Let's Move! Ada and I are headed to Montgomery, Alabama. Returns to Alabama are always delicious homecomings for me. My father and his father were both born near Selma. And my husband’s mother’s family is from Tuskegee.
We love Tuskegee. And that is why two years ago when I was out on book tour with my third novel Rebel Yell I was overjoyed to accept an invitation for a two day visit that included both classroom teaching, a public lecture, a visit with the Tuskegee’s elegant First Lady, and a reception hosted by the local chapter of the Links, Incorporated—a chapter my husband’s grandmother had been a dynamic member of for years. The visit brought unexpected sadness with the joy.
I found myself in a classroom looking out at a room full of smart young black women too many of whom were larger than I was—and that day I weighed over 225 pounds! I decided then and there I was going to solve my weight problem for myself and share the solutions I found with my community.
I’m headed back to Alabama with a simple message. Black women in America must commit to getting under 200 pounds. We need to do it by walking eight miles each week, sleeping eight hours each night, and drinking eight glasses of water each day. And all of America needs to support this effort by acknowledging that a ten percent reduction in weight makes a fifty percent reduction in diabetes risk and is therefore significant AND black women don’t get fat because we are lazy—we get fat because we are too tired. That’s not the whole truth but it’s a big hunk of it. If you want to know my whole view of the truth you need to read my novel Ada’s Rules.