The Coffee Will Make You Black Reading Group's On-line Chat Transcript for Our November 2001 Selection

 

Raising Fences: A Black Man's Love Story
(click to buy book Online)

by Michael Datcher

Format: Hardcover, 336pp.
ISBN: 1573221716
Publisher: The Putnam Publishing Group, Riverhead Books
Pub. Date:
February  2001

Chat Held 
December 5th, 2001 9:00 PM EST

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Wed 6:00pm PDT
yvette

Hi, are we discussing Raising Fences tonight?

Wed 6:01pm PDT
Thumper

Hello yvette. How are you doing this evening? Yes, we're discussing Raising Fences.

Wed 6:02pm PDT
yvette

Good. I'm in the right place.

Wed 6:02pm PDT
yvette

How is everyone?

Wed 6:02pm PDT
Thumper

Yep, you're in the right place. How did you like Raising Fences?

Wed 6:02pm PDT
Thumper

It's just me, so far.

Wed 6:03pm PDT
yvette

I liked it. I'd rate it a 3-1/2-4 stars out of 5.

Wed 6:03pm PDT
Thumper

I like it alot myself.

Wed 6:04pm PDT
Thumper

It certainly wasn't what I expect it to be.

Wed 6:04pm PDT
yvette

Quite an interesting book on the life of someone who had to cross so many hurdles.

Wed 6:04pm PDT
yvette

What did you expect it to be.

Wed 6:05pm PDT
Thumper

I don't quite know. I didn't expect that it would be a biography. And Datcher got so deep with it, at times I felt that I shouldn't be reading it, because it was so personal.

Wed 6:06pm PDT
yvette

Yes, I kind of felt the same way. In some instances, almost a little too much detail.

Wed 6:07pm PDT
yvette

Although, I did know that it was a biography.

Wed 6:08pm PDT
Thumper

As he described his journey through manhood, i felt so connected, because i recall my own. Although I didn't go through the same identical thing, it was close enough

Wed 6:10pm PDT
Thumper

He first got me when he talked about the dreams of family he had when he was a kid, about the house and the children he would have, I use to have the same dream. I didn't say anything about it though because boys weren't suppose to dream dreams like that.

Wed 6:10pm PDT
yvette

I hear you. I did find myself just imagining that he probably told the story of many men.

Wed 6:11pm PDT
Thumper

More than some people know. I didn't have to deal with a Camille though. I would have ended up in jail for murder.

Wed 6:11pm PDT
yvette

It's nice to hear that men dream about things like that. Because it is somewhat of a given that women are supposed to be the ones thinking about that kind of stuff.

Wed 6:11pm PDT
Kimmest

Hey everybody!

Wed 6:12pm PDT
yvette

Hi Kimmest.

Wed 6:12pm PDT
Thumper

KIMMEST, KIMMEST IS THAT YOUUU? *LOL*

Wed 6:13pm PDT
Kimmest

Yes hon, 'tis moi

Wed 6:13pm PDT
Thumper

How are you doing this evening/

Wed 6:13pm PDT
yvette

Thumper, it is so nice to know that you didn't have to deal with someone like Camille. We might not be having the pleasure of your input on all of these books.

Wed 6:13pm PDT
Kimmest

I think I must be doing something wrong, I can't see my posts right away

Wed 6:13pm PDT
Kimmest

Danggone AOL

Wed 6:14pm PDT
Kimmest

Camille was a mess, wasn't she?

Wed 6:15pm PDT
yvette

Yes, she was.

Wed 6:15pm PDT
Thumper

Kimmest, there will be a pause. The software is programmed to automatically reload or refresh itself. If it's not moving fast enough for you click the right button on your mouse and choose the Refresh or Reload function.

Wed 6:15pm PDT
Kimmest

I know there are women like that out here but gracious

Wed 6:16pm PDT
Thumper

Camille knew what she was doing? But I think that she saw Michael as a way to escape from that cramp nasty apartment

Wed 6:16pm PDT
yvette

In my opinion, she would have been nasty even if he had moved her out of there.

Wed 6:16pm PDT
Kimmest

Thanks for that tip, Thump

Wed 6:17pm PDT
Thumper

Kimmest: Sure, no problems

Wed 6:17pm PDT
Thumper

yvette: She would have been hell on wheels. She would have made him miserable.

