12 SC State alumnae publish book on women’s lives, perspectives

Friday, October 19, 2007

Book signing will be held on campus during Oct. 27 Homecoming Weekend

A book signing for “I Don’t Mean to Smash Your Tomatoes Honey! A Glimpse of Life’s Perspectives from A to Z” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27, between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center atrium. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event, and are also available in the University Bookstore and online at www.smashingtomatoes.info.ORANGEBURG –
Twelve SC State alumnae will return to the campus during the University’s 2007 Homecoming Weekend with a shared title – author.

The alumnae were 12 of 18 contributors to a new book – I Don’t Mean to Smash Your Tomatoes Honey! A Glimpse at Life’s Perspectives from A to Z – that examines a plethora of issues and experiences relevant to many women through the perspective of several professional “Generation X” women in a compilation of essays.

A book signing will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27, between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center atrium. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event, and are also available in the University Bookstore and online at www.smashingtomatoes.info.

Eleven alumnae, who graduated from SC State between 1995 and 2002, and four other professional women were gathered together by Dr. BerNadette Lawson-Williams, ‘95, and Tracie K. Thomas to “smash tomatoes” on a variety of topics for the book.

The book’s title, I Don’t Mean to Smash Your Tomatoes Honey!, emerged from candid feedback that Lawson-Williams provided to friend and co-author Tanika H. Campbell, ‘96, when she asked for her opinion on a condo that she was purchasing.

“My response to her question was ‘I don’t mean to smash your tomatoes, honey, but I don’t like…’,” said Lawson-Williams. “Of course, my response was made in a humorous manner with a sassy undertone. As the realtor chuckled, she responded ‘that would be a cute title of a book’,” she added.

That same humor permeates throughout much of the book, which is full of witty and zingy catchphrases and offers refreshing and spunky solutions to the common dilemmas faced by women every day.

The 12 alumnae authors of I Don’t Mean to Smash Your Tomatoes Honey! A Glimpse at Life’s Perspectives from A to Z include Dr. BerNadette Lawson-Williams, ‘95; D’Metria (Lee) Alston, ‘97; Ebony (Mosby) Brown, ‘96, ‘98; Adrienne B. Blanding Hurley, ‘96; Tanika (Howard) Campbell, ‘96; Hope L. Doe, ‘96; Sherice Langs Dowling, ‘99; Natalie (Fair) Jones, ‘98; Yolanda R. Kennedy, ’02; LaRonda (Johnson) Robinson, ‘95; Dr. Sheriase Q. Sanders, ‘97; and Dr. Marva Tutt, ‘97.

To ensure that all essays were composed in an uninhibited manner, the identities of the individual essays’ authors remain anonymous. However, each of the SC State alumnae contributed at least two essays on a variety of topics based upon their individual life experiences. And, the essays featured in the book are written to inspire readers to connect with their inner feelings, and focus on various aspects of personal wellness – physical, mental, spiritual, intellectual and emotional.

But, what do a few of the alumnae authors hope that readers will gain from their “smashed tomatoes”?

“To be open and honest with themselves and to take a look at where they are in life,” said Ebony M. Brown, ‘96. “If where they are requires change, hopefully what is written in the book will help aid that change positively and give a fresh perspective.”

“I hope that the book will provide insight and encouragement to women, as well as provide men with a unique look at various perspectives as through ‘our eyes’,” said Hope L. Doe, ‘96.

“I hope that the readers will feel as though they are not alone,” said D’Metria Alston, ‘97. “That someone thinks just like they do.”

“I hope that readers will become encouraged within their own life journeys,” said Dr. Sheriase Q. Sanders, ‘97. “And, know that you do not have to be perfect to achieve major accomplishments.”

While matriculating through SC State, the authors were quite active in numerous campus organizations, including the Student Government Association, Bulldog Cheerleading Squad, departmental clubs and honor societies. Of the 12 alumnae, seven were initiated into the Alpha Xi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and three were initiated into the Beta Sigma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

The alumnae are currently spread across seven states – Georgia, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina – and represent a variety of professional occupations, including education, engineering, human services, management, mathematics, nursing nutrition, pharmaceutical sales, speech pathology and sports management.

The alumnae authors include a New York City Marathon runner, a first runner-up to Miss SC State, a Student Ambassador to Russia, the principal of the first charter school in Augusta, Ga., and a recipient of the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers award.

Two of the alumnae authors have been employed at SC State as professors in the departments from which they graduated.

For more information on I Don’t Mean to Smash Your Tomatoes Honey! A Glimpse at Life’s Perspectives from A to Z, visit the book’s Web site – www.smashingtomatoes.info.