GENE L. COON
The Unsung Hero of Star Trek
We all come from someplace. For varying reasons an ancestor set America as a goal post, made it their home, and so here we are; one, two, or many generations later.
The migration and uprooting of peoples are nothing new as any student of history or intelligent observer knows. But the current migratory events beg us to question. As a nation of immigrants, by and for immigrants, when will we get it right?
In Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II, Albert Marrin skillfully balances facts, first-hand narratives, news clips, photos and illustrations to present a comprehensive and insightful account of the uprooting and internment of Americans of Japanese descent after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Albert Marrin’s writing is clear and concise as he explores the foundations, historical events and racial attitudes of both America and Japan that culminated in war between the two nations.
In addition, he details the role that the news media played in stirring panic that encouraged animosity toward the Japanese-Americans.
The author also references similar experiences of other groups throughout our history. For example; the forced removal of Native Americans, the Chinese Exclusion Laws of the 1880s, and the racism against African-Americans that led to the Civil Rights Movement.
Lovers of history, in addition, will recall the English Only Movements that have surfaced at various times in the United States in order to protect and secure the country from foreigners, and the expulsion of Mexican-Americans in 1929-1936, who were blamed for taking American jobs.
Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II challenges readers to grapple with thought provoking questions. How do we ensure the safety and liberty of each individual? Should race and religion exist as factors when determining a nation’s security? Should the media be held to a higher standard of accountability in its news coverage?
These questions are all the more relevant today as the world becomes an increasingly migratory multi-cultural environment and continues its war against terrorism, human trafficking, drugs, pandemics, and the like.
Albert Marrin reminds us of the importance of studying history. It not only informs us about the past. It helps us decide about the future. We can learn from our collective knowledge and experience.
See you next time on February 22nd!
Reflecting on last month’s celebration of Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day, I looked through my bookshelves at some of the books written by women about women. I fingered the spines of a few and flipped through the pages of others. Each title evoked a memory, a lesson learned, an inspiration received; a few elicited a tear.
This month, I’d like to share with you a few of the books that have moved, inspired, and touched my life. They are the voices of fellow-women across the globe; sisters, friends, women.
To Be Young Gifted and Black – Lorraine Hansberry, Signet, 1970 ISBN 0-451-15952-7. Best known for her play, A Raisin in the Sun, this is her autobiography of the black experience in mid- 20th century America.
Taking the Arrow out of the Heart – Alice Walker, Ink Atria 2018, ISBN 978-1-5011-7952-5.
Author’s poems in Spanish and English. (especially her poem, Hope is a woman who has lost her fear on page 159).
Sister Nations: Native Voices, ed. Heid E. Erdrich & Laura Tohe, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2002 ISBN 0-87351-428-9. Anthology of Native American Women writers.
The Ways of My Grandmothers – Beverly Hungry Wolf, Quill Press, 1982 ISBN-978-0-688-00471-2. A tribute to the women of the Blackfoot Indians.
First Ladies of the Republic – Jeanne E. Abrams, NYU Press, 2018 ISBN: 978-147-988-6531.
The experience of the White House and politics from the perspective of the wives of the first three American Presidents.
Women of the Silk – Gail Tsukiyama. St. Martin’s Press, 1991 ISBN: 0-312-064-659.
Silk workers in 1926 Chinese village; their hopes, dreams, and struggles.
Everything I kept/Todo Lo Que Guarde – Ruth Behar. Swan Isle Press, 2018. ISBN: 97809972-28724. Bi-lingual Spanish/English edition.
Poems of womanhood, fear, surrender, and life.
In The Time of The Butterflies – Julia Alvarez, Algonquin books, 2010. ISBN: 978-1565129764.
The story of the Mirabal sisters and their fight against the dictator Trujillo.
The Strangeness of Beauty: A Novel – Lydia Yuri Minatoya. Norton, 2001. ISBN: 0-393-321140-1.
A woman returns to the home of her estranged mother in Japan on the verge of World War II.
To Live and To Write: Selections by Japanese Women Writers 1913-1938 – ed. Yukiko Tanaka. The Seal Press, 1987. ISBN: 0-931188-43-1.
