Piece of Cake PR

She Is Black: African-American Poet & Ethiopian-American Author Join Forces to Publish Unique Book of Faith, Love and Identity

Jay Blackwell and El Shaddai Gebreyes are breaking new literary ground by fusing their diverse talents which are seldom found under the same book cover. Showcasing poetry and prose that defies all cultural boundaries, ‘She is Black’ reminds readers that opposite expressions can easily blend into a single voice.


Alexandria, VA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/10/2013 -- With cultural stereotypes still alive in abundance, many are working diligently to prove that the black experience is far from monolithic. Showcasing this concept vividly and with bold beauty, a compelling new literary collaboration is breaking all silos of affiliation, language, gender and narrative.

‘She is Black’ is the work of African-American poet Jay Blackwell and Ethiopian-American author of creative nonfiction, El Shaddai Gebreyes.


This multi-genre collection is a meditation on faith, love and identity. With passion, each vivid thread is woven together to create a dynamic tapestry.

On the face of it, the words transform into captivating images. Examining the back of this tapestry - i.e., looking beyond the outward presentation – you will see two souls traversing oceans.

Grateful for each breath above the waters and attentive to each cry below, the writers encourage you to journey to the point where you find she in he and He in she.

As one of the authors explains,

“Our styles of writing, expression and viewpoint have melded into a singularly powerful book. Passion impresses us, imprisons us and thrusts our vulnerable ideas before strangers. This book releases our passionate selves through vines of verse, song, movement and daring. This book is important because it is a mirror constructed of opposite expressions that blend into one voice” says Gebreyes.

Blackwell hopes that the duo’s work will continue to act as a catalyst in opening up vital societal dialogues, “The first section of the book invites the reader into the inner life of a woman rising through obstacles, avoiding pain and fear, who in the process discovers a career? The second section provides colloquial insights into the African-American experience, with descriptions of intimacy, passion, and the contemplative life.”

“The world has many voices and expressions that often seem at odds with each other. Our collaboration is unlikely and an inviting alternative. It has brought people from thousands of miles apart, in their ideas and in their geography, together and talking! Our book, made of seemingly opposite contents, characters and experiences will satisfy most any reader these days” Gebreyes adds.

With the book’s popularity expected to increase, interested readers are urged to purchase their copies of the book as soon as possible.

‘She is Black’, published by Xlibris, is available now: http://amzn.to/1b8BTDu.

About the Author
El Shaddai Gebreyes is a librarian and author who compiled an anthology of poetry, 100 + Poems for Holidays and Special Occasions by Frederick Douglas Harper, published by Xlibris. She is also the author of two collections of poetry and prose about spiritual exploration – Ever Before Me: Your Love and The Last Adam (Xlibris). She earned a bachelor's degree in Film Studies with a concentration in anthropology at Yale University and a master's degree in library science at The Catholic University of America. A former Miss National Teen-Ager, she believes the joy of life is in the spirit of giving. Please visit her blog http://stateofselflessness.blogspot.com for her meditations on the universe – both inner space and the outer world. Her Twitter username is @buttressed.

Jay Blackwell has been involved in civil disobedience and social change since his parents carried he and his brother to sit at lunch counters in North Carolina during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s. Since then he has traveled the United States working with community leaders, healers, families and organizations to improve how they provide better health care to their loved ones. He has been involved in HIV/AIDS prevention and care services since 1986, as well as supporting and building the business skills of LGBTQ and minority organizations. He has a Master of Arts from the University of Northern Colorado and a Bachelor of Arts from NC Central University. He continues to write poetry and verse that ranges from the subversive to the sublime and can be reached through FaceBook at the SHE IS BLACK Page.