Thanks so much Rachel for having me. Head on over to Rachel’s amazing blog for my latest interview. Also, don’t forget to follow her blog 🙂
Check out my Guest Post with The Story Reading Ape. And I thought it was scheduled for tomorrow night! Lol. Time zones…
Primarily, I’d like to thank The Story Reading Ape for this opportunity. I’ve never known an Ape who could read before so this is exciting.
My name is Yecheilyah, pronounced e-see-lee-yah but everyone calls me EC for short. I grew up on Chicago’s south side in the Robert Taylor Projects and everywhere else in-between. As a family who struggled and moved around a lot I’ve seen everything from crack addicts, drug dealers, and homeless shelters all before age ten.
I’ve always been in love with writing and I was reading before Kindle made it cool. I decided to make up stories of my own at 12 years old which is also when I got into poetry. I fell in love with poetry! But so as not to make writing jealous, I split my time between writing short stories and poetry.
I suppose what nurtured my love for writing is keeping…
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Today is the debut release of Part 1 of Book #2, “Beyond The Colored Line” in the Stella Series.Below is a reminder of what this book series is all about:
Stella is a work of Historical fiction, and is distinctive in its focus on one woman’s road to self-discovery against the backdrop of the African American fight for justice, racial equality, and freedom. The 3-Part series focuses on the history of one family in their struggle for racial identity. Discover in this Trilogy how 3 individuals living in separate time periods strive to overcome the same struggle, carefully knit together by one blood.
Log-Line for Book 2:
“Determined to be accepted by society, a black woman desperately seeks to hide her true identity when a prevailing conversation with her aunt provokes her to pass for white.”
Find out in this Stella Sequel what’s truly Beyond The Colored Line.
Disclaimer: The following post is excerpted from a book written by Yecheilyah Ysrayl and is property of Yecheilyah Ysrayl. No part of this publication may be reproduced, or stolen. Permission is only given to re-blog, social media sharing for promotional purposes and the case of brief quotations embodied in the critical articles and reviews and pages where permission is specifically granted by Yecheilyah Ysrayl.
Copyright © 2015, All Rights Reserved.
September 4, 1923
Margaret and Josephine had their hands on their hips again, Josephine taking the lead role as always. The soft wind swayed the handmade dress in all directions, hovering well below her long skinny legs. Her hair was pulled up into a collage of pony tails with twists that never really wanted to stay together. Stella got lost for a minute, slightly envious. She wished her hair was that thick. But instead she was given a sandy blonde that could never keep a braid. School had just started at Crestwood Elementary of Belvedere City, just south of Boone County, Illinois. And already Stella could see this would not be a good year, same as the others.
“I’m not white; I’m Negro, same as you,” said Stella.
Josephine rolled her eyes, “You look white. You sound white. I thinks you white.”
The girls laughed. Meanwhile, Stella’s blood boiled, the blush of anger showing quickly in the space of her cheeks and around her ears.
“You’s white cause we say you’s white,” said Margaret.
“That’s right,” co-signed Josephine, “What kind of name is Stella anyway? What you some kinda slave?”
“Naw,” said Margaret, “she ain’t no slave, naw, she massa.”
Josephine turned her head slightly, laughing hysterically in Margaret’s ear, who saw it coming out the side of her eye.
“Josephine!” yelled Margaret. But it was too late. Stella was already on top of Josephine, pulling at her neatly pressed hair and slamming her face into the dirt. Stella could hear the screams of the teachers nearby calling her name, but she just couldn’t stop.
“I’m not white! I’m not white! I’m the same as you!” Stella yelled.
Josephine was crying now, as Margaret tried to peel Stella off of her.
“I’m Negro the same as you!” she yelled.
Later That Day
Judith stood by the door tapping her feet impatiently against the hardwood, and burning a hole in the back of Stella’s head, who sat silently on the sofa with her head down.
“You’re going to have to learn to control yourself Stella.”
“Did I ask you to say a word?” scolded Judith, answering the door at the same time. Expecting her guest, she opened the door before the bell rang and gracefully let in Mrs. Velma Conner, Stella’s teacher.
“Good afternoon”, said Judith. “I’d like to apologize again for what happened today. May I offer you some coffee?”
“Never mind that,” said Velma. “I don’t specs to be here long.”
“Well let me offer you to a seat then,” said Judith.
Judith sat beside Stella as Velma took the sofa across from them and cleared her throat.
“Stella seems to be having a very difficult time adjusting. Her temper is far too easily tickled, if you catch my meaning.”
“I do,” said Judith.
“We think perhaps she would be better off in a more comfortable environment, somewhere more of her liking, if you catch my meaning,” said Velma.
Judith straightened and looked Velma in her sparkling blue eyes, “Not exactly.”
“Well, Ms. May, the accusations from some of the children are hard to ignore.”
“What accusations?” Judith interrupted.
“Well, you know, children will be children,” Velma laughed slightly. “It’s just that they don’t take very well with our kind. Surely you’d prefer for Stella–.”
“Our kind?” Judith interrupted again.
“Why yes,” said Velma, shaking her head.
“You don’t have to say anything more, Mrs. Conner.”
Judith stood up, smoothed the apron hanging from her waist and approached the door.”
“Go on upstairs so me and your teacher can talk.”
“Yes ma’am,” said Stella, hurrying off upstairs.
Velma remained seated, “Is there a problem?”
Judith smiled, “No, there’s no problem. But I do want you to leave my house.”
Velma stood, pointed her nose into the air and walked toward the door, clearly offended.
“By the way, the school has placed Stella under suspension, you understand why.”
“Oh, I do,” said Judith. “You see, defending ourselves, is what we’re taught.”
An expression of confusion spread across Velma’s face as she stared into the green eyes of the white woman in front of her, disgusted that she would stoop so low as to lay with one of them.
“What we’re taught? I’m not sure I’m following you,” said Velma.
“Oh yes,” said Judith, “It’s one of the first things my Negro father taught me, you know, our kind I guess.”
The pink rushed to the woman’s nose as she hurried out the door.
And that’s how things had been for us growing up. I couldn’t understand what made mama so strong. She loved daddy with every bone in her body, but they couldn’t be together. Society would never have of it. Mama was Negro sure enough as she was white, but Papa didn’t trust it. I thought about Papa that day and all the other days like it as I stood at the top of the stairs and watched as my mother waved goodbye to my racist teacher, with a smile on her face.
– Stella May
I really hope you enjoyed the first part of my book! The fun continues with Part 2 next Thursday. If your enjoying yourself so far, would you mind sharing this on your social networks? Thanks a lot! Also be sure to come back for the continuation next week. And that’s not all, for your convenience, I’ve provided the link to the prologue to Book #1. I love writing and learning and sharing what I’ve learned and I’m really excited to be sharing this journey with you.