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Pengertian mesin CNC
CNC singkatan dari Computer Numerically Controlled, merupakan mesin perkakas yang dilengkapi dengan sistem mekanik dan kontrol berbasis komputer yang mampu membaca instruksi kode N, G, F, T, dan lain-lain, dimana kode-kode tersebut akan menginstruksikan ke mesin CNC agar bekerja sesuai dengan program benda kerja yang akan dibuat. Secara umum cara kerja mesin perkakas CNC tidak berbeda dengan mesin perkakas konvensional. Fungsi CNC dalam hal ini lebih banyak menggantikan pekerjaan operator dalam mesin perkakas konvensional. Misalnya pekerjaan setting tool atau mengatur gerakan pahat sampai pada posisi siap memotong, gerakan pemotongan dan gerakan kembali keposisi awal, dan lain-lain. Demikian pula dengan pengaturan kondisi pemotongan (kecepatan potong, kecepatan makan dan kedalaman pemotongan) serta fungsi pengaturan yang lain seperti penggantian pahat, pengubahan transmisi daya (jumlah putaran poros utama), dan arah putaran poros utama, pengekleman, pengaturan cairan pendingin dan sebagainya. Mesin perkakas CNC dilengkapi dengan berbagai alat potong yang dapat membuat benda kerja secara presisi dan dapat melakukan interpolasi yang diarahkan secara numerik (berdasarkan angka). Parameter sistem operasi CNC dapat diubah melalui program perangkat lunak (software load program) yang sesuai. Tingkat ketelitian mesin CNC lebih akurat hingga ketelitian seperseribu millimeter, karena penggunaan ballscrew pada setiap poros transportiernya. Ballscrew bekerja seperti lager yang tidak memiliki kelonggaran/spelling namun dapat bergerak dengan lancar. Pada awalnya mesin CNC masih menggunakan memori berupa kertas berlubang sebagai media untuk mentransfer kode G dan M ke sistem kontrol. Setelah tahun 1950, ditemukan metode baru mentransfer data dengan menggunakan kabel RS232, floppy disks, dan terakhir oleh Komputer Jaringan Kabel

(Computer Network Cables) bahkan bisa dikendalikan melalui internet. Akhir-akhir ini mesin-mesin CNC telah berkembang secara menakjubkan sehingga telah mengubah industri pabrik yang selama ini menggunakan tenaga manusia menjadi mesin-mesom otomatik. Dengan telah berkembangnya Mesin CNC, maka benda kerja yang rumit sekalipun dapat dibuat secara mudah dalam jumlah yang banyak. Selama ini pembuatan komponen/suku cadang suatu mesin yang presisi dengan mesin perkakas manual tidaklah mudah, meskipun dilakukan oleh seorang operator mesin perkakas yang mahir sekalipun. Penyelesaiannya memerlukan waktu lama. Bila ada permintaan konsumen untuk membuat komponen dalam jumlah banyak dengan waktu singkat, dengan kualitas sama baiknya, tentu akan sulit dipenuhi bila menggunakan perkakas manual. Apalagi bila bentuk benda kerja yang dipesan lebih rumit, tidak dapat diselesaikan dalam waktu singkat. Secara ekonomis biaya produknya akan menjadi mahal, hingga sulit bersaing dengan harga di pasaran. Tuntutan konsumen yang menghendaki kualitas benda kerja yang presisi, berkualitas sama baiknya, dalam waktu singkat dan dalam jumlah yang banyak, akan lebih mudah dikerjakan dengan mesin perkakas CNC (Computer Numerlcally Controlled), yaitu mesin yang dapat bekerja melalui pemogramman yang dilakukan dan dikendalikan melalui komputer. Mesin CNC dapat bekerja secara otomatis atau semiotomatis setelah diprogram terlebih dahulu melalui komputer yang ada. Program yang dimaksud merupakan program membuat benda kerja yang telah direncanakan atau dirancang sebelumnya. Sebelum benda kerja tersebut dieksikusi atau dikerjakan oleh mesin CNC, sebaikanya program tersebut di cek berulang-ualang agar program benarbenar telah sesuai dengan bentuk benda kerja yang diinginkan, serta benar-benar dapat dikerjakan oleh mesin CNC. Pengecekan tersebut dapat melalui layar monitor yang terdapat pada mesin atau bila tidak ada fasilitas cheking melalui monitor (seperti pada CNC TU EMCO 2A/3A) dapat pula melalui plotter yang dipasang pada tempat dudukan pahat/palsu frais. Setelah program benar-benar telah berjalan seperti rencana, baru kemudian dilaksanakan/dieksekusi oleh mesin CNC. Dari segi pemanfaatannya, mesin perkakas CNC dapat dibagi menjadi dua, antara lain: (a) mesin CNC Training unit (TU), yaitu mesin yang digunakan sarana pendidikan, dosen dan training. (b) mesin CNC produktion unit (PU), yaitu mesin CNC yang digunakan untuk membuat benda kerja/komponen yang dapat digunakan sebagai mana mestinya. Dari segi jenisnya, mesin perkakas CNC dapat dibagi menjadi tiga jenis, antara lain: (a) mesin CNC 2A yaitu mesin CNC 2 aksis, karena gerak pahatnya hanya pada arah dua sumbu koordinat (aksis) yaitu koordinat X, dan koordinat Z, atau dikenal dengan mesin bubut CNC, (b) mesin CNC 3A, yaitu mesin CNC 3 aksis atau mesin yang memiliki gerakan sumbu utama kearah sumbu koordinat X, Y, dan Z, atau dikenal dengan mesin frsais CNC. (c) mesin CNC kombinasi, yaitu mesin CNC yang mampu mengerjakan pekerjaan bubut dan freis sekaligus, dapat pula dilengkapi dengan peralatan pengukuran sehingga dapat melakukan pengontrolan kualitas pembubutan/pengefraisan pada benda kerja yang dihasilkan. Pada umumnya mesin CNC yang sering dijumpai adalah mesin CNC 2A (bubut) dan mesin CNC 3A (frais).

ARTIKEL MESIN CNC

Saco-Indonesia.com - Penyakit Influenza adalah infeksi pada sistem pernapasan atas yang bisa menyebabkan berbagai gejala mulai dari batuk kering, sakit tenggorokan, mual, muntah, dan kehilangan nafsu makan.

Penyakit influenza sangat mudah menular karena sel virusnya ada di udara. Meski istirahat dan cukup cairan adalah terapi terbaik untuk penyakit ini, pencegahan tetap yang terbaik. Melatih kekebalan tubuh akan membantu tubuh melawan virus influenza.

Langkah 1: Tambahkan potongan bawang putih segar ke dalam sup. Penelitian mengungkapkan bawang putih akan meningkatkan sistem imun, selain itu kandungan allicin dalam bawang putih mengandung komponen antivirus.

