Friday, July 16, 2010

African-Americans vs Africans...a racial divide?

We have the same heritage, skin color and prejudices against us, yet for some reason there is a “racial” divide between us! I’m talking about African vs African-American stereotypical blocks.

Where did it come from?

Do African- Americans believe we are so removed from Africa that the Africans who come to the US are minorities to us?

Why do Africans who live in America rarely have African-American friends outside of business?

I am very fortunate to have a close friend and mentor who is from Africa (although he's been in the US for quite awhile). We often have sit downs where we discuss the differences between us as well as the similarities. No matter what you may perceive to be the truth, to racist America we are quite the same…some of us just do not have an accent!!!

In a recent discussion we spoke of the cohesiveness and power we would possess if we were to unite our strengths we bring to the table. Africans who come over to the states have no preconceived “Can’t do” mentality when it comes to business opportunities like many African-Americans. They don’t have 250 years plus of mental control to fight through. So, when they have an idea for wealth they move forward without hesitation. This does not mean they won’t face stiff resistance from mainstream America.

Now, African-Americans due to our assimilation know the systems and have over the years figured out how to get around certain roadblocks. Our names often do not signify Nigerian decent so at the very least we may not get thrown in the trash just because of the spelling of our names (let me point out that we do have certain issues with this from time to time as well…you know who you are!).

Imagine what our two mentalities could accomplish if we were to unite as a powerful force. We could possibly experience growth and power much like our Hispanic brothers and sisters. Those who speak English and know the US systems pave the way for their families and race. In the coming month (hopefully in Aug) we’ll be hosting an open forum for both communities to be able to communicate our differences. It is my hope that many will come and this forum will allow a positive dialogue to occur creating lifelong liaisons.

Stay tuned….

Milano Flascucci~


Friday, July 9, 2010

A King's Love For His Daughter

Author Sonya Warlick has created a wonderfully loving children's book on "A King's Love for his Daughter". I was plesantly pleased as I reviewed this book. I absolutely could not put it down. Ms. Warlick (along with very talented illustrator Omar Aranda) created a book which intimately deals with God's never ceasing love. Every child should have books to read which will teach them how to read, but few (that I know) are dedicated to making little girls know they are little princes. "A King's Love for his Daughter" is told from "Ameerah's" (the main character) point of view. Ameerah is a special little girl who like most "tweens" deals with fear, doubt, purpose and wonderment. Yet these hurdles are overcome because of her knowledge that her Father in heaven loves her unconditionally. So many of our little jewels are growing up without a stable "Father figure" and as a result they look for any man to bring them value. Ms. Warlick's book begins to address the void....with Love from the Genesis of love "Our God"!

I hope you enjoy the interview below...

Welcome Sonya! I’ve read your book a dozen times and it gets better every time. Is there a period or event that gave this book its voice where you just knew it had to be written? “I would first like to say thanks for having me. It’s such a pleasure! I like to think of my book as being inspirationally inspired. I always knew I wanted to write a children’s book in life. I actually started writing one back in 2007, and I just had the hardest time with putting the book together and finishing it. I actually never finished the book. I really kind of put it behind me, and figured writing just wasn’t for me. Now looking back, I can say it just wasn’t my time. With this book “A Kings Love for his Daughter,” I wrote this book in a matter of five minutes while sitting at my desk at my old job. The lord just put the book on my heart, and I wrote it down. Not only did the lord give me the words to write, he gave me the passion, and desire to be serious about this book. Right after writing the book, I called my best friend and told her the great news. She was really supportive of the new journey I was getting ready to embark on.”

