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$15 Amazon Gift Card – C. S. BOYACK
LAURIE LEWIS won an Autographed Paperback Copy of
Crazy Hot And Living On The Edge
D.L. FINN won an Autographed Paperback Copy of Our Lady of Victory The Saga of an African American Catholic Community
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CRAZY! HOT! AND LIVING ON THE EDGE!!
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“Crazy Hot and Living On The Edge”
by Shirley Harris-Slaughter
About This Book…..
Imagine experiencing emotions that have you questioning your sanity. Your body gets overheated at the least bit of excitement and you scramble to find a fan or some air. Or you find yourself in the throes of a panic attack and can’t understand how to shut it off, so you are filled with anxiety wondering when the next one is coming. What if every time you take a drug you experience side-affects that you are warned about on the label?
The title was conceived in my mind after I thought over all the situations I had found myself in, how I got out of them, and the affect all of this had on my overall physical and mental well-being.
Crazy! Hot! And Living On the Edge!! Is the True Story of My Upside Down Life!
A reader stated it better than I ever could when she placed emphasis on my journey from a personal perspective of storytelling. Other readers felt like I didn’t do enough of it. Everybody took something away from having read it.
I recall one night, while preparing my baby son for bed, I sat down and laid him on my chest to rock him to sleep. Suddenly, I started to feel this tightness in my chest. It felt like I was being squeezed and it got worse and worse until I was writhing in agony and pain. I had difficulty breathing. I tried and tried but I just couldn’t get enough air in my lungs. My mother called for help, but when the police arrived and offered to take me down to Detroit Receiving Hospital, she exclaimed: “Over my dead body! You are not taking my daughter downtown!”
At that time, Receiving Hospital had a reputation for admitting a lot of violent criminals and crime victims and she didn’t want me in that environment. So the officers left. Fortunately, they returned with the decision to take me somewhere closer to home. We rode to Mt. Carmel Mercy Hospital aka Sinai-Grace Hospital, right in our neighborhood. The doctors went through the normal line of questioning, including personal inquiries about my marital status. When I told them I was separated from my husband, they looked at me with a sympathetic but knowing expression on their faces.
“OK,” one of them said, “That explains it all.”
The doctors went on to explain that cases such as mine – a young woman having sudden episodes of anxiety — were all too common. They called them panic attacks. They prescribed valium which helped control the symptoms. That night, I learned what stress can do to you…practically kill you.
Around that time, I began to feel despondent. I was so ashamed of my life and the bad choices I had made. I also continued to experience more and more episodes. Then, one day my mother looked at me and said: “Maybe you need to go back to your husband.”
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that my mother didn’t understand why I filed for a divorce. She supported me in every way possible. However, she was worried about my health and finally decided that I would feel better if I worked out the problems in my relationship.
I remember saying, “No mom, just let me get through this. I’ll get over it no matter what it takes!” I may have been sick and filled with despair, but I refused to go back to him.
My doctor referred me to a psychologist for several sessions. During my first session, the psychologist just stared at me. Beyond introducing himself, he literally didn’t open his mouth to say much of anything. We sat there for an hour staring at each other. It became very uncomfortable for me. Finally I said, “It’s been nice knowing you but I think I can handle this on my own. I’ll call you if I need you in the future.”
And I thought I was crazy!…..
Listen to this trailer, produced by 4WillsPublishing. It kind of grows on you…
OUR LADY OF VICTORY
THE SAGA OF AN AFRICAN AMERICAN CATHOLIC COMMUNITY
One act set in motion a chain of events that threatened one Catholic community’s ability to thrive.
It happened between 1945 and 1946 at the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Detroit in the Chancellor’s office. Msgr. John C. Ryan called an emergency meeting with the cardinal…
And so the stage was set for the years of turmoil that followed and the subsequent demise of this once vibrant church. Here comes the author who gives the reader an intimate look at her church, the township she grew up in, and its historical significance to World War II, Henry Ford’s auto plant, migration from the south, and the housing crisis that was unfolding.
The reader is introduced to the pioneers of this West Eight Mile Community who helped shape and establish this community that shaped her. But the book takes a different turn as the research uncovers forgotten secrets…
To my dismay, most folks, both in and outside of our community, have never heard of Detroit’s Our Lady of Victory Church. Most of those who worshipped there are not aware of its legacy. And those who lived it are not inclined to talk about it much. But we should commend the black folks who contributed to the development of both the West Eight Mile Community and the church. They left a legacy to be proud of. They were making history; those of us who lived it became a part of it and reaped the benefits.
This book will present the facts—and some of those facts may not make for pleasant reading. I make no apologies since I had nothing to do with making the policies that shaped Our Lady of Victory and our lives; I was only a recipient. I ask that you understand that I am only the messenger. I ask this because I was totally unprepared for the hostile reaction that occurred after an early draft of the manuscript was read. I was told that the story was fascinating but that I shouldn’t expect support. It was only after I received the encouragement of someone else in the diocese along with my husband’s support that I continued to forge ahead. However, I did go back and take another look at the history; I decided to remove my personal opinions from the historic narrative and talk about my memories in a separate section Part I. In that way, the historical facts are not distorted. But the fact is that black people have always been on the receiving end of the negative consequences of racism. So why must we always bear the guilt for exposing it?
On a larger scale, I felt compelled to write this book because Our Lady of Victory’s story is being overlooked by historians and others who write about black Catholics. For example, The History of Black Catholics, by Cyprian Davis, makes no specific mention of Our Lady of Victory. There are references to the Oblate Sisters of Providence, but nothing specifically tied to the church and school. Heritage of Faith, written by Detroit’s Religious Bicentennial Task Force, completely missed Our Lady of Victory’s history as well. The archdiocese has written special articles and booklets on the history of black Catholics in Detroit, but its own records list Our Lady of Victory as beginning in 1975 when it merged with Presentation. These slights and omissions must be corrected.
Fast Forward To Today…
The struggle continues. Our building is gone and we are sharing space with another church in the chapel. The black Catholic Church is dying and the mega churches are taking over. I keep getting this underlying feeling that black folks do not like the Catholic Church and have nothing good to say about it. I discovered during past book events that some in my audience had bad experiences with the nuns and/or a priest. Most of them never converted to Catholicism and so the Black Catholic Church could not be sustained. I put up a FB post and there is no comment, nothing, zilch!
All I’ve ever known is Catholicism and there is nothing in a protestant church that moves me. It seems like something is missing. And yet I am conflicted about the Catholic Church because of the many conflicts that they don’t or won’t address.
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