Langkah 2: Konsumsi makanan yang kaya vitamin C, seperti kiwi, stroberi, orange, nenas, atau grapefruit. Vitamin C akan meningkatkan fungsi sistem imun dan melindungi tubuh dalam melawan infeksi. Vitamin ini juga memberi perlindungan dari kerusakan radikal bebas.

Langkah 3: Bila Anda rutin mengonsumsi suplemen, cobalah pilih yang mengandung ginkgo biloba. Herbal yang berasal dari Cina ini diketahui meningkatkan sirkulasi tubuh. Sirkulasi yang lancar akan membantu pengantaran vitamin dan mineral yang diperlukan.

Langkah 4: Lindungi tubuh dari serangan virus dengan mengonsumsi tiram. Kandungan mineral zinc dalam makanan laut yang identik dengan afrodisiak ini juga memiliki efek antivirus.

Langkah 5: Selalu ingat nasihat ibu untuk rajin makan sayuran. Salah satu sayuran yang direkomendasikan untuk meningkatkan kekebalan tubuh adalah bayam. Kandungan folatnya akan memicu produksi sel-sel baru dan memperbaiki DNA. Sayuran hijau ini juga kaya vitamin C, serat, dan antioksidan. Jangan masak bayam terlalu matang untuk mendapatkan manfaat optimal.

Editor : Maulana Lee

Sumber :LiveStrong/kompas.com
Silahkan Melatih Sistem Imun Melawan Influenza

Mendekati puncak ibadah haji, ratusan ribu umat Islam tumpah ruah di kota suci Makkah. Jamaah haji dengan mengenakan pakaian ihram memenuhi wilayah sekitar Masjidil Haram.

Seperti dilansir AFP, Sabtu (12/10), sekitar satu juta jamaah melaksanakan shalat Jumat terakhir pada musim haji tahun ini di Masjidil Haram. Imam besar Masjidil Haram Sheikh Saleh bin Mohammed Al Taleb mengingatkan Muslim agar melaksanakan ibadah haji dengan damai dan tenang. Dia juga meminta Muslim untuk bersatu dan mengakhiri perselisihan.

Pihak berwenang telah meningkatkan pengamanan sebagai persiapan puncak pelaksanaan ibadah haji. Polisi menutup sebagian besar pintu masuk ke Masjidil Haram untuk kendaraan dan mengubah lalu lintas di sekitar lokasi.

Untuk menghindari virus korona yang telah merenggut 51 nyawa di Arab Saudi dan polusi tinggi dari kendaraan, sejumlah jamaah dan petugas keamanan mengenakan masker. Mereka juga menutup kepala untuk melindungi diri dari sinar matahari yang menyengat.

Otoritas setempat mengatakan sekitar 1,4 juta jamaah telah tiba dari luar negeri. Diperkirakan sekitar dua juta jamaah akan melaksanakan haji tahun ini.

Jumlah tersebut turun tajam dari tahun lalu sebanyak 3,2 juta jamaah haji. Penyebabnya dari pemotongan kuota haji sebanyak 20 persen dan kekhawatiran terjadinya wabah virus korona atau Sindrom Pernapasan Timur Tengah (MERS).

Blok jalan dibangun di semua jalan menuju Makkah. Jamaah yang tidak memiliki surat izin resmi tidak diperbolehkan lewat. tahun ini, petugas keamanan ditempatkan di wilayah terpencil dan gurun untuk mencegah masuknya jamaah haji ilegal.

Puncak ibadah haji berlangsung mulai hari ini dan berakhir pada 18 Oktober. Senin menjadi hari yang sangat penting dimana semua jamaah akan berkumpul di Padang Arafah.

Pemerintah Arab Saudi menerjunkan 95 ribu petugas keamanan. Kementerian Dalam Negeri mengatakan pasukan keamanan tersebut terdiri dari tentara, penjaga nasional dan intelijen.

Sumber : http://www.jurnalhaji.com

Baca Artikel Lainnya : JAMAAH INDONESIA MENGINAP DI MINA

MEKAH DI KUNJUNGGI JEMAAH HAJI DARI BERBAGAI BELAHAN DUNIA

Saco-Indonesia.com - Dengan tidak disengaja lidah anda dapat tergigit saat makan, berbicara atau tidur. Lidah yang tergigit membutuhkan waktu untuk menyembuhkannya. Kadang-kadang gigitan pada lidah berubah menjadi luka atau sariawan. Untuk menyembuhkan gigitan pada lidah, Anda bisa menggunakan obat ini, seperti yang dilansir di Boldsky.

1. Gigitan lidah bukanlah sesuatu yang serius. Bila dibandingkan dengan bagian tubuh lainnya, gigitan pada lidah dapat disembuhkan dengan mudah. Mantel air liur bisa menyembuhkan gigitan itu.

2. Ketika Anda menggigit lidah, segera tempelkan es di bagian lidah yang sakit. Hal ini mengurangi rasa sakit dan menghentikan pendarahan.

3. Kumur mulut Anda dengan air garam. Garam merupakan obat rumah yang efektif untuk menyembuhkan gigitan pada lidah. Ia juga memiliki anti bakteri yang melawan bakteri dan mencegah infeksi.

4. Minum madu setelah makan atau setidaknya dua kali dalam sehari. Madu sangat efektif untuk menyembuhkan gigitan pada lidah.

5. Minum air. Air menyembuhkan gigitan pada lidah. Air dingin memberikan efek menenangkan di bagian lidah yang sakit.

6. Menghindari makanan pedas. Makanan pedas meningkatkan peradangan sehingga memperlambat proses penyembuhan.

7. Tekan lidah dengan lembut pada langit-langit mulut Anda. Cara ini harus dilakukan setiap hari untuk menyembuhkan gigitan pada lidah.

Coba tips mudah untuk mengobati gigitan pada lidah. Hati-hati saat makan agar tidak menggigit lidah.

Editor : Maulana Lee

Sumber: Merdeka.com

Apabila Lidah Kita tergigit saat makan? Obati secara alami!

Bagi Anda yang suka membaca atau perlu mengerjakan beberapa tugas membaca di tempat tidur, misalnya akan menghadapi ujian esok harinya, tentunya cahaya telah menjadi faktor yang sangat penting. Memang membaca di tempat tidur juga tidak disarankan, namun jika didukung dengan pencayahaan yang tepat, kenapa tidak. Dan lampu tidur atau lampu meja disamping tampat tidur Anda bisa menjadi pilihan yang tepat.

Selain dapat memebantu Anda dalam pencayahaan ketika memebaca, lampu ini juga dapat memperindah ruangan. Selain efek cahayanya, modelnya pun juga bisa menampilkan kesan tersendiri dalam kamar Anda.

Kalau Anda tertarik untuk dapat mengisi ruangan pribadi Anda dengan lampu meja ini, tidak hanya asal memebeli. Namun juga disesuaikan dengan bentuk meja, serta konsep ruangan yang selama ini Anda ciptakan.