I understand you were raised by your Father as a single parent, may I ask what happened to your mother? “ That’s right. My father raised me the best he could with his addiction to crack, but My late aunt gets most of the credit for raising me. My mother abandoned my brother, sister, and when I was about 3 years old. She was unhappy in her marriage with my father , which caused her to turned to drinking and becoming an alcholoic. During this time even though it was the 80’s it was still considered taboo for a white woman and black man to be together, especially in the south where she was born and raised. Her family really had an difficult time accepting bi-racial granchildren as part of the family. With the stress of an unhappy marriage, drinking, and the and the added disappointment from her family, she felt it was better to allow my father to raise us, and she gave up her parental rights. I just met her for the first time in July of 2009. We have a great relationship now, and we are continually working towards getting to know each other and to be apart of each others life. She is a great grandmother to my son James, and Puppy “ Mort.” J

I’ve read your Aunt played an important part in your life before she succumbed to Cancer. What is your fondest memory of her? “Yes she was such a major part of my life. My aunt played the mother role in my life. Wow there are so many memories of her, and I’m comforted by the lord during my times of grief knowing she is with the king at her “Forever Home” where she is now healed from cancer. My aunt believed in the importance of education. She owned her own accounting business, and she was the co-founder of an art gallery here in Columbus. I remember when I graduated from high school, I was in love with my son’s father. I figured I would just stay close to home and go to a local community college. I will never forget how my aunt "about cussed" me out, told me I better pick a college out of town or she was going to pick one for me! She told me that I was going “off” to college somewhere in the fall. She wanted to best for me, and she wanted me to have a real college experience being on my own without any distractions from boys, or from home. I was so mad at her at that time, but reflecting back I appreciate her pushing me to get out there. I picked “The University of Cincinnati” where I majored in Psychology and I loved every single moment of it. I met so many great friends, and learned so much while going to school there.”

Ameerah is the prominent Character for your book and the story is told through her eyes…Where did the name “Ameerah” come from and what made you use her as the voice for your vision? “I had the vision for Ameerah in my mind before my illustrator put her onto paper. She had her own little personality, and wittyness about herself. I think a little of me is in Ameerah J She is the princess I never was. She is the voice I could never have as a child.

When I was looking for an character name I wanted to pick a name that meant “Princess.” I wanted a cute, ethnic princess type of name, something unique. After doing some research for princess names, I came across “ Ameerah” which means princess in Arabic . The great thing is even though my book is an Christian book, a lot of people of people of the Muslim faith enjoy my book as well, because the character “ Ameerah.” She appeals to many different religions about Jesus Christ, and I think that it’s just great!” This book allows The Gospel of Jesus Christ to not only be preached to his own sheep, but to other sheep’s as well.”

One of the wonderful things about the book is that you address so many fears little girls have growing up (such as being alone, not feeling loved, being teased). Are these things you faced as a tween growing up? Well growing up yes I did feel lonely at many times. Even though I had a father, brother, aunt and many friends, the void from not knowing my mother saddened me. During mother day holidays, and such I would get even more depressed. It one thing to have an absent parent in the home. In most cases the father is missing, unfortunately it’s the norm. But for a young girl to be without a mother it was very difficult for me. I didn’t want to talk to my dad about personal girlie things. I felt like Everyone else had a mother but me. It really did affect my self-esteem in a negative way. I didn’t feel valued, loved, or worthy. I can remember moving from West Virginia and going to an inner city high school here in Columbus, Ohio I was picked on for my accent. I was considered to be to “White” acting for the black kids, and too “black” acting for the white kids. It was a constant state of confusion for me. There were times in my life where these types of issues had me wanting to take my own life. It was only though me getting to know Jesus Christ for myself that he saved me.”

You related real life storytelling and biblical verses so creatively. I’ve read many bible based children’s books and sometimes they can be too overwhelming for our young children. I love the way your book makes reading to my own daughter easy and rewarding. What feedback have you received so far? Can you give a few testimonials? Thank you. I have received so much feedback from my fans regarding the book. I have had so many little girls tell me how much they have enjoyed the book. On my facebook fan page at ( I have lots of pictures sent it from fans from everywhere that enjoy the book. I have had testimonials from nonbelievers who tell me this book allowed their children to learn about who Jesus Christ is. I had an testimony from a mother who told me that she was reading the book to her daughter before bed, and even though she read it many times before, for some reason on this night it touched her in a special way. She told me how she was really moved and encouraged. That’s the wonderful thing about Gods Word. The word is powerful. It doesn’t matter if it comes from a children’s book it’s powerful and it can touch you.”

