Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Day 2 of the National Book Club Conference

I began the morning rested and ready to attend the Sharing Ourselves panel to begin my day. The panel included a psychologist, Sybil Wilkes, Wes Moore, Ntzoke Shange, Bernice McFadden and another gentleman who has worked in the prison system. All of the panel shared their story of depression and seeking mental health counseling as an African-American. Terri Williams headed the panel and kept the sharing going.

Bernice McFadden shared how the depression was crimpling to her even as she was awash in the her book deal. Sybil Wilkes shared how the death of her father and the death of her mother caused an unexplained feeling of loss within her and how she had to talk it out to move forward. Wes Moore talked about the death of his father and its affect and the other Wes Moore. Ntzoke Shange talked about her two strokes and several suicide attempts. She said she just wasn't good at it. The psychologist talked about losing her son, who was stillborn and the other gentleman talked about seeing so much in the prison system and how even at an early age he always felt like crying and how he didn't tell his family when he sought help. Terri Williams shared her depression story and the fact that on that very day she was depressed and even with the two rolls of tissue she learned to wear the mask and soldier on, but she knew where her depression came from and she knew rest was in order. Very powerful panel.

Then I purchased a t-shirt and books and walked through the self-published area. Took a picture with Tina McKinney and reminded her of who I was and my sister. Then it was on to my next panel of Souls of My Sisters. This panel was interesting because of the series of books and the stories these ladies tell of life and things that we have all experienced.

Then you know me. It was time for a nap and nap I did. LOL!

I then went to session with Karyn Nolan, whose book Don't Bring Home a White Boy. I wanted to get a perspective on her book and her life being married to a white man. What I garnered was she fell in love with a man who was her equal and everyone may not agree with crossing the color lines, one should be open to the possibilities of doing so. She acknowledge the issues her biracial child will endure and the difficulties of her teenage daughter is facing due to the union. She was frank and open.

Finally, I attended the What Makes Black Books Go in this Economy Panel. Let's just say it was interesting to hear the varying view points from those who have been published for a while, the newbies and the best sellers. Noting the electronic age is affecting the book industry, how we aren't sure yet. The topics ranged from getting our black guys to read to using the social networking sites in marketing. I enjoyed that panel as well.

I hung out with Tee of Rawsistaz for a bit and took pictures with and for Troy Johnson of Check them out. Then it was time to rest before the nights festivities. The Walter Mosley Author of Distinction Awards Dinner. Wait until I tell you about that one.



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