Thursday, December 17, 2009

Coming Soon -- GTM, the PLAY!

Now you know why we have been quiet these last few weeks as we have been working with Dr. Robert Knopf, Chair of the University at Buffalo's Drama Department on a dramatic adaptation of Go, Tell Michelle for the stage!!!!! And we have just completed a read-through of the script and proposed changes for Dr. Knopf to incorporate in the finished piece. Thanks to contributors Karima Amin, Sharon Amos and Sharon Holley for their assistance. We are working with Dr. Knopf and SUNY Press to have an inaugural performance on the 19th of January just in time for the anniversary of President's Obama's Inauguration. We are working very hard to have this come off and will keep you informed of our progress from here on.

GTM Named One of Top Ten Black Books of 2009

We'd taken a hiatus for a few weeks, but we're back with great news -- first the latest from "Inside Black Hollywood Magazine" - a story that cites "Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write the New First Lady" as number six on the list of the top ten Black Books for 2009. This list was compiled by critic Kam Williams. Williams was the first critic to write a review of "Go, Tell Michelle" in January 2009. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, Rotten Tomatoes, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee.

To quote the author of the list, Williams says "This opus is a collection of letters of support for Michelle Obama designed as a way “to send her a special message, grounded in our common ancestry and in the belief that our daughters have not only been inspired by her accomplishments but empowered by her example.” The assorted missives amount to a quite evocative collage of heartfelt correspondence in poetry and prose ranging from the intimate to the light and lyrical."

You can check out the list of the Top Ten yourself by going to the website. Please pass this news on to friends and family!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Virginia DeBerry's Open Letter to Oprah Winfrey -- A Call to Action!

Dear Sisters, I received this e-mail from our friend, native Buffalonian and fellow author, Virginia DeBerry. Peggy and I have had the pleasure of meeting up with Virginia and her author partner, Donna Grant several times this year at book signings/readings in New York City, Washington, DC and San Francisco. Virginia has written an eloquent and hard-hitting letter on a subject that we have often talked about and is, in fact, an age-old problem that we address every day via our Uncrowned Queens/Kings Websites. That is, how to raise awareness about the folks that are not the "super stars" but who go about community building, historical and cultural preservation EVERY SINGLE DAY without recognition, support or acknowledgment.

We applaud Virginia for raising the question publicly. We have also tried to get Oprah's attention, Tavis' attention, Roland's attention, Tom's attention and quite frankly a whole host of folk's attention for the only publication by Black women that documents our response to the most significant political event in the history of this nation. All we've gotten back is silence! or worse yet, empty promises!

Thank you Virginia for putting into words, an issue that should concern all of us whether we are authors or not. If we can't support each other, who can we expect to support us? Read Virginia's letter then write your own, respond to us, respond to her, send her letter on to others, but don't do nothing!

"Dear Oprah:We don't sing karaoke or dance with the stars, we have been contributing to the cultural landscape long before Jon & Kate, Britney,Rhianna and Chris or Stephanie Meyer and most of America, including you have probably never even heard of us.

We have railed against Kanye's proud pronouncement upon the publication of his 52 page book: Thank You and You're Welcome, that "I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book's autograph." Huh?

We are writers and we are in trouble. Big trouble.I would never have imagined myself writing this with the hundreds of thousands of emails and letters the show receives, I know the chances of this one actually getting through are somewhere between slim and non-existent. But one of the mantras my best friend/business partner and I lived by in the early days, was "It's only postage." Now it's not even that. So I could not find a reason not to write and hit 'send'. Like I said--we are in trouble. Everyone knows that Oprah is a champion of reading, that books are one of her favorite things and it is precisely because of that passion that I send this note.

I'm sure you are aware that publishing, like so many industries today-especially those centered around the arts, is struggling to keep up and figure their way through the maze of new media. What I'm not sure you know is how that struggle is affecting, or more accurately disaffecting an entire segment of writers--black novelists. Not the few who live in the rarefied literary echelons-Toni Morrison, Stephen Carter, Edwidge Dandicat etc. are doing fine-they enjoy the support of the media and the "wider" (whiter) population. These struggling authors also don't include those who now make up the largest growing segment of Af-Am writers-urban/erotica authors whose books are acquired by publishers at little expense and sold at great profit. A quick look at the Af-Am displays in bookstores will make this trend abundantly clear.

The literary marginalization that is taking place largely affects those of us in the middle-much like the economy today. There are many of us who have/had careers courtesy of Terry McMillan, we came along right after the success of Waiting to Exhale and found a warm welcome and an open door for a career we had longed for but so often found beyond our reach. Terry proved, what we had always known, that black folks read, and would buy books featuring characters they personally identify with. Not that we would stop reading all the non-black authors we supported, we would just enjoy a wider choice. Members of our 'class' include among others, Tina McElroy Ansa, Bernice McFadden and Connie Briscoe. Carleen Brice, a newcomer to writing fiction-though she has written non-fiction, last year started "December is National Buy a Book by a Black Author and Give it to Someone Not Black Month." She also created a blog and pretty funny video welcoming white people to the AA section of the book store.

For the past 20 years, Donna Grant, my writing partner, and I have been writing novels,7 in total. No Pulitzer or Nobel winners, but well crafted stories that have enlightened and entertained tens of thousands of readers. Our first "big book" Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made was published in 1997, has never been out of print, is in its fifth edition and sold over 750,000 copies, without any major advertising or endorsements. But that was then. This is now. And we, along with many of our "classmates" find our careers in jeopardy. (After 20 years, and at the age of 60, I personally am on the verge of throwing in towel and looking for a "real" job.) This precarious position is not because we write bad books, but because we all fall in the came category "African American Fiction" and we just aren't selling as well as our "street-lit" sisters and brothers. What we write is women's fiction with Af-Am characters--stories of struggle and triumph, loss, coping, love, and life, learning. But we are labeled, handicapped, before we're out of the gate. Those who are expecting urban lit are disappointed, and those (white folks) who might enjoy our work because the theme might be relevant to their life (like What Doesn't Kill You, our last book about a woman who loses her job after 25 yrs), don't ever see it because it's in "that" section and they aren't going "there."

