Rage Against the Storm: How One Black Man Uses Writing to Find Peace

Marquise Thompson is a proud father and husband who is originally from Gastonia, North Carolina. He graduated from  North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in history. In his spare time, he enjoys watching sports, drinking wine, and reading stories that highlight successful businesses in the Black community. 

To craft Knewgoat, I had to relive challenging moments. I’ve experienced some key losses in life that I don’t love talking about, but for whatever reason when I write, I’m able to channel those losses into creative words that I hope will inspire others to keep going no matter what. 

Being Black in America has always come with enormous challenges in every area of our lives. We can go nowhere and do nothing without our bodies being policed. This interview shows how one Black man, Marquise Thompson, uses his writing skills to rage against the storm of white supremacy.

1.) Tell us a little about yourself. 

First off, thank you for giving me an opportunity to share a little bit about myself and my novel Knewgoat: A Black Man’s Journey To Greatness In The Hell That Is America. I’m originally from Gastonia, North Carolina. I’m a proud father and husband who enjoys supporting Black businesses and content creators. When I’m not busy with family life or work, I enjoy having a good glass of red wine.

2.) Tell us what your book, Knewgoat: A Black Man’s Journey to Greatness in the Hell That is America, is all about.

Great question, Audra. Knewgoat is a creative novel that touches on a litany of subjects that are relevant to the Black community. I use complex characters and everyday life situations to highlight why it’s essential that our community prioritize mental health, spiritual well-being, and economic empowerment to dismantle the systemic obstacles that continue to impede our journey to greatness. At its core, Knewgoat is a story about an undefeated and intelligent lawyer who uses the lessons he learned from being a Black man in America to send an important message to God. On Judgement Day, Hassan, the primary character in my novel, explains to God why Black men that have survived the Hell that is America have earned the right to spend eternity in Heaven.

3.) What was the inspiration for this book?
Another great question. So the seeds of my novel really were planted when Trayvon Martin was killed by an overzealous member of a neighborhood watch program. I saw so many articles and comments that really showed how the country as a whole struggles to care and love Black boys. As time went on more unjustified murders of black boys, men and women occurred, including Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor. As the Black bodies continued to pile up, my anger and frustration started to spiral out of control. The only thing I had that could reel my psyche back to a place of peace was my God-given talent of writing. For the first time since 2005, I started to write with purpose and passion. Ultimately, the birth of my son in 2020 gave me that final push to complete Knewgoat, which I feel will eventually go down as one of the more important books in our culture. 

4.) What was the hardest thing about writing Knewgoat?
To craft Knewgoat, I had to relive challenging moments. I’ve experienced some key losses in life that I don’t love talking about, but for whatever reason when I write, I’m able to channel those losses into creative words that I hope will inspire others to keep going no matter what. 

5.) Please share with us what the name ‘Knewgoat’ means and how it came about.
Excellent question. So Knewgoat means several different things. 

  1. It’s when knowledge of self converges with greatness.
  2. It’s when someone is so exceptional at their craft they reach a height or achieve a moment that can never be duplicated or surpassed 
  3. It’s a rare ability that only a few possess. The willingness to take on the emotional, mental and spiritual weight that comes with seeking to achieve the impossible. It’s the faith of a mustard seed really moving a mountain. 

6.) What was one thing you learned about yourself while writing this book?
I learned that I’m a creator of content at heart. I learned that my dream or purpose is to inspire people with meaningful content that contains bold solutions and ideas. 

7.) Describe your book in one line. Imagine a lawyer as brilliant and charismatic as Johnnie Cochran attempting to change God’s mind about sending his best friend to Hell on Judgement Day. 

8.)  What made you decide to write this book?
The desire to tell a story that includes our history, our triumph and our refusal to succumb to systemic oppression is what ultimately pushed me to complete this novel. 

9.) What is one of the most challenging things you have faced as a Black man in America?
The most challenging thing I have faced is that I have big ideas and solutions that are centered around telling the truth. The truths I tell make white people uncomfortable, but it also rubs a significant portion of our community the wrong way initially. At times, I feel alone which then creates this anxiety and pressure to produce outcomes and results that seem impossible to achieve.

10.) Why did you choose to self-publish your book?
Ownership and control. Knewgoat is a novel that a major publishing house would never release under any circumstances, LOL. The subtitle alone scares mainstream America, and then factor in the book cover! I knew from the point of inception that I would have to put this book out myself. 

11.) Where can readers buy your book?
Readers can purchase my book via knewgoat.com and Amazon.

12.) Where can our readers find you on social media?
@Knewgoat on all platforms

13.) Please share your website with our readers.
Knewgoat.com. 

Wellness Warrior E-Book by Dr. Damon William

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Audra Russell
Audra Russell

Audra Russell is a blogger, freelance writer, and published author. She holds two undergraduate degrees in journalism as well as a Master of Science degree in Education. She also completed the Wesleyan University online Creative Writing Specialization course series.

She is an avid reader and writer’s advocate. Her passion for promoting the works of up-and-coming authors inspired her to create her new podcast, Between the Reads, as well as her website, Read It Black to Me. Her debut novel, BLOOD LAND, was published on August 29, 2020, as her fiftieth birthday gift to herself. She lives in Maryland with her husband of more than 20 years, her 3 amazing children, a 12-year-old perpetual puppy, two dueling cats, and 2 chickens.