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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: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,051,082 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
5 star
70
4 star
10
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
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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

6 of 6 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 CC on July 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
I found "Not so Black and White" engrossing, heartwarming, and surprising. Alexis' ability to recount the stages of her understanding of her very untraditional upbringing draws the reader in from the book's very first pages. As we are allowed glimpses into the author's remembrances and growing self awareness we are able to share her journey. She enables us to begin to understand the love and passion and mistakes and regrets and sheer messiness of family. I found the books inside view of the early AIDS crisis and it's personal toll on the author and her familly heartbreaking and beautiful. The inside glimpses into the Broadway and ballet worlds were like a passport to a rarified world few people get to see. I'm grateful to have been able to spend some time with this extrordinary woman by way of her story, which although utterly unique shares with all of us it's central truths about empathy, awareness, and forgiveness. Highly Recommended!
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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 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 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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