In 2013 CaShawn Thompson coined the phrase Black Girl Magic (or Black Girls are Magic) to celebrate the beauty, power, and resilience of black women. It spread across the internet like wildfire and became a permanent fixture of pop culture.
It’s a phrase I associate with my dear friend, Brooke Obie.
Brooke is one of the most inspiring, badass women I know. For starters, she’s pursuing her dream of being an author and published her fantastic debut novel last year, Book of Addis: Cradled Embers. After trying the traditional publishing route and running into one roadblock after another, she self-published. And then she won two prestigious awards—the 2017 Phillis Wheatley Book Award for First Fiction and the 2017 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award for self-published fiction—because there is no denying her talent, or this story.
Let’s talk about this story.
From the back of the book:
In this epic tale of love, loss and the cost of liberation, Addis, a 17-year-old enslaved girl, escapes from her enslaver, the first president of a young country. On the run for her life, with unlikely friends and a nation of enemies, Addis becomes the most wanted person alive and a global symbol of hope to enslaved people longing for freedom.
I couldn’t put it down. This is one of my all-time favorite pieces of modern fiction, and I’d be saying that even if I didn’t know Brooke. On the one hand you have a page-turning entertaining read, and on the other you have beautiful prose and profound themes. Go read it.
But besides her authorial talents, Brooke is a true friend. She’s honest, loyal, and kind. She went to see Girls Trip with me even though she'd already been to the theater twice. And I’m super grateful to have her in my life.
This is us at a taping of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore last year before it was cancelled (*tear).
And now, the embroidery stuff.
The pattern comes from NamasteEmbroidery, and I pretty much followed it to a tee, including the color recommendations—which I rarely do. One point of divergence: I didn’t use the recommended variegated floss for the rose petals.
While this made a cool stripe effect within the rose petals, which are satin stitched, there was not enough differentiation between the petals. So I picked out my own four red-purples and four blue-purples for the respective roses/petals.