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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Entertaining and Enlightening With Her Words

“I have to entertain, because if I don't entertain you, you're not going to continue reading. But if I'm not out to enlighten, or change your mind about something, or change your behavior, then I really don't want to take the journey.” – Bebe Moore Campbell

Born in Philadelphia on this date in 1950, Campbell was an author, journalist and teacher who penned 3 New York Times bestsellers – Brothers and Sisters, Singing in the Comeback Choir, and What You Owe Me – before her death from cancer in 2006.  What You Owe Me was also a Los Angeles Times “Best Book of 2001.” 

Interested in writing from her high school days, she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and taught elementary school before taking a chance on her writing skills, working as both a journalist and creative writer.  Among her other acclaimed writings was the novel Your Blues Ain't Like Mine, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and the winner of the NAACP Image Award for Literature.         Her many essays, articles, and excerpts appear in many anthologies.

Campbell always said that writing should be a joy and she advised new writers to look at any opportunity to do so.  “I would get up at 3 in the morning and write. Or sometimes I would write at midnight. Or I would write when my child napped. It wasn't a burden. I was so enthused about what I was doing at the time that I really didn't mind.”

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