“I hope that by doing what i do that I spark the next leader. Not that I'M the next leader but hopefully my books reach them.”
Quineka Ragsdale is a rising star as a writer and entrepreneur. She is the author of Demarcus Jones educational books designed to teach Black history lessons.
Quineka is a Dallas-based entrepreneur that relays Black History facts that readers would never know about from school or see recapped on television. The main character Demarcus Jones time jumps through time to meet and learn from Black personalities from different historical eras. This 'childrens' book can even teach adults a thing or two about Black History. Without authors like Quineka stories of the Tulsa Race Riot, Abu Bakari, the Basr War, or the origins of the trans-Atlantic slave trade would not be presented to young Black children. Or children of any race. The Demarcus Jones book series does a service to Black culture. Quinekas works are available at select bookstores in Dallas and Atlanta and available online at www.demarcusjones.com.
I spent some time interviewing Quineka Ragsdale and got some insight into this talented author and the Demarcus Jones brand.
positiveblack: Where are you from?
quineka.ragsdale: I'm from the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, TX.
positiveblack: How long have you been writing?
quineka.ragsdale: I've been writing all my life, but professionally I'd say while I was still in college. I wrote freelance for a couple of small Black newspapers. I got a journalism degree because of my love of writing.
positiveblack: So what sparked your interest in writing overall? Have you always aspired to be an author?
quineka.ragsdale: I've always loved to write and have always wanted to write a book (I wrote a few as a child), but I was never able to focus and hone on a topic until I started with Demarcus Jones.
positiveblack: What inspired your mission to present the message that you do through Demarcus Jones?
quineka.ragsdale: I was reading "Stolen Legacy" by GM James and was intrigued with the information. I then felt upset that the information hadn't been introduced to me when I was school age. I passed the book to my (then 7) son and asked him to read a line. He read it perfectly. Then I asked if he knew what it meant and he told me no. I then told him, I'm going to write a book for you.
positiveblack: Ahhh.. so you have kids in the age range your books are geared for?
quineka.ragsdale: I have two boys ages 8 and 11. Their personalities have helped me shape Demarcus's character and experiences from a little Black boy's eyes.
positiveblack: What was your childhood like? Better yet, who were your main influences in the family, growing up?
quineka.ragsdale: I lived with my mom and younger brother and frequently visited my aunts, uncles and older cousins. We're a small but close family. I've attended diverse schools, predominantly Black schools and predominantly White schools. I love to understand differences in all people which I think has helped shape my view of the world and understand our history.
positiveblack: How do you get your message out and raise awareness about your products?
quineka.ragsdale: Through my website www.demarcusjones.com, visiting schools and by vending at different events. I also do a lot of co-op and partnerships with other writers or entrepreneurs to team up on promoting our products through advertising opportunities, vendor booths, etc. It's a great way to network with other people in business for themselves and draw motivation from the positve effort and energy.
positiveblack: Your book seems like it would be a great home schooling tool for black families. Have you considered this or are you already involved in that realm? What about school districts in general or even college level education?
quineka.ragsdale: You are very correct there. I plan to reach out to more schools this year and especially home schools, but I'm just beginning to scratch the surface in this arena. Every week I try to find more and more networking time and opportunities.
positiveblack: What projects do you have on the horizon for Demarcus or for Quineka the author?
quineka.ragsdale: Demarcus Jones is a series, but I don't know how many more books there will be. People always question me about the cliff hangers at the end of the books, but I don't know the answer either. I would love to, one day, do an adult world history book written in a fictional format from human conception to present day.
positiveblack: Where are your products available?
quineka.ragsdale: I am always online at www.demarcusjones.com and currently at Pan African Connection in Dallas and Medu Bookstore in Atlanta. I'm currently looking for more outlets to carry the book.
In my opinion, we need to support this young, talented author as her message speaks directly to our community and, more importantly, our children.
Though the Demarcus Jones series is only a few years old, it still qualifies as a rare book because there are not many like it.
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