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Celebrating the word. Celebrating the reader.

Vol. VI, Issue III 2011

Summer reading

30-in-90!!

Summer eats! | Music to keep you moving


Inside Written Celebrating the word

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5

Critiques

For the fellas

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Cover Story

it's time for our reading challenge

7  Movies, Music & More

Smooth summer grooves

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Celebrating the reader

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Written Celebrating the word. Celebrating the reader.

Vol. VI - Issue 3 Written Magazine. © 2008, ISSN 1931-9029, Zipporah Publications, P.O. Box 250504, Atlanta, Georgia 30325. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any article without permission is prohibited. Address all editorial contributions to Written Editorial, Zipporah, P.O. Box 250504, Atlanta, Georgia 30325. E-mail: editor@ writtenmag.com. Letters may be edited and published or used in any medium. All submissions become the property of Written and wil not be returned.

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And so it is…

Rearing readers

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With Friends Like These

Our latests pics

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Healthy Eats

For Better Book Clubs

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Postscript

Titans of literature

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Handwritten

A letter for you

Publisher/Founder Michelle R. Gipson

Marketing Demetria L. Sharp

Advisors Elisha Gipson

C.O.O. Tosha Link Bitho

Publicity Audra Cunningham

Research Assistant Marquez Summers

V.P. Business Development Mary Sharp Gipson

Sales Director Rockelle Henderson

Creative Director Natalia Griffin

Sales Manager Sabrina Walker

Photography Tara Surrat Earl Flippen Jr.

Editors Trina Love Abram Sheronda K. Gipson

Sales Manager - West Coast Roger Waiters advertising@writtenmag.com

Columnists Phill M. Branch, Jr. C. Elayne Harper

Sales Manager - Washington D.C. Ron Burke

Interns Jasmine Keys LeJoi Lane Shyniqua Stallings Turquoise Mosley

Distribution Yulonda Sharp-Flippen

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter: WrittenMag

Editorial Assistant Michelle Chester celebrating the word

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Accounting Veronica Parker

Cover Image: © Dmitry Ersler - Fotolia

celebrating the reader


And so it is… Letter from the publisher

Read for your kid’s sake I love to hear parents read to small children. It is wonderful to watch a young mind imagine the world painted with broad strokes by the parent’s words and sounds. I especially love seeing the libraries that these young minds are collecting. They are so proud, happy and protective of the words and pictures on the page. I love the beginning of their reading lives. During the fifth year of Written, we are hoping that every one falls back in love with reading and especially parents. Parents should model through their own libraries what adult reading should look like. This image is the reason why we began 30 books in 90 days. It is an opportunity for children to see their parents with their own reading list. A book list that is not assigned reading, but reading that parents want to do. Reading that parents enjoy doing. Our online community is an opportunity for readers to interact with other readers whether they belong to a book club or not. This issue of Written is about two things that we love – books and music. Our guest contributor Sabin Duncan, gives a music list that tops all music list. If you believe that he has missed something or disagree with his selections, email us at editor@writtenmag.com. Love it or hate, we believe that you will be entertained by the column and will be looking forward to his future reviews. We continue our PostScripts with male writers that have changed our life. We thank our editor Shyniqua Stalings for her research to this feature. Sheronda and Trina have some recommended reading for you and please don’t miss Ms Harper’s letter to you. As usual, her words strike home. If you want to encourage a lifetime of reading, be a lifetime reader. Take your child to the bookstore and you both leave with books. Have an extended library and watch when your child starts looking in your books with curiosity about subjects and authors that they never knew existed. Watch how their conversation and vocabulary grows as they hear you interacting about the latest novel that you selected. Want a reader; be a reader. Enjoy the 30 books in 90 day challenge at www. writtenmag.com.

