“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison
As a homeschool educator I am responsible for selecting the curriculum my children use for school. As their history teacher I want them to have a well-rounded perspective of world history and not just learn it from one perspective.
History taught only from the majority culture will exclude many experiences from the narrative. I want my children to be able to analyze historical accounts and to have the skill to determine whose voice is missing from the story. They can gain this skill simply by asking questions.
Asking questions can be a powerful way to discover new thoughts, ideas, and perspectives. In fact, I started writing my first manuscript after sitting in a bookstore and viewing about about 40 children picture books on display about New York. None of them featured an African American. So I posed the question to myself: How did African Americans contribute to the development of New York City?
“I, myself, write to change my life, to make it come out the way I want it to. But other people write for other reasons: to see more closely what it is they are thinking about, what they may be afraid of. Sometimes writers write to solve a problem, to answer their own question. All these reasons are good reasons. And that is the most important thing I'll ever tell you. Maybe it is the most important thing you'll ever hear. Ever.”
This one question led me on an exciting journey. Not only did I want my children to know the answer to this question but I felt it was significant enough to share with the world.
I began to dream about the potential ripple effect this knowledge could have on the children in the United States. The pride, the dignity that could be transmitted through my story. There is so much power in the written word and it is my hope and prayer that my passion for history will make a difference in the world.
"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."
So my question to you is this: Is there a book you really want to read but does not yet exist? Start asking questions and you never know where that simple exercise might take you!
Ayanna is a debut author that enjoys writing fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, and poetry for children. She finished her first manuscript in 2015 and is currently working with a literary agent to represent her work to Publishing houses.