Reflections on why I enjoy writing columns
Published 7:48 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Since 1980, I have written more than 400 columns for various newspapers. My first column was about the missing and murdered children crisis which occurred in Atlanta from 1979-81. At least 28 children were killed during this period. The piece I wrote for the Atlanta Constitution centered around dispelling the notion that Caucasian could not, without being attacked or killed during the peak of the crisis, move around in the black community. To prove my point, I solicited the assistance of my friend (who was Caucasian), and for two weeks we drove freely through the Atlanta black community without attracting the slightest bit of attention or suspicion.
I simply enjoy writing. Because I was a single parent of three children, I had to discover a way to make money without taking on another job away from the home. Writing and lecturing on college campuses provided those opportunities. It was during the period of the missing and murdered children crisis that I wrote my first book, “Back to Africa for Afro-Americans-Is it Possible?” The book can actually be found today in the libraries of major college campuses around the country. I was actually able to purchase my first home from the sales of my book and lectures on college campuses. The book was quite popular and even today, there is someone on Amazon who is trying to sell my book for nearly $100. A book, that was written in less than three months, out of the need to support my family.
Over the years, I wrote a number of Op Ed pieces for the Constitution on crime, drugs and education. This included, on some occasions, my being interviewed concerning my opinions on various topics by the paper’s reporters.
Because of my writings and opinions, I’ve had the opportunity, as most of my friends know, to appear on such programs as the Oprah Winfrey show and other major media. Because of my being a major advocate for children, Media One (former cable giant) asked me to serve as a moderator for a program about children who kill, called “Violent Minds-Violent Times.” The piece was nominated for a Cable Ace Award.
If you read my columns, you must have discerned by now that I write quite a lot of columns about human tragedy being a catalyst, in some instances, to a person becoming closer to God. My favorite column is the one I wrote about John Cook, the FBI agent, who turned his son in for murdering two Mercer University students. He became a prosecution witness for the State of Georgia, and his son was executed by the State in 2013. I do not have Cook’s faith in God. Very few of us, in fact, can honestly say that we would turn our children in to law enforcement under similar circumstances.
When I am not lazy, I will write “commentaries” for major papers on controversial topics, such as the case of Dylann Roof, the young man who, in 2015, allegedly killed nine worshipers at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The “commentary” was written for a wealthy, Texas paper in an attempt to define terrorism, and titled Roof, Whitman and Johnson: Terrorists or Just Simply Deranged Young Men?
As I reflect over the years, I have discovered that what Ralph Waldo Emerson said years ago about writing is true even today: “All writing comes by the grace of God.