Berikut ada beberapa tips yang bisa menjadi panduan Anda ketika dalam membeli lampu meja untuk kamar Anda:

Pilih ukuran yang sesuai

Lampu ini Anda beli sebagai pelengkap meja kamar tidur Anda, jadi jangan memebeli lampu tidur dengan ukuran terlalu besar tauapun terlalu kecil, hingga tampak tidak proporsional. Itulah sebabnya Anda perlu memilih yang cocok dan menyatu dengan baik.

Sesuaikan interior

Kalau kamar Anda bernuansa sporty, misalnya banyak unsur sepak bola berarti jangan memilih lampu yang bergaya Victorian dengan ukiran yang detail. Karena lampu yang Anda pilih harus sesuai dengan gaya kamar Anda. Kalau kamar Anda bergaya interior yang klasik atau traditional, lempu berbahan kayu-kayuan bisa menjadi pilihan. Tak hanya serasi dengan ruangan, warna lampu pun juga harus Anda perhatikan.

Panjang lampu meja

Panjang serta tinggi lampu meja layak menjadi pertimbangan utama. Jika terlalu pendek, maka bahu Anda akan menutup semua cahaya. Kedengarannya hal ini juga merupakan suatu hal sepele, namun Anda tentunya tidak ingin membaca tanpa mendapat pencahayaan yang tepat bukan? Jika Anda membaca buku di malam hari, Anda mungkin ingin membaca dengan bertumpu pada bantal Anda yang nyaman daripada duduk di meja. Nah jika lampu menja Anda justru terlalu tinggi, ini juga dapat menyilaukan mata, dan Anda tidak mendapatkan cahaya yang maksimal. Inilah alasan mengapa Anda juga harus memeperhitungkan tinggi lampu yang akan Anda pilih.
    
Pilih lampu LED

Zaman sudah semakin berkembang pesat. Daripada Anda memanfaatkan lampu traditional, alangkah baiknya jika Anda beralih untuk menggunakan lampu LED. Selain lebih praktis, lampu jenis ini juga lebih hemat.

Setelah Anda mempertimbangkan banyak faktor diatas, jangan lupa sebelum membawa pulang lampu tersebut, cek terlebih dahulu bagaimana kondisinya. Dan perhatikan berapa besar daya atau watt nya. Anda tentunya tidak ingin tagihan Anda membengkak hanya karena lampu meja baru.

Oya, jika Anda memerlukan tempat kost murah di Cirebon yang bersih, aman, dan nyaman serta fasilitas lengkap, Pondok Avicenna di Jalan Taman Pemuda No. 2 Cirebon adalah pilihan yang tepat dan solusi terbaik.  Rumah kost murah di Cirebon ini memiliki 28 kamar.  Adapun fasilitas yang disediakan kostel di Cirebon ini diantaranya kamar mandi di dalam, closet duduk, internet unlimited 24 jam, meja belajar dan tempat tidur spring bed, lemari pakaian, AC Panasonic, air panas dan air dingin, gratis cuci pakaian per hari 5 potong, ruang tamu bersama, TV LCD dengan saluran HBO, Fox, RCTI, dll. Fasilitasnya lengkap, bukan? untuk ukuran mahasiswa/pelajar maupun karyawan.  Apalagi rumah kos di Cirebon menerima sewa kamar dengan sistem kos harian.  Ayo tunggu apalagi?  Kost-lah di Pondok Avicenna.

TIPS MEMBELI LAMPU MEJA YANG PAS BUAT ANDA

A 2-minute-42-second demo recording captured in one take turned out to be a one-hit wonder for Mr. Ely, who was 19 when he sang the garage-band classic.

Jack Ely, Who Sang the Kingsmen’s ‘Louie Louie’, Dies at 71

At the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Suzman’s signature accomplishment was the central role he played in creating a global network of surveys on aging.

Richard Suzman, 72, Dies; Researcher Influenced Global Surveys on Aging

Judge Patterson helped to protect the rights of Attica inmates after the prison riot in 1971 and later served on the Federal District Court in Manhattan.

Robert Patterson Jr., Lawyer and Judge Who Fought for the Accused, Dies at 91

WASHINGTON — The former deputy director of the C.I.A. asserts in a forthcoming book that Republicans, in their eagerness to politicize the killing of the American ambassador to Libya, repeatedly distorted the agency’s analysis of events. But he also argues that the C.I.A. should get out of the business of providing “talking points” for administration officials in national security events that quickly become partisan, as happened after the Benghazi attack in 2012.

The official, Michael J. Morell, dismisses the allegation that the United States military and C.I.A. officers “were ordered to stand down and not come to the rescue of their comrades,” and he says there is “no evidence” to support the charge that “there was a conspiracy between C.I.A. and the White House to spin the Benghazi story in a way that would protect the political interests of the president and Secretary Clinton,” referring to the secretary of state at the time, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But he also concludes that the White House itself embellished some of the talking points provided by the Central Intelligence Agency and had blocked him from sending an internal study of agency conclusions to Congress.

Photo
 
Michael J. Morell Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

“I finally did so without asking,” just before leaving government, he writes, and after the White House released internal emails to a committee investigating the State Department’s handling of the issue.

A lengthy congressional investigation remains underway, one that many Republicans hope to use against Mrs. Clinton in the 2016 election cycle.

In parts of the book, “The Great War of Our Time” (Twelve), Mr. Morell praises his C.I.A. colleagues for many successes in stopping terrorist attacks, but he is surprisingly critical of other C.I.A. failings — and those of the National Security Agency.

Soon after Mr. Morell retired in 2013 after 33 years in the agency, President Obama appointed him to a commission reviewing the actions of the National Security Agency after the disclosures of Edward J. Snowden, a former intelligence contractor who released classified documents about the government’s eavesdropping abilities. Mr. Morell writes that he was surprised by what he found.

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“You would have thought that of all the government entities on the planet, the one least vulnerable to such grand theft would have been the N.S.A.,” he writes. “But it turned out that the N.S.A. had left itself vulnerable.”

He concludes that most Wall Street firms had better cybersecurity than the N.S.A. had when Mr. Snowden swept information from its systems in 2013. While he said he found himself “chagrined by how well the N.S.A. was doing” compared with the C.I.A. in stepping up its collection of data on intelligence targets, he also sensed that the N.S.A., which specializes in electronic spying, was operating without considering the implications of its methods.

“The N.S.A. had largely been collecting information because it could, not necessarily in all cases because it should,” he says.

The book is to be released next week.

Mr. Morell was a career analyst who rose through the ranks of the agency, and he ended up in the No. 2 post. He served as President George W. Bush’s personal intelligence briefer in the first months of his presidency — in those days, he could often be spotted at the Starbucks in Waco, Tex., catching up on his reading — and was with him in the schoolhouse in Florida on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when the Bush presidency changed in an instant.

