Non-Fiction Books, R&B Music & Television & Movie Dramas

Nicholl McGuire Author of When Mothers Cry, Amazon.com
Nicholl McGuire Author of When Mothers Cry, Amazon.com

My Interests

What's a hub without listing some of your interests, huh? I am not one for sitting around on my off days, I usually have plenty to do with household and family, but when there is a moment of down time, I like my non-fiction books, r&b music (gospel too,) and television and movie dramas.

These days I enjoy listening to the vocal range of Jennifer Hudson, I was surprised by Wayne Brady, love the smooth jazz of Will Downey, the occasional "take me back home to Pgh" old school voice of Charlie Wilson, and can I just go to that glorious place above already with Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Shirley Caesar, and Daryl Coley.

Now don't get me wrong, I do like some songs by the hip hop artists both in the secular and Christian world, but I have to listen to them with a discerning ear and sometimes it's just an added stress I don't need. I'm not interested in people sitting on the fence between the darkness and the light. I don't agree with invoking spirits to improve a rap skill and other occult activity so prevalent in the music industry. I think a real talent doesn't need all the hocus pocus, witchcraft, if you will.

As for non-fiction Christian books, I enjoy the writings of Hank Hanegraff, known for exposing false prophets and doctrine like in Christianity in Crisis . I also like a new book that talks about the widely popular 2012 agenda in a book called, Apollyon Rising 2012

I like informative books that are controversial like The Fix Is In by Brian Tuohy if you ever questioned whether television sports was scripted, you got to read this book!

Now there are very few television and movies as of late I can get into. I do like the new sitcom on BET called, The Game and Let's Stay Together , but I don't know how long these shows will keep my interest, because seriously I think to myself while I watch TV, "I could be doing something better." I tried to get into the more popular tv dramas over the years like CSI, Law & Order, and a few of those medical dramas, but I have problems trying to concentrate long enough to see the storyline to the very end. I do enjoy documentaries like those that appear on the History Channel, VH1, or on local TV. I do like some reality shows, but I don't mark them on my calendar to watch that stopped after season one of American Idol . I tried watching Big Brother and Survivor a couple years back, The Bachelor about a year ago and other shows like them, Kardashians and that one with the Playboy bunnies "ho hum." I checked out Brandy and Ray J, What Chilli Wants, and Real Housewives of Atlanta , "okay." I am not impressed with what I see on the news either, so I prefer to select my own news; rather than go along with what others pick out for me daily. When I just want to kick back and laugh, I will visit MediaTakeOut.com, a website that mainly talks about the appearance of black celebrities in both a positive and negative way.

So periodically, I will update you with some of my latest finds via this Hub Page as it relates to my interests. Thanks for stopping by!

African American Nonfiction Books

30 African American Movies Worth Checking Out

It would be nice to just list some of the best movies of all time; unfortunately, there are many African American movies that would just fly under the radar and would never make the list. The marketing budget wasn't that big for some of these lesser known movies. Many never made it to the big screen while others were lucky to even make it to the local Blockbuster.

So what are some of the best and/or most popular movies with a majority African American cast or starring African Americans? I list 30 movies some of which are favorites. Please note: Movies are not numbered in any specific order of preference.

1. Roots

2. Pursuit of Happiness

3. The Best Man

4. The Piano Lesson

5. Not Easily Broken

6. The Brothers

7. The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till

8. Stomp the Yard

9. Love and BasketBall

10. The Great Debaters

11. Boomerang

12. Juice

13. Rain

14. Diary of a Tired Black Man

15. Diary of a Mad Black Woman

16. In His Father's Shoes

17. Lackawanna Blues

18. Baby Boy

19. For Colored Girls

20. Waiting to Exhale

21. A Good Man is Hard to Find

22. Barber Shop

23. Jason's Lyric

24. Colors

25. Boys 'n The Hood

26. Menace II Society

27. Dead Presidents

28. New Jack City

29. Above the Rim

30. Fresh

When researching these movies, be sure to include African American movies or black movies, so as not to be confused with other titles.

