Welcome to "Talking Drum Dialogues" (formerly, "Backstreet D'jeli's Blog") and current website for William "Duke" Smither, Author of "Backroads to 'Bethlehem'..."

"Backroads to 'Bethlehem': Odysseys of the Maroon Warrior, In the Shadows of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade" is available on-line at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com. BOOK DETAILS: Softcover/ Novel | 6 x 9 in | 450 pages | ISBN 9781458221612 E-Book | 450 pages | ISBN 9781458221605 (Publisher: Abbott Press, 2018). It's a 17th Century narrative about the waning days of a militaristic, fugitive slave village in Brazil and the spiraling Maroon Wars, in Jamaica. A "free preview" of the book is also available via this site's "Navigation" section (click MENU icon, upper left). This site's blog postings remain available below. Thank you for visiting!

    by William “Duke” Smither ***Note:  Preview text below concerns troops preparing for a “Holy War,” as observed by “Phasael,” a Maroon Spy  (passage from novel, “BACKROADS TO ‘BETHLEHEM’: Odysseys of the Maroon Warrior, in the Shadows of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade”).        Chapter Four (Porto Calvo Rendezvous):  January 6, 1694…   […]

By William “Duke” Smither “Where I come from we say that rhythm is the soul of life, because the whole universe revolves around rhythm, and when we get out of rhythm, that’s when we get into trouble.”   — Babatunde Olatunji (Nigerian Djembefola, 1927-2003, Grammy award-winning, master-drummer, percussionist)   Talking Drums African musicians say that […]

works   “Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.” Richard Wright (1908-1960; Mississippi-born Writer, Novelist, Poet)     The journey in writing “Backroads to ‘Bethlehem’: Odysseys of the Maroon Warrior” has been so much longer than the writing process itself– perhaps, as far back […]