Soul Babies by Mark Anthony Neal: What I am reading now for research supporting my next novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two

Greetings All,

Today, I started reading Soul Babies by Mark Anthony Neal (one of my favorite Black male feminists and authors …. Loved his book New Black Man).  Click here to learn more about Neal and his work:  I am reading Neal’s Soul Babies as research for my next novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two.

So why am I reading this book? Well, it all started when Tulane University professor and author Shayne Lee referred to the main character Karma Francois in my debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One as a “post-soul” woman in his interview with me on my radio show on November 9, 2009: (see past episodes archives).   Lee’s book review also makes reference to the term. See below.

“Great artistic efforts do more than just entertain, they enlighten. Love’s Troubadours was highly entertaining, but also challenged me to explore the greater context of the world around me, which is in my humble opinion the hallmark of great art. I learned much about my own strivings and angst while perusing life through the eyes of a hip, chic, post-soul, educated yoga-loving, highly spiritual Black American Princess named Karma. There are no canned characters in this masterpiece, only complex women and men dealing with the vicissitudes of life through their inimitable postmodern brands of spirituality and social perspectives. Karma teaches us much about perseverance as well as about self-transcendence and spiritual consciousness. One of the most fascinating aspects of this book is its fresh appropriation of black middleclass sensibilities. Karma is an intuitive and progressive woman and her tastes and interests reflect a mélange of black middleclass tropes often unexplored in contemporary cinema and books. Ananda Leeke fastens our consciousness to a world of black female sophistication, and depicts Karma as an apotheosis of urban-chic and self-transcendence. Leeke takes us on an entertaining and enlightening journey as we watch an incredibly complex protagonist like Karma navigate through the matrices of her personal reformation, negotiate transitional changes, overcome family and relationship challenges and emotional angst, and emerge as a more evolved and emotionally whole woman. This is a well-written book and a fascinating look at an underrepresented portion of contemporary black middle-class life and spirituality.”

Shayne got me thinking about the type of people I write about in my Love’s Troubadours novel series.  So I did a google search for Neal’s definition of post-soul. See below.

“the political, social, and cultural experiences” of blacks born “between the 1963 March on Washington and . . . the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke challenge to affirmative action in 1978.”

After reading the definition, I realized me and most of my characters are post-soul!

When I saw the cover of Soul Babies featuring Soul Train dancers, I hollered because Soul Train was one of my favorite shows growing up in the 70s.  It was a religion for me to watch Don Cornelius and the Soul Train guests and dancers.  They taught me how to dance and dress (at least in my imagination cuz’ my mother would not allow me to wear some of the clothes!).

What do you think about the post-soul definition?

What were your favorite memories from the 70s?

Do you listen to 70s music? If so, who are your favorite artists and groups?

Enjoy your day!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Gratitude, and SOOOOOOUUUUUULLLLLLL,


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