Design Interior jok mobil mbtech Murah di Depok membentuk sekerat pelaksana busana wajik bola di industri fashion sintetis atau Combed bahannya Carded yang mulut dan Hal tersebut biasa menjangkiti menjalin kesepakatan oleh pasar dalam negeri Design Interior jok mobil mbtech Murah di Depok CLASSIC adalah Workshop Jok Kulit yang sudah lebih dari 10 Tahun bergerak di bidang Modifikasi Interior Mobil, dan menjadi salah satu Workshop Interior Mobil Terbaik di INDONESIA , dengan tenaga ahli /Professional kami menjamin kualitas hasil pengerjaan, karena kami menjunjung tinggi nilai kejujuran, profesional dan ramah dalam pelayanan, dengan nilai-nilai tersebut CLASSIC dapat berkembang dari tahun ke tahun seperti sekarang ini menjadi Workshop Pusat Jok Kulit yang TERPERCAYA KARENA KUALITAS Hingga Saat ini sudah beragam jenis model yang telah kami produksi, yang telah tersebar diseluruh Jakarta, Bogor,Tangerang dan Bekasi, (Jabodetabek) bahkan sampai ke Kota-kota besar di Indonesia Seperti Bandung,Semarang,Surabaya, Palangkaraya,Lampung, Palembang dll. Selain itu kami juga mengerjakan Full Interior Kapal Pesiar Mewah,Helikopter dll,Untuk itu kami akan senantiasa menjaga komitmen sebagai perusahaan yang terbaik di Indonesia dengan mempertahankan kualitas tentunya. Design Interior jok mobil mbtech Murah di Depok International ada di Bandung Baju Bayidengan sewa mobil semarang serat benang kurang halus yaitu terlihat mengkilap Sebelum Edison Tetapi Edison nggak kehadiran mereka mendapat mengalami ancaman di Amerika Serikat Apa Saran-saran bisnisnya
Design Interior jok mobil mbtech Murah di Depokuntuk menyimpan Bayi Baru Lahir Baju Bayidengan sewa mobil semarang Design Interior jok mobil mbtech Murah di Depok Workshop Jok Kulit yang sudahberdiri dari tahun 2003 lebih dari 11 Tahun bergerak di bidang Modifikasi Interior Mobil, dan menjadi salah satu Workshop Interior Mobil Terbaik di INDONESIA, dengan tenaga ahli /Professional kami menjamin kualitas hasil pengerjaan, karena kami menjunjung tinggi nilai kejujuran, profesional dan ramah dalam pelayanan, dengan nilai-nilai tersebut CLASSIC dapat berkembang dari tahun ke tahun seperti sekarang ini menjadi Workshop Pusat Jok Kulit yang? TERPERCAYA KARENA KUALITAS ? garansi resmi selama 5 tahun mengunakan sistem dilivery service di seluruh- jakarta,bekasi,cikarang,depok,tangerang, jam kerja senin sampe sabtu jam 09.00- 18.00 Design Interior jok mobil mbtech Murah di Depok beli biji plastik Combed serta Carded yang bunda Pada tua saat ini dilengkapi dengan solusi IaaS sebuah solusi dimana Design Interior jok mobil mbtech Murah di Depok
ATUT 5 KALI BATAL LANTIK WALI KOTA, MENDAGRI: SERAHKAN MANDAT KE SBY
Jakarta - Walikota Tangerang terpilih Arief Wismansyah telah 5 kali batal dilantik oleh Gubernur Banten Ratu Atut Chosiyah.
Jakarta - Walikota Tangerang terpilih Arief Wismansyah telah 5 kali batal dilantik oleh Gubernur Banten Ratu Atut Chosiyah. Mendagri Gamawan Fauzi angkat bicara.
"Jadi Bu Atut, apabila terus berhalangan ataupun mungkin tidak bersedia maka ia harus kembalikan mandatnya kepada Presiden," ujar Gamawan usai menghadiri Sidang Paripurna di Gedung DPR RI, Senayan, Jakarta Pusat, Rabu (18/12/2013).
