Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TAKE TEN: Author Jacqueline Rhinehart

When it comes to books that Conversations has read and enjoyed as interactive journeys with the author, in 2008 Jacqueline Rhinehart's* MY ORGANIC SOUL rises to the top of that list. Chosen as one of Conversations Book Club's "25 Best Kept Literary Secrets of 2008", it allows you to enjoy adages that inspire and encourage as well as give you the opportunity to add your own voice to the pages. We talked with the author about the motivation of the book and what she hopes it does for those who share the experience.

Jacqueline, thanks for a taking out a few moments to talk with Conversations LIVE! today. Before we get to your book My Organic Soul, tell us about your business.
Organic Soul Multicultural Marketing is a marketing consultancy . . .I advise companies such as packaged goods/financial / travel industries on ways to connect and market their products to multicultural consumers. My niche is the integration of entertainment elements into traditional marketing practices.

It seems as though you have used your adult life to try and make the lives of others better. Would you agree with that?
My interest has always been the intellectual and cultural condition of man - that's does not provide a clear career trek , but it does imbue my work with a lot of passion and curiosity!

If I had met you 10 years ago, what would be the biggest difference in the Jacqueline Rhinehart then and the one we see today?
Not a lot! Which is not say that I haven't changed... but if you had been a perceptive ,thoughtful friend you would have sensed the woman I would "blossom" into. I liken it to the evolution of a rose - the rose bud is not going to become a sunflower - 4 days into its evolution - it will still be rose ,even when the rose petals turn brown and wither - it will still be a rose. That's what you would have witnessed 10 years ago, the evolution of a rose. Its a change, sure, but not into something else- but a deeper, wiser, more joyous me - the one you knew when you first knew me!

Your book My Organic Soul is a combination of wisdom that encompasses religion, music, sports and includes the thoughts of everyday people as well. Where did the idea for doing the book come from?
In conversation with a friend,( who journaled) we were talking about the intersection - the influence of media/ hip hop/ religion, and consequently, "where was the book that spoke to us?" and a light went
off ! That's it - create a book/journal that would be the repository, for all that's going on - our philosophical mash-up , like a great hip-hop record!

Respected rapper and activist Chuck D wrote the foreword to the book. How did the two of you meet, and what was it like to have his blessing on the project.
Actually, I had not met Chuck D before the creation of this project- I am a fan like most ! We reached out to him, my agent, Gwen Quinn and I, and sent him the book proposal with my intro and sample of the book pages. He then went on to expound on the theme - he really got it ! That was gratifying.

People are always writing down or remembering quotes are adages that mean a great deal to them. Once the entire book had been compiled what led you to want to share it with the world by publishing it?
There was to me, a pronounced need to address the generational divide I began to sense within the ranks of post civil right group and the hip hop generation. A respect for the wisdom that both generations posess, not this resentment that sometimes wells up in intergenerational communication melt downs - i.e. Jesse Jackson vs. Barack Obama ; Ice T and the Superman rapper - there was just an unnecessary discord.

In the dedication and the promotion of the book you mention talking to yourself. Talk to our readers about how you feel that knowing oneself adds to better understanding others.
I say in the dedication that I thank my mother for her encouragement to talk to myself. She believed that I knew the answers I searched for, but I should trust myself and hold each thought captive - flip it over, deconstruct it - know from whence it came.
To hold thoughts captive and speak back to them . It is the only way to not let thoughts lead you - but to lead them.

This year Barack Obama was elected our 44th President of the United States and our first black President. One of the quotes in the book is from Public Enemy and it says "It takes a nation of milions to hold us back." With that in mind, what do you hope Obama's achievement does to encourage the same passion and drive in others?
Well the inverse of the quote is obviously true - it takes a nation of a million to lift us up too! I hope in the micro, Obama's election will provide an example to today's black man of what promise he holds, IF he emulates the values evident in Obama - separation from old ideologies that limit the woman's role,that limit the inclusion of "others", that aren't humble , a man that doesn't let EGO lead everything in his life - his relationship, his career.

We haven't seen this preeminent, iconic a black man - one whose life and background are so accessible and familiar to many black men - in a long time , if ever.

Do you have any advice for those who will read your book, pick up a pen and wonder how they can best add their own voice to its pages?
These quotes speak to each other ( which is why they are juxaposed and arranged in this order) they are the conversation that I have in my own head. And as I encounter thoughts and create my own life, I hope that readers too will have their own conversation - and it can lead anywhere! A conversation that can go anywhere! So, come on now and finish the book its your story and - It is about you - not me!

Thank you again, Jacqueline, for taking out the time to talk with us today. If our readers want to find out more information about you, how can they do so?
THANK YOU! You can Check out www.jacquelinerhinehart.com and www.myorganicsoulbook.com or www.organicsoulmarketing.com

* Recently author Jacqueline Rhinehart was a guest on Conversations LIVE! Radio. You can hear her interview here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive/2008/11/07/Author-Jacqueline-Rhinehart-talks-with-Conversations-LIVE

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