A View From Tracy's Point
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Everyday we should challenge ourselves to experience something new. A lot of times people think, new, means out of the ordinary, like bungee-jumping, or traveling to a foreign country. But the truth is something new can be right in our backyard. I have lived in Florida all of my life. My summers, until the age of about fifteen, were spent on Miccosukee Road, In Tallahassee, home of our State Capitol. Yet, my very first visit to the capitol, took place March 24th, when I joined members of Tallahassee Authors Network (TAN), for a showcase during the 2011 Florida Conference of Black State Legislators. The invitation was extended by Representative, Alan B. Williams, District 8 – Tallahassee.
2011 has been a year of learning (most likely, remembrance of past learning). You’ll learn more about that in a few more blogs and reviews I need to catch-up on. When Barbara Joe Williams, the founder of TAN, extended the invitation for me to join her and the other writers, I was excited by the opportunity. I would get a chance to network with fellow authors, as well as see some family. No sooner had I arrived in town, (literally, I exited I-10 onto 90 and stopped for gas). Afterwards, I ventured into the Publix Supermarket, and the first person I saw was my cousin Gaynelle. What a welcome!
Since I left St. Pete early that morning, I missed my morning walk. But not to fret, because I had no clue I would be lugging a sack of books and other paraphernalia needed for my set-up, through a garage, up a hill, then some steps (about 20), and then through-out the maze of the capitol. Whew, talk about a work-out. When I finally made it to my destination the tiredness was replaced by a warm greeting from strangers who quickly felt like family. Author and Publisher, Barbara Joe Williams, her delightful daughter Amani, along with authors Felicia S. W. Thomas, Tremayne Moore, Marvin "Merve" Mattair, and Marilynn Griffith, let me know I was in good company. On Friday the 25th, our little family grew when we were joined by Nicole Perkins and Angela Hodges. Now that’s what’s up!
Through the course of the two days we were there, we had the opportunity to meet several members of the Black State Legislators. The purpose of the State of Black Florida Conference is to provide an opportunity for Floridians to learn about the challenges facing underserved citizens of our state, and work to secure solutions that will help us build better communities. Another goal of the conference is to provide scholarships to deserving students attending Florida colleges and universities. The conference was packed with informative forums covering topics such as, What Will be the Black Media’s Role in the Rick Scott Era, How Do We Ensure Communities of Color Get-To-Week, From the School House to the Jail House, and A Public Safety Hazard Lurking Under Our Streets, to name a few. The various events and forums were attended by statewide delegates that included college alumni, Greek organizations, representatives of various city governments, and few young attorneys who I am sure have their own political aspirations.
The Capitol, in and of itself, is a very busy place. People always seemed to be on their way to somewhere important, but never so hurried that they couldn’t stop to give directions, or answer a quick question. I don’t believe any of us knew what to expect once we arrived, but all-in-all it was a great experience. So much so, that there is a strong possibility that we will get to do it all again next year but perhaps in a bigger capacity.
The two days (or quick minute, according to my Aunt Elouise who always opens her home to me) went by really fast. I was happy to see my cousin Candace Ardley who stopped by during her lunch break, and oh, another new thing, I finally ate at Zaxby’s. Lawd hav mercy, that was one greasy chicken sandwich, but boy was it good. They need to open one of those here in St. Pete.
Before I go, let me introduce you to the amazing writers I had a chance to meet. Check-out their websites and please support their work. Also, I have a few more pictures posted in my photo gallery.
Barbara Joe Williams – www.BarbaraJoeWilliams.com, is the author of several novels; and is also the owner of Amani Publishing , LLC. For those aspiring writers, check-out her book A Writer's Guide to Publishing & Marketing (June 2010).
Tremayne Moore – www.Maynetre.com, is the author of Take It From Her: Cautionary Lessons For The Ladies We Love. (Speaking of new things, Tremayne hipped me to a few gospel artists that I will be checking out real soon.)
Marvin “Merv” Mattair – www.KingsQueens.org, is the author of Word From my Kings & Queens: Overcoming Seemingly Insurmountable Odds
Angela Yolanda Hodge's short story The Amazing Journey of Healing is featured in the book Words From My Kings and Queens by Author Marvin "Merv" Mattair, in her story she shares how she overcame insurmountable odds in her life and has become victor in her daily walk.
Felicia S. W. Thomas – www.FeliciaSWThomas.com, is the author of 80 Proof Lives
Nicole Perkins, is the author of I Wish For Snow, a children’s book available on Amazon.com
Marilynn Griffith – www.MarilynnGriffith.typepad.com, is the author of Songs Deliverance
Tracy L. Darity is the author of He Loves Me He Loves Me Not! and Love...Like Snow In Florida on a Hot Summer Day. For more information vist www.TracyLDarity.com.
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