December 5th, 2018 12:03am
400 Days Of Oppression by: Wrath James White
I read a lot. I love to read. I have favorite books. This book is an end all book. I just now finished reading it and I’m not sure how I will pick up the next one and start reading. I started this book last night after doing the pod cast that I co-host with Jesse Dedman. It was midnight and I figured I would read just a hour or two at the most. By 3am I was only 20% in the book and had already been mad as hell, cried like a fool and didn’t know if it would be possible to read more. I couldn’t put it down. It had me in its grips and it wasn’t going to let go. Truth be told, I didn’t want it to let go. I was totally amazed.
I have always had a great respect for Wrath. He is smart, talented and strong. He has a presence about him that tells you I don’t take shit. I wish I was more like that at times. He is also outspoken and stands tall for what he believes. I have said many times that if someone was bothering me at a convention and I knew he was there I would run straight to him. I have no doubt I would be safe. Now, I tell you all this to say… my opinion of Wrath has changed. Reading this book I saw a side of him I didn’t know. A side I really like. A deeply sensitive and caring side of him. It is profound. I find it hard to convey in words exactly how I feel. So, I will say that admiration would be quite appropriate.
There are two main characters in this book. A white woman who is a school teacher. She grew up in a trailer park, had a rough life. Was raped and abused as a young girl but was determined to do better. The other character is a black man. He grew up in the ghetto. His mother faked their address to send him to a good school so that he got an education. She wanted better for him. She wanted him to have a better life. He became an entrepreneur. Smart, good looking and talented. They meet at a night club. She is with a cute girlfriend of hers and is shocked that this beautiful man shows interest in her and ignores her friend. At the end of the night he asks for her phone number. She laughs but gives it to him thinking she won’t hear from him again. He calls several days later and immediately asks for her address. Not sure why or if he will show she gives it to him. He comes over and they start dating. She falls hard for him and he falls for her. He then informs her that in order for her to be with him she needs to learn what his ancestors suffered. So that she understands him and what he has faced in life. He explains what all this will involve and tells her that she will suffer the same things they did for 400 days. He provides her with a safe word. If she says it then it will end and they will be done. He will walk away. If she succeeds then he will marry her. She agrees. Now at this point I will tell you that he is involved in the BDSM lifestyle and he brings her into this. Some of it is hot some will make you cringe. If you think that this book isn’t horror you are mistaken. At one point reading a scene I yelled now this is how you write horror! The cats ran! Lol There are so many twists and turns in this book that will leave you with your mouth on the floor. I was shocked and couldn’t decide if I wanted to save her or smack her at times. You will love both characters and the ending totally threw me. I never expected it and no it isn’t a happily ever after. This is horror! In my opinion everyone should read this book. I knew a lot about what the slaves went through but I can say that I learned a lot. Some times I felt like it was me going through what she suffered through. He described this book to me as an emotional roller coaster. That is no lie!
This is an easy engrossing read. It quickly pulls you in and really twists you up. Unfortunately, I have seen first hand prejudice. It is an ugly thing to me. I will never understand it. I have always seen people. It doesn’t matter to me color, religion or sexual preference. I know that many people don’t see it that way. I also know that many people are treated bad and differently because of this and it makes me mad. There is a small town in Tennessee called Brownsville. It is racially divided. My mother side of the family was from there. I had not been there since I was 7 years old until a year after my mom died. I went back to see the house she lived in and the town that I grew up in thinking since it was now 2011 things surely had changed. I was mistaken. It is still much the same. The hotel I stayed at was a Hampton Inn. A nice hotel. Clean and the front desk staff was friendly. There was a McDonald’s in front of the hotel and I stopped there for breakfast the next morning on my way out of town. The young lady that was working the drive thru took my order. When I pulled to the window to pay she refused to look at me. She took the money and handed me the order and shut the window. I thanked her but she didn’t speak to me or ever looked up. It confused me. I didn’t get it then it hit me. I was white. She had been made to think somewhere along the lines that she wasn’t to look up. I don’t think I will ever forget how that made me feel. Much like this story it cut me to the core of my soul. How could one person think they were better than another? Damn it! It was 2011. This shouldn’t be happening. The sad fact is that it still does happen. My long winded point is expand your views, read this book it will change how you see things. That is a great and wonderful thing my friends! Thank you Wrath, for being you, for writing this book and for teaching me more about life and what other have lived through and still live through! It is an honor to know you and call you my friend!
Becky Narron-Roadie Notes