"The Angelic Upstarts" is the first in the Paradise series. Paradise is a fictionalized account of events in America beginning in the early 1990's and culminating in 2007. It's primarily rooted around the Preservation of the African-American Steering Group (PAASG) and a revolutionary societal upheaval known as the "Awakening."
Through the "documented" lives of the initiators, leaders and participants of the Awakening, the Angelic Upstarts examines the tumultuous emotional and cultural trials of a new African-American social structure as they struggle to repair and improve themselves in a morally corrupt world while trying to achieve what they regard as their long awaited "freedom."
For anyone unfamiliar with my work, or new to this site, the obvious question is - what is this Paradise thing all about? Rather than offer a totally new explanation, perhaps the best insight into the book comes from the following excerpt from the book's preface:
I know I am not alone in my musings as there are thousands of similar efforts introduced into our society each year with the sincerest hope to either inform or inspire the masses. I also know that each day millions of people across the color spectrum wish or pray that somehow their social and cultural climate could somehow be changed to bring peace into their lives. Paradise is simply one person’s way of expressing those wishes and prayers and “what if’s” based on past, current and possible future events.
As you progress through the “historical” accounts and narratives in Paradise, consider your individual role and status in your family, your community, your country, and our collective world. Now consider these questions - Should life imitate art and we begin a new human movement? Or should we simply regard the events and messaging in Paradise as just a fanciful storytelling exercise? What does the story mean to you, and what does it move you to do?
Throughout the Paradise saga, I’ve tried to establish touch-points where anyone regardless of race can honestly open their minds, recognize and discuss their shared or contrasting challenges, and gain insight into previously unexplored topics. Armed with truth, hopefully, they can decisively and aggressively punish and purge their apathy, reluctance and indifference. This is of course providing they truly wish to move forward personally and advance humanity nationally and globally.
I’ve laid the groundwork and presented the forum, what we choose to do with the Paradise message is the next chapter that inevitably we will all end up writing.
"As we looked to a new millennium, we believed that if things didn’t drastically change, either we (African-Americans) would probably totally succumb to the pressures and evils of society, continued to be murdered in the streets by black and white hands, or possibly reduced to a society of insensitive miscreants and pitiful, confused, irresponsible public charges. In our minds, to consciously allow that to happen was in itself criminal and irresponsible. Therefore, we had to use every possible means at our disposal to institute a system of survival to raise the conscious level of the African-American, and to institute immediate, efficacious, influential changes for him. The conduit for effecting these changes is the organization heretofore known as the Preservation of the African-American Steering Group or PAASG." - former PAASG Director Charles Day
"Gradually, the beat became a little more demanding—you know the kind of driving drum and bass beat that you just can’t sit still for. It brought out the primitive in me and I loved it! I closed my eyes and let my mind wander. I could see images of Africa with its indigenous wildlife running through the jungles and over the plains, and I could hear the drums. I could see our people painted in colorful body paint hunting this wildlife, and I could hear the drums. Back in America, I could see our people themselves being stalked by a two-legged hunter, and I could hear the drums. I could see little black girls hopscotching and hot peppering, and I could hear the drums. I could see black mothers intricately and lovingly braiding their daughter's hair, and I could hear the drums. I saw our people shouting, rejoicing and fainting in a church. And even then I could still hear the drums.
"Then I understood why the music in this place wasn’t limited to just gospel, or why there was nothing wrong or improper with people expressing themselves rhythmically through dance here. It was because all of this music, just like each one of us, is part of the total Black experience in sound and life. It’s an integral part of our makeup, a shared link, and it's how we make our individual and collective "joyful noises."
"For as long as I could remember, there was always a beat that kept my head bobbing and my feet moving. There was always a melody in my mind to inspire my creativity or lift my spirits. There was always a song that connected me to someone special. At that moment, I could feel soul, jazz, reggae, gospel, R&B, calypso, and blues as they all melded together and permeated my soul.
"As crazy as it sounds, when I opened my eyes, for the first time in my life, I knew exactly who I was! These were my people, my dances, my joy, my pain, and my heritage. I always was and would always be a part of them, and they of me. I was Egyptian! I was West Indian! I was African! I was African-American! I was PROUD!”- Ta'ra Adams
“Transitions” is the second installment in the Paradise series. Transitions follows the progress and misfortunes of the PAASG as they attempt to “equalize” American society with the intrepid introduction of their Nexus (New Cities).
In this epic, we experience the promise of the Awakening as seen through the eyes of one family physically transitioning to the Nexus along with thousands of others. With hope in their hearts, they leave behind everything for a new social order and new freedoms while encountering new fears in the the cosmetically “angelic” Nexus.
Additionally, we are introduced to the Nexus’ premier citizen – Tamaket Abd el-Aal wa. Tamaket plays a pivotal role in the formation, rise and expansion of the Nexus as her magnificent legacy is ravenously ingested into a new black society that dares to transcend all norms and boundaries.
"The ancients left behind enigmas too numerous to count, too complex to decipher and too wonderful not to envy." - Tamaket Abd el-Aal wa
A forgotten and hidden city holds an ancient, incalculable and untested power. What would you do if you discovered it? What if it was your destiny and part of your legacy to find and use this power?
When the evil of the world is too much to bear, one woman seeks this forbidden knowledge knowing that the consequences of using it could end everything, but not to invoke it could be just as destructive.
Tamaket Abd el-Aal wa faces such a challenge and uses her ancient heritage to undertake a quest to finally resolve unchallenged evil in our world.