Souljah's follow-up to her bestselling novel, TheColdest Winter Ever, is another gritty coming-of-age tale, picking up the story of Midnight (a character in Coldest Winter) as he tries desperately to navigate American culture, Brooklyn streets and the dicey business of growing up. The novel begins as seven-year-old Midnight and his pregnant mother, Umma, are forced to leave their privileged life in Sudan for a hardscrabble American existence. Midnight spends his formative years in Brooklyn guiding and translating for his loyal, loving and talented mother, helping her get a factory job while encouraging her to start a clothing line. Eventually, Midnight starts working at a Chinatown fish shop, finds love, joins a dangerous hustler's basketball league and tries to disentangle his ambivalent feelings toward romance, family and personal honor. Souljah's sensitive treatment of her protagonist is honest and affecting, with some realistic moments of crisis. Unfortunately, a slack plot and slow pacing cause serious bloat, and Souljah's distinctive prose is woefully unpolished. Frustrations aside, Souljah has obvious talent and sincere motives, making her a street-lit sophomore worth watching. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Souljah brings urban literature, and herself, to a whole new level in this raw, unapologetic, charismatic love story.
A young Sudanese immigrant struggles to hold onto his traditional values while growing up on New York's meanest streets.
Fleeing Africa at age seven with his young pregnant mother, Umma, the boy later known as Midnight is not seeking a better life so much as hiding out from the political fallout of his powerful father's role in the Sudanese government. Adrift without any friends or much money, the once-wealthy family has to start fresh, forcing Midnight to act as de facto patriarch of the clan. They first settle in a Brooklyn housing project, where gentle Umma creates a peaceful Islamic household in a neighborhood that is anything but. Midnight quickly learns to defend himself from the gangsters, drug dealers and other unsavory characters who populate his hood, while protecting Umma and his baby sister Naja. Home schooled, he escorts his veiled mother to and from her sweatshop job, helps her start a lucrative handmade clothing business and studies martial arts at a Japanese dojo. He also purchases two guns, and in his early teens stalks and shoots a shady Jamaican who lusts after Umma. Highly motivated (to say the least), Midnight also excels at basketball and takes a part-time job at a Chinatown fish market to help save up to buy a house for his family in a less dangerous neighborhood. It is in Chinatown that he meets Akemi, a lovely 16-year-old Japanese art student. Their language barrier is no match for their hormones, but Midnight courts her properly, adhering as best he can to his Muslim principles. Obstacles abound for their teenage love, including her rich father back in Japan and the many local young ladies ready to offer everything to the strapping youth. In spite of itsinteresting point of view, Souljah's latest (The Coldest Winter Ever, 1999, etc.) reads more like a setup for future volumes than a freestanding cohesive story.
Lengthy coming-of-age set apart by the hero's African identity, but never is the willful Midnight believable as a 14-year-old.
Read an Excerpt
A Gangster Love Story
By Sister Souljah
Copyright © 2008
All right reserved.
Word to Life
I am not who you think I am. If you love me, you love me for the wrong reasons.
Females tell me they love me because I'm tall. They love when I stand over them and look down. They love when I lay them down and my height and body weight dominates them.
Females tell me they love me because I'm pure black. They say they never seen a black man so masculine, so pretty, so beautiful before.
Females say they love my eyes. They're jet black too. Women claim they find a passion in them so forceful that they'll do anything I say.
Females tell me they love my body. They beg me for a hug even when there's nothing between me and them. They want to be captured in my embrace, and press their breasts against my chest.
Some females ask if they can just touch me. Some tremble when my hands touch them. They say they love the muscles in my arms. They surrender when I lift them up. They whine and moan in rapture. Some cry their pleasure. Some shake. Some pee.
Some of 'em even say they love the way my teeth look in my mouth and how my feet look in my kicks.
Females tell me they love the way I walk, like I'm soon to own the world.
Most females say they love that I'm quiet. Then shiver when I finally talk.
All of the women show me that they love my guns, the fact that I walk with two of them at times. Even the ones whoget scared fall in love with their fear of me. Then they come at me even harder.
Some females say I'm too serious, then shield their eyes to hide their feelings from the shine when I finally smile.
I can't lie, I enjoy the good times that some of these women offer me. But I don't take them to heart. I know that they don't really even know me. All the shit that they are in love with is just my style and my looks, all window dressing.
I know that a man is his own beliefs, his own ideas and actions. If you knew me, you would know what I believe. If you knew what I believe, then you would understand how I think. You would understand my ideas and actions. Only then should you decide. Either you believe what I believe, or you admire what I believe and want to get with those beliefs. If not, in the long run, we got nothing in common. I can't take you seriously. I gotta go. You got nothing that makes me want to stay.
