About The Book:
The Yield (Book I) The Rest of the Story (Book II) is about black male/female relationships and the people involved in these relationships. It is about joy and heartbreak. It allows numerous glimpses into the private lives of the courageous people who were willing to share their stories with the author.
The Yield is written in two parts, Book I and Book II. Book I sets forth the initial scenario; Book II: The Rest of the Story, details the corresponding resolution of each of the initial scenarios introduced in Book I.
It is a nonfiction writing though names and places have been fictionalized to protect the privacy of the real people to whom the stories belong. Many of these people have suffered intense pain; some of them are still hurting. For their pain, for their bravery, for their willingness to share their private lives, it is the author’s hope, as well as the hope of the individuals who have shared their stories, that many others will be able to avoid the pitfalls and ensuing devastation.
There are two ways to read the book: the traditional way from beginning to end, following the sequence of pages in numerical order, or you may prefer to move between the scenarios, reading the initial scenario in Book I and then its corresponding resolution in Book II. However you prefer please read it. You will be enlightened! You won’t be disappointed!
The Black man’s family has a need to believe in his integrity, a need to feel that what they think of him is important to him! His family has a need as well as a desire to trust him and to feel that he is worthy of their trust. And the Black Man has a need to believe that this is so. He needs to be cognizant of the fact that he is the only one who can assure his family that they have his love, loyalty, and support, that there is no reason why they cannot trust him. When he behaves as if this is not so, the family structure is weakened. When the head of the family fails to lead in a way which his sons and daughters can emulate, in a way which his wife can respect, future generations are threatened. This is so because children learn what they live, and they live what they are allowed to experience.
The constant lying, the constant game-playing, the constant need to evade, the constant cheating which is normal behavior for far too many Black men, are behaviors which many of them observed in their fathers, uncles, and other dominant male role models in their lives. This destructive cycle can be broken only by the Black man. If his sons are to be free of the psychological garbage which accumulates in a climate where these behaviors are observed and accepted as normal, masculine behaviors, then the choice is a foregone conclusion: the Black man must choose not to engage in these behaviors. This is not an option if the Black race, the Black family, is to survive!
You see, the Black family’s survival is threatened when Black men father children for whom they feel no responsibility, nor assume any. It is threatened when children are born to women to whom these children’s fathers feel no allegiance. It is threatened when the birth of a child does not assist to cement an already solid, marital relationship. It is threatened when Black boys enter manhood with misplaced or warped ideas of what it means to be a man! The Black family is threatened when children are being born, but their births are no longer considered, “A family affair.” If the Black race, the Black family is to survive, the refrain must not be, that's just my baby's daddy. It must be instead, this is my beloved husband, the father of our beloved child!
GET TO KNOW DR. JOY WILLARD TEAL
Dr. Joyce Willard Teal is a retired educator.
She began writing professionally in 1995 and has written numerous books and several award-winning poems.
She is host of “The Teal Appeal,” an internet radio talk show on KEBN Radio which airs at 10 a.m. CST on Saturday mornings weekly.
She is a sought-after motivational speaker and workshop leader and was named “2012Woman of the Year” by the members of Upsilon Nu Zeta, the chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., her sorority. The chapter’s scholarship has been named in her honor, the Dr. Joyce Willard Teal’s Scholarship.
Her latest honor was selection as an honoree for the 2015 African American Educators’ Hall of Fame. She and her husband reside in Dallas, Texas.
What was your inspiration for writing this book?
I was inspired to write this book by the thousands of children with whom I had contact in the classroom during more than 20 years as a public school teacher. Many of them were saddened by little or no contact with their fathers. Some of them didn’t even know who their fathers were. I also got inspiration from the mothers and/or guardians of these children who were doing their best, in many instances, to rear their children without the benefit of having the children’s fathers have an active role in their lives.
What are some challenges you faced when writing this book?
