My Black Southern family immersed me in a culture of storytelling as a condition of my birth. I learned about their deliberate embrace of laughter and love as they navigated the everyday challenges of being Black in America. Their gift of cultural practices is my inspiration as a professor, writer, and mentor.
Undoubtedly, my family inspired me to study the lives of Black folks through literature. I began my formal studies at Dillard University, where I was taught by professors who always seemed to enjoy being in the classroom. It was also there that I was selected to participate in a research mentoring program hosted by Duke University. That program taught me that I could pursue a career in studying the lives of Black folks. Today, I am a Black feminist community-engaged scholar, mentor, and university professor.
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