My Aunt, Agent of Change

I can remember being very young out on a day with my Aunt and some people stopped her and asked for her autograph. I thought to myself, “Why are all these people trying to get her autograph? She’s not Eddie Murphy. Does she know Eddie Murphy?” To me she was just Aunt Julianne, but everyone else knew her as Dr. Julianne Malveaux – economist and television personality. I was her favorite young nephew, so I got to go any and everywhere with her when time allowed.

I also began to check for my aunt on television and in newspapers. While my perception of my Aunt Julianne at home was of a fierce and no-holds-barred temperamental genius, it was exciting to know that she was just as opinionated in media appearances. When I read her columns, I could hear her attitude through the printed words. When I saw her debating loudly over white Republican talking heads on cable news stations, asserting her point and getting the last word, I was always thrilled. My perception of my aunt began to evolve into me seeing her as a media advocate for African-American and women’s rights, much like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, but much more electrifying. When I found out she was taking on the role of president of Bennett College for Women, and abandoning her plans to produce a 30-minute news magazine show under her Last Word Productions, my perception of her changed again.

Her sacrifice of her own media career to directly affect the lives of young African-American women on a daily basis makes me view my Aunt Julianne as an agent of direct change in our community. Even after reading her in print and seeing her on screen countless times, I have never been more proud of Dr. Julianne Malveaux than I am now and am blessed, not only to have her as an aunt, but also as a member of our community.

~King Anyi

in your facial face
like Rachel Ray
Cookin All Day!

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