December 26, 2016

Five Questions With Andrea Shaw Nevins

Life Coach

I've always known about your work as a creative writer and critic. What prompted you to create this planner?

Life coaches have been around in one form or the other from the beginning of time. Essentially, they are people who help you to overcome a range of personal challenges. Over the last two decades, the profession of life coaching has become named and formalized. The field is not currently regulated by a centralized governing body, so the requirements to become a life coach are not universal. I completed my training through the Martha Beck Life Coach Program. The training involved lots of reading and discussion, workshop development, and lots and lots of coaching practice. Martha Beck writes for O Magazine and is author of a number of excellent books.

What is a life coach and what are the qualifications to become a life coach? Where did you study?

I trained to be a life coach a few years ago. I have always loved helping people see the world through more hopeful eyes and the training gave me an intellectual basis to understand the techniques I can use to accomplish this. I coach both private clients and do public workshops. I have some ideas about life coaching products I'd like to develop and this is the first--items that inspire and do some of the work I would do for you if we met regularly. The planner is not just one with dates. It involves a whole system of planning that I developed!

 Is there a link between your literary work and the life coaching that you do?

Surprisingly, I think that there is. In literary analysis, we look for patterns--patterns in say narrative strategy or the representation of race. As a life coach, much of the work I do is also concerned with patterns, but this time in client behavior. As a coach, I help people recognize patterns that serve or do not serve them as they decide how to accomplish a goal. 

What is one pattern that you have observed that is repeated both is fiction and in life that often frustrates a protagonist or a client from achieving his or her goal?

Great question! I'd say, believing that we  have to suffer to get what we want is consistent in both fiction and real life. Fiction is, in fact, built on this model of suffering--most protagonists spend much of the novel struggling in the ugliest of ways to get what they want. As a teacher of fiction writing, I actually dedicate quite a bit of time to impressing on my students that no one cares about a character whose life is going wonderfully. But many of us live our real lives believing that "If you want good, you nose have to run!" The result is that nothing comes easy because we believe it can't.

How can I get a copy of The 2017 Boundless Galaxy Daily Planner?

The planner may be purchased on my website: . Also, if anyone wants a free planning guide to help set yearly goals, they can Email me at coachshawnevins [at]

Andrea Shaw Nevins is a college professor and a life coach. She holds a Ph.D. in Caribbean Literature from the University of Miami and graduated from the Martha Beck Life Coach Training Program. Among other things, she maintains a blog at , hosts life coaching workshops, and provides individual coaching. She specializes in helping folks make transitions from a life that is “okay” to one that is “fabulous”!

November 15, 2016

Garvey's Ghost: Updated List of Locations

Garvey's Ghost

The sales representatives have just sent me an updated list of the locations where my novel, Garvey's Ghost, may be purchased:

Garvey's Ghost @ Carlong Publishers:

In Jamaica, Garvey's Ghost is available at Sangster's Bookstores in the Springs Plaza, Sovereign Centre, and Cross Roads branches.

For overseas orders for individual copies, send an email to Bernadene Blake McCalla of Carlong Publishers:

The cost of each book is US $11.50. The payments will have to be made before the order is processed.

Garvey's Ghost may also be downloaded at Book Fusion:

Garvey's Ghost: Miami Book Fair International

Garvey's Ghost

I will be reading from Garvey's Ghost at these two events during the Miami Book Fair International:

Follow the Clues
Saturday, November 19 @ 12:00 pm

Can these detectives solve the case before they become part of the plot?  A cheerleader throws herself off a bridge and only two people know why, in Maggie Thrash‘s We Know It Was You; teens addicted to true crime try to solve a murder with the killer hot on their heels, in Sara Shepard‘s The Amateurs Book 1. ; a ghostly lady tries to unravel the mystery behind her own death, in William Ritter‘s Ghostly Echoes: A Jackaby Novel; a mother pursues every clue to find her missing daughter in Geoffrey Philp‘s Garvey’s Ghost

Reading Jamaica: Fresh Poetry and Prose
Saturday, November 19 @ 4:30 pm

In Garfield Ellis’s novel, The Angels’ Share, a Jamaican father and his adult son travel across the island together in a touching and humorous novel that explores family reconciliation. A-dZiko Simba Gegele’s debut YA novel, All Over Again, is a hilarious and enchanting coming-of-age story about a young boy who goes through the trials and joys of puberty. Tanya Shirley’s latest collection of poetry, The Merchant of Feathers, longlisted for the 2015 Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, is full of poems that have their finger on the pulse of contemporary Jamaica in all its exuberance and brokenness.
In Geoffrey Philp‘s Garvey’s Ghost, a mother pursues every clue to find her missing daughter  Moderated by Kellie Magnus.

