Wally Amos’ Watermelon Magic (No Sir)

I use to sell snacks out of my bookbag in high school. Until the day a teacher turned me in for disrupting her class, my top selling snack were those tasty Famous Amos cookies. I probably ate just as many bags as I sold—and I never shared. If you wanted some, you better have your $1 ready (I overcharged because I had no competitors).  Recently, BlackNews.com reported that Wally Amos is back in business with a new cookie line.

Wally AmosAfter several decades away from the gourmet cookie business, (an industry that Amos is credited with creating), writing books, working as a motivational speaker, even hosting a PBS TV Literacy Series, and baking gourmet muffins (“Uncle Wally’s”), among other things, the very active Mr. Amos decided that he really wanted to get back to his first love, baking and selling the absolutely best tasting cookies anywhere. And that is just what he is doing again. As Amos recently said, “I am absolutely delighted to be baking my delicious handmade cookies again for my millions of friends and fans.”

Using his “original recipe” with pure butter, Watkins pure vanilla extract, lots of chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, and other natural ingredients, Wally went to work building a new bakery in Kailua, a small town on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, his home for the last 32 years. Wally appropriately named the new cookie business Chip & Cookie after two boy and girl Hawaiian characters that had been created years before by his wife, noted artist and print maker, Christine Harris-Amos. A second Chip & Cookie store has already opened in Honolulu on Waikiki Beach at the Royal Hawaiian Center, 2nd floor, upstairs behind the Apple Store. When you place an order at www.chipandcookie.com, your cookies will be handmade and fresh baked in Hawaii, then shipped out the same day via air using USPS Priority Mail. Orders usually reach the East Coast in 3-4 days and the West Coast in 2-3 days.

Widely known as a passionate longtime advocate of early childhood literacy, Wally created an organization he called the Read It LOUD! Foundation several years ago to encourage parents to read aloud to their children for 10 minutes each day, especially from birth through age six. Wally’s new cookie business, Chip & Cookie, LLC proudly supports the work of the Read It LOUD! Foundation by donating 10% of net profit to the Foundation. Wally so strongly believes in the benefits of early childhood literacy that he is often found reading to children in the dedicated reading areas set aside in each Chip & Cookie cookie store, complete with kid size chairs and dozens of his (and the kids) favorite children’s books. (Read full article)

Mr. Amos is an advocate for literacy? You don’t say. And he writes books too? Wow. You know I had to do a little Amazon research to see exactly what he’s published thus far. Shamefully, this is what I found:

Watermelon MagicWATERMELON MAGIC is talk from the soul using watermelons as a metaphor for life. Watermelons symbolize the slurpy happiness of life for Wally Amos (formerly known as “Famous Amos”). From his life experiences, Wally sees many parallels between humans and watermelons. Just as the vine connects watermelons and the umbilical cord connects mother and child, we are all connected by spirit. Wally shares his personal path to wisdom and tells how he never lost his humor, joy, and positive outlook on life in the process. He shows us how to overcome adversity and make healthy choices – how to reframe and rethink challenging situations in positive, optimistic, and uplifting terms. A master storyteller, Wally believes we all have a choice in our own happiness – no matter who we are, no matter what we’ve been through – and his stories will touch you at the very depth of your soul. If these ideas and beliefs speak to you, grab them like slices of watermelon, devour them, and have fun! Look out for the seeds, and live life to the fullest!

Why Wally? I am not impressed or pleased. I can’t imagine taking a regular photograph holding up a watermelon slice or a piece of fried chicken with a big smile on my face. Forget about that “meaphor for life” nonsense. I say no. And if you aren’t feeling me on this, let me post a few photos for you:

Blacks & Watermelon
Blacks & Watermelon 2

Blacks & Watermelon3

Blacks & Watermelon4

I’m just saying…Wally Amos you know better. I understand taking a positive twist on something, but this ain’t that. Get ya mind right. Happy reading,y’all.

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8 thoughts on “Wally Amos’ Watermelon Magic (No Sir)

  1. I remember it being a special treat when my Mom took me with her to get Famous Amos cookies at the shop in Los Angeles. I’ll have a look at the books. Thanks for sharing. Kyra

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  2. Guys, if you only knew who Wally is. He wrote dozens of books and his presence is Totally Delicious. If you knew the story how “Famous Amos cookie” brand was stolen from him and how he picked himself up… if you only knew….

    I am having him on my TV show today and if you want to see him in action send me an email and I will post the show for you.

    I dont know what you are looking for in order to love the author and if he is not your cup of tea, there are many of uz that totally resonate with his Delicious message.

    With warm Aloha from Hawaii,
    Helena

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  3. Yeah, I’m sure his intentions were on the level, but just a horrid, horrid choice. Pumpkins, squash, zucchini, tomatoes… all interconnected by vines and considered by many to be delicious. Each with far less negative imagery attached to them.

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  4. Totally understand the negative reaction to the imagery of the bookcover (I don’t particularly like it), but I think you’re over-reacting a little bit and YOU are missing HIS point. His message is actually very positive. It’s unfortunate that in this day and age, we still hang on to painful negative stereotypes, for instance, that Black people are the only ones who enjoy watermelon. You know that isn’t true, so you shouldn’t allow it to bother you so much. Again, I agree that the cover photo was an unfortunate choice (I don’t suppose you’re annoyance is with the melon itself, but rather with the “jiggaboo” depiction of a black man), but I love watermelon and fried chicken as much as love reading and science–as do millions of others of all complexions.

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  5. I stumbled upon this discussion and thought I would post what Mr. Amos has to say about the stereotypical images of a black man with watermelon:
    Why the Watermelon Shirts?

    Wally’s passion for watermelon has become well known; he wears a signature Watermelon hat, watermelon-themed aloha shirts and has all sorts of watermelon collectibles. So how did this delicious food come to be a symbol of vile racial stereotyping? The question always intrigued him. “I’ve read a lot of scholarly material on the subject,” Wally says, “and I can only conclude that when one group sets out to oppress another, they don’t spend a lot of time offering rational explanations for their acts.”

    In 1995, Wally Amos decided to challenge the stereotype. The result was his Watermelon Credo. Its purpose was to get people to see clearly that when racial stereotypes are held up to the blinding light of truth, they can be seen for what they are. Lies.

    Later, he expanded the Credo poster concept to a small book that he hopes “might inspire some folks to expend their energies on love and togetherness, not loathing and separation.” Wally’s likeness is on the cover of Watermelon Credo: The Book.

    “If enough people see my wrinkled old mug with a slice of watermelon, and wearing watermelon prints on clothing, how can they continue to see this fruit as a racial stereotype for shiftless, dumb and worthless blacks? Apart from being African American, I am none of those things, and anyone who can recognize my face will know that to be true.”

    “All I have known with certainty,” Wally observes, “is that I love watermelon and really despise hatred.”

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