Southern Trees (Excerpt)

The worst part about living in a small town is that fact that everybody knows everybody. No matter where you go, you are going to cross paths with someone you know. Growing up in the middle of nowhere, I knew Oh’ too well the distress of unwanted attention and super small circles. Living the life I lived, I found myself in a suffocating box, battling the struggles of identifying with society, but more so battling the struggle of identifying with myself.  I knew very early in life that I was unique, special even! Little did I know that my greatest test would be disguised within my infatuation with the same sex.

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7 Books For SPRING


Notes Of A Native Son - James Baldwin

It was his first non-fiction book, and was published in 1955. The volume collects ten of Baldwin's essays, which had previously appeared in such magazines. The essays mostly tackle issues of race in America and Europe. Due to the current political climate, the book has started becoming more important read for readers to know about America. According to modern readers, what happened back then is handled today.


Invisible Life - E. Lynn Harris

The debut novel by the late E. Lynn Harris, Invisible Life is still leaving a prominent effect on modern readers today. It tells the tale of a man named Raymond Winston Tyler Jr. and his journey of sexual discovery, in which he realizes he is a gay man of color. It was adapted into a hit play at the Apollo Theater, and the book still rings buzz to this day. E. Lynn Harris may be gone, but his work isn’t forgotten.


BBoy Blues - James Early Hardy

Hardy's two book series tells the lives of black gay men in New York City. The series is praised as the first gay hip hop love story and is prominently featured in Spike Lee's film Get On The Bus. Modern day readers and even old readers are still talking about this book. That’s why we chose to highlight this classic as well.


Gucci and Gold - Shod Santiago

Radio personality Shod Santiago made his literary debut with his novel Gucci & Gold. The novel is about the main character N’Jae, a teenager who was accustomed to the glitz and glam of life due to growing up in a wealthy family. Rebellious by nature while also being ruthless and promiscuous, Na’Jae finds herself homeless with three fatherless children. But after a spiral of fallacious events, she finally sees the light in her darkest hour, and becomes the star she always wanted to be. She also manages to settle down and find love in the process. But is love really what she wants or will her newfound fame encourage her old habits?


The Modern Day Woman - Kim Watson

Kim Watson shares her story on her life as a advocate, a mother, a business woman, and a wife. She doesn’t call it a memoir or an autobiography. She writes about moments in her life that shaped her into the person that she is. As the modern day woman, she feels a responsibility to tell her story.


The Metamorphosis of the Heart: The Butterfly Effect - Greg Wilson

Author Greg Wilson introduces the reader to the dark, harsh, and raw side to Southern California’s L.A. in his novel Metamorphosis of a Heart. It’s the story ofa young African-American man’s journey and transition through his teenage years to adulthood while living in the county streets of southern Los Angeles. The book touches on homelessness, love, homosexuality, and relationships. This powerful novel, accompanied by poetry, will take the reader through a wild ride as they continue flipping the pages.


Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More-Janet Mock

Janet Mock details her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America in her memoir. She offers readers accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population. Though undoubtedly an account of one woman’s quest for self at all costs, Redefining Realness has become a highlight for the transgender community into providing a life, and sharing their stories.


In the typical world of urban fiction so often the lead characters’ socio-economic realities are usually bleak, raw, violent, hopeless, and psychologically; even irreparably damaged. Much of that is true in author LT Ville’s literary universe. But Keith, the 18-year-old black high school senior and narrator, is a refreshing enigma in this exceptionally well-written, funny, romantic, heart-breaking and thought-provoking novel. 


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