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oronde ash
  • Male
  • Raleigh, NC
  • United States
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About Me:
James Baldwin accepted his responsibility to write truth as he saw it. Artists like Mos Def strain with the frustration of informing folks who no longer find value in the commerce of truth. Like James, Mos Def understands he has an obligation to teach the unconscious among us and "shine a light into the darkness,'cause there's a lot of darkness out there." So these are my words, my life shining, passing on what it was for this black boy becoming a man, becoming a human being in America.
B.A., Mass Comm., Spanish Minor, North Carolina State University, '98
[ ], Education and Psychology, NCSU Graduate School, 1998-99
Contact Information:
Box 33332
Raleigh, NC 27636
Research Interests:
Identity Formation in Adolescents
Black Male Adolescent Development
Critical Consciousness
Media as Pedagogy
Fall 2008
"17 to Life: A Black Boy Memoir (On Accepting Love, Defining the Self & Living Free)"

Spring 2008,
"Blogger's Delight, Vol. I: Love and Redemption"
ISBN 978-0-9774126-4-8
Another link:



17 TO LIFE: A BLACK BOY MEMOIR (On Accepting Love, Defining the Self & Living Free) I came to America at age 9. Among the first things I learned was that I was poor and I was "black". Never was those things in ST. VINCENT. America began to weigh on me. What happened to people in "those" two categories? I had to make sense of my life in them. Below are my reflections on that journey. I WANT TO SHARE MY STORY. I will publish my memoir this summer. Until then, watch, enjoy, reflect on your days growing up, find ways to share your journey with others. I once read a review of literature from the Caribbean. All the islands were mentioned except St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This is my attempt to change that view.

VIDEO #1 -- THE NEW IMMIGRANT A boy starts his journey to manhood. What does America look like to a 9-yr old black immigrant from the Caribbean?

VIDEO #2--THE NEW IMMIGRANT--DINING IN AMERICA The elementary lunchroom table presents the flavors of America. The decision becomes what is nourishment. Will you eat or will you dine?

VIDEO #3--THE NEW IMMIGRANT--A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN We move from an affluent white community in New Jersey to Brooklyn, NY. I flourish academically but the realities of city living begin to trouble my family. America is turning from Land of Opportunity to simply... Survival!

VIDEO #4--BLACK BOY MIDDLE SCHOOL, PT. 1-- Middle School is a turning point in young, black male life. You're a small fish having to swim in dangerous waters and start figuring things out on your own... A lot of things.

VIDEO #5--BLACK BOY MIDDLE SCHOOL, PT. 2-- My first year in middle school was survival. Once I figured out the rules I could make choices about survival. The more I acted on my choices, the more truth I saw in me. Black life was becoming clearer still. My life was becoming clearer still.

VIDEO #6--BLACK BOY MIDDLE SCHOOL, PT. 3-- More info, more answers, more questions. Long, dead voices ask to speak. I begin to clear the clutter, find my voice and sound truth.

VIDEO #7--BLACK BOY MIDDLE SCHOOL, PT. 4-- Valedictorian. The smartest kid in school. Time to apply that know-how to life. No need for intelligence if it's not an agent for change. Junior high is ending. Something else awaits that needs a new man.

VIDEO #8--BLACK BOY MIDDLE SCHOOL, PT. 5 --I begin to use the lessons from school to solve my family issues. I decide to do it on my own.

VIDEO #9--BLACK BOY MIDDLE SCHOOL, PT. 6 --1990 was a pivotal year in world history. The Berlin Wall, Mandela in South Africa, the demise of communism. I kept asking myself to change my life for the good, get over my issues with my mother and family.

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Comment Wall (14 comments)

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At 8:44am on January 6, 2024, Ronald Morris said…

Good day,
I picked interest in you after going through your short profile and demanding it is necessary for me to write to you immediately. I have something very important to disclose to you, but I found it difficult to express myself here, since it's a public site.Could you please get back to me on ( for full details.
Best regards,

At 3:16pm on August 2, 2008, Lesley-Ann Brown said…
Hey Oronde--I picked up a book that I highly recommend that you read. It's called, "Some Writers Deserve to Starve: 31 Brutal Truths about the Publishing Industry" by Elaura Niles. I've worked in publishing for many, many years and the advise and guidance she offers in this book is right on. Hope all is well,
At 6:55pm on August 1, 2008, Caracoli said…
Please tell us of your experiences with the drink "Maubi"
on the environmental round table. we love to hear your comments
At 8:48pm on July 30, 2008, Caracoli said…
Thanks for the addition to your circle
At 2:56pm on July 27, 2008, Scott M Fitzpatrick said…
Yes - not on St. Vincent, but I've been working on Carriacou for several years with colleagues from the UK and The Netherlands - we're here now in fact working on a 6 week project. We're also planning work on several other islands in the Grenadines, including Mustique.
At 7:56pm on May 20, 2008, Melinda Maxwell-Gibb said…
Good evening, Oronde. I spent all of four days on St. Vincent (I went with a group of scholars from the University of Puerto Rico for the Islands In Between/Eastern Islands Conference (Kingstown). My dear friend and doctoral advisor, Mervyn Alleyne, made sure that the last day was spent on a day trip into Carib territory. We ended up in Sandy Bay and I made contact with the King and Pierre families (incredible the matriarchal heirarchies...only the women would take time to speak!). These were the two places I got to experience, but have made plans to return, thanks to the graciousness of both families, to continue my research. And by the way, Max is right about the state of affairs regarding the roads and bridges in the Carib territories...but great efforts are being made to rebuild at this time. I found your country and people both achingly beautiful and humbly proud. A good source for information is one of your islands great elders, Edgar Adams (he is an incredible human being and a great source for local history). You can contact him at R&M Adams Book Centre at 5 Grenvillle Street in Kingstown: Tel: 784-457-2278, 457-5174 Fax: 784-485-6945. Being an elementary level teacher, the idea of a children's book is an exceptional idea (I didn't find any while I was there!). Wa do. M.
At 7:33am on May 18, 2008, Lesley-Ann Brown said…
can you skype? i'm not sure about the messengering thing. i'm on yahoo...been tinkering about all morning on my computer. if you got skype, that would be cool. then we can talk over the computer for free. if you have a mic and speaker on your computer then we're good to go. just download the program.
let me know,
At 9:12pm on May 13, 2008, Maximilian Forte said…
Thanks so much, not just for your comment, but for being the very first person to upload videos to this network--what a treat, thanks so much again.
At 6:48am on May 13, 2008, Lesley-Ann Brown said…
That is such a good question and one that I explore through the story of my father. I really recommend Samuel Selvon's The Lonely Londoners.. Oronde, you've been quiet recently: What's up? Hope to hear from you soon.
At 11:59am on May 10, 2008, Maximilian Forte said…
I am watching the videos, about half way through now. This is very tough work, inspiring and often like a punch to the gut. The stories are very, very memorable. One of the questions that came up in one of your last videos is why would people go to Brooklyn (here we could add districts in Toronto, Montreal, London, etc.), and why do they believe the lies of "streets paved in gold"? That is an excellent question for me, having grown up in my own version of Brooklyn, from parents who left Rome (and no matter how tough life can be in Rome, Rome is Rome is Home)...right next to a 16-lane highway and I am still partly deaf from that upbringing, as are my brother and father. I have no idea why people would come from St. Vincent, Trinidad, or Rome, and give up what they had to get much less, or to get new grief. Tell me, what can be so tragic about life in St. Vincent that anyone would want to leave it? Have you considered returning or have all the bridges collapsed from neglect by now?

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