I never could have dreamed or imagined something as amazing as being an author twice published. I was fortunate to meet one of the world’s greatest literary talents James Baldwin in College. I couldn’t know that 27 years later I would be making a small imprint in African American Literature in a similar way. I chronicle and write down in real time the world that I am part of which is the Black experience.
I write my books with my sister Lyris D. Wallace. My name is Chyrel J. Jackson. We are avid lovers, readers and writers of African American Literature. We grew up in a Southern Suburb of Chicago, IL. Country Club Hills. As young girls we read Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Judy Blume novels.
College was the real scholastic awakening introducing these two Literary Enthusiasts to the Literary works of our great ancestors: James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and others. These writers influenced us so much. It only makes sense that we would now be writing in the Spirit of these ancestors. Giving a voice to social issues that plague our modern time.
Our latest self-published works are books of poetry: Mirrored Images and Different Sides of the Same Coin. Both Books mirror messaging “no pun intended.” Ranging from a host of life topics: relationships, frayed familial dynamics, juggling life, single parenting, racism, etc.
Some have said, our books are reminiscent of Harlem Renaissance revisited. Our anthologies of poems pair current social and living conditions with poetic verse. In this volume the sometimes darker sides and motives of human nature are also addressed.
Where our first collection of poems Different Sides of the Same Coin revisited Harlem Renaissance and collided with 2019 social unrest, Mirrored Images rips off the bandages of human life experience. It forces one to see what most are happier pretending just does not exist at all. Broken, hurt people, hurt others. Spoken word is back and we take social justice and unrest to brand-new unchartered heights.
Writing allowed us to find our voice. It also saved us at our lowest points in living. We hope to provide healing through our writing. We want to uplift others out of their pain as writing has uplifted us and provided great mental and emotional healing in time of profound despair and hurt.
Throughout the passage of time words remain.
Life can be very tumultuous surviving a deadly pandemic, navigating life’s rough waters, and continuing to stay true to ourselves birthed our latest book Mirrored Images.
Can magic be recreated for a second time? We believe that it can. We write about what we know. Our experiences as black women are what we know well. Our writing is lensed from that intrinsically authentic experience.
Our books compliment each other. Different Sides of the same coin is a celebration of family, culture, heritage and sisterhood. The overriding message is you are enough. In this moment, whatever your person is, however it is packaged, is enough.
Mirrored Images takes that message one step further and says not only are you enough find the peace within you to come to terms with whatever flaws you may possess and know that you can achieve happiness in your life regardless of what storms it encounters.
We are fortunate to have each other. As sisters we have always lifted and complemented each other.
It is our hope our books can be uplifting and comforting to people in need of encouragement. The readers of our books get to experience black culture, history, family and so much more up close and personal.
Family is everything. Sometimes, family transcends blood lines and DNA. If you have people in your life who love and support you. They become family. Our books are for everyone. Universal messaging connects all of us through the human experience and process of living.
Writers are born when life intersects with time and chance. You will always find us doing what we love reading, and writing. Telling stories is how we fulfil our divine purpose. You can’t ignore what is so visible and undeniable. We were born to write.
Thanks so much to the Author’s Lounge for allowing me to share our books with you.
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Chyrel J. Jackson
Author, Writer, Poet