Author Profile: Dara Kalima

Dara Kalima, author of "Black Man Black Woman Black Child"

Dara Kalima, author of “Black Man Black Woman Black Child”

With the summer in full swing and school out of session, it is a great time to catch up on some reading. There will also be book fairs and festivals this summer for those who are inclined towards literature. In July, we have the Harlem Book Fair, and in August there will be the first ever Queens Book Festival. In looking at the upcoming events, as a part of the Black Writer’s Collaborative network, I discovered a writer who is scheduled to be at this year’s Harlem Book Fair. I’d like to introduce you to writer and poet Dara Kalima. She is the author of “Black Man, Black Woman, and Black Child” a perspective on the African-American experience. I was able to reach out to Dara for some questions about her book, and writing in general.

Polite On Society: What motivated you to write Black Man, Black Woman, Black Child? 

Dara Kalima: The title poem came to me many years ago. My goal in that moment was to explore the dynamic in the household. I wanted to understand how three people can live together and still not fully appreciate what the others may or may not be going through. In time, when I decided to compile the book, I realized this poem lent itself to a larger structure. It’s written in 5 sections; I tackle with the experience/perceptions of man, woman, and child, explore the family unit and then look at what it like when these people have to face a world that was not necessarily designed for their success. 

POS: What is your purpose in your writing? Who are you trying to reach?

DK: I write for those people who don’t know how to share their stories, who feel alone, unheard, etc. I write because by writing my story can help provide healing for another. I’m trying to reach anyone who will listen. But in the case of this book specifically I want those within the community to better understand each other and then I want those outside of it to see us as just regular people who may just have a bit more of a challenge facing them.

POS: As a poet, how do you decide how much of your life experience to pour into your work? Do you ever feel at risk of going too personal? 

DK: I have put a lot of my life on the page, some would argue too much and at this point though it may have all been written it’s not all shared. But I write often times to help me find clarity on things. If I don’t understand how an atrocity can happen in the world, I tend to write the questions, or my perceptions. If I’m hurting over a broken heart I write about the relationship, where it went wrong, how I am feeling and what healing looks like. I get shy and blush or get angry when I read some of my work but if the goal is to have deep and candid conversations, then I cannot shy away from these things in writing. I would be doing myself, my readers, and my craft a disservice.

Bronx Book Fair 2016

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The Bronx Book Fair 2016 was this past weekend. A gathering of readers, writers, authors, and artists at the Bronx Library Center for the second year in a row. As I experienced before, it was an event to reach out and discover what others are reading. I was fortunate to be accepted as a vendor again this year to promote my work.

Other authors like Dara Marsh, Taneeka Wilder, Angela Williamson, Kalisha Buckhanon, Shanika Sealy, and Sonya Harris were also there. When we were not speaking to fair attendees, we were talking among ourselves about what motivated us to write and publish our books. Feel free to check out a great set of photo’s over at Shanika’s blog: Positivealicious Bronx Book Fair 2016 photo slide

Talking with a few people. Me being a political writer, I got more than a few interesting questions.. including one about my opinion on immigration matters. Also discussed were promoting strategies, and thoughts on the logic of respectability politics and if there is any connection to behavior and Black oppression. You know, with me being me, there was no escaping the controversy. When it comes to how people conceptualize society, I enjoy answering questions from a number of different angles and engaging people.

I came away with knowing how serious this is to me. After waking up at 6am the morning of, prepping the various items you see in the picture on the table below, that’s how you know its real.   Choosing how to do something is important. Choosing your messaging, approach, is critical. My greater purpose is to do this.

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Author Marc Polite set up shop at Bronx Book Fair 16

It’s May 10th, and my spring tour is coming near it’s end. It may be a quiet summer from the looks of things, but it was a fun ride. The last event I have coming up before the June 3rd show at The Shrine is my 7th year anniversary celebration for this very blog next week. I hope y’all will come out for that. I am up here trying to figure out what I am going to say next week. I am sure I’ll come up with something.

