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Not So Black and White Paperback – June 12, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Tree Spirit Publishing (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615568246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615568249
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born in The Netherlands, Alexis Wilson was dancing as soon as she learned to walk. After moving to New York City she became the youngest apprentice in The Dance Theater of Harlem and quickly moved on to became a featured dancer in the Emmy Award winning television special, “Blues and Gone.” After appearing as a dancer in the Francis Ford Coppola film, “The Cotton Club” she graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University, moved to Europe and continued her dance career. Upon her return to The States she teamed with Peter Wise and Associates and began casting national commercials and theater productions like the Broadway smash hit, “Smokey Joe’s Café.” In addition to writing a full-length musical, a narrative tribute of her father’s contributions for PBS television, and contributions to the books, “Before I Got Here: The Wondrous Things We Hear When We Listen to the Souls of Our Children” and “Not In My Family: AIDS in the African-American Community” she joyously celebrates life with her husband and two children.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 79 customer reviews
Brava Alexis,and thank you for sharing your fantastic story with us!
Maria O'Connell
Instead, she is compassionate and positive, and takes us on this extraordinary, and at times very painful, journey with grace, understanding and love.
C.H.
Woven into the writing is a subtle thread of hues throughout in regard to mood, memory, and shifting emotions.
Michaelwho

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Barbara on July 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
I read through Alexis Wilson's 'Not so Black and White' over a holiday weekend - could not put it down! I am amazed by her bravery and honesty in telling such a personal story. Alexis doesn't hold anything back and is forthcoming in the narrative about her life and about the relationships that have shaped her. A week later and I am still thinking about parts of the book and saying 'wow'....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Yala on July 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
Not So Black and White is the story of so many things: race, abandonment, the etiquette of love and loss all set to the beat of ballet! There are memories here of some heavy hitters from the stage to the big screen that you will recognize, and some that you will be glad to be informed of. Alexis has given us as much of an autobiography as she has a history lesson into the dance world's greatest way-pavers.

Though there are many issues within, Not So black And White is so beautifully balanced, and each facet feels important and necessary. I am reading this book AGAIN; chewing over the many poetic, descriptive morsels the authors spills out across the pages.

Alexis Wilson has the fantastic ability of allowing you to feel, very personally, a part of her experience. From the little girl recalling the complexity of emotions as she listened, observing the strange and secret sounds coming from her father's room in the middle of the night, or the discovery of what her mother had been up to after she abandoned her children; to the woman, disciplined by dance, fashioned through unconventional love: strong, capable, wounded yet ferociously loyal to the end.

I found it surprising, that all of these worlds I was reading about and had never known in my own experience, felt suddenly important.
This is not just a story about a broken family who experienced much. It is a tribute to an outstanding father, a devotion to those fallen from AIDS, and a nod to the darkness without which we would not recognize the light.

This is the story of recognizing love, even when it's not spoken the way you would speak it; appreciating family, even when it doesn't look like what you had imagined; discovering yourself in a world of stigmas, and being victorious over the victim within.

I highly recommend!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TLT on August 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
In her book Not So Black and White Alexis Wilson delves into her past with such honesty and candor that I dare anyone to put it down. The story of a family who loves, wins, loses, argues and ultimately prevails is so beautifully written in every way. Alexis has obviously poured her heart into every word of her story and the reader feels every ounce.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joyelle K. Fobbs on July 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
Initially, I thought this memoir would be just one person's story: Alexis Wilson's. However, while reading her story, I was blown away by how much I could relate to it. There's so much here; high points of being on top of the world, and the lowest of lows which will have you reaching for a tissue box! All this intermingled with a good dose of humor, verve, and just great storytelling. Of course, at the core is love in its various manifestations, and one amazing human being who bravely welcomed it fully into her life. I'll be re-reading this for sure if not for the bits of wisdom, then for the rich historical info about the talented Broadway choreographer Billy Wilson as well. This really is a courageous, rich and rewarding read that I can't say enough about. Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carol Crawford Smith on July 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some books hit home and are difficult to put down (Even if having to go to the bathroom!). Holly (the name I know Alexis Wilson by) courageously shares her story with delectable taste and intrinsic passion. This book by a very brave woman has the reader sitting with open arms wanting to hug and kiss her saying, "You did it, and, so beautifully, too!" Holly tells her story (her life's story which I saw a part lived) so exquisitely. As she presents her past, I reflect on the sweet humble child (my peer) she was and know now that behind her twinkling bright eyes and infectious smile were gut-wrenching familial thoughts, occurrences, secrets, and revelations. Everyone who reads this book will fall in love with the author, her family, her life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marco p on July 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
From the minute you pick this book up you are hooked! Each page is filled with vivid details and heartfelt memories. Alexis really went out of her way to make the reader achieve the actual experience as if we were all there with her.
The sights, the smells and experiences make for a great novel filled with trials, tribulations and above all, LOVE.
This journey is not only unique but what makes it so personal to the readers is that this journey was real. The people involved including Alexis really were bonded and their relationships were almost destined.
Not so Black and White is an amazing story of a young woman and her courage to take this life bestowed upon her and make it shine. Despite set backs and heartache the strength to move forward is what brings the reader in and reminds us all that we are not so different frome one another.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mosleep on July 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was struck with the tremendous love between a father and daughter, extending beyond the constraints of the father's death. This is a fascinating story about the dance world, the struggles of families both conventional and new-age, the redemptive power of love, and the moving and loving tribute Alexis Wilson pays to her father, and the other beloved men in her life, with this book.
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