Posts from the ‘Fleshing It Out’ Category

The End is the Beginning is the…


Dec 11, 2018 ~  we celebrate my late sister, Dr. Betty Jean Jones. She would’ve turned 69 today. She remains my inspiration and is proud, I’m sure, to see this milestone:

After 12+ years, at last Peach Seed Monkey is a novel manuscript in search of an agent.

Omygoodness. The reality hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s been too long since I didn’t have to make my way to my computer or laptop to work on pages, like a dutiful duckling, instinctively following her mother’s call.

Feeling like the girl who cried wolf a few times. Not because I like to play tricks, but because I had no idea writing a novel would take this long. The creative process takes as long as it takes.

I believe in celebrating every milestone and always have to thank my editor, the erudite novelist, A.J. Verdelle. We started working together in 2012 after something I stumbled upon sent me looking for A.J. — this quote from Nikki Finney: “A.J. Verdelle teaches revision as an art.”  I could not have arrived at this juncture without her.

I’m onto the daunting journey of finding an agent and welcome any tips/advice/ideas/referrals/CONTRACTS… Meanwhile, I’ll be over here at my desk, drafting query letters, collecting rejections and drinking Strauss chocolate milk.

#6 From the Archives: Adjustments,Tucks and Plans

My niece, Karen, is my Super Hero. Every day she does things I can only imagine; seismic acts combining our highest human qualities with medical professionalism in her job as a nurse. This piece brought me to tears once again. Even more so because nearly two whole years have passed. This was published right after the White House turned orange and before we knew just how much worse things could get.

Karen recently moved from southern California back to Minnesota, where she continues to “be a helper”. I’m guessing this will remind her and the SoCal crew how much they miss each other…

First published: November 15, 2016

Guest Blogger:
Karen Lindquist,
Southern California
(then) Minnesota (now)

Anita’s Note~ Kudos to my niece, Karen Roehrick Lindquist, who wrote this first as a comment to my post: My Letter to the Young Folk. Her powerful sentiment left me in tears. Lucky for us Karen agreed to having the comment published as a post to share with all of you. Many people are asking, “What do we do now?”  (when the White House turned orange) After reading this you will have some ideas on that… Read more…

Marian Anderson on “What’s My Line” 1957

American contralto, Marian Anderson, 1897-1993, was one of the most globally celebrated singers of the 20th century and yet the panel on What’s My Line in 1957 felt ashamed when they couldn’t guess who she was…


Ms. Anderson sang at the Lincoln Memorial  on Easter Sunday in 1939 after she was refused a performance at Washington’s Constitution Hall. In 2014, young people gathered to commemorate 75 years since Anderson’s effort to strike out against racism through the power and beauty of her voice. Jeffrey Brown reports for PBS:

Ten Years Without a Comb

For a host of reasons, the river called Hair runs deep. And wide. After a decade of wearing my hair “locked”—only one of many versions of its natural state—I continue to bear witness to the triumphs and mysteries of the choice. And also the outright weirdness that happens largely because non-black people are curious, having no clue how these locs happen—not twists, not braids, not extensions. Frankly, I’ve suffered a lot worse insults than someone asking to touch my hair.

So sure. You can touch my hair—if you let me touch yours—and hopefully then we can talk about that and a whole bunch of other things that make us uncomfortable and widen the racial/cultural/political divide.

“Be it straight or curly, braided or shaved, woven or wigged, the hair of black Americans has been a flashpoint for their cultural pride and their critics’ ignorance and scorn.” —Pam Kragen, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Jan 15, 2016

Let’s begin a conversation with this photo launching my NEW Instagram account:@anitagailjones.


The photo is an homage to the book by Willie L. Morrow: 400 Years Without a Comb (Black Publishers of San Diego, 1973). Barber/chemist/businessman, Morrow was born and raised a sharecroppers’ son in rural Alabama and went on to become a self-made multimillionaire with the creation of both the Afro pick and the “The California Curl”, a cold wave product most known by the impostor name, Jheri Curl (OMGoodness!…talk about a cultural impact! Picture Lionel Richie singing All Night Long or Michael Jackson’s Thriller days…)

Read The San Diego Union-Tribune article by Pam Kragen about: The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb, a two part exhibit at the Museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Jan-March 2016

Follow me on Instagram and tell your friends…

New Poor People’s March: Coming May 2018

ANITA GAIL JONES:Fortunately, as we celebrate MLK day today, there are many modern day civil rights leaders picking up the baton to keep America in the race for equality. As Coretta Scott King said, “Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.”Last week on Democracy Now! (KPFA, Berkeley)  host Amy Goodman interviewed Rev. Dr. William Barber, II and evangelical minister Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (an ex-page for segregationist Strom Thurmond). These two form an unlikely partnership as the organizers of a new Poor People’s March inspired by the iconic Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) 1968 campaign led by Marion Wright Edleman, Dr. King, Bayard Rustin and many other freedom fighters.

 “Trump is a symptom of a deeper moral malady.”  ~ Rev. Dr. William Barber, III

I couldn’t agree more: Donald Trump’s presence in the White House is like a foul, nasty cold (combination chest and head) that is spreading; bigots and xenophobes everywhere are emboldened. Ain’t nobody got time to be blowing noses and coughing up gunk for the next three years. We all have to find ways to become part of the solution which is why I’m here to share the Democracy Now! interview.

