Echoes of a Dream

In the echoes of a dream, where freedom rings,
A melody of justice, where each heart sings.
Martin Luther King Jr., a beacon so bright,
Guiding us towards a world, bathed in light.

“It’s about character over color,” he declared,
A vision of unity, a dream we’ve shared.
Beyond the hues that paint our skin,
Let character’s radiance truly begin.

No shackles of bias, no chains of strife,
But a celebration of the essence of life.
In the tapestry of humanity, colors blend,
Character’s the thread that binds, my friend.

Let judgments be not based on shade,
But on the kindness in actions displayed.
For in each soul, a unique story unfolds,
A tale of character, a narrative to be told.

May the canvas of perception be ever clear,
With understanding and empathy near.
No divisions by color, no lines to sever,
In unity, we cherish, in character, forever.

So, let the legacy of Martin Luther King endure,
In the spirit of love, equality, and more.
A world where character triumphs over the hue,
For in unity and justice, dreams come true.

Character Over Color


In the bustling city of Harmonyville, where people from various backgrounds coexisted, there lived a man named Richard Thompson. Richard, an influential figure in the community, was known for his business acumen and charisma. However, a dark cloud loomed over his commendable achievements – his belief that race was more significant than character.

Raised in an environment that perpetuated harmful stereotypes, Richard clung to outdated ideologies that judged people based on the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. His views stood in stark contrast to the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., who dreamt of a society where individuals were evaluated by the substance within them.

One day, as Harmonyville buzzed with activity, Richard attended a community event where he encountered David Patterson, a talented African-American artist. David’s vibrant personality and passion for art made him a local favorite, but Richard, clouded by his prejudiced mindset, couldn’t see beyond the color of his skin.

As fate would have it, the city was preparing for the annual Harmonyville Unity Festival, an event that aimed to celebrate differences and challenge preconceived notions. The organizing committee, aware of Richard’s narrow-minded views, assigned him the task of overseeing the festival’s art exhibition, strategically hoping to broaden his perspective.

But this story is not just about Richard’s journey; it is also a reflection of the contemporary challenges faced by society. News stories, bulletins, and articles became integral to the narrative, serving as object lessons to the reader about the rise of character degradation irrespective of racial or ethnic background.

In the weeks leading up to the festival, headlines flashed across screens, illustrating instances where the lack of character seemed to be on the rise. Scandals involving prominent figures, regardless of their racial or ethnic backgrounds, dominated the news cycle. The media became a mirror reflecting the erosion of moral values in society.

As Richard immersed himself in the festival preparations, he found himself confronted with these real-world examples of character degradation. News stories highlighted cases where individuals, irrespective of their race, succumbed to the temptations of greed, dishonesty, and unethical behavior. The world seemed to be grappling with a crisis of character, overshadowing the harmony that the Unity Festival aimed to celebrate.

Amid the festival’s vibrant atmosphere, Richard’s interactions with artists from diverse backgrounds were interspersed with snippets of news articles portraying the struggles society faced in preserving moral integrity. The juxtaposition of the artistic creations and the contemporary challenges underscored the urgency of addressing the degradation of character that transcended racial boundaries.

On the day of the Harmonyville Unity Festival, the city square transformed into a vivid tapestry of colors and sounds, mirroring the variety within the community. Richard, having been exposed to the stark reality of character erosion through contemporary news stories, approached the art exhibition with a newfound perspective.

The artworks spoke volumes about the human experience, challenging the prevalent narrative of character degradation. Yet, the festival wasn’t just a celebration; it became a platform for introspection. News articles, strategically displayed alongside the art, served as reminders that the battle against character degradation was ongoing and transcended racial or ethnic lines.

As Richard navigated through the festival, he couldn’t help but reflect on the news stories that underscored the urgency of addressing the crisis of character in contemporary society. The vibrant artworks stood as a testament to the beauty that could emerge when individuals embraced their differences, yet the headlines reminded everyone that the journey toward true harmony required confronting the challenges posed by eroding values.

Motivated by his experiences and the lessons from contemporary news stories, Richard continued to champion the importance of character development in Harmonyville. He initiated programs that not only celebrated individuality but also addressed the pressing need for character development in the face of societal challenges. The once-divided city became a beacon of resilience, demonstrating that character could triumph over the prevailing winds of moral decay.

To support the concepts of unity, merit, integrity, and the development of good character being above reproach, Richard turned to timeless wisdom found in the Bible. Here are seven passages that resonated with him and became guiding principles for Harmonyville:

  1. Ephesians 4:3 (NIV): “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
  2. Proverbs 11:3 (NIV): “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”
  3. Philippians 2:3 (NIV): “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves.”
  4. Proverbs 22:1 (NIV): “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”
  5. Colossians 3:23 (NIV): “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
  6. 1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV): “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”
  7. Galatians 6:4 (NIV): “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.”

