CNN IReport Spotlight – Author Joy Simone: A Woman Addressing Challenges, Offers Solutions

book signingPlaywright, Songwriter, Journalist Charron Monaye’s interview highlights my passions and purpose, my writing process and inspiration.

Here’s a bit below. Visit the site to see more. 

Joy Simone is an author, SEO Analyst, and Adjunct English Lit. Professor at Rowan College. She has a B.A. in Journalism from Howard University and a Master’s of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. Ms. Simone blogs about relationships, dating, family, careers, and current events. She serves as Director of Communications for Women’s EDGE Mentoring Program, and conducts creative writing and self-publishing workshops locally.

She is passionate about writing, history, literature, education and family. The proliferation of single-parent households and the stereotypes of African American women led to her debut work, The Wedding Plan: A Collection of Short Stories. Through these stories, Simone highlights the challenges faced by African American women in relationships, marriage, careers and life, while exposing the diversity within the African American community, including male characters who are unique and offer a different perspective.

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Your book “The Wedding Plan: A Collection of Short Stories” discusses the challenges faced by African American women in relationships, marriage, careers and life. What challenges do you feel we as African American women face the most, and what ideas do you have to help eliminate those challenges.

Some of the challenges African American women face is glass ceilings in the workplace, income disparities, joblessness, being among the “working poor”, and so on. One of the statistics that disturbed me most was the lower average of children born to the most educated women in our population. It seemed that by fighting to defy the “baby mama” stereotype, we were forfeiting motherhood. I know not all women want to be mothers, but there a lot who, rightfully, delay childbirth until marriage, but end up never marrying or marrying past the key childbearing years.

Other issues I see that are prevalent… Read More

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A Belated Tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou

10458903_10152523824654593_247459233218316966_nI still cannot believe that Maya Angelou is gone. I can barely keep up with the passing of our matriarchs and patriarchs who through art, protest, words and actions provided a reference point for nobility, strength and courage.

Maya did for me what she did for many Black girls, she gave me a feeling of belonging. I was so excited when I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I cherished every word and syllable, explored the world with Maya, a woman who had overcome odds and challenges and maintained her stride with grace and elegance.

I post her poem here, And Still I Rise, because some days it’s like that old Gospel song, it gets inside you and reminds you that you never walk alone!

Still I Rise

Maya Angelou1928 – 2014
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/still-i-rise