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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer Tours with Aarica Blackett


Biography of Aarica J. Blackett:
Born in Memphis, TN, Aarica Jihan Blackett is an Information Technology (IT) consultant, a visual artist and the author of the book No Longer Daddy’s Little Girl.

The inspiration for writing her book No Longer Daddy’s Little Girl came to her when she was in the middle of rebuilding her relationship with her father during her time in college. With the staggering number of fatherless African-American households in the United States, Aarica saw it as her responsibility to reach out and help others. She wanted to share her experience and lessons learned to other young girls who were going through similar experiences of growing up without a father.

Aarica earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with a minor in French from Spelman College in 2008, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.



She is an active Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization of Atlanta, and she is a board member of the Express Yourself School of the Arts organization. Aarica is also the founder and artist of her company Art Pieces of a Dream, which is the company that encompasses all of her visual artistic products.



During her spare time, Aarica loves to play soccer, paint, and listen to music.

Synopsis:

The new book, No Longer Daddy’s Little Girl, gives young girls who are growing up without a father in the household a new sense of perspective and responsibility for their own future.



In 2008, 51% of African-American households in the United States were fatherless. The odds are stacked against children in single mother households from the onset. Children raised in these homes are:



· 63% more likely to commit suicide than their dual parent counterparts

· 71% more likely to drop out of high school than their dual parent counterparts

· 111% more likely to become pregnant as a teenager than their dual parent counterparts

· 164% more likely to be a single parent than their dual parent counterparts



Is this the only future that fatherless daughters have to strive for?



This book, No Longer Daddy’s Little Girl, will encourage young girls to take responsibility for their future by respecting themselves, their bodies, and their family. With the growing number of fatherless African-American households in the United States the author, Aarica J. Blackett, sees it as her responsibility to reach out and help where possible.



This book has three attributes that will make readers take notice:



· written for young girls by a young woman

· shares the experiences of other young women in this situation

· reads like a conversation as opposed to a dissertation so that the intended audience can readily digest the information



The author’s father abandoned her and her brother for six years while he tended to the needs of his new wife and new son. No Longer Daddy’s Little Girl is the author’s opportunity to share the diverse lessons she has learned. These lessons touch everything from forming healthy relationships with men to managing her emotions when her father made his reappearance. The combined experiences of the author and other young college women will empower all young readers to love themselves and triumph through adversity.



The book No Longer Daddy’s Little Girl is available for purchase on the book’s website, www.nolongerdaddyslittlegirl.com.

To contact the author, please email her at aarica.blackett@gmail.com .



Book Website: www.nolongerdaddyslittlegirl.com

Art Website: www.artpiecesofadream.com



Interview with Aarica


How did you start to write this No Longer Daddy’s Little Girl?
After being fed up with being caught in the middle of trying to convince my mother of my loyalty to her and attempting to rebuild a relationship with my father, emotions just came out of me from every point of my body. As tears were rushing down my face and anger filled my veins, I started writing down everything that I was feeling. Every thought, every tear, every scream, every pain was written down in my journal that night. The next day, I returned to my journal in order to comprehend the thoughts that were running on my head. As I was reading, I realized that I had a story to tell. Too many young girls go through this, and no one is there to tell their story from one young girl to another.


How is this book different from the other books that discuss strained father-daughter relationships?

This book has three attributes that will make readers stand up and take notice:

· written for young girls by a young woman (written at the age of 20 years old)

· shares the experiences of other young women in this situation

· reads like a conversation as opposed to a dissertation so that the intended audience can readily digest the information


What are the two most important messages that you convey in your book?
I want young girls in any and all situations to know that despite the negative statistics that face you, you have the strength inside you to fight it. Be the exception to the statistic! In addition to that, forgiveness is a very important lesson with this book. It is important to forgive people in life because it provides closure and builds your character. It takes too much energy to hold a grudge against someone, especially when you can forgive and move on.


How did your parents react to the book?
Both my mother and my father knew about the book while I was writing it. They are both very supportive of me and the book.


Did you always dream of being a writer?
No, I have written poems since I was younger, even had a few published, but I never thought about being a writer. With that said, everyone has talents that they should explore!



What’s next for Aarica J. Blackett?
Well, anything is possible at this point. I am just excited about life and will continue to explore different avenues. Besides writing, I am also a visual artist. I paint positive images of African American women. To see some of my artwork, visit my website at www.artpiecesofadream.com.


An artist? Wow, don’t tell me that the cover of No Longer Daddy’s Little Girl is one of your art pieces?
Yes it is. I painted that piece particularly for the book cover.

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