Ananda celebrates International Women’s Day with woman-centered poetry!

Happy Monday!  Happy International Women’s Day!

Today is really special for me.  International Women’s Day always reminds me of my trip to the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women held in September 1995 in Beijing, China.  My trip to Beijing was one of the most powerful experiences in my life.  This morning, I discussed my trip during my author talk on BlogTalkRadio.  I also shared woman-centered poetry including two poems I wrote while attending the conference in China.  Click on the link to listen to a recording of my show (12 minutes):

Who are your favorite women poets?

How are you celebrating International Women’s Day?

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for women’s power, passion, and progress,


Research on Black male privilege for my next novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two

Greetings All,

I have a confession to make.  I LOVE doing research for my next novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two.  YES YES YES I LOVE RESEARCH especially with the Internet …. blogs, YouTube, Twitter, podcasts, Facebook, Myspace, and web sites.

Today, my love-fest for research took me to NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin (I listen to the show five days a week! Love it!).  While listening to today’s show via podcast, I was introduced to Dr. L’Heureux Dumi Lewis who talked about Black male privilege.  After listening to the show, I visited Dr. Lewis’ blog and watched a YouTube video featuring his keynote address on Black male privilege at his alma mater Morehouse College (the same school my main character Symon Allure attended during his freshmen year) in February.  See video above.  That keynote address convinced me to include a discussion about Black male privilege in my novel.

What do you think about Black male privilege?

Enjoy your day!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for the Internet,


Soul Babies by Mark Anthony Neal: What I am reading now for research supporting my next novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two

Greetings All,

Today, I started reading Soul Babies by Mark Anthony Neal (one of my favorite Black male feminists and authors …. Loved his book New Black Man).  Click here to learn more about Neal and his work:  I am reading Neal’s Soul Babies as research for my next novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two.

So why am I reading this book? Well, it all started when Tulane University professor and author Shayne Lee referred to the main character Karma Francois in my debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One as a “post-soul” woman in his interview with me on my radio show on November 9, 2009: (see past episodes archives).   Lee’s book review also makes reference to the term. See below.

“Great artistic efforts do more than just entertain, they enlighten. Love’s Troubadours was highly entertaining, but also challenged me to explore the greater context of the world around me, which is in my humble opinion the hallmark of great art. I learned much about my own strivings and angst while perusing life through the eyes of a hip, chic, post-soul, educated yoga-loving, highly spiritual Black American Princess named Karma. There are no canned characters in this masterpiece, only complex women and men dealing with the vicissitudes of life through their inimitable postmodern brands of spirituality and social perspectives. Karma teaches us much about perseverance as well as about self-transcendence and spiritual consciousness. One of the most fascinating aspects of this book is its fresh appropriation of black middleclass sensibilities. Karma is an intuitive and progressive woman and her tastes and interests reflect a mélange of black middleclass tropes often unexplored in contemporary cinema and books. Ananda Leeke fastens our consciousness to a world of black female sophistication, and depicts Karma as an apotheosis of urban-chic and self-transcendence. Leeke takes us on an entertaining and enlightening journey as we watch an incredibly complex protagonist like Karma navigate through the matrices of her personal reformation, negotiate transitional changes, overcome family and relationship challenges and emotional angst, and emerge as a more evolved and emotionally whole woman. This is a well-written book and a fascinating look at an underrepresented portion of contemporary black middle-class life and spirituality.”

Shayne got me thinking about the type of people I write about in my Love’s Troubadours novel series.  So I did a google search for Neal’s definition of post-soul. See below.

“the political, social, and cultural experiences” of blacks born “between the 1963 March on Washington and . . . the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke challenge to affirmative action in 1978.”

After reading the definition, I realized me and most of my characters are post-soul!

When I saw the cover of Soul Babies featuring Soul Train dancers, I hollered because Soul Train was one of my favorite shows growing up in the 70s.  It was a religion for me to watch Don Cornelius and the Soul Train guests and dancers.  They taught me how to dance and dress (at least in my imagination cuz’ my mother would not allow me to wear some of the clothes!).

What do you think about the post-soul definition?

What were your favorite memories from the 70s?

Do you listen to 70s music? If so, who are your favorite artists and groups?

Enjoy your day!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Gratitude, and SOOOOOOUUUUUULLLLLLL,


Ananda gives an author talk on the March 4th episode of Ananda Leeke Live @9ppm EST

Greetings All,

Celebrate National Women’s History Month on March 4 by tuning into Ananda Leeke Live! from 9:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST for an author talk about the power of the sacred feminine, goddesses, sisterhood, feminism, and womanism in my artwork, poetic memoir That Which Awakens Me, and debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One.  I will also discuss her new book project Sisterhood, the Blog: Soundbytes from the 21st Century Woman’s Online Revolution.  Click here to watch the live show:

FYI – If you miss the live show, you can always watch a recording:

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for the Sacred Feminine,


Happy National Women’s History Month – Celebrating the Obama Women with a poem from Ananda’s new book

Greetings All! Happy March! Happy National Women’s History Month! 

The 2010 theme of National Women’s History Month is “Writing Women Back into  History.  Click here to learn more:

Who are your sheroes? 

Desiree Rogers & Valerie Jarrett

Susan Rice

Lisa Jackson

Today, I am celebrating my sheroes called the “Obama” women.  They are the African American women serving in President Barack H. Obama’s Administration.  Last year, I wrote a poem about the “Obama” women and included it in my new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self Discovery (available on –  See the poem below.

Do you have a favorite Obama woman?

My three favorites are Valerie Jarrett, Desiree Rogers (who will be leaving her position as White House Social Secretary in a few weeks), Susan Rice, and Lisa Jackson. Click here to read a Washington Post article about the Obama women from March 2009:

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for women who paved the way for me to be who I am today,


POEM – Copyright 2009 by Madelyn C. Leeke

Sista7: The Obama Women

When I checked my email this morning, I had a message

from my father, a 24/7/365 supporter of President Barack H.


Daddy’s email greeted me with positive news.

It was a Washington Post article about the brilliant, bold, and

beautiful Black women in the Obama administration.

What a way to start a Wednesday in March during Women’s

History Month!

The article profiled the Sista7.

Valerie Jarrett, a Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President

for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison.

Desiree Rogers, White House Social Secretary.

Susan Rice, United Nations Ambassador.

Cassandra Butts, deputy White House counsel.

Mona Sutphen, the first Black woman to serve as deputy chief

of staff.

Lisa Jackson, the first Black person to head the Environmental

Protection Agency.

Melody Barnes, the first Black woman to run the Domestic

Policy Council.



They represent something new in Washington: the largest
contingent of high-ranking Black women to work for a


Trailblazers is the word that captures it all for me.

These phenomenal women have emerged from the margins of

American society to the position of gatekeeper in one of the

greatest countries in the world.

Each one is a household name in my life.

Tracking their efforts on the Internet is one of my favorite

things to do.

Watching them in action inspires me.

They have become an affirmation of what’s possible for Black

women in America.

That’s why I claim them as my sheros.

That’s why I continuously celebrate their presence, passion,

and power.

May we all do the same.