Renaissance man Gerald C. Anderson Sr. was know to his church family as a teacher and musician. As Apostle Willie Bruce said, it wasn’t until Mr. Anderson completed his second book that his additional talent was disclosed.
Following his first two novels, “We Come in Peace” and “27 Hours” , Mr. Anderson has begun promoting his third novel, “Standing Firm (One Family’s Fight Against Domestic Violence)”. He held the first release party in his hometown of Tampa, FL, and the second in Oxon Hill, MD. This brave story discusses a topic that is currently a part of the national conversation, domestic violence. Gerald brings up the issue with the positive themes of family, the three main characters are sisters, and the church, they get their start singing gospel together. In addition to the author, cover model/actresses Renata Mikae and Andra Richardson were available for autographs.
The evening was not just a book signing, but also a time to discuss what may be some underlying issues for both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. Pastor Reggie Bruce used the story of Exodus, in which Pharaoh is keeping the people of Israel enslaved, to walk through the means of control used in an abusive relationship to keep the victim from leaving.
Author Leslie Saint-Juilen, “More Than Me” and “Blue Rose”, gave her voice in a powerful poem to speak for the strength and empowerment of women. She emphasized their role as mothers, leaders, and partners in relationships. That there is no partnership when violence or fear is used to coerce your partner and that a person who uses such tactics doesn’t deserve and will not have the strength of the woman she first described.
The evening was empowering not just for those who may have been touched by domestic violence in some way – fathers shared stories of intervening on behalf of their daughters, adult children of seeing their mothers abused – but for everyone to step up and act to end the abuse. Apostle Bruce reminded everyone to help not just those who are victims; those who are committing the crime also need help to change.
Standing Firm is being made into a stage play with future plans to be a film. For more, see the extended version book trailer (thanks to the recent upgrade to Canon 1DX, we could take a couple shots during the screening at 10000 ISO!).
For resources on how to help identify and intervene in domestic violence, visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Gerald emphasizes that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of “Standing Firm” will be donated to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and None Lost Movement to aid victims and survives of domestic violence.