posted 2012-05-03 22:05:11

Media Professor Karen Hunter Soon to Publish Upcoming Book

A sneak peak into An Angry-Ass Black Woman

Rita Calviello

Hunter College media professor Karen Hunter will publish an upcoming book under her publishing company, Karen Hunter Books. An Angry-Ass Black Woman, scheduled for release on October 2nd was written by NAACP Literary Award Nominee and one of Essence magazine’s best- selling authors, Karen E. Quinones Miller. Through a fictionalized encapsulation of Miller’s life growing up in a poverty-stricken and often thought of hopeless Harlem, comes a story of outstanding redemption.

One of the most riveting facets of An Angry-Ass Black Woman is Miller’s way of capturing the street-sense of Harlem back in the early 1960s and 70s through a truly unique and palpable voice. She does not sugarcoat or water down her life into a fairytale. She brings the reader down into the nitty, gritty, often overlooked and deadly inconveniences of a life ridden with poverty. Karen, nicknamed Ke-Ke (pronounced Kay-Kay), tells us a heartbreaking story about the ill effects of abuse, poverty and neglect.

As Ke-Ke’s mother struggles to provide for her four children in a broken-down Harlem, her husband is in and out of Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital. The family is constantly moving from one place to the next after multiple evictions for not having the money to pay rent. Ke Ke is gravely aware of her extreme poverty and afflicted when she hears people use the term “poor” so loosely. “Poor ain’t wearing hand-me-downs from one child to another. Poor is you wear your clothes till they’re rags, and they ain’t fit to be handed down to a younger sister or brother,” said Ke-Ke in her description of what poor is and what poor is not.

Back in the early 1960s, Ke-Ke talks about a policy that Bellevue Hospital had where someone could receive five dollars if they brought a crazy person in off the street. Ke-Ke’s mother would call her father and tell him to break out of Bellevue so that she could turn him back in and collect five dollars when they needed money desperately.

Through stories told in An Angry-Ass Black Woman, Ke-Ke walks the reader through different points throughout her life that were not only affected by her circumstances of poverty, but also by her race. The book progresses upon the idea that harsh realities of Ke-Ke's life have contributed to her identity as an Angry-Ass Black Woman. This isn’t a book about rants concerning race, but rather a descriptive and honest novel that deals with race and class head-on through heartfelt stories.

Many moments in Ke-Ke’s childhood make the reader analyze the card they have been dealt, and the arrogance others display when some have nothing at all. Well, what happens when you have nothing? You either become what you don’t have or you become something even greater. Miller tells us “[I wanted] to give people who come from a similar background the knowledge that some of us not only make it out, but do well without ever having to make believe we’re something we’re not.”

Miller writes a very delicate story, which she had been writing on-and-off for the past five years, until she mustered the courage to pass it onto the world. An Angry-Ass Black Woman portrays the life of a woman faced with overwhelming odds and despite them, emerges as what Literary Divas call one of “The Top 100+ Most Admired African-American Women In Literature.” These experiences, while difficult and unfortunate, lead to the development of a well-known and outspoken person who grew to not fear her past. “I’ll never deny Harlem,” Miller says. “I’ll never deny the poverty I’ve endured. I’ll never deny the abuse I’ve survived. It all made me the person I am today.”