As February came to a close I thought what can I write about that is touching on the subject of Black History Month. I thought it may be interesting to you all to know where I’m coming from and shed a little light on my influences and who has brought me to do what I do…
There are a several of women that have had a positive influence on my life and why I decided to pursue this journey into becoming an author. My great-grandmothers, grandmothers, aunts, my momma encouraged this shy soul to express herself in some form or fashion.
I was exposed to Black History and its importance at a very early age. It was way more than just doing book reports and celebrating one month out of a year, black history was year round in our household. My grandma Alice taught me, “Say It Loud” (I’m Black and I’m Proud), which at the time I didn’t even know was a James Brown tune. My mother encouraged me at an early age to keep a diary or journal and took me to several exhibits in Kansas City on black art, music and other influential things.
Thanks to my Grandma Thelma, Great-Grandmother Edith, Aunt Audrey who shared with me many Black History books that I still hold near and dear to my heart and will be a part of my book library. When I started reading heavily in the Summers when I was in elementary school, I loved to read about other black individual lives. Where they came from and how they became successful against so many obstacles was and still is so fascinating for me.
Three of my favorite books and female black authors (pictured at the top), “Their Eyes Were Watching God” is by Zora Neale Hurston, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou and “Tar Baby” Toni Morrison which I am currently reading.
Not only are all these authors women and black, but they have continued to influence me as a writer. The women behind these stories and poetry are so influential. Reading and re-reading their works it seems I to find a new message every time and draw strength from their stories.
With Black History Month ending, I believe that we can learn from those who came before us. I cherish the knowledge that was passed on to me. That wisdom that is so valuable. In my literary life and real life I have be so blessed to have knowledge and guidance that has led me down this path to be able to share with you all.