Wed 6:17pm PDT
Kimmest

But how she went from "no one wants to have any kids" to "I guess I must have miss a pill" just baffles the mind

Wed 6:17pm PDT
yvette

I think so too.

Wed 6:18pm PDT
Thumper

Naw, she knew what she was doing when she wanted to go bareback.

Wed 6:19pm PDT
yvette

She knew exactly what she was doing. She just couldn't stay monogamous so she could pen in on the right guy.

Wed 6:19pm PDT
Thumper

Then she went with that hoping and wishing paternity test.

Wed 6:19pm PDT
Kimmest

but he fell for it

Wed 6:20pm PDT
Thumper

She used his past, his adoption, and his desire to having a family against him.

Wed 6:20pm PDT
Kimmest

so even w/ her knowing what her plan was, w/ him being so admant about not having kids before he met the woman he loved, I felt like he could have been more responsible

Wed 6:20pm PDT
yvette

Yes, he did. He should have done a better job of protecting himself from the hurt of bringing an unwanted child into the world and std.

Wed 6:21pm PDT
Thumper

Well, he was weak.

Wed 6:22pm PDT
yvette

But it the story of so many people's lives. Isn't it. Just this once without the raincoat. Then, oops.

Wed 6:22pm PDT
Kimmest

precisely

Wed 6:22pm PDT
Thumper

exactly. But on the other hand, I get so sick of that "she trapped me into this".

Wed 6:23pm PDT
yvette

No traps. I don't think she held a gun to his head once.

Wed 6:23pm PDT
Thumper

Trapped you?/ But you ain't worth nothin', ain't got a job, no money, live at your mama's house, what is about you that's worth trappin, I want to say.

Wed 6:24pm PDT
Kimmest

that's an excuse people make when they aren't willing to admit that they were foolish or just plain stupid about something

Wed 6:24pm PDT
Thumper

What about his Church of Christ period?

Wed 6:25pm PDT
Kimmest

and how he dealt with it, the liquor sabbatical and all, it was a lil messed up

Wed 6:25pm PDT
Thumper

Yeah, but then to come to love the baby to discover that it's not his! i would've killed her.

Wed 6:26pm PDT
yvette

I think he was a bit brainwashed. Dropping his friends was unnecessary. Wasn't like they were the worst influence in the world.

Wed 6:26pm PDT
Kimmest

I found that part kind of disturbing

Wed 6:27pm PDT
Thumper

No, it wasn't necessary to drop his friends, but he was looking to fill a hole in his soul and he thought that church would do it. Kimmest, what did you find disturbing about it?

Wed 6:27pm PDT
Kimmest

b/c even if u believe that God is the only Father u will ever need, God wouldn't require u to drop all your friends

Wed 6:28pm PDT
Kimmest

I think that was his initial thing, to fill up that part of himself that was fatherless, with Our Father

Wed 6:28pm PDT
Thumper

No, He wouldn't.

Wed 6:29pm PDT
Kimmest

And I think once he really got fanatical about it, he was trying to convince himself that he was doing the right thing

Wed 6:29pm PDT
Thumper

Tell the truth, didn't you all get a little misty when he propsed to Jenoyne? Come on now.

Wed 6:29pm PDT
yvette

Just a little.

Wed 6:30pm PDT
Thumper

Well, I did. I got misty, I ain't ashamed to say it. Now that was romantic! I could marry him myself.

Wed 6:31pm PDT
Thumper

LOL

Wed 6:31pm PDT
Kimmest

That was so adorable, I got a twinge in my stomach, like someone was proposing to me... go figure *lol*

Wed 6:31pm PDT
yvette

LOL

Wed 6:32pm PDT
Kimmest

his poem was so deep, but I found myself wanting it to get to the good part, i.e. when SHE figured out he was proposing

Wed 6:33pm PDT
Thumper

Yeah, yeah, and then when she was crying and he was crying...I don't know how he finished that poem, cause it was long sucka.

Wed 6:33pm PDT
Kimmest

I wanted to skip the poem and go then go back after he got the ring out, but I was scared I would miss some nuances

Wed 6:33pm PDT
Kimmest

u know what I'm saying? lol

Wed 6:33pm PDT
yvette

Yeah, really

Wed 6:34pm PDT
Thumper

yeah, I know what you're saying.

Wed 6:34pm PDT
Thumper

I was scared that he was going to drop the ring.