Mr. Morell twice took over as acting C.I.A. director, first when Leon E. Panetta was appointed secretary of defense and then when retired Gen. David H. Petraeus resigned over an extramarital affair with his biographer, a relationship that included his handing her classified notes of his time as America’s best-known military commander.

Mr. Morell says he first learned of the affair from Mr. Petraeus only the night before he resigned, and just as the Benghazi events were turning into a political firestorm. While praising Mr. Petraeus, who had told his deputy “I am very lucky” to run the C.I.A., Mr. Morell writes that “the organization did not feel the same way about him.” The former general “created the impression through the tone of his voice and his body language that he did not want people to disagree with him (which was not true in my own interaction with him),” he says.

But it is his account of the Benghazi attacks — and how the C.I.A. was drawn into the debate over whether the Obama White House deliberately distorted its account of the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens — that is bound to attract attention, at least partly because of its relevance to the coming presidential election. The initial assessments that the C.I.A. gave to the White House said demonstrations had preceded the attack. By the time analysts reversed their opinion, Susan E. Rice, now the national security adviser, had made a series of statements on Sunday talk shows describing the initial assessment. The controversy and other comments Ms. Rice made derailed Mr. Obama’s plan to appoint her as secretary of state.

The experience prompted Mr. Morell to write that the C.I.A. should stay out of the business of preparing talking points — especially on issues that are being seized upon for “political purposes.” He is critical of the State Department for not beefing up security in Libya for its diplomats, as the C.I.A., he said, did for its employees.

But he concludes that the assault in which the ambassador was killed took place “with little or no advance planning” and “was not well organized.” He says the attackers “did not appear to be looking for Americans to harm. They appeared intent on looting and conducting some vandalism,” setting fires that killed Mr. Stevens and a security official, Sean Smith.

Mr. Morell paints a picture of an agency that was struggling, largely unsuccessfully, to understand dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa when the Arab Spring broke out in late 2011 in Tunisia. The agency’s analysts failed to see the forces of revolution coming — and then failed again, he writes, when they told Mr. Obama that the uprisings would undercut Al Qaeda by showing there was a democratic pathway to change.

“There is no good explanation for our not being able to see the pressures growing to dangerous levels across the region,” he writes. The agency had again relied too heavily “on a handful of strong leaders in the countries of concern to help us understand what was going on in the Arab street,” he says, and those leaders themselves were clueless.

Moreover, an agency that has always overvalued secretly gathered intelligence and undervalued “open source” material “was not doing enough to mine the wealth of information available through social media,” he writes. “We thought and told policy makers that this outburst of popular revolt would damage Al Qaeda by undermining the group’s narrative,” he writes.

Instead, weak governments in Egypt, and the absence of governance from Libya to Yemen, were “a boon to Islamic extremists across both the Middle East and North Africa.”

Mr. Morell is gentle about most of the politicians he dealt with — he expresses admiration for both Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama, though he accuses former Vice President Dick Cheney of deliberately implying a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq that the C.I.A. had concluded probably did not exist. But when it comes to the events leading up to the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq, he is critical of his own agency.

Mr. Morell concludes that the Bush White House did not have to twist intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s alleged effort to rekindle the country’s work on weapons of mass destruction.

“The view that hard-liners in the Bush administration forced the intelligence community into its position on W.M.D. is just flat wrong,” he writes. “No one pushed. The analysts were already there and they had been there for years, long before Bush came to office.”

Ex-C.I.A. Official Rebuts Republican Claims on Benghazi Attack in ‘The Great War of Our Time’

With 12 tournament victories in his career, Mr. Peete was the most successful black professional golfer before Tiger Woods.

Calvin Peete, 71, a Racial Pioneer on the PGA Tour, Is Dead

Mr. Tepper was not a musical child and had no formal training, but he grew up to write both lyrics and tunes, trading off duties with the other member of the team, Roy C. Bennett.

Sid Tepper Dies at 96; Delivered ‘Red Roses for a Blue Lady’ and Other Songs

As governor, Mr. Walker alienated Republicans and his fellow Democrats, particularly the Democratic powerhouse Richard J. Daley, the mayor of Chicago.

Dan Walker, 92, Dies; Illinois Governor and Later a U.S. Prisoner

Even as a high school student, Dave Goldberg was urging female classmates to speak up. As a young dot-com executive, he had one girlfriend after another, but fell hard for a driven friend named Sheryl Sandberg, pining after her for years. After they wed, Mr. Goldberg pushed her to negotiate hard for high compensation and arranged his schedule so that he could be home with their children when she was traveling for work.

Mr. Goldberg, who died unexpectedly on Friday, was a genial, 47-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur who built his latest company, SurveyMonkey, from a modest enterprise to one recently valued by investors at $2 billion. But he was also perhaps the signature male feminist of his era: the first major chief executive in memory to spur his wife to become as successful in business as he was, and an essential figure in “Lean In,” Ms. Sandberg’s blockbuster guide to female achievement.

Over the weekend, even strangers were shocked at his death, both because of his relatively young age and because they knew of him as the living, breathing, car-pooling center of a new philosophy of two-career marriage.

“They were very much the role models for what this next generation wants to grapple with,” said Debora L. Spar, the president of Barnard College. In a 2011 commencement speech there, Ms. Sandberg told the graduates that whom they married would be their most important career decision.

In the play “The Heidi Chronicles,” revived on Broadway this spring, a male character who is the founder of a media company says that “I don’t want to come home to an A-plus,” explaining that his ambitions require him to marry an unthreatening helpmeet. Mr. Goldberg grew up to hold the opposite view, starting with his upbringing in progressive Minneapolis circles where “there was woman power in every aspect of our lives,” Jeffrey Dachis, a childhood friend, said in an interview.

The Goldberg parents read “The Feminine Mystique” together — in fact, Mr. Goldberg’s father introduced it to his wife, according to Ms. Sandberg’s book. In 1976, Paula Goldberg helped found a nonprofit to aid children with disabilities. Her husband, Mel, a law professor who taught at night, made the family breakfast at home.

Later, when Dave Goldberg was in high school and his prom date, Jill Chessen, stayed silent in a politics class, he chastised her afterward. He said, “You need to speak up,” Ms. Chessen recalled in an interview. “They need to hear your voice.”

Years later, when Karin Gilford, an early employee at Launch Media, Mr. Goldberg’s digital music company, became a mother, he knew exactly what to do. He kept giving her challenging assignments, she recalled, but also let her work from home one day a week. After Yahoo acquired Launch, Mr. Goldberg became known for distributing roses to all the women in the office on Valentine’s Day.

Ms. Sandberg, who often describes herself as bossy-in-a-good-way, enchanted him when they became friendly in the mid-1990s. He “was smitten with her,” Ms. Chessen remembered. Ms. Sandberg was dating someone else, but Mr. Goldberg still hung around, even helping her and her then-boyfriend move, recalled Bob Roback, a friend and co-founder of Launch. When they finally married in 2004, friends remember thinking how similar the two were, and that the qualities that might have made Ms. Sandberg intimidating to some men drew Mr. Goldberg to her even more.

