Three Black Boys Book Trailer



Zangba Emmanuel Dwekla Thomson (pron.: /zangː’bah/) was born within the Grebo African tribe during the “From Mat to Mattress/Americo-Liberian” rulership era of William Richard Tolbert Jr., in an iron ore mining community called “Bong Mines,” located in Bong County, Liberia, West Africa.

Zangba’s father, John Thomson, named Zangba after a 1920s ruling paramount chief from the Bassa African tribe, whose name means “all powerful and ruler of all.” While growing up, Zangba showed great signs of his namesake’s brave nature and was viewed as a very happy, calm and peaceful child.

His childhood years were filled with great adventures, explorations through unchartered territories, scientific experiments, bird hunting, fishing, swimming, taking bike rides down unpaved roads-reminiscent of the steepest streets in San Francisco and climbing a huge oak tree to hangout in his red tree house.

“I had a great and imaginative childhood,” says Zangba. “My mother was making a way for us in America, so my older sister, Wade (pron.: /wahː’day/), and I lived with our grandparents in a home, surrounded by a lot of land, and an uncountable amount of banana and plum trees to pick fresh fruits from.

I came from a very prominent political family that produced great men and women in my native country: My grandfather was a lawyer and a legislator in the government, and my father graduated from the University of Manheim, West Germany in the 1960s, became an economist and worked as Housing Supervisor for Bong Mining Company.”

Descendants of freed Negro slaves and missionaries from the Baltimore, Maryland area, Zangba and Wade left their native land of Liberia, when Zangba was 8 years old, a few years prior to the Liberian Civil War.

Zangba and Wade landed safely at JFK International Airport in New York, during one of the coldest winters ever, and while walking through the airport terminal, Zangba learned his first life lesson… riding an escalator. “I had no clue on how to get on the escalator,” says Zangba, “but after watching other passengers get on and off, I finally got the idea and understood what life was all about, and that is - you watch and you learn.”

Zangba and Wade moved into their mother’s studio apartment, located in a building across the street from the 165th street Bus Terminal, and a short block away from the Coliseum Mall. Everything looked foreign, but gradually Zangba’s habit of watching and learning helped him to adapt to his new concrete habitat, and like a sponge, he soaked up the raw essence of life in Jamaica-Queens. It was akin to leaving Africa and entering into New York's concrete jungle.

But adjusting and becoming acclimated to this new environment, especially fitting in with his peers at school would be a bit more challenging. During his first day as a 4th grader at elementary school P.S. 86, Zangba’s courage was tested.

“I didn’t know anyone so I sat by myself in the lunchroom,” says Zangba. “Then out of nowhere, an oversized kid asked me if I was going to eat my lunch? I replied yes because I was hungry, but still I offered to share my food with him because he also looked hungry.”

Salidean Brown, Zangba’s schoolmate, stepped to the bully and said, “Leave him alone!” Sal knew Zangba was “green” to the streets, so he explained to Zangba that the bully was trying to take his lunch. Zangba learned another valuable life lesson that day, and he and Sal went on to become close friends. Years later, during their junior-high school years at P.S. 217, Sal took Zangba around his neighborhood for the first time.

“Sal brought me around to meet his crew,” says Zangba, “and the next thing I know, I’m in the middle of the streets, squared up in a one-on-one fistfight against a boy I didn't know. I balled up my fist, as tight as I could, and threw a hard right hook to the boy's rib cage, and surprisingly, he tumbled to the ground in agony. The fight was over before it started.”

Immediately, Sal’s inner circle embraced Zangba and introduced him to the underworld of Southside Jamaica-Queens, NY. Being that Zangba had quick hands, and was always up-to-date with his clothing, the streets nicknamed him Bam Jigge.

Around that time, the Legendary Shirt Kings, who were airbrushing custom designs on t-shirts and sweaters for the likes of LL Cool J, Jam Master Jay, Audio Two and Just Ice to name a few of their A-list clients, moved into the apartment next door to Zangba and his family, and they (Nike, Kasheem and Dave) were very influential in introducing the fashion side of Hip-Hop culture to Zangba.

Video games were in, and at home Zangba had mostly every in-style video game console from Nintendo, Atari, Coleco-Vision to Sega Genesis, but for the true video game junkies, playing arcade games on an upright video game machine was the in-thing to do.