• Black Voice News • Indianapolis Recorder • The Atlanta Daily World • Washington Informer • South Georgia Journal • Mississippi Link • Denver Metro Weekly

© Julien Tromeur - Fotolia.com

Where is Written? • Minneapolis Insight • Cleveland Call and Post • Columbus Call and Post • Cincinnati Call and Post • The Winston-Salem Chronicle • The Tennessee Tribune

Want Written?

And so it is…

Michelle Gipson

Publisher / Editor

Contact distribution@writtenmag.com, call 404 753-8315, or contact your local African American newspaper.

celebrating the word

Michelle’s photo by Phill Branch

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Critiques Picks for the men A Man From Another Land – How Finding My Roots Changed My Life Author Isaiah Washington ISBN 9781599953182

There has always been an under current of “sankofa” in the African American community. To “go back and retrieve” that part of our lineage that has eluded us for hundreds of years due to the effects of slavery. There have been many that have tried to get us to look back. The more famous movements of Marcus Garvey that urged us to not only find out our heritage but to reclaim it by moving back to Africa; to the recent technology of DNA to find out our ancestry by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Isaiah Washington’s yearning for his roots began as a child in a re-occurring dream he called “the Re-Run”. This dream would fuel his journey and ultimately his fate as he finds the genesis and connection of his ancestry and his life.

season, accepted a position working at New Yankee Stadium. His position was that of a custodian. Not exactly the dream job that we think about when we’re off daydreaming but a job that would reintroduce him to a game, a team, and a city that he had long forgotten since childhood. At the same time, this job would help him to appreciate the journey we call life. Cooper’s story begins in December of 2008 when he loses his position as a legal assistant for a prominent New York City law firm. At the same time, his second career as a writer has hit a wall. As many of you may recall 2008 brought about one of the deepest recessions in US history. Two failed careers, a deep recession, and a fiancé tired of paying all the bills led Cooper to take a position as a janitor for Harlem’s First Corinthian Baptist Church. Reluctant to take the position at first, Cooper embraced this opportunity. It would eventually lead to him being offered a position that would ultimately change his life. Through this position, Cooper accepted a job as a custodian at the new Yankee Stadium. Here in the backdrop of the inaugural season of new Yankee Stadium, Cooper tells us his story of self-realization and redemption. This is a good read for anyone who is struggling with a transition in life. It gives the reader some touch of reality, a hint of spirituality, and a heavy dose of motivation! – Reviewed by Roger Waiters

We all know actor Isaiah Washington from numerous movies and tv roles; most notably as the handsome, intelligent Dr. Burke from ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. In “A Man from Another Land”, Washington explains that as a young boy growing up in TX, he has always known that there was something different about him and through his various travels, people would mistake him for being native African. Once in New York, a woman on the bus began speaking to him in a language that he didn’t understand, asking him if he was Wolof, which is a language spoken in West Africa. This and many other incidents began to resonant with Washington and connect with the dream he had as a boy where he would be running through a jungle or a forest with women and children pointing and looking at him; and him running until he ended up in an African village. A few years later, in a serendipitous twist, Washington was selected to receive the 2005 Canada Lee Award at the Pan African Film Festival. One of the features of that year’s ceremony was that the award recipients were asked to take a DNA test that would uncover their African lineage. Not only did this award acknowledge Washington’s accomplishments in film but was going to reveal an intricate piece to a puzzle that he had been trying to complete for his entire life. The results of the test, which were announced during the ceremony, showed that Isaiah Washington shared ancestry with the Mende and Temne people of Sierra Leone. From the moment he found his people, Washington began an undying mission to find out everything he could about Sierra Leone and what he could do to help his homeland. After visiting Sierra Leone and being inducted as a chief in the village, Gondobay Manga, Washington’s name in Sierra Leone, began reaching out to through his many connections to bring awareness and resources to the country through his foundation The Gondoday Manga Foundation (TGMF) and their website www.reachonemillion.org.

