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Leveraging Literary Platforms: Celebrating Black History and the Power of Education




By Guest Blogger: Yalonda J. Brown (Inclusion Strategist, Author, Speaker and CEO of Just Say It LLC)


Black History Month provides a unique opportunity for authors to leverage their platforms in a meaningful way, contributing to awareness and celebration. In this month’s blog, I want to explore how we as authors can play a vital role in promoting Black history, acknowledging the struggles faced, and highlighting the transformative power of education.



I asked myself:


  1. How can I/authors leverage my/our platform to amplify Black voices?

  2. How can I/authors drive greater impact in the community and support literacy initiatives?


One impactful way authors can contribute is by spotlighting literature that explores Black history, culture, and experiences. Recommending books written by Black authors not only diversifies reading lists but also supports and promotes voices that may have been historically marginalized.


  • Authors can go beyond book recommendations by engaging with Black authors directly. Conducting interviews or spotlights provides readers with insights into the writing process, inspiration, and themes explored in their work. This personal connection fosters a deeper appreciation for the diversity of voices within the literary landscape.


  • Authors can use their platforms to educate readers about significant events, figures, and movements in Black history. Through articles, blog posts, or social media updates, they can contribute to a broader understanding of the struggles and triumphs that have shaped Black communities.


  • Collaboration is key to maximizing impact. Enhanced DNA Publishing offers many opportunities for author engagement throughout the year. By partnering with other authors, influencers, or organizations, authors can organize joint events, interviews, or virtual book clubs focused on Black literature. This collaborative effort broadens the reach and fosters a sense of community.


  • Authors can extend their focus beyond literature to include various forms of creative expression. Promoting Black artists, musicians, filmmakers, and other creators adds depth to the celebration of Black history.


  • While celebrating achievements, it's essential to acknowledge historical challenges, including illiteracy. Throughout history, systemic barriers have limited educational opportunities for Black individuals, reflecting broader issues of inequality and discrimination.


  • Highlighting the resilience of Black communities in overcoming educational challenges is crucial. From the era of slavery to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond, individuals and communities have worked tirelessly to break down barriers, emphasizing the transformative power of education.



Though this blog is to offer ideas for leveraging our platforms during Black History Month, the focus should extend beyond a single month. As a DEI Practitioner and Author, I am committing to promoting diversity, inclusivity, and equal opportunities in literature and education throughout the year which will in turn contribute to a more equitable and enriched literary landscape. By combining efforts to celebrate Black history and address educational challenges, authors can play a vital role in shaping a more inclusive society.


 

Yalonda Brown is a seasoned professional whose expertise spans over 20 years in both the private and public sectors. Her drive and self-determination have resulted in a myriad of demonstrable accomplishments as an intuitive leader, thought partner, and high functioning performer. Yalonda holds a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, and a host of certifications including being a Certified Child and Youth Care and DEI Practitioner. She currently serves as a Senior Outreach Manager for a statewide serving non-profit, where she builds meaningful relationships, empowers partners and peers, and advocates for Indiana’s youth. In addition, Yalonda is the CEO of Just Say It LLC, through which she facilitates meaningful conversations as an Inclusion Strategist, Author, and Speaker.


Yalonda has written books and contributed chapters in multiple award-winning anthologies. Whether it is via public speaking or her published works, she leverages her formal education, real world-experiences, and her passion to inspire and motivate others to live according to their purpose. Collectively, her works help to build resilience, confidence & character. Yalonda’s work and insights have been featured in SHRM, DiversityQ and Diversity Professional Magazine, among others.


She currently lives in Avon, Indiana with her husband Vincent and daughter Kiara. You can connect with Yalonda on LinkedIN or send a message to info@justsayitllc.com.

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