We wrote a blog about this subject a few years ago and repost it every year--because, sadly, it's still relevant. (Nov 20 entry-Writing White. We do our best with our craft, but get "editorial" requests to add "more grit" or "more sex" and when we don't, can find ourselves without a publisher. This tactic has already cost us the final payment of a very lucrative contract---and a publisher. And despite exuberant praise from our editor about our new book (March 2010) "I kissed the manuscript when I finished..." we find ourselves wondering if we will get a deal for another book. We certainly know that if we were starting out in today's climate, it is unlikely we would have ever been given a chance.

I am going to resist the urge to be pejorative about urban fiction, but it is well known that most of these books are "under-written and under-edited" and are viewed strictly as profit centers. I do question what it means when books about pimps, hos and thugs, are fast becoming the predominant image we have on display in bookstores-a kind of anti-Obama if you will. What will happen when our young people find their choices limited like they were only a couple of decades ago? I will not ask that Oprah select a book by one of us mid-list Afican American authors for her book club. I will not ask her to condemn the proliferation of badly written urban lit which would likely instigate another rap/hip-hop debacle. (While I do liken it to the crack epidemic in our communities in the '80's.)

But I will ask for her attention. A word or two on this subject from Oprah, Champion of Things Literary, would I believe, make a world of difference in our plight. It might even mean that we keep encouraging young writers and continue to get emails like this one we received 2 weeks ago:

"Hi,My name is Carlie and I am a writer. I have loved books my entire life but have never been as inspired to write a full novel myself, until I met you when I was in high school. Up until then, I had dreams of becoming a published author, but was afraid to step put and do more than just a collection of short stories and poetry. Not that writing those don't require equal talent, but I have found that there is something about the dedication it takes to write a full length novel that I admire. I believe it was my sophomore year when you two came to my high school (Lanier High School in Austin, TX). You did a reading of Trying... and then handed out copies that you autographed for us. I have read my copy over and over again over the years and I fall in love with the characters every time as if for the first time. I was so excited when the second book came out because it felt like a chance for me to catch up with old friends lol. I have been working on a novel and have almost completed the first manuscript. I know I still have a lot of revision ahead of me but I thought it would be nice to get some advice from someone who has inspired me on how to begin my journey into the world of publishing. I would really appreciate it if you have a few minutes to share some of your words of wisdom and advice. Thank you so much for continuing to do what you do because you give women like me hope for my own future success."

Love, Carlie Dempsey

Thanks for letting me rant, Virginia DeBerry"
Photo (Peggy Brooks-Bertram, Virginia DeBerry, Donna Grant, Barbara Seals Nevergold)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MAUMBUSOMA: Sisters Reading Book Club

I don’t know if they’re the oldest continuously operating book club in Western New York and the country but after 17 years of monthly meetings to discuss books authored by Black women, I have to believe that they are one of the oldest. The Maumbusoma Sisters Reading Club met on Sunday, November 08, 2009 to commemorate this milestone and invited us to discuss “Go, Tell Michelle”: their featured book selection for this event. Held in a building aptly named “Our Healing Center”, we felt like we’d been wrapped in a soft, warm comfortable blanket of sisterly positive regard and support. What a great feeling! This was one of the few times we’ve had an opportunity to speak to a group who’d already read the book. This freed us to talk more about the wonderful, poignant and funny, experiences we’ve had on this journey with “Go, Tell Michelle”. This book has created so many opportunities to network, develop friendships and expand sister-connectedness (okay, maybe that’s not a word, but you know what I mean!) with other women across this nation. This presentation was the last formal reading and book-signing on our schedule this year and was a wonderful climax to what has been an extraordinary experience. We are looking forward to next year and more exciting news about “Go, Tell Michelle” as we work on a dramatic adaptation of the book for the stage. Stay tuned!

Above: Dr. Sharon Amos introducing the authors.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

“Go, Tell Michelle” Contributor Sharon Holley To Receive Zora Neale Hurston Award

Storyteller, Sharon Jordan Holley will receive the Zora Neale Hurston Award at the “In the tradition…” 27th Annual Black Storytelling Festival & Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, November 11-15, 2009. The Zora Neale Hurston Award is the highest honor given by the National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc. (NABS) to an individual who has contributed significantly to the preservation and perpetuation of African American Folklore.

Sharon who hails from High Springs, Florida is a retired librarian from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. She is a founding and performing member of Spin-A-Story Tellers of Western New York and co-founder of Tradition Keepers: Black Storytellers of Western New York. She is also a member of the National Storytelling Network and the National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc. Her storytelling experience has taken her throughout Western New York and in many other areas of the country, where she has performed at libraries, schools, community events, colleges and other venues. Sharon also performs stories and plays percussion with Daughters of Creative Sound: an African American women’s drum and percussion group in Buffalo, New York. Storytelling members of Daughters of Creative Sound will also be featured tellers at the 27th Annual Black Storytelling Festival & Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.

In addition to storytelling, Sharon serves on the Board of the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier and the Michigan Street Preservation Corp. She is a member of the Buffalo Genealogical Society of the African Diaspora and works with the Juneteenth Committee and the Kwanzaa Committee of Buffalo. Sharon has received numerous awards for service to the community and has been recognized as an “Uncrowned Queen” by the Uncrowned Queens Institute. She is a member of Agape A.M.E. Church. Sharon is married to Kenneth Holley and they are the parents of three daughters and three grandchildren.

(Daughters of Creative Sound - Sharon Holley, 4th from left)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Uncrowned Queens Celebrates Karima Amin

Our sister, Uncrowned Queen and member of the Go, Tell Michelle Sisterhood Network Karima Amin is doing extraordinary work with her long standing Buffalo project, Prisoners are People Too. She is to be commended for this work to give voice to those incarcerated humans behind bars who have few if any to speak for them. We are so proud of Karima and extend our support as we feature her work on the

"Prisoners Are People Too!" is a monthly documentary film and speakers series that meets on selected dates at the Pratt-Willert Community Center, 422 Pratt Street, Buffalo, NY 14204. For more information call: 716-834-8438 or

Originally created in 2005 to enhance the general public's awareness of prison issues, the program has grown to include networking, referrals, community building, action organizing, and camaraderie as well as community education. Through films, guest speakers and follow-up discussions, the program promotes the growth of the community's knowledge and understanding
of the Prison Industrial Complex, the plight of prisoners and prison families, and the challenges of re-entry.

