The Color of Truth by A. D. Jones

The Color of TruthReviewed by Chris Phillips

Jones asks a question and attempts an answer in The Color of Truth. It is an honest attempt at discerning the difference between truth as a separate entity and what is perceived in a group of friends’ lives.

All the action centers around the National African-American Conference in Atlanta (supposed to be held July, 1998). The central narrators are Nathan Alexander Johnson (Alex or Nate) and Patricia (Trish), his erstwhile friend and possible lover. Alex is the keynote speaker at the conference advocating a separate and self sustaining Congress for African-Americans to govern themselves and help to improve the lot of all other African-Americans.

The other characters are Nate’s friends. Cheryl is introduced first. She is newly engaged to Marshall, who is a “real dog” as far as Nate is concerned. Akira, Darnell, Harold or Haywood, and Carla fill out the group. There are others that impact the plot. This is very much about blacks dealing with the stress and pressures of being black in American society.

“…There is something about black America you must understand to know what it means to be a black man today. To be a black man you must be physically superior. Faster, stronger, better in bed than the average male. You must be successful without being too intelligent. You must have a Rambo-like attitude toward the world. A black man must be hard, without compassion…” (pg. 4)

The plot and events are inexorable in leading to a shocking and fatal ending. The main events center on a series of these long-time friends at various meals and meetings of the convention. Tragedy follows them as it seems to have throughout their lives. A suicide, a gay outing, and a terrorist attack combine to keep the suspense tight and the reading enthralling.

Highly recommended to all adult readers with any interest in African-Americans in modern society, but particularly an encouragement to those that seek a valid means of changing this society. Jones is enlightened, politically savvy and socially aware. As with his other work, this one is a very good read.

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