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Although Isaiah Washington has had many accolades from movies and tv, and the very nature of being an actor requires confidence, there is a self assured-ness and a steadiness that illuminates from those that know from which they came. I believe that Isaiah’s greatest achievement is manifesting itself through his tireless work in Sierra Leone. And all the roles he has played has prepared him for this one. –Reviewed by Sheronda Gipson

One Season in Pinstripes William Fredrick Cooper ISBN 9781593093549

As a fan watching a favorite sport, many dream of making that shot in the finals, hitting home runs to win the World Series, or even shaking off a defender and dancing into the end zone to score the touch down! Every true sports fan dreams of one day joining the team that they have cheered for growing up. It’s always been my dream to be the General Manager of the Chicago Cubs. I’d be the guy that finally put together a team that wins the World Series and break the 103 year ‘Curse of the Goat’. Well in his new book, One Season in Pinstripes, author William Fredrick Cooper actually has that dream come true. Cooper grew up a diehard New York Yankees fan and, in its inaugural celebrating the word

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Written’s 5th Annual Challenge!

30-in-90!! Looking at the numbers, it may seem a little daunting. 30 books in 90 days? In a world were time is always of the essence, why put so much pressure on the precious little time that we have.

Get Ready, Get Set, Read

The reason Written poses this challenge to our readers, is why not? Athletes have ideals to strive for, don’t they? For runners, their challenge could be a 10k like the Peachtree Roadrace or even the New York City marathon. For swimmers, it may be

(last one, we promise)

Pre-work:

a triathalon, or swimming across the English channel. That might be a bit extreme,

Select your books. It is important to have in mind the 30 books you want to read. Feel

but the point is the same. People who are dedicated need a goal to push them to

free to look at the staff’s picks to help you decide. Have support. Having a reading

their best. Goals are measurable and attainable and have beginnings and endings.

partner makes things easier. You can talk about your book as you read, which keeps

We know the readers of Written are dedicated readers, so we offer you this goal, this

you motivated. They can also remind you that you need to read. Remember why you

challenge if you will. Let’s train this summer and see how far we get. Not everybody

are doing this: the personal satisfaction… The knowledge you gain… Oh, who are we

that starts this race with us will finish, but starting is half the battle and for those

kidding, you are doing it for the prize!

who are dedicated to practice your craft daily, the satisfaction of completing what

Strategy for success:

you have started and something that pushed you further mentally than you have

1. Don’t be consumed by the number; get consumed by the book.

ever been challenged, will be the same as completing the Boston Marathon. Or

In order to complete the challenge, you should average 10 books a month. That does

maybe not. Don’t worry, you won’t be in this by yourself. We are all either willingly

seem as bad as 30 and 1 seems even better. Finish one book and then the next. That will

or begrudgingly in it with you. Follow the Written staff, which is a wonderful mix

quickly turn to 10 and that will quickly turn to 30.

of occasional and avid readers as we run our race, okay, enough with the running 2. Develop your own personal strategy.

analogies, you know what we mean…

Whether it is 3 pages a day or one chapter, make sure that you have a plan for how you will get to your goal. 3. Don’t waste an opportunity; always plan to read. When you plan your daily or weekly schedule, see where there will be opportunity to read. Hair appointments, taking the car to the shop, even being stuck in traffic are wonderful opportunities to read. 4. Read despite of your mood. Sometimes reading is like exercise, you may not want to do it, but you know you should do it. If you start procrastinating the days will quickly pass you by. 5. Don’t give up too early on a book; don’t keep trying if it becomes too much work. Even your favorite author can begin slowly. Give a book time, but if you start dreading reading the book, it is time to start on a new one. To participate in the challenge, sign-up on our on-line group at www.writtenmag.com and the join the 30 books in 90 days discussion.

