Tag Archives: black authors

Happy Birthday Zora Neal Hurston!

Re-membering an amazing writer, an iconic contributor to American literature,

Zora Neale Hurston

zora3

Hurston’s works touched on the African-American experience and her struggles as an African-American woman. Her novels went relatively unrecognized by the literary world for decades, but interest revived after author Alice Walker. Her most infamous work is, “Their Eyes Were Watching God”.

zorabook2

 

 

She Chronicles presents, “Gladys Hedgpeth” by Jetta Dya Jones

She was a close friend of one of the twentieth century’s most celebrated contraltos, Marian Anderson, and renowned educator, Mary McCloud Bethune; an admirer of Booker T. Washington; and once wrote about going to hear Ethiopia’s Emperor Haile Selassie and how disappointed she was when her children didn’t know where Ethiopia was on a world map.  Sadly, not much has changed 75 years later.  Civil rights activist and gifted seamstress, Gladys Hedgpeth’s story is one of courage, faith, and simply being aware things just weren’t fair when it came to equality in the quality of life . . . academic opportunities; career visions realized; and cultural exposure.  Against all odds, the self-educated, ‘very pretty’, brave and defiant mother of 9 helped bring a school board to its knees.

In 1943, Trenton, New Jersey wasn’t much different for ‘people of color’ than small towns in the South.  Daily racial oppression was just not as blatant, but most ‘Negroes’ were still confined to segregated facilities; venues; and prospects.  Although having to endure the sole responsibility of being a divorced single mother, a small portion of Gladys Hedgpeth’s days were still spent lugging a big, black pocketbook loaded down with NAACP membership envelopes.  It wasn’t easy convincing folks to join the so needed historic organization (founded in 1909) when that same dollar could buy two loaves of bread.  The crusader knew she had no choice but to try.

When Junior High School No. 2 was built, Gladys and other parents on the block thought their children wouldn’t have to travel to far away Lincoln.  That was definitely not the case.  Ten years before the decision of Brown vs. the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education (the Supreme Court’s decision on public school desegregation), the protestor and her neighbor, Berline Williams filed a lawsuit against the Trenton Board of Education.  They were represented by an NAACP attorney, Robert Queen.

Soon more than 200 black school children had transferred from Lincoln to other city junior high schools.  In 1946, Lincoln began enrolling white children making its principal Patton J. Hill, one of the first black men in the U.S. to head an integrated secondary school.  The case was cited by Thurgood Marshall in his arguments in the 1954 Supreme Court case.

(February, 1944) New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Newton Porter announced the Court’s decision . . . “It’s unlawful for Boards of Education to exclude children from any public school on the ground that they are of the Negro race, and a school board has no legal right to refuse Negro children admission in the school nearest their residence and compel them to attend another school where colored children are segregated from other children.

Celebration and honor!  In 1993, Junior High School No. 2 was renamed the Hedgpeth/Williams Middle School.

Resource:  Spring, 2005 – American Legacy Magazine

________________________________________________________________________________

IMG_0427

Kansas City native, Jetta Dya Jones is a retired educator, motivational speaker, and freelance writer.  Her debut inspirational book, Ba’al Perazim:  The Breakthrough, will be released early summer (Life Chronicles Publishing)

 

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: StacyMichelle, Poet

Was there any particular reason behind the creation of your chapbook?  If so, what?

This chapbook has been writing itself for a number of years now.  the motivation behind it was to peel back the covering and shine a light on the chasm an absent father can leave in his daughter’s life.  I wanted to display the painful truth & bewilderment, and also acceptance & forgiveness that starts the healing process.

How important is form, such as rhyme and line arrangement? How does form effect the overall art of a poem?
I focused on the arrangement of the lines instead of form for this collection.  I choose my line breaks with words that hopefully snatch the reader’s attention.
How important is the accessibility of a poem?
I know what the poem means to me; a lot of times it is cathartic to get words down, so when something I’ve written affects a reader in a different way, or they get something totally different than what I was thinking, it astounds and pleases me.  I think as readers, we bring our own experiences to the written word, and for me it makes what I do that much more rewarding.
What can poetry teach us about life?
Poetry can teach us how to breathe in the moment.  savor the essence.  & let go
What is one of your favorite poems in the chapbook?
“I will tell you where it hurts” is one of the most vulnerable pieces I’ve written.  the most biographical in the collection.  after anger.  hurt.  disillusionment.  unasked and unanswered questions, all I wished to be known was where it hurt the most.

 

StacyMichelle pic

BIO
StacyMichelle’s poems have appeared in the Fall Line Review, the anthology: Brothers & Others, Stirring: A Literary Collection, and the anthology: Help Wanted Poets Please Apply. This is her secondchapbook collection. Her first, “dear Georgia. Mother is a Tornado” was published in 2014. StacyMichelle shares rough draft of poems and art work on her blog:
The Language We Speak

We’re in the UK today with The Town Dance!

Hi All,

Today we are in the UK at Carole’s Book Corner promoting The Town Dance!  If you haven’t read the synopsis yet, go check it out.  If it’s your cup of tea, buy a bag to take home to enjoy later.  Well, you know what I mean… buy the book 🙂

This is day three for the release of my debut novel and the response has been amazing!  People are full of conversation after reading the book because of the story.  Let me explain…

When I began research on the top of same sex assault, all erotic/exotic stories and topics came up during my internet research.  This presumably has to be the thoughts that come to mind when people read the synopsis.  It is assumed to be about lesbian rape or an assault between two lesbian women.  It is not.  Nor is it an erotic exploit on two women sexually engaged.  It’s not a fantasy  It’s a story loosely based on a friend’s experience with same gender assault and breaking her silence some 15 years later.  If it happened to a friend of mine… it has happened before and thereafter.  I took a risk and chose to write about it.

Get your copy

Autographed Paperback of The Town Dance

The Town Dance on Kindle

The Town Dance from Amazon (CreateSpace)

TDcoveronly

My Favorite Quote, for you now!

image