AMY GOODMAN: In the coming months, organizers are planning six weeks of direct action at statehouses across the country and the U.S. Capitol to call attention to systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation …we speak with Reverend William Barber, president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach. He’s the leader of Moral Mondays and the author of “Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement.” We also speak with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, evangelical minister and director of the School for Conversion in Durham, North Carolina. He is author of the upcoming book, “Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion.” Wilson-Hartgrove grew up as a white Southern Baptist, and he served as a page for the late South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, a fierce foe of the civil rights movement and supporter of segregation. Wilson-Hartgrove’s political transformation began after hearing William Barber preach.

“…I had to learn that whiteness is a religion that people are sold on…”   ~ Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove


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Barber and Wilson-Hartgrove embody the direction toward which Dr. King was moving at the end of his life: uniting races around poverty.

Here’s a rare brief excerpt from The 1968 Poor People’s Campaign from the Henry Louis Gates Documentary – Two Nations:

Must-see Film ~ Screening in Albany, Georgia: Tuesday, 9/12/17


Albany Civil Rights Institute Presents Award-Winning Civil Rights Documentary & Discussion Featuring Several Black Albanians, Filmmaker

The Albany Civil Rights Institute will present an award-winning civil rights film, featuring multiple black Albanians, who fought on the front lines of the bloodiest campaign of the entire Civil Rights Movement.

                  The Institute will present the hour-long documentary, Passage at St. Augustine: The 1964 That Transformed America™, Tuesday, September 12, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at 326 Whitney Avenue, Albany, GA 31701. The program will feature filmmaker Clennon L. King, and is free and open to the public. Read more…

My Father ~ Silas Jones ~ An Inspiration


Cira 1980s ~ My Father, Silas J. Jones in his back yard in Albany, GA after a miraculous snow fall. Yep, that’s a dusting of snow on the car…

Independence Day Musings ~

My father, Silas Jones, was born in 1921 in Putney, Georgia—a widening-in-the-road near Albany. I remember one summer when I was home—most likely during my Brooklyn, New York years: 1979-1985, we drove “down home” to visit my mother’s people in Bainbridge/Camilla. We were at a cousin’s house where the TV played perpetually. My cousin’s daughter, a toddler, sat too close to the set, spell-bound. My 6’2 father Read more…

Don’t Be a Sucker

Don’t Be a Sucker is a short propaganda film produced by the U.S. War Department, released on July 4, 1943 and re-released in 1947. It has anti-racist and anti-fascist themes. The film was supposedly created to make the case for the desegregation of the United States armed forces [paradoxically I dare say] but ultimately upholds America as a nation of minorities that must unite in order to thrive. It’s terrifying that seventy years later the film’s messages are all too relevant. [17:26 minutes] Please share this with your people everywhere:

Read more…

Van Jones ~ Plain Truth and Direct Action


Jan. 26, 2017, Mill Valley, CA
I was lucky enough to be in the audience last Thursday, Jan. 26th, when Van Jones spoke at the Mill Valley Rec Center. Jones is a personable, humble dynamo—not so impressed with himself that he couldn’t be giddy and lose his mind when Oprah called him in his hotel room recently. He told me I had a wonderful last name, I told him I’m sure we’re cousins—feels like he could be that handsome cousin all the girl cousins have a crush on and the boy cousins want to be. Read more…

National Amnesia & Bipartisan Disorder

Anita’s Note ~ Come on people. Have we really forgotten that the same country that elected Barack Obama elected Donald Trump? And that country participated in the Middle Passage slave trade for 245 YEARS? And that same was the architect of what W.E.B. Dubois described as “the freedom to destroy freedom”? As a result our country suffers from what I’m calling bipartisan disorder* (scroll down for definition & let me know if somebody else is calling it that, too).

I love what is good about America—and there’s a lot to love—doesn’t mean choosing to forget the horrors. Trump has delivered a wake-up call. Let’s not turn over and go back to sleep.

A few minutes a go I took a break from revising the novel to indulge in content for my next blog post—my reward for six hours of writing/revising. The words “national+amnesia” popped into my head like an original idea. Not. A quick search  lead me to an op-ed by Ana Paulina Lee, assistant professor of Luso-Brazilian Studies at Columbia University, NYC. Ms. Lee has eloquently told it like it is and gave me permission to re-blog

Guest Blogger


Ana Paulina Lee, Columbia University

“How would one think differently of the United States if we were to think of it not as a nation built by immigrants — a national myth — but rather as a nation built on slavery and the removal of Indigenous people from their land?” ~ Ana Paulina Lee “Op-Ed; The Perils of National Amnesia.” 7 Jul. 2016.

*bi•par•ti•san dis•or•der
a political disorder marked by alternating periods of national elation and depression brought on by how one casts one’s votes.  ~ Anita Gail Jones

“Students across the US, regardless of their background, may graduate from college without ever learning about inconvenient histories. Yet, national forgetting is powerful. It enables ideology like racial supremacy to not only exist, but evolve.” ~ Ana Paulina Lee “Op-Ed; The Perils of National Amnesia.” 7 Jul. 2016.

“…histories of racial violence are not over. And we need our classrooms and our culture — and not just Jesse Williams — to tell that truth.” ~ Ana Paulina Lee















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