The program operates on the premise that, "Prisoners are people too; to deny their humanity is to deny our own."Monthly programs are sponsored by The Circle ofSupporters for Reformed Offenders and Friends of Baba Eng.

I remember almost five years ago on June 23, 2005 when I received an email from Karima with the following paragraph:

“last night I held my first "prisoners are people too!" was a BIG success! ...even my 88 yr.old dad
came out to support me and my daughter, sabriyah, was
a lifesaver.....i am conducting a monthly documentary
film and speaker series which i hope will open up the
minds and the hearts of the general public to the
plight of the incarcerated....50 people showed up last
night!.......i was delighted!........
the film was moving and my two speakers were

Since then, Karima has held meetings each Monday night without fail. To inform the public she has had speakers from around New York State and the country present; she stages informational/educational forums; she searches out and features outstanding films depicting the plight of our prisoners; she participates with a prison ministry so that the incarcerated will remember that they are not forgotten and she has single-handedly taken on the plight of Baba Eng who hopes to be released on parole shortly.

Meeting are held at the Pratt-Willert Community Center, 422 Pratt Street in Buffalo from 6:30pm - 8:30pm. The program is sponsored by The Circle of Supporters for Reformed Offenders and Friends of BaBa Eng.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Kudos and much appreciation to Dr. Arlette Miller-Smith, St. John Fisher professor and “Go, Tell Michelle” contributor for organizing an extraordinary program last Wednesday evening (October 21st) entitled, “SUMMIT of SISTERS”. This special symposium, an extension of her Women and Gender Studies Senior Seminar – Assumed Positions: Re/dis/uncovering Resistance & Resilience in the Black Female Body – brought community members and students together to identify and analyze the issues, challenges, achievements, experiences and resistance strategies used by herstorical (sic) and contemporary African American women. Nearly 85 women and men attended the program and I was particularly pleased and impressed by the 15 young women and their advisor, who drove two hours from SUNY Courtland to attend the symposium. Mrs. Donald E. Bain, wife of St. John Fisher College’s President as well as the official Monroe County Historian also attended this special event.

Dr. Miller-Smith set the stage by offering the background for the course. Dr. Margie Lovett-Scott and Rev. Iris Banister, guest presenters, addressed the issues of health and the significance of religion in the lives of Black women. Dr. Miller-Smith’s students presented the outcomes of their oral history interviews with three “community torch bearers”. We would call them “Uncrowned Queens” and in fact, the biographies of these women will be submitted to the Uncrowned Queens Institute for our digital archive. Again, I want to acknowledge the importance of these students’ research and to thank them and Dr. Miller-Smith for designing this course, which has such a positive impact on the community as well as the students. Through their oral history interviews and papers, the students are preserving the biographical histories of women, who might not otherwise have their histories documented.

I’m pleased and proud to have been invited to participate in this major educational presentation as a guest speaker also. The topic of my presentation was the Phyllis Wheatley Club, Buffalo’s oldest affiliate of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. Founded in 1899, the members of the Club exemplified the strategic resistance, representation and resilience approaches that have sustained Black women in this country. Together, with the other presenters, I think we fulfilled the goals and objectives of this symposium. Although the program was slated to end at 8:30pm, people did not want to leave and we continued the discussion for at least a half hour past the official end of the symposium.

It was a full evening! Prior to the symposium, a reading from “Go, Tell Michelle” was held from 5:30 to 6:30pm. Dr. Miller-Smith and I were joined by fellow contributors, Janeen Ceparano Wilkins and Dr. Sharon Amos, who also drove to Rochester from Buffalo. Over sixty women attended the reading and although we had little time to chat following this session, a number of women purchased the book and said how excited they were to hear us read the letters and to learn about the history of this publication.

(artwork - courtesy of Cheryl Olney)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thank You, ABWH!

On October 3rd, we received the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Award for edited volumes from the Association of Black Women Historians. We want to thank the ABWH for honoring our work on "Go, Tell Michelle" with the coveted recognition. Special thanks to Dr. Ida Jones and Dr. Elizabeth Clark Lewis. An earlier post provides a detailed description of this award and the ABWH. (Pictured at left, Dr. Jones and Dr. Nevergold)

Monday, October 12, 2009

A New Poem from Shirley A. J. Hanshaw

On October 3rd I had the pleasure of meeting two GTM contributors, Shirley A. J. Hanshaw and Adah Ward Randolph (pictured at left with me) . We shared a great panel discussion on Go, Tell Michelle at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in Cincinnati. About 25 individuals attended the session which I moderated and shared the "back story" of the book's inception and the experiences that Peggy and I have had as we've talked to audiences throughout the country. Both Adah and Shirley offered the context for their letters and read their contributions. Adah's anecdote of the Mother's Day situation that inspired her letter brought many of us to tears and was a graphic illustration of the deep well spring of experiences that Black women confront on a daily basis. Shirley read another poem that she'd authored that was too late for the original publication. She asked that it be shared on this blog and we are pleased to have the honor!

The Time Has Come, and I Can’t Wait

Lines written in anticipation of the Inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama and

First Lady Michelle Obama, 11/08

The time has come for

A new chapter to be written in American his-/herstory

For bells to be rung and

Songs to be sung

Heralding the fruition of

Hopes and dreams.

The time has come, and

I can’t wait for the Presidential Inauguration,

Bearing witness to the celebration of our

First Black First Lady

Strolling arm in arm and bumping fists with our

First Black President;

Our Bronzeville King and Queen, beaming to the

Screaming of the crowd.

I can’t wait for

President Barack Hussein Obama to be

Sworn in with the oath of office,

Taking his rightful place,

Perched on the precipice of time;

On the 55th anniversary of Brown v. Board

On the 100th anniversary of the NAACP

On the 200th anniversary of President Lincoln’s birth.

I can’t wait for your two little Black princesses,

Malia and Sasha, to inhabit their castle, with

Sleepovers and ice cream socials,

Scampering around the White House grounds with their promised puppy,

Playing make-believe in a real Dream House.

Like you, Michelle,

I am proud, for the first time, to be an American

Fulfilling the dreams of our fathers, mothers, and

“Other mothers”—sisters, babysitters, grandmothers, aunts, friends, neighborhood women—

Who cared for our children while we

Pursued careers, became co-breadwinners and breadwinners,

Walking in the proud ancestral footsteps of

All the nameless sheroes whose indomitable strength, hard work and

Belief in God brought us “thus far on the way.”