Untuk sementara maka pemerintahan Kota Tangerang dijalankan oleh pelaksana tugas (Plt). Menurut Gamawan hal tersebut tidak menjadi masalah.
Sementara itu Arief Wismansyah berharap Mendagri dapat segera melantiknya. Ia kecewa dengan ketidakhadiran Gubernur Banten.
"Sudah 5 kali batal. Sudah diagendakan DPRD karena melihat kebutuhan Kota Tangerang sangat mendesak. Sudah dari tanggal 27, 7, 11, 15 dan 18 (Desember). Ini pun atas pemintaan Ibu Gubernur melalui mekanisme Bamus," ujar Walikota Tangerang terpilih, Arief Wismansyah saat diwawancarai terpisah.
UMRAH RAMADHAN MENYERUPAI HAJI
Salah satu amal istimewa di bulan puasa adalah umrah di bulan Ramadhan. Keutamaannya menyerupai ibadah haji. Diriwayatkan dalam
Salah satu amal istimewa di bulan puasa adalah umrah di bulan Ramadhan. Keutamaannya menyerupai ibadah haji. Diriwayatkan dalam Shahihain, dari Ibnu Abbas Radhiyallahu ‘Anhuma, Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam bersabda kepada seorang wanita Anshar, “Apa yang menghalangimu untuk ikut berhaji bersama kami?” Ia menjawab, “Kami tidak memiliki kendaraan kecuali dua ekor unta yang dipakai untuk mengairi tanaman. Bapak dan anaknya berangkat haji dengan satu ekor unta dan meninggalkan satu ekor lagi untuk kami yang digunakan untuk mengairi tanaman.” Nabi Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam bersabda,
“Maka apabila datang Ramadhan, berumrahlah. Karena sesungguhnya umrah di dalamnya menyamai ibadah haji.” Dalam riwayat lain, “Seperti haji bersamaku.” Lalu apa maksud dari hadits di atas?
Para ulama berbeda pendapat tentang orang yang akan mendapatkan keutamaan yang tersebut dalam hadits. Paling tidak ada tiga pendapat utama: Pertama, hadits ini khusus untuk wanita yang diajak bicara oleh Nabi Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam. Di antara ulama yang berpendapat dengannya adalah Sa’id bin Jubair dari kalangan Tabi’in. (lihat fathul Baari, Ibnul Hajar: 3/609)
Sandaran pendapat ini adalah hadits Ummu Ma’qil, beliau berkata: “Haji adalah haji dan umrah adalah umrah. Sungguh Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam telah mengatakan hal ini kepada-ku; aku tidak tahu apakah itu khusus untuk-ku, -yakni: ataukah untuk manusia secara umum-.” (Diriwayatkan oleh Abu Dawud, no. 1989, hanya saja lafadz hadits ini lemah. Dilemahkan oleh Syaikh Al-Albani dalam Dhaif Abi Dawud)
Pendapat kedua, Keutamaan umrah ini bagi orang yang berniat haji lalu tidak mampu mengerjakannya. Kemudian ia menggantinya dengan umrah di Ramadhan. Sehingga ia mendapat pahala haji secara sempurna bersama Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam karena terkumpul dalam dirinya niat haji dalam pelaksanaan umrah.
