The month of October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month. The entire month is an opportunity to share information and awareness about mental health. Mental awareness is not a new concept — it is a necessary therapy. Reading is also necessary to keep your mind coherent and clear from distractions. The oldest book worldwide, The Holy Bible, gives instructions about studying to increase your worth and discernment of the truth in the following passage, “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15; (KJV)
Listed below are 5 books that guided my becoming journey and led me to tell my truths — all of them.
1 The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV): The Preserved and Living Word of God
The King James Version is considered one of the most accurate English translations in existence. “It is noted for its poetic feel – prose that seems to flow with a certain rhythmic quality.” The book is cited as the most published book in world history with a significant influence on literature and culture. It is estimated that more than 1 billion copies of the King James Version have been published.
Favorite Becoming Scripture:
Proverbs Chapter 31:10-12
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life…..”
My Paralleled Poem:
“A Good Woman“, The Lyrical Journal of Sapphire Rhymes (pg 93)
2 Becoming by Michelle Obama
Becoming is the memoir of former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, published in 2018. It is described as a deeply personal experience. She talks about her roots, how she found her voice, her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother.
Mrs. Obama is a great example of a Proverbs 31 woman. She is all the things I aspire to be and am becoming. She is:
3. Becoming a Beautiful Articulate Person: The Genesis of Transformation by Amber Branch
This book makes the list for the obvious reason that it is my book and I am proud of the myself for completing this project (it took me a while to get to this point in life). My poetry contains some mature content so parental advisory is suggested for those under age 18. This is my becoming story beyond my tear-saturated confessions of sexual abuse and other post-traumatic stories. My sexual abuse/rape experiences started at the age of 15. As a mother of 2 teenage girls, I realize children are exposed to so much more.
I believe we need to talk about it, not run from it!
My poetry is a “red-table talk” poetic invite for all young ladies, girl-dads & moms to join together and learn more about the art of becoming beautiful articulate people (B.A.P).
Favorite Becoming Poem:
“Eternal Besties (BFFs)“, Becoming a Beautiful Articualete Person (pg 51)
“This is not meant for the faint at heart
it’s not for self-righteous souls
whose sanctimonious views they try to embark
this is not for those who choose
to remain in the dark
This is about my life; it has not been squeaky clean
even tho that may be how it seems
my poems are a reflection of triumphs and strife
As you continue forth engaging in my journey,
do so with an open mind and compassionate spirit
even if you feel like
you don’t want to hear it,
Remember: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; (judge not so you won’t be judged)”–excerpt from the paperback edition.
4. A Voice Becoming: A Yearlong Mother-Daughter Journey into Passionate, Purposed Living by Beth Bruno
In A Voice Becoming, Beth Bruno helps mothers cast a Godly vision for their daughters and chart a course that will prepare their daughters for womanhood.” What if you as a mother concentrated on your daughter for one year? Who might she become?”
I recently received this book from my maternal grandmother as a gift to empower me to continue to become the best mother and enjoy the beauty of raising my girls and teaching them the art of becoming.
I have just started this book and I already feel a comforting kinship in our stories. Everyday I wake up wanting to read more.
5. I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
This is Maya Angelou’s debut memoir. It has become a modern American classic and is beloved worldwide. Maya Angelou is my favorite poet/author, I read this book during my tumultous teenage years. After first reading the novel, I immediately felt a divine kinship with Ms. Angelou, a phenomenal woman I’d never get the opportunity to meet. Her story is very similar to mine due to the sexual abuse we both endured and overcame. Maya taught me about the caged bird and the importance of telling my srory – the good, the bad, the
sad, even the raunchy moments.
“I can’t change the past but I can allow my past to create a better, brighter future.” — Amber Branch, The Lyrical Journal of Sapphire Rhymes: Tear-drop Stained COnfessions
“The Caged Bird Released“,The Lyrical Journal of Sapphire Rhymes
To learn more about my becoming story and how I continue to use my hurts to heal and succeed follow me:
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