I’ve been recovering from the amazing hard launch of Tenny Boots! A Memoir. It was held back home where my part in the story began-Foster Projects. So many friends and family and “project cousins” came to support. Behind the scenes thanks go to my daughter and CnE who schlepped and set up and picked up food and printed stuff in bone chilling weather. And my dear trusty friend, Deb, who fought panicked people lines at Costco and other stores to find bottled water.
Shit Turned Spiritual
When it was time to discuss the book and read some passages, shit turned spiritual. The themes of Tenny Boots are so universal every head in the room was nodding and could relate. At that point it became so much more. My dear sista, Holly, who wears many hats, one of which is family therapist added her knowledgeable voice to the tenor of the room. At that point it was on. People began to open up and express their stories. Success! The whole point of writing the book achieved. But yet it is so much more.
The Road it Travels
If the caregiving/ care resisting tension is the vehicle, the road it travels upon is the 100 year history of A particular Black family from 17 acres to sharecropping to migrating to landing in Harlem during the depression, dancing at the Savoy, Jim Crow and Mr Buzzard too. It continues in mid century Harlem, and winds up with 911, Obama, a cameo on the big screen and “ol trump.”
You may ask how does one book do all of that. It does through Mama’s brilliant storytelling across 100 years and mine picks up at the last 67. Griots preserving our history by telling our stories. TennyBoots! A Memoir stays with you. Like a personal friend.
We’re at Sisters Uptown Bookstore on Thursday from 6-8, followed by radio interviews in Kingston, N.Y. and and author talk at A.J. Meyers Williams Library. At the end of the month we’re on the road to Harriett’s bookstore in Philadelphia. Check the coming events section on TennyBoots.com. So Grateful for the opportunity to share my birthday gift to me with the diaspora. Following Toni Morrison’s suggestion, I wrote the book I wanted to read. I pray you find virtue in it. Much love and applesauce.
Thanks to Harlem legends for the eventing George Harrell and George Donaldson for the accommodations. Shonda Muse for Cornell’s speech and all the folks who braved the elements to come out and join us.