Wed 6:34pm PDT
Kimmest

I bet it was hot in there, too, w/ all those people who showed up to witness it

Wed 6:34pm PDT
Kimmest

lol

Wed 6:34pm PDT
Thumper

lol

Wed 6:35pm PDT
Thumper

I know he was sweatin', and he neve did say whether he was stuttering or not?

Wed 6:35pm PDT
Kimmest

I thought their vows were great too

Wed 6:35pm PDT
Thumper

That's it, I'm going to ask for the videotape. I gots to see it for myself. LOL

Wed 6:35pm PDT
yvette

So you guys don't think she had the slightest clue that she was getting a proposal?

Wed 6:36pm PDT
yvette

He never really addressed whether his stuttering continues to be a problem. Are did he?

Wed 6:36pm PDT
Thumper

I don't believe she did. I hope she didn't. That would definitely spoil the moment for me.

Wed 6:36pm PDT
Kimmest

I don't think he did, I know he said something about trembling, but I don't remember stuttering

Wed 6:36pm PDT
Thumper

No, I don't think he did.

Wed 6:37pm PDT
Kimmest

I think I would have bust out laughing on the train if I had read that he reverted to stuttering during his big moment

Wed 6:37pm PDT
yvette

Poor guy. I don't think I could have laughed about that.

Wed 6:38pm PDT
Thumper

I almost thought he lost her when he told her that his other girlfriends had more flava. I said, oh shoot, you're in for it now.

Wed 6:38pm PDT
yvette

Really. You just don't tell a sistah that your other ladies got more flava.

Wed 6:39pm PDT
Thumper

Especially after the last one done sent you through hell and back over a baby that's not yours.

Wed 6:39pm PDT
Kimmest

One of the millions of people who spoke b4 they thought

Wed 6:39pm PDT
yvette

You can say that again.

Wed 6:39pm PDT
Kimmest

but I agree, that was a bad move on his part

Wed 6:39pm PDT
Thumper

LOL

Wed 6:40pm PDT
Kimmest

did they pray after that argument?

Wed 6:40pm PDT
Thumper

I loved it when she stopped the car and told him that she was sick of him and wasn't going to put up with it anymore and to get out of her car. LOL jenoyn...my hero.

Wed 6:40pm PDT
yvette

I think so.

Wed 6:41pm PDT
Kimmest

yep they sure did... I thought that was outstanding

Wed 6:41pm PDT
yvette

That was one of the better passages.

Wed 6:41pm PDT
Thumper

yeah, they did. that was nice. If he had blown it with her I would have tracked him down and kicked his butt myself

Wed 6:42pm PDT
Thumper

How come I feel like I'm talking about him behind his back. *big smile8

Wed 6:42pm PDT
Kimmest

It shows a lot of growth, I mean, before when he got himself into that mess w/ Camille he decided to have a liquor fast, this time he asked God to repair it

Wed 6:42pm PDT
Kimmest

I like that in him

Wed 6:43pm PDT
yvette

He did grow a lot.

Wed 6:43pm PDT
Kimmest

I know, it does feel slightly gossipy, lol

Wed 6:44pm PDT
Thumper

LOL it does.

Wed 6:44pm PDT
Thumper

Kimmest: is Raising Fences what you expected it would be?

Wed 6:46pm PDT
Kimmest

do u think that early sexual experience w/ the neighbor had an effect on him as far as the way he went into relationships

Wed 6:46pm PDT
Kimmest

No, actually it wasn't

Wed 6:47pm PDT
Thumper

I can't say. He never gave that much information about his sex life directly after that encounter.

Wed 6:47pm PDT
yvette

Possibly.

Wed 6:47pm PDT
Kimmest

But that might just be b/c of the way it's laid out in the book...

Wed 6:47pm PDT
Thumper

That's true.

Wed 6:48pm PDT
Thumper

When I read it, I felt for him.

Wed 6:48pm PDT
Kimmest

I never got a real continuity of how he changed his views on love, w/ it going back and forth that way

Wed 6:49pm PDT
Kimmest

and like u said, he didn't sya much about his sex life after the first encounter

Wed 6:49pm PDT
Kimmest

I remember him saying that he ws promiscuous after quitting the church

Wed 6:50pm PDT
Thumper

yeah, that's how he ran into your girl Camille

Wed 6:50pm PDT
yvette

Yeah, he seemed to have gone "buck wild" after that period of abstinence.

