Vol. 1: Miami’s Urban Chronicles
Author: Thomas Barr., Jr.
Publisher: VIP INK Publishing Group, Inc. / Printhouse Books
Publication Date: April 1, 2015
Format: Paperback – 88 pages / eBook
Genre: Urban Fiction
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This book is about the struggle of African American men as they traverse the perils of 20th and twenty first century life in the professional realms of the work place atmosphere. The differences in opportunities are often overlooked in comparison to other classes and among the races.
The American dream is the realization of success in the face of struggle and hard work. Is it relevant that one’s struggle is harder than the other in accomplishment of this goal? P-Man Sam is a hard look at the road to self-empowerment and what it takes to make it in the American society. The entrepreneurial spirit is one of the main roads traveled in realization of the American dream.
It takes knowledge and a fearlessness to take a chance in the ruthless world of business in this society. It’s also important to be able to effectively communicate with the modern diverse society of today through effective people skills.
The P-Man Sam story brings an awareness of how to navigate negative experiences and transform them into motivational learning blocks. Learning from experiences and moving forward is essential in life. One’s eyes must be open and naïve thought processes must be conquered in attaining the ultimate prize. The following are useful for application:
• Net working
• Coalition building
This book is a good source for inspiration and having hope is a major force in your journey through life. Situations and circumstances should not be viewed as a hindrance, but instead a hurdle in step to the finish line. There are many instances in this story that relay the struggle against forces that present obstacles. Willpower and dedication are true factors that assist the main character in winning out against such forces.
In conclusion, the power of love and support are sustaining factors in the realization of goals in life. The act of goal-setting itself is an important factor in accomplishing anything in pursuant of ambitious dreams. This novel is sprinkled with kernels of knowledge and inspirational wording designed to give the reader insight into the motivations of the main character that can be transcending to experience.
It is beneficial and intended to identify and acquire these gems of knowledge to retain as progressive career tools.
of the millennium, on the major Interstate of I-95 cars sped up the roadway and
zinged pass construction barriers. Many
of the vehicles just barely swipe distressed vehicles’ parked roadside. Sam Silvasteen drove with his windows down
taking in the South Florida breeze as his car cruised at a comfortable
speed. A black car with a high
performance sounding engine screeched up next to Sam’s car. The sound of gunfire erupted and peppered the
passenger’s side of Sam’s car with silver dollar sized bullet holes. Sam jerked the steering wheel in an attempt
to dodge the spray of bullets. The men
in the car continued to pace Sam’s car firing ruthlessly into the frame of the
automobile. Hot lead ripped through
Sam’s flesh as he was hit with a volley of bullets.
the median and the men sped off as his car coasted to a halt along the concrete
rail. Sam could hear the screaming
brakes of other cars on the road and smell the scent of twisted metal as he
faded out. The Entrepreneurial President
of Bandstand Magazine lay shot along the Miami corridor among twisted metal. His life flashed before his eyes and he
thought back on the events that led him to his current predicament.
wise entrepreneur who had escaped the shadows of the crime filled eighties drug
environment of Miami. Cocaine was the
major drug that circulated thru the community of Dade County. He transformed his life into a respectable
businessman and attempted to help other urban youth in becoming productive
community citizens. Within the blink of
an eye his life was turned upside down and the phantoms of his past attempted
to snatch his mortal essence from existence.
raised in a single parent home. When Sam
turned ten in the year 1977, he was placed in an orphanage by his grandparents
due to his mother’s early dementia among her other mental illness related problems. Sam’s grandparents had six adult kids living
in their home and couldn’t afford a proper home for young Sam.
damn T.V.,” yelled a burly kid his
hair dripped with Gerri curl juice. His
voice echoed through the bare white walled dayroom of the orphanage. Sam sat motionless as the other kids looked
around not saying a word in response to the question. The scarcely decorated room remained silent. Most of the juveniles were Cuban exiles and
spoke little English. The burly kid steaming
with rage yanked the plug out of the wall and kicked the T.V. over. The loud crash and sound of breaking glass
alerted the nearby sisters from the hallway entrance.
