QuickQuote #1 – My Inner Life

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Anita D Russell Introducing “Laney Book Quick Quotes”

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“I draw you into my journey from the dynamics of an inner life strife with conflict and turmoil to the dynamics of an inner life of peace and contentment with myself and with God. Sometimes the words roar across the page like the sound of a mighty river; other times they flow like the sound of a babbling brook. Sometimes the words flow forward in time and sometimes backward.

Hoping my words will touch your heart, I leave you with these words from a person who has influenced my life from afar, the late and great Maya Angelou: “The idea is to write so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.”
Anita D Russell

QuickQuote #2 – Words from a Warrior Mother


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“Just because a person has cancer, to me that’s not a death sentence. No matter how many people give up on you, don’t give up on yourself.  They might not even fight it. In 1986 when I had breast cancer, it was like it was a journey. I didn’t even know anybody who ever had breast cancer. Now here I am. I know this cancer wants to kill me.  I don’t know if it will or if it won’t. But I made my peace with God and I’m not afraid to die. I just wanna see Laney’s house. And I wanna see Maxine. And Daddy. Just like I wasn’t afraid of no cancer, I’m not afraid to die, either.”
Anita D Russell

QuickQuote #3 – Letter to My Father

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When I got connected to Nanny and met her for the first time at the Greyhound bus station in Philadelphia, the first words she spoke to me seeped deeply into my soul and took root: You look just like your father. Getting to know Nanny and listening to her tell stories about you enabled me to get to know you, at least vicariously. It was then I learned that your nickname was Butch. I suppose I’ll never fully understand why you never contacted me, even before you left for good or after you knew I lived near Nanny. (I always knew when you were at that hotel.) But it’s okay; it was a long time ago, and I’m sure you had your reasons. An equally long time ago I wondered if there would come a day when I would forget all about you; that day never came. 
Anita D Russell

QuickQuote #4 – Scary Tenant


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“One night, when she turned the key in the lock and opened the door, there he was, lying right across the stairs, blocking her ascension. He was drunk, speaking inaudibly, and most peculiarly, there was a shiny penny sticking out of one ear. She stopped breathing, stood motionless, and initially could not speak, her heart racing in her chest.

She did not want to go past him alone in that hallway and she couldn’t leave because it was late and she needed to be in the house. So the words starting in her mind, finally reached her mouth and she screamed out, “Mommy, Mommy”, so her mother would know she was at the bottom of the stairs. Her mother opened the apartment door and came out into the hallway to see what was going on. Seeing Scary Tenant lying on the stairs, her mom told her to hurry and get up the stairs. As she bolted up the stairs, she prayed again—Please do not let him touch me.” —Anita D Russell

QuickQuote #5 – Mr Pie Man


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“Mr. Pie Man, deemed the Oldest Man in Homestead, owned a small store right on Dixon Street. Mr Pie Man just may have been the one to teach sailors how to cuss because it didn’t matter if he was talking to an adult or a kid, they would eventually get cussed out. He was also know for having an uncanny ability to throw bricks around the corner—though admittedly, Nita never actually saw this feat.” —Anita D Russell

QuickQuote #6 – Stories


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“These opportunities opened up my ability to invest in the growth and development of people through writing. I believe God created people not just to fulfill His purpose, but also for them to discover and nurture the divine seeds planted within. My writing reflects a belief in the power of stories as a means of self-discovery, teaching and learning, and self-liberation. Each person’s life is an extraordinary collection of stories with the potential to have an empowering impact on others. You can teach, learn, love, motivate, encourage, and inspire, just by sharing your story.” —Anita D Russell

QuickQuote #7 – Being Black


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“For Little Girl this was a time of quiet, tremendously deep learning about the world and people—in the midst of it all, her character and, subsequently, a new personhood was being molded and developed. She was spending less and less time in the dark space beneath the spiral staircase and feeling more and more visible to people around her. She was unconsciously, way in the back of her mind, beginning to fathom the notion that there was something decidedly different about being Black in America.”
Anita D Russell

QuickQuote #8 – House Fire


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“The air was nauseatingly thick with the smell of smoke. And Little Girl’s mind was shrouded in sadness as the black space beneath the spiral staircase became her home once again.”
Anita D Russell

QuickQuote #9 – Home Alone


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“Children have a funny way of associating life events with what they assumed to be concrete truths about life, things that often pave the way for specific behaviors that follow them into adulthood. Little Girl formed the idea in her mind that leaving small children at home alon
e would always result in a house fire. As an adult with her own small children, she never left them at home alone, not even just to run to the store.” —Anita D Russell

QuickQuote #10 – Liberation


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“This book is a testament to the presence of God in my life, over the entire course of my life—growing, developing and maturing from a little girl to an adolescent, to a young adult, to a grown woman, and finally to the liberated woman I believe I am today.

Maya Angelo once said, “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” As I enter my sixth decade of living, I choose not to be reduced by the events of life while also choosing not to fear the events of life. God is now the boss of my life and this book chronicles my journey of awakening.” —Anita D Russell