My Thoughts on AFRICAN AMERICAN NONFICTION BOOKS

In recent years, I have just got around to reading books by little known African American authors. "Why is that," you may ask? Well, back in college, I read some of the popular authors like Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni; however, many authors I didn't get to read simply because they were not within view. What I mean is unless you walked to the back of the store or visited a black bookstore that carried those unknown names, you didn't find them. There weren't any posters with black authors decorating the walls. These authors weren't on the New York Times Best-seller List. They weren't recommended by anyone unless you knew their relatives or business partners.

I understand how hard it is for authors to just get their foot in the door (I'm one) much less get any notoriety for their books. So I take my hat off to fellow writers who are working real hard to bring a message to a community that doesn't always want to listen simply because you aren't the right skin tone, don't have the deep pockets, and can't relate to your message. You are still a success anyway! Because that one person who does pick up your book or read some of your other works will be impacted in such a way that he or she may do something different in his or her life. You may have motivated that person whether in a negative or positive way to say, "I have an idea..." and whatever that idea is if it helps someone, both you and that person will be blessed maybe not in this life, but the next.

So congratulate yourself, you came a long way just by penning your thoughts and sharing them with the world and for that you should be proud!

Karaoke

You can't be an avid music listener without a little karaoke at least once or twice in your life. So I took up a friend on an offer to sing and dance to a few old school tunes. Funny, that night the DJ had an obsession with R& B vocalist, Freddie Jackson. I think he played every album the man ever made while the audience sat still sipping on drinks trying to make the butterflies go away until a singer was ready to make his or her debut. We were rocking to "Rock Wit Ya," "You Are My Lady," and "Dance Tonight." There were so many more. He had a wide selection of Karaoke tunes.

I checked out a website that provides you with the convenience of downloading your favorite tunes here: Sing, Record and Share Karaoke!

Gospel Music Sealed the Deal Between God and I

I was already open to listening to Christians talking to me about God after an unfortunate incident with a man I thought would become my husband one day. It had taken years to just sit down and talk with these Christ believers. You see, I wasn't interested in Christian people or the Bible prior to 1993. It all seemed useless to me. We were all going to die anyway. I had already come from a household where my own father was controlling just about everything in the household, so why would I want to go to a controlling God?

Things had gotten out of hand in my life back in the mid-nineties and I felt like my life was out of control. I couldn't get back into control without divine intervention. My human plans were failing by the dozens. A sister in Christ saw that I was sinking fast and helped me out of the quicksand that I had created for myself by first introducing me to the King James Version of the Bible, then music and then church visits. I was so grateful to her, but I wasn't quite ready to take God at His Word.

I mention my personal life experience briefly, because even in my struggles, there has always been the musical sounds of positivity there to uplift me. If you read my earlier post, you know that there is only so much R&B music you can listen to before it plays with your mind. Well the same holds true with anything that isn't 100% positive all the time except you want positive music to play with your mind, because it is good for the soul! I found that Christian music was one tool of many used by the Almighty to help me come up higher in knowledge and truth about my existence, my purpose. Like a friend, it was there when no one got me. Some of you know what I am talking about.  There are people in the offline world that just don't get you. You are the black sheep in your household. They don't have love you for you although they say they do. You know you aren't making wise decisions in your life and these same people don't care if you sink or swim just so long as they get whatever they need from you in the meantime.

So there was that Christian CD sitting on the nightstand or in on a shelf that someone gave me that I said I would get around to listening to and eventually I would during trying times.  God uses people for a reason. Years prior to being open to God and his music, I had got a taste of Contemporary Christian music, which I didn't know at the time that is what it is called, from BeBe and CeCe Winans--God was already at work. Through my music journey, I have since learned that the true essence of gospel is in those songs that don't leave Jesus out.

If you are feeling down and see no light at the end of your tunnel, then I encourage you to check out some uplifting Christian vocalists and groups simply by checking out the reviews and stars by their names on sites that sell Christian music. Pick up a CD, download a MP3 or watch their videos and really listen to the words.

