Last Saturday, I was in Bunnel, Florida near Palm Coast, speaking at the African American Cultural Society (AACS). The welcome was so warm that instantly I felt I was home. At the end of the presentation, everyone went home with a copy. Shortly after that, I received an invitation to speak at the Afro-American Caribbean Cultural Organization (AACCO) in Palm Coast. Again, it was a welcome to remember. This reminded me of a presentation I did a year ago before a group of progressive readers from Pact Christi near downtown Saint Augustine. I have several other invitations thereafter, including one on December 2nd at the Bartram Trail library in Saint Johns County, Florida.
I never consider myself a writer in the conventional way, so to speak. Instead, I think of myself as a messenger, a storyteller with a passion for social justice. I use literature as an extended means to further the cause of those whose doors of opportunities have been shut in their faces and who have been forced to live on the fringes of society. Whether the work has its literary merit, I will leave it up to others to judge. It appears, though, the message resonates, not just in academia where the book has been critically acclaimed, but also among ordinary readers who did not hesitate to give me the benefit of the doubt. I now have good reasons to be thankful as 2017 enters its twilight. If this trend continues, I have hope that Midnight at Noon will someday reach the top-end of the literary ladder.