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Jazz Killiebrew

Educationist, philanthropist, visionary leader, servant, advocate, and wordsmith are all words that can begin to scratch the surface of who Jazz Killiebrew is.

When I was growing up, I absolutely loved to read. My mother would fuss at me because I would read anywhere, the dinner table, car, kitchen, bathroom, etc. Wherever I was, there was a book nearby. However, my first love in books was Ann Martin’s, The Baby Sitter’s Club. Looking back, that book had only one character who was black and she was a minor character. I never saw girls who looked like me in the books I read. As I grew and eventually became an English teacher, I further noticed that every African American classic book about a woman showed her suffering in some capacity. For example, The Color Purple, Their Eyes were Watching God, Beloved, and Fences, just to name a few. In the classroom, I realized that students did not hate to read, many just hated reading things that they could not identify with. I’m on a journey to help kids see themselves in literature. I’m on a journey to create positive black characters who do not have to suffer before they prosper. I’m on a journey to help us see us and see us well. I am inspired by the mere thought that Senator Harris is the vice presidential candidate at a time when we need a strong voice.
“When one girl wins, we all win”.