Photo by Elissa Eubanks Benzie, 2007.
My tattoo in Sanskrit that reads "Fearlessness."
Photo by Bobby D. Steele, Jr., 2015
Talking with a Delta Jewel highlighted in my book.
I share stories with photographs, audio and video. I believe we all have a story worth sharing. For more than half of my life, I have been fascinated with telling stories.
When I was 15 years old. mom encouraged me to pursue my creative side. I wanted to be a photojournalist. It's the only career I've ever wanted. How blessed was I to have that support? She let me roam the downtown streets in Philly, PA - dragging my little sister behind me - but giving enough space so I could go into my world and make images. And from that love, I evolved into a photojournalist, visual editor and deputy director of photographer. Now I am a journalism professor, where I care deeply about my students' successes. I want
them to explore the world because it's so much bigger than our own bubble.
In 2014, I challenged myself with a personal project that later became a book - "Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother's Wisdom." It was released nationwide in April 2015. I interviewed 54 African American church women elders about life in Mississippi during the Jim Crow era, including Civil Rights icon Mrs. Myrlie Evers-Williams. I drove 6,000 miles to collect stories and had the time of my life learning from them.
In 2015 I founded Delta Jewels Support Foundation. Visit that website for everything related to Delta Jewels, including my current speaking tour. When not teaching or working on my next book, I am touring for Delta Jewels. To contact, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.