Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Little Book That Could! The Odyssey of “Go, Tell Michelle”

A year after the publication of “Go, Tell Michelle” and travels that took us and it across this nation and the world, for that matter, we continue to find new opportunities to share the messages from African American women to our First Lady, Michelle Obama. On Friday, the 6th of February, Cornel West paid a visit to our fair city to lecture at the University of Buffalo. I was honored to receive an invitation to a reception that Dr. West was scheduled to attend. Always mindful of “seizing the moment”, I carried a copy of “Go, Tell Michelle” with me in my handbag. Not knowing if I’d have the opportunity to do more than greet Dr. West and not wanting to mess up my book, I carefully wrapped it in tissue paper and placed it inside a plastic supermarket bag before placing it in my handbag.

The reception was great. There were many individuals there, who I already knew and some that I didn’t. They introduced themselves saying that they’d heard of/read the book or seen the play, which they enjoyed immensely! Of course I was very pleased to get this feedback but as time got closer for the lecture and no Cornel West, my hopes of being able to present my copy of the book to him began to dim. And then, almost as if by magic, he appeared. I found myself face to face with Dr. Cornel West!

Dressed in his traditional black suit, a broad smile on his face, brimming with congeniality, he grabbed my hand and greeted me warmly. With no time to waste, I immediately introduced myself as co-editor of “Go, Tell Michelle”, to which he replied, “Oh, that was published just this year.” Well, “No”, I replied, “last year, but we have just turned it into a play.” I pushed on to explain that I’d brought him a copy of the book and mindful that he probably did not want to carry around a book, packaged in a supermarket plastic bag, I asked him if he had an assistant who could carry it for him. He did and if you look closely in the photo at the gentleman in the middle between Dr. West and me, you'll notice the plastic bag. It's my hope that he'll read it and let us know what he thinks. Hope springs eternal!

What’s next? Let’s see who's scheduled to visit Buffalo soon. Considering that we have not lived up to our reputation this year as a snow capital of the country, there might be quite a few who’d love to venture to our “neck of the woods”. Beats going to D.C., Maryland, Virginia and a lot of other places that are experiencing “snow-maggedon” this month.

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