As a new mother, I am most definitely on the hunt for imaginative and informative children’s books! So I was excited to hear that Senator Raphael G. Warnock, Georgia’s first black senator who is also the senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church here in the A, recently released a children’s book Put Your Shoes On & Get Ready! Below is the description of the book:
From Georgia’s first Black Senator Raphael Warnock comes an inspiring picture book about finding your dreams and making your mark in the world.
Before Raphael Warnock became a pastor and the first Black senator from Georgia, he was a little boy whose father told him to get up, get dressed, put on his shoes, and get ready! So that’s what he did, along every step of his journey. From his work boots to his marching band shoes to his shiny lace-ups, Senator Reverend Warnock found the right shoes to fit his feet and to carry him toward his dreams.
This inspirational story, with bold, brilliant art by TeMika Grooms, follows Raphael Warnock’s journey from Savannah, Georgia, to the United States Senate and shows young readers that they, too, can find the power to be themselves and make a difference when they have the shoes that fit their feet.
About the Author
Raphael G. Warnock was elected the first Black senator from Georgia in 2020. He also serves as the senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta. Senator Reverend Warnock went to Morehouse College and Union Theological Seminary and is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He is the eleventh of twelve siblings, and has two children, Chloe and Caleb. You can find out more about him at warnockforgeorgia.com.
TeMika Grooms is an Atlanta-based artist and art activist who illustratedSave The Crash-test Dummies by Jennifer Swanson and Nana’s Favorite Things by Dorothy H. Price. She is the Founder and Program Coordinator for KidsLitATL, a grassroots organization to support a diverse group of creators in Atlanta, Georgia, where she lives with her cat, Nina Simone, and her two daughters, who she affectionately calls Thing One and Thing Two. You can visit her online at www.temikatheartist.com.
And below is Senator Warnock sharing why he wrote the book on ABC’s The View:
Rachel McAdams as Barbara Dimon and Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret Simon in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Photo Credit: Dana Hawley
I’M SOOO EXCITED! One of my FAVORITE novels as a child is now being made into a film! See below…
For over fifty years, Judy Blume’s classic and groundbreaking novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. has impacted generations with its timeless coming of age story, insightful humor, and candid exploration of life’s biggest questions. In Lionsgate’s big-screen adaptation, 11-year-old Margaret (Abby Ryder Fortson) is uprooted from her life in New York City for the suburbs of New Jersey, going through the messy and tumultuous throes of puberty with new friends in a new school. She relies on her mother, Barbara (Rachel McAdams), who is also struggling to adjust to life outside the big city, and her adoring grandmother, Sylvia (Kathy Bates), who isn’t happy they moved away and likes to remind them every chance she gets.
Kathy Bates as Sylvia Simon and Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret Simon in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Photo Credit: Dana Hawley
The film also stars Benny Safdie (Licorice Pizza, Good Time) and is written for the screen and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig (The Edge of Seventeen), based on the book by Judy Blume, and produced by Gracie Films’ Academy Award® winner James L. Brooks (Best Picture, 1983 – Terms of Endearment), alongside Julie Ansell, Richard Sakai, Kelly Fremon Craig, Judy Blume, Amy Lorraine Brooks, Aldric La’auli Porter, and executive produced by Jonathan McCoy. Lionsgate presents, a Gracie Films production. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is slated to be in movie theaters only on April 28!
This is my favorite line from the book:
I haven’t been inside of a movie theater since the pandemic, but this movie (and I love Rachel McAdams and Kathy Bates) is worth going back to the theater! Have you been back yet?
I’m BAACCCKKKK! Have you missed me? I hope so…I’m hoping you will still rock me as I attempt to get started in the new year after another long break. Why have you been away, you ask? I was working on a ginormous freelance project that took all of my extra attention outside of my job, family life and other regular responsibilities. And as I said in my blog description, “I typically blog on Sundays and Wednesdays (to coincide with Sunday Morning Church Service and Wednesday Night Bible Study), but sometimes I may post more or less depending on what is going on in my life… If God can be patient with me, I hope you can too!”
So here we go…
OWN (Oprah Winfrey, baby) never fails to captivate me with its programming and the network is starting off 2023 with a show that will keep my attention every week! Since I wrote a whole novel about single black women, it is a no brainer that I love that OWN’s new show “All The Single Ladies,” which endeavors to provide a provocative view of intimacy and dating in the modern world from the perspective of black women across the nation. The unscripted series debuted on Friday, January 6 at 9pm ET/PT, and new episodes will debut every Friday night concurrently on both OWN and Discovery+.
