Welcome to my new books website! I hope you recognized the powerful expressions, sayings, and logos on the Home page, words that I often heard and read over many years while growing up and, moreover, represent valuable and timeless lessons in life.
Going back many, many years, I’ve always enjoyed words, the power that comes with them, and the freedom of expression, as well as the long line of successful African-American authors, poets, journalists, and historians.
In fact, one of my favorite pastimes used to be driving to the nearest Borders bookstore, hanging out in the ‘Black Authors’ and ‘Biography’ sections, skimming through the latest books, and walking out with four or five new books to add to my personal library. I’ve always taken great pride in my library of hardcover (and paperback) books, nowadays a rarity with the advent and popularity of e-books.
And even though I’m a math person (math whiz!) at heart, I’ve always enjoyed writing as well. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a stickler when it came to spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, etc., and took pride in my ability to diagram sentences (e.g., subject, verb, direct object), similar to math equations, or so I thought. So much so that my 9th or 10th grade teacher often called on me to go to the blackboard and illustrate in front of the whole class!
Not sure if there’s any connection (e.g., sentence structure, form, patterns, tenses, etc.), but my second favorite subject in high school surprisingly was French, not Physics, including AP French in my senior year.
Ironically, two of the reasons that I’ve always enjoyed writing are perhaps my subconscious battle against the long-held beliefs, stereotypes, and assumptions that: (a) Black people can’t write, and (b) engineers can’t write! I always wanted to prove them wrong! I recall more than a few office visits with my Humanities professors in college trying to find specific reasons for my lower than expected grades on written papers. Humanities courses are English-type course requirements for engineering students. Seemed that no matter how hard I tried, I could not get above a ‘B’ in those classes (B, C, C, C-). I knew full well that my writing skills were very good back then.
Of course, Humanities course work is graded subjectively, whereas other engineering courses are graded objectively. That is, either my math-derived solution using well- established formulas and algorithms is right or wrong – I know it, you know it, the teacher knows it, and the text book knows it, period! I can accept that. Not the case with Humanities. I’m sure this was one of the attractions for my choosing electrical engineering as a major and career. And during my engineering career, I did lots of writing of formal engineering, technical, and managerial documents.
Now that I’m retired, I have much more time to spend writing about things that really interest me. I’ve also included on this website two relevant presentations (videos) that I developed for: (a) workplace Black History Month program, and (b) college dormitory Black student reunion (‘Ambatana’).
I hope that you enjoy my current offerings. My next effort will be to write the script for a stage play. Stay tuned!
Kenneth A. Cobb