I can’t wait, Michelle, to see you and Barack

Striding, hand in hand, into

Our futures;

While the world gazes in wonderment

At your beauty and intellect;

Resplendent, radiant,

Reassuring the world that it is now in good hands.

I can’t wait, Michelle,

I can’t wait,

The time has come



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A funny thing happened on the way to the Convention Center

Taxi cab drivers are an interesting group. We often talk to cabbies we meet in the course of our travels. On September 24th, we were in Washington, DC on our way to the Walter Washington Convention Center for the Congressional Black Caucus' Author's Pavilion. Our driver asked what we were doing in DC and we jokingly replied that we were authors and that we had written "Go, Tell Michelle". Oh, he replied, I've heard of that. I have to admit that we were somewhat skeptical, so we asked him what he'd heard. "Oh, I know all about it", he replied. "A group of women sent Michelle Obama letters of advice." Hey, we replied, how did you know that? "I heard you all on NPR.", our cab driver responded. He added, "it was a great program. I enjoyed listening to you."

Well, we have learned our lesson. Never underestimate the man who is driving you around in his cab. Not only was our driver an NPR listener, but he was a musician, who had played with some of the greats including Coltrane and Miles Davis. Like I said, taxi cab drivers are some of the most interesting people.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

GTM Sisters: A Model in Networking

On September 23rd, we returned to Baltimore and Washington, DC for two events: a reading and signing at the Robbye Apperson Home Gallery and a book signing at the Author’s Pavilion at the Congressional Black Caucus. We first met Robbye via a telephone conversation. She called to say that she loved “Go, Tell Michelle” and to ask if we would consider doing a book signing/reading in Baltimore at her Gallery. Over several months after her initial call, we e-mailed and worked out the details for our visit to Baltimore. Robbye enlisted the help of a friend, Cash Hester, who took over the planning and making the arrangements for this event. When we got to the Apperson Gallery, we could hardly believe the beautiful artwork that is tastefully arranged on the walls and floors of the three story Apperson home. The first two floors are used for the art displays and the third floor is used by the Appersons for their living quarters. Together, Robbye, Cash and Michelle, Cash’s assistant, put together a wonderful reception, attended by about 25 guests. We had a great reading and conversation with the guests; a diverse group of women and men. To say that Robbye is the “hostess with the mostess” is an understatement! The food was great, the ambience was great, and the company was great! We extend our sincere thanks to Robbye, who is another example of the extraordinary women that we have met in our journey with GTM.

As we recount the experiences that we’ve had and are having as a result of the readings/book signings and interviews since Go, Tell Michelle was published nine months ago, it might seem to some that these events are merely nice, social/sociable activities. They are, in fact, much more than social events, much more than promotional events and much more than mere book signings. In our travels from city to city; coast to coast, we are witnessing and participating in the development and expansion of the GTM Sisterhood Network – emphasis on sisterhood and network. The sisters we are meeting are kind, generous, supportive, encouraging and giving. They have extended themselves to help us expand our outreach to others and by extension to expand our network. They have shared their resources, their ideas and their contacts. They have organized programs for GTM readings; spread the word about GTM via e-mail, snail mail, telephone, word-of-mouth and other communication vehicles. They have modeled, in every definition of the expressions, what it means to be sisters and to network with each other.

In short, they believe that what we’ve done and are doing is important and resonates with their values and beliefs; identify common threads that unite us and strengthens us individually as well as collectively; focus their energies to bolster each other; encourage agency; make a significant statement about issues that Black women note as important in the 21st century and offer a leadership model that is unique yet exemplary.

Since the publication of Go, Tell Michelle, we have now personally met nearly 50 of the 100 contributors. With each meeting we are confirmed in our assessment of the network and the women who are contributing to it. In addition, we have met women like Robbye Apperson and Cash Hester in Baltimore, Mary Ann Braithwaite and Sigrid Williams in Berkeley, Sandra Finley in Chicago, Jennifer Parker of Buffalo, for example, who have joined and enriched our network. Thanks to these women the GTM Sisterhood Network stands as a dynamic example of a vibrant network!

(Photos: Barbara at the Gallery; Peggy, Cash and Michelle outside Apperson's; inside the Gallery)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

GTM on Paul Lawrence Vann Blog-Radio Program

This morning we met a very special gentleman and had a great conversation with him. Paul Lawrence Vann, host of the Wealthy Speaker Show on Blog-Talk radio interviewed Barbara and Peggy about Go, Tell Michelle. Listen to the program here (Note: the download may take some time - please be patient)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

From Berkley with Love, Contributors Speak About their letters

We recorded the West coast members of the GTM Sisterhood Network joining us for the reading and book signing at Rebecca's Books in Berkeley. This is Opal Adisa Palmer. Others will be posted in the coming weeks.

GTM Adopted as Text by another college professor

We’ve just learned that Professor Carmen McNeil, M.A. recently assigned “Go, Tell Michelle” to her students in a Psychology of Women course, for extra credit. Professor McNeil teaches at Diablo Valley College (DVC) in Pleasant Hill, California. Professor McNeil attended the reading and book signing at Rebecca’s on September 11th and we had the pleasure to meet her to speak to her briefly about use of GTM in her class. La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson just contacted us to inform us that Professor McNeil will be teaching Psychology of African Americans in the Spring 2010 semester and will adopt “Go, Tell Michelle” as a required text!

I just checked books and find that we are ranked 26,684 in books and that we are ranked 11th in Best sellers in Letters & Correspondence , 70th in Best sellers in Criminology and 82nd in Best sellers in African American Studies! Again, we see the depth and substance of this book in recognized on many levels.

(photo: GTM contributor, Jackie Frazier and friends at Rebecca's Books)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

California Book Club Summit

And then, as if the GTM reading and signing at Rebecca's wasn't enough excitement, the next day we spoke at the breakfast meeting of the California Book Club Summit. We were joined by Opal Adisa Palmer, arabella grayson and Andrea Barnwell. This is the inaugural year for the California Summit as well as our first time attending a conference where the majority of the authors were fiction writers. What a treat to see and hear one of my favorite authors, J. California Cooper! It was so interesting to hear writers like Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant describe how they "tag-team" write their novels, and how authors like Tina McElroy Ansa, ReShonda Tate Billingsly, Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes get their inspiration. Not surprisingly, these authors are having a very difficult time because of the impact that our economic crisis has had on the publishing industry. All those who love to read, please buy a book and encourage friends to support Black authors.