Wed 6:50pm PDT
Thumper

I seem to remember him saying that he was gun shy after the Camille episode, hence the reason why he was moving slow in talking to Jenoyne

Wed 6:51pm PDT
Kimmest

my girl, *lmao* , oh yeah, now it's MY girl

Wed 6:51pm PDT
Thumper

LOL

Wed 6:51pm PDT
Kimmest

ok

Wed 6:52pm PDT
Thumper

I wonder how he's going to follow up after Raising fences. Since now everybody knows his business.

Wed 6:52pm PDT
yvette

Really. He did open himself up quite a bit.

Wed 6:53pm PDT
Kimmest

and other than not growing up w/ a father, I don't he explored much about how viewed love in his childhood

Wed 6:53pm PDT
yvette

Did you get the impression that he really likes oral sex?

Wed 6:53pm PDT
Thumper

Yvette: who don't/

Wed 6:54pm PDT
Kimmest

lol - I don't remember

Wed 6:54pm PDT
yvette

LOL

Wed 6:54pm PDT
Thumper

LOL

Wed 6:54pm PDT
Kimmest

I heard that Thump, lol

Wed 6:54pm PDT
Thumper

have you all read Resurrecting Mingus?

Wed 6:55pm PDT
Kimmest

I haven't

Wed 6:55pm PDT
yvette

No, I haven't. I got pretty good reviews on Amazon.

Wed 6:56pm PDT
Kimmest

author?

Wed 6:56pm PDT
Thumper

I haven't either. I was wondering. I haven't seen anyone mention it on the discussion board.

Wed 6:56pm PDT
Thumper

Jenyone Adams, Michael's wife. I think I spelt her name right. If I didn't, my apologies.

Wed 6:57pm PDT
Kimmest

But we've heard about that other "Great Book" lol

Wed 6:57pm PDT
Thumper

LOL Sure we did by three of the same person. LOL

Wed 6:57pm PDT
Kimmest

I might have to check that one out, see the work of the other half of this couple

Wed 6:59pm PDT
Thumper

Well, I'm glad you ladies came to talk to me. Carey done abandoned me. Next month's book is Where I'm Bound. It's a man book! Guns and shootin' and stuff. *big smile*

Wed 6:59pm PDT
Kimmest

I'm reading Invisible Man now, it's not lending itself to me reading a lot of other books

Wed 6:59pm PDT
Kimmest

yeah, where's he?

Wed 7:00pm PDT
yvette

I'm gonna try to get Where I'm Bound read before next month.

Wed 7:00pm PDT
Thumper

How are you liking it? I have no idea where my old grayhead is/ Probably sleep.

Wed 7:00pm PDT
Kimmest

I expected more men to read this book I think, since it was something men are supposed to be able to relate to

Wed 7:01pm PDT
Thumper

I would think that more women would enjoy the book because it's something different.

Wed 7:01pm PDT
Kimmest

I think it's crazy so far, I just started reading it, so I'm just past the melee and his speech afterwards (if you're familiar w/ it)

Wed 7:01pm PDT
yvette

That's true.

Wed 7:02pm PDT
Kimmest

I think it was good to read b/c it gives a man's perspective on drama and falling in love

Wed 7:02pm PDT
Thumper

Kimmest: the boxing match at the beginning of the book where the white men have taken bets?

Wed 7:03pm PDT
Kimmest

Thumper: yep

Wed 7:03pm PDT
Thumper

OK, I know where you are.

Wed 7:04pm PDT
Thumper

Well ladies, thanks again for coming. The hour is up. I'll see you all next month, after the beginning of the new year.

Wed 7:04pm PDT
Kimmest

what I liked about the Raising Fences overall is that he was quite open and put a lot of himself out there as a testament to his journey to finding his true love

Wed 7:05pm PDT
Kimmest

this was fun, glad I could make it!

Wed 7:05pm PDT
Thumper

me too!

Wed 7:05pm PDT
Thumper

Good night

Wed 7:05pm PDT
yvette

I'm gonna sign out guys. It was fun discussing this book with you. Gotta go get dinner. I'm in Alaska.

Wed 7:05pm PDT
Thumper

[has very little to add...]
[has logged off the chat room]

Wed 7:06pm PDT
Kimmest

okay, goodnight all!

Wed 7:06pm PDT
yvette

goodnight

Wed 7:06pm PDT
Kimmest

[has very little to add...]
[has logged off the chat room]