Thanks to everyone who came by to see me at the Bronx Book Fair this past Saturday. Take care y’all.

-Marc

 

 

 

Author Profile: Andrea C. Imafidon

Andrea C. Imafidon, author

Andrea C. Imafidon, author

The life of an entrepreneur can be a challenge. Balancing a business with your passion requires much of an individual. For perspective on this, we reached out to author and blogger Andrea C. Imafidon. Andrea gives us insight as an entrepreneur, blogger, and speaker. She will be a speaker at BloggerWeek 2016 later this summer. Andrea is also the creator of Brown Girl From Boston.

 

Polite On Society: What motivated you to write your book?

Andrea Imafidon: I was motivated to write “Turning Your Passion Into A Paycheck” because I have learned how to turn my passions into a paycheck. I was motivated to write my book because I always had side hustles to compliment my main hustle and wanted to share my knowledge of the power of side hustles and supplementing your income.

I understand the power of having multiple streams of income coming into my household and wanted to help others especially African-Americans to turn their skills, talents, and passions into a paycheck instead of throwing money down the drain and living paycheck to paycheck. This book was also inspired by a previous tele-class that I taught on turning your dream into a profit, in which I was teaching people how to create various source of income through something that they truly encourage doing each and everyday. You can turn anything into a profit these days.

POS: In embracing your passion, do you feel there is a danger at times that the process of turning it into a profit will drain your enthusiasm? 

AI: I have so many passions in which I protect all of them. Some passions that I have are just passionate hobbies and wouldn’t want to profit from them because I just enjoy them such as listening to Hip Hop. I love Hip Hop but I can’t see myself being a Hip Hop journalist because I would have to listen to all kind of wack Hip Hop and would automatically have my enthusiasm drained trying to comprehend what the heck these new ages “Hip Hop artists” are trying to convey to the listeners. I know my lane and I stay in it.

As far as my other passions, such as blogging, speaking,  helping people to map out their business ideas, or problem-solving, I love doing those things and have no problem profiting from them. When I blog, speak, or problem-solve personal and professional issues for people, I profit from my passions in a holistic way. I am part of the healing process, the transformation process, and the breakthroughs that bring me so much enthusiasm. My inner wealth, enthusiasm, and knowing what lane to stay in to create and profit from my passion, protects me from burnout. My business is my livelihood and I stick to blogging/writing, coaching/consultant, and speaking to profit from. I have tried to profit from all my passions at one point because I was desperate and needed money. I was in way over my head and I have failed because I realize that I cannot do any and every business idea that comes in and out my mind. I have to pick and choose wisely and stay in my knowledge lane.

POS: How important is it nowadays to have multiple streams of income? 

AI:

It is essential to have multiple streams of income. No one should depend on one source of income because anything can compromise your main hustle such as illness, termination, starting a family, economy, gentrification, systemic racism, workplace racism and the list goes on and on. Having multiple streams of income give you power, it gives you a voice, provide freedom and independence. We need multiple streams of income to build strong economies, create jobs for our community, and rebuild and restructure communities and neighborhoods that are disenfranchised and being taking over by gentrification.

We live in an expensive and materialistic society in which the cost of living is high while your paycheck is barely allowing you and your survive to live a quality of life. You have debt such as student loans, credit cards, and personal debt that is holding people hostage to working multiple low wage jobs, limited of time to enjoy life, and you are basically paying bills and waiting to die. I have decided a long time ago that me and my family were not about that life. I remember walking off my “lucrative and good” job because I couldn’t take the workplace discrimination from my supervisor. My husband and I had enough saved to make it for six months and on top of his salary. I had to tap into my side hustle of resume writing, partaking in paid focus groups, and other odd gigs to survive while figuring out our next move.

