All youth today should be exposed to such a inspiring story because it provides empowerment and courage to push forward. Just because someone expects the worse from you due to your circumstances doesn’t give you permission to give up. No matter what, chase your dreams and make them a reality. Amanda did.
-Lakeisha, 16 year old, Moultrie, GA
— Sneak peek of Amanda’s Ray the inspirational hip hop novel that’s sweeping the nation by Author-Educator, Tachelle Shamash’ Wilkes.
Sneak Peek (Chapter 1)
Where I live ain’t always sunshine, it ain’t always grey skies either. Sometimes shots ring off rooftops while I’m sleeping at night. Other times children fly free like birds up and down Brooklyn concrete streets with smiles on their faces.
I knew I could write when Ms. Johnson stampeded to the back of the classroom with her mega ten size feet. “Amanda Raye, you have a gift,” she uttered as she slipped an A paper in my palms. My lips curved, cracked a half of smile and shoved the poem to the bottom of my book bag — hearing it crumble as if it was being crushed by buildings. Yeah I can write, but what’s the use? Writers don’t make loot and that’s what I needed to get us out the ghetto.
Then I found Kendra Star. She battled Lady Luck on Fight Klub. The way she spit was killa. Kendra Star’s vicious on da mic. I loved the way Kendra spit them bars — “beamers – move so fast, can’t imitate my swag…” Fell in love with Kendra on the spot. She was the hottest female rapper out and I wanted to be just like her, so I started freestylin’ — got nice from practicing everyday. Googled everything Kendra Star and studied her rhymes. Dissected them line by line ’cause I wanted to know what made Kendra tick.
There was something about Kendra Star — the way she moved, the clothes, her raspy voice. I hung onto every sound that flowed from her tongue. Every time Kendra was on 106 and Park, my eyes melted the TV screen. As soon as she came out with a new song I downloaded it to my IPod and memorized it instantaneously.
It wasn’t just the clothes she flossed, but there was struggle in her rhymes – deep-edged pain. It was mine. She was my mirror, and I was reflectin’. Kendra had a crack addicted mother – Mine died at eight. We lived in parallel worlds. I ain’t obsessed or nothing — ain’t no lesbian. I just think Kendra Star is fly and that’s why I had to see her in person.
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About the Author
Tachelle Shamash Wilkes, founder of femmixx.com, is a platform for women music producers, DJ’s & Emcees. She has shared the stage with KRS-One, and Doug E. Fresh and has been featured in Scratch Magazine, The Source.com, BBC Radio, NBC, and ABC News. Wilkes received her Master’s in Education from Brooklyn College is not only a voice for women in hip-hop, but an advocate and educator of youth. Wilkes teaches at an art-centered high-school in Brooklyn, NY. Amanda’s Ray (Enaz Publishing) is her first novel.
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