I don't come from where you come from. I don't think like you do. My whole situation is different. I come from a country of real men who take real life, real serious.
I wouldn't trade places with an American-born man for any amount of cash.
Where I'm from, a son has a first name and three last names. The three last names are the names of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Any male who cannot identify his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather is already lost.
These three names are what makes a boy who he is. There is no talk of role models and celebrities. A son is raised under his father's wing, with a grandfather to guide and a great-grandfather as a blueprint, plus an army of uncles nearby.
Where I'm from, a man does not bow to any other man. A man bows down only to Allah. Only Allah created the heavens, the galaxies, the universe, and all of the millions of creatures within.
My father had three wives. Not one wife, one wifey, and a bunch of random bitches on the side.
Where I am from, a man wants to marry a woman and establish a strong family. A man can have more than one wife as long as he can treat them all fairly and provide them with love, separate homes, food, guidance, and presence.
There is no such thing as domestic drama. A woman feels fortunate to be selected by a quality husband, a family man, who will be by her side for her entire lifetime. Families are permanent.
When a man is ready to build his family, he selects a woman who he likes, who is from a family who raised her right, a woman who knows how to love and live. She has to be good for him, his beliefs, and plans for life. Someone who brings him peace, progress, and pleasure. Then he is down for her for real.
She is down for him too because she feels his strength, craves his love and attention, feels safe tucked at his side, and is confident that every day he is making the right moves for her, his family, and himself.
Our women don't argue with their man. A man knows what he is supposed to do and not do. It is the same thing he watched his own father do and not do. So he does it. Even if a man selects the wrong path, his punishment is between himself and Allah. His woman cannot punish him, judge him, or nag him to death.
In my country, a wife is not a whore or ex-whore. Every move a woman makes matters. She can bring dishonor to her man and family even with a simple glance at another man, if it is held for too long.
Even where I am from, there are whores. They know their place too. They stay within the walls of the illegal whorehouse, never to be glorified, honored, claimed, or married. A whore, where I am from, is the opposite of arrogant. She is used but never celebrated by decent men or women. She knows that she can never enjoy the lifestyle and contentment of a respected sister, daughter, mother, or wife.
The punishment for a good woman who comes from a good family and suddenly behaves whorish is severe. She will be isolated by her parents, family, and friends. Her father and mother may lock her away and confine her to one room in the house. In some cases, she is even murdered by her own husband, father, or brother for bringing shame and dishonor to her family and the people who raised, guided, loved, and provided for her.
The family member who commits the murder is not arrested. The whole country acknowledges that a woman is sacred. Every move she makes is either building her family up or breaking it down. Every thought she has is felt and considered by her children. Every word she speaks either teaches or misleads. She must remain honorable, pure, and righteous, otherwise there will be no happiness, no family, and no reason to exist.
Mouthing off; fucking her man's friends, brothers, and cousins; running away with the children; aborting the babies; lying about who is the father of her children; not knowing who the father is; yelling and disrespecting; doing drugs; drinking; parading around mostly naked; acting crazy; our men don't stand for that. We have not experienced that. We never will.
Our women know their place. They stay in it and live and thrive there. They remain there happily. Our women give love and are loved even more. She is respected, protected, and provided for. She lives proud and at peace.
Where I am from, liquor is illegal and forbidden. We believe that it makes a man behave with ignorance. After drinking liquor, the next step, we believe, is to disgrace God, and destroy yourself and your family.
In my country, homosexuality is nonexistent. For the absolute majority it is unknown and undone. There have been one or two of those who have traveled out to other places in Europe or America and come back with this bizarre behavior. However, they could never remain with us. Their homosexuality resulted in suicides, or they just turned up missing.
There are no tears for the man who enters into the exit, and builds a life where there can be no balance, reproduction, or family.
Where I am from, adultery is a crime for a man or a woman. Even to fuck someone else's sister or daughter just because you feel like it or like the way she looks, without approaching her family for marriage, means that you have brought about a battle between dishonored families, yours and hers. The man who commits adultery will be punished by his family. The woman who commits adultery will be considered ruined.
Where I am from, men work. Whether he works his own land and is paid in the foods the Earth produces; whether he works someone else's land; whether he is paid in cash, cattle, or otherwise; he works. Hard work is a man's way of providing for and demonstrating that he loves his family.
Each man must have a business of products or services. His product might be fish, meats, vegetables, fruits, jewelry, clothing, crafts, furniture, vehicles, parts and supplies, or other items. Or he may provide services as a doctor, carpenter, construction worker, engineer, lawyer, driver, educator, or performer. But no man can sit doing nothing. His family, backed up by the entire community, would never allow it.
