes a throw-back from a keeper, and answers the question the radio listeners really want to know: What really went down in their relationships?
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Raced-Based College Admissions
leaders to accept the brutal facts about our environment.
Conservative Principles that based the decision to end race-based college
admissions in Florida’s colleges and universities? This is the question I had after reading Robert Samuels’,
Washington Post article, “After
Bush order, Florida universities cope with shrinking black enrollment.”
(similar, in part, to California’s
Proposition 209 and Washington’s
Initiative 200) would 1) uphold conservative principles; 2) end race-based
admissions; and 3)help minorities as a result. Let’s review these three:
Principle Concerning Affirmative Action
Action policies. They believe
giving special treatment to members of a certain group (race, sex, ethnic,
etc.) is not needed in regards to education, employment, contracting, and other
admissions; or a plethora of reasons not to
“The fabric of our lives” as the saying goes. A fabric interwoven into the red,
white and blue that majestically flies over the landscape of this land; from
the Atlantic, to the Great Lakes, to the Gulf of Mexico, to the Pacific and
beyond. To reject and deny its existence denies the suffering, struggles and
battles that so many have endured (and continue to endure), like:
fight to become a free man in Scott v.
Sandford; a case where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that because Scott was
of African descent, people of African descent (whether free or slaves) could
not be, nor were intended to be, citizens under the U.S. Constitution and held
no legal rights—a ruling later discarded by the thirteenth amendment (abolition
of slavery) and fourteenth amendment (birthright citizenship for all).
member of the NAACP) and Booker T.
Washington (founder of the Tuskegee Institute) championing for full civil rights when Southerners would
only guarantee “basic” educational and economic opportunities (and protesting
discrimination within the same “basic” educational and economic opportunities the
Southerners guaranteed); as well as protesting, and championing the end to lynchings
and the Jim
Crow Laws of the South.
Carole Robertson, and Carol Denise
McNair of the Birmingham
Church Bombing; Emmett
Till and George
Stinney; and the thousands of others who lost their lives
simply based on the color of their skin.
Durr, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Hosea
Williams, Fannie Lou Hamer, John Lewis, Malcolm X and a host of others too
lengthy to name for this article) who contributed to the Civil Rights era of
the 1950’s and 60’s to end discrimination and racial segregation; all of which
lead to the Civil Rights act, Voting Rights Act, Fair Housing Bill and other cures
to the disparities faced by blacks.
struggles and tumultuous journeys to get to where we are today, and how much
further is needed to go is pivotal for any “true leader” involved in public
policy making. Additionally, understanding the Conservative Principle, and its
impact, is equally important. And, yes, I would concur with Conservative
thinkers that everyone should stand on their own merits when it comes to
education, employment, contracting and the like; but that’s only if the playing
fields are level. But as a senior, business executive reminded me, “The playing
fields are never level [especially for women and racial minorities].” Can one
truly think that 50 years of progressive movement, since the 1960’s Civil
Rights Act, can erase 200-plus years of denied freedoms and unfair treatment? Until
one walks in another man’s (or woman’s) shoes, I can totally understand the Conservative’s
basis of not being able to comprehend or understand the brevity of such an
argument—if one chooses to try to understand it in the first place.
embrace the Stockdale
Paradox: Confronting the brutal facts about the current reality of one’s
environment. Had Governor Bush confronted
the brutal facts about the current
reality of his environment—the existence of racism, sexism, bias-based
injustices, and the disparities within the educational system —he may have had
a different outlook (or vision) concerning his decision to end race-based
college admissions by executive order; but I applaud his optimism.
race-based admissions would help minorities
Initiative 200, both of which saw URM (underrepresented
minorities) enrollment plummet at their flagship universities, Florida is now
(as the article suggests) dealing with the same impact at its flagship
universities—declining black enrollment. Now in a conundrum, the universities
are trying to figure out how to increase URM enrollments; but how do you do
this when you continue to guarantee spots to the top 20 percent of high school
graduates from a warped and biased educational system? How does this “pool of
graduates” help your cause, better yet, Florida minorities; especially when the
state has such a poor minority graduation record? Mr. Samuel’s article (and
data) appears to indicate that it has done exactly the opposite; negating and dismissing
the state’s brutal fact about its current
reality as noted in the Tampa Bay 2011 article, “Florida
ranks at bottom for graduation rate of black men”.
not restricting opportunities for those where the playing fields are not level, but by establishing ways to
improve and retain Florida’s graduation rates where the playing fields could be level.
Affirmative Action today, have fueled many a great debates. However, one must
be cognizant of the fact that Affirmative Action policies and practices were
put in place for a reason; a reason accepted by individuals who understood the brutal facts about their environment.
R.L. Byrd was born in the coastal town of Brunswick, Georgia, in a time where America and the South was growing and evolving. His early upbringing there, would shape his world not only as a person, but as a writer.
His passion for writing was delayed by a similar passion for Architecture which he pursued by obtaining a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1992.
After many years of carrying stories, characters and images in his mind, R. L. found them revisiting him on a more frequent basis as the years rolled by; and beginning in 2007, it wasn’t a day that went by that the pull to write didn’t lure him back to the pen and paper. Looking for Sweet Love (2010) was his debut novel, followed by the sequelBlack Coffee (2012, reissued in 2014).
He is currently working on his third novel, The Art of Scandal (a story inspired by true events), scheduled to be released soon.
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Find out more about R.L. at his website