Over the next decade, Mr. Goldberg and Ms. Sandberg pioneered new ways of capturing information online, had a son and then a daughter, became immensely wealthy, and hashed out their who-does-what-in-this-marriage issues. Mr. Goldberg’s commute from the Bay Area to Los Angeles became a strain, so he relocated, later joking that he “lost the coin flip” of where they would live. He paid the bills, she planned the birthday parties, and both often left their offices at 5:30 so they could eat dinner with their children before resuming work afterward.

Friends in Silicon Valley say they were careful to conduct their careers separately, politely refusing when outsiders would ask one about the other’s work: Ms. Sandberg’s role building Facebook into an information and advertising powerhouse, and Mr. Goldberg at SurveyMonkey, which made polling faster and cheaper. But privately, their work was intertwined. He often began statements to his team with the phrase “Well, Sheryl said” sharing her business advice. He counseled her, too, starting with her salary negotiations with Mark Zuckerberg.

“I wanted Mark to really feel he stretched to get Sheryl, because she was worth it,” Mr. Goldberg explained in a 2013 “60 Minutes” interview, his Minnesota accent and his smile intact as he offered a rare peek of the intersection of marriage and money at the top of corporate life.

 

 

While his wife grew increasingly outspoken about women’s advancement, Mr. Goldberg quietly advised the men in the office on family and partnership matters, an associate said. Six out of 16 members of SurveyMonkey’s management team are female, an almost unheard-of ratio among Silicon Valley “unicorns,” or companies valued at over $1 billion.

When Mellody Hobson, a friend and finance executive, wrote a chapter of “Lean In” about women of color for the college edition of the book, Mr. Goldberg gave her feedback on the draft, a clue to his deep involvement. He joked with Ms. Hobson that she was too long-winded, like Ms. Sandberg, but aside from that, he said he loved the chapter, she said in an interview.

By then, Mr. Goldberg was a figure of fascination who inspired a “where can I get one of those?” reaction among many of the women who had read the best seller “Lean In.” Some lamented that Ms. Sandberg’s advice hinged too much on marrying a Dave Goldberg, who was humble enough to plan around his wife, attentive enough to worry about which shoes his young daughter would wear, and rich enough to help pay for the help that made the family’s balancing act manageable.

Now that he is gone, and Ms. Sandberg goes from being half of a celebrated partnership to perhaps the business world’s most prominent single mother, the pages of “Lean In” carry a new sting of loss.

“We are never at 50-50 at any given moment — perfect equality is hard to define or sustain — but we allow the pendulum to swing back and forth between us,” she wrote in 2013, adding that they were looking forward to raising teenagers together.

“Fortunately, I have Dave to figure it out with me,” she wrote.

Dave Goldberg Was Lifelong Women’s Advocate

Over the last five years or so, it seemed there was little that Dean G. Skelos, the majority leader of the New York Senate, would not do for his son.

He pressed a powerful real estate executive to provide commissions to his son, a 32-year-old title insurance salesman, according to a federal criminal complaint. He helped get him a job at an environmental company and employed his influence to help the company get government work. He used his office to push natural gas drilling regulations that would have increased his son’s commissions.

He even tried to direct part of a $5.4 billion state budget windfall to fund government contracts that the company was seeking. And when the company was close to securing a storm-water contract from Nassau County, the senator, through an intermediary, pressured the company to pay his son more — or risk having the senator subvert the bid.

The criminal complaint, unsealed on Monday, lays out corruption charges against Senator Skelos and his son, Adam B. Skelos, the latest scandal to seize Albany, and potentially alter its power structure.

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Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, discussed the case involving Dean G. Skelos and his son, Adam. Credit Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

The repeated and diverse efforts by Senator Skelos, a Long Island Republican, to use what prosecutors said was his political influence to find work, or at least income, for his son could send both men to federal prison. If they are convicted of all six charges against them, they face up to 20 years in prison for each of four of the six counts and up to 10 years for the remaining two.

Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, of Long Island, who serves as chairman of the Republican conference, emerged from a closed-door meeting Monday night to say that conference members agreed that Mr. Skelos should be benefited the “presumption of innocence,” and would stay in his leadership role.

“The leader has indicated he would like to remain as leader,” said Mr. LaValle, “and he has the support of the conference.” The case against Mr. Skelos and his son grew out of a broader inquiry into political corruption by the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, that has already changed the face of the state capital. It is based in part, according to the six-count complaint, on conversations secretly recorded by one of two cooperating witnesses, and wiretaps on the cellphones of the senator and his son. Those recordings revealed that both men were concerned about electronic surveillance, and illustrated the son’s unsuccessful efforts to thwart it.

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Adam Skelos took to using a “burner” phone, the complaint says, and told his father he wanted them to speak through a FaceTime video call in an apparent effort to avoid detection. They also used coded language at times.

At one point, Adam Skelos was recorded telling a Senate staff member of his frustration in not being able to speak openly to his father on the phone, noting that he could not “just send smoke signals or a little pigeon” carrying a message.

The 43-page complaint, sworn out by Paul M. Takla, a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, outlines a five-year scheme to “monetize” the senator’s official position; it also lays bare the extent to which a father sought to use his position to help his son.

The charges accuse the two men of extorting payments through a real estate developer, Glenwood Management, based on Long Island, and the environmental company, AbTech Industries, in Scottsdale, Ariz., with the expectation that the money paid to Adam Skelos — nearly $220,000 in total — would influence his father’s actions.

Glenwood, one of the state’s most prolific campaign donors, had ties to AbTech through investments in the environmental firm’s parent company by Glenwood’s founding family and a senior executive.

The accusations in the complaint portray Senator Skelos as a man who, when it came to his son, was not shy about twisting arms, even in situations that might give other arm-twisters pause.

Seeking to help his son, Senator Skelos turned to the executive at Glenwood, which develops rental apartments in New York City and has much at stake when it comes to real estate legislation in Albany. The senator urged him to direct business to his son, who sold title insurance.

After much prodding, the executive, Charles C. Dorego, engineered a $20,000 payment to Adam Skelos from a title insurance company even though he did no work for the money. But far more lucrative was a consultant position that Mr. Dorego arranged for Adam Skelos at AbTech, which seeks government contracts to treat storm water. (Mr. Dorego is not identified by name in the complaint, but referred to only as CW-1, for Cooperating Witness 1.)

Senator Skelos appeared to take an active interest in his son’s new line of work. Adam Skelos sent him several drafts of his consulting agreement with AbTech, the complaint says, as well as the final deal that was struck.

“Mazel tov,” his father replied.

Senator Skelos sent relevant news articles to his son, including one about a sewage leak near Albany. When AbTech wanted to seek government contracts after Hurricane Sandy, the senator got on a conference call with his son and an AbTech executive, Bjornulf White, and offered advice. (Like Mr. Dorego, Mr. White is not named in the complaint, but referred to as CW-2.)

