Patrice McLaurin graduated cum laude with a degree in finance from Alabama A&M University. She didn’t realize her life’s passion would be to work with youth until she began volunteering at a Girls Inc. facility located in Birmingham, AL. She was allowed to promote self- esteem and self-determination through a cultural heritage course that she designed, simply entitled Afrocentric. From there, it was no turning back. She had officially fallen in love with motivating our children.
Have You Thanked an Inventor Today
Have You Thanked an Inventor Today is the author’s first children’s book! The book was selected by Microsoft as a book to inspire STEM. That is a huge accomplishment, especially since this is her first publication. The artwork is what initially caught my attention. I love teaching my children about our history, and this book does that in a fun way. After researching more about the book and publisher, I was more than excited to see it was written by a black woman. I had to show my support. I loved what I read about her and wanted to know a little more. To my surprise, Patrice took some time out to answer a couple questions.
Q1: Who Inspires You?
I’ve been inspired by a lot of people, too many to name to be frank, but I’m primarily inspired by young folk. I generally consider what I would like to teach young people when determining what I want to write about. For this book in particular, black boys and young black men inspired me. The goal of the book was to offer an alternative form of media, one where our boys could see themselves in a positive light. As we all know, whenever our boys and young men are represented in the media, it’s usually in a disparaging light. This in turn, impacts the way that the world sees our sons, and further perpetuates their mistreatment. I wanted to do my part in shifting that imagery. Furthermore, our boys are severely underrepresented in children’s literature, which is an another reason why I made sure that the main character was a black boy.
Q2: Can you describe the moment you knew you wanted to be an author?
Wow, that’s a good question. I’m a poet, and I remember back in the early 2000’s wanting to publish a poetry book. That desire then morphed into wanting to write a children’s book, maybe around 2012. However, it wasn’t until 2015, specifically during the time when it seemed as if our boys were being gunned down everyday by the cops, that I knew that I had to write this book. I wanted to contribute to the solution. It was my opinion that if I penned a book where a little black boy was shown in a positive light, and black people were represented as active contributors to society, then I could help to change the perception of our boys and assist in raising the vibration of our young people.
Author on the rise
You guys, I really think Patrice McLaurin is a name we’ll be seeing a lot more of. Books that spark curiosity and creativity are extremely important, especially for black children. I want to thank Patrice again for being my first interview on her very first book! Follow the link to add her book to your library!