November 14, 2016

Miami Book Fair International: #ReadCaribbean

Here are all the #ReadCaribbean events at the Miami Book Fair International. See you soon!

UNICEF: For Every Child


#ForEveryChild, I wish the grace of wonder.
The plague of adult violence terrorizes our children.
From child-soldiers and sex-trafficking to the casual violence of spankings, children’s lives are destroyed by adults who abuse their power.
We can change this.
History has been changed when a few activists confronted threats to our common humanity.
Violence against children is a global threat.
As compassionate global citizens, we must become activists.

UNICEF #ForEveryChild Tiny Stories

October 3, 2016

The Presidential Pardon of Marcus Garvey: A Recap

By now the news about the failure of the campaign to secure a presidential pardon for the Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey has been published in both print and social media and many individuals have begun offering post-mortems.

As someone who for the past decade has been actively involved in the struggle to clear Garvey’s name, allow me to offer my own critique.

I can think of four reasons why the petition did not achieve the desired goal:

·         Lack of a digital strategy
·         The failure of the organizers to engage grassroots organizations
·         Too much, too little, too late from the “big name” celebrities to endorse the campaign
·         A zero sum strategy on the part of some Garveyites.

While the first three could have been avoided, it is the fourth that I found the most disappointing.

The Garveyites who pursued the all or nothing strategy argued from a Manichean view of politics and Garvey’s legacy. 

According to them, Garvey would have had nothing to do with any system that vilified him, or they brought up the “straw man” argument that the Jamaican government should have first cleared Garvey’s name in Jamaica before attempting to petition the US government:  “Dance a yard before you dance abroad.”

Both arguments are what the late Mutty Perkins would have called ”arrant nonsense.”

They have called those of us who supported the petition “sellouts,” “cowards,” and “House Negroes.”

So, let me set a few facts straight.

First, we are merely finishing work that Garvey himself started when he applied for a presidential pardon, which I have reproduced from The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey.

Also, those of us who petitioned for a presidential pardon have not forgotten that Garvey held public office in Jamaica and supported Alfred Smith for electoral office in the USA. So, yes, Marcus did work with Babylon—he even met with the KKK to further the redemption of “Africans at home and abroad.”

Now, as far as clearing Garvey’s name is concerned, there are three options:

·         The Courts
·         Congress
·         The President

Let’s go through them one by one.

The courts have refused to reopen a ninety year old case, so that won’t work.

The bills that Rep. Rangel and Rep. Conyers have introduced to Congress have never made it to any president’s desk. So that won’t work.

The only viable alternative would be a pardon from President Obama, who has quoted Garvey in his book, Dreams From my Father. And if they had taken the time to research the topic they would have seen that Dr. Julius Garvey, Marcus Garvey’s son, had requested that language to the effect that Garvey was innocent should be included in the pardon.

But many of these Garveyites want to hold on to purist idea of themselves without any regard for the historical process.

The all or nothing strategy of these Garveyites does not help in the long run. For example, a few years ago group of activists tried to rename a street in Miami Gardens—a predominantly black enclave in Miami—Marcus Garvey Drive. This provision was met immediately by claims that Garvey was a criminal, which sidetracked the debate into explanations about Garvey and J. Edgar Hoover. 

This has happened time and time again whenever activists in the US have tried to do anything to advance Garvey’s name or to canonize his memory. We are always thrown on the defensive because we have to give long explanations about Garvey, mail fraud, and the Black Star Line. A presidential pardon would, at least, remove one line of attack from those who oppose Garvey’s Pan-African vision. 

But these Garveyites want nothing to do with that. History begins and ends with them.

Yet, this has not been, nor do I suspect it will be the last defeat. However, I will continue teaching youngsters about Garvey and Dr. King with Marcus and the Amazons and young adults with my novel, Garvey’s Ghost.

For whether Garvey is exonerated or not, my attitude has always been aligned with the Zen proverb, “Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.

A luta continua…

September 14, 2016

Garvey's Ghost @ Sangster's, Jamaica

Geoffrey Philp

Feeling Irie right now.

