I recently scrolled through one of my favorite design websites. Immediately, a featured home in the English countryside took my breath away! Every room combines lush textures with pastel and neon accents. Stripes and tassels and big florals are mixed with vintage china and midcentury furniture. Sounds like a lot of stuff going on, right? The vivacious home is lovely, but not for everyone. In fact, some might downright hate it! It got me thinking about how petrifying it can be to share a point of view, whether it’s your favorite design style or even a little break-room banter. Despite the discomfort of voicing your opinion, it really doesn’t matter what others think because, well, it’s all a matter of opinion. So, today, embrace your unconventional perspective. Give your opinion a megaphone. Let your freak flag fly!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 100 Books
Speaking of perspective, as nail biting as it can be, putting your words, your personal thoughts out into the world can really affect others. That’s why, throughout time, the authors, poets and novelists who published poignant copy from the heart are still celebrated as literary trailblazers. But it’s no surprise that in one American Book Review list of the 100 best final sentences in literature, women’s words are pretty scant. While the words of James Joyce are listed four times, the illustrious Zora Neale Hurston barely made the list once, ranking at number 99. If you’re looking for a good read, I suggest leaving Ulysses on the bookshelf and taking another list to heart: 100 Books By Black Women Everyone Must Read. Let the played-out white dudes gather dust on the shelf. Instead, pick up a book by a groundbreaking author like Bell Hooks or Sojourner Truth. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Kima Jones, Founder of Jack Jones Literary Arts
No matter how lyrical her prose, an author’s works will only be widely read if she totally kills it in the publicity game. That’s why Kima Jones, an accomplished writer of prose and poetry in her own right, is on a mission to disrupt the publishing world by supporting writers—particularly black female writers—who are unafraid and whose work is unorthodox, underappreciated and unparalleled.
Kima has a way with words and a love of words, which, combined with her uncompromising entrepreneurial spirit, stirs up some serious magic. She founded Jack Jones Literary Arts in response to the consistent dismissal of black female writers. While there’s a perceived romance in being a struggling writer, those who are actually counting pennies may beg to differ. Great storytellers deserve more than attention; they deserve appropriate compensation. And Kima isn’t backing down in her effort to shift how literature by women is reviewed, discussed and marketed.
A bookworm since childhood, Kima says devouring stories helped mold her into a freethinker, a requisite attribute of any changemaker. Through her book-publicity biz, Kima promotes stories from other freethinking women of color, including award-winning visionaries like Desiree Cooper and Khadijah Queen.
Though Kima is working to change the literary landscape, she admits there’s still much work to be done because, as she says, “voice” still means mainstream marketability, and “audience” still means white readers.
We’re thankful to Kima for taking a chance on some wonderful authors who may not otherwise get the opportunity to become publishing powerhouses. Even though women have come a long way in the publishing realm, as Kima notes, “We have so far to go.”
QUITE THE QUOTE
With Kima Jones’ remarkable work promoting black female writers in mind, let’s end today with a quote from the one and only Toni Morrison:
“If there is a book that you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.