Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sophia Nelson Comes to Charleston

Last Sunday (August 28), political journalist and author Sophia Nelson discussed her new book, Black Women Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama, at the Mount Pleasant Barnes and Noble.

Nelson was on vacation in the area with her mother and two nieces. As a matter of fact, she has visited the Charleston area several times and wrote most of the book here. Part of her research lead her to Boone Hall Plantation.

Nelson's main goal of this book was to change the perception of African-American women in the public's eyes. Her inspiration came from several sources, including Don Imus' comments towards the Rutgers University women's basketball team and the way the media portrays First Lady Michelle Obama.

During her hour-long talk, she asked audience members (which were African-American women and one African-American guy) to come up adjectives people come up with when describing African-American women. Most of us came up with negative words (loud, with attitudes, ghetto, etc). Then she flipped it and ask us what we thought of ourselves personally. We came up with positive things to say (smart, beautiful, hard-working).

Nelson said that it's time to let people know that African-American women are more than neck-rolling, finger-snapping, always-have-an-attitude women that is always seen in the media. We are more than the new trend that the media seems to be focusing on - the lonely, single college graduate who can't get a man. And that it is time to show the world who we really are.

Nelson's book features various research studies on how people of different races feel about African-American women and how African-American women feel about themselves. It also addresses difficult subject matter in the African-American community, such as abuse and mental illness.

Nelson's hope is to allow African American women to take a good look at themselves and to treat each other and themselves better.

I heard about the book in Essence and was planning to buy in for my Nook. But after seeing that she was coming, I decided to buy a copy. Nelson was very nice and interacted with the audience. I also enjoyed meeting her family! I haven't started on the book yet (I just started The Kid for my book club and the local library is doing a community read), but I look forward to reading it and hopefully take something away from it.


  1. It was very nice to meet you sister let me know what you think of the book! God Bless.

  2. it a very good work you doing with your blog getting your link on twitter i will appreciate if you follow me back on twitter so i can always get an update wit the blog @twitter/fmnely .