Long Beach, MS (PRWEB) June 18, 2012
The book, “What Love Can Do” (published by Balboa Press) has a very interesting origin story. Written by Arthur Mitchell, Gayle Nolan has taken his work and edited and republished it, allowing more people the opportunity to read the book. “This book was given to me by one of my students at Delgado Community College in New Orleans,” explains Nolan. “Her father had written his memories of stories told to him by grandparents and other relatives who had lived during and after slavery in the New Orleans area. After both Arthur Mitchell and his daughter (my student) had died, I realized that I had the only copy of the book still in existence. If I did not publish it, his stories would never be told.”
In “What Love Can Do”, Mitchell writes about a family of slaves originally captured in East Central Africa who had been previously Christianized by British missionaries. During their passage on a slave ship to New Orleans, during their time of servitude, and after the Emancipation Proclamation, this family and their descendents continued to hold onto the values of Christian love and forgiveness.
Mitchell had also created an interesting cast of characters. Henry Goody Jons, the story’s protagonist, so resembled his French father that he was offered the opportunity to “pass” for white as his father’s son. Jons refused out of love for his black mother and siblings, and changed the spelling of his name to “Johns.” Later, as an adult called “Whitey” by his co-workers, he returned to the South to pastor the little black community struggling to survive in an atmosphere of racial hatred after the Emancipation Proclamation.
“What Love Can Do” – a volume of stories about Henry Goody Johns, who taught his people “what love can do” – is oral history at its best. It has been passed down from a generation of an enslaved people who came to learn that prejudice and hatred is a greater form of slavery than bondage itself.
About the Author
Arthur Mitchell was born in Irontown, Louisiana, on August 24, 1915. During his early childhood, he moved with his family to the French Quarter of New Orleans. There, he and his siblings sat around a coal or wood stove at night, listening to family stories about the descendents of a beautiful young slave girl from East Central Africa sold in 1810 to a French farmer in the New Orleans area.
Later, Mitchell realized that the stories so precious to him needed to be preserved after his death, and he began writing them down in 15-minute segments during his work breaks at the Cabildo in New Orleans. His original 150-page, hand-written memoir was lost in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina, when the levee broke just two miles from his house in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans. Fortunately, one copy was preserved by Gayle Nolan, who has edited and prepared the manuscript for publication.
Balboa Press, a division Hay House, Inc. – a leading provider in publishing products that specialize in self-help and the mind, body, and spirit genres. Through an alliance with indie book publishing leader Author Solutions, Inc., authors benefit from the leadership of Hay House Publishing and the speed-to-market advantages the self-publishing model. For more information, visit balboapress.com. To start publishing your book with Balboa Press, call 877-407-4847 today. For the latest, follow @balboapress on Twitter.