These passages became foundational for Richard and the community of Harmonyville, guiding them toward a society where character and unity triumphed over divisive ideologies. The festival, now infused with these principles, continued to inspire positive change and foster a harmonious environment where the content of one’s character was truly valued above all else.

Unwrapping the True Meaning of Christmas

In the symphony of twinkling lights and merry melodies, it’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind of Christmas festivities. Yet, amidst the tinsel and wrapped gifts, a profound truth emerges: “Christmas is about the Greatest Gift.”

Adorning this eloquent phrase on a t-shirt, “Christmas is about the Greatest Gift,” is more than a sartorial choice—it’s an emblem of timeless truth, rooted in 1 Corinthians 9:15: “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

At the core of this sentiment lies the crux of Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ, heralded by Matthew 1:21, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.” This revelation marks the genesis of hope, salvation, and a transformative promise for humanity.

C.S. Lewis, a beacon of Christian insight, eloquently captures the essence of this profound event: “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.” His words echo the profound purpose behind Christ’s incarnation—a divine exchange that bestowed upon us the opportunity for an intimate connection with the Divine.

Let’s illuminate this message further by reflecting on four pivotal Bible verses that magnify the greatness of the Messiah, the Savior of the World:

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This verse encapsulates the magnitude of God’s love, manifested in the ultimate gift of His Son for the redemption of humanity.

Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah’s prophecy unveils the multifaceted greatness and divine nature of the anticipated Messiah.

Colossians 1:15-17: Paul’s portrayal of Christ’s supremacy emphasizes, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation… all things have been created through him and for him.” This underscores the cosmic significance of Christ’s existence and role in creation.

Wearing the “Christmas is about the Greatest Gift” t-shirt transcends mere apparel—it becomes a testament. It symbolizes gratitude for the birth of Jesus Christ, whose arrival heralded a new era, reshaping human destiny.

This Christmas, amidst the festivities, may this shirt serve as a reminder—a beacon illuminating the profound essence of the season. It’s a tribute to the Greatest Gift, a humble yet transformative occurrence that changed the course of human history. It embodies the heart of Christmas—a celebration not only of a historical event but of an eternal promise: the gift of love, hope, and salvation in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World.

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Fugitivism by S. Charles Bolton

Fugitivism: Escaping Slavery in the Lower Mississippi Valley, 1820-1860 By S. Charles Bolton
  • Estimated Length:  10.5 hours
  • Project Budget:  Royalty Share
  • Word Count:  98000
  • Language:  English
  • Distribution:  Exclusive
  • Territories:  World

Winner, 2020 Booker Worthen Literary Prize

During the antebellum years, over 750,000 enslaved people were taken to the Lower Mississippi Valley, where two-thirds of them were sold in the slave markets of New Orleans, Natchez, and Memphis. Those who ended up in Louisiana found themselves in an environment of swamplands, sugar plantations, French-speaking creoles, and the exotic metropolis of New Orleans. Those sold to planters in the newly-opened Mississippi Delta cleared land and cultivated cotton for owners who had moved west to get rich as quickly as possible, driving this labor force to harsh extremes.

Like enslaved people all over the South, those in the Lower Mississippi Valley left home at night for clandestine parties or religious meetings, sometimes “laying out” nearby for a few days or weeks. Some of them fled to New Orleans and other southern cities where they could find refuge in the subculture of slaves and free blacks living there, and a few attempted to live permanently free in the swamps and forests of the surrounding area. Fugitives also tried to return to eastern slave states to rejoin families from whom they had been separated. Some sought freedom on the northern side of the Ohio River; others fled to Mexico for the same purpose.

Fugitivism provides a wealth of new information taken from advertisements, newspaper accounts, and court records. It explains how escapees made use of steamboat transportation, how urban runaways differed from their rural counterparts, how enslaved people were victimized by slave stealers, how conflicts between black fugitives and the white people who tried to capture them encouraged a culture of violence in the South, and how runaway slaves from the Lower Mississippi Valley influenced the abolitionist movement in the North.

Readers will discover that along with an end to oppression, freedom-seeking slaves wanted the same opportunities afforded to most Americans.

New audiobook release coming November 2021!

NEW RELEASE: Booker T. Washington: Builder of a Civilization

  1. By: Lyman Beecher StoweEmmett J. Scott
  2. Narrated by: Andrew L. Barnes
  3. Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  4. Unabridged Audiobook
  5. Release date: 08-04-20
  6. Language: English
  7. Publisher: Legacy Audio Books

It is not hyperbole to say that Booker T. Washington was a great American. For 20 years before his death, he had been the most useful, as well as the most distinguished, member of his race in the world, and one of the most useful, as well as one of the most distinguished, of American citizens of any race.

