I originally planned to release my latest book, Dear Daughter on December 16, 2021. It would’ve/will say many of the things that I forgot to say to my daughter, Haelee over the years. I failed to do so however because acts of service is my principal love language. I’ve realized in hindsight that hers is more words of affirmation. In releasing it before Christmas my sentiments were that it would be one of the best gifts that I’d ever placed under the tree. It would be my way of saying, “I get it, I see you, hear you, and I’m sorry.”
The true magic of it is that while my daughter and I are the titular characters, every daughter across the world is included within. With that being the case, I wanted it to be a gift for all. My sentiments in that regard were to help heal some of the wounds of black men not taking care of their daughters and not protecting black women, young and old by pouring some of my love into them. While I had my doubts in writing it, I believe that I’m uniquely qualified for given that God entrusted me to raise my daughter as a single parent over the past 12 years. It amazes me that He chose me because I was by no means qualified. Notwithstanding He entrusted me and qualified me for the unique assignment.
Haelee and Richard E. Ashby Jr, Director, Sharon Hills Library and Immediate Past President Black Caucus of American Librarian Association (BCALA) however convinced me to hold off on releasing it until the start of the new year. I initially objected because I like to do what I want to do. I took their advice however and I’m glad that I did. It makes most sense to release it on Valentines Weekend given the sentiments therein. But not only that February is both my birthday month and Black History Month. Their foresight affords me the opportunity to create my own form of black history in giving flowers to her and daughters across the world. My hope is that they smile as they receive my heartfelt gift. Their smiles will be the best birthday present that I’ve ever received.
Scroll right to see a few my favorite illustrations of my daughter and I from the book (sneak peak).