Article by Karen Macier
Melody Smith Johnson is working on a similar project to benefit the Auburn Rescue Mission. “My Hands Warm Your Heart — By Women for Women,” in partnership with the Schweinfurth Art Center, is working to collect handcrafted scarves and knitted outwear that will then be donated to the women served by the programs of the Rescue Mission.
In addition to her retail business, Melody is the founder of the Beverly L. Smith Empowerment Initiative. Named in honor of her late mother, this program provides scholarships, mentoring and counseling to young women of color. In the past five years, it has granted some $70,000.
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Review by Linda Lowen
Sometimes the conversations we have with strangers are the most revealing, allowing us to open up about worries, hurts, and fears without feeling judged. Suppose you spilled your heart out to one such person -- a wise older neighbor, let’s say -- and formed a casual acquaintance over the years, trusting in her to keep your secrets. And then, one day, you come home to your neighborhood where police cruisers and TV news vans cluster around an ambulance as paramedics shield a white-shrouded body from view. It’s your neighbor, but she’s not who you thought she was. She’s been living incognito with her own secret: she’s a revered, iconic, influential Black writer, up there with Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou.
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