“A King’s Love for his Daughter” also gives children a fun experience by providing them with fun tasks to do (coloring pages, a princess prayer and note page to name a few). How would you best describe your book to our readers? “My book is a book every single girl should have. My character Ameerah is a positive role model for young girls to look up to. She lets the readers know hey it’s okay to feel lonely at times, it’s okay to get teased at school, it’s okay because through all this you are still a princess. See sometimes as adults we get so consumed in our issues and trails that we forget our kids are going through their own little issues. They need to be encouraged just like us. Just like how we pray and pick up the bible to be encouraged, so should our children. You are never to young to have an relationship with Jesus. Not only does my book encourage it also gets fun with coloring pages. There is also a section at the end of the book that talks about famous girls of the bible. I want Ameerah to be a known character across the world. She is Gods little princess!”

I’d like to take this time to give cudos to your illustrator Mr. Omar Aranda! His work was remarkable. How did you meet him and are you planning to work with him in the future? “Thank you. I have no talent in drawing at all so he is truly a blessing! I was on the search for an illustrator for about a month. I had the vision of Ameerah in my mind, but no one was really giving to put my vision into paper until Omar. I happened to come across his work online. Omar lives in Australia. I was so impressed with his work. I read how he’s illustrated for marvel and DC Comic Books on top of many other major types of works. I thought I would inquire of his services for my book. Honestly I did not think he would even reply. I was an self published author just getting started, surely he would not want to do this type of work. Well to my surprise he was delighted to take on the project. I remember when he emailed me the first sketch of Ameerah I cried tears of joy. He got it. He was able to put my vision into paper. Throughout the course of months we corresponded through emails and mail. Omar is represented by the illustrator’s agency. I am definitely working with Omar again on future books. This is just the beginning.”

Lastly, what up next for Sonya Warlick? “I am currently working on my next book “ Princess Ameerah and the royal Tea Party.” I plan on doing a series of books based around my character Ameerah. My next book will introduce to Ameerah on a more personal level. In this book readers will meet her best friends, family, and it’s just more personal. I am also working on a book for our young boys. You can purchase my book “A Kings Love for his Daughter” Online at if you haven’t done so already. Join my fan page as well at!/akingslove to stay up to date with book information. Thank you again Klarque it was a pleasure!”

What a remarkable Author! I do hope each one of you takes the time to invest in your children's future by ordering your book today! Thank you so much for follow this blog and I look forward to your insights and comments on this interview.

Milano Flascucci~

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Whose Revolution was it?

1776 the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed to the colonist as words of Freedom. It spoke of Liberty and inalienable rights. However, for the estimated 500,000 slaves in the New World those words rang hollow. For more than 150 years African’s were sold to colonist to aid in their economic and cultural advancements. The colonist seemed not to like the constraints the motherland would place on them through taxation and subjugation. So, the Patriots fought back! Many blacks (free & enslaved) were confused as to which master to serve during the Revolution. On one hand fighting for the New Nation held promises of Liberty and a New Country where all men would be created equal. On the other, the British Crown was direct in their promise to free any slave that would fight to stabilize the uprising. 5000 blacks fought alongside the Patriots with more than 20,000 fighting alongside the British. One of the most prominent of those was Colonel Tye (a black slave who joined the British cause). Tye became a feared and respected soldier whose raids on the New York & New Jersey areas would almost turn the tide of the war. It was said by Washington soldiers that if he were on their side of the war, the War would have been won years earlier.

At any rate, thousands of blacks gained their freedom by remaining loyal to the Crown. Some moved to Nova Scotia, others went to Florida and a number of blacks went to London. Close to 1200 former slaves were granted safe passage back to West Africa.

