…more than a love story; it crosses racial and class boundaries that all too often limit us, and shows us what an enriching experience it can be…a primer on how to live in the moment, face challenges, and respect one another.
—Kathryn “Kitsi” Watterson, Award-winning Writer, Author of I Hear My People Singing: Voices of African American Princeton, Not by the Sword, and Women in Prison, (plus additional titles).
[The author] brings to life the issues of cross-cultural/racial romance, marriage, parenting, resilience, spirituality, tribulation and triumph...a beautiful story of perseverance and passion...while in recognition of the many good men of the Caribbean.
—Wendy Crawford-Daniel, Ph.D., Author, Unveiling Island Passion, and Son Rising; Sociology Professor, St. George's University, Grenada.
Thanks for giving us an idea of what island lovemaking feels like...the vivid writing is extraordinarily well-done. As a mother, I especially enjoyed Alex’s conversations with his sons.
—Siatta Scott-Johnson, CEO, Creative Director, and Filmmaker at Smart Media Liberia, Co-director of Iron Ladies of Liberia,
award-winning documentary, Liberia.
...a celebration of the human spirit...all set to a one-drop reggae rhythm. This adventure captivated me from the start. I was enthralled, enriched and inspired by their journey...I know it will touch your heart as it did mine.
—Michael Likier, Ph.D., ACT, Licensed Practicing Psychologist; Trainer with Whites Confronting Racism; Diversity Consultant, New Jersey.
The story of Jah B and Cheri is an inspiration and a celebration of love. So often the negative is highlighted about inter-racial couples...this shows the strength of both, and the power of love. The world is a better place because of their union.
—Tamika Felina Pommells Williams, Co-creator, Ras Natango Gallery and Garden; Photographer, Gardener, Author, Unearthing the
Diamond: A Story of Struggle and Strife To A Successful Life, Jamaica.
...reads like a romantic novel filled with intrigue and rousing details, which send the reader’s imagination on a wide exploration of the senses...begging the reader to keep asking, “what happens next.”
—Joseph Warkreh T-Toe, Author, Voice of My Silence; Former
Foreign News Editor, Liberia News Agency; Associate Editor,
FunTimes Magazine, Pennsylvania.
[This book] provided joy upon joy to read—as we are soul mates from two cultures as well...creating a tapestry of life in majestic hues, color blindingly so at times, but real, full of laughter and a few tears. The author kept us superbly spellbound.
—Thell Prueitt, Co-author, The Art & Science of Success, Vol 2;
Serial Entrepreneur, Network Marketer and Leadership Coach,
with wife Julia, Texas.
Let this remarkable story awaken your own longings for more, and further help you discover the possibilities of a path laid out before you. It is a strong testimony to One Love...I will be dwelling on the many layered messages in this memoir, with gratitude and faith, until I get to read the sequel.
—Deborah L. Hlvac, Landscape Life Journaler and Coach, Illinois.
Like an experienced tour guide, the author takes us on a fast-moving, magical journey with her carefully drawn characters...an action-packed, fun-filled vacation, which leaves us yearning for more. A must-read for all the dreamers who long to live their best lives. This...shows us the way.
—Gloria Kersey-Matusiak, Ph.D., RN, Author, Delivering Culturally Competent Nursing Care (2 editions); Professor Emerita, Holy Family University, Pennsylvania.
Written in a beautiful and lyrical style, this is a story that will inspire love in the hearts of readers and encourage them to seek values that unite.
—Christian Sia, Author of 5-Star Review for Readers Favorite dot com.
HalleluJAH conveys my gratitude and praise
to Jah for bringing me into mystical unity with my soulmate
who is meditating in harmony with all living things including the
bone-chilling waterfall, a symbol of the anointing of his divine nature.
One Love simply radiates our joy as we flow with Jah’s life force, delighting in the refreshing waters near our river jacuzzi.
The rocky cliff (upper photo) symbolizes the mountainous
obstacles that we chose to receive as stepping stones,
such as those shown in the river (lower photo),
to ease our journey as
Loving to be We tracks a spirited narrator on a prophetic trip to Jamaica where she meets a humble Jamaican farmer who instantly changes her life. He knows who he is: "When deh right one come by, mi know." Cheri Black, a university administrator, opens her heart and her Philadelphia home to her soon-to-be Rasta husband and his two young sons. She is as fearless in her writing as she has been in her life. She walks us through the rugged and courageous path this unlikely couple take in blending their White-Black, American-Jamaican families, and their Rasta-Christian cultures, customs, language, and habits. She leads us inside her husband’s life in Jamaica, his efforts to care for his sons, and his bravery in coming to the United States.