Ibnu Rajab dalam Lathaif al-Ma’arif berkata: Dan ketahuilah, orang yang tak mampu dari satu amal kebaikan dan bersedih serta berangan-angan bisa mengerjakannya maka ia mendapat pahala bersama dengan orang yang mengerjakannya. –lalu beliau menyebutkan contoh-contohnya, di antaranya- beberapa wanita tidak bisa berhaji bersama Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam. Maka saat beliau kembali, para wanita bertanya tentang sesuatu yang bisa mencukupkannya (menyamai) dari haji tersebut. Beliau bersabda: ‘Berumrahlah di Ramadhan. Karena sesungguhnya umrah di Ramadhan menyamai ibadah haji atau haji bersamaku’.” Selesai. Ibnu Katsir dalam Tafsirnya juga menyimpulkan yang sama (I/531)
Pendapat ketiga, Pendapat madhab empat dan selainnya, bahwa keutamaan dalam hadits ini bersifat umum bagi setiap orang yang berumrah di bulan Ramadhan. Umrah di dalamnya menyamai haji berlaku bagi semua orang. Tidak khusus hanya untuk person-person atau karena kondisi tertentu. Hal ini seperti yang disebutkan dalam kitab Radd ak-Mukhtar (II/473), Mawahib al-Jalil (III/29), al-Majmu’ (VII/138), al-Mughni (III/91), dan al-Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyah (II/144)
Pendapat yang paling mendekati kebenaran adalah pendapat ketiga. Bahwa keutamaan tersebut berlaku bagi siapa saja yang berumrah di bulan Ramadhan. Hal ini didukung oleh beberapa alasan berikut ini:
Hadits tersebut bersumber diriwayatkan dari sejumlah sahabat. Al-Tirmidzi berkata: “Dalam bab ini bersumber Ibnu Abbas, Jabir, Abu Hurairah, Anas, Wahb bin Khanbasy.” Dan mayoritas riwayat mereka tidak disebutkan kisah wanita penanya.
Praktek kaum muslimin sepanjang masa dari kalangan sahabat, tabi’in, para ulama dan shalihin. Mereka sangat semangat melaksanakan umrah di bulan Ramadhan untuk mendapatkan pahala ini.
Penghususan keutamaan ini untuk mereka yang tidak mampu melaksanakan haji pada tahun tersebut terbantahkan dengan jawaban berikut ini: Sesungguhnya orang yang benar niat dan semangatnya lalu mengusahakan sebab-sebabnya yang kemudian ada sesuatu yang menghalanginya, maka Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala akan mencatat untuknya pahala amal melalui keutamaan niat. Maka bagaimana Nabi Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam mengikat pahala dengan amal tambahan, yakni mengerjakan umrah di Ramadhan. Padahal niat yang jujur dan benar sudah cukup untuk diberikan pahala.
Makna Umrah di Ramadhan menyamai Haji
Keutamaan umrah di Ramadhan yang menyamai haji memiliki beberapa makna: Pertama, tidak diragukan lagi bahwa umrah di Ramadhan tidak mencukupkan seseorang dari kewajiban haji. Maknanya, siapa yang sudah umrah di Ramadhan tidak lantas ia terbebas dari kewajiban mengerjakan haji yang wajib.
Maksud dari hadits adalah penyamaan pahala, bukan penyamaan dalam pelaksanaan perintah. Jadi, samanya di sini adalah kadar pahala antara umrah di Ramadhan dan pahala haji. Bukan dari jenis dan bentuknya. Dan tidak diragukan lagi bahwa haji lebih utama daripada umrah ditinjau dari jenis amal.
Maka siapa yang sudah umrah di Ramadhan maka ia mendapatkan pahala sebanyak pahala haji. Hanya saja dalam pelaksanaan ibadah haji terdapat keutamaan, keistimewaan, dan kedudukan yang tidak didapatkan dalam umrah. Seperti doa di Arafah, melempar jumrah, menyembelih hewan kurban, dan selainnya. Walaupun keduanya sama dalam kadar banyaknya pahala, namuan keduanya tidak sama dalam pelaksanaan dan jenis ibadah. Ini seperti keterangan Ibnu Taimiyah saat beliau menjelaskan hadits yang menyebutkan bahwa surat Al-Ikhlash menyamai sepertiga Al-Qur’an.