When I talk about where I am from, which is almost never, both males and females feel uneasy. Some look at me in disbelief, like I'm a fucking liar. Others stare off in complete boredom, like it is not a life they would ever want to live. But I feel fine. People where I am from are happy, while almost everybody I know in America feels fucked up, empty, and dissatisfied, especially the Black people.
At fourteen years young, I became a citizen of the United States. It was supposed to be a great day, to be remembered for a lifetime. There we were, becoming a part of what is known as the best country in the world, America, after having been born and living inside of what Americans consider the worse place in the world, the continent of Africa.
We got dressed up and took the A train to City Hall in New York City. We recited some things that we had already memorized. Then it became official.
I should say it became legal. I was an American on paper. I never became one in my heart or mind.
The year I became an American was the same year I got locked up. I went from the projects, to juvenile detention, to prison. Each year I became more and more familiar with the American Blacks. The ones who look just like me. They range from very light skin to my rich dark color, as it is back home. When I first arrived, they were Afro-Americans, then Blacks, then African Americans, and eventually niggas.
They talked like they were the most powerful, clever motherfuckers on the planet. They looked down on other Blacks arriving from any other country in the world. They hated every accent besides their own. They was quick to catch an attitude and say some shit that I could tell they really knew nothing about.
There was no real way for me to separate myself from them. We all looked the same, wore the same clothes, spoke the same slang. All united by our Air Jordan kicks.
I don't talk a lot. Where I'm from, the boys and men are trained to leave the blabbering to young girls.
It wasn't too long before I realized that if I said nothing for the rest of my life, shit would only get worse. I'm telling my story so Black people worldwide will know that we wasn't always fucked up. Also, that a good life takes great effort and sacrifice, but feels so much better than what we all got now. Besides, if the authentic men don't say shit, there will be no evidence that real men really do exist.
Living side by side with niggas, and watching them play themselvesevery second of every day, the broke ones all the way up to the rich ones, is killing me.
I'm not a preacher, politician, pimp, or celebrity. Most of them couldn't go to hell quick enough for me. A man who doesn't say what he means or do what he says, craves attention and misuses it when he gets it, doesn't share what he knows and earns, deserves death.
I am not who you think I am. My people are not who you think they are. Our culture and traditions are unknown to you. Sometimes it takes someone from the outside to show you how you look and do. If you're American born and raised, you're bound to get it twisted. You can't see yourselves or don't know yourselves. You're too accustomed to looking at life from only one fucked-up angle.
Everything you have ever seen or heard about Africa is wrong. My African grandfather taught me that the storyteller is the most powerful person in the world after God. My grandfather said be careful who you listen to and what they are saying. The storyteller is clever and masterful and has already decided exactly what he wants you to think and believe.
The storyteller has the power to make people feel good or bad about themselves. The storyteller has the power to make people feel strong or weak, ugly or beautiful, confident or defeated.
Unfortunately, all of the stories being told to Blacks in America, Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean have made Blacks worldwide feel low, weak, crazy, backward, and powerless. So low that the storyteller has set the conditions for Blacks to be robbed of all of their stuff and too stupid to recognize it.
So put your brews and blunts on pause. Rock with me for a few.Copyright © 2008 by Souljah Story, Inc.
Excerpted from Midnight by Sister Souljah Copyright © 2008 by Sister Souljah. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Sister Souljah is best known for her work as a political activist and educator of underclass urban youth. A graduate of Rutgers University, she is a beloved personality in her own community. She lives in New Jersey City with her husband and son.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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What I was expecting from "Midnight" as the prequel to "The Coldest Winter Ever" is not what I got. The young devout Muslim Midnight in this novel is nothing like the older Midnight, right hand to drug lord Mr. Santiaga, from the original book. And, Sistah Souljah does nothing to reconcile the two of them. If I had no forewarning that they were supposed to be the same character, I'd think they were two completely different people.
The love story is sweet, though Sistah Souljah's depiction of African American women leaves a lot to be desired (at least for me). And, her characters are fleshed out very well. But, by the end of the book there's nothing to help you understand how Midnight became the Midnight from "The Coldest Winter Ever." It's almost as if she forgot about the other story and decided to take the character in a completely different direction (I could never imagine this Midnight becoming a drug lord's right hand man). She also doesn't explain why Midnight and his mother are in the situation they are in to begin with (which starts off the whole book). There are many allusions to Midnight's father, but no explanation as to what happened to him (which starts to become perplexing).
I'm also disappointed that she chose to have pictures of models in the book, instead of letting the reader imagine Midnight in their mind. The picture of the guy who she has depicting Midnight doesn't even come close to the Midnight I have imagined in my mind.
Overall, the book was just O.K. While I liked the characters, the book really left a lot to be desired. Maybe there will be a sequel to this book to give the whole thing a purpose. By the way she wrote the ending, I wouldn't be surprised.
