On a Sunday in early January, a group of about 15 people packed the first-floor apartment in Anna’s home, in the quiet neighborhood of the South Side of Chicago, to watch the first presidential debate.
As the debate began, Anna, her husband and her daughter were preparing for an interview with The Wall Street Journal about her new novel, A Story of Love and Death.
“It was a very intense moment for us,” Anna told me.
“We were just looking forward to the day.”
As Anna sat down for the interview, the conversation took on a different tone.
Anna spoke of the importance of her book’s protagonist, Olivia, and how she hopes her novel will “change people’s mindsets and make people feel better about their lives.”
When the interview concluded, Anna was eager to leave the apartment.
“There was no one else around but my daughter,” she told me later.
“I had to leave.”
Anna had been preparing for this interview since she was a teenager.
“The book was the book, and I felt like this was my last opportunity,” Anna said.
“This is my last chance to write the story of Olivia and this is the story she wanted to tell.”
She has since written another book, titled The Life of Olivia, which she told The Guardian is about her son, who died of a drug overdose in 2014.
But Anna’s journey is not an isolated one.
In the year since Anna began writing A Story Of Love and Life, she has become an outspoken critic of the way the media treats African Americans.
“What we’re doing with our voices is so important,” she said.
The idea of being a Black person in America, and having a voice that speaks to people, has become more difficult to get through.
She also argues that Black writers and artists need to be able to “have a voice,” and that, while some are able to, the vast majority of Black writers are still not.
“Black people are still the minority in the media,” Anna explained.
“And we’re still trying to speak to them in a way that’s going to be respectful of us, and not alienating.
But we’re not going to have the space to do that.
We’re not even allowed to talk about our lives, and our issues.”
“I don’t feel like I’m being listened to, and so many Black writers feel like they’re not being listened,” Anna added.
“People are just going to listen to Black people who want to talk.”
The most obvious example of this, she said, is Beyoncé, who is often lauded for speaking about her struggles.
“If you listen to Beyoncé,” Anna continued, “you will understand why there’s a need for a book like this.
Anna has written several books about race, including her novel, which is due out this summer. “
But if you just listen to someone who’s not Black, and is not trying to make people change, you will get to understand why.”
Anna has written several books about race, including her novel, which is due out this summer.
“For me, the Black life is about a lot more than race,” she explained.
She added, “I’m very conscious of being Black.
I’ve had the privilege to see Black people come into the world and change the world for the better.”
As a result, Anna said, she feels like she’s been “under siege.”
She explained that she feels that she’s not listened to because she’s Black.
“You have to have a voice and be heard,” she continued.
“To have that voice is not a privilege, it’s not a right.
It’s a responsibility.
It is a duty.
And it’s an obligation to the Black community.”
In an interview this week with Salon, Anna told the magazine that she wants to “move the conversation forward” in her new book.
She said that while she has “a lot of respect for the book itself,” it is “not the story.”
Anna said she wants the story to be about the power of literature, as well as how literature can change the lives of people.
“When I read a book, I’m not thinking about the person or the book,” she stated.
“My mind is always in the future.
My heart is always thinking about things in the present.
My imagination is always creating something out of nothing.
I am always imagining things.”
Anna added that she would also like to see her book be “the voice of Black people.”
“The voice of the Black people,” she concluded, “is the voice of literature.”
Anna, a native of the Detroit, Michigan, area, said she is excited about the opportunity to write about her life and the struggles of Black families in America.
“Sometimes I feel like we’re being taken for granted in the Black world,” she noted.
“That’s why I’m here.
I’m hoping to be a catalyst for change.”
The author of A Story In Love