Why Donald Trump will Never be as Wealthy as John Lewis

A guest blog by my daughter, Lia P.


Donald Trump began buying properties in the 60s. By 1973, he and his father Fred were sued by the US Justice Department for excluding black residents from its buildings in Brooklyn, Queens, and Norfolk, Virginia for alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act. During the 80s, Trump continued to build his real estate empire, but by 1991 he filed for bankruptcy for the first time.

In early May 1989, Trump took out a full-page ad in the Daily News to weigh in on what he thought he knew about the Central Park Five case, implicating five teens in the rape and attempted murder of a Central Park jogger. In his news ad, Trump suggested we bring back the death penalty. Though the boys in the case were exonerated by DNA evidence that proved a serial rapist and murderer committed the crime, he still refused to admit he was wrong.

In 2005, Trump University was opened and then shut down amid lawsuits claiming that it was a sham. By 2012, as a prominent member of the Birther Movement, Trump offered President Barack Obama five million dollars to give to any charity of his choice in exchange for his birth certificate.  He later affirmed that the president was born in the United States, but no charity, to my recollection, received the donation.  In 2015, NBC cut ties with Trump due to his remarks about immigration.

One of America’s most famous business and television personalities and currently the President-elect of the United States, Donald Trump has amassed monetary wealth in real estate, gaming, sports, and entertainment, and his legacy will surely be that of a man who made and kept most of his money (multiple bankruptcies aside). But if we are to measure the success of a person by the depth of their legacy, his pales in comparison to the man he repeatedly criticized this week, Senator John Lewis.

In addition to being one of my son’s heroes, John Lewis has spent his entire life protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls “The Beloved Community” in America. Unlike Donald Trump, John Lewis was not born wealthy. He came into the world in 1940 and was the son of sharecroppers.  Early in his life he became inspired by the activism surrounding the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This is what impacted my son the most when he read, March earlier this year. My son, who struggles with reading because of his ADHD, finished Lewis’s book in nearly one sitting. Whereas Donald Trump frightened my son, John Lewis inspired him.

At a young age, Lewis decided to become a part of the Civil Rights Movement and generations since will forever be grateful. He organized sit-in demonstrations when he was a student at Fisk and volunteered to participate in the Freedom Rides in Tennessee. He risked his life, was arrested, and was beaten working for justice in the segregated south.

From 1963 to 1966, Lewis served as Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which he helped form. SNCC was one of the most important organizations of the civil rights movement. At twenty-three years of age, Lewis was a keynote speaker at the historic March on Washington in August 1963. He worked tirelessly on voter registration and worked with other civil rights leaders to lead over 600 peaceful protestors across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965.

Lewis has been the Associate Director of the Field Foundation, the Director of the Voter Education Project (VEP) and was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to direct more than 250,000 volunteers of ACTION, the federal volunteer agency. Before being elected to Congress in 1986, Lewis was on the Atlanta City Council where he advocated for ethics in government and neighborhood preservation. He has received too many awards to list for his service, including the highest civilian honor granted by President Barack Obama, the Medal of Freedom. He has been on the front lines of the civil rights movement for decades.

Even though there’s no doubt that Donald Trump, has amassed a certain amount of wealth, (how much I guess we will never know),  that type of wealth is fleeting, especially considering his six bankruptcies.  But even if Trump dies a rich man, he’ll probably be remembered more for those he scammed and bullied, while Lewis’s legacy will be of one who helped change the future for generations to come.  As Billy Graham once said, the greatest legacy one can pass on “is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.” Only John Lewis meets that test.

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The Hobo Family

For Thanksgiving, I was asked to write a guest post for indieBRAG. This is my post about families, and what I’ve learned about the hobo family. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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The Hobo Family

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Fifth Award for A Long Way Back

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Montrie Rucker Adams, APR
Phone: 440-684-9920
Fax:       440-684-1556
Email: mra@visibilitymarketing.com

J. EVERETT PREWITT RECEIVES FIFTH AWARD

Cleveland, Ohio, October 28, 2016…The Independent Publishers of New England announced that A Long Way Back, by J. Everett Prewitt was a first place winner during its October 2016 publisher’s conference.