There was an especially moving tribute to the late author E. Lynn Harris by several of his closest friends and admirers . Special acknowledgment to Rev. Barnes, who also spoke during the breakfast on Saturday. He provided support and prayer at a time when it was most needed.

The woman, who gave birth to the idea of the California Book Club Summit and certainly experienced all the labor pains to make it a reality is Sigrid Williams. The Summit was such a great conference and we enjoyed it enormously. Thank you Sigrid for inviting us to participate in the Summit. We look forward to next year!

(photo: sitting - Opal, Andrea and arabella; standing - Barbara, Sigrid and Peggy)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Message to Mrs. Obama from Berkeley With Love

On September 11, 2009, Rebecca's Book Store in Berkeley, California hosted the GTM Sisterhood Network for a reading and book signing. An over-flow audience sent this message about Go, Tell Michelle to Mrs. Obama. Send us your comments about this book ( ) and we'll post them on this blog.

GTM Members Respond!

We received the following messages from La Rhonda
and Dera and share them with our readers. Thanks for the feedback, ladies!

Peggy and Barbara,By now you
are safe and sound back at home after a tiring, but I'm sure a fulfilling literary weekend. Friday night was such a blessing, such a
monumental occasion. I kept seeing the
pictures and hearing about all the fun you all
were having on the East Coast with GTM and consider it an honor that you brought some of that joy and enthusiasm to share with the West Coast sisters. I am still on a high and everyone is talking about what a
presentation and good time they had. I cannot thank you enough. I just sent the pictures from the event; hope they came through.

Love and Blessings,
Dera Williams

Greetings Peggy and Barbara,

As the Dells said, "Oh What A Night"!!!!! Thank you again so much for including my letter to Michelle in the award-winning anthology, "Go, Tell Michelle" and for making Friday night such a wonderful time for all. My guests
are still talking about it. The Bay Area has to do it again, so
I will be on the lookout for more opportunities. Continued success.

P.S. I'm already looking for my outfit for our meeting at The White House with Michelle (smile).

Peace & Power, La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson

Monday, September 14, 2009

The GTM Sisterhood Network Meets in Berkeley, California

It took one full day to get there and another full day to get back! But the two days we spent in the Bay area last week end were filled with fantastic experiences that were well worth the travel time.

We had the pleasure of meeting seven more contributors and had an extraordinary reading and signing at Rebecca’s Book Store on Adeline

Street in Berkeley. An over-flow audience came to hear Peggy, Barbara and GTM Sisterhood Network members, arabella grayson, Andrea Barnwell, Jacqueline Frazier, Attica Georges, LaRhonda Crosby-Johnson, Opal Adisa Palmer and Dera Williams. Andrea drove ten hours from her home in San Diego to join us and Jacqueline flew in from Los Angeles. It was truly an evening for camaraderie, lots of laughter and an opportunity to get to know the ladies of the GTM sisterhood, each of who shared their excitement about being included in the book.

Special thanks to Mary Ann Braithwaite, owner of Rebecca’s for opening up her store and embracing GTM. We want to express special appreciation to arabella, who set up this event, printed palm cards to advertise the book and to give to each author to autograph so that we could have commemorative book marks. She even arranged for the GTM to have dinner together after the book signing. We took lots of photographs and some video, so look for some video in the next few days.

(photo 1 -Jackie, arabella, Andrea, Opal, Attica, Dera and Mary Ann; photo 2 - LaRhonda and Dera)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Association of Black Women Historians Names GTM One of its 2009 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Award Winners

We just received the following from Dr. Ida Jones:

"It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce that your book Go, Tell Michelle African American Women Write the New First Lady is one of the 2009 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Award winners in the category of edited volume. Once again, congratulations to Dr. Brooks-Bertram and Dr. Nevergold and Ms. Keneston /SUNY Press for producing a invaluable collection of voices speaking to an historic and monumental period of American history.


Dr. Ida Jones

Founded in 1979, the Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH) is a dynamic network of scholars representing every region of the country. The organization's goals are to support black women in the historical profession, disseminate information by, for and about black women and promote scholarship by and about black women. The newsletter, Truth, informs members and numerous awards provide financial resources and recognition.

When we were informed of this great honor by Awards Committee Chairperson, Dr. Ida Jones, Dr. Jones also forwarded the comments from the committee, who had the following to say about “Go, Tell Michelle”:

This work is significant documentation of African women’s voices throughout the Diaspora. Orchestrated by two African American women and shared with working class, professional, young and old these voices resonate with the emotions attached to the witnessing a world power position a visibly brown skinned woman as the first lady. Knowing the history and vitriol hurled throughout time, these women share the hopes, fears, dreams and courage of ancestor voices for them speak and to those yet born girls and women of the future. A sociological bridge captured in print and establishing a paradigm for the 21st century, that we can communicate, capture and celebrate in our own voice. One contributor notes “At the end of the day, when the world outside is gone, Please always know, that so much of the woman you are, I am. And I am here sending you love.” The last letter by implores Michelle to “hold your head up high...women who have sustained this country are going to White House with you. So, Michelle... Hold Your Head up High. We Are Going with You.” Wow, what a legacy to start the 21st century African woman. Amazing story. It is fitting to honor this woman.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Meet the Contributors to Go, Tell Michelle

We are starting a feature today that will introduce you to all of the 110 (including audio book) contributors to "Go, Tell Michelle".

Barbara Glover - has owned and operated her own dance studio in Buffalo for thirty-five years and is certified to teach by Dance Masters of America, Inc. She is founder and president of the Miss Young, Gifted, and Black Pageant that is devoted to promoting the wholesome growth and character development of young African American women.Ms. Glover was born in Buffalo and educated in Buffalo Public Schools, Niagara County Community College, Bryant and Stratton Business Institute, and Medaille College. She is a 1979 graduate of John Robert Powers Career School.

