Dr. Jamal Rasheed comes out with a new book, to hold signing event

Kenya Menjivar
Waxahachie Daily Light

This Saturday, Dr. Jamal Rasheed, teacher and CEO of the Ellis County African American Hall of Fame Museum and Library, will hold a book signing for his new work, 'Nightmare at the Lorraine Motel' - Where do we go from there?'  

The book signing will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the museum, located at 441 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Waxahachie.

Dr. Rasheed holds up his new book next to a laminated poster of the book's cover.

According to Rasheed, "The central themes of the book’s messages were that of hope. In this, his last book, King reflects upon the Civil Rights Movement. He discusses the question of what African-Americans should do with their new freedoms. He concludes that all Americans must unite in order to fight opinion and the social problems of this country such as poverty, employment, education and injustice to create an equality of opportunity. King emphasized that he advocates for a united social movement that would act within both the Republican and Democratic parties. In my opinion the night of April 2, 1968, as Dr. King slept at the Lorraine Motel, 450 Mulberry St., Memphis, Tennessee, in Room 306, he had a dream, which was a nightmare."

In this book, Rasheed hopes to get people to think and analyze the information presented, not critique it. He believes that society has in fact not changed and has yet to obtain permanent social change. 

"The main goal is that they understand the objective here, it's to realize things in society have really not changed since the fifties. There are different people, but the system came back around 360 degrees. Where we were when King was assassinated in 1968, we're really back there and it's worse," stated Rasheed. "Now it's coupled with a pandemic that doesn't allow people to actively move around out there and fight for their civil rights and justice and equality because everyone is scared to move around thinking they'll get COVID, so it minimizes the opportunity to be in full effect to create social change and social action Dr. King did. The people are trying to do it on the Zoom, and you can't call social change to social action on Zoom. Numbers have historically made a difference and changed a society."

The book goes into detail about Dr. King's "I’ve Been to the Mountain Top" and how Rasheed interprets the speech, he said.

Rasheed received 100 books on April 10. Only 60 books will be available for purchase on Saturday. 

"I'm going to probably have to order some more right after because I'm also supposed to be in Dallas on Sunday for a book signing. So I ordered like 100 copies, and 20 of them are already gone," Rasheed shared. "Then we have 15 to 20 students that participated so that took me down to 60. I'm about to sell out between down there and up in Dallas on those two days. I underestimated the amount I should've ordered."

If the book sells out, he will allow people to pay ahead to place an order. They will then be notified when the books arrive. 

Rasheed says that the book is an easy read for anyone curious.

"It's basically to create an awareness and a consciousness for each individual to evaluate what's taking place over the last 53 years. What their role can be and make a difference if they are in fact an agent of change. To get and to see where we've gone as a society," he explained.

The question in the book title, "Where do we go from there?", is an incentive for people to research and find information that will guide them to light of truth and wisdom, according to Rasheed. 

"I ask several people to reflect, in their own opinion, and write an explanation of their thoughts and views on what Dr. King would say now to all the trouble in the land and how they think he would address a number of social issues, such as the Poor Peoples Campaign, segregation vs. integration, education or miseducation, employment / unemployment, politics, voting / education, registration, importance of the struggle, Civil Rights organization then and now, fraternities and sororities then and now, poverty, racism, religion, the Black Power movement versus Black Lives Matter, justice / injustice, business, health, homelessness and the series of protests as it relates to police brutality against Black Americans," he said. 

Additionally, the book will also feature essays from students who attend schools in Ellis County that participated in the Ellis County African American Hall of Fame Museum and Library, Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory and Essay Contest in January of this year. It will also include a chapter by Scott Brooks with the Waxahachie Sun.

Proceeds from donations will help support the Ellis County African American Hall of Fame and Library. For more information contact Myron Goins/ Community Outreach Chairmen at (682) 518-4144 or email Dr. Rasheed at jamal5@sbcglobal.net .