Former foster youth Ángela Quijada-Banks, author of “The Black Foster Youth Handbook” has been nominated for the NAACP’s Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work-Instructional, along with the works of four other distinguished writers.
Quijada-Banks told The Imprint last October that as the coronavirus pandemic set on America, she felt an urgent need to finish writing “The Black Foster Youth Handbook: 50+ Lessons I learned to successfully Age-Out of foster care and Holistically Heal.”
The Anaheim native said she cried out as she wrote, thinking about the excruciating obstacles aging-out youth were going through amid the pandemic upheaval and the vicarious trauma caused by George Floyd’s violent death at the hands of police last May. She loaded the book with personal stories, poems, observations and exercises of self-care and discovery, as well as tips for older adults supporting young people aging out of the foster care system.
“I was hurting so bad when I was writing,” she told Imprint reporter Jeremy Loudenback. “I would have days when my husband would tell me to stop writing because I would have tears streaming out of my eyes just thinking about the circumstances that young people have to endure right now.”
This week, Quijada-Banks told The Imprint in an email that the nomination “marks a significant stride in my purpose while uplifting my blackness regardless if it makes others uncomfortable,” and shared that the news of it had prompted her to reflect on the road taken to this point.
“I am thinking about my past … particularly being a young girl trying to navigate my identity and shying away from my blackness,” she said. “If only I would have known the power of my true self in my multicultural identity. If only I would have known my purpose lied deep within the subconscious of my blackness.”
The NAACP Image Awards show will air on BET TV on March 27 at 8 p.m. EST. For details and to vote, click here.