Commemoration of Devastation/ Rebirth of Hope

June 1. 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the most devastating racial conflict in American History.

Viola Fletcher, 107, one of the last living survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre testified before Congress, May 2021

https://www.npr.org/2021/05/19/998225207/survivors-of-1921-tulsa-race-massacre-share-eyewitness-accounts

In 1890, a group of migrants fleeing the hostile South settled an all-black town called Langston, 80 miles west of Tulsa. Oklahoma wasn’t yet a state, and its racial dynamics weren’t set in stone. The architect of the settlement, Edwin McCabe, had a vision of Oklahoma as the black promised land. He sent recruiters to the South, preaching racial pride and self-sufficiency. At least 29 black separatist towns were established in Oklahoma during the late 19th century. for more information about the Tulsa Massacre

Following World War I, Tulsa, Oklahoma boasted one of the most affluent African American communities in the country, known as the Greenwood District. This thriving business district and surrounding residential area were referred to as “Black Wall Street.” In 1921, a series of events nearly destroyed the entire Greenwood area.

In the early morning hours of June 1, 1921, Black Tulsa was looted and burned by white rioters. Individuals used private planes to deliver turpentine bombs onto homes in Tulsa’s black neighborhood. The governor declared martial law, and National Guard troops arrived in Tulsa. Guardsmen assisted firefighters in putting out fires, took imprisoned blacks out of the hands of vigilantes, and imprisoned all black Tulsans not already interned. Over 6,000 people were held at the Convention Hall and the Fairgrounds, some for as long as eight days.

Twenty-four hours after the violence erupted, it ceased. In the wake of the violence, 35 city blocks lay in charred ruins, over 800 people were treated for injuries, and contemporary reports of deaths began at 36. In 2001, the Tulsa Race Riot Commission released a report indicating that historians now believe close to 300 people died in the riot. A long lost manuscript by Oklahoma lawyer, B.C. Franklin, father of famed African-American historian John Hope Franklin (1915-2009), describes the attack by hundreds of whites on the Greenwood neighborhood. It is a handwritten, breathtaking account of the events. Tulsa Massacre – Smithsonian Magazine 

 visit the website of the Tulsa Historical Society for more information: Tulsa Historical Society

Announcing a new book from Chicken Soup for The Soul 

I’m Speaking Now: Black Women Share Their Truth in 101 Stories of Love, Courage and HopeThis anthology, co-authored by Breena Clarke and Amy Newmark contains 101 compelling, honest stories and a dozen poems, from over 100 Black women. The anthology also includes two stories by Breena Clarke. The stories are timely, relevant, and very much reflect today’s reality for our community. Paired with quotes from contemporary and historical Black women, the essays are arranged in eleven chapters, each headed by a stunning poem and each of these personal essays has been edited with respect for the writers and their individual truths.

From the introduction by Breena Clarke:

The stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: I’m Speaking Now Black Women Share Their Truth in 101 Stories of Love, Courage and Hope are straightforward accounts of daily lives. Some are bursts of bright recollection of events or incidents from the past that have stamped the authors’ lives. Some of the stories are sweet, tender remembrances, evoking pictures of beloved forebears who give us the gritty lessons for survival. Some of the narratives are of dreams and goals the authors set for themselves and their children juxtaposed with fears and trepidation. Some of these stories are raw, unsettling accounts of trauma. Some are funny, and some are not. 

AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE JUNE 1, 2021

For information about this book go to https://www.chickensoup.com/book/235516/im-speaking-now

and view the trailer https://youtu.be/mLhKVarkIe4

Books by Breena Clarke

River, Cross My Heartan 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

I’m Speaking Now: Black Women Share Their Truth in 101 Stories of Love, Courage and Hope

A new book from Chicken Soup for The Soul

I’m excited to announce the publication of Chicken Soup for the Soul’s I’m Speaking Now: Black Women Share Their Truth in 101 Stories of Love, Courage and HopeThis anthology contains 101 compelling, honest stories and a dozen poems, from over 100 Black women. The anthology also includes two stories of my own.

Our publication date is June 1, 2021

I worked closely with Amy Newmark, the publisher of Chicken Soup for the Soul to choose these pieces from the thousands that were submitted in a very short period, from November 2020 to January 2021. These stories are timely, relevant, and very much reflect today’s reality for our community. Paired with quotes from contemporary and historical Black women, the essays are arranged in eleven chapters, each headed by a stunning poem and each of these personal essays has been edited with respect for the writers and their individual truths.