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celebrating the reader


Movies, Music & More… By Sabin Duncan

For the true music enthusiast, every month is music month. The only difference this month is the opportunity to share some good music that has provided the soundtrack for this season of my life. This isn’t a greatest hits list, but a compilation of fantastic jams. They’ll cause you to do any number of things, even – the true test of good song – play air instruments. Get ready to lean back, nod your head, hit a few notes and most certainly play a few air instruments. Will Downing has got to be the coolest crooner ever! Add consistent catalogue of quality albums and this is one brother you can count on. Let’s Make It Now has the perfect blend of a jamming band, pleading lyrics, and Will’s mellow but urging melodic voice. The perfect song when you’re cruising with your date toward a night of fun.

Bilal would be a prime candidate for the “Artists-Who-Don’t-Get-TheirProps” award. After listening to Little One, I am again increasingly befuddled at how he is overlooked. Perhaps it’s the “daddy” in me or the haunting melody and enticing lyrics that draw me to this song. Whatever it is, it works as I found myself humming the next day.

Once you and your date have enjoyed a great time, you’re going to need some special music, melodies that’ll fill the quiet time. I suggest you turn on Groovault’s The Liquid Dream EP. She’ll know just how cool you are when you play this grown man music. The whole EP is about 20 minutes of romantic cool.

At Triumph Church in Detroit, Sister Donyelle would sing My Help by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Since then this song has been in my heart. I can't begin to count the days that I used this song to push forward. This reminds me of where I've been and how I’m capable and favored to go forward. After we regained our normal breathing patterns from the visual delight of the Window Seat video, it was necessary to give the whole album a listen. I got a lotta love for Erykah Badu. I would argue you to the floor in my belief that Mama’s Gun is her best work. Yet, this track, 20 Feet Tall, reminds me why I love her - simple thought provoking complexity.

Now if you listen to Jessie Boykins III’s Come To My Room during the same date night as Will and the Groovault, then Billy Dee Williams should be taking cues from you. For those of us who aren’t quite on Billy Dee’s level, Jesse provides that request that frequents our thoughts after a romantic evening. Dude is talented and his album The Beauty Created is a winner.

Before I was a professional and a role model, the terms “trill” and “southernplayalistic” meant a lot to me. Yet, over the years, that southern hip-hop void has been growing. Big K.R.I.T’s The Moon and the Stars fills that void and gives me confidence that punks in skinny jeans talking about their swag will not dominate the next-generation of hip-hoppers. The beat, the melody, Devin the Dude’s voice, and K.R.I.T.’s spitting take me back to good ole’ days, yet, it has just enough “newness” to keep me current.

Authenticity by The Foreign Exchange is the best album of 2010. It plays without prompting the listener to skip a track. It has one fivesong sequence that makes this album remarkably outstanding. All Roads and Fight For Love are the first two songs from that sequence with All Roads being my favorite overall. When you think, “how do you follow a joint like that?” along comes Fight For Love. When you hear this, you’ll know “either it ain’t or it is” and brother this album “is”. Don’t Wait and Make Me A Fool are the last two songs of the sequence. Let’s just say my kids heard Don’t Wait and by the second chorus they were singing along. Make Me A Fool speaks to that vulnerability when you are just so damn happily overwhelmed with someone you disregard the playa-rules.

Talib Kweli consistently puts out good music and Cold Rain falls under that banner. Mos Def is the truth and Common has the greater notoriety, but one can never sleep on Talib. Sometimes listeners will need a dictionary or have to do a google search after hearing some of Talib’s nuggets because he will always expand your thinking. This is hip-hop that nourishes as well as entertains.

Phonte is multi-talented and is the vocalist for The Foreign Exchange. On this EP, he and producer ZO! do their thing! It’s an album of covers of popular songs from the 80s. These cats are true enough to the originals, while adding their own subtle touches. I choose the whole damn album cause I have to listen to it all together for the best experience - as you should too.

