Feb 12 2014

Phenomenal On So Many Levels

Wow! This was an awesome read. It was recommended by a book club, so this was my first time reading any of Ms. Cross’ work. And may I say that I have TRULY been missing out. Skin Deep was absolutely PHENOMENAL. No doubt. Period. The story was well crafted. The characters were well-developed. There is symbolism galore, as well as drama and suspense. (With a HUGE twist at the end! I never saw that coming.)

Now to the story: Nina was a complex character, with an interesting perspective on things. She was a beautiful, strong-willed, well-educated woman who came from a strong support system. Her “cross to bear” (if you call it that) is that in addition to her flawless beauty, she is a very fair skinned Black woman with blue eyes. Nina is aware of the special treatment and privileges she receives because of her fair skin, blue eyes, beautiful hair and body, etc. So much so, that she strives for equal opportunities and treatment for herself and others. Her father is a famous African-American musician. But her biological mother, who she knows is white, is a huge secret. A secret that she has spent years trying to find out about; even though she has a wonderful relationship with her Mama who raised her.

While on her crusade for equal minority relations and a MLK holiday at the college campus where she teaches and volunteers, she meets an interesting man named Ahmed and his beautiful daughter, Ebony. She is intrigued by Ahmed, who is totally rude and obnoxious towards her. And she instantly bonds with Ebony- who is desperate for stability and unconditional love, attention and guidance from a woman. The only problem is that Ahmed loathes Nina and what he feels that she is and she represents.

I won’t give away anything additional, because I want you to read the book and follow their journey yourself. As other reviews have said, this is a complex but beautiful story. Even though Ms. Cross wrote it many years ago, I believe that the themes and sub-plots are still prevalent today. Outstanding job Ms. Cross! (It was so good that I purchased her second book before I was half way finished with this one.)

Oct 28 2012

Michael Baisden Radio Show and Comments

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(No, my name isn’t Kathryn, and yes, we corrected that finally…lol)

To comment on the show, visit this page.

Please feel free to leave a comment here regarding my discussion with Mr. Baisden and his callers. Comments are moderated.

Jul 24 2011

Amy Winehouse’s 15-Year-Old Goddaughter’s Soulful Show Must Go On

Two hours after learning that Amy Winehouse’s voice had been forever silenced, her goddaughter and protégé, Dionne Bromfield, took to the stage to perform. Though the 15-year-old made no mention of the tragedy, nor sang any of her godmother’s songs during her abbreviated set, the audience gave the grieving soul songstress warm applause as she exited the stage early and quickly left the Ponty Big Weekend Festival in Pontypridd, Wales.

Spokesman Tim Powell said of the teen’s performance, “It was very, very professional. We would have perfectly understood if she hadn’t wanted to perform, but she very bravely did.”

Just a few days earlier, another of Bromfield ‘s audiences witnessed what we now know was Amy Winehouse’s final onstage appearance. Winehouse sang a few words into the microphone at Bromfield’s prompting, but mostly just danced alongside her goddaughter as the young singer performed “Mama Said,” a single from her debut album, Introducing Dionne Bromfield, released by Winehouse’s Lioness record label in 2009.

Bromfield, the biracial daughter of a Jamaican father and British mother, lists her musical heroes as Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé and Ne-Yo. She has a remarkably mature sound and a collection of expertly produced covers on her album, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “My Boy Lollipop.”

“That’s Amy’s favorite song,” Bromfield once told a reporter. It is one of three songs on which Winehouse sang background vocals.

The unfortunate death of Amy Winehouse likely will result in worldwide attention and a boost in record sales for this talented teen. If she is able to learn the lessons her godmother taught her by her short and tragic life, Bromfield will leave drugs and alcohol alone and focus on trying to fill her mentor’s singing and songwriting shoes — a task that should keep her busy for decades to come.

by Kathleen Cross for rollingout.com