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'Obama Phenomenon' author says he hopes new title will be call to action

By Karen Kidd | Feb 10, 2017

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The unveiling later this month of the cover of the latest book by author and political consultant Ray Coleman, "Have God Will Travel," is part of a series he envisioned almost 30 years ago, Coleman said during a recent interview.

"I have always intended on writing four books in a series termed: 'Journey Beyond Boundaries,' inspired by a theme given to me by East St. Louis Class of '79 when I had to deliver a speech with the same title standing in for then newly elected U.S. Sen. Barack Obama," Coleman said during a Record email interview. "'Have God Will Travel' will be the follow-up book to 'The Obama Phenomenon.'"

Cover of Ray Coleman's upcoming book, "Have God Will Travel" | Image courtesy of Ray Coleman

"The Obama Phenomenon: A Spiritual Perspective", was written by Coleman shortly after Obama's first presidential win. Coleman has known the former president since 2003 and was active in both the former Illinois' senator's and presidential campaigns.

The cover unveiling for "Have God Will Travel," as well as signing opportunities for "The Obama Phenomenon" is scheduled the afternoon of Feb. 25 at Belleville Public Library at 121 East Washington St. in Belleville. Just now, much of the attention is on his latest title, Coleman said.

"I hope the final take-away from the book will be a call to action, a sense of urgency to improve the living environment around us, a yearning to help those who need a hand up, not a hand out," Coleman said.

The message of "Have God Will Travel" is to live a spiritual life 24/7 and always be prepared to follow one's spiritual instincts, Coleman said.

"It doesn’t matter if you must stand alone, because whatever you believe the higher power is, you will never be left alone. I believe there is a divine order in the universe, and we as human beings must understand why each of us was created, we must understand how we are wired, and what is our purpose."

Coleman said he is writing into "Have God Will Travel" his own personal spiritual journey to illustrate the message of living a spiritual life.

"The beginning of the book will update my relationship with President Obama’s legacy," Coleman said. "I will then pivot to my work with the Michael Jordan Flight School as a camp basketball coach, my work with the Katherine Dunham Centers for Arts and Humanities, basketball coach at East St. Louis High School, support for former coach Bob Shannon, my work with Mayor Ann Rodgers, Washington Park, and more."

In addition to Coleman's longtime support of Obama through two successful presidential bids, he also supported the failed presidential bid of Hillary Clinton. However, Coleman doesn't locally stick to a straight Democrat ticket, in a politically independent open-mindedness that sometimes puts him at odds with local politicians and has made him more readily accepted at the White House than he is in East St. Louis.

Founder of two not-for-profit organizations, Legacy Keepers and Leadership Alliance 21, Coleman is a governmental affairs and political consultant for Washington Park, Citizens to Elect Ann Rodgers and Citizens for Emeka Jackson. 

Coleman said he does support the office of president of the United States but he minces no words about President Trump.

"I think he is a narcissist who must be watched very closely," Coleman said. "He must be resisted when he tries to implement divisive policies."

President Trump is still campaigning and is governing as if he has a political mandate, Coleman added.

"Trump’s supporters are a minority in this country and he is still playing to that base," Coleman said. "There are many conflicts of interest that existed on day one of his tenure. His rise is a phenomenon, but his praise and support of Vladimir Putin and Russia is a major concern. I think he is a dangerous guy who will test the resolve of our Constitution."

The Feb. 25 unveiling and book signing is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. with lectures and entertainment scheduled through the afternoon until about 4 p.m. Admission is a minimum contribution of $20 to Legacy Keepers, which will include of "The Obama Phenomenon." Legacy Keepers is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, which means all contributions are tax-deductible. Legacy Keepers' stated mission is to raise and distribute funds to individuals and organizations participating in preserving, promoting, and protecting the African-American culture and history.

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