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When Your Hand is in the Lion's Mouth: The Life and Wisdom of a Man named Green

When Your Hand is in the Lion's Mouth: The Life and Wisdom of a Man named Green

by Nita Whitaker

Unabridged — 6 hours, 45 minutes

Nita Whitaker
When Your Hand is in the Lion's Mouth: The Life and Wisdom of a Man named Green

When Your Hand is in the Lion's Mouth: The Life and Wisdom of a Man named Green

by Nita Whitaker

Unabridged — 6 hours, 45 minutes

Nita Whitaker

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WHEN YOUR HAND IS IN THE LION'S MOUTH is non-fiction told in 42 stories that is a father-daughter memoir. The love, wisdom and life lessons shared can father us all, and at 96 years young, he keeps inspiring and teaching us with his practical wisdom. Not often enough do we hear of great black fathers in our stories or media, one that goes beyond stereotype, shining a light on a devoted man who lifts and enlightens. Green is one of those men. The simplicity and complexity of the life into which he was born informed the wisdom and worldliness he would gain. Born as the second youngest of 19 children in a rural northwest Louisiana farming community, the lion of the Jim Crow South loomed large and oppressively in the 1920's. But, Green Whitaker had the beautiful gift of a family devoted to each other to guide him through. That familial devotion and grounding grew him into a man of great integrity and grit whose love melded with the faith seeds planted in his quest for a piece of the American dream. He continues to be a beloved father, uncle and friend, as well as a father figure to more than his own children, serving as a mentor and willing role model for his entire community and more. His love and nurturing gave me the confidence to pursue a career in entertainment. His example is the salve our souls need; a re-parenting from a father figure whose voice and simple wisdom can nourish and support the child within each of us. Green is the last surviving of his large family and is the portal to his family's history and legacy. It is not an academic book on parenting, but a sharing, a recollection of unpolished gems of wisdom about how to have better values, sharing the ways to be more kind, loving and honest to foster a rich life. It gives us a glimpse into the life and earned wisdom of a distinguished black father named Green, and how he shares his practical life gems with his children, his community, and especially his youngest daughter, Nita.

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Kirkus Reviews

The author shares engaging family stories that celebrate the wisdom, tenacity, and limitless love of her 95-year-old father.

“My dad has lived most of his life with his hand in the lion’s mouth,” Whitaker writes. “Being born a black man in the rural south, there was always the desire for a better life and big dreams against the lion’s trampling oppression of the Jim Crow era.” Green Whitaker, born in 1926, was the 18th of 19 children, 11 of whom were born to Green’s father, Isaac, and his mother, Estella Sabbath (“Big Momma”). The family lived on 80 acres of Whitaker-owned farmland in Holly, Louisiana. But when Green was 10, the family was forced to sell the farm: “And just like that, they went from landowners to sharecroppers, a family who worked and shared land on a plantation.” The author’s father was just a child when he began working long hours in the cotton fields. It was a reversal of fortune that could have shattered his sense of pride and determination. Instead, buoyed by the embrace of a loving family, his deep religious beliefs, and a kind heart, he grew into a dignified, resourceful husband and father of four. Whitaker, a singer/songwriter and the first Black woman to win the title of Miss Louisiana, writes with a conversational elegance that carries a hint of the musical lilt of her Shreveport upbringing: “The sense of belonging, the work and purpose of close knit families working toward shared goals, the enveloping love of like-minded people who had a deep abiding faith, was a sweet time in my dad’s life.” Each anecdote highlights a nugget of Green’s advice about how to navigate life’s challenges with confidence, courage, and love, spoken in words that are succinct, amusing, and often moving. When Whitaker once asked him if all White people were rich, he drove her through a poor White community and commented, “ ‘People are just people. We all the same, just come here in different skins.’ ”

A compelling and affectionate tribute, peppered with historical tidbits and brimming with sage, homespun counsel.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940175293020
Publisher: Big Happy Family
Publication date: 07/07/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

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