In A Long Way Back, Black soldiers thought to be killed in action mysteriously reappear in Cu Chi, Vietnam. A curious war correspondent uncovers an illegal army mission gone awry. The novel is an intriguing glimpse into the Vietnam War, merging the lives of the soldiers and the reporter as they struggle to overcome their fears and face the battles each must fight to survive.

Since its publication, A Long Way Back has received the Seal of Approval from Literary Classics.  The novel was awarded the Bronze Award from Foreword Magazine’s 2016 INDIES Award, the DQ Award from IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Award, the Silver award from Literary Classics, and was a finalist for the Montaigne Medal from the Eric Hoffer Awards.

Responses to the book have been positive: “…this is an intelligently crafted tale, brimming with both suspense and social commentary,” says Kirkus Reviews. “A Long Way Back is a powerful and compelling novel,” says Literary Classics. “A Long Way Back is an excellent read…J. Everett Prewitt is an excellent writer and his writing style is realistic, intense, and seems to accurately capture the time period and military life…This book does everything well including pacing, character development, and the storyline itself. It is clear that Prewitt is a good author who is well within his wheelhouse on this one…” says Readers Views.

A Long Way Back has also garnered a five-star rating from Amazon.com.

Everett Prewitt is a Viet Nam veteran and former Army officer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, and a Master of Science Degree in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University. He was awarded the title of distinguished alumni at both schools. Prewitt’s first novel, Snake Walkers, was also the recipient of multiple awards.

To read a sample chapter and learn more about the book and the author, visit http://eprewitt.com.

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Literary Classics Interview of J. Everett Prewitt

INTERVIEW

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Unintended Consequences

They say people are often inspired by small things–an encouraging word, a pat on the back, or even a wink.  My writing inspiration came from a different set of circumstances.

A few years ago, I along with other former African-American Ohio University Bobcats, was asked to write of a memorable experience while at the school. All wrote positive stories about meeting new friends, the newfound freedom of living in a dorm, fraternities, sororities, etc. I, too, enjoyed the school— maybe too much—which is why I graduated from Lincoln University instead of Ohio University. And although most of my time spent on campus was good, what I remember most vividly took place my sophomore year.

I was assigned a dorm room with a white football player—a nice guy, but not too bright.  We took an English Composition class together. He was getting D’s and F’s.  I was getting C’s. So, after a few submittals, he asked me to write his assignments.  Since I was majoring in business, I recognized the monetary benefits of this budding relationship and charged him five dollars a paper.

I never thought I was much of a writer, so I accepted a C as an appropriate grade.  To my surprise, the first paper I wrote for my roommate received a B.  His next submission received a B+. One paper even received an A-.  Meanwhile, I was still receiving C’s, although I spent much more time on my papers then his. During the course, it became evident that the prof hated football, so it had nothing to do with my roommate’s athletic abilities.

My dilemma was that I couldn’t tell the professor I had written my roomie’s compositions. Instead, I asked him what I needed to improve to get a better grade.  He responded, “Everett, you are on the verge of a B.  Keep up the good work. if you write a high-quality final paper, you may very well receive a B in this class.”

My final grade was a C.  My roommate’s, a B.  I was pissed but also motivated. Roomie was elated and gave me an extra ten dollars. But he had given me something even better. Through him, I found I had potential. Plus, the venture was a business success.  My parents were sending me fifteen dollars a month, so the thirty-five dollars I made writing allowed me to leverage my bets at the pool table and simultaneously assuage my disappointment with the grade I was given.

I never thought much about the professor over the years. He was only a bump in the road. There will always be people like that. I guess I should thank him in a way. Although I’m sure it was contrary to his intent, he had planted a seed.

Events like the composition course happened several times in my life. But instead of derailing me, they only made me more determined. That resolve afforded me the opportunity to achieve some successes in life, including the publication of two award-winning novels. I wonder how the good professor would have graded my works of fiction, Snake Walkers and A Long Way Back?