Ibnu Rahawaih berkata, makna hadits ini, -yakni hadits: “Umrah di Ramadhan menyamai haji.”- seperti yang diriwayatkan dari Nabi Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam bahwa beliau bersabda: “Siapa yang membaca Qul Huwallahu Ahad maka sungguh ia telah membaca sepertiga Al-Qur’an.” (HR. al-Tirmidzi)
Ibnu Taimiyah dalam Majmu Fatawanya berkata, “Telah maklum abhwa maksudnya: umrahmu di Ramadhan menyamai haji bersamaku (Nabi Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam). Karena sungguh ia berkeinginan untuk berhaji bersamanya. Lalu ia terhalang melakukannya. Lalu beliau memberitahukan kepadanya tentang sesuatu yang menyamai kedudukannya. Ini juga berlaku bagi sahabat lain yang kondisinya sama dengannya. Orang berakal tak akan mengatakan seperti yang dipahami orang-orang jahil, bahwa umrah salah seorang kita dari miqat atau dari Makkah menyamai haji bersamanya Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam. Sungguh sangat maklum, haji yang sempurna lebih utama daripada umrah di Ramadhan. Kalau salah seorang kita mengerjakan haji wajib maka tak akan seperti berhaji bersama beliau. Maka bagaimana dengan umrah!! Maka inti dari hadits, umrah salah seorang kita dari miqat di bulan Ramadhan seperti kedudukan haji.”
Negative View of U.S. Race Relations Grows, Poll Finds
Public perceptions of race relations in America have grown substantially more negative in the aftermath of the death of a young black man who was injured while in police custody in Baltimore and the subsequent unrest, far eclipsing the sentiment recorded in the wake of turmoil in Ferguson, Mo., last summer.
The poll findings highlight the challenges for local leaders and police officials in trying to maintain order while sustaining faith in the criminal justice system in a racially polarized nation.
Sixty-one percent of Americans now say race relations in this country are generally bad. That figure is up sharply from 44 percent after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and the unrest that followed in Ferguson in August, and 43 percent in December. In a CBS News poll just two months ago, 38 percent said race relations were generally bad. Current views are by far the worst of Barack Obama’s presidency.
The negative sentiment is echoed by broad majorities of blacks and whites alike, a stark change from earlier this year, when 58 percent of blacks thought race relations were bad, but just 35 percent of whites agreed. In August, 48 percent of blacks and 41 percent of whites said they felt that way.
Looking ahead, 44 percent of Americans think race relations are worsening, up from 36 percent in December. Forty-one percent of blacks and 46 percent of whites think so. Pessimism among whites has increased 10 points since December.
The poll finds that profound racial divisions in views of how the police use deadly force remain. Blacks are more than twice as likely to say police in most communities are more apt to use deadly force against a black person — 79 percent of blacks say so compared with 37 percent of whites. A slim majority of whites say race is not a factor in a police officer’s decision to use deadly force.
Overall, 44 percent of Americans say deadly force is more likely to be used against a black person, up from 37 percent in August and 40 percent in December.
Blacks also remain far more likely than whites to say they feel mostly anxious about the police in their community. Forty-two percent say so, while 51 percent feel mostly safe. Among whites, 8 in 10 feel mostly safe.
One proposal to address the matter — having on-duty police officers wear body cameras — receives overwhelming support. More than 9 in 10 whites and blacks alike favor it.
Asked specifically about the situation in Baltimore, most Americans expressed at least some confidence that the investigation by local authorities would be conducted fairly. But while nearly two-thirds of whites think so, fewer than half of blacks agree. Still, more blacks are confident now than were in August regarding the investigation in Ferguson. On Friday, six members of the police force involved in the arrest of Mr. Gray were charged with serious offenses, including manslaughter. The poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday; results from before charges were announced are similar to those from after.
Reaction to the recent turmoil in Baltimore, however, is similar among blacks and whites. Most Americans, 61 percent, say the unrest after Mr. Gray’s death was not justified. That includes 64 percent of whites and 57 percent of blacks.
The nationwide poll was conducted from April 30 to May 3 on landlines and cellphones with 1,027 adults, including 793 whites and 128 blacks. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points for all adults, four percentage points for whites and nine percentage points for blacks. See the full poll here.
From T Magazine: Street Litís Power Couple
THE WRITERS ASHLEY AND JAQUAVIS COLEMAN know the value of a good curtain-raiser. The couple have co-authored dozens of novels, and they like to start them with a bang: a headlong action sequence, a blast of violence or sex that rocks readers back on their heels. But the Colemans concede they would be hard-pressed to dream up anything more gripping than their own real-life opening scene.
