tv [untitled] December 24, 2010 7:30am-8:00am PST
writings in subtle ways, not overt, in subtle ways you can see those books and the influence that they have on my writing. daddy james would tell store reus about little girls named sara and pat and little boy named nollin and one he told in particular was one of my favorites. the 3 kids had a chore for the grandmother. take a basket of eggs to a neighbor's house. along the way they were confronted by a wolf, bear, snake, and fox. is they tricked that fox, and the bear and got them to the woods.
it is a long, long summer and i don't have a contract, i said, maybe i'll try to write something, never written a picture book before. i sat at the word processor, i'll write my grandfather books. all 16 pages. it is usually 6 to 7 pages long. i sent it to my editor anne swarts. she was at thow publishing books. at the time she was at dial. she was right out of college and a reader. she wrote my manuscripts.
she said it has possibility. there is a story in there but way too much going on. you have 3 kids, a grandmother, a grandfather, you got a bear, a snake, a wolf, and fox. a dog, cat, and a neighbor, way too much going on. if you'd like to rewrite it and shorten it some what and i'd be glad to look at it again. but that is not my grandfather's story. i can't do that. i thought i don't have a contract. i said i'll get rid of my brother and sister. [laughter]. and i'll keep myself.
and i'll get rid of the wolf, bear, and snake and keep the fox because i like his voice. i dare say a little girl like you should be simply terrified of me. whatever do they teach children in school these days? whatever you are, you sure think of heap of yourself as she skipped away from the fox leaving him to prove that he really was who he said he was. before long she came to a tree there were flowers and she picked wild flowers, this fox fled up beside her. prepare to be frightened. i am a fox because i have 6
luxurious furs. he leaned over for me to stoke his back. it is soft. it feels just like rabbit's fur. you are not a fox, you are a rabbit all the time trying to fool me. did you hear her call me a rabbit? a mere bunny. i have you know young lady, i am a fox of rare breed. i am rated some of the finest hen houses from franklin to madison. i am a fox and you'll act accordingly. she put her hands on her hip and said [inaudible] she skipped away leaving the fox dumbfounded. got all the way through the woods tricking that fox.
he had been reduced to sniffling and crying. he was a pitiful mess. give me once last chance i am certain i can prove it. about that time [inaudible] came through the woods. you can see it a little ways in the distance. fox didn't notice a thing. he was begging to be believed. wait, wait here it is. i am a fox, he said yes, yes. sometimes he could run. it doesn't matter what i think anymore. it doesn't matter anymore. you have sharp teeth and can run fast.
by the way he is looking all over for you. if fox dashed towards the woods, not to worry, the hound dog knows who i am. i have been out running that old miserable mutt for years like i told you i am a fox. i know. i know. she turned toward ms. viola's with a basket of eggs. i rewrote it and sent it back and it was 7 pages long. that was the beginning of our relationship. we have done many picture books together. i did randy and brother wind which was one of jerry
[inaudible] honor books. i have done my dearest apron. the latest one is [inaudible] the women of [inaudible] bend. these are about the women that made those wonderful quilts all over the world. alabama, the poorest county in the depression. the women made these quilts because they needed to keep her children warm and would stack them to make a mattress. they covered the tables with them, they used them for their children to crawl on when they would go outside and have
picnics. they used the quilts for everything, small ones and large ones. now today, those quilts are going for 25,000 and more. it was my pleasure to go to g's bend and had the opportunity to quilt with them. my next picture book, i will share this with you and it is called never gotten. i would like to share it because this is something that had been in the process for about 20 years. i have been asking every west african that i have met, did you miss us? what i meant by that was are
