Local author shares struggles in new book; signing set for Sunday | #teacher | #children | #kids

Faith in God and the discovery of self-love is what led Union Intermediate School teacher Tanya Robinson-Freeman to tell her story as a co-author in a new book published earlier this year.

To show gratitude to all those who supported her, Robinson-Freeman is having a book signing this weekend at her local church. The signing will that place this Sunday, July 17, at St. Thomas AME Zion Church, located on 810 Bullard St., Roseboro. The signing is set to run from 1 to 2 p.m.

Robinson-Freeman’s book, “You Don’t Have to Stay There,” is an anthology co-authored with seven others that tells relatable stories of real life and difficult experiences each of these authors faced throughout their lives and the many ways they pushed through their past pain. It’s full of motivational and inspiring tales meant to help others, feeling stuck in their own pain, to show that they can get out of that situation and that “You Don’t Have to Stay There.”

These other authors include Cynthia Marie, Dawn Lester, Stephanie DuBois, Charles DeWalt, Diamond Rogers, Charlotte Gillespie and Ayanna Foust.

For Robinson-Freeman, this was her first time writing and publishing her work. She shared the story on how the process all began for her, talks with her old classmate and friend Marie being the catalyst.

”I actually was in contact with an old classmate and a sister from a church that we were both members of in New York,” she said. “She was like, ‘you know, I was thinking about you’ and I of course thought ‘oh, well, that’s always good.’ So she said, ‘I want to know if you were interested in a project that I’m working on’ and I said, ‘sure, tell me a little bit more about it.’”

“So we eventually did a Facebook Live chat and she started to explain to me the project, her vision, her idea and I said, ‘yeah sure, I’ll do it,’” she continued. “Afterwards, we went over her ideas of what the story should be about, which was great because I had already been thinking about writing a book and calling it ‘While Going Through the Storm: Lessons Learned.’”

Now with her spot in the anthology secured, she began writing her chapter, one that covered personal trails she faced growing up and how she conquered all of it. Her chapter encompasses the many negative obstacles she faced as a young dark-skinned girl growing up in New York and, more importantly, how she overcame them.

“My chapter in the book, it was basically how I grew up and some really negative things that happened to me in my life,” she said. “Awful things like being bullied, called names and being made fun of because of my dark skin. As I got older, I realized there’s nothing wrong with my skin. My skin is the color that it is because that’s the way God decided he was going to make me.”

“My curly hair, coarse hair, how tall I am, everything, and the fact that I’m here let’s me know that I’m not a mistake,” she said. “There is nothing at all I can do about the color of my skin, so I embrace it and I love me. I’m not what people call me, I am who God says I am and God says I’m blessed, I’m anointed, I am saved, I’m forgiven, I’m all that and a big ol’ bag of chips.”

”Like it, love it, indifferent, I am who I am and I’m not gonna worry about what people have to say about me,” she added. “I am comfortable in my own skin and I love me.”

Robinson-Freeman said she is grateful for the many who have supported her along the way and to all those who plan or even thought about attending the upcoming book signing.

“I just want people to come out, be blessed, get your signed book and a little token of my appreciation for coming out and supporting me,” she said. “I just appreciate everyone who has already supported me. I am so very thankful and grateful and I am thankful that there’s so many people who love me — and they don’t just say it, they show me and with that being said, I am so overwhelmed with gratitude.”

Robinson-Freeman also gave a very special thank you to her friend Marie for including her in this project and giving both of them an opportunity to fulfill their shared dream of helping others share their story.
Reach Michael B. Hardison at 910-249-4231. Follow us on Twitter at @SamsponInd, like us on Facebook, and check out our Instagram at @thesampsonindependent.

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