On "Confronting The Past" with Kyandreia Jones
In my writing, I interrogate and unpack the past because it persists in my veins- ever present to me as I draw breath in each new day. The past inspires me to take control of my own becoming. I must know where my ancestors began so that I may recognize their resilience, intelligence, and empathy within myself. Writing CYOA SPIES: James Armistead Lafayette and CYOA SPIES: Mary Bowser gave me the courage to confront the treatment of Black people in the U.S. during the American Revolution and during the Civil War in a way that educates and empowers young readers. Because of my proximity to their struggle, it was difficult to time-travel with my incredible protagonists. However, I understood that it was important to tell their stories and engage with their history. I also knew that hope would find me throughout the writing process because I was penning these adventures for children. I am grateful that kids get the chance to assume the identities of two empowered, intelligent, and remarkable human beings. I am even more appreciative that a resounding message of hope echoes from these pages and into the bright future that we are in the process of building together.