Carol L. Evans, the oldest of five children, was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. Throughout the 60s, and early 70s, she worked as a fundraiser and was the co-founder of the largest and most successful funding program within her grassroots community.

She moved to Oakland, California in 1971 and was employed by Mills College in administration until retiring in 1994. She also received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Mills. During those years before retiring, she developed a love for community service. Ms. Evans became a substance abuse counselor for women, and also began honing her fundraising skills. Ms. Evans chaired many benefit and award ceremonies, attracting celebrities like Danny Glover and Terry McMillan.

We will continue to profile each of the contributors on this blog, however, you can read the full biographies of many of the contributors at the Uncrowned Queens Webpage

"Michelle Obama Watch" Blog Questions Use of Go, Tell Michelle in College Courses

If anyone thought that Black women were a monolithic group, marching in lock step, with one idea and purpose, they need only look at the blog, “Michelle Obama Watch”. While we can and have taken criticism and quietly risen above the negativity, there are times when a response is just in order.

The decision to use “Go, Tell Michelle” as a text at Bennett College is used as the context for comments that are neither warranted nor accurate. First of all, to say that “Go, Tell Michelle” “returns” presupposes that the book went out of print or has been retired somehow. In fact you can often find it on the Best Seller list of books in letters and correspondence on and requests for presentations and book signings fill our schedule. As for the statement attributed to Peggy; Brooks-Bertram has never said that this was a book particularly for dark-skinned women as women of all hues have letters in the book.

It’s interesting (trying to find a better word) that someone who describes “Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady” as “creepy” and “other Black women’s hustle” should do so on a blog that she entitles, “Michelle Obama Watch”. Further in the earlier review, quoted in her post, which she says “panned” the book soon after its release, she admits to not having read the entire volume and has cherry picked a few of the letters. This new post seems to share the same limited analysis and the “projection” of which she accuses the Go, Tell Michelle contributors of having.

I won’t go into a long treatise on the messages that “Go, Tell Michelle” seeks to impart to its readers. I don’t think that the author of the “Michelle Obama Watch” is looking for a healthy discussion as evidenced by the fact that she has already labeled the messages as “bizarre” and states that she doesn’t “know if I want young impressionable undergraduate women engaging in unhealthy projection”. But it is that healthy discussion that I know the young women at Bennett will/are having in their course on Black women’s issues. In fact, I am sure that other students throughout the country are having these same discussions and we are all better off for it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Book TV Re-airs "Go, Tell Michelle" Program

Book TV orginially aired the "Go, Tell Michelle" presentation at Washington's Bus Boys and Poets Book Store on May 25th at 8:00 am and 8:00 pm. Since the initial air date, this program has been re-broadcast twice, on June 25th at midnight and again on August 24th at 8:00 pm in prime time. In the event that you've not had an opportunity to see this program, we link to it here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bennett College for Women Adopts "Go, Tell Michelle"

We are reposting this article which was first posted in June 2009, but given the Essence Magazine mention of the adoption of GTM by Bennett College for Women, we thought we'd re-post the article as it's timely. We also heard from Dr. Johnson, via our friend Marissa Jennings, that her class Survey of Women's Issues has about 30 students enrolled -- a big class for this course. Dr. Johnson will begin her course with Go, Tell Michelle and the students will be required to write their own letters. More will be forthcoming as Dr. Johnson progresses through the semester.

Some members of the GTM Sisterhood Network know that we have been working to propose that our book be used as a text by college professors(or high school teachers)in the disciplines of “Women’s Studies”, “African –American Studies”, “Gender Studies”, “Creative and Expository Writing”, “Sociology”, etc.
We believe that “Go, Tell Michelle” offers instructors, at various educational levels and in various disciplines, a rich source of contemporary issues related to the historic election of Barack Obama as the First African American President and the installation of Michelle Obama as the First African American First Lady of the United States, which Black women have identified as compelling and of pivotal importance to them. And that these issues have been presented through the creative and interesting (and seldom used) mechanism of letter writing.
Thanks to the work of our dear friend and publicist, Marissa Jennings, a Bennett College alumnus, we have our first adoption of “Go, Tell Michelle” by a college – and we are so proud and pleased to announce that it’s an Historically Black College ( HBCU), Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina. We just received the following e-mail from Dr. Valerie Ann Johnson, Ph.D. , Mott Distinguished Professor of Women's Studies and Director of the Africana Women's Studies Program at Bennett College for Women.
Dr. Johnson stated: “I wanted to let you know that the book looks great. It is already on order for my class in the Fall, and I will be using it this summer as I teach in a Teen Writers Camp. We begin tomorrow (June 17th). I plan to read a couple of letters to the students as examples of expository writing in letter form. I will encourage the students (rising 9th-12th graders) to get a copy of the book and read it on their own.”
Dr. Johnson’s program Africana Women’s Studies was founded in 2004 under the direction of Dr. Irma McLaurin. Africana Women‛s Studies focuses on the experiences, socio-cultural conditions, and histories of women in the African Diaspora as well as issues generally important in the field of women‛s studies. We are excited about Dr. Johnson’s selection of “Go, Tell Michelle” as an academic text for the Africana Women’s Studies Program and look forward to hearing about the student’s response to this amazing resource.
Special thanks to Marissa for her support and contribution to achieving this goal. We strongly encourage others, who know professors/teachers or are professors/teachers to consider using “Go, Tell Michelle” in the curriculum that you teach. And please contact us and let us know your and your student’s experiences with this extraordinary resource.

Go, Tell Michelle Makes Essence Blog for Second Time

For the second time this year, Essence Magazine's Blog, "The Michelle Obama Daily Diary" features a story on Go, Tell Michelle. This time the story is about the adoption of GTM by Bennett College for Women as a text book in its Women's Studies program. More about that in another article on this site.
Actually, there are two posts on the Essence Blog - visit both! Look at Story 2

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Barbara Profiled by Alma Mater

The SUNY Press recently cited an article in my undergrad College's newsletter that highlighted my work on Go, Tell Michelle and my contributions to the College.

In September, both Peggy and I will be featured in an article in the UB (University at Buffalo) Today Magazine.

The following is excerpted from the SUNY Blog article:

"Barbara Seals Nevergold has had an amazing year with the success of "Go, Tell Michelle", which she co-edited with Peggy Brooks-Bertram. Barbara is a graduate of Buffalo State College: French Education, '66.

