In what’s expected to be the first buzzworthy coffee table book of 2021, acclaimed singer/songwriter Dante Hall is set to publish “Growing Up Black: Things My Grandparents Said” on Monday, January 25. A nostalgic project, the book enshrines dozens of funny yet deeply philosophical expressions that are immediately familiar to millions of African-Americans. Hall, a Grammy-recognized recording artist, wrote the book to acknowledge how many blacks charted their lives with the sayings learned from elders.
Two-time Grammy-winning gospel singer Yolanda Adams wrote the book’s foreword.
“Dante Hall’s new book is a brilliant account of things we’ve heard growing up that we finally understand now that we are older,” Adams writes. “As African-Americans, we have an infinite history of sayings that only come from our ancestors. Dante has taken themes and phrases he has heard all his life and placed them in a well written biography that will delight anyone who reads it.”
“This is an ode to my childhood and to the childhoods of so many black folks who remember their youths so fondly,” Hall said. “My recipe for writing the book was easy: equal parts love and humor. For so many of us, remembering our elders brings back feelings of affection, laughs — and head scratching. As we were laughing, we were trying to figure out just what the heck they were saying!”
“I get the jokes now,” Hall continued. “As an adult, I know they’re definitely not just jokes. They’re lessons on how to chart a life of informed direction, great character, integrity and truth — things that I and everyone benefits from.”
“Growing Up Black” features several hilarious expressions with layered meanings from Hall’s deceased grandparents. For example:
• “You’re walking around sounding like 76-cents broke up in change.”
• “Something in the milk ain’t clean.”
• “Don’t cast your pearl to the swine.”
• “God willing and the creek don’t rise.”
• “Don’t be the dishrag, the dishrag the dirtiest thang in the kitchen.”
For the uninitiated, the author explains the meaning behind each expression.
Set for wide release, “Growing Up Black” is expected to break early sales forecasts. After a celebrated singing career, the project is Hall’s first foray into book writing.
The Chicago-based artist is also a successful restauranteur, entrepreneur and real estate developer. He’s been interviewed and featured in several media outlets in Chicago and around the world.
“Growing Up Black” will be available for purchase on Amazon, Hall’s website – dantesoul.com – and for digital download.
About Dante Hall
Chicago-based singer Dante Hall is an independent artist well regarded among his musical peers. Dante, raised in the church, groomed his vocal chords in The Windy City. His most prominent musical influences are Donny Hathaway, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Stevie Wonder and D’Angelo.