Updated: Nov 6, 2018
By now you all have become familiar with “The Hero in the Helmet: Colin Kaepernick.” Six months ago, on May 13, 2018, my dreams of a distinguished writer came into fruition when I typed “Joa Macnalie” in the search box of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google, Walmart, Melanin Origins, Book Life, GoodReads, and beheld the fruit of my labor. That experience produced the kind of wow moment that suspends your breathing like the news of a barren woman who has come into pregnancy. I mean, I knew that I was pregnant with purpose, but nothing could have adequately prepared me for its arrival. I remember very fondly holding my book in my hands for the first time. It’s not often that I’m at a loss for words, but in that space the only thing I could do was produce silent tears of gratitude sensing that I’ve arrived at the doorsteps of ‘higher’. I have not yet experienced the joy of motherhood in the physical, but the ‘special delivery’ stamp on my UPS package of books felt like the closest thing to it. Neatly encased was my baby! My first born!
And since the ‘baby reveal’, my book has reached, sold, and been featured on a number of magazines and radio shows at the speed of light. When I found out that the average book sells 3,000 books in its lifetime as documented by Publishers Weekly (a translation of about 250-300 copies in its first year) I understood that I wasn’t coming to play small. In half the time, my book has almost doubled the number of average sales without the help of any sponsors, partners, investors or clearinghouses. The amount of legwork it has taken to get this far in this wee-bit of time leaves me chanting “thick thighs
save lives” every single day. There is strength for your journey.
I am a firm believer in the biblical principle that says “Your gift will make room for you and bring you before great (wo)men” (Proverbs 18:16). My gift of writing has propped open doors and ushered me in the presence of ordinary people like myself doing extraordinary things in politics, media, on the radio, in magazines, entertainment, music, and the arts. People like Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, Democratic gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams, Radio personality and New York Times Best Selling Author Charlamagne the god, Chief visionary of Akoin and musical talent Akon, Co-host of the famous show Breakfast Club Angela Yee, Prince EA, Nancy Douyon, Phillip Agnew, Foster Driver, Tyler Perry, Amy Du-Bois Barnett, Common, Meek Mill, Professor Dyson, and so many others.
Just last night I was conversing with a long-time friend of mine when he began to speak some certainties over my life, as if by divine inspiration . He challenged me to think bigger in terms of my reach and influence. There was no lack of surety in his speech as he mystically declared that 20,000 copies of my books sold in its lifetime was way too small of a number to entertain. The more he talked, I became convinced in his vision of over 30-40 million copies sold globally in multiple languages to be taught in every elementary, middle, and high school, daycare center, library, and college/university.
I left that conversation with a greater sense of clarity. I didn’t come to play small. I came to make an impact and leave my mark. To dub the voices of the marginalized, to tear down the the walls of racism and break the yoke of oppression; whereby we can all be free.I’m betting that your story is unique to mine, but I’m certain that you too have a tribe to pilot. Don't you dare minimize your gift or dim your light to make anyone else’s glow appear brighter. You didn’t come to play small, that serves no one. Flex your God-given abilities and make your presence felt. When I enter and exit a room, my number one goal is to leave the impression that Joa Macnalie was here.
Play big! Play to win. Play with the heart of Muggsy Bogues.