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By Juanita Bratcher


Several years ago, a writer aquaintance wrote a fictional novel about the first African-American being elected president of the United States of America. Surely, when writing this book, never in his wildest imagination did he foresee it happening so quickly – but at least he creatively concocted the idea in his mind and put it onto paper (his book).

Herman Cromwell Gilbert, author of “The Negotiations: A Novel of Tomorrow,” released the book in May 1983. Gilbert has since died, and long before Barack Obama was sworn-in as President of the United States.

So even though one can say Gilbert’s thinking was way before its time - the possibility of a Black becoming president – he was not around to see his creativeness become reality. 

For those who read his book, perhaps he took them on a “what if” fantasy ride with his thoughts. And I’m sure that some of those readers wished and dreamed along with him while others probably looked at it as pure cockermania. However, whatever images they had in mind while reading the book – whether they looked at it as fantasy or fiction – they can now look at the book as a creation in Gilbert’s mind that somehow found itself in the true annals of history.

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