The strength of my mother is something I didn't pay attention to for so long. Here she was, this single mom, who was part of the Great Migration, who was part of a Jim Crow south, who said, 'I'm getting my kids out of here. I'm creating opportunities for these young people by any means necessary.'
'Brown Girl Dreaming' was a book I had a lot of doubts about - mainly, would this story be meaningful to anyone besides me? My editor, Nancy Paulsen, kept assuring me, but there were moments when I was in a really sad place with the story for so many reasons. It wasn't an easy book to write - emotionally, physically, or creatively.
As a person of color, as a woman, as a body moving through this particular space in time, I realize the streets of New York tell the story of resistance, an African-American history of brilliance and beauty that, even in its most brutal moments, did not - could not - kill our resilient and powerful spirit.