In the midst of civil unrest as a result of police brutality and racial tensions in America, how would life be different for Black Americans had President Abraham Lincoln lived? Author David E. Rogers explores that premise in his new book Black States of America – Real Black Power. This is the twelfth book from the San Francisco Bay Area author, released in August 2020.
The science fictional story follows a talented scientist and a former slave who take a hot air balloon ride through a black hole in the sky where they enter an alternate universe and prevent President Lincoln’s assassination. This alternate universe, as Rogers imagined, is technologically advanced and the black people who live there are thriving. Rogers did quite a bit of research to make sure his depiction of actual historical figures were accurate against the fictional backdrop. He said the book was in progress even before current racial tensions in the United States. “I’ve always been intrigued with different stories. This book was an homage to history. This is what we could be,” he said.
An Author’s Biggest Adversary. This isn’t the Indiana native’s first book that explores issues related to race. He published his first book White Lie in 1999. It is about a black man who passes as white and takes full advantage of white privileges until it all backfired. It’s during the release of this book at a church event when Rogers would first encounter criticism regarding the subject matter of his books. “People were skeptical. Some people can be very brutal,” he recalled. “If you don’t have the thick skin to handle the criticism, it would probably break you,” he added.
Not to be deterred, Rogers stuck to his guns and advises other authors to do the same when faced with adversities. “You have to be strong in your convictions. Be confident. Don’t let people deter you. Especially when it’s something that near and dear to you,” said Rogers. He said he has no regrets about how it all played out though. In fact, he said if given the chance to do it all over again, he would have picked up a pen a lot a sooner. He said he would have also put a lot more into marketing and promoting that first book. Rogers said seeking a mentor is another thing he would have done differently. “Mentorship allows you to easily assimilate into that life to guide you through the pitfalls. I’d be even more successful,” he said. Perhaps a mentor could have been helpful to him during the two-year period in which he didn’t do any writing. He said he had trouble focusing until one day a story just hit him and he began writing again. “Once I get into a groove, the stories just flow from there,” he said.
Keys to Success. Rogers admits writing isn’t easy. “You have to keep someone engaged for two-, three-, four-hundred pages. Creating good characters… you have to take readers on a vacation and keep them engaged,” he said. Throughout his 20-year career, Rogers identifies four keys to success: Staying focused, sticking within the parameters of your game plan until you reach your goal, staying connected and networking using social media and not being ashamed to ask for help.
Bringing new stories to life. Rogers is working on his next book Limitation of Life, due out early 2021. It’s a young black man’s guide to understanding how they should carry themselves in the world socially. In addition to being an author, Rogers also produces projects for television. He is working on developing a television series that explores a historical view of African American life in Los Angeles. To get that project off the ground, Rogers needs money to put it simply. “The people who keep making money are the people who have money. When it comes down to anything, you’re going to need money. Even the people who back you with money want to generate money in return,” he explained.
Whether it’s through television or books, Rogers is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. “I feel like I have something to say. That’s what I people to hear,” he said.
You can purchase your copy of Black States of America- Real Black Power on Amazon.