No disrespect, but Sister Souljah is back. The unorthodox hip-hop generation activist, speaker and author has unleashed her critically acclaimed fourth literary work, Midnight and the Meaning of Love.

Souljah took us on a political expedition with her debut of {No Disrespect} in the 1990s and moved readers to the edge of their seats with her full throttle “gangsta mission” in The Coldest Winter Ever. With Midnight: A Gangster Love Story, she has fans wanting more in a story that tackles global love and much more.

Best known for her “Sister Souljah moments,” the author has publically criticized the U.S. government, overt racism, the beating of Rodney King, poverty and bigotry.

Both of her videos, “The Final Solution: Slavery’s Back in Effect” and “The Hate that Hate Produced,” were banned by MTV because of their inflammatory imagery.
Two decades later, Souljah is still deeply moved by global change and spoke with the AFRO}about Midnight, what’s missing in the Black community and the importance of maintaining cultural ties.

Hearing your voice is such a breath of fresh air. How have you been, Souljah?
Souljah: Really? Why, thank you. Did you expect anything else?

The world is changing. We need so much positive energy, don’t you think?
Souljah: Yes, we do.

AFRO: We loved the “Coldest Winter Ever and Midnight: A Gangster Love Story.” What should we expect in “Midnight and the Meaning of Love?”

Souljah: Really, I just wanted to create a love interest for Midnight where she would truly love him and strive to improve herself. This book is a global journey, deeply moving and a great adventure. Midnight has to go back to Japan to get his wife who has been kidnapped by her own father. Midnight and his wife, Akemi Nakamura, who is Japanese, have strong defined cultures, wealthy influences and they both are foreigners.

AFRO: I think Black women like myself love Midnight — there’s just something about him. What made you create his character?
Souljah: Midnight is a warrior. I wanted to create someone who was not typical. A typical man is a man who takes a woman’s body immediately when you offer it to him. That is not Midnight. A woman must figure out what he is made of.

AFRO: Critics may ask, why is Midnight’s wife Asian? Why isn’t she Black?
Souljah: So many of our people are fascinated with the drugs and not fascinated with culture and other things in life. People who may have a problem with Midnight marrying an Asian woman are uncomfortable with interracial relationships. Bottom line in America there has always been a problem with interracial dating. Midnight and Akemi are both foreigners and Asian and Africans have a long history.

AFRO: Wow, so where is Winter Santiaga these days?
Souljah: Well if you read the book, Winter is in prison serving her bid, which means she would not come home until 2013. It is something about incarceration that is painful, that hurts and breaks up families. If you have had someone you love who is or has been incarcerated then you know the feeling.

You bring up so many social issues in your books. What do you feel Black women are missing?
Souljah: Our sistas have a long list of degrees, résumés and work experience, but our Black women are missing moral direction, dignity and spiritual goals…Black men are missing the same things. We as a people have lost our spiritual self, morality, culture and sense of family.

AFRO: What do you mean by spiritual goals?
Souljah: There are so many scandals in the church. There are so many scandals going on in all religions, not just Christianity. But many may say they’re Christians but have never read the Bible. Most of us don’t strive to hold true to the 10 commandments.

Black women carry the world on their shoulders don’t you think?
Souljah: As African Americans, 80 percent of our households are being raised by women, I understand. Black men and women are missing so much. The men are becoming more feminine and the women are becoming more like men.

AFRO: Do you have children?
Souljah: Yes, I have a 17-year-old son. As a mother you can only teach your son how to love, how to be compassionate. Only a father man or a positive male figure can provide the blueprint to manhood.

AFRO: So tell me how you have evolved?
Souljah: I am wiser. I still have strong philosophies. I travel, I speak and lecture. At the end of the day I believe I am wiser.

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Brandi Forte

Special to the AFRO