To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Review this product
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
5.0 out of 5 starsVery Compelling Read
Reviewed in the United States on July 25, 2005
Much like "Explicit Content," the first book from Black Artemis, "Picture Me Rollin'" is an extremely entertaining yet thought-provoking read. Well-written, it's way better, more literary than most hip-hop lit, so it's challenging in a good way for the many hip-hop intellects out there. I appreciate that Black Artemis is writing for the self-esteem of young women, but it's never preachy, patronizing or dumbed-down. She clearly respects her audience. Defintely highly recommended.
Esperanza Cepeda is a Latina hood girl.After Her mother was incarcerated for the murder of her abusive father, Esperanza and her sister Dulce have to fiend for themselves in the cold streets. Esperanza finds her salvation through Jesus, but not the one we worship on Sunday.Met Jesus, a.k.a. 'Sus. Jesus is the neighborhood plabyboy/drug kingpin.A man dripping wirth sensuality, money, and power, Jesus is every hood girl's dream.Esperanza loved Jesus with all her heart and believed that he loved her the same.He lavished Esperanza with gifts and false love until she played her role as ride or die chick and she had to do a bid for Jesus.She wasn't gonna snitch on her man, because she would have more status in the streets upon her return.Her sister Dulce, was involved with Xavier, Jesus's abusive right hand man. After getting out, even though he knew she was on probation, he wanted her to do one last thing for him and they can jet to Cali to start over and get outta the game. Esperanza struggles to do right by going to GED classes, trying to find work, and leave Jesus alone once and for all. Her GED teacher tries to help Esperanza find out who she is and how to empower herself and get under the control of Jesus. Will Esperanza do one last thing with Jesus? Will she violate her parole and go back to jail, or will she reform and be the strong woman she knows she can be? I won't answer all these questions because I'd give away all the action. This is a must read for young women of color, because it is a wake-up call for those who think they know what love is. Love yourself first and foremost, before you try to love anyone else because the world don't give a s*** about you.
With her sophomore release, Black Artemis proves that she has staying power, as she comes back strong with her latest novel, Picture Me Rollin' (PMR). Artemis stays true to her mission as a hip hop artist and activist as she delivers a poignant and riveting story that relays the power of hip hop as a tool of transformative expression. Set against the backdrop of New York City and interspersed with the teachings/writings of feminist poet, Audre Lorde, Black Artemis introduces the reader to Tupac's number one fictional hip-hop fan, Esperanza Cepeda.
Esperanza Cepeda --aka Espe-- is a recently released felon who took the arrest rap for her hood rat, drug dealing, and hustler boyfriend, Jesus. Espe is representative of so many young women who lack the structure and discipline of a functional home environment and the love/guidance of a mother and a father so they often mistake negative attention as love. Especially if that attention includes a fat wallet, nice ride, and fly clothes at the expense of someone else. So it is easy to understand why Espe mistook Jesus' interest in her as love. Reared in a culture where machismo trumps and women are pawns, Espe is a product of her environment. Unfortunately, more and more young women are becoming criminal statistics as they take the rap for crimes committed by 'their man,' while the main culprit goes on with business as usual while continuing to pollute the community. For boys like Jesus, girls like Espe, are nothing but just another piece of tail and once the Espes of the world are out of sight they are often truly out of mind to their male partners. Jesus clearly demonstrates this mindset as he continues to live life by his rules and conducts business as usual while Espe serves prison time.
With Jesus missing in action as she serves 'his' jail time, Espe had a lot of time to think about her life and with the help of an older inmate named Isoke; she is encouraged to make changes so that she can fulfill her vow of never being imprisoned again. We watch Espe enter prison as a rebellious, free-spirited, around the way girl who emerges from jail months later as a young woman to be reckoned with. Privy to Espe's thoughts, we watch as she hesitantly comes to the realization that her idol, Tupac is not flawless. Just maybe some of his lyrics are offensive and demeaning to women and he is just another man pimping young, naïve women. As she removes the shackles of Tupac's influence, and begins to embrace the teachings of Audre Lorde, we watch Espe transform into a young woman who desires to be in control of her destiny. Lorde's teachings force her to think about who she is and encourage empowerment, confidence and self-esteem as well as love for self. While morphing into the empowered sister she can be, Espe has assistance along the way from her She-roes: older sister-Dulce (who raised her when her mom went to jail); GED teacher-Maite Rodriquez (a former militant); and her still incarnated friend, Isoke (an older woman/mother figure and former Black Panther member). Even with the support and encouragement of these strong She-roe figures, the day-to-day living is not easy for, an ex-felon like, Espe as without education, skills, or funds she believes she is reduced to the lowest common denominator. As needs and wants go unfulfilled, it is hard for Espe to continue on the straight and narrow path. It is still the shallow, materialistic things that matter to a young adult like Espe, who lives for the moment rather than tomorrow, so wearing last year's fashions and performing menial labor at a fast food restaurant is not an acceptable alternative.
As Espe tries to do right and stay legit, there is still an electrical charge that is ignited when she is around Jesus; she realizes that Jesus still has a hold on her body, soul, mind and heart. Longing for the luxuries of the past, she considers doing "one last job" for Jesus to earn some quick cash and roll out of dodge. But can she do it? Will she forget about the lessons of the three women she respects the most, who care about her and want her to succeed against all odds? Will she once again become another statistic, just another chicken head that sacrifices her freedom because she confuses a man's control/abuse as love?
PMR is a coming of age story set against a hip-hop environment. The storyline captures the language and feel of the current hip-hop generation while also delivering a powerful social message. Black Artemis is all about young women reaching their full potential by stretching themselves to the fullest. Espe is a woman of color, but more importantly, she represents every woman who has sought to move beyond the abusive clutches of a boyfriend and an oppressive environment by any means necessary. Artemis demonstrates that women must learn to love themselves if they are to stop the domestic abuse, hurt, pain caused by the little boys in their life parading as men. As Espe's hunger for knowledge is stimulated by the works of Lorde, she discovers the confidence she needs to plot her fate and destiny. Question is will she picture herself rollin' with Jesus-the boy who equates love with abuse or will she join the ranks of the strong sisters who have gone before her-the sisters who have decided they have the inner strength and desire to change their own lives--and if Espe is willing she can. Artemis has written a powerful and poignant story with believable characters that will resonate well with today's youth while also enlightening parents and adults. For those who enjoy books with an urban feel-and that are well written--PMR should become part of your library today.
PICTURE ME ROLLIN' is a candid snapshot into the gritty tale of Esperanza Cepeda, an ex-con who goes down for the sake of having her boyfriend Jesus' back. As luck would have it, although she's only been gone a year, Jesus has been doing other things with other women, as well as spending the same money she got busted for. Sometimes, we have to learn the hard way.
With a probation officer scrutinizing her every move and a sister who has given up the street life, Esperanza realizes she needs to find truth in herself and live life the honest way. Deciding to get her high school diploma, she meets Maite Rodriguez, a teacher who not only understands what she has been through, but also helps her define the potential she holds to do something better. Things get a little sticky when Esperanza can't get away from Jesus, as he wants her to do one "last" job with him. Finally realizing that the only person she owes loyalty to is herself, Esperanza reclaims the life that was once taken.
Black Artemis does an excellent job with this story, providing a picturesque view of street life and the effects it has on young people. The characters are fresh, intense and provide a hauntingly close reality of an environment all too familiar to some. With constant references to Tupac Shakur, a lyrical genius, PICTURE ME ROLLIN' is filled with poetry that parallels life. A deep, thought-provoking novel, this story is sure to keep you wanting more.