Book Review and Mild Rant

This might become more of a rant, but I doubt it.  This book needs more circulation, and Black History needs more attention.  See the book review first:

A Free Man of Color and His Hotel: Race, Reconstruction, and the Role of the Federal GovernmentA Free Man of Color and His Hotel: Race, Reconstruction, and the Role of the Federal Government by Carol Gelderman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Here is another important book on Black History in DC that I read in 2013, but neglected to review, in the rush to finish editing Stayed on Freedom’s Call. This book details the success of a man who rose to importance and wealth in DC before the Civil War, and is generally not spoken about on the DC Tour circuit. That was part of what I tried to include in my walking tours of different parts of the city, and I hope is remembered in the new free walking tours of various neighborhoods of DC.

View all my reviews  and now, the rant:

I’m shocked by how little I can find of Black History, or of Black Historical Fiction,   in comparison to Regency, WWI, or other types of history on the blogosphere.  Am I just looking in the wrong places, or is the lack of attention to issues concerning BiPoC also here in blog land, too, and if so, how do we address this lack?


Action Prompt:

      Consider some ideas you may have on how our society can solve homelessness and child abuse, starting right now.  Share them with us in the comments, here, please, and write a story, post or tweet that uses those sources and your thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at LEAST for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport

Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

         by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                      We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future


( 5 month GED lesson 21 of 67 plans),

   and  Babylon 5 review posts, from a Minbari Ranger’s perspective: story inspires learning, and historical fiction can also inspire courage

Toward Peace,

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page, and please do let us know here that you’ve reviewed it there!  🙂

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


for the sake of and in service to HumanKind…


30 thoughts on “Book Review and Mild Rant

  1. I think you’re right, that serious books on Black history are not as prevalent as others, or as they should be. Why? Do they not sell well? Are people so unconcerned about much of the history of this nation? I read a few weeks ago that parents were offended when their children were assigned books like “Ruby Bridges Goes to School” and a book about Martin Luther King, Jr. So, they would prefer that we whitewash history so that their lily-white children aren’t made to “feel guilty” … well, perhaps it’s time we all feel a sense of shame for the past, but that doesn’t mean we hide it … it should mean we strive to do better going forward, but how can we rectify the mistakes of the past if we ignore them or aren’t taught about them? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well, it seems to be a long noted phenomenon that far less attention is paid to events, like missing persons, etc, dealing with people of color than with white people. And no, mistakes cannot be rectified if they are ignored.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m deeply disturbed these days by the trend among ‘Christians’ and others to stop teaching about things such as slavery, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movement and more. HOW can we ever expect to do better in the future if we don’t learn the lessons of the past???

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Very cool!! I’ll make time to go see them! Are you also putting your papers up on We can connect there, too, if you like. My papers aren’t nearly as cool as yours, though, sorry.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ah, no, but I do have an account over there *laugh* And, I don’t know how cool my papers were…it’s just all *blah blah blah hegemony blah blah* Tee hee! I’m definitely not an “ivory tower” academic, so doing the public history track (what I call “street history”) was a good fit. One of the more interesting history-related experiences I had was actually in undergrad school, when I worked with an activist and puppeteer from Argentina on a performance piece she wrote and created called “Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo”. She even received a letter from Hebe de Bonafini!

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Excellent! Like having to fight in the Spanish Civil War with the International Brigades to get our first Black CO (who was appointed as a Commissioned CO from the start, not a battle-field commission/promotion).

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for sharing this information Shira. It seems like the more I delve into our history, the more there is to uncover. We’ve made more strides that we can ever possibly imagine, but there is so much that is not available. I appreciate you girlfriend! 🤗🙏🏼😘

    Liked by 2 people

            1. Nope: the rabbis had a saying (Kool Kosher Kitchen, or David ben Alexander will have to correct my rusty memory on this, please…) that one should repent the day before he dies, and since no one knows when that day will be: repent every day!

              So, for me, getting my life’s work done is based on never knowing how much time we have left, and when I die, I damned well intend to have this work, at the very least “to bear witness” as Toni Morrison said,


              Liked by 2 people

  3. I would like to see York receive more recognition for his contribution to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. (It ended here.) I would love to see a movie or book through the POV of Sacajawea or York as faithfully reconstructed as possible to show them as the complex and three-dimensional individuals that they were. It breaks my heart that he asked for his freedom after the expedition and Clark not only said “No” but farmed him out for odd jobs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That does sound like it would be a fascinating book.
      You know what Toni Morrison said:

      ” If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

      (yes, I realize that many would assert that it ought to be written by a Black or Native American writer, but not all of us have the specific calling to write the specific books that other people imagine/would like to read…)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve had long discussions with friends about Cultural Appropriation. I’m very sensitive as to whether I have the right to tell someone else’s story (of their life.) If I took on such a project, I would want the input and support of that persons family and/or tribe and share the proceeds of any sales with them.

        Liked by 1 person

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