Women Who rock with Success features Attorney at Law; Ama Yawson for the month of February. Women Who Rock with Success is a networking-digital media platform for professional and entrepreneurial women.
Co-Founder of Joojos Co-Founder of Milest ales Publishing and Educat ion Consult ing Aut hor of Sunne's Gift Harvard College '02 The Whart on School '09 The Universit y of Pennsylvania Law School '09 Wom en Who Rock w it h Success: What ?s t he inspirat ion and w hat inspired you t o publishSunne?s Gift? Am a: Sunne's Gift was actually inspired by a very terrible incident. I took my then 3-year-old son to the barber shop to get a hair-cut and asked the barber not to cut off all of his hair. A very low-cut is the simplest and easiest hair-cut for a barber to do on a fidgety toddler, so barbers tend to prefer that style. I wanted to avoid that. However, the barber proceeded to shave off all of my son's hair, starting from the top and middle. When I protested, the barber responded by saying the following. He is a native boy from the tribe. This is the best cut for him.? I was horrified. The barber was black himself. Many black people have been brainwashed to believe that our naturally kinky hair is bad hair. Many black men shave their hair really low so that the texture of their hair is not visible. Many black women chemically straighten their hair or wear wigs and weaves to cover their hair. The barber was clearly of that belief system and therefore unilaterally decided that my son's kinky hair should be shaved very low. I was deeply saddened by the barber's perspective and his use of the racial pejorative.
I greatly wanted to teach a lesson about self-love that would help people of African descent to love their kinky hair, while providing a universal message of self-love and acceptance to people of all races. I did not think that I had creative writing ability. I had earned a BA from Harvard in Social Studies, an MBA from Wharton, and a law degree from The University of Pennsylvania. None of those degrees prepared me to become a writer. But not long after the incident, I saw Marianne Williamson on Oprah and Marianne Williamson made a comment that art is no different from prayer and we can always pray to be a vehicle through which God gives art. I prayed for a story and received the story of Sunne's Gift. I did a Kick-starter to publish it and raised over $12,000 in 45 days. The book came out beautifully and I started using the book to do training programs on diversity and other issues, in my spare time. A little over a year after the book's release, I quit my job as a corporate lawyer at a major bank to go into publishing and training and development full time. Now two years later, my company, Miles tales Publishing and Education Consulting (www.milestales.com), provides books and training programs on leadership, diversity, bullying prevention, social and emotional learning, and other topics to corporations, schools, and universities. Additionally, I have an FM radio show on WBAI Pacifica 99.5FM called How to Make it in The City (https://www.wbai.org/podcast/program/?id=5). Wom en Who Rock w it h Success: Nam e som e w ays of creat ing a bet t er environm ent for racial background. Am a: There are so many ways that we all can do the work of creating a better racial environment. First, we can examine our own circles of friends and colleagues and make a conscious effort to get to know people who have different racial and cultural backgrounds. We may accomplish that by asking a co-worker of a different ethnicity to come to lunch with us or inviting him or her to a gathering at our home. Many of us have unchallenged assumptions about people of other races because we have never taken the time to forge relationships with people of other backgrounds.