New Novel Highlights Importance of Family Storytelling

In her new novel, “Sprouting Seeds”, Jamila D. Smith champions the lost art of storytelling as an important means for honoring cherished ancestors and sharing pivotal episodes in family history. Through the recollections of an elderly family matriarch, Smith reveals a compelling perspective of black culture as it developed during segregated America.

“Sprouting Seeds” opens as an extraordinary matriarch known as Mama Cora sits at her kitchen table with her great-granddaughter, snapping green beans for the upcoming family reunion. As the two work, Mama Cora begins one of her famous stories of life long ago. The young girl listens, mesmerized, as the old woman weaves a thrilling and heart-wrenching saga filled with fierce determination, love, a little voodoo and the fiery strength of a black woman raised in the deep South.

Smith then takes readers to the heart of the Louisiana bayou, back to Mama Cora’s earlier years. On a hot June night, 15-year-old Cora and her friend sneak into a juke joint to cut loose. Rebelling against the straight-and-narrow lifestyle her guardian grandparents have in mind, Cora meets a man that night and makes an early departure from the safe haven of her grandparents’ home. But her path of true love soon plunges her into the brutal reality of racism.

As the years pass, Cora develops from a feisty, hardheaded teen into a seasoned, well-respected woman. She eventually becomes a legacy in her community because of the extreme hardships she has faced and the mystical healing power she still holds to help her family and friends.

“This book touches on different aspects of the African-American culture,” Smith writes. “Both younger and older generations can relate to the varied life experiences chronicled in ‘Sprouting Seeds.'”

Anyone who has suffered loss at the hands of senseless violence or found themselves a stranger among unkind faces can relate to Cora’s tale. Also, those seeking to know more about a dark chapter in American history will find a gripping and educational story in the pages of “Sprouting Seeds.”

About the Author: Jamila D. Smith was raised in Massachusetts and Indiana. With the help of a childhood teacher and the support of family and friends, Smith overcame a learning disability and now holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree and certification in secondary education with the ultimate goal of teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to high school students. Formerly an adolescent counselor, Smith now teaches ESL to immigrant adults. “Sprouting Seeds” is her first book.

SOURCE AuthorHouse