This novel is more than a love story; it crosses racial and class boundaries that all too often limit us and shows us what an enriching experience it can be. Loving to be We is also a primer on how to live in the moment, face challenges, and respect one another.
—Kathryn “Kitsi” Watterson, writer and author of I Hear My People Singing: Voices of African American Princeton, Not by the Sword, and Women in Prison.
Loving to be We is the ultimate romantic novel in that the author weaves a tale of love that transcends what we expect to read about in a typical romance novel. Much more than that is this story of love that reaches far beyond the depths of the visceral or superficial physical attraction to capture the essence of a love that is genuine and enduring. Here these lovers make a selfless commitment that reaches out soul to soul, heart to heart, mind to mind, crossing barriers of race, class, and culture that stands the test of time against unrelenting obstacles.
In this story, love is revealed in all its many noble and glorious forms, the love between a father and his sons; physical, patient, compassionate love that is shared between a man and a woman; love of family; of one’s homeland; the spiritual and uplifting love that exists between humans and their God.
Cheri Avery Black’s writing of her memoir is crisp and vibrant. Like an experienced tour guide, she takes us on a fast-moving, magical journey between two worlds providing all the reader needs to fully experience the lives of each of her carefully drawn characters. Each character’s longings, disappointments, sorrows, and frustrations become our own as we witness their various trials and tribulations. It is truly an action-packed, often fun-filled, vacation to a foreign land that leaves us yearning to see and know even more about the culture and lifestyle of the people who inhabit Lottery and other places along this incredible journey.
Mostly, this book speaks of hope and determination, of patience and fortitude, and of faith in the All Knowing and Loving Creator. Ultimately, this book is about self-fulfillment, true happiness, and joy that only comes when one is willing to commit, to risk, and to achieve important life goals. Most importantly, this is a must read for all the dreamers in the world who yearn to live their best lives and become their best selves. This book is a real road map that shows us the way.
—Gloria Kersey-Matusiak, Ph.D., RN, Professor Emerita and former Diversity Director, Holy Family University, Philadelphia; author of Delivering Culturally Competent Nursing Care.
In this magical and real story, we experience the power of love, not only to transcend differences, but as a force that contains and transforms the myriad of struggles that lovers encounter in cross-cultural, inter-racial relationships. In the “receiving mountains as stepping stones,” Cheri Avery Black takes us through the trials and tribulations of a couple that’s on the surface, by Western logic, shouldn't work, but does—in the most wonderful of ways. Here we experience love in the doing and the being, the surrender and the sacrifice, self-knowledge and openness to the other, pain and healing, and the journey to one.
Loving to be We is a celebration of what is best about the human spirit, the desire to live to the fullest, to love and grow together, through sexuality and spirituality, the strength of family, the passion for justice, all set to a reggae rhythm. Traveling between Kansas, Jamaica, Philadelphia and beyond, across race, culture, country, language, wealth and poverty, this adventure captivated me from the start. I was enthralled, enriched and inspired by their journey. I know it will touch your heart as it did mine.
—Michael Likier, Ph.D., ACT, a licensed, practicing psychologist and trainer with Whites Confronting Racism.
As I read through this story, I experienced the life of a typical African father. I followed the characters and the romance portrayed as strictly coming from the heart, overcoming any differences of age, race or color. Being an African myself and coming from the same low economic status as Alex, I felt as if the writer was speaking to me. This book is well worth reading and I must underscore that Cheri Avery Black did a marvelous job outlining the difficulties that lovers of different races face and how they struggle to keep their love afloat. Cheri’s vivid writing is beyond measure and extraordinarily well-done. Her family must be so proud. As a mother, I especially enjoyed the conversions between Alex, Moses and Joseph. The talk of kukus and vaggies were typical of children’s minds.
Loving to be We brings out the inner-most feelings of two worlds apart coming together to a place of no return. The couple’s romance in this book had me emotionally frozen at first, then warmed me slowly with my smiles as I silently went with them through their journey.
Thanks, Cheri, for giving us an idea of what island love-making feels like and how it brings out the energy in the lovers. I strongly proclaim that the brains and hearts involved in writing every word in this book were indeed intelligently and joyfully merged.