Each episode will feature four black women of various ages and relationship statuses sitting down to explore a different topic. The conversations will sometimes be comedic and at other times will be heartbreaking, but they will always be real, authentic and heartfelt with the common goal of finding and wanting love. Below is the trailer:
I watched the first episode entitled Side Chicks which featured Crystal, a 42-year-old healthcare industry professional; Jameela, a 42-year-old marketing executive; Nicole, a 43-year-old public health professional; and Stephanie, a 42-year-old marketing director. I loved that the women are in their 40s so they spoke with maturity in the interview format of the show. Additionally, I loved that while the women are attractive, they are not the usual “baddies” that you see on television. They are normal looking women without a lot of accoutrements, if that makes sense. And they had different body types as well. Also, I appreciated that while each of the women served drama i.e. how side chicks derailed their relationships, it was not over-the-top drama that drives much of fake reality television.
Crystal married a guy who was 10 years younger than she was and the guy kept dating like he was still still single. Scandalous! Jameela ended up dating a dude who got her and another woman pregnant at the same time and she referred to the babies as “ghetto twins!” Ha! Nicole received anonymous letters detailing her man’s cheating and till this day she doesn’t know who sent the letters to her. Scary! Stephanie was with her man for three years before he ended a marriage proposal to her with the word “Pysch!” and she kept seeing him afterward. Confusing! Another aspect of the show that I appreciated was how the women spoke about how their upbringings may have affected their dating lives AND they took responsibility for their part in the situations although these men were mostly at fault in my estimation…
Below is an official episode description followed by a few clips from the show and descriptions of the remaining episodes:
Side Chicks – Imagine being pregnant and newly married, only to find out the father of your child has been cheating? Or realizing your long-term boyfriend lives a separate life with someone else? Or seeing on social media that your boyfriend has gotten his ex-wife pregnant? After learning their partners have been unfaithful, four women must make painful choices about their relationships. Below are a few clips from the first episode…
The Swirl Life – When a study abroad trip quickly turns into an interracial, international love affair, a TV reporter discovers that being color blind is no longer the goal. After blind dating online for five years with a man from a different race, a dietician finally meets her boyfriend. A black woman from Compton dates a white man from Malibu. A writer in the coast guard lands her first kiss at 26, leading to a relationship that forces her to make hard decisions about her future.
Why Women Cheat – We often hear about men cheating, but what about women? Four women share their personal journeys from commitment to infidelity and finally, to peace of mind.
Raised By Religion – A teacher confronts her sexual identity, a stand-up comic tolerates an unfaithful husband and two preachers’ daughters rebel against their upbringings. This episode follows four women’s journeys as they break the rules, challenge their religious beliefs and search for true love.
Bad Boys – Four women — a massage therapist, a treatment counselor, a baker and a musician – talk about their past relationships with fast-talking charmers who turned out to be toxic. The women share their tough decisions in an episode that explores relationship illusions, the fear of being alone and personal self-worth.
What Just Happened? – A nurse is blindsided by her husband’s homosexuality, a court liaison reevaluates her long-term relationship with a cheating boyfriend, a writer’s world is turned upside down when the man of her dreams becomes abusive, and an entrepreneur is ghosted by the man she loves. In this emotional episode, four women tell their stories of infatuation, heartbreak and rebirth.
Sexual Awakenings – A comedian attempts to find love with a man before finally embracing her sexuality as a lesbian; a flight attendant finds her own sexual sweet spots after a sexless relationship with a preacher; a chef finds love after a Hot Girl Summer turns into an Auntie Spring; and a seasoned writer finds fulfillment through long-distance sexting.
Red Flags – Through laughter and a few tears, an educator, a comedian, a business executive and a medical professional talk about their hard-earned lessons after ignoring the red flags in their previous relationships.
Now, what is confusing to me is that while all of the press materials have stated that the show debuted on Friday, the episode Red Flags, which is supposed to be the final episode, already aired. At any rate, if you would like to watch Side Chicks and Red Flags, you can go to oprah.com
And forgive me for going here, but it is my blog…LOL…If you ALSO like to read about single black women and drama, please check out my aforementioned novel Destination Wedding. In fact, the Griffin Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated (my beloved sorority) is currently reading it in a four-meeting, online Book Chat Series. The second meeting was Friday, but there are two additional meetings that will be held in February and March. In other words, there is still time to read the novel and get caught up!
To register for this open Book Chat Series, which is on Zoom, click HERE!
Finally, because I do love relationship drama (if it is not my own LOL), I will be watching Prince Harry tonight at 7:30 on “60 Minutes” on CBS! He did not just leave the monarchy. He is torching the joint! Below is a clip from the interview!