I participated in the Author's Showcase at this year's NAACP National Convention, which was held in Atlantic City. Words don't do justice to the giddy feeling that birthed inside of me from the moment I discovered that Atlantic City was the location for year 2022! Unbeknownst to the masses, I dreamed a day when I would be able to converse with folks around the county about the Story of Chicken Bone Beach......in Atlantic City! Atlantic City seemed to shine a little bit brighter with the influx of people thrusting into this small beach town. Even the host hotel, the Borgata, was lit the color purple at night. People who stopped at my location filled me in on the lovely activities they attended and either shared their Chicken Bone Beach history with me, tested my knowledge of their beloved city, or my favorite: those who let me share this rich history with them, to which they had no knowledge of.
The Atlantic City Convention Center was filled with a sense of pride, unity, and empowerment like I haven't felt at conventions I've attended. Right behind my vending location, I heard conversations amongst my fellow authors participating in panels that provoked such emotion in the audience that I looked behind me and saw a few attendees moved to tears. The exhibition hall transformed into a place of healing, and understanding as the authors addressed the race's concerns in areas such as mental health, the criminal justice system and education.
I stole a few moments while working and ran over and took photographs holding the NAACP Image Award which was very cool! But most of al
l, the look on people's faces when they saw the pic I share on my table of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. posing on Chicken Bone Beach in his polka-dot short set was epic! The atmosphere was infectious and although I am completely exhausted from hauling two suitcases filled with books and props and posters, driving through the rain and being delayed an extra 45 minutes to return home....this was an experience that makes me happy I decided to write about the community on the Northside of Atlantic City.