BOOK CORNER: Enlightening poetry book puts spotlight on saying of the elders By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

“Afro Blues from Heaven,” by Paul Manning Jr., is a new book of poetry created to enlighten and excite the world during these difficult times. The book is made up of 65 poems that chronicle stories from the author’s life.

Manning was born in 1940 and the poems capture experiences he witnessed from then until present day.

“As a child born and raised in the South, I had a habit of listening to those deep dark sayings of the elders,” Manning said. “Most of the time I didn’t understand the meaning of their sayings, but deep down inside I knew that it was a wisdom and knowledge and I would benefit from.”

It took several years for the author to be ready to share the teachings with others through his book.

“After completing my formal education, getting married and raising a family, I would think back to those early days, and began writing songs and poems,” Manning said. “The saying of the elders came back around ‘what goes around comes around’ and after many, many, many years, ‘Afro Blues from Heaven’ is ready for the world to hear.”

Manning said he hopes readers of his book feel a sense of pride, self-respect and self-determination. 

“This book will appeal to those going through hard times in their lives,” he added. “These poems lend a voice to all those who feel oppressed, abused, or neglected … and will hopefully give hope to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and to keep going in life.”

“Aro Blues from Heaven” is intended for a wide audience, especially Black men and women, and should prove to be moving for readers.

“This book appeals to the poor and oppressed as well as the oppressors,” Manning said. “Why? This book will mature the oppressed to fight harder for their rights and on the other hand it will bring attention to the oppressed concerning the things that are wrong, unhealthy and ungodly.”

In addition to being an author, Manning is a retired senior labor relations consultant for the California State Department of Industrial Relations. He is based in Inglewood and Carson. 

For more information about the author, his work, and to stay up to date on book signings, visit

“Afro Blues from Heaven” is available for $13.99 on Amazon, Xlibris, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, and more online bookselling sites.