I’m taking a bit of liberty with this one. Instead of writing about a character, I’m writing about an author.
I can’t remember who I discovered first back in high school: Eric Jerome Dickey or Omar Tyree. I do remember a time when it seemed like I was always reading one of their books or one by Carl Weber or Michael Baisden. Friends and Lovers is one of the few Dickey books I still have left on my shelf. I spotted the hardcovers of Chasing Destiny and Thieves of Paradise buried deep in the stacks.
In the 90s and early 2000s, I went through a serious phase of devouring every single Eric Jerome Dickey books I could find. Liars Game, Cheaters, Sister Sister, Between Lovers. The title Milk in My Coffee was the first time I’d ever heard that phrase in reference to interracial dating, and then it seemed like I heard it everywhere. An aunt surprised me when she said it to me when I confessed to having a huge crush on a white, male co-worker. “There’s nothing wrong with getting a little milk in your coffee,” she said with her thick Haitian accent. My mouth dropped, and I remembered one of my favorite Dickey titles.
The Friends and Lovers cover has an Essence magazine quote saying: “A brother in Terry McMillan territory.” I used to devour her books too. No wonder I loved Eric Jerome Dickey’s books. I’m thinking I’m long overdue to dive back into his recent backtitles.