I remember in an interview I saw on Youtube U.S. Poet Laureate from 2012-2014 Natasha Trethewey said that when she would seek out education, maybe reading or knowledge that people would say to her that’s “your white side”. It made her mad because they were saying that was her knowledge seeking side her “white side”. This disturbed me but I understand that biracial people really go through these things even in 2015. I’m sure it is the same for biracial young people now because of racism and ethnocentricism. Old notions about racial difference for black people and even biracial people go back to Slavery times.
The first time I was at Memoirfest I was the only African American in the group photo taken last December 2014 after the party. I also remember this past May 2015 being the only African American at Memoirfest. I shared from my memoirs at both Memoirfests and received great response from my peers, Edi Giunta and Josh Fausty. I am one of four or five African Americans that are members of NAMI Mercer’s social group for adults, Just Friends. I am one of few African American NAMI Mercer volunteers. I volunteer with Just Kids, I’m a Sharing Hope presenter, I’m a Parents and Teachers as Allies presenter, I’m a part of the African American Outreach, I’m on the Just Friends Planning Committee, I’m a Phone Chain caller and once or twice a month I volunteer with the Office Team! I was one of the few African American students to major in English at New Jersey City University from 2007-2015. I was one of few African American students in my 200-level and 300-level English classes at NJCU. I graduated from NJCU in August 2015 with my BA in English and Creative Writing. I will be going to Memoirfest this December as an NJCU and memoir class alumna!
My memoir teacher said that my writing style was idiosyncratic! I loved that! She got me.
I use a Marble Composition notebook with 100 sheets and approximately 200 pages as my process journal for the memoir I want to write a book length draft of. My memoir is called Memories of Me. It opens with the early onset of my mental illness after I turned fourteen (gives background ages 12 and 13) and goes up until maybe my 34th or 35th birthday. I am writing it right now. I started writing my memoir in Edi Giunta’s Memoir workshop (Fall 2014) and in her Advanced Memoir workshop (Spring 2015). I am going to continue writing my memoir. I’ve filled up 2/3 of my process journal and I have a 3-subject notebook I plan to hand-write most of my memoir in. I’m really looking forward to Memoirfest in December!
I am really looking forward to the literary party that is Memoirfest. Not just the readings but the great Italian food. I am going to be bringing 20 Guyanese beef patties to the party this year. I’m hoping each person can sample one patty. I plan to wear a nice new Pamela Mc Coy cream faux fur replica with new jeans and a long sleeved NJCU tee!
I am planning on bringing twenty Guyanese beef patties to Memoirfest this December ’15. My mother and my stepfather are both Guyanese from a place called Georgetown in Guyana. I am going to bring my process journal to Memoirfest and read one of my two to three page journal entries! This will be the first Memoirfest I’ll be going to as an alumna!
I have been writing in my process journal Memories of Me about my experiences with mental illness from age 14 to early 30s My current age is 34 years old almost 35. My self love came unexpectedly when I turned 30. My relationship with an East Indian man that is my age named Mike was my 1st relationship with a man. He and I are still friends though we’re no longer dating we went out to I-Hop to eat about a week ago and Mike paid for both of us. He is so sweet and respectful of me. I want children one day I hope that in five years from now I’ll find Mister Right and get married and have two kids. I will be writing a book length personal narrative this “Fall” now that I’m done with college I’ll have time to pen my book length narrative, my memoir, Memories of Me.
I was at Memoirfest on Saturday May 9 from 5:30pm until midnight. My peer notetaker Thomas who is in both of my classes offered to be my ride. I shared the first three pages of my memoir, that has the title Three Half Sisters or My Father’s daughters. I got such amazing responses and feedback from other student writers and alumni. I will keep writing forever. I will pen my first draft of my memoir Memories of Me by January 2016. I write poetry and have an idea for a children’s poetry book for young children about Self Acceptance.
I am glad to have a writing partner who has a disability like I do. I feel like Rudy and I understand our challenges and our strengths. Rudy is a good writer but he is self conscious and I struggle with fear and anxieties.
Dr. Giunta told me what I should focus on when writing my final draft of my memoir that is due May 9, 2015. I took notes during our short 15 minute meeting and I will refer to those notes when writing my final draft of my memoir. I have about 1,000-2,000 words of notes I have handwritten that I will be adding to my narrative over the next week or two. I changed my opening. We discussed The Opening in class on Tuesday and I have a good sense on what my memoir piece’s opening is going to be.