It's interesting...in reading many of the negative reviews of Sister Souljah's newest work, I hear most respondent's saying they were offended by the disrespectful way "black" Americans were portrayed. The question I have for these reviewers, who may think The Coldest Winter Ever was a stellar piece of Fiction and should be Sister Souljah's defining literary work and be read by other group's as really offering true insight into the "Black Experience," is what was so respectful about how Winter or any of her homegirls or the men they interacted with portrayed themselves? How was competing to see who could give head the best or putting oneself on auction allowing yourself to be inspected and defiled in front of other women, just to possibly bed a famous person or being held hostage in a room by guard dog's because some man values you more as a possession than a human being respectful? How was Mrs. Santiaga's slow drug induced death, egged on my her own daughter giving her drugs, respectful? How was the way Bullet left Winter to take all that time for him and not even put money on her books,a show of respect? Some also spoke of Midnight's father and his having other wives? Wasn't it a similar situation with Ricky Santiaga? The difference is that the Sudanese wives knew about each other and worked together, where as Mrs. Santiaga knew nothing and when she found out, it served as her final push over the edge. TCWE glorified promiscuity, drug dealing, murder, materialism, and all things superficial, these are all the things Midnight pointed out about "black" Americans in this latest novel. The only difference is,in her first work Souljah wrote the themes compellingly and sugar-coated. Some of the readers probably even saw or wanted to see themselves in that book, I know I did. In this new effort the sugar is gone, it's all medicine. Midnight's experience was not in an affluent middle class black suburb or even in a working class black inner-city community. Perhaps had it been his depiction of "black" Americans would have been different but they were in the projects where the reality really is get or get got, trust no one and do for self. Unfortunately, all the worth little ghetto girls think they have is between their legs and the only out little ghetto boys think they'll get is through balln or slangn. I found Midnight: A Gangster's Love Story prolific because it spoke to the diamonds in the rough and the roses growing in concrete. It showed that you can be more than your situation or circumstances. I don't really think she was disrespecting us, she took poetic license to exaggerate the circumstances so we, the readers, the women, the men-could self-reflect and then self-correct.
This book was horrible. If I had never read "The coldest Winter Ever" I would not have been able to link the two! We waited all this time for this! The book put off a vibe that women in America had no worth...especially women of color. I once thought of Midnight as a King in his own right, now I don't think of him at all. This book has managed to kill him. I didn't care for the love story between Midnight and the Asian girl. It made me nauseous and it last too long...the entire book. I tried to rush to get through the book. I kept putting down and not wanting to pick it up. I finally get to the and no Winter in sight. Winter is not even in the book, this was wild! What a waste! At the end of the book Midnight went to Japan to get his Asian wife... Note: to Sista Soulja let him stay in Japan and be happy. (Sayonara) I didn't like the whole body of the story.
I started out reading this book, as everyone did, with HIGH expectations. We all read "The Coldest Winter Ever", and we waited, and waited and waited for the sequel. The sequel that Sister Souljah said she'd been working on for two years, that would be told from Portia Santiago's point of view. These were her words. Maybe this book isn't the sequel that we all thought it would be. It was marketed as such, but, as many have stated, it is a pre-quel. It takes us back. It takes us inside of "Midnight". Why he was the way he was. Why he felt the way he did. Why he did not give "Winter" the time of day. Her "crush" went unsolicited because of his upbringing, his beliefs, his way of seeing women in general.
I started out reading this book wondering when I would see mention of Ricky Santiago at least, and I did, if you paid attention you would see how they crossed paths. But this story isn't about Winter or her family, it is about Midnight and his family.
Sure he's a "Gangster". A different kind of "Gangster". His main objective in life is taking care of his family. That's what I call Gangsta. Not a Thug, But a True Gangsta.
Some are angry about the way that African American women are viewed in this book. Is it not true about some? Are these words not true about a lot of our African American people in general? Stop and think before you become angry. All she did was say what most people already think, or already know. I'm not mad at her. We need to be aware of what we are becoming, what we have become.
The book is lovely. It's not what we expected, but it's an excellent book in general. Worth $26.95? I don't know. But well worth reading!!
If Sister Souljah needed a platform to voice her beliefs, opinions and views regarding how she wanted to praise the African Islam community and Africans vs. true African AmericanS and those in the USA who practice Islam, THIS WAS CLEARLY NOT THAT VENUE!!Sequel or Pre-quel this was a horrible book. TCWE being laid aside this book was an ABSOLUTE MESS!!! First off what's up with not knowing "Midnight's" true name??? If he's so proud of carrying his father, grand fathers and grea-grandfather's names why is he not SHOUTING THEM TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH??? We don't even know his name (it was Bilal Ode in TCWE, but this is obviously NOT the same midnight)!!! Next with all the adjectives she used to describe the splendor of the Sudan and Sudanese lifestyle WHY would anyone in their right minds want to come to the USA??? We don't even know WHY this family (the first wife, her son and unborn child) were sent to the USA? what happened in Sudan??? and why were the other two wives not sent??? The father was MIA (does this truly reflect the lifestyle she wrote about so eloqently??) of course not! this African Islam Man, shipped his wife, son and unborn child off and they NEVER heard from him again..they ran out of money had to hit the hard knocks of life and where was he?? still enjoying the splendor of the Sudan?? Then Akemi, this charater was just plan outrageous. The main charater (Midnight) and his love interest (Akemi) can't even SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE!!!! Was souljah high off of spices and scents when she thought this mess up??? This book was a FAILURE!!! If I had the slightest idea this book was written with such division and comparisons I would NEVER have PURCHASED it or wasted my time reading it!!
Its a common fact that most Africans think they are superior to African Americans in the US--Souljah attempted in this book to confirm those beliefs. As a highly educated female, wife, mother and devouted Christian, I was offended. Hear me and hear me clear, NONE OF US ARE BETTER THAN THE OTHERS!!! Whether you are a TRUE African or African American born and raised in the US your morals and values are a product of your upbringing and beliefs. Just because my son will not carry the names of his father, grand-father and great-grandfather, [he will have his father's name] does NOT mean that he doesn't know who he is or value his lineage, HE DOES!!!!! And just because I don't wear a long robe and face covering does not make me a loose woman. If I were a American Muslim I would be disgusted by Souljah's attempt to convey that I am not true or devout in my religious beliefs.
Finally, all I can say is this, the next time Souljah wants to write some crap like this, call a spade a spade, be straight up and let me know this is one of your PERSONAL PLATFORMS not a fiction story and definitely NOT a follow up to TCWE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS BOOK WAS JUNK!!!!!!!!!
I just finished reading the book and was totally disappointed. I had read reviews and understood it was more of a prequel, but didn't think that it had NOTHING to do with the Coldest Winter Ever.
My impression when first reading was that they were going to give background into Midnight's life (which is important) and then tie that in with how he got started working for Winter's father and then go through the stories in the Coldest Winter Ever, but from Midnight's perspective instead of Winter's. The only common thing this book had with the Coldest Winter Ever was Midnight. NEVER in the book does it mention Winter and only is Santiaga brought up once and it's really only about his car.
It's a nice read in the beginning, but as you get closer to the end, you realize there is no plot or climax to the story. For an almost 500-page book, there was no substance.
The ending is horrible. Appears that there might be another book to come that would in turn discuss his life working for Santiaga. But, after this book, I don't know if many fans would still be around.
this book was so pointless, why did we need to know midnight's background. And how in gods name is a 7 year old do all the things that she claims he does. HE'S SEVEN YEARS OLD HELLO !!!!. This book was a no no for me.
Sister Souljah wrote in the updated mass market paperback edition of The Coldest Winter Ever that the sequel was about Porche Santiaga and that it was coming. Her own words. So what happened? Did she change her mind? If so, why didn't she say something, ANYTHING to the devoted fans of her first novel who made it a bestseller to begin with, the folks she knew patiently waited nine years for this book. I can understand if she wanted to go in a different direction. Fine. I can respect that. It's a free country and she can write what she wants. But there was no clue given whatsoever to the FANS that this book wasn't a sequel. There's gonna be some backlash over this, because a lot of people felt let down. Midnight was an interesting read, don't get me wrong. But it's not what I thought it was going to be and I'm very disappointed.
I love Sister Souljah! I think o Disrespect is a must read for both men and women. The Coldest Winter Ever was written poetically but had a powerful message that had never been seen in urban lit. I have seen her speak several times and even took my students and I value and appreciate her voice. However, I was completely disappointed with this novel! I never expected Midnight and Winter to get together however I was looking forward to hearing about Midnight¿s wife and his sister and how he choose to raise Santiga¿s daughters.
However, this novel was not at all what I expected. On a positive note I appreciate reflection of some of the negative qualities of some African American women ie: objectifying ourselves, not knowing our worth etc¿ I also appreciate her acknowledging the important role of Black men in our homes, families, communities. Also the power of love and commitment to self, family, friends, and partners was threaded throughout the book. Also, I appreciate the values and morals and discipline displayed by Midnight and his family/
On the negative side as a Black woman after having read this novel I felt totally beat down by Sister Souljah! We just could not do anything right. There was not one positive American Black woman in the book. Also the portrayal of Bangs was shocking. After having being raped since the age of 5 by an Uncle I could not believe that Souljah would suggests that Banngs must have liked ¿having sex¿ with the uncle because she had gotten pregnant by him and he was still rapping her as a teen. This concept was very heartbreaking to me.
