Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Walk Tall

Today is Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday (not the holiday, the day he was born). In honor, I'm posting the January 15 reading from the new edition of Walk Tall: Affirmations for People of Color, which is now available from iUniverse:

There’s an old adage that goes, "If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything." We have to stand for something in this life. If we think we can avoid responsibility by choosing not to take a stand, we are wrong. If we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem. There are many things we can commit to—our personal growth and recovery; the well-being of our children; the welfare of our communities; equal treatment for all people. Whatever it is we believe in, we need to be committed to it and be willing to face the hardships we might encounter along the way.

I honor Dr. King’s memory by taking a stand for something I believe in.

Walk Tall
is a dream I had a long time ago. Fourteen years ago actually. My mother had recently died, and I was doing freelance PR. I was leaving a meeting to set up free prostate cancer screenings at a church on behalf of the American Cancer Society. I was driving down Colorado Boulevard and this voice in my head said, "You should write a book of affirmations for people of color." I was near 1st Avenue and swerved into the far right lane so I could turn west and go to Tattered Cover (it used to be located in Cherry Creek). That day I bought a book called How to Write a Book Proposal and went home and told everyone I was going to write a book. Just like that. (There's a funny/sad story about that book that I talk about in the new intro to Walk Tall.)

Where did that voice come from? God? My mother? My deepest self? I don't know, but I listened to it and I'm so glad I did. Walk Tall lived in print, first with RPI Publishing then with Beacon Press, for 10 years and had 100,000 copies in print. When it went out of print, I thought the story was finished...but not yet.

I'll be posting about new chapters in the life of Walk Tall over the coming weeks. (I also hope to get a decent jpeg of the cover)


iyan and egusi soup: said...

i truly admire your trusting and listening to that voice.

Sherry said...

Having read "Walk Tall" I'm so glad that you listened to that voice. It's a powerful book.

Carleen Brice said...

Thank you both! Coming from 2 women who clearly listen to their own inner voices, I'm honored!

Lisa said...

Congratulations on having two books released this year! I love stories like this one. Most of us wait and wait to hear that voice. You're living proof that if you do hear it, you'd best listen. :)

Sustenance Scout said...

Carleen, I'm glad I wasn't in your way when you made that turn to Tattered Cover! You were on a mission! Sounds like next time I see you I'm going to have a stack of books for you to sign, lol! Can't wait to read this one. It's obviously a book everyone ought to read, not only for their own benefit but to help those who've never endured discrimination better understand what others face on a daily basis. Thanks for the link to that intro. K.

Carleen Brice said...

Thanks Karen!

Ello said...

Carleen, that was a great story and a real moral lesson. 100,000 copies! Wow! What an achievement. I think when people are defeatist, it is important to prove them wrong. I love the way you did!

Lafreya said...

It is a lucky thing I was in bed when I heard my voice. Isn't it wonderful how the ancestors send you on your life missions.