From my introduction:

The stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: I’m Speaking Now Black Women Share Their Truth in 101 Stories of Love, Courage and Hope are straightforward accounts of daily lives. Some are bursts of bright recollection of events or incidents from the past that have stamped the authors’ lives. Some of the stories are sweet, tender remembrances, evoking pictures of beloved forebears who give us the gritty lessons for survival. Some of the narratives are of dreams and goals the authors set for themselves and their children juxtaposed with fears and trepidation. Some of these stories are raw, unsettling accounts of trauma. Some are funny, and some are not. 

In my living room in Jersey City opening a box of books.

I’ve been discussing the stories, spreading the word. Here’s a podcast on FOXOLOGY with Silver Rae Fox on Blog Talk Radio. https://www.blogtalkradio.com/foxology/2021/05/10/author-breena-clarke-serving-us-chicken-soup-for-the-soul.

I’ll be talking about this book on radio and podcasts. Keep in touch through my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/breena.clarke

and through Twitter at Breena_Clarke

For more information about Chicken Soup and about this book, go to www.chickensoup.com

I hope you see yourself and your sister and all of the women in your life reflected here. I hope you will read these narratives and come to understand and appreciate the challenges Black Women face in contemporary American life regardless of your color on the American racial spectrum. These stories are for all of us because they are true. And each personal essay is accompanied by a quote from an outstanding contemporary or historical Back Woman. These are an inspiration and proof that, though we are speaking now, we have not previously been silent only unheard, unaccounted for, un-included.

If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other peoples’ fantasies for me and eaten alive.

— Audre Lorde

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ChickenSoupfortheSoul/

Twitter – @ChickenSoupSoul

                @AmyNewmark

Instagram – @chickensoupsoul

                    @amynewmark

Book Link – https://bit.ly/2Regvww

Hashtag – #CSSImSpeakingNow

FOR MORE ABOUT Breena Clarke, go to WWW.BreenaClarke.com

NOW What?

SPREAD THE WORD! An exciting project is upcoming in a popular literary series. Chicken Soup for the Soul is thrilled to announce a new title for Black women writers, publishing June 1, 2021. Chicken Soup For The Soul. I’m Speaking Now: Black Women Share Their Truth in 101 Stories of Love, Courage and Hope. I’m really pleased to serve as a coauthor for this new Chicken Soup for the Soul book.

So, I’m calling out directly to the strong and diverse community of Black Women Writers: Now is the time for Black Women to tell our story in all of its complexity. 2020 is the time, and this is the place for the deeply personal essay, the intelligent commentary, wryly or wildly humorous takes own modern life or the narrative witness to history. 

Share your dreams, your triumphs and, your failures. Write about your lives and community, which have unique challenges not well understood by others. This unique collection of stories will be for readers of all colors. Readers of color will recognize their struggles in these pages, and all readers will benefit from an inside view of Black life in America, Canada, and the diaspora.

We’re looking for everything from the serious to the silly. There will be 101 stories, so we can go wide and deep, and we’d like to share stories from Black women of all ages, from late teens to women in their nineties.

Link here for submission guidelines and a comprehensive list of suggested topics.

https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

Please submit to this collection. Let’s speak now about our beauty and our ugly, our sweet and our fraught, our boiling and our simmering.

Chicken Soup For The Soul. I’m Speaking Now: Black Women Share Their Truth in 101 Stories of Love, Courage and Hope.

The deadline for story and poem submissions is JANUARY 15, 2021 but submissions will be reviewed as they come in, so please don’t wait until the deadline. 

Read my story about a dog in NOW, an online journal

https://www.hfwwnow.com/blog/95h3zk8uu650o7agjgc6qaiaedropg

NOW, an online journal of The Hobart Festival of Women Writers https://www.hfwwnow.com is a project created during this unprecedented time. Edited by Breena Clarke, Cheryl Clarke and Esther Cohen, this journal is a collection of work of twenty-one authors who have been Participating Writers with The Hobart Festival of Women Writers 2013 – 2020. NOW presents the wide swath of genre, style and subjects that these womens’ work represents.

For more information about Breena Clarke, go to http://www.BreenaClarke.com

Breena Clarke’s Books