I just did not get why Midnight had to choose this Asian woman. To me it fed a lot into the stereotype that Asian women are more submissive (ie: when she bowed to him at their ¿wedding¿). Sundana would have been a wonderful choose for Midnight but even she could not compare to Akemi.
I was just totally shocked by the obsession with Asian culture and Akemi in general. I kept thinking why?!?!? Honestly, at one point I though¿did Souljah really write this book? I really hope she writes a statement about why she wrote this book, the characters etc.. The books¿ ending suggests a part III. I must admit I am not sure if I can stomach another one like this! Oh and I HATED the pictures in the book. However, I still love Souljah and I will preorder her next book as I did this one.
I ERRED IN MY ASSUMPTION THAT I WAS PURCHASING THE SEQUEL TO COLDEST WINTER EVER" I'M WELL INTO THE TENTH CHAPTER AND I NOW REALIZED THAT I MAY HAVE BEEN SCAMMED. THIS IS NOT A SEQUEL OR PREQUEL. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SEQUEL TO "COLDEST WINTER EVER"? THERE HAS TO BE SOME REASONABLE EXPLANATION FOR THIS!
DID SISTAH SOULJAH EVEN WRITE "THE COLDEST WINTER EVER"? IT APPEARS THAT THE WRITER OF "MIDNIGHT" AND THE WRITER OF "THE COLDEST WINTER EVER" ARE TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WRITERS. THIS BOOK IS A TOTAL MISREPRESENTATION OF A SEQUEL. IF I MUST COMPARE THIS BOOK TO "COLDEST WINTER", THIS HAS TO BE THE WORSE BOOK THAT I'VE READ IN A LONG TIME....AND I READ 4-6 NOVELS PER MONTH... IT WASN'T CHEAP EITHER. ($26.99) I AM RECOMMENDING THAT MY BOOK CLUB MEMBERS RETURN THIS BOOK AND SELECT ANOTHER BOOK FOR OUR DECEMBER SELECTION...SISTER SOULJAH FANS DESERVE AN EXPLANATION.
I expected this to be an actual sequel and actual part 2 to the coldest wintever.. I HEARD it was SUPPOSE to be told from the Little sisters point of view and how she pulled up in the benz or whatever at the end of coldest winter ever.. then i heard it was gunna be called MIDNIGHT.. then i was like okay he must be talking about raising the sisters and stuff... Im on chapter 2 of the book and im like what the hell is this?? okay i see how hes talking about how he got to the US.. but he is starting to put African American people down. WHat is all that Asian writing and pictures of these asian women and the fingernails etc. I thought this was gunna continue talking about the santigas winter etc.. I didnt expect this and im not too happy. $20.50 i dont think its worth it...im going to return this book tomorrow and go to the library to get it.
WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT! I MADE myself finish and it was TORTURE!
I'm disappointed that EVERY Black female in this book was shown in a negative light. Every one. So little thought was put in to their characters that they were not even given propper names. Instead they were "Bangs", "Heavenly", "Homegirl", etc.
At every opportunity, there seemed to be a need to bash Black American culture as well...from the way we talk, to the way we dress, to the way we think. It was disheartening and absolutely annoying. I get it. The idea was to glorify Islamic culture, but why at the expense of being disgusted with American culture? That's what I didn't get.
I felt like Souljah had forgotten her audience...mostly urban women. Especially when I read the thoughts regarding Bangs (a young girl who was molested)...Souljah actually suggested she wanted it because she didn't report it and called her a liar who couldn't be trusted because the girl concocted a story instead of admitting she was molested. Just ridiculous.
If you are looking for a sequel or prequel to Winter...this is not it. There is no mention of the Santiagas or how he even resorted to that lifestyle.
This book will frustrate you and ABSOLUTELY BORE YOU...save your money. If you absolutely must read it for yourself...go to the library.
I intend to give my copy away to some unsuspecting soul.
After all this time I just knew that this book was going to be something that we all know that it wasn't!! I thought that this book was going to be about winter and when she got out of prison and hooked up with midnight I don't get the title to this book after I read a few chapters A Gangster love story WHAT!!! What is so gangster about this book tell me plz!!!I haven't even read the whole book and Im ready to take it back to the store to get my money back! If she comes out with another book I will have to think long and hard before I go buy it I might even read it in the store just to see if its worth my time and money!
I can't believe that she made her readers wait 10 long years for this. I am totally disapointed in the writing style she chose to use for this book. Totally not what I was expecting. I expected to read about Winter and some of the characters from her story, instead I was bombarged with gibber jabber that bored me to death.