Although many parents shared their stories with me when confronted with why their children were absent repeatedly, why they were acting out in the classroom, etc., most of them were unwilling to allow me to share their stories in the book. I had to convince some of them that sharing their stories could benefit other women in the same or similar situations.
How can book clubs use this book?
Book clubs interested in reading books that engender dialogue regarding relationships can use this book to generate discussions regarding male/female relationships, and though the book spotlights black relationships, any group that would like to discuss specific situations that serve to break-up families can benefit from the contents of “The Yield.”
How can fathers be enlightened by this book?
The scenarios in this book can serve to make fathers aware of just how important they are and the significant roles they play in assuring that their children are given the best advantages so far as growing up, staying on track and becoming successful adults who become contributing members of society. In chapter 6, there is a scenario, “Eunice and Eugene, the Weekend Alcoholic.” This scenario highlights the impact that a father’s alcoholism can have upon his family.
What can a father learn from reading this scenario and its corresponding resolution in “The Rest of the Story?”
This segment can serve to create awareness within those men (and women also) who drink too heavily of how their drinking impacts their children and how it influences the atmosphere in their homes.
What is the predominant message you want this book to convey to readers?
It is my hope that readers will walk away from this reading experience with the firm realization that we make our own choices and that the choices that we make frequently dictate the outcomes for us.
What’s the overall theme?
The overall theme is to showcase the various and numerous scenarios that couples deal with in their everyday lives and to create awareness within men that the physical and mental well-being of their families should be their priority.
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About the Book
Grief strikes everyone differently, for Pete it struck him to the core. After his beloved wife Moriah was tragically killed in a car accident, the driver and his entire ethnicity become the target of Pete's wrath.
When Pete buried his wife, all love, compassion, empathy, joy, he ever possessed, was buried along with her. Family tries to bring him out of his grief, but his stubbornness allows it to keep a chokehold on his life.
Carlisha, the young black, orphaned woman that Moriah had welcomed into her heart and their home as a part of their family, is now a bullseye for Pete's grief. But despite his now callous attitude toward her, Carlisha still sees Pete as the man that once was a father figure in her life.
Tragedy strikes yet again, and a budding romance and a series of deceptions leave Pete questioning the target of his wrath. Soon Carlisha is forced to accept her life as an orphan yet again after the man she loves turns his back on her when she needs him the most. And love Pete never thought would resonate in his heart again blossoms in more ways than one as he fights for someone that represents the very race that he has come to hate.
The knocking on the door interrupted Pete from his Sunday morning routine of coffee, sports news on TV and reading The Washington Post. He sucked his teeth in frustration and stood up effortlessly, which was great for his forty-eight year old body, which he refused to put any extra effort in keeping in shape. He stood tall at six feet.
Pete walked over to the front door, already knowing who was behind it before he opened it. He cussed under his breath. Part of him really wanted to ignore the knocking on the door and pretend like he wasn’t home. But he was sure if he didn’t answer now, she would be back later, no doubt. He unlocked and slowly opened the door, not even trying to mask the look of irritation on his face.
“Good morning Uncle Pete, I came to see if you would like to go to church with me today,” Rachel said, beaming. Her bright smile and flowing golden-blonde hair almost overshadowed the early morning sun shining down on the front porch.
“I don’t know why you insist on coming here every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening pestering me about some damn church,” Pete howled. “You know good and goddamn well that I’m not going. Yes I said goddamn, is that blasphemy like you call it? Well I don’t care!” Pete turned and walked away from the door and left Rachel standing on the porch.
Rachel walked in the house and closed the door behind her, she wasn’t the least bit fazed by her Uncle’s abrasive attitude. She’d been coming to visit him faithfully every week for almost a year since her Aunt Moriah was killed in a car accident. She felt it was now her responsibility to check up on him, but more importantly to continue praying for him because when his wife died he had turned into a completely different person.
“What the hell! When did my neighborhood get filled up with all these niggers!?” Pete yelled when he looked out the bay window and noticed a young Black couple walking their dog.
“Uncle Pete! How dare you? That is offensive, rude and not Christ-like.”