the T.V.?” Asked Sister Alice, she was
new to Saint Joseph and relocated from Nicaragua to assist with the influx of
prospective exiled children of political patriots. She wore the traditional long flowing robes
of her profession. She was a looker and
it could be speculated that she had her pick of the litter before being
over,” said the burly kid as he pointed at Jose Marti a skinny pale Cuban
teen. Jose possessed long limbs but his
skinny frame made him look a bit goofy in appearance.
true?” Replied Sister Alice, as she
wheeled in his direction. Jose remained
silent as Sister Alice waited for him to respond.
Sister Alice,” Sam exclaimed. His voice
was firm and controlled. “Well it didn’t
happen on its on Sam,” replied Sister Alice in a sarcastic tone. The burly kid cut his eyes at Sam and gave
him a hard look.
the burly kid, “Trey Brownlee if you’re fibbing you get twenty lashes,” She
swear….,” replied Trey before he could finish his sentence Sister Alice smacked
him in the chest with a ruler. In a
heavy Spanish accent she sentenced Trey to spend the rest of the day in time
this mess cleaned up,” she said as she escorted Trey from the room.
immediately grabbed a garbage can to pick up the shards of glass that covered
the floor. Jose found a broom and swept
some of the glass in a pile for Sam to scoop into the garbage. The other kids resumed their activities as
the hype died down.
in Jose from the day of the T.V. incident with Trey. They began their friendship working as
partners at anything they did together.
Sam was a husky twelve year old and Jose was three years his senior. The two got along quite well with no regards
to their respective ages. Lucky Barnes
was a younger kid who hung around Burt Ramos the only Puerto Rican kid at the
orphanage. Lucky was a portly black kid
with big hands. Burt often used little
Lucky when he was trying to hustle the other boys in marbles.
Burt. “Trey is going to be pissed that
you stuck your nose in his business.”
responded Sam. “If you’re down with Trey
than forget you too,” said Sam as he flopped down onto a sofa in the dayroom of
the orphanage. A group of boys congregated
at the corner of the day room and shot a game of marbles.
myself and I was just making sure you knew what time it was,” said Burt as he
made his way to the marbles game. Lucky
gave Sam thumbs up as he shuffled close behind Burt.
chair alongside Sam and said, “Now we have nothing to watch because of
Trey.” The boys protested loudly in the
corner of the room while Burt tried to convince them he was not cheating. “Hey I got ya back don’t let them get to you
about that Trey stuff,” he said.
up and replied, “I’m not worried about a thing.” He extended his hand and slapped Jose
five. Jose watched a lot of T.V. and was
hip to the street ways of black culture.
He understood the gesture and was happy to have made a friend in a place
where watching out for self was paramount.
Sam was also careful in not being labeled a rat while sticking up for
Jose. He knew in befriending an older
kid his chances of survival had increased tenfold.
housed in an entirely different dorm wing as compared with the males. The only times the two would mingle was
during mealtimes and that was usually three times a day. All the kids in the orphanage were supervised
by nuns and the Mon Senior had final call on all activities. Sam had his eye on this one pigtailed hair
girl named Vivian Smart. She was a
beautiful vivacious teen who was present at the orphanage upon Sam’s arrival.
as she sat down with her lunch at Sam’s table.
“I heard what you did for that Cuban kid the other day and I think it
was courageous.” Sam shifted in his
replied. “The kid looked as if he needed
help and I stepped in.” Sam dropped his
head and continued to munch on his sandwich.
