You probably never thought pie preference is somewhat tied to race. Did you? Neither did we. But you will be pleasantly surprised how Dr. Lewis uses these sweet desserts to talk tastefully about one of the hardest conversational topics in America: racism. Eavesdrop on conversations with some of his White friends as they discuss the human toll of racism, and the promise of a better tomorrow. Listen in as they share a commitment to move through the ally continuum, from ally to accomplice to conspirator.
If you are looking for a book that offers authentic and transparent conversations about race and racism, as well as a one that offers you hope in a blame and shame-free manner, then you must order your copy of Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Pie: Conversations with My White Friends about Race now. So what’s your preference, sweet potato or pumpkin pie? Let’s talk!
William’s thoughts on working with SPARK Publications:
“When I first started my book, it seemed like a daunting endeavor. I was full of fear and doubt. The SPARK Publications team took me by the hand, calmed my nerves, and walked with me through the entire writing process. They were genuinely interested in my topic and my success! I couldn’t have completed this book without their support and encouragement!”
Is there a particular moment that SPARKed your interest in writing a book?
Yes. I was talking with Fabi about my experiences related to facilitating racially nuanced conversations. Specifically, I was sharing with her some of my discussions with my White friends about race, and she leaned into her Zoom camera and asked matter-of-factly, “William, when are you going to write your book?” I have always wanted to write a book and always knew that I would write a book. But it was at that moment when I went from “someday” to “today!”
What surprises did you encounter on the road to writing and publishing the book?
I am surprised that I finished the book. Not having any prior experience in writing a book, it always seemed daunting to me to muster enough tenacity to see the project through from start to finish. I had a lot of ideas about what to write swirling around in my head. So, I had to stick with the writing through the messiness of trying to connect what seemed to be unrelated elements into a comprehensive whole.
How did SPARK Publications help in championing and publishing your book?
SPARK Publications was a true partner in this process. I never felt alone, despite feeling overwhelmed at times. Fabi, or a SPARKler, was always there to cheer me on. One of the statements that kept me going was, “I can’t wait until the world reads your story.” I heard a variation of this statement from different members of the team. It energized me to keep thinking, to keep researching, and to keep writing each time I heard a variation of that statement.
Now that your book is published, are there any goals or experiences you’re looking forward to?
Yes, to rest! Seriously, I am looking forward to the opportunity to have open and authentic conversations with the book as the anchor. I am also looking forward to seeing if there is another book inside of me.
What advice do you have for other authorpreneurs and aspiring writers?
The first thing you have to do is realize everybody has a story to tell. You have a story to tell. Your story, no matter if it is fiction or nonfiction, is a gift to the universe that only you can tell.
The biggest lesson I can share is that you should write. You should write until you can’t write anymore. If you listen to Fabi and her team and trust the process they have laid out, you will become an author.
Tell us about your future plans—what’s next for you?
I plan to take the next year and go on a national college book tour. I plan to speak at 100 colleges in America, either virtually or in person.
What was the most interesting thing you found while writing this book?
Perhaps the most interesting thing that I have found while writing this book is that my book is unfinished. I figured once I finished my book, I would be done with writing. Interestingly, I am not done writing. I have begun thinking about version two of this book. I have been thinking about other chapters I can add or additions to existing chapters.
What does success mean to you?
Success for me is that people will READ the book, and start conversations with their friends and family.
“Dr. William T. Lewis, Sr. has given us a rare gift in Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Pie. It’s a personal, insightful, empathetic look at race and allyship from both Black and White perspectives. A gifted storyteller, Dr. Lewis invites us on a walk down memory lane where he gently weaves together his experiences growing up and adulting Black with historical snapshots of structural racism’s stronghold in America. His interviews with White friends and colleagues who open up about their own racial awakening make this the perfect springboard to your own brave conversations about race.”—Laura Zielke
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