Leveraging Your Life’s Work Into a Book: Veterans Share Books Chronicling Journeys

By: Elizabeth Murray

(Chicago, IL) — Our first meeting of the new year gave us another #2018resolution goal where members and their guests learned how to turn their life’s work into a book.

Members were treated to presentations from author-panelists Ms. Hermene Hartman, founder of the magapaper N’Digo, and Dr. Margena A. Christian, distinguished lecturer at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), with our President, Ms. Maudlyne Ihejirika, moderating the insightful dialogue.

We learned how Ms. Hartman and Dr. Christian turned their past rejections into present day successes.

Ms. Hartman shared the motivation that led her to launch her publication N’Digo more than three decades ago, and the steps necessary to turn the magapaper’s most notable past profiles and photos into a breathtaking, full-color coffee table book, N’Digo Legacy: Black Luxe 110.

Dr. Christian shared how her former senior editor position at Ebony magazine under the tutelage of the honorable John H. Johnson shaped her scholarly biography on Mr. Johnson, under whom she worked directly for much of a decade at Johnson. Her biography of the pioneering black publisher is scheduled for publication early next year.

This chilly winter night gathering with our author-panelists brought to life a quote from the esteemed James Baldwin: “Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” It is fair to say that our January meeting left each attendee inspired on how they too can leverage their past life’s work into a literary masterpiece.

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