Joseph Ponder from Rochester, New York now lives in Columbus. Joseph and his brother, Jamell Ponder, are the co-authors of “Bentley’s Revenge” and “The crossover that won the game.” Joseph brings his real-life experience as a former drug dealer and Jamell brings his experience and knowledge as a social worker to the table when writing their books.

  “Bentley’s Revenge” is about a drug cartel from Columbia who wants the land that the Bentley family owns. The son is sent to New York at the age of 16 years old for safety after his whole family is killed during the land takeover. Bentley returns to Columbia for revenge, but learns he is more like the cartel that he despises than he would like to be in his quest for revenge.
   “The crossover that won the game” is about a white coach, “Coach Crossover” and a young black boy “Shay” who come together in the story. The story deals with bullying and self-esteem, and Coach Crossover encourages Shay to be his best and to continue to reach his goals. This story was the start of a ten book series and the Ponders are now starting to work on making “The crossover that won the game” into a movie. The series “touches on something different” that pertains to a child, no matter what race, age or social background.
  I felt compelled to ask Joseph what he felt was his obligation as a black writer in America today in response to the racial tension that has developed in America since the Ferguson protests and other protests in regards to the continued racial profiling of Blacks, especially Black males, by the justice system ( Police, Grand Jury, Judges, etc.).
  Joseph's response was, “Some people call me a “sell-out.” I had a sister call me a “sell-out” because one of the books I wrote she didn’t like it that I put white kids in there, she felt that, as a black author, I should strictly show my blackness and black characters and I told her the timing is not right for that.”
  Joseph like many Black authors, feels that it’s a matter of “timing” in regards to when they should “speak out” about racial issues that affect society, and, like many Black authors, Joseph knows that although “I didn’t like it because I felt she was being shallow at the moment, I knew I couldn’t just appeal to one race, as much as I hate to say it, they have all the money and I don’t think we (African Americans) support each other enough” and he “doesn’t want to start too much controversy before I really get the other projects off the ground because once I bring it out I know a lot of people of different races will look at me differently and not support me…” Is this true? You bet it is!
   Interested in reading the books? Contact the authors at J & J enterprise LLC, PO Box 6244, Columbus Ohio 43206.


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