Buffalo State Insider recently ran a wonderful profile on Barbara that explores where she's come from and what she's accomplished."

Thanks Buffalo State College Foundation Office and SUNY Press

Meeting Another Member of the Sisterhood

Among the numerous people that we met at the NABJ Convention, we were most pleased to meet Cynthia Bond Hopson, one of the GTM contributors. Cynthia, who hails from Lebanon, Tennessee in the Nashville area was also a featured author at the Author's Showcase at NABJ. Too Many Irons in the Fire and They’re All Smoking!, Cynthia's most recent book was released in 2008. We encourage you to check out this lady, she has other books you'd love to read.

On Sept. 1, 2005, Cynthia assumed duties as the Assistant General Secretary for the Black College Fund and Ethnic Concerns with the United Methodist Church's General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in Nashville. What a treat to meet this beautiful sister - in physical appearance as well as spiritual contenance. Thanks Cynthia for your continued good thoughts and well wishes.

Cynthia encourages us all to think positively about an invitation to the White House! She says that its coming!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

NABJ, Peggy's Post,

More news from the NABJ Conference in Tampa, Florida.

This is a continuing note on the outstanding trip to the National Association of Black Journalists Convention in Tampa, Florida. It was simply magical being among the top African American journalists in the country. The entire conference sparkled with wonderful personalities who were down to earth, pleasant and more than approachable. Some of the journalists we met included Suzanne Malveaux, White House Correspondent for CNN. She was a delight to talk with at the CNN Booth at the Convention.

Valerie Jarrett, Special Assistant to President Barack Obama was keynote speaker at the NABJ's Hall of Fame Luncheon.We were fortunate to be able to speak
with her about Go, Tell Michelle and to grab a quick photo. She indicated that she had seen the book and we presented her with her own copy!
Fantastic journalists were everywhere. We ran into Michele Norris and Gwen Ifill--Gwen is between Barbara and me and Michele is on the right side-- on the elevator between the fourth floor and the lobby. Michelle Norris identified us immediately as the editors of the Go, Tell Michelle book. She told Gwen Ifill about her experiences working with us to tape the NPR show, "All Things Considered" and urged Gwen to get the book and read it! She invited us to keep her posted on upcoming events associated with the book that she could consider as updates on the book. Gwen Ifilll was just her usual cool self. Naturally, we snapped a photo.

The excitement continued with other accomplished journalists including T.J. Holmes and others. (More photos to come.) Members, Associate Members of NABJ as well as major sponsors were equally as warm and hospitable. A sponsor that we spent some time with was Greg G. Cunningham, Group Manager, Marketing, Planning for Target. This was the first time that Target was a sponsor at the NABJ and it was a blast. In meeting him, he stated that he had not only heard about the book but that he had purchased a book for his wife. After a brief conversation, he indicated that he would like to partner with the Uncrowned Queens Institute to help market the book, possibly in Target stores. Naturally, we will be following up on this opportunity to partner with Target in the sale of Go, Tell Michelle.

We found out about the conference from Gwen Osborne, a woman that we met at the Book Expo in New York City a few months ago. Since that time, Gwen has served as a premier "networker." Not only did she inform us of the conference, she kept us abreast of all of the big "happenings" at the conference. She made sure that we were in the "right place" at the "right time" and talking to the "right people." It was such a pleasure sharing space and chatting with all of her contacts. Many kudos to Gwen. There is much more to write and photos to share and we will keep you posted.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tremendous Time in Tampa! “GTM” Goes to the National Association of Black Journalists Convention

We are winding up our trip to Tampa and what a trip it has been! We arrived here on Wednesday, August 5th for the 2009 NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair. We were invited to participate in the Author’s Showcase, which included Robin Roberts, Leonard Pitts and Gwen Ifill. While the book signing was great, we have had the most incredible networking experiences these past three days. We had the opportunity (I use this word lightly as Peggy and I worked hard to network with these folks; it wasn’t easy) to meet and share our story and copies of “Go, Tell Michelle” with Robin Roberts, Roland Martin, Toure, T.J. Holmes, Suzanne Malveaux and Valerie Jarrett and that’s not all, but we’ll write about the other exciting contacts we made in later posts.

Here we are at the opening reception with Roland Martin. Roland told us that he had gotten a copy of our book and invited us to e-mail him to follow up on a possible radio interview. We have to say that Mr. Martin was the epitome of graciousness and approachability. As with so many of the other personalities that we met at the Convention and will write about later, Roland is a delight and we were so pleased to meet him. We're encouraged and know that our book and our message will have broader coverage as a result of the people we spoke to during this trip.

Monday, August 3, 2009

GTM Sisters Write Another Letter to Michelle

Over the last two weeks members of the GTM Sisterhood Network penned new letters to First Lady Michelle Obama. This time we asked the First Lady to invite the members of the Network to the White House for a personal meeting and book signing. Yes, we have the "audacity to hope" that Michelle Obama will meet with us and sign our books! Now that's optimism!

Our letters were in response to the White House quiry about what we were requesting of the First Lady. They asked that we put our request in writing and 43 of the GTM Sisterhood responded to that request. The letters were mailed to the White House today and we look forward to receiving a response in the near future.

The following excerpts are from two of the letters:

"I am a contributor to the book, Go Tell Michelle, which was published earlier this year. This book contains the personal letters of African and African-American women who supported the President in his efforts to gain office last year, and who felt compelled to also express their fulfilled hopes, dreams and support for you in a published form. Therefore, I would like to request the opportunity for me and the other contributing writers of this work to meet you at the Whitehouse to have you acknowledge and sign our book.

Having grown up in a neighborhood like so many of us, you know all too well how difficult it is for black women to access positive images in the world today. As we continue to struggle in our own neighborhoods, in our careers and in our roles as wives and mother’s, we are up against devastating and long prevailing biases about what we represent, with far too few positive examples of who we are or who we can become. In contributing to Go Tell Michelle, it was my hope that black women who are struggling might pick up this book or hear our stories, stories from women that came from neighborhoods like theirs, and learn that they aren’t alone. That perhaps there is hope. That they might be motivated to work a bit harder to achieve beyond what they have been taught to believe about themselves. That they could fulfill a higher potential than they may have dreamed of before." N.D.