Eminent though his services were to the people of his own color, the White men of our Republic were almost as much indebted to him, both directly and indirectly.

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They were indebted to him directly, because of the work he did on behalf of industrial education for the Negro, thus giving impetus to the work for the industrial education of the White man, which is, at least, as necessary; and, moreover, every successful effort to turn the thoughts of the natural leaders of the Negro race into the fields of business endeavor, of agricultural effort, of every species of success in private life, is not only to their advantage but to the advantage of the White man, as tending to remove the friction and trouble that inevitably come throughout the South at this time in any Negro district where the Negroes turn for their advancement primarily to political life


The indirect indebtedness of the White race to Booker T. Washington is due to the simple fact that here in America we are all, in the end, going up or down together; and therefore, in the long run, the man who makes a substantial contribution toward uplifting any part of the community has helped to uplift all of the community. Wherever in our land the Negro remains uneducated, and liable to criminal suggestion, it is absolutely certain that the Whites will themselves tend to tread the paths of barbarism; and wherever we find people of color as a whole engaged in successful work to better themselves, and respecting both themselves and others, there we shall also find the tone of the White community high.


Moving Up Moving Out is ready for download!

The story of the Black Middle class on the Southside of Chicago amidst the industrial revolution is ready for release! This book is an exceptionally well-written account of the struggles, frustrations, and problems with the expansion of Chicago, and the various ways Blacks were determined to overcome the systemic problems that existed at the time.

I am overflowing with pride to release this audiobook, because it features one of the great cities of our nation, once considered a second home, Chicago. That’s right! The Windy City! As I narrate this story, it introduced me to different communities, some familiar others not so much. Nonetheless, I learned a great deal about the people of Chicago and how this great town became one of the most important battlefields of civil rights in the industrialized north.

Just when you thought you knew this city…. Think again!

“Moving Up, Moving Out” by Will Cooley

COMING APRIL 2020!

In Moving Up, Moving Out, Will Cooley discusses the damage racism and discrimination have exacted on black Chicagoans in the twentieth century while accentuating the resilience of upwardly-mobile African Americans.

Cooley examines how class differences created fissures in the black community and produced quandaries for black Chicagoans interested in racial welfare. While black Chicagoans engaged in collective struggles, they also used individualistic means to secure the American Dream.

Black Chicagoans demonstrated their talent and ambitions, but they entered through the narrow gate, and whites denied them equal opportunities in the educational institutions, workplaces, and neighborhoods that produced the middle class. African Americans resisted these restrictions at nearly every turn by moving up into better careers and moving out into higher-quality neighborhoods, but their continued marginalization helped create a deeply dysfunctional city.

Lecture by Will Cooley

African Americans settled in Chicago for decades, inspired by the gains their forerunners were making in the city. Though faith in Chicago as a land of promise wavered, the progress of the black middle class kept the city from completely falling apart.

In this important study, Cooley shows how Chicago, in all of its glory and faults, was held together by black dreams of advancement. 

Moving Up, Moving Out will appeal to urban historians and sociologists, scholars of African American studies, and general readers interested in Chicago and urban history.

Narrated by Andrew L. Barnes

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KLAN: Killing America

KLAN: Killing America
new promo for 2020 narrated by Andrew L Barnes

The strife and horrors of the Civil War in America were raw with the wounds of the war lasting for decades, and affecting those who lived in both the North and the South. As the nation struggled to find unity, the forces of darkness and of those who wished to rule through intimidation and terror, spread their wicked ways under the cover of white sheets.

This is the story of the Ku Klux Klan and their chief brand: Lynchings, as told in the original newspaper stories from journals across the nation. Some are brief, telling only of a single attack while others are more comprehensive and detailed, telling the story with the inclusion of complex and emotional occurrences.

The attempt of the KKK to cloak the power of control over others with fear and violence is explained in some of these news stories. The chief advocate and leader of the Klan was interviewed by reporters and allowed fair access to give his side of the story. The heroism of various groups such as the NAACP and others who risked their lives standing up to thugs and criminals is also noted, as well as the words of those individuals and leaders who fought to eliminate the influence of the Ku Klux Klan.

While the KKK had as much right as any group to demonstrate and articulate their cause, the deceits and criminal actions employed by them separated their group from the legal actions of others.

For listeners in the 21st Century who know little of the life and death of the KKK, the admonition to understand and know history in order to avoid repeating it should be considered. Therefore, it is in that hope that this audiobook has been prepared. WARNING: Authentic descriptions are vivid and brutal and the racially charged language of these historic news reports and commentary has not been modified. This material is for adults and parental guidance is appropriate.©2012 Kenneth C. Rossignol (P)2013 Kenneth C. Rossignol