In the summer of 2001, JaQuavis Coleman was a 16-year-old foster child in Flint, Mich., the former auto-manufacturing mecca that had devolved, in the wake of General Motors’ plant closures, into one of the country’s most dangerous cities, with a decimated economy and a violent crime rate more than three times the national average. When JaQuavis was 8, social services had removed him from his mother’s home. He spent years bouncing between foster families. At 16, JaQuavis was also a businessman: a crack dealer with a network of street-corner peddlers in his employ.
One day that summer, JaQuavis met a fellow dealer in a parking lot on Flint’s west side. He was there to make a bulk sale of a quarter-brick, or “nine-piece” — a nine-ounce parcel of cocaine, with a street value of about $11,000. In the middle of the transaction, JaQuavis heard the telltale chirp of a walkie-talkie. His customer, he now realized, was an undercover policeman. JaQuavis jumped into his car and spun out onto the road, with two unmarked police cars in pursuit. He didn’t want to get into a high-speed chase, so he whipped his car into a church parking lot and made a run for it, darting into an alleyway behind a row of small houses, where he tossed the quarter-brick into some bushes. When JaQuavis reached the small residential street on the other side of the houses, he was greeted by the police, who handcuffed him and went to search behind the houses where, they told him, they were certain he had ditched the drugs. JaQuavis had been dealing since he was 12, had amassed more than $100,000 and had never been arrested. Now, he thought: It’s over.
But when the police looked in the bushes, they couldn’t find any cocaine. They interrogated JaQuavis, who denied having ever possessed or sold drugs. They combed the backyard alley some more. After an hour of fruitless efforts, the police were forced to unlock the handcuffs and release their suspect.
JaQuavis was baffled by the turn of events until the next day, when he received a phone call. The previous afternoon, a 15-year-old girl had been sitting in her home on the west side of Flint when she heard sirens. She looked out of the window of her bedroom, and watched a young man throw a package in the bushes behind her house. She recognized him. He was a high school classmate — a handsome, charismatic boy whom she had admired from afar. The girl crept outside and grabbed the bundle, which she hid in her basement. “I have something that belongs to you,” Ashley Snell told JaQuavis Coleman when she reached him by phone. “You wanna come over here and pick it up?”
In the Colemans’ first novel, “Dirty Money” (2005), they told a version of this story. The outline was the same: the drug deal gone bad, the dope chucked in the bushes, the fateful phone call. To the extent that the authors took poetic license, it was to tone down the meet-cute improbability of the true-life events. In “Dirty Money,” the girl, Anari, and the crack dealer, Maurice, circle each other warily for a year or so before coupling up. But the facts of Ashley and JaQuavis’s romance outstripped pulp fiction. They fell in love more or less at first sight, moved into their own apartment while still in high school and were married in 2008. “We were together from the day we met,” Ashley says. “I don’t think we’ve spent more than a week apart in total over the past 14 years.”
That partnership turned out to be creative and entrepreneurial as well as romantic. Over the past decade, the Colemans have published nearly 50 books, sometimes as solo writers, sometimes under pseudonyms, but usually as collaborators with a byline that has become a trusted brand: “Ashley & JaQuavis.” They are marquee stars of urban fiction, or street lit, a genre whose inner-city settings and lurid mix of crime, sex and sensationalism have earned it comparisons to gangsta rap. The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business. But the genre is also widely maligned. Street lit is subject to a kind of triple snobbery: scorned by literati who look down on genre fiction generally, ignored by a white publishing establishment that remains largely indifferent to black books and disparaged by African-American intellectuals for poor writing, coarse values and trafficking in racial stereotypes.