There are so many talented and skillful people who are not getting paid what they are worth on their jobs while being mistreated on their jobs. I truly believe that we all have the skills to pay the bills and live a prosperous and abundant life. We have to tap into our skills, strengths, and passions and profit from them. You are planning to fail once you start depending on that one paycheck. We have to move beyond fear and start creating multiple streams to create generational wealth for our children, their children, and their children’s children. You cannot create wealth depending on a paycheck and you cannot create wealth working for someone who wealth is set for 400 years.

1 Year Anniversary of “Everything To Learn, Nothing to Teach!”

Everything to Learn, Nothing To Teach

Everything to Learn, Nothing To Teach

Hey there, again. I know I just dropped a post like 2 minutes ago, but I have something else to say. Today marks the one year anniversary of my second book, “Everything To Learn, Nothing to Teach” It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year already. Dang. So for this occasion, I wanted to drop a little podcast about it. Peace, and thanks.

-Marc

National Black Writer’s Conference 2016

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13th National Black Writer’s Conference 2016 Program Booklet

 

Good evening folks! I’d like to take a little time to tell you about my experience this weekend at the 13th bi-annual National Black Writer’s Conference at Medgar Evers College this past weekend. Edwidge Danticat and Michael Eric Dyson were among this year’s honorees.  As readers of this blog know, I have attended in the past, but this year was my first time going as a book vendor. Because of this slight difference, my experience was decidedly more interactive.

I was there all day Saturday, promoting both of my books. It was a great experience. Throughout the course of the day, I spoke with attendees, students, staff, and other vendors. While I was not able to sit in on any of the panel discussions, by no means was I starved for conversation. Impromptu conversations about such matters as charter schools, and issues around higher education sprung up. People apparently are paying attention, since a conversation also ensued about the term “superpredator,” even though I did not raise it. Twitter screenames provoke stuff. Ha.

Marc set up shop.

Marc set up shop.

Speaking of provoke, what I noticed is how many people just liked the title of the second book, and thought it was really witty. I talk about a number of things in it, so I felt it was the best way to sum it up. I am relieved that there are some folks that get what I am doing with it. Given how strongly I feel about, well a number of issues, I have become good at making my point without unnecessarily agitating or offending those who I was in conversation with. (If anyone feels otherwise, I am sure they will let me know on Twitter, lol) But for real, it was all love though.

 

Author Angela Williamson sells her books at NBWC 2016

Author Angela Williamson book table at NBWC 2016

In addition to myself, a group of writers and poets were there promoting. Authors like James C. Ellerbe, Angela Williamson, M.W. Bennett, and K.G. Taylor were there. Atim Annette Oton, who organized the vendors was also present.

 

 

Author M.W. Bennett's book table

Author M.W. Bennett’s book table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jewelry and other creations by Atim Annette Oton

Jewelry and other creations by Atim Annette Oton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

K.G. Taylor quote

K.G. Taylor quote

 

 

These are a few of the images from Saturday. I can say more, but you get the idea. I want to say thank you to everyone who came by the table and supported my work. The next time you can catch me, is at the Bronx Book Fair in May. Peace!

-Marc

 

 

 

 

 

“Everything To Learn” Upcoming Spring 2016 Tour Stops

Everything To Learn book cover

Everything To Learn book cover

Good afternoon folks, and happy Friday! It’s the end of the week, but I wanted to just drop one more post before the day is through. I have a few appearances lined up that I want you all to be aware of. I will have both of my books on hand for these events, even though I am promoting the latest one. Keep note of the following dates:

Friday, March 18th, 2016 6-8pm @ The Shrine (With Bringing Conscious Back)

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 All day @ The National Black Writers Conference

Monday, April 25th, 2016 6-8pm @ The Harlem Liberation School Open Mic

Saturday, May 7th, 2016 All day @ The Bronx Book Fair

Friday, June 3rd, 2016 6-8pm @ The Shrine (With Bringing Conscious Back) *Last show for Spring*

I am hoping some of y’all can make it out to these appearances. Until next post, see ya! Peace!

-Marc