“I used to play a lot of video games in the pizza shop, located inside the bus terminal,” says Zangba, “and I remember one day, after running out of a bankroll of quarters, I become very upset because I didn't beat the Ghosts n' Goblins game I was playing. I walked out of the bus terminal, and standing right in front of me, with his arms around two female models, was LL Cool J, shining like the sun at high noon. He was shooting a scene for his music video.”

Zangba’s up close and personal view of LL Cool J, a closer view than what Yo’ MTV Raps could have shown him, left such an everlasting impression on Zangba’s mind that he took a special liking to the emceeing aspect of Hip Hop. That night, he traveled with Sal and G-Money to the Grey Door, a ghetto spot in 40 Projects, and there they witnessed Cory D, a street legend, emceeing live on stage, and later that weekend, Zangba attended his first park jam at Baisley Park.

At that time, Zangba's musical influences were Michael Jackson, because Michael made Zangba a believer that dreams, through hard work and dedication, can become a reality. The entire Motown era, and the 70s and 80s music eras also inspired Zangba and introduced him to jazz, soul, R&B and pop. But hip hop solidified itself in Zangba's heart, when Zangba saw Boogie Down Productions' My Philosophy music video on Video Music Box. Immediately, KRS-One's word play, his philosophy and his raps about Africa hit home, and soon Zangba began writing his own raps, which eventually evolved into songs.

KRS-One brought out the raw emcee in Zangba, and shortly after that a rapper named Kool G Rap, who is responsible for bringing the cinema to hip-hop, influenced Zangba with his witty street-hop raps. And at that time, G Rap was stamping himself as the Donald Goines of Rap. So, Zangba went out of his way to find out who Donald Goines was, and his findings led him into purchasing Goines' Street-Lit novel, "Black Gangster." Zangba was blew away by Goines' pen game and a whole new literary world opened up to him; and after reading Goines' entire book catalogue, Zangba aspired to become a professional writer .

And then Nasty Nas came along and dropped Illmatic. Nas' flow, his delivery and poetic word play inspired Zangba to add God-body lyricism to his philosophical outlook as a writer and emcee. Then another hip-hop icon by the name of Tupac Shakur, overwhelmed Zangba with realism, black empowerment, and at that time, Zangba was thugging in the streets so he overstood Tupac's Thug-Life mentality. Tupac's music inspired Zangba to add passion and real-life experiences to his music, and not too long afterwards, Jay-Z, The God MC, came out with The Blueprint. Jay Z's music, known for its dope conversations and clever lyricism, was instrumental in guiding Zangba to become a well-rounded recording artist.

So, at Public Enemy Recording Studios in Hempstead, Long Island, Zangba recorded his first song, and shortly after that he joined forces with his friends, Guerilla Maine and Boo Harv, and together they became known as Two Face or Due' Face. Then early one morning, Zangba received a phone call, and G Money told him that Sal was dead, murdered on the cold streets of Queens, New York. Immediately, Zangba felt lifeless, as if the Angel of Death had extracted his soul from his body, and he collapsed mentally.

Months after Sal’s cremation, Zangba felt depressed and incomplete because he missed the company of his best friend. Sal had introduced Zangba to everything street-related and now he was no longer around to guide Zangba through the “valley of the shadow of death.” So, little by little, the little light that had once shone in Zangba’s world became strangely dim, and after a while it turned completely dark.

“I remember going on a losing streak for years,” says Zangba, reminiscing about the most difficult time in his life. “At the time, I lost everything because I didn’t care anymore. Due’ Face never reached its full potential; my sister, at that time had opted to return to our native land and she got caught up in the Liberian Civil War; most of my close friends were incarcerated in state penitentiaries and a few were dead. I felt like a king on the chessboard, with only a few pawns by my side. Everyone close to me, in one way or the other, were being taken away. I spiraled out of control and even got arrested a few times.”

But Joyce, Zangba’s loving mother, was faithful and there in the trenches with her son during his darkest hours, and because of her continuous love, prayers and support, Zangba became inspired all over again. Joyce motivated Zangba to take Journalism/Creative Writing at York College and Zangba excelled as a pupil under the watchful tutelage of Professor Glenn Lewis. Then one day while walking down (God bless the Dead) Mazaradi Fox's block in Queens, Zangba met Large Professor, a legendary hip-hop producer and emcee, coming out of his driveway. Large took a special liking to Zangba’s lyrical ability and ended up giving him a few beats to rap to. A few days later, Zangba handed Large a dub plate of one of the songs he recorded over Large’s beat called, "Scared To Run up On Me," and Large was impressed.

