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Book review by Cleo Parker Robinson

It is an honor to be included in this book which so beautifully reflects my own philosophy of "One Spirit, Many Voices." Our lives reflect so many challenges, and there are times they may seem insurmountable. Yet when we join our talents and resources, uplifting one another and calling upon the strength of our diverse cultures and traditions, we realize we're able to overcome adversity and accomplish amazing things.

The stories offered here affirm that each of us experiences failure and tragedy, but the compassion and inspiration conveyed by these women reminds us to call upon the quiet wisdom of those around us.

My own foundations in life, taught by my parents and reinforced by my village of family, friends, artists, and supporters, are built on the ten elements in the book. No doubt all 50 women in this book used those same elements of strength and character throughout their lives.

We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors, teachers, and leaders. You’ll hear me honor and thank them every day, particularly at the start of each of my performances. Reading these stories, I also remember the importance of our Sankofa moments... reflecting on the past as we move through the present and into the future.

Whoever reads this book will experience their own Sankofa moments. I believe each reader will find the courage to bring their own gifts into their communities. Like the women in this book, each of you is a blessing. Even as you stand on the shoulders of others, yours are the shoulders that will provide the foundation of the future.

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