Nothing satisfies my hip-hop jones like hearing Black Thought going for his. Doin’ It Again is evidence that he is on a whole ‘nother level. Then add Phonte to a track (The Day) and it’s GOOD TIMES ALL AROUND! The other cat Blu, rips it the hardest. I’m a big Roots fan, and although most would disagree I think the Phrenology album is their best work. Now, the How I Got Over album has me reconsidering that.

My friend Rashad introduced me to this young goddess Esperanza Spaulding. Then my good friend, Ran Walk, re-emphasized the gospel. By the time my homeboy, John, got around to telling me about her, I was already in love. Her latest album, Chamber Music Society, is more classical/ jazz, but this Esperanza album got me all open. Love the spunk she kicks in Precious and the rhythm from the bass is hypnotic.

If you think your children aren’t paying attention to the music you play think again. Of all the songs my father played while I was growing up Donald Byrd’s Places and Spaces from Places and Spaces means the most. When I went to record shops and jazz collectors trying to reproduce the song, the closest I ever got was Bobbi Humphrey. Finally, I found the “touch of jazz remix” by Jazzy Jeff on YouTube, isolated a few seconds of the song, emailed my dad and was reunited with a long lost favorite.

Once I recovered from the shock of the video of Marsha Ambrosious’ Far Away, I zoned into the lyrics and production. If you’ve ever been in a relationship that ends due to reasons beyond your control, Marsha captures that pain with potency. Then there’s a techno-dub-over voice that sings the bridge with her and on this song it works. Late Night, Early Mornings is a great album with an awesome cover photo too

Although you probably hear Hole in The Wall at the family reunion or when you are doing one of the five thousand variations of the hustle, I have got to tell you this song always puts a smile on my face. I get so tired of professional parties. I’m with Mel Waiters - take me to the hole in the wall. Every now then, I want to hear some Southern Soul – Marvin Sease and Sir Charles Jones – just to get in touch with my roots.

Kem came back with a BANG! The album is wonderful and Love Never Fails is my favorite joint. It's a story, told with Kem's unique subtle intensity. The melody takes you somewhere that might catch you off-guard when you hear the lyrics. Kem knows the formula that works for him and it’s most apparent on this track. Subtlety is a gift and he uses it.

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I could go on but the editors of Written have threatened to unplug my headphones so please check out those musical treats. Until next time, y’all be cool.

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Postscript

By Shyniqua Stalling

THE Men In part two of our feature, we pay homage to the men who are now the staples in African American literature. 1 Sterling Allen Brown was born in May of 1901 in Washington D.C. to a

to a gambling house he was expelled. After his expulsion he worked for pimps and hustlers, meeting a woman named Jean Johnson who would become his first wife after he was released in 1937. It was when Hines was imprisioned at 19, beginning his 25 year sentence, that he began the style of creative writing, writing stories that went into black newspapers.

distinguished pastor and theologian. He graduated with honors from Dunbar High School in 1918, and the following fall he entered Williams College on a scholarship set aside for minority students. Brown studied the works of people such as Ezra Pound and T.S. Elliot. He also studied Amy Lowell, Edgar Lee Master, Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg.

Hines sometimes wrote for the Cleveland Daily News but moved to California where he continued to write while working in shipyards during WW II. His novel Black Sheep did not have a publisher even with the sponsorship of Louis Bromfield, a Pulitzter Prizewinner. If He Hollers Let Him Go, was a story of racism in the defense industry that he debuted with in 1945. Following it came Lonely Crusade and The Third Generation, in 1947 and 1954 respectfully. In 1953 Hines moved to France and later to the south of Spain, having become the protégé of Richard Writing in the late 40’s and leaving his wife. The Grand Prix of de Littérature Policière was awarded to him in 1958 and the Columbus Foundation award in 1982.

He earned a master’s degree from Harvard University in 1923, and until 1926 he was employed as a teacher at the Virginia Seminary and College in Lynchburg. In 1929, he began teaching at Howard University. His first book, Southern Road, was published in 1932. Jazz, the blues, work songs and spirituals all had great influence on his poetry, helping to develop his writings to express concerns about race in America. His second book of poetry, The Last Ride of Wild Bill, was published in 1975. Sterling Allen Brown died in Takoma Park, Maryland in 1989.