Vivian took a cookie from her tray and placed it on a napkin in front of
Sam’s tray. Sam didn’t raise his head
but his heart quickened its pace.
bravery,” she replied as she slid the napkin in Sam’s direction. Sam was at a loss of words, and before he
uttered his faint thank you Vivian had strode off and rejoined her
a bustle with kids and they were being closely monitored by the nuns for any
improprieties. Sam sat brooding as he
finished his meal. He missed he mother
and siblings, while the orphanage provided a vibrant surrounding it lacked
genuine personal connections. Before his
mother’s unfortunate problems Sam was often doted on by his family. He was the youngest and the last born of his
mother’s children. His siblings were
years older than he was and were all away trying to establish a life for
themselves. Sam hated being poor but
what else could he do he thought to himself.
to the day room after lunch and sat looking at one of the day room
windows. He had a second period of
classes in which he contemplated cutting.
Jose walked up to him and slapped him on the back, “What up Sam!” He said in his best English.
replied Sam. I got a couple of classes
for second period and I do not feel like going,” said Sam with a sigh.
grade higher than Sam although he was fifteen.
His problems with the language barrier relegated him to grades lower
than his normal level in Cuba. “Let’s
hangout in the courtyard or sneak over to the girl’s dorm,” replied Jose.
Sam. He stashed his books under a nearby
sofa and was out the door along with Jose.
was well kept and immaculate in comparison to the facilities the boys
maintained. When not in class the girls
milled around outside and played dodge ball on the cement courts. The males and females rarely participated in
physical activities except when there was a yearly festival occurring. Jose and Sam hid behind a dumpster near the
courts of the girl’s dormitory. “Hey
there’s Vivian,” said Sam as he ducked so he wouldn’t be seen by her.
on a nearby court and began their ritual jump rope Double Dutch game. Jose whistled trying to get one of the girls’
attention, Sam nudged him in the side.
get us busted,” exclaimed Sam.
to get us some trim,” replied Jose.
heard the commotion and walked over to where Sam and Jose were held up. She saw them crouched behind the dumpster and
immediately began screaming. The boys
tore out of their hiding place and ran for the nearest place to hide for
cover. Jose laughed hysterically as he
tried to catch his breath from the sprint to the dormitory.
remarked Sam bending over in exhaustion.
walked back to the day room and talked about the look on the girls’ faces when
they realized they were being spied upon.
Classes were ending for the day and the dayroom was filled with
students. Music appreciation seminars
were usually held by Sister Alice after dinner and Sam really enjoyed the
sessions. He profiled the different
types of music genre as well as the musicians of past and contemporary
times. “I’m going to my room before
dinner,” said Jose.
the dayroom leafing through his school books as he sat on a bench in the back
of the room. Sister Alice entered the
dayroom recruiting groups to complete chores.
Sister Alice mentioned that the females were also participating and Sam
decided to volunteer. One group of males
and one group of females were directed to the gymnasium area of the
compound. The two groups were instructed
to scrub the floors and wash the walls.
Sam joined the chore group hoping to get a chance to be around
Vivian. Sam began scrubbing and to his
dismay saw no sign of Vivian in the other group.
for the chores squad of Sister Alice in hopes of seeing Vivian. On this one particular day the squad was
tasked to clean the main administrative offices of parish officials. Vivian was assigned to the task and Sam was
delighted his persistence had finally paid off.
Sam decided he would work closely with Vivian and learn more about her
Sam. Vivian stopped what she was doing
and put her hands on his hips.
said. The girls giggled as Vivian smiled
question to ask. He never knew the right
words to say to the members of the opposite sex. She looked so beautiful standing there with a
twinkle in her eyes and sass in her voice thought Sam.
you’re good,” Sam replied with a smirk.
with a wink.
chatted about what guys they thought were cute in the boys’ dormitory. Sam pondered his next move on how to get
Vivian’s attention without her friends being around. He thought he would have a better chance at
an honest conversation on a one on one basis.
Sam would have to covertly recruit individuals to help with his plan and
a major part of his plan would be Sister Alice.
he lounged in the dayroom and watched the boys roll marbles. A couple of maintenance men coordinated the
installment of a new T.V. in place of the damaged one. Jose walked in and made his way over to a nearby
by sofa avoiding the guys on the floor as they shot marbles.