Sangster's, my favorite bookstore from when I was a yute and where I would hangout after kicking ball with man like Latty from Standpipe (see Benjamin, my son) to catch the #22 bus to Mona, now has Garvey's Ghost.

One one cocoa...

Here's the link:

September 7, 2016

International Literacy Day: Free Ebooks

Marcus and the Amazons

On September 8, 2016, "Let's Read JA" will be hosting a free download of ebooks by Jamaican authors who are participating in this year's program. Here is the line-up: 

Brer Anancy and the Magic Pot - V.S. Russell

Brer Anancy and the Easter Egg Hunt
- V.S. Russell

My Caribbean Grandma - Sandra Campbell-Notice

Mi Abuela Caribena - Sandra Campbell Notice

Marcus and the Amazons - Geoffrey Philp

Chill Time - Dr. Kenneth Russell

Mom's Surprise - Dr. Kenneth Russell

101 Jamaican Love Poems - Denise Fyffe

Fibroids: The Alien Assassins in My Body
- Denise Fyffe

For more information, please visit:

September 5, 2016

Let's Read Jamaica: International Literacy Day

Lets Read Jamaica (#LetsReadJA) is a project of a group of Jamaican authors who are focused on the advancement of literacy across the island. With this year's International Literacy Association's (ILA) spotlight on Jamaica, we are happy to provide our titles for your enjoyment. Join us and the ILA campaign "Steps to Advance Literacy."

We strongly believe that education is a fundamental human right, and that all individuals should be afforded the same opportunities for their future – including access to basic education. 

For more information, please visit:

August 31, 2016

"Myal Man" by Geoffrey Philp

Geoffrey Philp
Giving thanks this morning to sx salon for publishing my short story, "Myal Man," which explores one of the patakis surrounding Oshun, the orisha of love, joy, and creativity.

Here is an excerpt:

Sonia unscrewed the top of the jar and dipped her middle finger into the honey. She put her finger into her mouth and licked the sweetness off her fingertip.

“You want a taste?”

At first, Zeke wanted to resist, but he hadn’t tasted honey in a long time. Sonia dipped her index finger into the honey and beckoned.

Zeke walked over to Sonia and held her hand. He cautiously licked the honey on her fingertip. It was as sweet as he had remembered.

I hope you enjoy reading it.


Image of Oshun:

August 30, 2016

We the People: Petition the White House for a Presidential Pardon of Marcus Mosiah Garvey

Black Lives Matter

On August 17, 2016, Dr. Julius Garvey held a press conference at the National Press Club in order to kick start a campaign to exonerate his father, the Right Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey. 

To this end, the campaign has started a petition at the White House site ( and we need 100,000 goal signatures by September 28, 2016, to get a response from the White House.

Please sign the petition and pass this along to as many of your family, friends, and associates in your circle of contacts. We need every signature that we can get.

Here is the text of the petition.

 Grant Marcus Mosiah Garvey a Posthumous Presidential Pardon of His Wrongful 1923 Conviction

Marcus Garvey should be posthumously pardoned for his wrongful conviction for use of the mails in furtherance of a scheme to defraud. During a time when Blacks were seen as second class citizens, Garvey led a mass movement to elevate the Black community through economic empowerment and independence. He was convicted after being targeted by J. Edgar Hoover and deprived of a fair trial. His sentence was later commuted by President Calvin Coolidge on recommendation by the U.S. Attorney General and with the support of 9 of the 12 jurors who voted to convict. Garvey never abandoned his movement to empower people of the African diaspora and he was recognized as a forebearer of the Civil Rights Movement by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. Today, his legacy is celebrated the world over.

August 18, 2016

C-Span Link: Presidential Pardon for Marcus Mosiah Garvey

Black Lives Matter

For those of you who missed the press conference at the National Press Club where Dr. Julius Garvey presented the case for the presidential pardon of his father, the Right Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey, here is the link:

People in this video

Goulda Downer
President Caribbean-American Political Action Committee

Melvin Foote
President Constituency for Africa

Julius Garvey M.D.
Justin Hansford
Associate Professor St. Louis University-

Attallah Shabazz
Daughter of Malcolm X

Quito Swan
Associate Professor Howard University

Nkechi Taifa
Director Open Society Foundations

August 17, 2016

Happy Birthday, Marcus Garvey

Black Lives Matter

In this era of renewed awareness of Black Lives Matter, the work of the Right Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey is especially important. It is time to apply Garvey's timeless principles of Redemption, Education, Self-Reliance, Purpose, Entrepreneurship, Community and Tradition (RESPECT) to the policy decisions that will impact the material and spiritual health of Africans at home and abroad.