The assistance paid off: With the senator’s help, AbTech secured a contract worth up to $12 million from Nassau County, a big break for a struggling small business.

But the money was slow to materialize. The senator expressed impatience with county officials.

Adam Skelos, in a phone call with Mr. White in late December, suggested that his father would seek to punish the county. “I tell you this, the state is not going to do a [expletive] thing for the county,” he said.

Three days later, Senator Skelos pressed his case with the Nassau County executive, Edward P. Mangano, a fellow Republican. “Somebody feels like they’re just getting jerked around the last two years,” the senator said, referring to his son in what the complaint described as “coded language.”

The next day, the senator pursued the matter, as he and Mr. Mangano attended a wake for a slain New York City police officer. Senator Skelos then reassured his son, who called him while he was still at the wake. “All claims that are in will be taken care of,” the senator said.

AbTech’s fortunes appeared to weigh on his son. At one point in January, Adam Skelos told his father that if the company did not succeed, he would “lose the ability to pay for things.”

Making matters worse, in recent months, Senator Skelos and his son appeared to grow wary about who was watching them. In addition to making calls on the burner phone, Adam Skelos said he used the FaceTime video calling “because that doesn’t show up on the phone bill,” as he told Mr. White.

In late February, Adam Skelos arranged a pair of meetings between Mr. White and state senators; AbTech needed to win state legislation that would allow its contract to move beyond its initial stages. But Senator Skelos deemed the plan too risky and caused one of the meetings to be canceled.

In another recorded call, Adam Skelos, promising to be “very, very vague” on the phone, urged his father to allow the meeting. The senator offered a warning. “Right now we are in dangerous times, Adam,” he told him.

A month later, in another phone call that was recorded by the authorities, Adam Skelos complained that his father could not give him “real advice” about AbTech while the two men were speaking over the telephone.

“You can’t talk normally,” he told his father, “because it’s like [expletive] Preet Bharara is listening to every [expletive] phone call. It’s just [expletive] frustrating.”

“It is,” his father agreed.

Dean Skelos, Albany Senate Leader, Aided Son at All Costs, U.S. Says

Mr. Miller, of the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, represented companies including Lehman Brothers, General Motors and American Airlines, and mentored many of the top Chapter 11 practitioners today.

Harvey R. Miller, Renowned Bankruptcy Lawyer, Dies at 82
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Many bodies prepared for cremation last week in Kathmandu were of young men from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

KATHMANDU, Nepal — When the dense pillar of smoke from cremations by the Bagmati River was thinning late last week, the bodies were all coming from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas, and they were all of young men.

Hindu custom dictates that funeral pyres should be lighted by the oldest son of the deceased, but these men were too young to have sons, so they were burned by their brothers or fathers. Sukla Lal, a maize farmer, made a 14-hour journey by bus to retrieve the body of his 19-year-old son, who had been on his way to the Persian Gulf to work as a laborer.

“He wanted to live in the countryside, but he was compelled to leave by poverty,” Mr. Lal said, gazing ahead steadily as his son’s remains smoldered. “He told me, ‘You can live on your land, and I will come up with money, and we will have a happy family.’ ”

Weeks will pass before the authorities can give a complete accounting of who died in the April 25 earthquake, but it is already clear that Nepal cannot afford the losses. The countryside was largely stripped of its healthy young men even before the quake, as they migrated in great waves — 1,500 a day by some estimates — to work as laborers in India, Malaysia or one of the gulf nations, leaving many small communities populated only by elderly parents, women and children. Economists say that at some times of the year, one-quarter of Nepal’s population is working outside the country.

Nepal’s Young Men, Lost to Migration, Then a Quake

THE WRITERS ASHLEY AND JAQUAVIS COLEMAN know the value of a good curtain-raiser. The couple have co-authored dozens of novels, and they like to start them with a bang: a headlong action sequence, a blast of violence or sex that rocks readers back on their heels. But the Colemans concede they would be hard-pressed to dream up anything more gripping than their own real-life opening scene.

In the summer of 2001, JaQuavis Coleman was a 16-year-old foster child in Flint, Mich., the former auto-manufacturing mecca that had devolved, in the wake of General Motors’ plant closures, into one of the country’s most dangerous cities, with a decimated economy and a violent crime rate more than three times the national average. When JaQuavis was 8, social services had removed him from his mother’s home. He spent years bouncing between foster families. At 16, JaQuavis was also a businessman: a crack dealer with a network of street-corner peddlers in his employ.

One day that summer, JaQuavis met a fellow dealer in a parking lot on Flint’s west side. He was there to make a bulk sale of a quarter-brick, or “nine-piece” — a nine-ounce parcel of cocaine, with a street value of about $11,000. In the middle of the transaction, JaQuavis heard the telltale chirp of a walkie-talkie. His customer, he now realized, was an undercover policeman. JaQuavis jumped into his car and spun out onto the road, with two unmarked police cars in pursuit. He didn’t want to get into a high-speed chase, so he whipped his car into a church parking lot and made a run for it, darting into an alleyway behind a row of small houses, where he tossed the quarter-brick into some bushes. When JaQuavis reached the small residential street on the other side of the houses, he was greeted by the police, who handcuffed him and went to search behind the houses where, they told him, they were certain he had ditched the drugs. JaQuavis had been dealing since he was 12, had amassed more than $100,000 and had never been arrested. Now, he thought: It’s over.

But when the police looked in the bushes, they couldn’t find any cocaine. They interrogated JaQuavis, who denied having ever possessed or sold drugs. They combed the backyard alley some more. After an hour of fruitless efforts, the police were forced to unlock the handcuffs and release their suspect.

JaQuavis was baffled by the turn of events until the next day, when he received a phone call. The previous afternoon, a 15-year-old girl had been sitting in her home on the west side of Flint when she heard sirens. She looked out of the window of her bedroom, and watched a young man throw a package in the bushes behind her house. She recognized him. He was a high school classmate — a handsome, charismatic boy whom she had admired from afar. The girl crept outside and grabbed the bundle, which she hid in her basement. “I have something that belongs to you,” Ashley Snell told JaQuavis Coleman when she reached him by phone. “You wanna come over here and pick it up?”

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Three of the nearly 50 works of urban fiction published by the Colemans over the last decade, often featuring drug deals, violence, sex and a brash kind of feminism.Credit Marko Metzinger

In the Colemans’ first novel, “Dirty Money” (2005), they told a version of this story. The outline was the same: the drug deal gone bad, the dope chucked in the bushes, the fateful phone call. To the extent that the authors took poetic license, it was to tone down the meet-cute improbability of the true-life events. In “Dirty Money,” the girl, Anari, and the crack dealer, Maurice, circle each other warily for a year or so before coupling up. But the facts of Ashley and JaQuavis’s romance outstripped pulp fiction. They fell in love more or less at first sight, moved into their own apartment while still in high school and were married in 2008. “We were together from the day we met,” Ashley says. “I don’t think we’ve spent more than a week apart in total over the past 14 years.”

