"Come to Hollywood and be in the movies," the ad read, the words coming from a handsome, smiling, well-dresses black man standing in front of Paradise Studios.  Another quote boldly proclaimed: "If it wasn't for Ezekiel Washington's acting school, I'd be just another cotton picking fool.  So why don't you fill out the form, and I'll see you in Hollywood."

The ad teased Skip with Hollywood dreams and he had taken the bait, mailed his five-dollar registration fee to Los Angeles and waited, even prayed because Grandma Sarah always said God couldn't help you if you didn't call His name.  But God Hadn't answered, yet.  So Skip put aside his daydreams.  Willie was coming.  And before too long he'd be in the cotton fields, and the old folks would be singing, "I am bearing the names of many, trying to get home," and somebody might call out a name they wanted carried across Jordan.  Up and down the long rows they would go, working hard and fast, fingers, pricked and bleeding.  However, no one slowed.  Saturday was payday.

-excerpt from Walk Like a Natural Man


Thursday September 18, 2003
6:30pm - 9:30pm Enoch Pratt Central Library
Collaboration with Judith Cooper & The African American
Archives Division - Inaugural of 10 City Book Tour

M. Dion Thompson is a professional journalist of 20 years, having worked at the Los Angeles Times as an intern, then full-time with The Hartford Courant, The Miami Herald and The Baltimore Sun, where he is currently on leave. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Long Beach, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California. The winner of numerous journalism awards from the Maryland-Delaware-Washington, D.C. press association, the Associated Press and the Maryland Bar Association, he resides in Baltimore, MD with his wife and son. Walk Like A Natural Man is his first novel.



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