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Two New Literary Awards for A Long Way Back

Congratulations on your literary success! It is with great pleasure that we announce the 2016 Literary Classics Book award honorees.  You can be very proud to be in such esteemed company.  Our judges were thoroughly impressed by the level of excellence demonstrated by this year’s entries.

Literary Classics
P.O. Box 3362
Rapid City, SD 57709

CLC Silver Medalist

A LONG WAY BACK was also the recipient of an award from Foreword’s Book of the Year Awards.

INDIEFAB BRONZE AWARD

http://eprewitt.com

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The Ambush (You never read about)

 

Nineteen-sixty-six is the 50th year of my graduation from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, the oldest historically black college and university in the United States.  As my friend and fellow alumnus, Ed Hill, and I reminisced, I reminded him it was also the 50th year that a group of students set an ambush for the Ku Klux Klan, who, according to a white classmate, planned to invade our campus.

Out of curiosity, our classmate had attended a Klan rally in Rising Sun, Maryland.  After the gathering, he returned to warn us that like at least once or twice in the past, they were going to “knock some n&*^%r heads at Lincoln,” before returning home.

The university was in an uproar.  One of the few women on campus (Lincoln was 99% male) cried uncontrollably. Another group of classmates gathered in the chapel to pray. Some students left the grounds. Some just hid.  Families who lived in “The Village”, a small neighborhood of black residents whose homes were next to the campus, gathered their belongings to leave. But a fellow schoolmate, who is a very successful businessman today, had other plans.

“Prewitt.  I got guns from some of the older workers on campus.  We’re going to surprise the Klan.  You in?”

“Hell, yeah,” I responded without hesitation.

“Good. I’d hoped so. It’ll be easier to recruit the others.”

In the end, there were thirteen of us armed with pistols, shotguns, and rifles.  I felt confident about the group of guys my friend had gathered because each vowed that if they took a weapon, they would use it. One of the members even wanted to beat up the classmates praying, but I explained that people handled crises differently. Not everybody was a fighter. Let them pray.  We were going to need it.

We commandeered rooms on the second floor of McRary Hall.  I suggested we place a boulder at the entrance and exit so when the invaders had all entered, we could block them from escaping. At least one of our members, a South African, made Molotov cocktails and placed them on the outside balcony of the Student Union building facing the entrance. We were ready; nervous as hell but ready.

When our lookout signaled that a caravan of cars were approaching the campus, a few of us hugged each other, then we took our places.  As the first car drove parallel to the entrance, the lookout threw a rock and hit it. The car never stopped.

As they drove past with their confederate flags waving in the wind, we looked at each other, puzzled.  A few were even disappointed. Five very tense minutes after the last car had passed, we stored the shotguns and rifles in a closet, kept the pistols, and gathered outside the dorm.

About ten minutes later, a black car pulled up, and two white guys got out.  I’m glad they showed their badges as quickly as they did, because they were two seconds from getting iced.

“What’s going on here?” one of them asked.

“What the hell do you think is going on here?” one of our more militant members asked. I thought I was going to have to restrain him as I whispered, “You can’t jump the FBI.”

The two agents just shrugged at the question.  After walking around the front of the campus for a few minutes, they got into their car and left.

What I didn’t learn until maybe ten years later was that one of our professors had called the law, because he’d heard we had weapons.  It was evident that the FBI must have passed the information to the Klan based on their decision not to engage even after a rock dented one of their cars.

Ed also reminded me that the KKK beat up two African students who were at the Road House restaurant.  I guess some of our foreign brothers didn’t believe the threat pertained to them.

As I read the paper the other day and applauded President Obama for pardoning so many inmates, I wondered if the Klan had come on campus, would I be one of the prisoners petitioning the president to set me free or would I have escaped the consequences of my actions like I was able to at least one other time in my life?

I’m glad I’ll never have to know.

***

(Colonel Bertram to Anthony Andrews in the novel A Long Way Back): “It’s funny how just a few minutes in your life can dictate your whole future.”

Anthony (Andrews) nodded. “How well I know, Colonel.”

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