jihadJihad Replies to Nick Chiles

by Jihad
November 2009

My name is Jihad, I am the author of several books, Streetlife, Babygirl, Riding Rhythm, MVP, Preacherman Blues, Wild Cherry and now The Survival Bible. It is sad when I read articles such as: "A Critical Look at Street Lit."

jihadAll street lit doesn't glorify the negative, and even the ones that do are telling stories. How many mainstream books glorify the negative? And let me ask you this. Does the Bible glorify murder and violence? Well, there is killing and violence all throughout the Bible. My point is how are you looking at street lit? Well, we know how you are Mr. Chiles, from a half empty standpoint. A lot of street lit is the only reality that some of these authors know. It is this reality that some young Kings and Queens read and realize that this is not the life for them. They also learn to understand the err of there ways sometimes when they are leading a life similar to some of the characters in these street sagas. The number one best selling black fiction author in America is a Street lit author, Donald Goines. Mr. Goines has helped to wake countless sleeping giants up in the black community, usually from a jail cell, but awaken; his books did and still do.

I am a product of his work. It took street lit, to get me to read, as it has countless others. Once that door is open, the sky is the limit. Mr. Goines propelled me to the Dr. Ben's, Dr. Clarkes, Dr. Akbars and so many other scholars. Now, over a ten year span of writing, I have been able to wake up so many others who had never read anything until they picked up one of my books. I have bags of fan mail-love from prisons, from Kings realizing who they are after reading my work. But I had to take them home to make them comfortable. I have to talk about the reality that they have perceived up until the time they went to prison, to get them to think. But you Mr. Chiles, you are like a cancer in the black community. You don't seek to help, you only want to ridicule with your words.

I don't agree with a lot of books, street, mainstream, romance, whatever, but I am all for freedom of speech, especially when done with a pen. Street fiction has done more for illiteracy in the past decade than I'm sure any other genre of literature. I bet there was a Nick Chiles in the days of Zora, Langston, Chester, etc.

So, my brother, take a deeper look and see the good street lit is doing instead of shooting arrows at what could very well be the beginning of a cultural reading revolution. I challenge you to pick up, no I will send you any of my books free and you can dissect them, feel free to email me: jihadwrites@bellsouth.net.

Better yet, meet me at BookExpo America 2010 and let's set up a debate, you and I. King, there are so many battles and wars to fight in the Black community, you should be wise to rethink your stand and fight something worth fighting.

[ The following was taken from Jihad's Facebook page ]:

"Sad. Sad. Sad. Too bad the brotha can't see what the street genre has done to combat illiteracy in the urban community these past 10 years. Too bad this brotha can't see from his glass castle, how so many that would be leading a life of crime is now writing about it. There is glorification of negativity in most books, whether it be street, erotica or mainstream. But often times people get inside the pages and see their lives, and they see the road that they are headed down, and it causes them to rethink the negativity that they are involved in. Wake up king. Stop tearing down walls that so many are building. Help us build them correctly."

For more information on Jihad, visit: www.jihadwrites.com

Jihad is the author of Street Life, Babygirl, Riding Rhythm, MVP, Preacherman Blues and Wild Cherry.

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Interested :
Posted 3222 days ago
You know, while reading this article I found countless errors. Editing is a huge problem with many of the street lit books. I don't understand why UBS did not edit Jihad's reply. I think, in essence, Nick Chiles is saying "we can do better then this". Sure, many of the street lit stories need to be told. BUT, why not do it correctly? How can any author who has made it through the adversity that life has handed them, expect a consumer to want to read a book that has numerous typos? And, what is an uneducated consumer learning by reading improper grammar. When does the real teaching and learning begin? UBS, Jihad made some valid points, but when the critics that want to shut down the street lit genre, read his reply; they will immediately think they are vadlidated in believing street lit is garbage writing. There is plenty of hope and talent in street lit, it needs to be polished. The one thing I find very problematic is that Mr. Chiles said he has no intent or advice to give on improving the genre. I find that apalling. I think that is exactly why he is looked at as bashing. He has put authors and readers on the defensive. In doing that, it's hard to improve when all you can do is defend. If he has no positive resolutions to offer, why say anything at all?
Relentless Aaron :
Posted 3244 days ago
In case you all missed it, I got at Nick long time ago. Addressed him on International Radio. But at BEA they hand picked the debate; less vocal/outspoken authors addressed this sad sac. The link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?story Id=6706212
Personally, I'd like to see Jihad go at him. Rep us J
vanessa Yisrael :
Posted 3246 days ago
good points, Jihad. I'm with you.
Inmia Biazis :
Posted 3265 days ago
I have to admit Jihad has made some excellent points with the piece. However Nick Chiles has also has made excellent points, lets just agree to disagree. "Stop tearing down walls that so many are building. Help us build them correctly," lets use this.
I Get Money :
Posted 3265 days ago
We all need to ignore the ignorance and focus our attention back to the discussion. Some people never learn.



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