That partnership turned out to be creative and entrepreneurial as well as romantic. Over the past decade, the Colemans have published nearly 50 books, sometimes as solo writers, sometimes under pseudonyms, but usually as collaborators with a byline that has become a trusted brand: “Ashley & JaQuavis.” They are marquee stars of urban fiction, or street lit, a genre whose inner-city settings and lurid mix of crime, sex and sensationalism have earned it comparisons to gangsta rap. The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business. But the genre is also widely maligned. Street lit is subject to a kind of triple snobbery: scorned by literati who look down on genre fiction generally, ignored by a white publishing establishment that remains largely indifferent to black books and disparaged by African-American intellectuals for poor writing, coarse values and trafficking in racial stereotypes.

But if a certain kind of cultural prestige is shut off to the Colemans, they have reaped other rewards. They’ve built a large and loyal fan base, which gobbles up the new Ashley & JaQuavis titles that arrive every few months. Many of those books are sold at street-corner stands and other off-the-grid venues in African-American neighborhoods, a literary gray market that doesn’t register a blip on best-seller tallies. Yet the Colemans’ most popular series now regularly crack the trade fiction best-seller lists of The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. For years, the pair had no literary agent; they sold hundreds of thousands of books without banking a penny in royalties. Still, they have earned millions of dollars, almost exclusively from cash-for-manuscript deals negotiated directly with independent publishing houses. In short, though little known outside of the world of urban fiction, the Colemans are one of America’s most successful literary couples, a distinction they’ve achieved, they insist, because of their work’s gritty authenticity and their devotion to a primal literary virtue: the power of the ripping yarn.

“When you read our books, you’re gonna realize: ‘Ashley & JaQuavis are storytellers,’ ” says Ashley. “Our tales will get your heart pounding.”

THE COLEMANS’ HOME BASE — the cottage from which they operate their cottage industry — is a spacious four-bedroom house in a genteel suburb about 35 miles north of downtown Detroit. The house is plush, but when I visited this past winter, it was sparsely appointed. The couple had just recently moved in, and had only had time to fully furnish the bedroom of their 4-year-old son, Quaye.

In conversation, Ashley and JaQuavis exude both modesty and bravado: gratitude for their good fortune and bootstrappers’ pride in having made their own luck. They talk a lot about their time in the trenches, the years they spent as a drug dealer and “ride-or-die girl” tandem. In Flint they learned to “grind hard.” Writing, they say, is merely a more elevated kind of grind.

“Instead of hitting the block like we used to, we hit the laptops,” says Ashley. “I know what every word is worth. So while I’m writing, I’m like: ‘Okay, there’s a hundred dollars. There’s a thousand dollars. There’s five thousand dollars.’ ”

They maintain a rigorous regimen. They each try to write 5,000 words per day, five days a week. The writers stagger their shifts: JaQuavis goes to bed at 7 p.m. and wakes up early, around 3 or 4 in the morning, to work while his wife and child sleep. Ashley writes during the day, often in libraries or at Starbucks.

They divide the labor in other ways. Chapters are divvied up more or less equally, with tasks assigned according to individual strengths. (JaQuavis typically handles character development. Ashley loves writing murder scenes.) The results are stitched together, with no editorial interference from one author in the other’s text. The real work, they contend, is the brainstorming. The Colemans spend weeks mapping out their plot-driven books — long conversations that turn into elaborate diagrams on dry-erase boards. “JaQuavis and I are so close, it makes the process real easy,” says Ashley. “Sometimes when I’m thinking of something, a plot point, he’ll say it out loud, and I’m like: ‘Wait — did I say that?’ ”

Their collaboration developed by accident, and on the fly. Both were bookish teenagers. Ashley read lots of Judy Blume and John Grisham; JaQuavis liked Shakespeare, Richard Wright and “Atlas Shrugged.” (Their first official date was at a Borders bookstore, where Ashley bought “The Coldest Winter Ever,” the Sister Souljah novel often credited with kick-starting the contemporary street-lit movement.) In 2003, Ashley, then 17, was forced to terminate an ectopic pregnancy. She was bedridden for three weeks, and to provide distraction and boost her spirits, JaQuavis challenged his girlfriend to a writing contest. “She just wasn’t talking. She was laying in bed. I said, ‘You know what? I bet you I could write a better book than you.’ My wife is real competitive. So I said, ‘Yo, all right, $500 bet.’ And I saw her eyes spark, like, ‘What?! You can’t write no better book than me!’ So I wrote about three chapters. She wrote about three chapters. Two days later, we switched.”

The result, hammered out in a few days, would become “Dirty Money.” Two years later, when Ashley and JaQuavis were students at Ferris State University in Western Michigan, they sold the manuscript to Urban Books, a street-lit imprint founded by the best-selling author Carl Weber. At the time, JaQuavis was still making his living selling drugs. When Ashley got the phone call informing her that their book had been bought, she assumed they’d hit it big, and flushed more than $10,000 worth of cocaine down the toilet. Their advance was a mere $4,000.

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The roots of street lit, found in the midcentury detective novels of Chester Himes and the ‘60s and ‘70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines.Credit Marko Metzinger

Those advances would soon increase, eventually reaching five and six figures. The Colemans built their career, JaQuavis says, in a manner that made sense to him as a veteran dope peddler: by flooding the street with product. From the start, they were prolific, churning out books at a rate of four or five a year. Their novels made their way into stores; the now-defunct chain Waldenbooks, which had stores in urban areas typically bypassed by booksellers, was a major engine of the street-lit market. But Ashley and JaQuavis took advantage of distribution channels established by pioneering urban fiction authors such as Teri Woods and Vickie Stringer, and a network of street-corner tables, magazine stands, corner shops and bodegas. Like rappers who establish their bona fides with gray-market mixtapes, street-lit authors use this system to circumnavigate industry gatekeepers, bringing their work straight to the genre’s core readership. But urban fiction has other aficionados, in less likely places. “Our books are so popular in the prison system,” JaQuavis says. “We’re banned in certain penitentiaries. Inmates fight over the books — there are incidents, you know? I have loved ones in jail, and they’re like: ‘Yo, your books can’t come in here. It’s against the rules.’ ”

The appeal of the Colemans’ work is not hard to fathom. The books are formulaic and taut; they deliver the expected goods efficiently and exuberantly. The titles telegraph the contents: “Diary of a Street Diva,” “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” “Murderville.” The novels serve up a stream of explicit sex and violence in a slangy, tangy, profane voice. In Ashley & JaQuavis’s books people don’t get killed: they get “popped,” “laid out,” get their “cap twisted back.” The smut is constant, with emphasis on the earthy, sticky, olfactory particulars. Romance novel clichés — shuddering orgasms, heroic carnal feats, superlative sexual skill sets — are rendered in the Colemans’ punchy patois.

