By Yolanda T. Marshall

Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture), a Trinidadian American civil rights activist once stated, “The knowledge I have now is not the knowledge I had then”. This is true for anyone who reads to elevate their mind. In this article, I proudly offer Hezzy, the author of You Can Be and Afro Pick Adventures Presents The Incredible Genius Imhotep, his flowers. He is an educator who is passionate about inspiring others to live their best lives. His goal is to positively inspire our younger generation continuously.

 What inspired you to write books which elevate, motivate, and educate the masses?

Hezzy the author of You Can Be and Afro Pick Adventures


My inspiration for writing books that elevate, motivate, and educate the masses is that I recognized a major need for diversity in children’s literature. As an educator for over 25 years, I have seen the impacts of low self-esteem and low self-confidence in our youth. I realized that creating stories that highlight positive messages and infuse world history can elevate minds. I have seen firsthand the positive effects on children and adults when readers can connect with the characters in the texts that they read.

After experiencing a hate crime at work, I recognized how important creating books that highlight Black excellence is. I feel that I have been called to Elevate The Nations with positivity and purpose. My passion for youth is also my inspiration for writing as well. The late great Whitney Houston said it best in

her song The Greatest Love of All- I believe the Children are our future.


As a powerful writer and a YMCA Peace Medallion Award winner, please share the importance of positive literary representation in our community. 

Literary representation in our community is extremely important on many levels. Firstly, it gives children the chance to see themselves in texts. Seeing themselves in books sends a message to children that they matter, their stories matter, and their identity matters. It also gives children a sense of belonging. When children see themselves in books, it helps affirm their identities and develops their self-esteem and self-confidence. It promotes unity, empathy, and understanding. It allows the child to dream bigger and know that they are powerful. Positive literary representation gives the reader a chance to learn about other cultures other than their own. It creates an environment where readers can see the humanity in the people they are reading about. Books act as mirrors where people can see themselves. A book can also act as a window where readers can investigate worlds that they are not a part of. Lastly, books act as sliding doors where readers can be transported to another world to gain more insight and empathy.”

Please visit www.hezzyelevatesminds.com to learn more about this author. Thank you.

Books I am gaining knowledge from this week: –

In the Upper Country

In the Upper Country

Written by Kai Thomas, an Ottawa-based, national best-selling author of Trinidadian heritage.

The fates of two unforgettable women—one just beginning a journey of reckoning and self-discovery and the other completing her life’s last vital act—intertwine in this sweeping, deeply researched debut set in the Black communities of Ontario that were the last stop on the Underground Railroad.” – Viking, 2023.






Shades of Black

Shades of Black

Written by Carlos Anthony, a filmmaker and author based in Windsor, Ontario.

Romero, a Guyanese Canadian, is a sensitive kid who is just starting to attend an inner-city-style school with a large, racialized population. Romero falls in with a friendly crew but finds himself in trouble when a shot is fired in the school cafeteria ― and he gets stuck with the gun. Meanwhile, the police, often using brutal tactics and targeting young Black males, try to find out who the shooter was.” – Lorimer, 2023.






How to be Resilient in Your Career

How to be Resilient in Your Career


Written by Dr Helen Ofosu, an author and an Organizational Psychologist based in Ottawa.

This book shares vital career advice to help professionals navigate common “internally disruptive” career experiences such as harassment and bullying, imposter syndrome, membership in an underrepresented group, toxic workplaces, discrimination, and more.” – Routledge, 2023.


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