August 15, 2016

Update on Rootz Foundation Marcus Garvey Birthday Celebrations: Live on Periscope

2016 #MarcusGarvey #birthday live on #Periscope @GeoffreyPhilp on 8/17/2016 @7 pm



One of Key West’s proudest and most significant historical developments will be commemorated on Sunday, August 21, at 6:00 p.m., at the Key West African Cemetery located at 1074-1094 Atlantic Blvd, Key West, FL 33040, near Higgs Memorial Beach, between the White Street Pier and the West Martello Fort, in observance of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, declared by the United Nations General Assembly.
The event continues a tradition established in recent years to honor the memory of the 295 African refugees who were buried at the site in the spring of 1860, and the heroism and generosity of the Key West community who came to their aid when they and their fellow captives, totaling 1,432 in number, were rescued by the United States Navy from three American slave ships bound illegally for Cuba, and were brought into the southernmost city, whose population at the time was only around 3,000.
Under the leadership of U.S. Marshal Fernando Moreno, housing was hastily constructed for the survivors of the horrific ocean crossings, and members of the community donated food, clothing, blankets, and other necessities to the unexpected visitors as they arrived at separate times from the three captures.
The Africans themselves also quickly formed a kind of impromptu community in their new surroundings, where observers noted the due deference was shown to individuals known to have ben of higher social rank, according to traditional practices and children were collectively cared for.
The presence of the Africans in Key West during their twelve weeks of detention there as they awaited being returned to Africa (not their original homelands but the American colony of Liberia), by order of President Buchanan, gained nationwide attention, drawing journalists and curiosity-seekers from around the country to Key West, where the Africans had become well enough known to the community to be given such nicknames as “the Princess,” resulting in their story being featured in such national publications as Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper and Harper’s Weekly, and further fueling, as the word reached Congress, the increasingly acrimonious discourse as the nation hurtled inexorably toward the outbreak of full Civil War less than a year later.
Meanwhile, in the course of their twelve-week detention in Key West, in spite of all the care and attention that could be provided from both within and outside of the improvised African community, death would inevitably claim its portion of individuals, mostly children and youth, on an almost daily basis, who failed to recover from the illnesses and abominable conditions that they had endured while aboard the ships, and, in the final count fully 295 perished, for whom coffins were ordered by Marshal Moreno, and they would be carried in long processions from the so-called “slave depot,” to the burial place, from which the mourners returned in perfect silence.
It is the memory of those lives, and the millions more that mattered, as well as the inspiring heroism, fortitude, generosity, compassion, and sheer indomitability of the human spirit that are honored by the International Day, which is actually August 23, anniversary of the start of the ultimately successful Haitian Revolution in 1794, a date chosen by the UN to emphasize the fact that Africans themselves were the primary agents in bringing about the eventual global Abolition of the human trafficking known as the “slave trade,” although it remains a story with universal human appeal and importance.
The International Day of Remembrance serves to ensure that the full, accurate, and often inspiring story of the Middle Passage, and the tens of millions of lives it affected in such devastating ways is never lost or forgotten by future generations.
Key West has been a leader among American cities in holding annual observances of the day, which include traditional opening ceremonies and prayers, performances, historical information, and open “Village Talk.”
This event is made possible by the generous cooperation of the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, Monroe County, the City of Key West, and the Florida Black Historical Research Project, Inc.

Admission is free and open to the public; for further information, call 305-904-7620.

August 9, 2016


Marcus Garvey

Rootz Foundation Inc. in association with the City of Lauderdale Lakes
Present the:


Wednesday, August 17, 2016
7.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m.

Lauderdale Lakes Educational & Cultural Center
3850 W. Oakland Park Blvd.,
Lauderdale Lakes, Fl 33311

Feature Presentation:
99 Years of Black Lives Matter

Marcus Garvey Community Service Awardees:
Winston Chung-Fah – Football Coach
Rodney Baltimore – Radio Broadcaster
Yvette Marshall – Radio Broadcaster

Live Performances By:

Recitations By:

 MC: Sister Liveth of WAVS 1170 AM Radio

Food * Refreshments* Books * Cultural Items On Sale

Entry Free

For More Info: (Tel) 954-560-0411 * Email:
Facebook: Rootz Foundation Inc.