Meet Author Anta Gueye-James , the author of “Shattered American Dream”
Anta, how did your journey as an author begin?
I have loved to write since childhood. I always used to keep a thoughts notebook, a poetry book, or some other sort of writing – generally nonfiction and cathartic. It has always been a way for me to express my deepest inner thoughts and a way to tell someone without telling a real person. This particular book started from a letter; a farewell letter that sparked more conversation than I expected around me and led me to realize it needed me to dig deeper and provide more context around the journey that brought me to America and ended in my breakup with her.
Who or what motivated you to write?
Sharing my truth, sharing my story. Keeping it untold inside was beginning to hurt, to eat at me. It had to come out. Another thing was my mom’s passing and my desire to honor her part in my journey, honor her support of me and her courage.
Do you only write in one genre or multiple? Please explain why or why not.
I mostly write nonfiction. I have explored writing my nonfiction story into a fictional one to provide myself with more anonymity but decided against it. If I was going to tell my truth, I couldn’t be afraid of being me.
What tips can you offer other authors?
Do not panic when you seem like you are hitting writer’s block. Your inspiration sometimes needs triggering: find a mental space that is nurturing, and when the inspiration hits, WRITE do not wait or delay because you could forget the content of that inspiration flow!!!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Alive, healthy and happy first. Then, doing speaker circuits about this and a second book, podcasting and doing coaching especially leadership training for youth across Africa.
What does being an author mean to you?
Being an author is being a storyteller. Making people travel with words, either externally or internally in their inner most thoughts. Being an author is optimizing a skills into a platform and using that to plant seeds of growth, dream, innerstanding, understanding, introspection, inspiration, etc.
What’s your favorite quote and who’s it by?
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” Michelangelo
If you could co-author with anyone – dead or alive- who would it be and why?
Aime Cesaire. I have been touched by his work since teenage hood and I like that he is a proud black man who values who we are as a people, writes inspirational but deep poetry about our journey, and knows how to inspire and optimize our worth and value in this world. He is Haitian and is deceased.
What do you want readers to know about you?
I am a rebel. I am allergic to injustice. I believe in the Greater Good and our responsibility to work toward and for it. I am an empath, who responds to energy and despite my strong appearance, I am actually hyper sensitive!
What do you want readers to know about your book?
If you’re a young non-American person who dreams of the US, hopefully this book will prepare you better for the journey ahead. If you are an Black American reader, I hope you feel that this book tried to honor your journey and inspire other Black people to understand it and respect it; If you are African, this book should open your eyes to the schemes of white supremacy and its objective to divide our community and make us tools of oppression for Blacks in America, and we should refuse this because the fight for racial equity is a global one, not one that is limited to Western countries. If you are non-Black AND on an anti-racist journey, this book will add to your cultural competence and give you a vantage point that should help with you efforts to educate yourself. If you are a RACISt, this book is not written for you… you can keep on your way!