The word odyssey refers to a journey or a trip. An odyssey can be either a literal or figurative journey. It is always a writer’s goal to take his or her audience on a journey. This book is the second edition of Odyssey which is a collection of Meredith Coleman McGee’s writings from 1994 to 2018. The book includes poems, speeches, articles, and a leadership study comparing the leadership styles of Ray Kroc (McDonald’s), Sam Walton (Walmart), and Dave Thomas (Wendy's) with 12 business leaders from the southern United States.
I have known Meredith Coleman McGee for over 10 years; our mothers are long-time friends. Meredith Coleman McGee is a writer, publisher, acquisition editor, and community activist promoting literacy and writing in her community. Meredith is the embodiment of the Kwanzaa principles: Kujichagulia, self-determination; and Kuumba, creativity. She defines herself and as a publisher she helps others define, defend, and develop themselves. Her activism is all about leaving her community better than she found it. She is committed to not only being a creative force herself but also helps others harness their creative energies. She is an active member and supporter of our book club, SANKOFA Reading Group.
Odyssey is inspired in part by her rich family legacy bestowed to her by her maternal great-grandmother, Roxie Hickman Patterson, her maternal uncle, James Meredith (the first African American to attend the University of Mississippi), and her mother, Hazel Meredith Coleman Hall.
Odyssey’s poetry is based on family experiences, personal pain, and African American history. The listener learns about trials and accomplishments of Meredith Coleman McGee’s extended family, her ancestors, her parents, her sister, her nieces, and historical figures such as Congressman John Roy Lynch.
In addition to poetry, Odyssey contains speeches and articles written by Meredith Coleman McGee. The speeches and articles reflect Meredith Coleman McGee’s community activism. Her commitment to promoting literacy is reflected in her campaign to form a group to support the Richard Wright Public Library in Jackson, Mississippi. Most of her articles were originally published in the Jackson Advocate newspaper.
"Odyssey introduces the reader to a writer, activist, poet, publisher, and family member who is changing her community and making it better. The second edition of Odyssey expands on the work of the original volume. The reader will be changed and inspired by this book." (Angela D. Stewart, Founder/President, SANKOFA Reading Group)