“Why”, is an epic story, 1838 – 1863, chronicling the lives of two sisters, one white, the other black, both born in 1847, three days apart, on Virginia’s wealthy Rosewood Plantation.
The white sister is the child of Mr. And Mrs. Henry Billings, Master and Mistress of Rosewood, one of the most successful, richest cotton plantations in the state of Virginia.
The black girl is the issue of the mating of Henry Billings, The Master of the Rosewood Plantation, and one of his female black slaves.
While growing up together, one a slave the other her mistress, in the slave holding antebellum South, sharing many childhood experiences, the girls are forced to adhere to the harsh rules, and laws that separate white from black. Henry Billings, Master and Mistress of the plantation, hire a recent college graduate, Miss Eleanor Leary, a young progressive, Irish immigrant, to tutor their children, Rebecca and her brother, Jesse. Despite her fear of breaking the laws that prohibit the teaching of slaves to read and write, Eleanor, at Rebecca’s request, decides to include the black slave girl Mandy in their sessions.
A whole new world is opened for Mandy. Through the teachings and the eyes of the white teacher, Mandy slowly, gradually, discards her insidious, lifelong feelings of racial inferiority, and self-esteem.
“Why” examines three co-existing 19 th century American Cultures. The privileged world of the South’s antebellum slave holding, White Planter Society; The oppressed communities of the black slaves; and the nomadic, hunter-gatherer society of the plains Indians. The turbulent events of this time in American History, results in two sisters finding themselves living in, and experiencing the three cultures, and one sister is forced to choose between her life-long love for her sibling, or the love that develops between herand a Comanche Warrior.
“E. Pluribus Unum= “From Many…One”, is my second novel, and is the sequel to its’ predecessor, my first novel, “Why”.
“E. Pluribus Unum…(From Many, One)” is an epic story (1861-1876) chronicling the lives of two individuals. One a black man, Jason Ruth, born into a life of perpetual slavery; the other, a white woman, Rebecca Billings, the daughter of Henry Billings, Master of the Rosewood Plantation, born into a pampered life of privilege as a member of the Southern aristocracy. Two people—one black, the other white—whose preordained statuses in life were at diametrically opposite ends of the South’s Antebellum society.
Two people with absolutely nothing in common, yet two people whose lives were inexorably linked due to the lust of Rebecca’s father, Henry Billings, for his black slave, Ruth, Jason’s mother. Henry Billings coupling (white master with his black female slave), a common and socially accepted practice in the slave holding South, resulted in the birth of Mandy (Jason and Rebecca’s sister).
While Jason and Rebecca are not related by blood, Jason (who was born before his mother Ruth, caught the eye of the white “Massa”) and Rebecca each shared a deep and enduring love for his and her only surviving sibling, their common link, their sister Mandy. The novel tells of Rebecca’s life while raising her child of mixed-blood in the South during the Civil War and during Reconstruction. It tells of Jason’s life as a member of the Massachusetts 54 th Infantry Division and his service as a member of the United States Army’s 19 th Cavalry (Buffalo Soldiers).
The novel examines three coexisting 19 th century American Cultures: the recently defeated South’s response to the post-Civil War’s era of Reconstruction; the former black slaves who are attempting to adjust to life as freedmen, and the noble nomadic hunter-gatherer society of the Plains Indians fighting to defend and to maintain their way of life.
Marvin was born and raised in Baltimore Maryland, in its’ then, racially segregated-housing projects.
In 1957, three years following the Supreme Court landmark decision, i.e., Brown v. Board of Education, ruling that state laws establishing racial segregation in public schools as being unconstitutional, following his graduation from Cherry Hill Jr. High, at the insistence of his mother and the urging of one of his Jr. High School English teachers, Marvin was enrolled at, and subsequently, graduated from Baltimore’s previously all-white, Southern High School. One of Marvin’s fondest memories of high school was that during his senior year at Southern High, Marvin was chosen for 2 nd Tenor, section leader of what he and his fellow choir members proudly thought of as; “The World Famous, Southern High School Acapella Choir”. After high school, Marvin enlisted and served nearly six years in the U.S. Navy.
While stationed, serving as a Hospital Corpsman at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Saint Albans New York, Marvin met, wooed, and married his beautiful, brilliant wife, Linda. Marvin is a graduate of the United States Navy’s Hospital Corps School; the United States Navy’s School of Medical Technology; Long Island University (C.W. Post College); and the New School University.
His professional career has been spent as a Senior Hospital Administrator in several of New York City and Nassau County’s prestigious teaching Medical Centers.
In 2002, following the 9-11 terrorist attack on New York City, Marvin actively sought, and was subsequently offered, the position of Administrative Officer, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine for the New York and the Brooklyn VA Medical Centers.
Marvin retired from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs at the end of October, 2012. “It was at my wife Linda’s urging (she later confessed …because after my retirement, I was constantly underfoot), that I decided to attempt to write a novel.”