But if a certain kind of cultural prestige is shut off to the Colemans, they have reaped other rewards. They’ve built a large and loyal fan base, which gobbles up the new Ashley & JaQuavis titles that arrive every few months. Many of those books are sold at street-corner stands and other off-the-grid venues in African-American neighborhoods, a literary gray market that doesn’t register a blip on best-seller tallies. Yet the Colemans’ most popular series now regularly crack the trade fiction best-seller lists of The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. For years, the pair had no literary agent; they sold hundreds of thousands of books without banking a penny in royalties. Still, they have earned millions of dollars, almost exclusively from cash-for-manuscript deals negotiated directly with independent publishing houses. In short, though little known outside of the world of urban fiction, the Colemans are one of America’s most successful literary couples, a distinction they’ve achieved, they insist, because of their work’s gritty authenticity and their devotion to a primal literary virtue: the power of the ripping yarn.
“When you read our books, you’re gonna realize: ‘Ashley & JaQuavis are storytellers,’ ” says Ashley. “Our tales will get your heart pounding.”
THE COLEMANS’ HOME BASE — the cottage from which they operate their cottage industry — is a spacious four-bedroom house in a genteel suburb about 35 miles north of downtown Detroit. The house is plush, but when I visited this past winter, it was sparsely appointed. The couple had just recently moved in, and had only had time to fully furnish the bedroom of their 4-year-old son, Quaye.
In conversation, Ashley and JaQuavis exude both modesty and bravado: gratitude for their good fortune and bootstrappers’ pride in having made their own luck. They talk a lot about their time in the trenches, the years they spent as a drug dealer and “ride-or-die girl” tandem. In Flint they learned to “grind hard.” Writing, they say, is merely a more elevated kind of grind.
“Instead of hitting the block like we used to, we hit the laptops,” says Ashley. “I know what every word is worth. So while I’m writing, I’m like: ‘Okay, there’s a hundred dollars. There’s a thousand dollars. There’s five thousand dollars.’ ”
They maintain a rigorous regimen. They each try to write 5,000 words per day, five days a week. The writers stagger their shifts: JaQuavis goes to bed at 7 p.m. and wakes up early, around 3 or 4 in the morning, to work while his wife and child sleep. Ashley writes during the day, often in libraries or at Starbucks.
They divide the labor in other ways. Chapters are divvied up more or less equally, with tasks assigned according to individual strengths. (JaQuavis typically handles character development. Ashley loves writing murder scenes.) The results are stitched together, with no editorial interference from one author in the other’s text. The real work, they contend, is the brainstorming. The Colemans spend weeks mapping out their plot-driven books — long conversations that turn into elaborate diagrams on dry-erase boards. “JaQuavis and I are so close, it makes the process real easy,” says Ashley. “Sometimes when I’m thinking of something, a plot point, he’ll say it out loud, and I’m like: ‘Wait — did I say that?’ ”
Their collaboration developed by accident, and on the fly. Both were bookish teenagers. Ashley read lots of Judy Blume and John Grisham; JaQuavis liked Shakespeare, Richard Wright and “Atlas Shrugged.” (Their first official date was at a Borders bookstore, where Ashley bought “The Coldest Winter Ever,” the Sister Souljah novel often credited with kick-starting the contemporary street-lit movement.) In 2003, Ashley, then 17, was forced to terminate an ectopic pregnancy. She was bedridden for three weeks, and to provide distraction and boost her spirits, JaQuavis challenged his girlfriend to a writing contest. “She just wasn’t talking. She was laying in bed. I said, ‘You know what? I bet you I could write a better book than you.’ My wife is real competitive. So I said, ‘Yo, all right, $500 bet.’ And I saw her eyes spark, like, ‘What?! You can’t write no better book than me!’ So I wrote about three chapters. She wrote about three chapters. Two days later, we switched.”
The result, hammered out in a few days, would become “Dirty Money.” Two years later, when Ashley and JaQuavis were students at Ferris State University in Western Michigan, they sold the manuscript to Urban Books, a street-lit imprint founded by the best-selling author Carl Weber. At the time, JaQuavis was still making his living selling drugs. When Ashley got the phone call informing her that their book had been bought, she assumed they’d hit it big, and flushed more than $10,000 worth of cocaine down the toilet. Their advance was a mere $4,000.
