Recently, Read650, a nonprofit organization that showcases the work of writers who tell personal stories in 650 words on a specific theme, asked for submissions for the topic, "Who Me?" and I submitted an essay about my Gullah/Geechee heritage. I was so grateful to discover that my essay was accepted for me to read at the winter event, January 22, 2023, at City Winery, Pier 57! I also met wonderful authors. I was also selected to read another piece I submitted regarding Read650's Women in Music series, also held at City Winery on Sunday, March 12, 2023, 2 to 4 P.M. The event was spectacular.
In addition to this, I also enjoyed having my latest book, The Gathering of Gemstones: A Poetry Collection, included in the "New Year, New Books" event at PEN America's 100th celebration. The food was delicious as well as that red velvet cake! I had a sparkling great time, and that Persecco was fantastic!
I'm very proud to have my books in the archives of the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center as well as the bookstore of The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Tyre Nichols is one of the latest victims of police brutality. How many more African Americans must die at the hands of police for such things as traffic stops? I am bewildered just thinking about that question. He was headed home on January 7, 2023, after visiting a park and taking photos of the sunset. In this new year, I have hope that this tragedy will encourage police reform and new legislation. How much more can we do?
"Walk with your mind on freedom" (from: Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America).
I encourage everyone to view the documentary series, The 1619 Project, with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Nikole Hannah-Jones, streaming now on Hulu, as well as the documentary, Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America, hosted by activist and attorney, Jeffery Robinson, streaming on Netflix. Both documentaries are filled with enlightening African American history that I certainly never learned in either high school or college, not even on the graduate level!