BABY MOSES:John Cowlin
Creating a world that is one color will satisfy some and anger and ire most others. What right does it give two white men to go into a Black Church and rob the congregants while in prayer? What right do they have to demean, insult and sling racial slurs because one of then owes 19 dollars to someone else in order to pay back money lost in a card game and be installed in the game once more? What right does anyone have to discriminate against another? This novel is told during a time period in the South when Negros could not sit anywhere in a bus, where they were beaten for no reason other than the color of their skin and where two white men decided to go on a criminal spree to rob black churches of their collection boxes, take prisoners and care less about the consequences thinking they were immune to the law?
Moses is on a bus traveling when someone accuses him of insulting his girlfriend. Not answering, responding or making any gestures of any kind the bus driver brilliantly and tactfully handles the situation making sure that those that are creating the scene are no longer traveling on the bus and things he hopes go back to being calm and peaceful.
When the Sheriff and his Deputy are asked to listen to someone that was in one of the churches when a robbery happens at first he discounts it all until he cannot.
The string of robberies went into five black churches and the Sheriff instructed his deputy to stay out of it or lose his job. Not realizing there were five and that Deputy Boone was just investigating and questioning witnesses and a possible suspect, brought him to realize that maybe he needed to do more but will he? Instead he sent him to deal with ornaments stolen at a local car dealer.
Moses was honest and caring and wanted to help find whoever was doing this, but first Granny Clio need him to attend to her before she passed. Taking care of her and watching her lose the battle with life was hard for him and how he honors her memory will endear you to him even more.
Told in the vernacular of the time and the scenes vividly depicted you can hear the voices of each character, feel their emotional strain and realize that some actually think that they can take whatever they want from a black man or in this case their church. Lives were at stake, some lost and no one seemed to want to deal with it or stop it. Except Moses.
Harve and Enos think they are above the law and that they as white men can take what they want. Enos lost more to Jack and at the game with the guys from the VFW but that did not faze him. Thinking he could make his own rules he and Harve, will they rob some more? Work is out of the question and he was working on another plan, but will anyone finally stop him?
Moses walked 3 miles to a small restaurant and asked to be allowed to work for free for one day which stretched to much more. Ms Em was the owner and for some reason wanted him to stay.
Racial tensions, prejudice, bold dialogue and the life of the black population is told in such a way that anyone that has not studied or researched this time in the South will get a colorful and full picture of what these people went through in the past and some in the present. Moses is a striking character that keeps you glued to the page from start to finish. His goals are solid and clear and his motivation on target.
As the town suffered at the hands of the Klan, people were dead, businesses burned, and no one seemed able to stop them. The Reverend Stokes church and all his belongings were burned, other people suffered at their hand and one man was going to seek retribution and act.
The VFW was the place where this gang was hanging out and the card game would be one they would never forget as one man walked in with his duffel and you won’t believe what he had hidden inside. From a roadside diner that gave him a chance at a job, to Chicken Shack, library books,, hot peppers and a deadly poker game, one man stood tall and was aiming to take action to defend others and most of all learn a secret about his life that he never knew.
The author shares the last moments of someone’s life as this man learns who is father is and his decision how to deal with it after hearing more about his mother. Anger wells up inside and then a phone call is made and the author creates a final scene right out of a Science Fiction/Murder movie filled with graphically depicted pictures that are so well defined you can see the carnage but how will it be dealt with?
After the final murders someone will pay or maybe not as Deputy/now Sheriff Boone wants to understand one simple phrase left at the murder scene: Mad as Hell! Literature is the answer and one poem will explain it all as he goes to Miss Agnes and gets reminded of the true meaning and what happened to the Ancient Mariner: Life in Death aka Hell on Earth or just death! Find out for yourself the true meaning of the ending and understand that sometimes justice is served but not exactly as many of us would expect or think. Moses or Lieutenant Moses Moore shares his history, the men who were under him, the final battles and the hidden truth about one man named the Colonel and another named Catfish. Loyalties are destroyed, lives are taken, justice is hardcore and served, betrayals will not go unpunished and one man named Baby Moses dished it out in a way you won’t believe. : But, mostly as the back cover states: It’s about a man named Moses trying to make things right. A powerful book that teaches that prejudice wont’ hold up, unjust treatment never and taking what’s not yours might teach you more than a hard lesson. You the reader will take the journey from beginning to end and decide how you feel about one powerful character named Moses who you just might admire for his courage, morals and own brand of ethics as he defends and take action against those he feels did wrong. Author John Cowlin leaves the reader with much pause of thought in thought provoking and powerfully depicted story of one man named Moses.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews