Eye on Jacksonville writer “Sonny B.” has written a book encapsulating his deeply-felt thoughts and beliefs about America and where it is heading.
Hassan Bartley, who uses the pseudonym for his columns in Eye, is the author of “1776 Rewind.”
It was the year 2020 that triggered his literary effort.
“2020 was a wakeup call for everybody in the world, not just America,” Bartley said.
“With the virus, George Floyd and the riots and the election for president, I knew we were in trouble.”
Bartley said he believed the republic and the Constitution were in danger of crumbling. He began writing letters.
He wrote to the mayor, and the sheriff, and other politicians, and to President Donald Trump. He wrote to newspapers, colleges and corporations.
He wrote a five-page letter to First Watch after reading a story about the company’s plans for diversity training. It was a strong letter. About six hours after he sent if, he got a phone call from an executive at the company. She said the passion in the letter was so poignant that she read it twice – and that the company planned to include it in their diversity training.
Bartley was born in Newark, N.J., but his family came to Jacksonville when he was an infant. He attended local schools, graduated from Raines High School and became a firefighter. In 2019, he retired from the fire department.
Bartley and Alison, his wife of 25 years, have six children, ranging in age from 11 to 22 and he is worried about what kind of world they will live in as adults.
Describing himself as “a proud black American,” Bartley deplores seeing “racism” used as an excuse for every problem. Like Martin Luther King Jr., he believes that skin color should not matter and is not the source of every societal and political problem.
“I’m just an ordinary Joe, a God-fearing man, a black American patriot. I saw America in a downward spiral toward communism,” he said.
“I love my country and you will feel the passion in my writings.”
The book became an “unintended project,” Bartley said.
The book, which is based on the reams of letters he has written in the past two years, is published by Archway Publishing and available on their Web site. It exposes the sources of corruption and identity politics, he said.
“You will be emboldened to take a stand for freedom if you take into consideration what I have written,” Bartley said.