Immediately, Large took the young lyricist under his wing and Zangba recorded his demo in Large's basement. A short while later, Large brought Zangba to the studio to record a verse on “Straight Rhymes,” a song Large planned on using for his “First Class” album. But unfortunately, the song didn't make the cut and Zangba found himself caught up between a rock and a hard place or trapped on the outside looking in.

By the grace of The Most High The Highest Universal Prime Creator, Zangba stayed focus and recorded Three Black Boys at Hillie Hill's Straight Live recording studio in Queens, NY. Shortly afterwards, people wanted to know - what was the reason behind the boys' robbery attempt? At the time, Zangba did not have an answer, but an idea sprung into his mind to publish a book. Months later, he adapted the three-minute-song into the short story, Three Black Boys: The Authorized Version and published it independently. It is not easy to adapt songs into books, so Zangba didn't know what to expect, but after getting a good book review from Kirkus, Zangba knew he had to get Three Black Boys: The Authorized Version in stores, and that's when he began to do a market analysis on the book industry. But it wasn't until reading The Ten Awful & The Ten Wonderful Truths about Book Publishing that things began to make sense to Zangba.

"You see, independent authors have to go out there and make it happen because no one will make it happen for us," said Zangba. "So, with my Industry Analysis' knowledge taken into consideration, Craig Green (Captain of BME LLC Street Team) and I decided to test the street market first. So, we took a trip to Harlem, U.S.A., the Mecca or Capital of Black America, with 200 copies of Three Black Boys: The Authorized Version in the trunk of our vehicle. Questions were asked, and after hours of networking, Hue-Man Bookstore paid us in advance for several copies, and Black Star Music & Video Store and a prominent Harlem street distributor took many copies of Three Black Boys on consignment."

A week later, Black Star and the street distributor were sold out. The distributor asked Zangba to do an outdoor book signing at one of his bookstands, which is currently located on the corner of 125th street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, across the street from the legendary Apollo Theater. Many books were sold that day on the street corner, and a new relationship between Harlem and Three Black Boys was established. And not too long afterwards, Hue-Man Bookstore set up an official in-store book signing for Zangba, introducing him as a new voice in Literary Fiction. A month later, Molloy College in Long Island, New York, hosted Zangba's first successful college Meet & Greet the Author, in which Zangba got the chance to perform the original Three Black Boys song in front of an intrigued English class.

"Within a month's time, we sold approximately 1,500 copies of Three Black Boys: The Authorized Version in the streets of Harlem for $10 a copy," said Zangba, proud of his early accomplishment. "Three Black Boys was on every street vendor's table in Harlem. Consumers, mostly women who had purchased the book, said they cried after reading Three Black Boys: The Authorized Version. That's when I knew we were on to something big. But a week later, the street distributor told me that Three Black Boys: The Authorized Version was too small in page count to compete in the long run with The Coldest Winter Ever, Push, True to the Game and other full-length Urban Fiction novels. He said, "My customers want more for their buck!"

So, Zangba went back into his creative shell and began writing his debut novel, Three Black Boys: Tomorrow After Supper. The result was great! What started out, as a song that was adapted into a Street Lit short story, was now an action-packed and multi-cultural novel filled with drama, surrealism and dark fantasy/thriller; and at that time, Zangba didn't know he was mixing genres together and establishing his own lane, and Zangba’s company, “Bong Mines Entertainment LLC,” was now officially in business. After that triumph, Zangba went on to co-write “Do Right Do Good,” a self-help guidebook towards vision fulfillment and entrepreneurship, with Marketing Guru Jean Alerte; and shortly afterwards, "Do Right Do Good" was endorsed by American Business Magnate - Russell Simmons and the foreword was written by Dr. Dennis Kimbro (best-seller author of Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice).

For more information about Zangba Thomson, please fill out the contact form below or contact Zangba directly at For motivational and inspirational article ideas, positive news stories, uplifting community events that you want Zangba Thomson to cover, or you need a quote to have your personal autobiography written, please fill out the contact form below with a brief but detailed description, and Zangba will get in contact with you at his earliest convenience. Hotep, and always remember that (P) Positive (E) Energy (A) Always (C) Creates (E) Elevation (PEACE).


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