Saturday, October 06, 2007

GUEST BLOGGER . . . SHARON JEFFERSON . . . (aka the Old School Mix's "Sharon J.") Part I
Sharon Jefferson in Ghana
standing next to a bust of
WEB DuBois

While the more boisterous types are barking orders, delegating tasks and trying to convince others of their leadership abilities, inevitably, there is always someone like my friend, Sharon Jefferson, who is somewhere quietly getting the job done.

I've always admired people like Sharon. Were I ten to twenty years younger, I'd say, "When I grow up, I want to be just like her." But the truth is, Sharon doesn't have much on me in the age department (smile). And when it comes to wisdom and the spiritual fortitude required to be not just a "reader" but a "doer" of The Word, well, she has me thoroughly beat.

Throughout my four years of exile in the Cleveland area, Sharon's friendship was, for me, a blessing and then some. As the fierceless moderator of the women's group book club at East View United Church of Christ, Sharon's book selections are what ultimately led me to find my Cleveland area church home. Newspaper notices about the club and the titles they were reading caught my attention and piqued my interest. The way I figured it, any church brave enough to read and discuss books by authors like Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye), Charles Barkley (I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It) and Michael Eric Dyson (Is Bill Cosby Right Or Has The Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?) had to be worthy of at least a visit or two.

Not long after I joined both the church and the book club, I discovered Sharon was also the guiding force behind East View's MLK essay contest, an annual event that awards several sizable monetary scholarships to area students. Being able to participate as a volunteer in this inspirational program was truly one of the highlights of my entire Cleveland experience.

Of course, when I asked Sharon to write a bio for her Old School Mix guest appearance, in keeping with her humble ways, she wrote: "Sharon Jefferson is a writer living in Cleveland. When she's not daydreaming about another trip to an exotic locale, she is doing what she hopes will be the last re-write on her novel and studying creative writing at Cleveland State University." But I would be remiss if I didn't add that Sharon's work has also appeared in the pages of the Cleveland Call & Post and Essence Magazine (Oct. 1990).

Coming next (part II of this post) is a piece Sharon wrote, per my request, about the trip she recently took to Ghana in conjunction with the National Book Club Conference.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is good to see people going to Africa and reporting good things. It seems to be a beautiful continent and so much to see. I hope next time you can trace your roots and see where you are from.