Source: http://kirjasto.sci.fi/chimes.htm

Source: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/203 http://www.english.illinois.edu/ maps/poets/a_f/brown/life.htm

4 On June 20, 1955 Etta Mae Williams and James Jeter, unmarried, became the

parents of Everette Lynn Harris. Harris wrote novels about African-American men in gay and bisexual relationships. This bestselling author was forced to endure years of abuse from his stepfather for his sexuality, which he denied for years.

2 On June 19, 1872 Sutton E. Griggs was born in Chatfield, Texas. He would grow up to become a novelist, essayist, biographer, publisher, Baptist minister, and pastor. During the time he held pastorates in Virginia and Tennessee he wrote thirty-three books, five of which were novels. These books focused on African American pride and self-help.

When he was three his mother married Ben Odis Harris only for them to divorce when he was thirteen. The writings of James Baldwin and Maya Angelou were attractions for Harris. While attending the University of Arkansas he became the schools’ first black male cheerleader and first black yearbook editor. He also served as president of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. In 1977, Harris graduated with a BA in journalism with honors.

Griggs established the Orion Publishing Company which saw to his own books receiving more circulation than that of other writers. In his novels he focuses on the political aspects of life. His characters reject the stereotypical characteristics of the times and are instead what a person would aspire to be like.

After recovering from depression and a suicide attempt in 1990 Harris first bought a computer and began writing his first book. The following year he self-published Invisible Life and hand-delivered it to black-owned bookstores and beauty salons in Atlanta. As years went by Harris wrote eight other novels, Just As I Am (1994), And This Too Shall Pass (1996), If This World Were Mine (1997), Abide with Me (1999), Not a Day Goes By (2000), Any Way the Wind Blows (2001), A Love of My Own (2002), and I Say a Little Prayer (2006). Three of his novels won Novel of the Year awards by the Blackboard African American Bestsellers Inc.

His first novel, Imperium in Imperio, was a political work. The novel was published in 1899 and told of a national, secret organization that that demanded one of two things: a complete redress of grievances or the formation of a separate state for their people. Griggs died in Houston, Texas on January 3, 1933. Source: http://www.answers.com/topic/sutton-e-griggs, http://www.english.illinois.edu/ maps/poets/s_z/spencer/about.htm

In 2000, Harris was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. Three years later he retuned to teach literature and writing in the Department of English of his alma mater. He also served as cheer coach for the Arkansas Razorbacks cheerleading squad. It was on July 24, 2009, during a business trip that Harris died.

3 Chester Himes was born in Jefferson City, Missouri in 1908. His death occurred in Moravia, Spain, on November 12, 1984. He had been fighting an illness for much of the 1970’s. In his early years Hines planed to study medicine at Ohio State University, entering the school in 1926, but after an incident involving his taking other students celebrating the word

Source: http://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=3282

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With Friends Like T hese…

For more pictures of our friends join our on-line community on our website www.writtenmag.com.

Written celebrates five years and the life of Manie Barron with industry leaders at BEA.

Heart Healthy Eats!

Written hosts author, singer and actor Tyrese (r) at Spelman College to discuss his book How to get out of your own way. He was joined by author and commentary Jeff Johnson (l). Written publisher Michelle Gipson (c) was the moderator.

