My First Book 'When A Purple Rose Blooms' is Available NOW

I am beyond excited to announce that my FIRST book When a Purple Rose Blooms is available!! You can order copies directly from my publisher Nomadic Press. Order here
The book is a collection of essays and poetry about my experiences with black womanhood. There's lots of humor, pain, and love on every page. This book wrote itself. I had no intention of releasing a book of poetry and essays, but when I saw how much I've written over the last 20 years I thought, "why not?" and went for it. 
The book launch is tonight, 7pm at the Oakland Peace Center. I will be launching my book along with 6 other new writers to Nomadic Press. I'm in great, literary company. 
Thank you to every person who has read this blog over the years, attended my readings, listened to my radio stories or read my articles. Thank you for your support. I hope you enjoy the book! 

The Freedom of Being Yourself

One of the greatest freedoms one can ever have is the freedom to be their true self.  If you look throughout history many people have fought and died for that freedom. The freedom to be gay and walk hand-in-hand with your partner. The freedom to wear your hair the way you want without people judging your beauty or political beliefs. The freedom to practice your religion. The freedom to be a young black man walking down the street without someone harassing you and assuming you're a thug (Justice for Trayvon). And the freedom to not be judged for having a mental health challenge or a disability and be labeled as helpless or worthless. 

For a long time I grappled with accepting myself. The nerdiness, managing my depression, being called a white girl because I spoke proper English, having dark skin, etc. But the day I got tired of beating myself  up and decided those who don't like my true self can kick rocks was life changing. What I have learned, especially since wearing my hair natural, is that sometimes people hate on those who are "different" because they're envious and wish they could be their true selves. Think about it. Look at people like the ministers Eddie Long and Ted Haggard. Both were publicly anti-gay, but men have come forward and said privately they weren't practicing what they preached. And I've had sistas tell me they wished they had courage to wear their hair natural, but they stick to the creamy crack because straight hair is more acceptable. 

I recently recorded a short op-ed about this topic called "Freedom and the Mental Health Movement" for my show Mental Health and Wellness Radio. It's about mental health, but pertains to all of us because we all have brains. Therefore we all need to take care of our mental health. Please give it a listen and let me know what you think. In the meantime, be happy being yourself.