Those advances would soon increase, eventually reaching five and six figures. The Colemans built their career, JaQuavis says, in a manner that made sense to him as a veteran dope peddler: by flooding the street with product. From the start, they were prolific, churning out books at a rate of four or five a year. Their novels made their way into stores; the now-defunct chain Waldenbooks, which had stores in urban areas typically bypassed by booksellers, was a major engine of the street-lit market. But Ashley and JaQuavis took advantage of distribution channels established by pioneering urban fiction authors such as Teri Woods and Vickie Stringer, and a network of street-corner tables, magazine stands, corner shops and bodegas. Like rappers who establish their bona fides with gray-market mixtapes, street-lit authors use this system to circumnavigate industry gatekeepers, bringing their work straight to the genre’s core readership. But urban fiction has other aficionados, in less likely places. “Our books are so popular in the prison system,” JaQuavis says. “We’re banned in certain penitentiaries. Inmates fight over the books — there are incidents, you know? I have loved ones in jail, and they’re like: ‘Yo, your books can’t come in here. It’s against the rules.’ ”
The appeal of the Colemans’ work is not hard to fathom. The books are formulaic and taut; they deliver the expected goods efficiently and exuberantly. The titles telegraph the contents: “Diary of a Street Diva,” “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” “Murderville.” The novels serve up a stream of explicit sex and violence in a slangy, tangy, profane voice. In Ashley & JaQuavis’s books people don’t get killed: they get “popped,” “laid out,” get their “cap twisted back.” The smut is constant, with emphasis on the earthy, sticky, olfactory particulars. Romance novel clichés — shuddering orgasms, heroic carnal feats, superlative sexual skill sets — are rendered in the Colemans’ punchy patois.
Subtlety, in other words, isn’t Ashley & JaQuavis’s forte. But their books do have a grainy specificity. In “The Cartel” (2008), the first novel in the Colemans’ best-selling saga of a Miami drug syndicate, they catch the sights and smells of a crack workshop in a housing project: the nostril-stinging scent of cocaine and baking soda bubbling on stovetops; the teams of women, stripped naked except for hospital masks so they can’t pilfer the merchandise, “cutting up the cooked coke on the round wood table.” The subject matter is dark, but the Colemans’ tone is not quite noir. Even in the grimmest scenes, the mood is high-spirited, with the writers palpably relishing the lewd and gory details: the bodies writhing in boudoirs and crumpling under volleys of bullets, the geysers of blood and other bodily fluids.
The luridness of street lit has made it a flashpoint, inciting controversy reminiscent of the hip-hop culture wars of the 1980s and ’90s. But the street-lit debate touches deeper historical roots, reviving decades-old arguments in black literary circles about the mandate to uplift the race and present wholesome images of African-Americans. In 1928, W. E. B. Du Bois slammed the “licentiousness” of “Home to Harlem,” Claude McKay’s rollicking novel of Harlem nightlife. McKay’s book, Du Bois wrote, “for the most part nauseates me, and after the dirtier parts of its filth I feel distinctly like taking a bath.” Similar sentiments have greeted 21st-century street lit. In a 2006 New York Times Op-Ed essay, the journalist and author Nick Chiles decried “the sexualization and degradation of black fiction.” African-American bookstores, Chiles complained, are “overrun with novels that . . . appeal exclusively to our most prurient natures — as if these nasty books were pairing off back in the stockrooms like little paperback rabbits and churning out even more graphic offspring that make Ralph Ellison books cringe into a dusty corner.”
Copulating paperbacks aside, it’s clear that the street-lit debate is about more than literature, touching on questions of paternalism versus populism, and on middle-class anxieties about the black underclass. “It’s part and parcel of black elites’ efforts to define not only a literary tradition, but a racial politics,” said Kinohi Nishikawa, an assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University. “There has always been a sense that because African-Americans’ opportunities to represent themselves are so limited in the first place, any hint of criminality or salaciousness would necessarily be a knock on the entire racial politics. One of the pressing debates about African-American literature today is: If we can’t include writers like Ashley & JaQuavis, to what extent is the foundation of our thinking about black literature faulty? Is it just a literature for elites? Or can it be inclusive, bringing urban fiction under the purview of our umbrella term ‘African-American literature’?”