Those who fought with the Colonist were not as fortunate. Within a few short years those who once laid down their lives for a quaint notion of freedom were back in bondage. The first of many lies African-Americans would endure during our evolution here in the now United States. It makes you wonder, was being “British” all that bad after all?

*** The question is... what does July 4th 1776 mean to you?

Milano Flascucci~

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Stop Hemming & Hawing!!!

How many of you believe the Lakers, Saints, and Yankees all won championships last year without a proper game plan? How many of you have game plans, but if I asked you to show it to me you would start “hemming and Hawing”? (See “who moved my cheese” by Spencer Johnson In the book “How to Survive the Next 365” by D.K. Garrison, we take a look at just how important it is to have a game plan.

Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself:

• Are your goals specific, well written plans? Does it have a start point, middle and end?

If I asked you to travel to a city you were unfamiliar with, you would probably look up directions to get there. We look up directions because we have never been there. The same can be said of your goals!

• When writing down your game plan do you plan for the worst?

Why? Even if you do you still can’t avoid mistakes and the ever popular “Murphy’s Law”. Remember, there a big difference between being prepared and planning for the worst.

Try the exercise below. It’s designed to help you think and live outside the box.

In a notebook I want you to write down a very real and true answer to this question. If you were without financial restraints, if you were the perfect age, if you did not have kids, if you lived in the ideal city, if you had the resources and connections what would you be doing with your life? This is a fundamental question that has been asked as far back as written words were captured. What would you be doing, who would you become, what task would you endeavor to complete.

This exercise trips a lot of readers up because they are not very honest with their selves or they can not see life with out those self made walls. Take your time, this exercise takes a while. You’ll need to sleep on this idea. I love this exercise because it brings out the child in you. Remember, what do I want to be when I grow up? Here’s you chance to become a child again!

Before you write your answers down, I want you to write down the obstacles in your way. Write each and everyone you can think (this surely will take a few days). Then after you gotten all of your excuses out of the way, draw lines through each of them. This symbolizes you striking those barriers from your thoughts.

At this point you’ll be able to dream and remember what once was. Now write! Write with clarity. When you’ve gotten your answer clearly written, start developing your plan to obtain the goal. Remember there are no obstacles. Plan the life as if it was yours to have and at some point your mind, heart and soul will take over.

Milano Flascucci~

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Little Girls…Don’t give your Candy away!

More and more, I am seeing and hearing about pre-teens having sex?! Is it me or are we desensitized by this revelation? Why are so many of our children being wooed by the lure of a sex? What in the hell are we parents teaching them. Is anyone keeping an eye on them? This is what happens when communities stop caring about the raising of its children and every media glorifies the act of "SEX". It’s every child for themselves!

Little girls please, please, please stop giving your “Candy” away! You know, one of the best experiences I had as a young boy were those trips to the candy store! Oh how I remember walking in and what did I see…”Candy” everywhere! Chocolate candy, hard candy, caramel, toffee, now n' laters…you name it, it was there! I once heard a woman chide her little girl reminding her never, ever give her candy away!!! She explained to the little girl that her “Stuff” was just like candy to those damn "nappy headed boys"! All they knew is that they wanted it and that it seemed like the world was one big giant candy store! That unusual (yet poignant) conversation always stuck with me. [teen pregnancy rates up in 26 states]

Now, what most little girls don’t realize is that when they turn out to be little candy givers at a young age they grow up to become old candy givers! Women, I urge you…stop making the same old mistakes. You give up your candy far too easily and frequently to men you barely know. Your “candy” is supposed to be honored not bartered. Can you imagine where our sexuality in the country will be if we don’t get a firm hold on our daughters' promiscuity. Why are our children turning to sex as the answer for receiving attention and love? Parents, communities, little candy givers…let’s start a dialogue with each other. Someone has to be brave and take the lead or we will loose them as they are loosing their innocence.

Milano Flascucci~