"I am one of the contributing women who wrote you a letter in the book "Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady". I know that I along with the other 99 women would love to be able to meet you and have you sign our books. I am sure you are very busy 'running' the White House and raising your girls, but it would be such an honor, privilege and a piece of history for me to pass on to my daughter to be able to meet the First Lady of the United States. The first African-American First Lady!" A.M.

We look forward to the receipt of these letters by the First Lady and await a response from her office.

Thank you to the GTM Sisterhood for, once again, demonstrating that there is strenght in networking and being supportive of one another. We are especially pleased that a number of the younger contributors responded to this request giving us an opportunity to mentor these young women and provide an opportunity for them to exercise their advocacy skills, practice their writing skills and express the tremendous impact of this election on their lives.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Conversation with two New York supporters of Go, tell Michelle

While attending the NAACP Centennial Convention, we were pleased to meet Sandra and Jasmine, who were the first persons we met at the Author's Pavilion. They said that when they saw we were on the Author's Pavilion schedule, they made a plan to stop by to see us before going to their own exhibit. They are volunteers with the African American Burial Ground in Manhattan. The following is from their website:

"GSA’s African Burial Ground project began in 1991, when, during excavation work for a new federal office building, workers discovered the skeletal remains of the first of more than 400 men, women and children. Further investigation revealed that during the 17th and 18th centuries, free and enslaved Africans were buried in a 6.6 acre burial ground in lower Manhattan outside the boundaries of the settlement of New Amsterdam, which would become New York. Over the decades, the unmarked cemetery was covered over by development and landfill.

Managed by GSA, the overall project is a testimonial to a positive and collaborative partnership between many parties, including the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Howard University, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the African American community.

Today the site is a National Monument featuring a distinctive memorial that commemorates and communicates the story of the African Burial Ground—the single-most important, historic urban archaeological project undertaken in the United States."

Jasmine, Sandra, Peggy and I (we are off camera) had an interesting conversation about Go, Tell Michelle, family history and preservation of African American historic sites. We are a little late in getting this post up, so I hope that Sandra and Jasmine get an opportunity to see this and send us a message with their contact information so that we can write or call them.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Father Reads "Go, Tell Michelle" to his daughter

As noted, we have met some very dear and interesting people in our travels with "Go, Tell Michelle". Sometimes, as in the case with David Whetstone, we've been privileged to meet some individuals more than once. We first met David in Washington, D.C. in March at the People's Congregational United Church of Christ. At that time he told us how much he enjoyed our book and offered his assistance in promoting the book. We did contact David after we returned to Buffalo, but as life gets hectic we lost touch with him. So imagine our surprise and pleasure to run into David again at the NAACP Centennial Convention. He was there working on an article he's writing but when he saw we were in the Author's Pavilion he made time to come up to see us.

During our conversation David told us how he is reading "Go, Tell Michelle" to his young 11 year old daughter. Each night he reads two or three letters to her before she goes to bed. David explained that the letters have become, in a way, daily mediations that he shares with his child. What a special and novel way to share the messages in the letters with a child and what a special Dad David is to use this time with his daughter to teach her about Black women: our history, our aspirations, our spirituality, our bonds of sisterhood, our dreams for our children and ourselves, our esteem for the First Lady and much, much more.

We tried to capture David's story with a short video. You may have to turn up the sound on your computer as the quality of the video is low, but we wanted you to see this extraordinary African American man for yourselves.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

GTM Sisters Take Pen in Hand AGAIN

In the months since the January 2009 release of “Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady”, the editors, Barbara Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram have traveled throughout the country on a book signing tour. Everywhere we’ve visited, from thriving metropolitan areas like D.C., Baltimore, New York City and Chicago to small rural communities like Franklinville, New York, we encounter women and men who have read the book, are moved by the letters and poems and relate to their messages. During this time, we have also given countless radio, television, magazine and newspaper interviews. “Go, Tell Michelle” has been adopted as a college text and at least one doctoral dissertation has used our book as a major reference. SUNY Press has also received requests to adapt the book for dramatic presentations. In short, this “impressive compendium of eloquent messages” continues to evoke positive responses from readers that have exceeded our expectations. Yet there is still one major goal that we have not accomplished. We have the audacity to hope that our contributors will be invited to the White House for a meeting with the First Lady and a book signing.

Although we have sent numerous copies of the book to Mrs. Obama and her staff we have yet to hear from her. Now, seven months after the publication of “Go, Tell Michelle” contributors to this ground-breaking anthology once again have penned letters to First Lady Michelle Obama. Whether we are successful or not, Peggy and I are so pleased to know that the GTM Sisterhood Network continues to demonstrate the power of a sisterhood that is focused, supportive, communicative, skilled and literate. Thank you, GTM Sisters!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Casting the Net(work) Far and Wide: the GTM Sisterhood Network Progresses

Members of the GTM Sisterhood Network continue to work - over-time - to get out the message about our phenonmenal book. E. Rashun Williams shares her latest adventure as she returned to her Alma Mater, Alverno College in Wisconsin to lead a writer's workshop. Rashun currently teaches at Hinds Community College in Mississippi, so she traveled no small distance to Alverno for this workshop experience and it appears that the participants enthusiastically embraced her and our publication. Read what Rashun has to say about her trip.

"Hello, GTM sisters!!

I wanted to write a brief note about my reading at Alverno on June 27, 2009. It was smashing!!! There were 70 plus in the writer's workshop audience. They were great!! The book store had been informed of the expected number of participants; I checked periodically; I purchased a couple of them for my friends. When I left the building, I saw 4 on the table. -- I was told that many were inspired to write or continue to write, and I hope that they will communicate that to you; I gave a number of them my email address/phone number, so that I could help them to get in touch with you.--

As we know, I drove there 13 hours one way; Ooooh, I had a black, shiney, fast a-- Mustang. It was a great drive, of course, until I got to Dan Ryan in Chicago, and we know that story. I returned Sunday night, 9:30, crashed, and was back at work for my second session class Monday at 7:30 a.m. So, I'm still tired, but I'll recover over the weekend." Rashun

Rashun, We're glad to hear from you; pleased that you had a safe and productive trip; hope that you get a little rest in the next few days! Your sisters