Black authors at township event want their writing to inspire youth
Writers who participated in the Black authors showcase at a Moorestown Mall store on March 4 hope that stories of slaves and other African American history will peak the interest of a younger generation.
Rann Miller is the author of Resistance Stories From Black History for Kids.
“(It’s) about all of the things that students may not learn in schools with regards to issues of resistance and Black people being complicit in their liberation,” he explained. “It’s a good book because it gives you some history that you may have not learned.”
Miller was joined at the showcase by authors Trishia Williams and Dr. Stephanie Brown. The event was a partnership between the southern branch of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) in partnership with DEON, Imperfect Village and Black Lives Matter New Jersey.
Miller said it’s important for the history and stories of resistance to be “told, shared and taught.”
“This could help young people navigate through our society and the issues that we face,” he noted. “A lot of that comes from the history that we don’t often teach.”
The authors encouraged individuals interested in being authors to “just start writing.” Brown – self described as a “teacher at heart” – offered help to writers.
“You need to learn about what the market is like and what form of technique (to use),” she said. “You need a mentor who has done that, but there is room for you. There is room for your idea. There is room for your books. There is room for whatever it is that you would like to teach.
“You have the ability as a writer to tell your story as well, like I did, however you would like.”
Brown decided to tell her story through the eyes of a kid in Hidden Heroes and the Youth That Led Us.
“Representation is huge,” she asserted. “It is a known fact that children perform better when they see it for themselves in books, in homework or any type of image. Kids just do better because representation matters and is real.”
The authors told participants at the showcase that it’s important for their stories so they can make their way into schools and libraries.
Nika Corbett, owner of Curate Noir, a one-stop shop for Black and brown-owned products, welcomed the attendees to her shop. She has been at the mall for a couple of years.
“Without the community, small businesses cannot survive,” she acknowledged. “We try our best to have that presence to be online and have a large reach, but if I didn’t have my Moorestown community, Burlington County community, Camden County and all of the other local districts in general, we would be struggling a lot.
“This is why we also put ourselves out there in the community.”