The pictures don't even match the story being told here. The totally unrealistic power that 7 year old Midnight has in beating up a family of brothers is outrageous. Even Hollywood wouldn't dare to be that silly. What kind of mother doesn't ask her 'young' child where he got his scars from, I don't know. Was Sister half asleep when she wrote this book?
Is this what she came out of hiding to do.....disapoint her readers this way. Sister, I am truly fond of your lectures and your work as an activist, but I have to tell you, this book totally frustrates me. A definite refund is in order here.
Why would you wait 10 years to tell us about the begining of Midnights' life? Shouldn't that had been done long ago? Can I trust that the next novel will even be worth borrowing from the library?
I really dont understand why people constantly complain about this alleged sequel when it clearly is not. Midnight is young in this novel, and was grown in the CWE. That being said, I thought the novel was mediocre. While I get Sista Souljah's messages, I am extremely disappointed at the hypocrisy in the novel. The very things that she puts Black women on blast for, Akemi, the little Asian GIRL Midnight marries, possessed as well. Every description of her included her super expensive clothing and shoes (at one point Midnight said the ground she walked on wasnt worthy, Hunh?)I guess when Black women do it, its wrong, but because Akemi was an "artist" it was OK? Also, every Black girl that Midnight came in contact with wanted him sexually, and Akemi was no different. She was enamored with his dark skin and mysterious demeanor just like every other girl.What made her so different than the little project girls he turned his nose up at? Was it her rich upbringing? A young girl with poor morals and values might get something from this book and actually learn a lesson or two, but I am an educated Black woman and I was deeply disturbed that there was no one like me (or the author...)in the story. I have to admit, she has lost a good deal of my respect. Glad I had the good sense not to buy it.
The book, by ITSELF, isn't too bad. Sister Souljah is still a great writer and knows how to portray a story, but that doesn't matter here at all. From her lips to fans ears, we all percieved her next release to be the SEQUEL to 'Coldest Winter Ever' not a prequel to the character Midnight. This was just wrong, it's been ten years since its release and it's just mean for fans not to get a proper continuation of the 'Coldest Winter Ever' and instead a look into Midnight's life BEFORE any of the drama of 'Coldest Winter Ever' took place. I enjoyed reading the first few chapters but I just didn't have the will to finish it. Even after letting all upsets go, the writing of Midnight's character constantly went from him speaking in the respective tone of his African country and then immediately and randomly changing to the ruff ghetto slang of Brooklyn..the constant back and forth of dialects was annoying and added to my frustration. If you choose to read this book, do it with an open mind because my tolerance proved not to be enough.
P.S.- There are pictures throughout the entire book of all the different characters, what sucks about this is that it completely eliminates the freedom of one's imagination...and isn't that the point of reading in the first place?
This book is garbage. Almost 500 pages and no story, no ending, no answers,and no purpose. DON"T waste your time or money on this. She should have stayed in retirement or where ever. I want a refund and apology. Why would you write a book where the main character is judgemental to say the least? Am I expected to root for the arrogant, self-rightous, delinquent? Why was it necessary to insult the Black-American? He killed Black men yet would be the first to say a Black man is wrong to kill another Black man. His father has other wives; yet, they are in America without him. Why? It's so great and you have such great family, wealth, land, and culture in Africa; why stay in America and suffer? This is BULLSHOT!!! This book is an insult to Black people, her readers who have been awaiting her next tale, and the author's reputation for The Coldest the Winter Ever. This book is not a sequel to TCTWE nor is it a page turner. This book is a bore with no storyline or ending. It's set-up for an unfulfilling up and coming series. DON'T BUY!!! DON'T READ!!! STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK!!! DON'T REWARD HER INSULTS!!!
While reading the book I realized nothing was a surprise. Midnight followed a standard love story with little turmoil or drama. I would have liked to see him buck the path and fall for Sudana. This would have been a better outcome because we could have seen a struggle with his religious beliefs and the want for different love. However the minute he fell (blindly) in love with Akemi the book became boring and predictable. I started skipping sentences then whole paragraphs.
The big difference is Coldest was a page turner. Each chapter revealed something new about Winter and her needs. Midnight was boring and very generic. Even his interaction with the community could have been a bit more developed.
We waited ten years to receive no stellar work. Very disappointed.
