I have labored over the years to create a publishing company that concentrates on publishing works that accentuate the strength, beauty and values ensconced deeply in the history and heritage of my people. I have tried working with a number of high profile celebrities, different groups, organizations, and companies whom I assumed shared the same vision. The endeavor has often been depressing and quite disheartening. Not all Blacks feel as I do about what is happening to our culture and much of it due to the projection of our race through music, books, movies and television. That is why I was so elated when I finally met someone who does share that vision and believes our writing should reflect our love and respect for our history.
D.L. Grant is the Branch Manager of the Carver Public Library in San Antonio and a long-time member of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. He strongly believes that libraries should be the repositories of great works about great people of all races, to include the African American race. Consistent with his beliefs, Grant also believes we writers must continue the long tradition, going back even before the Harlem Renaissance, of excellent story telling both oral and written. He has chosen to tell his stories through the written word and that is why he recently released his outstanding novel, Hundred Dollar Bet.
D.L. also did something that a lot of Black writers will not do, he placed his confidence in a Black publishing company, Jaed Publications, that they could give him a final product to match any coming from larger publishing companies. The relationship between the author and the publisher became a perfect union and his novel is now out and available for purchase from the publisher or on Amazon. This is what is known as economic cooperation, one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa and probably the most important one. Now, all that is left is for you, the readers, the most important link in this union, to purchase the novel and read it. So, allow me to take a few lines and provide you with a summary of the novel.
Hundred-Dollar Bet is a work of historical fiction of African-American life in the South and West Texas. Hobart Grayson of San Antonio, and Shelby Murchison of Bliss, Texas near Lubbock, come of age in their respective communities and are as different as night and day. Hobart, the accidental offspring of a teen-age father who, ill prepared for the responsibility of being provider, abandons his family. Shelby is the son of an uneducated farmer. Both boys believe football is the only way of escaping a dead-end future and having any shot at a decent life. An athletic scholarship for each to the same university causes their paths to merge and an unlikely friendship to develop during their freshman year. The friendship continues once they graduate behind a one-hundred-dollar bet.
Tested loyalty and the love of a woman are at the heart of this saga that unfolds against a backdrop of the Great Depression, the Second World War, the bigotry of Jim Crow and a lynching. There hadn’t been a lynching in Texas since the early 1940s, when a distant cousin of Hobart’s was accused of raping a white woman and strung up in Texarkana. His fate, only spoken of once in a whisper, resonates with young Hobart who grows up confused and bitter. When the same thing happens to 18-year-old Willie Eason years later, Hobart vows to achieve justice for Willie and will not stop until he fulfills that promise.
You will not be able to put this novel down until you know how Hobart manages to avenge Willie’s death, what the hundred-dollar bet is all about and who is the winner.
Our history, our traditions and our great institutions such as the historical Black colleges and the many Black fraternities and sororities are well represented in this excellent novel that entertains, informs and most important; empowers all readers in the strength and beauty of the African-American culture.