A Memoir: Encountering Sister Souljah- Prt 1
ME & SOULJAH’S BACKSTORY
Sister Souljah is my literary-Beyoncé. I’ve been following her career since I was 16 years old and she busted my life story wide open with her first fiction tale: The Coldest Winter Ever. I’d just discovered the rhyme to the riddle of my life, and TCWE put somethings into serious perspective for me. She made me understand so much about life, and I held my breath for years to uncover something else as soul-shaking as that Souljah’s stories. I’d read other black fiction novels hoping to walk away with the same feelings but failed to do so. Lo and behold, I look up years later and discover that she’d written a book expanding on the life of my favorite character, Midnight. Finally, after a 7 year wait my deepest literary yearning was fulfilled! And let me tell you that it was definitely worth the wait; she did not disappoint. She immersed us into a whole other culture. Everything you thought you knew about Midnight was instantaneously shattered. The layers of his character went deeper than any reader could probably have ever expected.
In Midnight 1, the epitome of black manhood was born, and now all we fatherless, husbandless black females officially had a real understanding of what black manhood should look like. She showed us the influence true femininity can have, and the power a strong heritage can provide for its lineage. She showed us…so very much. So of course when she started dropping sequels every two years, I was lit! She messed around and gave us 3 Midnight books, and the Porsche L. Santiaga story: A Deeper Love Inside (TWC told from the middle sisters’ perspective, following her through the dissolution of her family) I began to get a spiritual high from her books. She quenched my thirst for culture, and adventure. Her characters teach you so much, and I developed very humble aspirations to do for others (with my tales), as she’s done for me. She is, my literary Beyoncé!
Fast forward, and rewind to November, 2015, and Souljah rocks my world again. She dropped Midnight 3 and made me say: “Self….it’s time to meet this literary genius. You know how to get a hold of people now, try to get an interview.” And I did just that! Only now, I’d discovered how strong her activism used to be, and I’d heard some lectures, and seen some interviews and I became enthralled by the Queen! She was a true warrior for our people, and I now understood so much more about her books.
I got on her website and found out when she’d be near me. Saw her ATL dates, and started stalking her team. Perseverance goes a long way! I emailed and emailed for weeks before actually trying her communication line by text. And what do you know…. I ACTUALLY got a response from HER! Not an assistant…SISTER SOULJAH!
So, I actually had to pitch her. I had to compose an email, selling her on LCP, our platform’s message, and send her samples. It took WEEKS for me to get a response, but finally, a week before her ATL tour dates (January 2016), I got a message from her team! When I tell y’all that I put my face to the ground and thanked the Most High God, Mother Universe, the ancestors, my spirit twin, my guides, all of creation for going before me and delivering on the seeds that I’d sown. That moment was….a dream fulfilled. I’d been given confirmation, that lil’ol me, a nobody, with no journalism degree…was granted an interview with a New York Times best-selling, highly revered author; whom I’d been following since I was 16 years old. Don’t you tell me you can’t be anything you want to be, or that you can’t do anything that you put your mind to, because I have evidence that you can!
I got everything in line for my big day, including the carefully thought out present I planned on gifting her. It was now a new year, I’d declared to slay 2016, and although I was only granted (only? Yeah right!) a phone interview, nothing would stop me from going to ATL to meet my author-icon face to face.
THE BOOK SIGNING
I was in a living dream, because, Y’all….Souljah surprised us with an hour long lecture!
THAT’S RIGHT- I GOT TO WITNESS THE LEGENDARY SOULJAH PREACH LIVE!!!!!!!! And how she came into the auditorium was super dope and down to earth. Without a posse, or the glitz and glam, she came through bursting with New York flava, screaming— “what’s up Atlanta!!!!!!!!” And the crowd went wild! I was so excited, and in that moment I took a minute to day dream of what that moment will feel like for me, when I go on my book tour and pack out that very same auditorium. #Priceless
She brought the heat with her speech too; her message was strong and appropriate. She spoke to all that is going on in the black community today and so much more. Being the media mogul in the making that I am; I, of course had my camcorder on deck! But they were some haters, though. Made us put away all recording devices. BUT….being the journalist that I am; I, of course had that audible app READY! So, I got the whole lecture and Q & A. But….out of respect of her initial request...and because she did actually give me an interview…I don’t think it’s right to post it. But if yall can make a compelling argument as to why I should, maybe yall can sway me! #SoundOffInTheCommentsAndTry
Listen….Souljah’s energy is so powerful. Like….there’s a spiritual guard around her aura that blocks anybody’s negative or unwanted energy. Her calm in her energy was strong enough to calm the wild in mine lol. I have a very big, excited, confident, bubbly aura, and when I’m doing something I love, it overflows. So of course, I was on 10!
Before I approached the throne, her super powers had turned me down a notch. I was now composed and had my very impressive gift of letters (or journal entries if you will) in hand, rehearsing how I’d present or explain why I had a professionally bound, portfolio-looking-thing with her copyrighted artwork plastered across the cover. I’d been compiling those letters for years. Every time I read a new book of hers, I grew spiritually, mentally and culturally, because I become very reflective after a Souljah read. I had them printed and bound, and put her cover art before each letter written about each book. I printed one for myself (to have her autograph as my keepsake), and one for her. But before I could even walk away from our encounter good, I saw an assistant take her gift off the table and put it with some other gifts. This made me feel very insecure about the possibility of her ever seeing my thoughtful gift again.
But as the universe would have it, after meeting Souljah and getting my books autographed, I ran right into her husband on my way out of the auditorium. He saw my shirt and said “Life. Culture. People., wussup? We got you on our books for tomorrow”. I, of course was elated by the recognition, but somehow my Spidey-senses had already sensed that he was someone I needed to connect with on my way out. So the hubby and I chopped it up with her hubby, and I actually gave him MY autographed copy of MY gift to her, to personally hand over to her. I pretty much regret it now lol, but hey, at least I still have my personalized autographed book, photos and video to have and hold forever lol.
So….if you follow LCP, you’re probably wondering what happened to the article… You probably said: “self….I ain’t neva seen no damn Sister Souljah article. This broads a fake!” hahahahaha. Well…you’d be right. I did indeed get the interview, I have an hour long audio recording to transcribe, but…..I never wrote the piece… I know, I know, I know it sounds insane, you’re wondering what I was thinking, and why I didn’t produce the piece. I would to. But I have a very valid explanation as to why. Stay tuned, because the story behind that crazy decision, and the long, overdue article is on the way!