Have you seen the documentary film, “Tell Them We Are Rising” that explores how historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have shaped American history, culture, and national identity? It was created by filmmaker Stanley Nelson and covers almost 170 years of history. You can watch it online on the PBS website until March 22.
“Tell Them We Are Rising” reminded me why I chose to attend Morgan State University and Howard University School of Law. As a proud HBCU alumna, I made sure the characters in my Lorraine Hansberry-inspired novel Love’s Troubadours are HBCU alumni. Love’s Troubadours‘ main character Karma Francois is a graduate of Morgan State University just like me. Her twin sister Violet is a graduate of my alma mater, Howard University School of Law. Her mother is an alumna of Xavier University. Her cousins attended Spelman College and Morehouse College.
The documentary film also discussed the importance of Black sororities and fraternities. In my family, we have members of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. I celebrate these organizations and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in Love’s Troubadours.
Spoiler Alert: My main character Karma pledged the Beta Tau Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority at Morgan State University like yours truly. Her mother is also a Sigma (like my mom, great-grandmother, and great-aunt). Her cousins are members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (like my great aunt) and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Her best friend is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity (like my grandfather, great-uncle, and cousin). Her uncle is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Her aunt is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
I am in the midst of doing some research on my next novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two. It tells the story of Symon Allure, an African American man who spends his freshman year of college at Morehouse College (www.morehouse.edu) and later transfers to Howard University (www.howard.edu). During one of my recent online research sessions, I discovered a wonderful series of women’s heart health events that Morehouse School of Medicine (www.msm.edu) is sponsoring in February. See the information below.
If you would like more information about The Heart Truth, a national awareness and prevention campaign about heart disease in women, visit www.womenshealth.gov/hearttruth. Remember to wear red on National Wear Red Day which is February 5 to show support for women’s heart disease awareness. Click here to learn more: www.nhlbi.nih.gov/educational/hearttruth/materials/wear-red-toolkit.htm.
Happy Monday All,
I spent last week in Atlanta. While I was in the ATL, I conducted research for my next novel, Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two (2011) on the campus of Morehouse College. I also visited Spelman College and its Museum of Fine Art. Most of my research was captured on video with my Creative Vado camera. I will post the videos early next week.
I also attended Blogalicious (www.blogaliciousweekend.com), the first annual conference for women of color bloggers. It was AMAZING. I will write about the conference and share video interviews and clips from various sessions on Examiner.com this week. I already posted several videos from the conference on Ananda Leeke TV – www.youtube.com/anandaleeke.
Blogalicious inspired me to launch Ananda Leeke Live! on USTREAM, an online show that will give me an opportunity to talk directly with people about my books, artwork, creativity coaching practice, yoga and Reiki services, and social media expertise. The first show airs on November 1, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. EST. It will kick off my online book party for my new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (iUniverse, Inc., 2009). Click here to watch the Ananda Leeke Live! on November 1: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/author-ananda-leeke.