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 Amazon.com 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 (uqi@buffalo.edu ) 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 Amazon.com 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.