Ms. Brown develops a Career Guide for future Writers
(Elementary, Middle and High School):
Pathways of Preparation: Entering the Wonderful World of Words
“Mother’s Raspberry Lessons”
Poet Laureate, Semaj Brown transforms her original writing, “Mother’s Raspberry Lessons,” into a 5 part allegory that teaches discernment and determination. Ms. Brown adds thought provoking questions, and valuable Points of Preparation to guide future elementary, middle, and high school students in a career that involves writing. The introduction
is signature, Semaj Brown combining art and science, a STEAM workshop playground, presenting lessons on plant and tree development, and human maturation. Utilizing a bit of comedy to what could otherwise be a mundane subject, Semaj compares beans with beings, tree roots with historical roots, and suggests that the diversity of curved, straight and wide canopy growth patterns of trees, reflect how people too, ascend and succeed differently on varying Pathways of Preparation. Enjoy the following excerpt:
My backyard library was above it all, up in the tree, where I read books and hung out with branches. Among the leaves, I consumed: Things Fall Apart, Go Tell it on the Mountain, Wretched of the Earth, and more from mother’s extensive literary collection. Every night Mother dutifully read with me or my sister Lynn. One day after my decent from an exceptionally tall climb, Mother asked, “Did you see the holes in the bark? Did you notice the leaves curling?” I was about nine years old. I hadn’t noticed those tiny specs on the tree’s skin that looked like newly inverted pimples. She informed, “That tree is dying. We will work to save it.” The tree was in full blossom, with clusters of beautiful pink and red flowers forming a canopy of glory. How could it be dying? I was beginning to learn things are not always as they appear. “We will work to save it,” she said with conviction. We were always working to save someone or something. It was post 1967 Detroit Rebellion, before the election of Coleman A, Young for Mayor of Detroit. It was a complex time for a young Black girl to comprehend.