there stories in your culture that talk about the ones who were taken away? did you tell stories? did you sing songs, poetry, any remnant of anything i could use to tell a story that comes from that side over the year where you looked and longed for us the way we looked and longed? in all those years, i did not find one story, didn't find one song. i am sure they are there, but i was unable to find them. i said okay, instead of whining and wondering, i'll do it myself. it is reason in free verse and about black smith, west african
black smith. they were thought to be magicians. 1725, oh molly in the west africa. the drums -- be ware of sea birds, be ware of men that steal up the river through the great forest. and into the savannah lands. the moans and groans, hundreds, thousands stolen, we rarely speak the taken, i will this time because you have asked. come back, back, back, far edge of memory. we recall them and they are
black smith, by all accounts a master craftsman, worthy of praise, honored as a powerful magician. one who could speak the old names of the mother elements, earth, fire, water, wind. they would do as bidding, think. people sing praise songs. he was a gifted black smith. he is not remembered for that. he is best remembered for being a loving father. when his beloved wife died only after a year and embraced his newborn son, i will raise you myself. the elder women with argued against it saying you'll grow up wild without a gentle hand
of a mother, a gentle hand to guide him. must divide by custom, take another wife or give the baby to a mother who is childless. how will you feed the baby? you have no milk to give. dinka would not change his mind. the tortoise doesn't have milk to give but knows how to take care of its young. shamelessly he tied the baby on his back like a woman and headed for his forge at the place where 7 generations of his clan had once stood. he set his feet firmly on the ground and called to earth,
takoma, thank you for yielding up the ore from your underground storehouse of treasure. he lit the fire in his porch and called to fire, tokumbi thank you for making the ore plyable for i might shape it. thank you for setting the iron and making it strong. dinka fanned the bellows and the fire rows began and called to win, thank you for revising fire and keeping my brow cooled in the heat of the day and lifting his arms in praise, dinka cried come now elders
behold my beloved son. mother earth appears first ageless and forever beautiful, she kissed the baby and spoke softly, see how he grabs my finger. already strong like my mountain son. i a woman leaped into the air and swirled majestically in a flaming red. it is a sign he will be an inspired leader inspiring and courageous. she blew the child a warm kiss that made him cool. sang to the child in old lull hra byes. a boy has come and laughter has come. a son has come and beauty has come.
then the child gurgled and replied even now i can hear the music in his voice. suddenly wind spirits swished in turning and made the baby happily, we'll dance through the tall grass as you and i forever free. he is taken, he is taken aboard the ship and the elements go out and look for him and they do find him in, win finds him in south carolina in charleston, earth went looking for him. after earth fire, she could not get passed the fire. water follow it had ship and wind was able to go across and
follow and find him. it was after many years that wind was able to find him. i'll read that last part. [inaudible] all living in the americas, i saw the taken shackled to the land from sun up to sun down working tobacco, sugar cane and rice. i listen to them tell stories different but strangely familiar. now prayer rabbit. i stopped by kitchens and watched our women with cook yams, rice, oh kra and beans. our children had not forgotten.
and i rejoice, led by the sound of a black smith's hammer, i travel to charleston, south carolina, john shannon, black smith. a large european with red hair, comfortable. they were apprentices to all africans new and old, familiar yet fresh. i have sold another of your beautiful gape with the rice design, how did you learn to craft so well? a young man stepped into the light. i learned by reaching back with one hand and stretching forward with the other he said. people said you are a genius.
my father dinka was the genius replied the apprentice. he taught me what 7 generations have learned, i am the 8th. i had bound [inaudible] who answers to moses shannon. both mean safe water. he seems more confident now, wiser. playful mostafa. i had so much to tell him, he could not see me. he could not see me or hear me in this strange land. he touched the spotting smiles.