I was very disappointed reading this novel. In the Coldest Winter Ever Sistah Soulja made Midnight's character sleek and polished like he was a wonderful mystery. I didn't see that connection in this novel. The brooklyn characters were ghetto and though writers write what they know some information could have been left out i.e. Bang's having a baby by her 38 year old uncle and she 14. I wanted to see the connection between the father in Coldest Winter Ever and Midnight and how their empire got started. I kept waiting for that moment to happen but it never got there. I hated the way it ended with his wife being captured back to Japan in the middle of her art show so now she's going to come out with another wack novel to follow up. I don't like books that gets you on the edge at the end then have you waiting to see what's going to happen next. We already waited 10 years to get this version how long are we going to have to wait to see what's next? And what's going to happen next is he going to start hustling to get his money back? Is Akemi's father really going to allow her back to the US? Where was she in Coldest Winter Ever? What happened to his mother and sister? Will he ever see his father agian? I will say I did appreciate the acknowledgements of the religions and cultures exposed but still disappointed about the end.
Very disappointing. I was hoping this would be a followup story to "The Coldest Winter Ever." It couldn't be farther from a sequel. No mention of any of your favorite characters from the "The Coldest Winter Ever." Reading it reminds me of an unwanted reading assignment for a course about African and Japanese culture. Not a classic.
I would like to know who really wrote this book, or should I say did Sista Souljah really write the Coldest Winter Ever? I wonder what really went wrong when Sista began writing this book? I guess that is why it took so long to get it published! she should have read the coldest winter again before she went to print with this book.
I spent neary $ 35 dollars on this book.This book could make someone ashamed to be american if this B.S was really true...I am so disappointed.However i must admit i made it my business, through the ignorance and things i did not agree with to approach this book OPENMINDED.And i believe i did.
*(First off regardless whether or not this was a sequel to the TCWE i expected at least for SS to make SOME sort of reference to how midight ran into Santiago even if it meant the last 2 sentences,in this book.It makes NOOO sense.
What really bother me was the way midnight and his other muslim/sudanese friends viewed black americans in general especially the women.Theres a difference between opinion and ignorance.I certainly hope this isnt SS putting her personal ideas into a character because it was extreme ignorance.Every single american girl that midnight ran into, SS made them as hopeless,ignorant stupid,and having no future.The boys were materialistic, gangbangers and knew nothing and had no values.If SS plan was to make Midnight look good sssss she did a BAAAAAAAAD bad bad bad job.
But i did get into the book, a half n inch...What hurt me the most was Bangs.Even though she was raped and molested by an uncle who lived with her,midnight looked at her as unworthy because she lied about it.she was painted as another hoodrat. No hope.No class.No brain.This girl was really messed up though.Any child going through what she did would be. Midnight had negative views about everything american and proclaimed to be from a land of the self righteous.He looked down on Bangs for not having a father figure in her home- but where was his father?Complete hypocrite in my opinion.This is not the midnight i thought i knew.
Its important for us to see ourself outside of the box.But the worst way to do that is by spending money on this book.Im still having a hard time believing that this is the same author who wrote TCWE.Damn
Where Sister Souljah and her handlers went wrong was in promoting this book as a prequel or a sequel to the Coldest Winter Ever. It is bound to disappoint her readers who will feel that they have fallen victim to the old bait-and-switch con game. The book might sell on its own merits in many venues. This deception in marketing will turn off her many admiring readers who have waited all these years to read Midnight's story. While I applaud the moral stance the author takes, I can't say that I appreciated the way African American girls are depicted in the book. The Muslim, kung fu fighting, righteous Midnight never encounters one African American girl who has pride in herself and seeks a purpose for her life. As a librarian I will continue to order copies of The Coldest Winter Ever because it contains many deep and powerful lessons without being preachy. My consciences doesn't bother me at all when copies of the book are not returned because I know that someone is taking in a worthy lesson and a powerful message.
I'm disappointed in all the bad reviews that this book got, if you understood Sister Souljah at all you would realize that when she wrote The Coldest Winter Ever she wrote from the point of view of Winter and how she was raised. With Midnight she is writing from his point of view and how he was raised and if you had any sense at the end of the book you should have caught on that its gonna be a part two. Duh there is no way Sister Souljah would leave a book hanging like that. I actually sent her an email at email@example.com and asked her if I was right and she confirmed that there is another book coming out. (Yes she actually responded to my email) And she said all will be revealed in the next book. So if you are looking for some word about Winter wait until the next book before you judge this one so harshly.
As a young educated black female, I can say that I am very disappointed with this book. I have waited years for this book to be released, and it took me two days to return it for a full refund. I am very disgusted with her dipiction of black women and people in general. I felt completely violated and embarrassed by her views of Black America. I feel hurt that she would entertain the idea of education having no importance to our youth, and their increased chances of success in this world.
This book was in no way related to The Coldest Winter Ever. I feel she should consider rewriting this book and pulling it off the shelves due to lack of character, improper judgement and depiction of MY "black people."
I can honestly say that I will never buy another book by Sista Souljah. With sister like this who needs enemies or racism in America.