Wrangling Black History

Since writing Johnny Appleseed: The Slice and Times of John Chapman, some of the most interesting people have cropped up in my life. If it wasn’t for Johnny, I doubt our paths would have crossed.

One person intrigued me so much I just had to write about him: Mr. Murphy Darden. I’m thrilled that Encore Magazine has published “Wrangling Black History” as their February feature story and that this most deserving man graces the cover. Yee-haw! You can wrangle up your own copy of Encore from one of these Southwest Michigan locations, or read it on-line, here. Enjoy Brian K. Power’s stunning photography that accompanies the article and learn about a man who Encore’s editor Marie Lee calls “one of Kalamazoo’s most interesting residents.” (Can you spot the Johnny Appleseed connection? Hint: Enoch & Deborah Harris.)

Here’s Johnny!

It’s like two books in one: a book of poetry that encompasses America’s past through the vehicle of Johnny Appleseed. As he moves through the country sowing his seeds, the American landscape, too, evolves, warts and all. The lives of pioneers and settlers, the displacement of Native Americans, slavery, the Pony Express right up to the internet. It’s such an accomplishment. And the end notes are as entertaining as the poetry. If history had been taught like this, I would have come to it much earlier.” ~Elizabeth Kerlikowske, author of Chain of Lakes, the chapbook, Last Hula, (winner of the 2013 Standing Rock Chapbook Competition), and Art Speaks, a collaboration with artist Mary Hatch

The beautiful cover art is by Ladislav Hanka. “Colony Farm Orchard Script” is a drawing over hand-tinted paper.

To find out more about Johnny Appleseed: The Slice and Times of John Chapman, and where it’s available for purchase, check out the Book page within Clark’s site.

Looking to purchase this book for a library, bookstore, or school? Contact Shabda Press for special discounts.