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Handwritten By C. Elayne Harper

Remembering a treasured resource: our libraries Dear Readers, In my previous columns over the years, I have shared with you that as the youngest of six siblings, with a three- to five-year difference in our ages, I often found myself having to provide my own entertainment. Paper dolls were fine for a while, as was perfecting my skills in the exact arts of pick-up sticks and jacks; however, my real joy came from reading. This escape from boredom and the mundane provided the perfect backdrop for an inquisitive and imaginative child.

experiences. For instance, GED instruction classes, literacy action programs for those with reading deficiencies, basic computer training classes, career development, job resource labs and much more. They host book signings, art exhibits, as well as other cultural and enlightening activities and events. Now is the perfect time to become reacquainted with your local library, as Written’s ”30 Books in 90 Days“ campaign is in full swing. The requirements for choosing your reading material are reflected in the article about this year’s competition in this issue. I don’t officially participate in the reading challenge; however, I do read 30 books or close to that number in 90 days on a regular basis. Not only is reading my escape mechanism, (how else will I make that trip to Dubai or the Gambia since it takes more than two hours to reach those destination by air and flying ain’t my favorite thing to do) it is one of my most effective stress relievers. Whether it is finding comfort in the scriptures when feeling overwhelmed by plain ol’ everyday living or contemplating all of the glamorous and exciting career possibilities (that as a ”Golden Diva“ I never considered) presented in the wonderful world of fiction by my favorite authors, reading is a balm when I am in need of comfort. Try it—you just might find that the same is true for you.

Growing up, I remember my family having a set of Child Craft Encyclopedias which included one volume that contained Mother Goose nursery rhymes and short fairy tales. I’m talking about the “classics” from ”The Three Little Pigs“ and ”Mr. McGregor and Peter Rabbit“ to ”Humpty-Dumpty“ and ”The Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe.“ I spent many afternoons with this volume, often reading myself to sleep, and later on, reading to my son from it. Although we had a time slot allotted to us to visit the library in our elementary school each week, a kid who read for entertainment and enjoyment, (with staying out of trouble thrown in as an added incentive) needed a little more time to explore the awesome world of the written word —in the ”real“ library. So you can imagine the absolute sense of accomplishment that accompanied my walking up to the desk at the ”real“ local neighborhood library, at around age 7 or 8, and emphatically repeating the phrase my sister Mary had instructed me to say to the Librarian, ”I want to join the li-berry!“ and the exhilaration of receiving my very own ”li-berry“ card with my own name on it.

While you are sharpening those reading skills and renewing your library cards, remember to check out the latest books by Pearl Cleage, Tyrese Gibson, Shirley Strawberry and your own personal favorite authors. Share your exuberation at rediscovering the library with a friend—especially in a handwritten note (you knew that I would get that in, right? )—and encourage them to join you in the 30 books in 90 days challenge or just to make it a point to include regular trips to the local library on their agendas. Until the next issue—remember that just like letter writing, reading does a body good!

From that day on, the library has been, and continues to be, one of my favorite places to visit (a good book store/card shop comes in second). From doing research for school papers (remember that everything is NOT found on the Internet and some sites are not free) to finding the latest selections by a favorite author, your local library offers a wealth of services, found not only in books, but also in programs that uplift, entertain and educate. During one of my conversations with Marquita Washington, one of the Librarians at my neighborhood branch of the public library in my hometown, I learned that much is now offered at the various branches that provides lifelong learning

Love,

Elayne

Have a question for Ms Harper? Email her at elayne@writtenmag.com

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celebrating the word

11

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Jul ‘11


Some scars never heal…

I

n the tradition of The Color Purple comes the unforgettable tale of Mama Ruby— the indomitable heroine of The New York Times bestselling author’s most critically acclaimed novel, The Upper Room— a small town girl who becomes the South's most infamous woman…

Read the classic that started it all!

“Magnificent, coarse, funny, and terrifying.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Available Now

Available 5/31/11

Visit Facebook.com/KensingtonPublishing by 6.15.11 and tell us why you love Mary Monroe for your chance to WIN a signed copy of Mama Ruby!

An imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp. FOR CONTESTS, GIVEAWAYS, AND MORE VISIT KENSINGTONBOOKS.COM/MARYMONROE AND MARYMONROE.ORG

Also available


Written 2011