Blog Post by The Village Founder, Patricia Middleton
“O-ran-a-Azun-Nwa,” the famous African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child!' originated from the Nigerian Igbo culture and proverb. It means that it takes a community or village to raise a child.
Let me preface this by saying that it is understood that God is in every village I will mention hereafter.
In my own life, my village consisted of my parents, my grandmother, my church and extended family. My children’s village was much the same: myself, my grandmother, my mother and siblings, my church and extended family.
The same can be said of my journey to becoming a published author.
The road began with poetry, and three people from my village are most instrumental for that. My mother, for taking to church; my Junior Girl’s (pre-teen) Sunday school teacher, Sister Ellen Pittman, who must have saw something in me because she always gave me the longest “pieces” to recite for the Easter and Christmas programs, and my father, who introduced me to The Creation by James Weldon Johnson when I was 15 years old.
My passion for reciting poetry – instilled in me because of those three people – led to me writing poetry and songs during my teen and young adult years. Oh, and my passion for every boyfriend I ever had. Show me a writer that has never written about love found or love loss and I’ll show you a liar.
As my life expanded, so did my village. In my 30’s and 40’s my immediate family – mother, siblings, and children – and my church family because the nucleus of my village. The former with requests to write poems for this service or that anniversary, and my family for their continued love and support.
As with African children spoken of in the proverb, you can see how instrumental a village is before you even become what you are destined to be. My village began speaking life into my becoming a published author very early on with one simple question: “When are you going to publish a book a poetry?”
I can’t tell you how many times I was asked that question from the early 90’s up to the day I announced the release date of my first book. And I can’t tell you how annoyed and upset it made me each and every time. I didn’t realize then that God was using my village to plant seeds of purpose in me that would take almost two decades to come to fruition.
As I began planning to publish, from the fall of 2007 to this very day, my village expanded once more. This time, to include mentors, heroes and sheroes of the mic and the pen, and published authors who I aspired to be like when I signed the first copy of my first book.
“O-ran-a-Azun-Nwa,” it takes a village. It took one for me. But even more importantly, I am proud to be a village member of and new and upcoming writers now seeking the same of me.
Patricia Middleton © Poetricia Publishing