The influence of India.Arie’s music and Spelman College on Ananda’s novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One

Hi All!

India.Arie’s music has been a powerful influence in my creative work.  Her first CD Acoustic Soul (2001) inspired me to keep moving forward during my novel writing journey.

Karma: Aham Prema (2005) by Ananda Leeke 

(Aham Prema means I am divine love in Sanskrit)


Her composition “Strength, Courage, and Wisdom” became a personal mantra for the main character Karma Francois in my debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (2007). 

I mentioned the song in Love’s Troubadours because India’s music chronicles a woman’s journey of self-discovery.  It vibrates with authenticity and vulnerability.  Surrender and self-acceptance are key themes.  Love’s Troubadours embodies all of these things.  Karma’s journey explores a woman’s pain, passion, and power with authenticity, vulnerability, surrender, and self-acceptance. To learn more, visit The book is available on

Spelman College is also featured in Love’s Trouabdours.  Several characters are Spelman graduates (Karma’s twin sister and cousin are Spelmanites).  To learn more about Spelman, watch the video below.

Spelman College Museum of Fine Art is mentioned in Love’s Troubadours too.  Watch the video below featuring a tour of the Museum  given by its director Dr. Andrea Barnwell , an art historian, writer, and critic.   I was able to visit the Museum and see the exhbit featured in the video in October 2009.  AMAZING! 

FYI – Art plays a major role in Karma’s life. It inspires, consoles, and teaches her. My novel offers you a wonderful opportunity to look at life through Karma’s eyes as an art enthusiast and museum curator. Through her eyes, you will learn about exciting artists and photographers from the African Diaspora, Americas (USA and Mexico), Europe, and Japan such as Lois Mailou Jones, Kara Walker, Renee Stout, Yayoi Kusama, Faith Ringgold, Chris Ofili, Ansel Adams, Marion Perkins, Elizabeth Catlett, Francisco Mora, Alexander Calder, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Maria Izquierdo, Jean Michel Basquiat, Andre Derain, Annie Lee, Betye Saar, Alison Saar, Amalia Amaki, Joyce Scott, Lorna Simpson, Constantin Brancusi. Eldzier Cortor, Amedeo Modigliani, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Archibald Motley, Adrian Piper, Hughie Lee Smith, and Charles W. White. Read the art blog post:

Enjoy your day!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for India.Arie and Spelman College,


Beautiful Black History Made By India.Arie Saluting Dr. Ruth Simmons, President of Brown University

Happy Middle of the Week Day!

Watch India.Arie’s tribute performance to Dr. Ruth Simmons, President of Brown University.  It was featured on BET’s Honors telecast. It is just what I needed for February 3rd.  Enjoy!

By the way, pianist Eric Lewis accompanied India. He is amazing. I saw him perform in 2006 at HR57 in DC. That night I fell in love with his music especially his composition “Puerto Rico” which stirred up childhood memories of visiting the beautiful island I call my adopted home (like Cuba is for me).  In 2009, he performed at the White House and woooowed President Barack Obama and FLOTUS Michelle Obama.  Click here to learn more about this fabulous musician:

Be beautiful! Be resilient! Be free!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Gratitude, and Appreciation for sistalove sheros like India.Arie and Dr. Ruth Simmons and brothlove heros like Eric Lewis,


bflower beth 2010
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PS:  Watch a YouTube video of Eric Lewis playing his composition”Puerto Rico” (my all-time favorite!).  Get your dancing shoes on! Move those hips! It’s time to salsa with ELEW! Baile!