In A Kwanzaa Fable, when a young boy's widowed father suddenly dies, he finds himself growing up fast while he assumes the adult responsibility of taking care of his younger, twin siblings. Even though their grandmother lives with them, she relies on thirteen-year-old Jordan to baby-sit while she goes to work. As Jordan approaches puberty, he is torn between staying home and going out with his friends, who have started playing hooky and stealing in order to be cool. In an effort to impress his posse, Jordan makes up a story that he's robbed a neighborhood shopkeeper and family friend named "Snackman" who always had faith that Jordan could make something of himself, as long as he learns to respect his greatness as an African-American young man. According to Snackman, if Jordan applies the seven principles of Kwanzaa to his life, he will learn to love himself as a black man and to spurn his friends' criminal values.
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A Kwanzaa Fable is destined to be a cherished book, pulled from the shelf every Kwanzaa to be read to the whole family. And it is also one of those books adult readers will want to turn to time and time again throughout the year-to revisit its message that the strength and wisdom and love that reside within the greater African-American community is ever present, if only we know how to seek and find it first in ourselves.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
From Chapter 1:
There are worse places to raise a family than Oakwood, a town a stone's throw from The City. In some parts of this midsize suburb, you can see The City's silhouette-the wedges, spires, and arcs that comprise the web of enterprise where many of Oakwood's residents prosper as lawyers, accountants, and corporate managers. Oakwood neighborhoods that don't offer city vistas offer the cocoon of well swept streets canopied by shade trees. In spring and summer, when the light is just right, reflections from the leaves of those trees give the houses, ranging from modest multifamily dwellings to mansions, a greenish tinge as well as the usual dancing shadows. But even in peaceful Oakwood-where squirrels dart across quiet dappled streets-a boy must struggle to become a man. And even in this mostly black town -- where talk of African-American heritage, the great African past, and the meanings of kente cloth takes on a prideful, almost magical, air-a black boy needs guidance on his quest to becoming a black man.
And so it was with thirteen-year-old Jordan Garrison. On this hot but mercifully dry Saturday afternoon in late August, he sat on the front-porch steps of the modest, three-story colonial house he shared with his twin eight-year-old brother, Kenny, and sister, Lisa, their grandmother, and their widowed father. Jordan's legs, which didn't seem half so long last month, were doubled up so that his thighs formed a pontoon for each elbow, with his forearms slanted into an A-frame peaked by his clasped hands, upon which he rested his chin. Jordan directed his gaze toward the twins, who were standing at a card table draped with a paper tablecloth bordered with a kente-cloth pattern. Taped to the streetward side of the table was a carefully stenciled sign whose bold black letters read LEMONADE 50 CENTS. COOKIES 10 CENTS EACH.
As recently as last Fourth of July, Jordan had worked the stand with the twins. In fact, he had been on that sidewalk selling refreshments in front of his house every Fourth of July since he was five years old. It was the perfect spot, with the Independence Day parade ending about a block from the Garrisons' house. With his father's encouragement and help, Jordan had catered to the parched throngs. As he became older, he took on his father's role -- pouring the lemonade, counting the change -- while the twins took on Jordan's role of handing drinks and cookies to customers, receiving their money, and giving them change. After the lemonade sold out, and it sold out every Fourth of July, Jordan and the twins had a profit of twenty to thirty dollars-a king's ransom for a child. They would open the stand on occasion throughout the summer, even though the absence of traffic on their street meant that without a parade, business was far from brisk. As a teenager, however, Jordan -- who had just turned thirteen the previous December -- felt that he had outgrown selling lemonade. At the end of the day on last Fourth of July, he decided he would no longer man the stand. The Fourth was one thing; but the idea of a teenager working a lemonade stand when there was obviously more fun than profit involved was totally out of the question.
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Book Description Audio Literature, 1997. Audio Cassette. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1574531387