Najah LaVerne an award winning poet has published her first full length volume of poetry “Sign Posts on the Road to Being Free”. This literary masterpiece is a time capsule for the often overlooked black female perspective of the mid 1900s. Spanning Jim Crow, Civil Rights, the seventies disco, eighties underground, nineties hip hop, through the new millennium revolutions, it leaves a resounding impact that will open anybodies eyes to the realities of our differences and similarities. Revolutionary, thought provoking, whimsical, and fun at different times, this journey will take you to a new place within yourself and your understanding of what it means to be black and/or woman in the United States of America.
Najah hails from humble beginnings having been born in Vicksburg, MS. She grew up in Kinloch, Missouri’s first town for free Negro Americans. Growing up in a all Negro/Black community was not a novelty to Najah. She loved her hometown and often comments on
local merchant’s hot donuts, homemade ice cream ,and red candy apples in the fall.
“Everyone was some shade of brown. White people weren’t talked about, but seen on shopping expeditions or television. Race was not a daily focus until the sixties. We all cried when someone shot “our” president John F. Kennedy. This environment inspired me to forego a
full scholarship to an “all white” Missouri college, become a “freedom rider” and participate in the March from Tugaloo to Jackson in Mississippi with Martin Luther King Jr.” – Najah Laverne
Najah graduated Lincoln University, a historically
black college, and in 1970 became the managing editor
of the New York Amsterdam News after a brief
stint at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, which had a
reputation for making its readers see red. In 1992 Najah was accepted to New York University’s School of Continuing Education for Film Production and to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. At USC she had an exciting academic career; winning many awards including the first John Singleton-MTV Scholarship. Najah received the MFA degree in Cinema-Television in 1994 with honors. Post USC, Najah writes and publishes various literary
content, while working on various video and film projects. Najah is a widow with one son, Iwari DeWees.
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