Nine leading women writers of Japan spanning twenty-five years and their emerging voices on feminist consciousness.
In Her Own Voice: An Illuminated Book of Prayers – Enya Tamar Keshet. Maggid Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-965-526-036-6.
The voices of Jewish women and their prayers and longings from birth through death. The art work is stunning.
On the Niemen – Eliza Orzeszkowa. ISBN: 978-09-888-59296.
A woman’s story of abandonment, impoverishment, social justice, the effects of war and the emancipation of women. In the 1900s, the author was a top contender with Leo Tolstoy for the Nobel Prize. Neither won.
I can never have too many books; always room for 1, 2,3, or more…. So, what are some titles that are special to you?
See you next time on May 22nd!
I have a mild case of Cerebral Palsy, and I help care for an Autistic brother. Yet, I have spent years concealing my disability for fear it might hamper my writing career. I’ve written and self-published many works, including articles and columns for content sites. My best-known release, so far, is Gene L. Coon: The Unsung Hero of Star Trek.
My work spans quite a few genres: Southern Crime Fiction, Non-Fiction Entertainment, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and Autism related fiction. The former two are the ones I’ve had the most success with. Alongside the Coon title, I penned the book Jack Kirby: The Unsung Hero of Marvel and a couple books about serial killer Joseph James DeAngelo.
My attempts at Sci-Fi/Fantasy have not been as successful, so I built on my achievements by writing more Non-Fiction Entertainment books about sci-fi creators. I have inked one on Steven Spielberg, culled from earlier articles I wrote about him. I, also, wrote books on such figures as Alfred Hitchcock, Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling, and filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. In addition, I did a couple short books on the Star Wars saga. With Disney and Marvel’s success at the box office, the Jack Kirby book might be the farthest I go in that genre for now.
Over the last decade, I was told to write more about my struggles with Cerebral Palsy and my brother’s Autism. Yet there’s a Catch 22, as with any endeavor. Despite improving my craft through writing from life experiences, this is also a business designed to make money. I also have heard: Well, this doesn’t sell, or You need to write something more marketable.
For a time, I got flack for writing serial killer stories and Autistic characters placed in science fiction or crime tales, instead of drawing from something more authentic.
Though still writing stories on the above figures, I wrote a manuscript based on an event that happened to me when I was ten years old, due to Cerebral Palsy. Another about our ordeals with my brother’s Autism, anger with discovery and acceptance of what went on, and how we learned to love him.
But my writing still didn’t feel complete, so I wrote a supernatural horror story about an Autistic child and her family being stalked. Despite many autobiographies and memoirs being successful, these more authentic stories of mine used fictional names, and either combined or deleted certain incidents that didn’t fit the main narrative. Plus, many authors have written from their life and had a great deal of success placing them in fictional contexts.
Remembering my small success with Southern Crime Fiction, I’ve spent this year (2020) weaving these Cerebral Palsy and Autism elements into a few detective stories, based on a short story I wrote and submitted for a Boucheron Crime Writers contest with Florida as a setting. Also, I worked on a couple disability themed heist caper tales set in the 1940s and 1950s.
None of these more recent stories, pertaining to Cerebral Palsy, Autism, or disability, have been published, yet. I am still deciding on when and how to release them, along with other ideas I still want to pursue.
Recently, I heard a quote from another writer who said, “Write from your life, not about your life.” More and more, I’m wondering if that’s at least partially true.
Born November 26, 1985 in Dothan, Alabama.
Whether it be Fiction or Non-Fiction, Justin Murphy has always tried to explore many themes in his work. One is probing into the darkness of pure evil with The Original Night Stalker: Portrait of A Killer, a fictional story based on a real-life murderer Joseph James DeAngelo. He also enjoys exploring obscure figures often forgotten in entertainment. Such as with his most recent success, Gene L. Coon: The Unsung Hero of Star Trek. It profiles the ex-Marine, pharmacist, and journalist who did the actual heavy lifting on The Original Series.
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