WNW Welcomes Author, Shirley Harris-Slaughter!
Nonnie, thank you so much for having me. I was so reluctant to do this but you have managed to convince me it is worth my while. I never thought I would meet such wonderful people on Twitter of all places–especially you. Let me begin by saying that it’s so nice to finally venture into this blog tour thing. Since I am getting more comfortable with Twitter, I said to myself “What the heck? So here goes!”
INTRODUCING SHIRLEY HARRIS-SLAUGHTER
My name is Shirley Harris-Slaughter. I was born in Wayne Diagnostic Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, raised in The Charter Township of Royal Oak as a child and moved to Detroit during my teen years. I’ve been married to my husband, Langston for the past 30 years with two children (his and mine) between us. Several grand-children include a young model & aspiring actress; a junior scholar with the highest MEAP Score in the country; and an entertainment artist coming out with a CD. My mother wanted badly to be an actress and so I think some of this is a gene thing. We are calling our son Joe Jackson, Jr. because of so much talent that he is managing.
When I was very young I watched my parents’ involvement in Royal Oak Township, going to the polls and voting in every election and fighting the “powers that be” that wanted to turn our community into an industrial complex, thereby displacing every resident there. Watching them, put a little bit of activism into me.
My mother was very creative. She was a writer of children’s stories, a poet, and a rousing speaker (literally) — she could move an audience. I witnessed this when she did a “‘Woman of the Bible” presentation for Lent and received a standing ovation. She took a character out of the Bible and brought it to life. That is when I realized just how gifted my mother was. When you grow up around gifted people, you don’t think very much about it until someone else points it out to you. This issue is discussed in my first and only book “Our Lady of Victory: The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community.” It is an account of growing up in a Catholic environment and discovering all the historical people who influenced me, including my wonderful mother.
I became actively involved in my community by joining the block club; the school board; tried my stint at saving a train station, complete with cameras, action, and lights. Gathered influential people behind me and landed a television spot. I had no idea how hot that topic was, but everyone else did. Saving our historic train station led me to the discovery that I am a historian and preservationist. I didn’t like History in school but winning a scholarship to a preservation workshop is how I discovered my passion for old buildings and traditional things.
A historical plaque was presented during a presentation with dignitaries to commemorate the old George Washington Carver Elementary School that I went to and that had closed down. Everywhere I turned, something I loved was being closed down. All of this is what led me to eventually fight to get our Catholic Community to take its rightful place in history.
When I started this project, nothing could be found online at all about this Catholic Community that had included a church and school. There were no articles, nothing, notta, zilch!
I tell the story of how my mother discovered this Catholic Church just by watching one little boy passing our housing complex every morning in a white shirt, blue tie and blue pants. She had never seen a child dressed up like that so early in the morning and she wanted to know who he was and where he was going. And well, I’ll just let you read the book and find out the details for yourself.
Initially, I wasn’t going to write about me until my editor said “Why not? You’re the author so why would you leave you out of your own story?” Well, I hadn’t planned on writing that kind of book. It was going to be about paying tribute to the folks who started this little community and writing about them was my goal —not writing about me.
Discoveries that I had not anticipated finding, and my editor encouraging me to write my story, moved this book in another direction. That happens sometimes — you don’t know what direction you will take. Sometimes things take on a life of their own. I never expected to make any money out of this. I just wanted to pay tribute to the pioneers and start the conversation.
I better stop right here and let you get the book for the rest of the story.
Click on this link to catch the sale while supplies last!
For each comment left on each leg of my tour (1 comment per day), your name will be entered into a drawing. One (1) lucky winner will receive an autographed copy of my book “OUR LADY OF VICTORY: THE SAGA OF AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN CATHOLIC COMMUNITY” and a $5 Amazon Gift Card! Be sure to visit each stop and leave a comment for me. Good luck in winning!!
Nonnie, again, thank you so very much for letting me stop by and chat.
Nonnie: “Shirley, it was a pleasure and I’m encouraging all of my readers to please take the time and leave comments for Shirley. You all know how we authors/bloggers just love those. Thanks all!”