Three books by local authors may fulfill the gift-giving need during this holiday period while also whetting the appetite to read. The authors are Matthan Jackson (“Power in Relationships: Who Has It, Men or Women?”), Melanie Denise Perry (“All About the Benjamins”) and Stephen Taylor (“Voices to Our Children”).
Each author demonstrates a strong spiritual grounding, but they differ greatly in subject matter. Jackson writes about relationships, and his book is clearly the more provocative of the three, but it won’t be accessible online before January.
Perry’s subject is financial knowledge, and in this season of economic uncertainty it clearly may be the most important. Taylor’s book is a collection of “old sayings and everyday affirmations” aimed a young folk.
All three writers were associated with Rosie Milligan’s Black Writers on Tour and participants at the West Coast Expo, held in mid-August.
Here are two lessons you will learn in Chapter 2 of Jackson’s “Power in Relationships”: Who Has It, Men or Women?” (Dahlia’s Publishing, ISBN: 978-0-615-52058-2, $15.00 ):
“Words are very powerful, especially when it comes to girls,” and “boys are sometimes too dumb to realize that words are like rollercoasters to girls–one wrong word in a sentence can bring her down, and one good word in a sentence can make her day.”
Jackson’s conclusion: “Our deadliest weapon is the tongue because it can have the power to take away someone’s joy, break them down emotionally, or kill their spirit.”
Jackson also makes a distinction between a woman and a lady. The word woman means “a female person,” but the word lady indicates “a female person of high quality.”
A health/physical education teacher and coach, Jackson, in the chapter titled “Power of a Dad,” discusses the importance of a dad in a girl’s life, and in other chapters deals straightforwardly with many subjects on deeper levels of relationships.
To Perry, there is a spiritual component to gaining wealth. In Chapter 1 of “All About the Benjamins” (Sankofa Press, ISBN: 978-0-578-06875-6, $9.00), she discusses “The New Spiritually Grounded Millionaire.”
“This is the Zeallionaire, one that knows their [sic] God-given purpose, skills and talents. They use them to benefit humanity while creating personal monetary wealth. When we view capitalism through a spiritual lens, we become aware that there are basic principles that are in alignment with God’s promise of abundance for all, should we choose to seek it. Our Creator has provided all that we need for anything that we have been called upon to do in our lives–the underlining assumption is that there is something within us all that is unique to us as individuals. “
An ardent capitalist, Perry assures readers that “Capitalism allows us the opportunity to translate our talents into monetary gain.”
“Capitalism is not an evil system,” she writes. “It depends on how the economic system is used.” And, she remarks, “Capitalism, at its finest, gives people the opportunity to use their unique gifts and resources to benefit society.”
But Perry also stresses that “The plan for abundance starts with the fundamentals and via protection of all the wealth we have acquired to this point.” In Chapter 2, she asks the question, “Does Your DNA Generate Wealth?” Answer: it depends on whether you answer yes to five questions she presents.
None of Taylor’s sayings and affirmations in “Voices to Our Children” (Taylor-Made Publications, $15, www.voicestoourchildren.com) are attributed to others, leaving one to surmise that they are either his own sayings or those remembered from his youth. Though they lack a certain editorial crispness, they nevertheless are based in wisdom. Under “Organization,” Taylor writes in the first line: “Organization is purpose or work.” Under “Passion,” the first line reads: “Passion is your appetite for love.”