Friday, June 29, 2007

The Roux In The Gumbo; Kim Robinson, Guest

I am really becoming a writing addict; it seems that if I don’t write everyday I just don’t feel good. I had been writing poetry and short stories all my life. It was my way of dealing with things that I did not feel good about; and growing up in Compton, there was a lot to write about.

I became obsessed with history when I was young, with the Watt’s riots, Black Panther movement, Martin Luther King and The Kennedys, I just couldn’t get enough. Then I discovered Harriet Tubman and Nat Turner. Boy they sure do teach a different kind of history in school. Then when I found out what had happened to the Indians; which my family has some Indian ancestory, I got really pissed.

When I discovered the Kyle Onstott “Falconhurst series,” I was in my early teens and read everything my father left in the bathroom. Then came ‘Gone with the Wind” and I gobbled up every historical thing I could get my hands on.

I really got into writing books in 1993 when my grandmother felt like her story would be better than Oprah’s because “I had more stuff happen to me,” as she put it. I learned so many amazing and heartbreaking things about my family in the years that we added memories to her life story.

I went to Louisiana, and every thing that she had told me seemed to come to life. I met so many people who had stories about my great grandmother and the woman who taught her to be a midwife and the man who taught her Voodoo/Hoodoo. I also met some modern day Voodooienes who taught me quite a few things to add to the remedies and sayings that my Grandmother had taught me. I didn’t want to know about the stuff to hurt people because what goes around comes around.

The books I read were nothing compared to the horror stories that I heard from ancestors of slaves in Louisiana. I also never heard of some of the slaves just saying they weren’t going to take it anymore and turning on their masters. Reconstruction was no better.

I encourage everyone to please take the time out to research your families as I have done in my book The Roux In The Gumbo

Kim Robinson