My most favorite season is approaching us. A season that represents Re- Birth, Re-Newel, Rejuvenation. I can feel the change occurring and to be honest “Change” can be down right frightening. Regardless the unknown has a way of bringing out the worse and best of nature. With that said, it is appropriate to introduce a beautiful storyteller whom deserves to be brought before our Blacktastic readers.
Her name is Jamila D. Smith, a native of Massachusetts & Indiana. She is a Contemporary Fiction writer, educator, youth counselor, traveler & a published author of now three books; Sprouting Seeds (2008), Runnaways (2010) & Cyndi (2014)
I had the privilege of meeting her through a mutual acquaintance. Immediately I thought WOW, the Black community is saturated with such untapped talent! We had a nice chat, and exchanged information. I looked her up and found out there is much more to this creators story, then what she so humbly shared. She was very mysterious, and I could tell she had a lot of pint-up creative expression awaiting the opportunity to explode. After a few exchanges via chat she informed me of an upcoming book signing, (nothing is more valuable than a autographed copy of a creators creation). I jumped at the opportunity, and purchased her first published book Spouting Seeds & let me tell you… I am NOT disappointed!
Out of excitement and curiosity, I dove into the book as soon as I got home. You see I have been working toward reaching my 100 book in a year goal. At that time I had a list of books that were to be read before opening her book, but I just couldn’t wait! I have to admit I was captivated enough to drop my Rivers Solomon read An Unkindness of Ghosts (which was spectacular) and finish her book in one sitting. I have a habit of reading multiple books at a time, but this time I only focused on Spouting Seeds. Sadly I had to return the other book in to the library, without finishing it, “Could you imagine the horror?” This is in deed a complaint to Jamila’s piece, being that she threw off my reading schedule, “Gee Thanks Jamila!”
Her story began with a conversation between an Elder and her great-grand child, bridging the generational gaps that exists in many of our families. A story of birth rite, tragedy and triumph. One that even two weeks later resonates with me educing our the deep dark secrets that are often buried for the purpose of never coming to the surface. This book was not only intriguing, but brutally truthful. It is amazing how fiction can open ones mind to think about the complexities of reality. How these imagined truths refresh solvable perspectives. Thank you Jamila D. Smith for writing this amazing piece, I encourage my readers will indulge. Also don’t forget to check out her other publications:
W.A.R. Theatre is a solution based project, taking the grimy under the rug residue that fester within our community exposing it to the masses. A forum of Problem Solving Theatrics that repackages unresolved issues that cause dis-empowerment. Redistributing said power among the people. Jamila’s Sprouting Seeds will go on my shelf of soul-searching reads. We should read, experience visual art exhibits & plays, watch movies, and engage in conversation that encourage action, and this book will attract those who do. Human caused issues/problems can and should be resolve by those that are directly affected. Rather than relying on outsiders, we will prove to be our own gatekeepers. I have a huge amount a faith in all of us.
Until next time, our up coming Black Fiction review will be focusing on Afro-futurism, you don’t want to miss out, so tell others and please share your comments bellow.