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.