Jose. “Did you see your sweetheart
Vivian,” he remarked with a laugh. Sam
ignored Jose’s remark and continued to watch the boys argue over taking a turn
to roll marbles.
help out around here?” asked Sam. “Maybe
you’ll meet a nice female.” Sam
fine girl is with a lot of money,” said Jose.
Vivian and he assured himself that love was his reason for his
persistence. Sam had not really known
the love of a woman outside of his mother but he could not resist the emotion
he felt when he was around Vivian. Sam
would be careful about revealing his feelings around the people he interacted
with daily, because in his environment this could be a source of perceived
through the circled marbles on the floor where the boys were shooting
marbles. The sound of grinding glass
against the floor could be heard as Trey twisted his foot on each stomp. Marbles shot out from under Trey’s foot
hitting the sides of nearby chairs, tables and walls. The boys scuttled out of Trey’s path dodging
challenged his rule in standing up for Jose.
Sam was ready for whatever retaliation Trey would seek to impose. Sam continued to lounge nonchalantly on the
sofa as Trey marauded around the dayroom.
Jose remained silent as he sat on the other sofa. Sam could see Jose was tense and his demeanor
had drastically shifted in relation to his earlier mood. Sister Alice stuck her head through the
doorway of the day room.
today Trey,” She said as she disappeared down the hallway.
and ate his bowl of oatmeal in silence.
He soon felt a hand on his shoulder.
It was Sister Alice standing over him smiling with her black nun’s head
dress draped over her hair.
said. “Both his parents died of aids
when he was just a toddler.” She pulled
up a chair and sat next to Sam. Sam
paused between spoons full of oatmeal as she continued to talk.
she died a couple of months ago and he seems to have a hard time
adjusting.” She said.
having an easy time here either and why is she telling this story to someone
who loathes Trey. Sam began to fidget
with his silverware as Sister Alice told Trey’s life story. He desperately wished Jose would appear and
interrupt her oration. Sam could
appreciate the concern Sister Alice felt for the kids of the orphanage. He wondered if she spoke of his situation and
issues with others as she did of Trey.
occupancy and he felt little empathy for Trey’s story. Sam had few adult role models; however Sister
Alice influenced the good in him. Sam
dreamed of the day when he could stand on his own without the need of the
orphanage. He was tired of being a kid
and was ready to venture out into the world.
Sam was in his own thoughts now and subconsciously caught bits and
pieces of Sister Alice’s conversation.
“You know Sam Saint Joseph will seek to be a solid base for your
upbringing when you grow up,” she said.
Her voice seemed to trail off as her last comment reverberated in his
make a good impression to others by making himself who they thought he should
be. He would do tasks that made other
people happy and would go all out to fit in with others. Sam felt uneasy in the aftermath when he
thought of this act of self repression.
His true nature was to be himself and explore who the real Sam was as an
as a bully and an enemy to the free spirit of those around him. Trey’s bully tactics blunted the freewill of
others stunting their growth. Sam in an
attempt to be ordinary like everyone else downplayed his true abilities. He had no desire to be recognized as
exceptional in comparison to his colleagues.
The Trey types sought to bring out such exceptional abilities which made
Sam hate him even more.
abandonment issues stoked his desires for the camaraderie of others and he
highly valued friendship. Trey bullying
tampered with that concept which in turn was a source for instability in Sam’s
world. Sam would mesh out any
instability that threatened his contentment.
Trey would be met with the harsh retaliation whenever he threatened to
disrupt Sam’s reality.
realized Sam was not soaking in her words and stopped speaking. She looked at Sam as he sat gazing into the
distance. She raised herself from her
seated position and stood with her hands on her hips. She shook her head and walked away from Sam
as he continued his gaze.
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Author Website: http://www.thomasbarrjr.com
Author Blog: http://www.thomasbarrjr.com/367815247