A lesson to teach, and wisdom to share. Reading books about the lives of others has prompted me to tell my story. In almost every book I saw bits and pieces of my life, played out in another time, in another place, with another face. Discussing the struggles of others gave me the freedom and anonymity to voice my own.
What’s more difficult, putting your past in perspective or putting it into print? For many years, several stories deep inside me yearned to be heard. At times, the voices were so loud that my forehead felt like a flashing billboard. Other times a caution sign warned me to consider another path.
Purging the soul is good, but when you pick at old scabs, they sting and threaten to bleed again. The picking burns and brings back old, wretched unforgettable memories. Dipping my toe into the river of retrospection was easy. Putting the past into print proved to be more difficult. But the wounds are now open, and the healing has already begun. I invite my readers to walk along beside me rather than view me from a distance.
A mandatory read for anyone who thought they were 'woke' after reading 'Waking up White'. The author takes us on her trip of growing up in mid-century Atlanta Georgia; through her memories of life in a poor Black neighborhood, of her lively siblings and her mother's interminable work schedule, she gives us insight into a parallel world. There is not a false note in her recreation of poverty in a Southern city at the edge of the civil rights era as the backdrop of her personal memoir. The second room on the right is a sanctuary for a headstrong stubborn girl on her own road to freedom. We want to know that unexceptional room in that classic shotgun house on that street called Arcadia Circle. And we want to know her mama.