October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In recognition of the courageous victims of domestic violence who find the strength to deal with their plight and come to grips with the manipulation by their abuser, we present to you one Miami woman’s account of her trials, tribulations and triumph over domestic violence. Shattered Lens: A Tale of Domestic Violence and Redemption through Love is a must read.
A native of Miami, Florida and a graduate of Miami Northwestern High School in Liberty City, Mary Alice Beasley was mentored by her college educated older sister Elizabeth to read, question, explore, dream and then strive to become all that she imagined. However, Mary Alice’s plans were derailed when she married a high school football quarterback who became a school administrator and prosperous entrepreneur. Her life spiraled into an abyss of despair and depression. Determined to get it back on track, she searched within for the strength that she often recognized in her mother to overcome the physical scars, the suppressed emotional pain and the guilt that plagued her daily. Feeling blessed and triumphant, she now dedicates her life to tutoring and encouraging young people to become positive, powerful and productive citizens.
She received her B.S. in Speech Corrections from Florida A&M University and her M.S. in Exceptional Student Education from Saint Thomas University while serving as an itinerant Speech and Language Pathologist in Miami-Dade County Schools.
Many, in South Florida’s black community will be shocked by Beasley’s story and know individuals profiled in this book, as they are well-known, educated professionals in the community. There is much for all of us to learn from this book. Here is my brief interview with author, Mary Alice Beasley.
VWB: Thank you very much for taking the time to share with the Blogging Black Miami readers; let’s start off with a question I’m sure our readers want to know, just why did you write this book?
MAB: As stated in the book, this journal was written: to help me understand the causes of the thought processes which governed my behavior; to explain why I repeated experiences; to focus attention on the devastating effects of unresolved inner conflicts; and finally to break the years of silence and give voice to my story. I’ve always been a very private person. Disclosing my inner thoughts is a part of the healing process.
VWB: Taking your experiences from journal to book is quite an accomplishment, how long did it take you to finish it from conception to completed creation?
MAB: Since I have always kept a journal, the writing process was a “work in progress” over many years. I began writing this manuscript in 1992. In 1994 it was sent to several publishing houses by my literary agent. However, I decided not to proceed until I was more comfortable about openly discussing this prevalent and humiliating subject. In 2007, I began to rethink the subject as societal attitudes and legal support had evolved. I then updated the manuscript by adding the last two chapters. It was completed in 2009.
VWB: This book discloses some very personal situations, how has it affected your family, especially your children?
MAB: Jabali is my greatest supporter. He helped change the dynamics in my life and encouraged me to self-publish. My sisters are very proud and are enthusiastically promoting it. My son is hoping that it sells and I become famous. My daughters view it through their own “shattered” lenses.
VWB: Is there another book in the works for you?
MAB: Yes, several. Having been a Speech and Language Pathologist, I’ve written a “Speech Improvement” book for students that incorporate Black History as it relates to Black Dialectal patterns. The other book contains very positive memories of my life as a child growing up In Liberty City. This novella emphasizes the rewards of being self motivated and demonstrates how having limited resources could spark the imagination and enhance the creative process.
VWB: Fabulous! Other than your own work, what‘s your favorite book?
MAB: Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” will always be my favorite, maybe because I identify with Celie. However, I mostly read non-fiction, motivational, historical and biographical works in my leisure time.
VWB: Thank you again, Ms. Beasley. You are my new she-ro! Congratulations on your book!
For more information on the author and the book, visit www.shattered-lens-memoir.vpweb.com. If you are a victim of domestic violence, do not be ashamed; get help by calling 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) or 1.800.787.3224 (TTY). Your call is anonymous. Get confidential help all day, every day.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Domestic Violence 101
How to Help a Friend Who’s Being Abused
Presidential Proclamation--National Domestic Violence Awareness Month