A Tribute to Deno, painting by Ananda Leeke
(appears on back cover of Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One – www.lovestroubadours.com)
Today I am celebrating the birthday of my best friend and co-writer Deno Moss. Deno was born in 1962. He made his life transition on February 6, 2003 (two days after his 42nd birthday). During the last two years of his life, Deno spent an enormous of time working with me as a co-writer on the Love’s Troubadours novel series. He is one of the reasons I started writing the novel. His persistence, support, friendship, and writing talent made him the perfect partner. He also happened to be my best friend from the time we met during my freshmen year at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.
During the course of our 20 year friendship, I witnessed Deno’s journey as a creative, giving, consistent, and loving Black man who was a husband to Marcie, father to Jordan, son to his mother, brother to his siblings, and friend to many. He gave from his heart. He shared wisdom wrapped in his Wilmington, Delaware accent, silly humor, life experiences, soul music, comic books, and Brooklyn living. He continues to give from his heart as my guardian angel.
Last night I was doing research for one of Deno’s favorite characters Symon Allure, the main man in my new book Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two. Symon is a post-soul man born in 1963. His mom is Afro-Cuban. His dad is African American with Richmond, Virginia roots. When the book opens, you meet Symon in a state of reflection about what happened to him in 1968. One of his memories is his father Maxwell, a jazz musician, taking him to a barber shop in Brooklyn.
The barber shop was key in my research last night. It led me to the first episode of actor/musician/healer/father Malik Yoba’s new BET web TV show called Shop Talk: What’s on the Hearts of Men. It is set in Brooklyn. The first webisode is entitled “Father and Son.” It features Malik and his seven year old Josiah. They visit a barbershop. Josiah asks the men in the barber shop what it means to be a man. Check out the four-minute webisode: http://shoptalk.bet.com/video/webisode-1-father-and-son.
Here’s another thing to check out: author Ytasha Womack’s great blog post featuring an interview with Shawn Wallace, musician and producer of the upcoming documentary You’ll Be A Man , about what it means to be a Black man: http://postblackthebook.blogspot.com/2010/02/doc-youll-be-man-interview-with.html. Click here to learn more about Wallace: http://www.myspace.com/qimusicgroup. Watch a short video (7 minutes) about Wallace’s You’ll Be A Man documentary: http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=53896857. FYI – Womack’s new book is Post Black. Check her book out on Amazon.com.
Now after all that, I wanna know one thing. What does it mean to be a Black man?
Please share your thoughts. They will deepen my book research. Thanks in advance!
Thanks for stopping by!
Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for the Black men in my life who demonstrate love, support, friendship, consistency, understanding, and responsibility,
PS: My dad John; grandfathers Robert and John; Uncles Bob, Robbie, and Samuel; brothers Mike, Mark, and Matt; cousins Tre, Finis, and Tony; and brothalove friends Fred (play father), Wayne, Jason, Ken, Henry, Andre, and Tim’m represent what it means to be a Black man to me. They demonstrate love, support, friendship, consistency, understanding, responsibility, and so much more.