Becoming Free, Becoming Black by Alejandro De La Fuente and Ariela J. Gross-Cambridge University Press coming soon!

Since my nieces pushed me out into the world of blogging and writing, I have been shocked by the eyes that read what I write. I’m not sure if I need to reread some of what I wrote, watch my videos over or something because I do not see what you see. I stay up all night trying to perfect my work to the point I silence my writing style. I drown out all that I am out of worry for professionals who only read in black and white…I often stress over grammar, and I have an educational complex because I did not attend a prestigious college. I must admit I did not see my worth until recently and being blind to my value was not limited to only my writing, but I can see, I can see now!

But during my years of vision loss, God blessed me with some very awesome friends who guided me in my darkness. My fantastic friend and mentor; a Howard journalism grad, who happens to hold a top executive chair at leading news outlet in the world. She’s kind of hard on me when it comes to all things English and communications as if she’s a high school teacher. I haven’t cried since her first editorial review lol. I only cried because she has shared years of knowledge and experience so that I can stand next to those like her and hold my head up.

So many others shared their experiences and areas of talents with me, my friends, and my followers. Thank y’all for the words of encouragement and tips. I’m reminded of a blogger, author who goes by The Old Grandpa, who contacted me when I first started blogging. We were exchanging comments about a picture he took while on vacation here in New Orleans, and from there, we became virtual friends. He gave me tips that lighten the stress and worry, but more so, he made me feel proud of my words. Since our contact, I stopped reading others writing and compared it to mines. At that moment, I fell back in love with written words again, but more so trusted what I wrote no matter if I flopped on grammar. But, I would find that most of my grammar issues were due to a lack of proofreading. After writing, I honestly do not feel like reading all those words again; it’s reminiscent of a teacher making you read a million pages for homework 😩.

It’s been amazing watching the progress as I travel on this road. I know lots of you think it comes with a nice bit of money, but I’m still building. I found in building that Name Recognition, having the trust of others and being respected is far more valuable than financial wealth. I am in the phase of my career that I get perks and paid assignments, but I’m not where you all think I am as far as money. But My Legacy is all that to me, and I’m leaving a permanent written mark!

Do you know where I am at? I am in the eyesight of representatives from Cambridge University Press!!!! I am being sought out for what I think! 😮😵🤗 I was totally floored when I realized the email from the University, and many others were valid, and they wanted me to provide a service for them!

I do not know how I went from writing in my journal to blogger to a published writer to a book reviewer, but I’m going to accept all that God sends my way! I will not allow insecurity to take this opportunity from me. But I am honored to announce to you all that the people in high places added another life roll to my resume!

One would think I would respond immediately to emails such as these, and lately I get them daily, but I oftentimes question if it’s a hoax, spam and if they have the wrong person. Wondering once again what is it do they see, asking my friends in media if there’s a list out there somewhere. As I typed to accept the review, I wrote and deleted,” How did you find me? How do you know my name?” I am so thankful that my name is out there!

I have a few more books to tell you all about and not that this one from Cambridge University Press is better than the others, it’s just… Well, y’all know they choose this Nola black girl who attended Job Corp and was told she wouldn’t and couldn’t by educated professionals that crossed my path at Charity Hospital because I was a teen mom.

I wish Charity could have a NICU reunion as they used to in the 90s so I could show those doctors everything that my daughter and I accomplished! I would tell them how I enrolled in college at 17 years old while healing from the loss of my second daughter whom they told me died because she shouldn’t have been born, but I couldn’t keep my legs closed. I never understood why they treated me so harshly and to inflict more pain on me during the last days of her life was pure evil. I lived with that guilt for years, but you know what, they do not matter. I did pretty well for myself and children if I say so myself, and the best is yet to come!

I love my new career, but more so I am happy that I’m doing works that make my family proud. There’s no need to show anyone else, as long as they are pleased with what I have become is what matters to me. I want my Mom to know in her heart that she raised me thoroughly; my teen promiscuity had nothing to do with her parenting. But turning the TV channel to The Cousteau Odyssey Show, making us read books avidly, taking us to all sorts of museums and the list goes on is why I made it. I love to read and write because of her parenting. I’ll get to that place along my journey where my name will be financially compensated.

Look for my review on Becoming Free, Black Black- Race, Freedom and the Law in Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana by Alejandro De La Fuente and Ariela J. Gross!! And I’ll keep you all posted regarding the release date so can grab you a copy or check it out at your neighborhood library.

When did Africans become “blacks” in the Americas, and how did this vary by place and time?

Becoming Free, Becoming Black reveals how enslaved and free people of color in three major slave societies – Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana — used law to claim freedom and citizenship for themselves and their families, despite slaveholders’ fierce and concerted efforts to also use law to bestow the rights of citizenship on white people and make blackness synonymous with bondage.  Despite similar beginnings, by the dawn of the Civil War, the social implications of blackness in each region were fundamentally different, resulting in dramatic shifts in the fortunes of free people of color across the Americas. Yet the transition from black slavery to black citizenship in all three societies was neither linear nor preordained. From black slave to black citizen, the connecting tissue before and after emancipation was not “from slave to citizen,” but from black to black.

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