Subtlety, in other words, isn’t Ashley & JaQuavis’s forte. But their books do have a grainy specificity. In “The Cartel” (2008), the first novel in the Colemans’ best-selling saga of a Miami drug syndicate, they catch the sights and smells of a crack workshop in a housing project: the nostril-stinging scent of cocaine and baking soda bubbling on stovetops; the teams of women, stripped naked except for hospital masks so they can’t pilfer the merchandise, “cutting up the cooked coke on the round wood table.” The subject matter is dark, but the Colemans’ tone is not quite noir. Even in the grimmest scenes, the mood is high-spirited, with the writers palpably relishing the lewd and gory details: the bodies writhing in boudoirs and crumpling under volleys of bullets, the geysers of blood and other bodily fluids.

The luridness of street lit has made it a flashpoint, inciting controversy reminiscent of the hip-hop culture wars of the 1980s and ’90s. But the street-lit debate touches deeper historical roots, reviving decades-old arguments in black literary circles about the mandate to uplift the race and present wholesome images of African-Americans. In 1928, W. E. B. Du Bois slammed the “licentiousness” of “Home to Harlem,” Claude McKay’s rollicking novel of Harlem nightlife. McKay’s book, Du Bois wrote, “for the most part nauseates me, and after the dirtier parts of its filth I feel distinctly like taking a bath.” Similar sentiments have greeted 21st-century street lit. In a 2006 New York Times Op-Ed essay, the journalist and author Nick Chiles decried “the sexualization and degradation of black fiction.” African-American bookstores, Chiles complained, are “overrun with novels that . . . appeal exclusively to our most prurient natures — as if these nasty books were pairing off back in the stockrooms like little paperback rabbits and churning out even more graphic offspring that make Ralph Ellison books cringe into a dusty corner.”

Copulating paperbacks aside, it’s clear that the street-lit debate is about more than literature, touching on questions of paternalism versus populism, and on middle-class anxieties about the black underclass. “It’s part and parcel of black elites’ efforts to define not only a literary tradition, but a racial politics,” said Kinohi Nishikawa, an assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University. “There has always been a sense that because African-Americans’ opportunities to represent themselves are so limited in the first place, any hint of criminality or salaciousness would necessarily be a knock on the entire racial politics. One of the pressing debates about African-American literature today is: If we can’t include writers like Ashley & JaQuavis, to what extent is the foundation of our thinking about black literature faulty? Is it just a literature for elites? Or can it be inclusive, bringing urban fiction under the purview of our umbrella term ‘African-American literature’?”

Defenders of street lit note that the genre has a pedigree: a tradition of black pulp fiction that stretches from Chester Himes, the midcentury author of hardboiled Harlem detective stories, to the 1960s and ’70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines, to the current wave of urban fiction authors. Others argue for street lit as a social good, noting that it attracts a large audience that might otherwise never read at all. Scholars like Nishikawa link street lit to recent studies showing increased reading among African-Americans. A 2014 Pew Research Center report found that a greater percentage of black Americans are book readers than whites or Latinos.

For their part, the Colemans place their work in the broader black literary tradition. “You have Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, James Baldwin — all of these traditional black writers, who wrote about the struggles of racism, injustice, inequality,” says Ashley. “We’re writing about the struggle as it happens now. It’s just a different struggle. I’m telling my story. I’m telling the struggle of a black girl from Flint, Michigan, who grew up on welfare.”

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The Colemans in their new four-bedroom house in the northern suburbs of Detroit.Credit Courtesy of Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman

Perhaps there is a high-minded case to be made for street lit. But the virtues of Ashley & JaQuavis’s work are more basic. Their novels do lack literary polish. The writing is not graceful; there are passages of clunky exposition and sex scenes that induce guffaws and eye rolls. But the pleasure quotient is high. The books flaunt a garish brand of feminism, with women characters cast not just as vixens, but also as gangsters — cold-blooded killers, “murder mamas.” The stories are exceptionally well-plotted. “The Cartel” opens by introducing its hero, the crime boss Carter Diamond; on page 9, a gunshot spatters Diamond’s brain across the interior of a police cruiser. The book then flashes back seven years and begins to hurtle forward again — a bullet train, whizzing readers through shifting alliances, romantic entanglements and betrayals, kidnappings, shootouts with Haitian and Dominican gangsters, and a cliffhanger closing scene that leaves the novel’s heroine tied to a chair in a basement, gruesomely tortured to the edge of death. Ashley & JaQuavis’s books are not Ralph Ellison, certainly, but they build up quite a head of steam. They move.

The Colemans are moving themselves these days. They recently signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press, which will bring out the next installment in the “Cartel” series as well as new solo series by both writers. The St. Martin’s deal is both lucrative and legitimizing — a validation of Ashley and JaQuavis’s work by one of publishing’s most venerable houses. The Colemans’ ambitions have grown, as well. A recent trilogy, “Murderville,” tackles human trafficking and the blood-diamond industry in West Africa, with storylines that sweep from Sierra Leone to Mexico to Los Angeles. Increasingly, Ashley & JaQuavis are leaning on research — traveling to far-flung settings and hitting the books in the libraries — and spending less time mining their own rough-and-tumble past.

But Flint remains a source of inspiration. One evening not long ago, JaQuavis led me on a tour of his hometown: a popular roadside bar; the parking lot where he met the undercover cop for the ill-fated drug deal; Ashley’s old house, the site of his almost-arrest. He took me to a ramshackle vehicle repair shop on Flint’s west side, where he worked as a kid, washing cars. He showed me a bathroom at the rear of the garage, where, at age 12, he sneaked away to inspect the first “boulder” of crack that he ever sold. A spray-painted sign on the garage wall, which JaQuavis remembered from his time at the car wash, offered words of warning:

WHAT EVERY YOUNG MAN SHOULD KNOW
ABOUT USING A GUN:
MURDER . . . 30 Years
ARMED ROBBERY . . . 15 Years
ASSAULT . . . 15 Years
RAPE . . . 20 Years
POSSESSION . . . 5 Years
JACKING . . . 20 YEARS

“We still love Flint, Michigan,” JaQuavis says. “It’s so seedy, so treacherous. But there’s some heart in this city. This is where it all started, selling books out the box. In the days when we would get those little $40,000 advances, they’d send us a couple boxes of books for free. We would hit the streets to sell our books, right out of the car trunk. It was a hustle. It still is.”

One old neighborhood asset that the Colemans have not shaken off is swagger. “My wife is the best female writer in the game,” JaQuavis told me. “I believe I’m the best male writer in the game. I’m sleeping next to the best writer in the world. And she’s doing the same.”

 
From T Magazine: Street Lit’s Power Couple

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Betsy von Furstenberg, Baroness and Versatile Actress, Dies at 83
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