i have um... thank you and peace be with you. there's three mike's here so i don't know if i should put this down. um... before i start, i've had the great honor to - i love to talk at schools. k through graduate school and one question i ask children in america is i ask them how many of you have talked great detail to your grandparents or elders or fore father's about world war ii or the depression or vietnam or civil rights movement, or perhaps if your parents or grandparents came from another country and settled here what it's like. only five to ten percent of the ands come up. if i asked that same question in afghanistan or pakistan or
africa 90% of ands come up and i think the as great tragedy we've lost that oral tradition and a rich tradition about folklore and heritage and faith and heritage. to honor that today i'd like to share with you a little story. it's a hard cover book that came out in march of 2006. anybody have a hard cover. wave it up here. you might not want it after i say this. i got to pick the title. three cups of tea but viking told me they would pick the subtitle and they picked one man mission to fight terrorism one school at a time. i objected because obviously there's- ways to fight tear riz m with education but i said i do this to promote peace and i started 8 years before 911 and this is about promoting peace
through education. i've worked afghanistan and pakistan many years and i said we need to have a tribal council. i went to manhattan in the fall of 2005 and the big boss of the whole group, nancy shepherd and carlin coburn in publicity. we met in a little room and i stated my case and they said, this is your first book so you need to listen to a few things here. first of all only 12 percent of nonfiction books make a profit and 2/3 are pre chosen by the publisher. we'd like to put our marketing arm behind us but your having to fight tear riz m to this. since i grew up in africa and worked pakistan for many years you never settle a deal without
driving a hard bargain so i said if the hard cover doesn't do well, i'd like the subtitle changed later on for the paper back. julia and our other board relently pounded away month after month. i was in pakistan of december of 2006 and there was a new editor on the book and they said they decided to change the title to one man's mission to promote peace. the hard cover didn't do that well. sold 20,000 copies. while the paper back came out on january 30th of this year and since out it's been on the new york times best seller selling over 700,000 copies now. and it's one man's mission to promote peace. and they're still baffleed manhattan because they're scratching their heads the first
month because there's only - well no big city book editor did it so to be a best seller you need new york times or the chronicle or boston globes to give you good book reviews. no national t.v. or, m pr so paul said what's going on out there. i said, you know this is what i think it's about book clubs and women's groups, synagogues, mosques and churches and an incredible amount of book clubs here in the bay view area and about people yearning for piece and looking for the answers of peace. any ways it's been really incredible and aspire together see people from all walks of life i really think can re late to promoting peace one child at a time. we got some news last month that the pentagon purchased 5,000
copies. let me finish it. and it's for counter intelligence training, 101 and mandatory reading for they're course encounter intelligence. this is in tan sa any a. i went there when i was three years old and my father founded a medical center and my mother started a school. it was a wonderful childhood. i went to school with children from two dozen countries. with jews and christians and hindus and for me that was the way the world was. finally it came time to come back to america. i was in high school and really looking forward to coming back to a place whether i heard about fourth of jewels lies anulies .
i got beat up. they said you're not from america. it wasn't in africa that i learned about racism but here in united states. we were completely broke and i did something real unpopular at the time. four days after high school i joind the united states army. not only to serve my country but to get the,gi bill to continue my education. then i saw young men and women from all across america. from farms and ranches and it matedm made me realize the strength in this country is not from commonality but our great diversity. i had a younger sister named
gift of god and christa was a special girl because she suffered from severe epilepsy. she never once complained. she never said across word and it could or would take her an hour or two to line um... up her clothes and do our homework and get her lunch b bag ready. i'm the five minutes bed to - bus kind of guy, you know? well krista saw the baseball movie called field of dreams. very inspiring movie that takes place in the corn field in iowa and decided for her 23rd birthday she wanted to go see that place. she was living in minneapolis and packed her bags to go to the field of dreams. when my mother went to wake her up on july 24th 1992 she had
died in her sleep from a massive seizure and it was devastating for all of us. i was climbing quite a bit and roaming around quite a bit and every summer i would take a month and do something with her. every year we could go to disneyland and i took her to yosemite. it was very special to do that with my sister. at the time i was climbing a lot, i thought i'm going to pick a big bad mountain to climb in honor of krista. she had an amber necklace she got on the indian ocean coast and i was going to take that and put it on top of,k 2. when i went to,k 2 to climb a mountain and instead a found affair greater mountain to climb. here's the world's second highest mountain. you can