Defenders of street lit note that the genre has a pedigree: a tradition of black pulp fiction that stretches from Chester Himes, the midcentury author of hardboiled Harlem detective stories, to the 1960s and ’70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines, to the current wave of urban fiction authors. Others argue for street lit as a social good, noting that it attracts a large audience that might otherwise never read at all. Scholars like Nishikawa link street lit to recent studies showing increased reading among African-Americans. A 2014 Pew Research Center report found that a greater percentage of black Americans are book readers than whites or Latinos.
For their part, the Colemans place their work in the broader black literary tradition. “You have Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, James Baldwin — all of these traditional black writers, who wrote about the struggles of racism, injustice, inequality,” says Ashley. “We’re writing about the struggle as it happens now. It’s just a different struggle. I’m telling my story. I’m telling the struggle of a black girl from Flint, Michigan, who grew up on welfare.”
Perhaps there is a high-minded case to be made for street lit. But the virtues of Ashley & JaQuavis’s work are more basic. Their novels do lack literary polish. The writing is not graceful; there are passages of clunky exposition and sex scenes that induce guffaws and eye rolls. But the pleasure quotient is high. The books flaunt a garish brand of feminism, with women characters cast not just as vixens, but also as gangsters — cold-blooded killers, “murder mamas.” The stories are exceptionally well-plotted. “The Cartel” opens by introducing its hero, the crime boss Carter Diamond; on page 9, a gunshot spatters Diamond’s brain across the interior of a police cruiser. The book then flashes back seven years and begins to hurtle forward again — a bullet train, whizzing readers through shifting alliances, romantic entanglements and betrayals, kidnappings, shootouts with Haitian and Dominican gangsters, and a cliffhanger closing scene that leaves the novel’s heroine tied to a chair in a basement, gruesomely tortured to the edge of death. Ashley & JaQuavis’s books are not Ralph Ellison, certainly, but they build up quite a head of steam. They move.
The Colemans are moving themselves these days. They recently signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press, which will bring out the next installment in the “Cartel” series as well as new solo series by both writers. The St. Martin’s deal is both lucrative and legitimizing — a validation of Ashley and JaQuavis’s work by one of publishing’s most venerable houses. The Colemans’ ambitions have grown, as well. A recent trilogy, “Murderville,” tackles human trafficking and the blood-diamond industry in West Africa, with storylines that sweep from Sierra Leone to Mexico to Los Angeles. Increasingly, Ashley & JaQuavis are leaning on research — traveling to far-flung settings and hitting the books in the libraries — and spending less time mining their own rough-and-tumble past.
But Flint remains a source of inspiration. One evening not long ago, JaQuavis led me on a tour of his hometown: a popular roadside bar; the parking lot where he met the undercover cop for the ill-fated drug deal; Ashley’s old house, the site of his almost-arrest. He took me to a ramshackle vehicle repair shop on Flint’s west side, where he worked as a kid, washing cars. He showed me a bathroom at the rear of the garage, where, at age 12, he sneaked away to inspect the first “boulder” of crack that he ever sold. A spray-painted sign on the garage wall, which JaQuavis remembered from his time at the car wash, offered words of warning:
WHAT EVERY YOUNG MAN SHOULD KNOW
ABOUT USING A GUN:
MURDER . . . 30 Years
ARMED ROBBERY . . . 15 Years
ASSAULT . . . 15 Years
RAPE . . . 20 Years
POSSESSION . . . 5 Years
JACKING . . . 20 YEARS
“We still love Flint, Michigan,” JaQuavis says. “It’s so seedy, so treacherous. But there’s some heart in this city. This is where it all started, selling books out the box. In the days when we would get those little $40,000 advances, they’d send us a couple boxes of books for free. We would hit the streets to sell our books, right out of the car trunk. It was a hustle. It still is.”
One old neighborhood asset that the Colemans have not shaken off is swagger. “My wife is the best female writer in the game,” JaQuavis told me. “I believe I’m the best male writer in the game. I’m sleeping next to the best writer in the world. And she’s doing the same.”