—Siatta Scott-Johnson, CEO/Creative Director and film-maker at Smart Media Liberia, co-director of award-winning Iron Ladies of Liberia.
This book has provided a joy upon joy to read! My wife, Julia, and I are soul mates from two cultures also ̶ Caucasian/Indian (me being 1/16 Cherokee) and Julia being Mexican Indian and Hispanic, so reading about soul mates from two cultures delighted us to no end!! The story is authentic and honest to be sure, with surprises, dips and turns. Human frailties exposed within deep love, unconditional love, intertwined through it all, created a tapestry of life in majestic hues of color ̶ blindingly so at times ̶ but real, full of laughter and a few tears. We totally loved the story. The author kept us superbly spellbound. Five stars all the way!!
—Thell Prueitt, Serial Entrepreneur in network marketing, leadership mentor, coach, co-author of The Art & Science of Success Vol 2., with his wife Julia.
This autobiography reads like a romantic novel filled with intrigue and rousing details which send the reader’s imagination on a wide exploration of the senses. The main character, Lanee, chronicles her “seemingly chance” encounter with Alex, with whom there is an immediate, compelling attraction that is continuing into infinity. While the book validates the assertion that true love is blind and can be found in the strangest of places, it opens the window into the lives of two individuals from nearly opposite ends of the spectrum of cultural, social and educational backgrounds—yet finding love as a common denominator.
This riveting account of their journey continuously begs the reader to keep asking, “what happens next” from the opening chapter to the last. It’s a “must read” you’re bound to recommend...so let me be among the first to applaud its essence.
—Joseph Warkreh T-Toe, Associate Editor, FunTimes Magazine; former Foreign News Editor, the Liberia News Agency.
Have you ever wondered about predestination? Do you believe in divine guidance or considered the possibility of magnetic powers in the universe? What really accounts for the paths our lives take and what role, if any, do we play in them? Do we make our own choices or we being supernaturally wooed into making them, or is it both?
These are questions I am left with after reading Cheri Avery Black’s Loving to be We. How else can one explain how two people meet, at just the right place in time? How is it Lanee is drawn to Jamaica and then to a certain beach. Alex was just given a beach vendor business to help provide for his children. Two people, from different worlds, mysteriously meet and within minutes know their futures are together.
Travel through their challenges and marvel at their miracles. You will be truly touched by their rare commitment to one another and the choices they make. Ultimately, the narrative may cause you to wonder as well, with a longing for more stirring in your heart. It may cause you to contemplate “the flow of divine order,” which fulfills the desires that were yours to receive, God-given, all along.
I simply could not put down this book. It is such a testimony to One Love, founded on the joining of two souls who were always meant for each other. The impact of this couple’s lives on many who know them have already been life changing and will be for generations to come.
I kept waiting for a fairy tale ending, then realized this story is continuing. I will undoubtedly be dwelling on the many layered messages in this memoir for some time, with gratitude and faith, until I see the sequel.
— Deborah Hlvac, Life-Journaler, Landscape Design Specialist
Loving to be We by Cheri Avery Black is a nonfiction book, a memoir with a powerful multicultural appeal, a story of love, faith, and an inspirational “cross-cultural” journey. Meet Alex, a young dynamic man who struggles to raise his two children in the slums of Jamaica. Alex gets a vision from Jah that he’d meet someone significant from a far-off country who would play a great role in his life. And then comes Lanee, a forty-eight-year old woman from Philadelphia, a travel aficionado and a woman who has been divorced. Alex sees his dreams coming true in this woman, and Lanee’s dream of having a bed and breakfast on a beach in Jamaica couldn’t be far away when the two come together.
Cheri Avery Black’s book is a powerful rendition of the issues that happen in interracial marriages—problems of language, understanding, and perspective. Alex and Lanee are determined to make their union work. It is wonderful to read about their faith in each other, and their resilient spirits, as they decide how they can transform every obstacle into an opportunity for growth.
Written in a beautiful and lyrical style, this is a story that will inspire love in the hearts of readers and encourage them to seek values that unite. The themes of love, marriage, and faith are expertly showcased in this engaging story. This is a story about the joys and perils of adventure and the hope that wins in the end. This is a lyrical story every bit as entertaining as it is inspiring.
—5-Star Review by Christian Sia via ReadersFavorite.com