Kujichagulia (self-determination) to be responsible for the community and to speak for oneself.
I was so excited this past year to have been included in the anthology, IDOL TALK: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Lives edited by Elizabeth Searle and Tamra Wilson, a collection of forty-four essays on the women and men who influenced the mature selves of women writers. These are the figures who guided our growing up, who helped to determine who we became. In these delightful essays, we authors are at times lighthearted, but we are also frank and revealing and aware and descriptive of the zeitgeist of the teen idol era, that time between the end of the World War II up to and including the modern Civil Rights Era. Our idols were, by and large, rebels, visionaries, geniuses, innovators, and damn good lookers. And their looks were important as they were served up to us on magazine covers and on TV, the medium through which we came to know a great deal about our American culture. I write about the sweet, dreamy, velvet-voiced Sam Cooke.
I write also of The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in September of 1963. I was twelve then and Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, and Carole Robertson were fourteen years old and Carol Denise McNair was eleven. The four girls who died that day were casualties of the horrors of white resistance to civil rights and their lives are, for me, touchstones. The opportunity for self-determination was taken from them. More information at BlackPast.org
I’m in great company in this anthology. The essays are written by Elizabeth Searle, Tamra Wilson, Darlene R. Taylor, Suzanne Strempek Shea, Kate Kastelein, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Lee J. Kahrs, Judy Goldman, Nancy Swan, B.A. Shapiro, Michelle Soucy, Amy Rogers, Ann Harleman, Linda K. Sienkiewicz, Janice Eidus, Katharine Davis, Jill McCorkle, Marianne Leone, Susan Lilly, Ann Hood, Lise Haines, Marianne Gingher, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Susan Shapiro, Marjorie Hudson, Morgan Callan Rogers, Leslea Newman, Leslie Lawrence, Katie Hafner, Lisa Williams Kline, Mary Granfield, Leslie Pietrzyk, Susan Woodring, Caitlin McCarthy, Stephanie Powell Watts, Ann Rosenquist Fee, Shara McCallum, Heather Duerre Humann, Lisa Borders, Mary Sullivan, Diana Goetsch, Emlyn Meredith Dornemann and Susan Straight. Wow! We cover a lot of ground,
Bonus materials in IDOL TALK are the “then and now” photos of the writers including glasses, braces and goofy hairdos, the fond, familiar glimpses of our youths.
Listen to the irresistible Sam Cooke.
Let’s celebrate Kwanzaa by being determined to recognize the needs of our communities and by being willing to stand for justice and dignity and against racism. For more information about Kwanzaa, go to: What is Kwanzaa
more information about Breena Clarke’s books at www.BreenaClarke.com
River, Cross My Heart, an Oprah book club selection and a classic of African American fiction is now available for your e-reader.
“The acclaimed bestseller–a selection of Oprah’s Book Club–that brings vividly to life the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC, circa 1925, a community reeling from a young girl’s tragic death.” Amazon.com
River, Cross My Heart, kindle edition