Today is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is “Make It Happen.” I am glad to celebrate all women and especially women’s achievements, and all the things that women have made happen. Some big and some small. In fact, I’d especially like to celebrate the little women, the unknown women, the women whose tireless and brave efforts made us who we are today. People like my great-great grandmother Virginia, a nobody, a mulatto slave with a complicated family set-up, who came of age in antebellum Buckingham County, Virginia.
“Make it Happen” this year. How fitting.
How fitting that, first, I am a writing fool these days, busy making my book The Trouble with Virginia happen. That would be thanks in part to my new Tribe of womenfriends, my amazingly talented fellow debut novelists, the #NunBoxers. If you don’t understand that term, don’t worry. The inspiration behind the name will come to light soon enough, after Robin Farmer’s brilliant book is finished and published. Be sure that I will let you know when that happens. And that’s just one: there are five more amazing books-in-the-making I need to tell you about–soon, soon! What you do need to understand about this group is how powerful they are. I have more on the group planned for the next post, so stay tuned for that!
In the spirit of International Women’s Day, I want to take a minute to thank these women, and a few others who have helped me become the strong, independent, and creative woman that I am today.
So thank you, Nunboxers, you are beautiful all. Thank you, Heidi Durrow, fellow Mixed Chick, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, founder of MixedRemixed Festival, inspiration, and so much more. You are a gift, Heidi. Thanks for bringing this group of us together.
Thank you, Karin Stanford, also an amazing writer and inspiration, one of the best friends I could ever hope to have. How did I get so lucky to have these women in my life?!
Thank you Louise Carmen Burton, Mom. I miss you every single day. You are beautiful. I miss your infectious laugh. Thank you Grandma Carsue Roberta Haskins Burton. I miss your quiet laugh, and I miss your West Indian-via-Virginia rice and peas! Yours were the best ever. I am skipping many, many women, I know; there are too many to name. But finally, thank you Virginia Johnson, great-great grandmother. Researching and writing your story is an honor. Your story has inspired me and taught me so much–about myself and about America. Thank you for helping me to understand and be fiercely proud of who I am.
Thank you all who are helping me share my powerful story, Virginia’s story, to the world. It is my goal to help others tell their stories. Because it is a fact that we all have a story.
Here’s to all the women in all our lives!