May the same Lord that brought me out of my mess, bring you out too!

There's Something About R & B Music

R & B music encompassed my childhood. There was love in the air and there was blues. I saw adults crying over broken relationships and dancing when times were good. I became curious about intimate relationships as young as nine. However, the desire didn't come to actually have one until about 11 and to experience those feelings of being in love until about 13.

I wrote the tween poems of love and sang my own acapella songs around the house. There was something about the topics sang in R&B music that brought butterflies in my stomach. I liked the fact that a man was singing to me. I enjoyed listening to the love story of a broken-hearted woman. It was seductive music that made you wish you could be where the singer was if only for a moment even if it meant experiencing some pain.

Looking back, I think I had no business listening to that sexy music so young. It brought on emotions that I wasn't ready to handle. Oh I played the part that R&B gave me. I was a woman in love, out of love with many fantasy lovers-- they all wanted and needed me. I was the center of attraction. I had the red dress at 16 like in Johnny Gill's song, My, My My. I had my share of intimate moments as a teen listening to Baby Face, Levert, Luther Vandross, Mint Condition, and Tone, Tony, Toni. There were many girls I went to school with that got pregnant while bumping and grinding to R&B music softly playing out of their boyfriend's boom-box. I was one of the fortunate ones to remember to get my boyfriend to wrap it up.

Anyway, there was something that was great about the music, but also deceptive. It made you think that all was right in your relationship one day, but on another day you were paranoid wondering if your man or woman was cheating on you. R&B music is like sugar, it's sweet, but too much and you can become a diabetic needing an insulin shot. I don't believe this music was ever meant to be listened to for long periods of time daily.

How much heartbreak can you take before you are thinking twice about your past relationships? How many times will you hear about someone cheating, before in your subconscious mind you start looking through your partner's email, coat pockets, purses and wallets?

Handle R&B music with care.

Need a Pick Me Up?

When you are down and out, what kind of Christian music do you listen to pick you up?

  • Southern Gospel
  • Christian Contemporary
  • Black Gospel
  • Christian Jazz
  • Holy Hip Hop
  • Christian Country Music
  • Christian Rock
See results without voting

Reality TV

There is nothing real about reality TV except the people. When going behind the scenes, you may have noticed that some actors are told how to react to news ie.) Jerry Springer Show. There are moments when things happen that are unexpected and unanticipated, but those scenes are usually edited out. ie.) MTV's Real World. I personally was contacted from a pool of actors to appear on a few shows. The perception of reality on TV was nothing more than an act.

When I first became interested in reality television was back in the early 90s when I watched MTV's Real World, the first series. I was very interested in knowing how strangers would react to one another when you put them all under one roof. From the fights to the messes, it was good TV. At the time, I hadn't given it any thought that TV characters would be overreacting when the cameras were on, that their lines would be edited, and that viewers wouldn't always get to see people wherever they went. It seemed believable without knowing the truth. That is until, the unedited versions of the TV show were marketed. That's when reality hit for me that these people were not really in reality. That it was a Truman Show of sorts except these people knew they were being taped.

I admit I backed off from reality TV marketed to the twenty-something group until I saw others like the reality cop shows, then the dating shows, the games shows etc. that's when I started tuning in again. Before long, it got to be too much. I backed off from the so-called reality shows, I grew tired of the deception and besides "What was I getting from any of these shows anyway, but a headache?" I asked myself one day. There were times that I allowed myself to be consumed by the drama and sometimes the characters' attitudes and issues seemed to drip off into my life. My reaction to my own reality was being affected by what I saw on TV on a subconscious level. "Uh oh, time to shut the TV off!"

So I don't have any favorite reality TV shows, I think of Flava of Love and I Love New York, as I type--they both once were favorites. The first season on both shows was simply wild, I laughed sometimes until my sides hurt, but they too got old. Too much reality TV for anyone just isn't healthy.

Ever been to San Diego or Los Angeles CA? My personal experience.

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