Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

BLACK to the Future, Past and Present: Exploring Time in Black Literature

I'm so excited about this event!!

Time has been on my mind lately  I've been reading a lot of Octavia Butler and her thoughts on the future. I'm knocking on 40 (OMG!), the same age of Stella in Terry McMillian's novel went to Jamaica and met Winston. I'm also exploring works by James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Eartha Kitt, Zora Neal Hurston--late writers from the past informing our present. I thought this would be a good idea for a reading!

I brought in the heavy hitters. Local Black writers from the Bay who use time in powerful ways.

Audrey T. Williams has the gift of Afrofuturism. I think that's important because we're living in an time of such extreme racial hatred that there are people who don't want Black people here in the future. Nor they do want recognize our contributions to the past.  James Cagney upcoming book is Black Steel Magnolias. James' poetry is beautifully and painfully brilliant. He starts his piece in one place and before you know, you're in a completely different mental space and the present feels different. Tongo Eisen-Martin's poetry reminds me of watching Spiderman swing from building to building. Tong starts in heaven, then down to the liquor store, swings through a mansion that you discover is really a prison, which is really hell and he connects all of that through how history informs the present, which informs the future, etc. As for me I'm a journalist so I write about what's happening today. 

Below are the details. Please come join us. It is free and it will be mind-blowing. 

Friday,  June 22nd
Books Inc. in Alameda, CA
1344 Park St.
Alameda, CA


James Cagney, author of Black Steel Magnolias
Jenee Darden, journalist and founder of
Tongo Eisen-Martin, author of Heaven is All Goodbyes 
Audrey T. Williams, author Of Chutneys and Chitlins: Poems & Stories from a Multi-racial American Girl