May 6 2012

Schooling Carmen Available Free on Amazon.com (for 24 Hours Only)

More on Schooling Carmen at Amazon.com

My novel Schooling Carmen is available in Kindle format free at Amazon.com for the next 24 hours.

*(Usually $4.99, but for 24 hours, that is until MIDNIGHT (pst) May 7th you can get it free.)

“Cross quickly pulls her readers in…It’s not her style to do anything ordinary, or expected.” — Detroit Free Press

“…my favorite book.” –Actress, Lauren London

“…sexy and smart, yet also thought-provoking and timely–with an intriguing touch of mystery.” –HarperCollins

“Moved me to more than tears…changed my outlook on life. Kathleen Cross will be added to my top-ten list.” — Tina Burns for The Road to Romance

Some of the “tags” that describe this novel’s content are:

beautiful, bigoted, faith, friendship, healing, homosexuality, immigration, karma, life after death, los angeles lakers, love, marriage, metaphysics, sexual harassment, social justice, sex, spirituality…

Note: You do not need a Kindle reader to read this e-book. Simply download the free Kindle software onto your smart phone, tablet or PC.

Book Description:
Desperate to stand out in a family of overachievers, beautiful, bigoted, and bitchy Carmen DuPrè will do anything to leave the “hellhole” high school she works in—even if it means getting groped by a geezer who promises her a promotion.

She’s not worried about things getting out of hand though—if there’s one thing Carmen knows, it’s how use her looks to get what she wants—including courtside Lakers seats and diamond jewelry—from attentive men she cares nothing about.

But when a devastating medical diagnosis threatens to permanently knock her off her pedestal, Carmen might have to trade her looks for her life—and she’s not sure a life without beauty is worth living—which is why she’s risking hers by ignoring her doctor’s advice.

Is it coincidence or divine intervention when a sexy stranger walks into her world insisting there’s a whole lot more to Carmen DuPrè than what’s on the surface? If it’s not too late for her to turn things around, her mysterious guardian angel wants to dish out some serious schooling in a few subjects Carmen knows little about—like faith, hope…and love.


Jan 4 2012

Brown and Beautiful: 10 Children’s Books That Nurture Healthy Self-Esteem in Black Toddlers

More than 70 years have passed since Dr. Kenneth B Clark and his wife Mamie designed and conducted the “doll test” to study the psychological effects of racism on young children.

They showed four dolls, identical except for color, to black children ages 3 to 7 and asked them questions to determine racial perception and preference. When asked which they preferred, the majority selected the white doll and attributed positive characteristics to it, leading the Clarks  to conclude that “prejudice, discrimination, and segregation” caused black children to develop a sense of inferiority and self-hatred.

In 2005, 18-year-old filmmaker Kiri Davis recreated the Clarks’ experiment with 21 young black children, and included footage of the testing in her short film A Girl Like Me. The stunning and disheartening results mirrored those in the Clark experiment so many decades earlier:

“These children, even though they’re 4 and 5 years old, they’re kind of like a mirror and they show exactly what they’ve been exposed to by society,” Davis says. She hopes her documentary will help people see how subtle messages—like those in the media and through product marketing—continue to affect children.

Knowing our children will be bombarded with negative images that  can undermine their ability to look in the mirror and admire what they see, we must remain ever diligent to ensure that they are receiving daily as many affirming messages about their beautiful selves as we can give them.

Removing terminology like “good hair” from our conversations is a great place to start in preventing the erosion of our children’s self esteem. Not using or allowing the words “black,” “African,” and “nappy” to be used as insults in our homes is also a must. And, while we’re at it, one truly powerful way to give our children positive feelings about themselves is to read, with love, uplifting stories that feature children whom they resemble. Here are 10 books parents, teachers and librarians highly recommend:

It should be noted that these are excellent books to read to all children, regardless of their ethnicity or skin tone. The messages in them are universal, and the positive exposure to brown skin as something to celebrate is a lesson every child can ultimately benefit from.

This is where the breaking down of old barriers and old stereotypes begins.


Jan 3 2012

Mexicans Recreate ‘Black Doll-White Doll’ Experiment to Measure Skin Color Preference South of the Border

In an attempt to measure the degree to which Mexican children are affected by the legacy of European colonialism and the present day images they are bombarded with via the media, researchers in Mexico conducted an experiment modeled after the famous 1940′s Clark study that was designed to measure skin color preference in black American children.

Mexico’s National Council to Prevent Discrimination, or CONAPRED, are circulating a video in which children who are mestizos, or half-Spanish, half-Indian, are asked to pick  the “good doll,” and the doll that most resembles them. The children, mostly brown-skinned, almost uniformly say the white doll was “better” or was most like them.

“Which doll is the good doll?” a woman’s voice asks one child.

“I am not afraid of whites,” he responds, pointing to the white doll. “I have more trust.”

Mexicans who viewed the video online said that they were disturbed but not surprised by the results.

Some comments on the video have noted that the options were “very limiting” in that the children were offered only black and white, or good and bad as choices.

“It is a poorly formulated question, it is pretentious,” one viewer said on the website VivirMexico.

Others say the study reveals a deep-seated prejudice that is taught to Mexican children from an early age.

Wilner Metelus, a sociology professor and leader of a committee advocating for Afro-Mexicans and black immigrants, said the doll video shows the prevalence of racism and the need to educate young people.

“The Mexican state still does not officially recognize Afro-Mexicans. There are few texts that talk about the presence of Africans in Mexico,” Metelus said. “We need a project in the schools to show that the dark children are just the same as them, as the lighter children. And not only in schools; it is also necessary in Mexican families.”

Luz Maria Martinez, a leading anthropologist on Afro-Mexican culture, said, ”We do not know how to value the indigenous culture, which is very rich, or the African culture, which is as great as any in the world.”

by Kathleen Cross for rollingout.com