“Well, I’m offensive, rude and not Christ-like, so I can say whatever the hell I want,” Pete defended. “I’ve been living here for ten years and never have I seen so many black people. Did they all win the lotto or get rich picking cotton?” Pete mocked, he took a seat back on the couch.
“How dare you talk like that? Aunt Moriah is probably rolling around in her grave.” Rachel took a seat in the armchair across from her uncle.
“Well she wouldn’t be there if a nigger hadn’t crashed into her car,” Pete snapped.
“That was an accident. The driver of the other vehicle had a heart attack behind the wheel. You shouldn’t be blaming anyone for what happened. Two lives were lost that day,” Rachel reasoned. “And calling black people the N word is not right. You need to pray and ask God to heal your heart. You shouldn’t lash out because of Aunt Moriah’s death like that. And you can’t blame every black person for what happened.”
Pete took a sip of his coffee and ignored everything Rachel just said. All he knew was a black man was driving the car that crashed into his wife, whether he had a heart attack or not, he still caused the death of the love of his life. That bastard was drunk; I still don’t believe he had a heart attack! Now he was left with no wife, no kids and only a pestering niece that insisted on bothering him every freaking week about going to her damn church. He considered going to church with her; maybe that would get her off his back.
“I can do and say whatever the hell I want! This is my house!” He spat.
“I bet you wouldn’t say the N word in public because you know it’s wrong. So you shouldn’t say it in private either!”
Pete sucked his teeth loudly. Out of respect for his niece and the kind heart of his beloved dead wife, he held back saying a few cuss words to Rachel. Rachel’s father was his dearly departed wife Moriah’s brother and as much as it pained him to have to deal with Rachel pestering him to go to church every week, he was happy to have Moriah’s family around, it helped him deal with some of the pain of losing his wife so soon and so unfairly. If the driver of that car hadn’t died in the accident he probably would’ve killed the man himself for killing his wife.
Pete would never forget the phone call he received telling him about the accident. Moriah had left their office at Minute Print, the small printing company they operated together to make a deposit at the bank that evening. She was on her way back to the office when the accident happened. The driver that had the heart attack, or drunk driver, veered into her lane hitting her head on. She died instantly. Pete’s whole world turned gray that day. He wanted to die with his wife. Then his anger shifted to every black man that reminded him of the man that hit his wife’s car. Then he just began to despise the sight of any black person that would remind him of the black man that took his wife’s life. Even Pete was surprised at how quickly his anger for the black race grew, but he then began to not care because the fact still remained that his love, his queen, his life, the woman he wanted to have children with, the woman he wanted to grow old with was gone and she was never coming back.
“Rachel – why do you insist on bothering me every Sunday? Get the hint, I am not interested in going to church.” Pete took another sip of his coffee and went back to reading his newspaper.
“Uncle Pete, you know Aunt Moriah loved going to church, she sang in the choir. I’m sure she doesn’t want you not to go anymore.”
“Moriah’s not here, Rachel. And every day I am painfully reminded of that, especially when I look out my own window and see all those black people taking over my neighborhood. You ever thought that maybe I don’t like to go to church anymore is because it reminds me too much of her? When the choir goes up to sing, I still try to find her in the group, but then I remember, yet again, that she’s gone.” Pete pushed down the emotion to cry with the memory of his wife. It was a couple weeks shy of a year since her death, but to Pete, sometimes it still felt like it just happened yesterday.
“I’m sorry, I never thought about it like that.” Rachel was sincere. “Well, will you at least be coming over for dinner later?”
Pete wanted to say no right away, but figured it would be good for him to get a home cooked meal. “What time is it?”
“Alright, I will come over for dinner,” he conceded.
Rachel got up and gave her uncle a quick hug. “Thanks! And don’t be late. I’ll see you later.” She turned and walked toward the door.
“I said I’ll be there all right – I’ll be there on time,” Pete answered, relieved that she was leaving.
Author, Khara Campbell
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Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Review
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