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Writing My Memoir - A Life of Fear, Exhaustion and Racial Stress

University of Texas Austin TX 1969 andrews 02

I am a 71-year-old black woman with both sides of my family from USA slavery. I was raised in the Jim Crow south (Yes, Texas is in the South). I was among the first beneficiary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Like, many people, I have a complicated life story, and I hope that story will help others.

This fundraising will support the first phase of writing my book. I will be using the funds to help pay for guided tutoring. Through the guided tutoring, I will have assistance in compiling and structuring my manuscript. I will have guided writing until a completed transcript - about six months. For an overview of my memoir see below.

A donation of any amount will be appreciated.


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My memoir will focus on three overlapping stages of my life.

FEAR. The first stage is the unrelenting fear. My mother died when I was 8, and from that moment until my mid 40's, I lived with, gut-renching, deep-pain in the chest, fear. That fear stemmed not only from the loss of my mother and father, but from the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse endured in the home of my foster mother. A large part of moving forward was dealing with my mental health and learning to act more confident than I felt.

EXHAUSTION. An overlapping stage is extreme exhaustion as a result of being a single parent. My oldest son was born when I was a six-year junior (yes, I was on the verge of being dismissed when I became pregnant with Tshaka). Graduate school, law school, and all my professional work were done in conjunction with my children: Tshaka and Issa. That started when I was 22 years old and lasted till I was about 55 years old. Neither the school nor the workplace was designed for a single parent. Neither was ready for an outspoken black activist.

RACIAL STRESS. Finally, and the third is the killer - the stress of racism - being black in America is a death sentence in more ways than police killings. While I certainly experienced segregation and racism as a child, it was minor as compared to what I experienced as the only or first black person in historically white institutions. In almost every institution I worked, I was the first black and often the single black or minority for many years. This phase started when I was about 19, and I am still in it because the ultimate historically white institution is the United States of America

CONCLUSION. As an activist, dealing with the stress of racism, I like most black people have experienced a significant toll on my health. Because of the intergenerational impact of slavery, segregation, and racism, on my ancestors, my grandparents, my parents and myself that health impact has been passed on to my children and grandchildren.

If you have any questions please email me.

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