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Arts and Entertainment

One angry black woman
Author Karen Miller uses rage to urge change
 
Published Thursday, November 8, 2012 8:11 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

Karen E. Quinones Miller is proud to be an “angry-ass black woman.”

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PHOTO COURTESY KAREN E QUINONES MILLER
Karen E Quinones Miller, author of “Angry-Ass Black Woman.”


It is a title she says she shares with a host of other black women, including Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells.
Miller does not define being an “angry black woman” as one who is loud, abrasive, moody and always ready to go off for no reason. She says the term reflects a woman who gets so fed up with a situation, usually some form or injustice and decides to take a stand.


“Anger is something that brings about change,” she says. “Anger makes you stop being a victim and do something about your situation. So often, we as people just accept things happening to us and we become victims. Being bitter is not a good look, but when you get angry and change your situation, you free yourself.”


The national best-selling author says there is a distinctive difference between an angry woman and a bitter or miserable woman. She says an angry woman will muster the courage to confront what angers her. She says a bitter woman takes out her misery on everyone else.


Miller says she has a lot to be angry about. For starters, she grew up in Harlem during the 1960s and ‘70s surrounded by unrelenting violence, drugs and racism. Her father was institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital, and her mother barely made enough money to feed and shelter her four children.


Then, there was the growing tumor found on her brain. It made her angry because she had a daughter entering college, a brother getting married and no time to deal with illness.


After having the tumor surgically removed in 2005, Miller began to reflect on her life and the “better a chip on my shoulder than a knife in my back” mentality she had adopted. Those moments of reflection inspired Miller to pen her eighth book, “An Angry-Ass Black Woman,” which debuted in October.


The semi-autobiographical novel is told through a series of flashbacks had by Miller as she lies in a hospital bed in a partially comatose state recovering from the surgery and reflecting on the tragedies, heartbreaks and victories that make up her life.


So, is she still angry?


“Hell yes,” she says. “I got angry just the other day.”


Miller is working on a suspense novel and writing a screenplay. She says others wishing to pursue their dreams of becoming a bestselling author should do two things – read and write.


“You’ve got to do both,” she says.


Miller also suggests joining a writing group.


“You’ll love the support,” she says. “But also your manuscript will be better because of it.”

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