No More Hashtags: Remembrance and Reflections

No More Hashtags looks like a great book on the reflection of hashtags of the past.  Any plans to release similar books with social and cultural themes?  
I do have a follow up in the works and just as I did with No More Hashtags, I’ve been performing select pieces at various open mic events in the tri state area to get  feedback which will be helpful in determining the direction of the project.

How did you come up with the hashtags to focus on in No More Hashtags?  
Hashtags indicate something that is trending, however it’s pretty much a short time span because a topic can be quickly trending for  24 hours and then just
as quickly as it appeared it is soon forgotten.  I think a person’s life is more valuable than a hashtag having their name followed with a rest in peace.  The persons I recognized in the book were people who were living and breathing but whose lives, dreams, hopes were cut short and whether we knew them personally or not their lives mattered   and at some point we should get tired of the injustice  and the lack of respect for the value of life to the point of saying no more.  I don’t want to be just a hashtag on timeline.  I’m more than that and so are those names mentioned in the book.

What will readers get out of your book?
What I want readers to walk away with is a sense of connectivity. There is a need for awareness and understanding of how  we are all connected to each other.  If you can see the pain in a community and just because it is not happening to you, can turn and walk away what does that say about humanity? What does it say about who we are as we live, work and go about the day? For some the reflections shared may serve as a reminder and for others some of the stories shared may be totally new.  We must ask ourselves these questions and in our answering determining how we are going to show up in the world.  Will I be the one who will stand in solidarity and support alongside a brother or sister regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or orientation or will I just walk on by?

What inspired you when writing No More Hashtags?   
I was inspired by what I saw happening in the world and community around me.  I became fearful for even my own safety and of those I loved as a result of the amount of racially motivated tragedies.  It was like watching the fall of dominoes one after the other  a case or incident would be in the noose with mothers and family members crying for justice.  It was heart wrenching and painful.   I needed to deal with my own questions, pain and  grapple with the questions of why this level of hatred is still occurring in a nation that prides itself on being a melting pot, the land of the free and home of the brave.  In order to process everything I was seeing and hearing I needed to put pen to paper.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I’m not sure that it was a clear decision other than that I felt I had something I needed to say and that writing was my best vehicle fof epxression.

When writing No More Hashtags did anything stand out as particularly challenging?   
The challenge was the timing of it all. I struggled with the content
because I didn’t want to be stereotyped as this angry black woman, yet I
felt that these were real stories of people with reallives that needed ot be
told and remembered.  These issues are not simply black and white and
we all have a role to play in ensuring equality for all.

What do you like to do when not writing?

Participate in crazy book reading challenges with friends, attend open mic nights, experiment with new recipes, journaling and checking off places on bucket list.