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Florence M Howard

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From Sagging to Success: The Story of Emery Franklin
by Florence M Howard   

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Publisher:  SSCOMM Publishing ISBN-10:  0615597726 Type: 


Copyright:  March 28, 2012 ISBN-13:  9780615597720

From Sagging to Success Book

Based on a series of narrative oil paintings by illustrator Emery Franklin, a young man searches for the secret to success. The book contains biographical notes from and about Emery Franklin.

Does the fashion trend of sagging indicate a sagging mindset? The ancestral and personal history of many African Americans has wandered from slavery to sagging to success. From Sagging to Success is a mixture of storytelling, history and biography. Written by Florence M. Howard, a freelance journalist and former television executive, it is based on a series of oil paintings by fine artist Emery Franklin. Emery's "Crossroads: From Sagging to Success" oil painting series opened in February 2011 at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Public Library in Memphis.

Designed for young people, ages 12 and up, and adults, this book portrays the journey of the main character in several of the paintings. This character known as Derrick finds the secret to success in reading. The books is subtitled, "The Story of Emery Franklin" because each painting is narrative and tells a story. It also gives biographical information about the artist's life, his philosophies, thoughts and his use of positive thinking using the Law of Attraction. There are more than 15 pictures of Emery's painting in the book. Prints for many of these paintings can be found on Emery's website at

Bits of African American history, such as the Civil Rights Movement and the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike, add flavor and depth to scenes reflected in several paintings and to the entire story. Highlights in the book include an original portrait of President Barack Obama by Emery Franklin and bonus section on black inventors.

The world is filled with people who have special talents or gifts. They feel they can be great. They might not know yet how to apply their gift or how to improve it. In some cases, they actually don’t know what their talent really is. But in their hearts and minds, they know they can and will be GREAT. The person may have an impairment or suffered an adversity that affects their self-esteem. Emery Franklin was that person.

Based on recent history, much is made of the fact that the latest wave of sagging came out of prison where inmates are denied belts for their loose-fitting uniforms. Most young people are unaware that prisoners were denied belts and forced to wear loose-fitting uniforms in order to differentiate them, prevent escape and humiliate them. Some inmates were taken advantage of by other inmates because of this practice. Moving back into the general population, this comfortable style made it onto the streets and then onto today’s rap and hip-hop stage.

Professional Reviews

He Sagged to Success
This was a great inspiring, real life story about a young man from the projects who stuttered, so he barely spoke at all. This apparently transcended into his love for drawing what he felt and what he saw. This book is for anyone who has children that need to be motivated to be all they can be inspite of the odds. The art is wonderful!!

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