March 20th was International Day of Happiness and my heart was filled with so much joy on that day. Last Friday, the April issue of ESSENCE magazine hit newsstands nationwide and I waited all day to pick up a copy. I made my way through the snow to the Time Inc. building, grabbed a copy of the Kelly Rowland covered magazine and found my article on page 116. My eyes filled with tears as I quickly caught my byline, boldly featuring my name. It will be a moment I remember forever!
I remember being asked to find recently released cookbooks for an Easter brunch feature. I found Soul Food Love by Caroline Randall Williams and Alice Williams and the next thing I know, the mother and daughter authors were in New York City sitting in front of me sharing tips for creating an entertaining Easter brunch that is healthy, unique and stress-free. I was very inspired by the Williams story and their family roots that impacted the Civil Rights Movement and helped shape American history – especially in Nashville. I was also amazed by Caroline’s knowledge and love for cooking. She and I are around the same age and she released a cookbook! I had so much fun with the Williams and little did they know how much writing this story meant to me as much as it meant for them.
When I was a little girl, I loved magazines. My parents gave me subscriptions to all the teen/tween magazines while they subscribed to ESSENCE, EBONY and Jet. I spent my weekends reading the articles and looking through the pages that sparked my interest in writing. I applied for the Journalism class in high school and rose to the ranks of Newspaper Editor. My love for the industry lead me to pursue a degree in Journalism at Howard University concentrating in public relations. While there, I delved deeper into the craft of storytelling gaining bylines in The Hilltop and The District Chronicles. However, I knew my career would involve getting clients mentioned in the media and not me writing the content.
Fast forward to the moment when I was told that I wasn’t good enough and was given the boot, an opportunity to write for ESSENCE came my way and I took it. It was great to have an editorial experience and to be exposed to the interworking of a publication. It was also refreshing to conduct desk-sides with publicists and be pitched to for product placement and client mentions. The experience was amazing and I never imagine that I would be published in a nationally distributed magazine that is seen by thousands of people. There are moments in my life that I will never forget. Like when I my articles were published in my high school and college newspapers, when I was featured in my hometown paper, The Leaf Chronicle and the time I was a part of a MADD billboard campaign. However, those experiences lead up to this moment.
Make sure to check out more of my ESSENCE.com articles below: