#QuickQuote Synopsis


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.

With liberation comes freedom and, like Nina Simone, I believe freedom is the absence of fear. The abolition of fear in my life has been a long time coming, over nearly six decades—from the trauma and fear I experienced much too young in life, from the fear I overcame in order to relinquish feelings of inadequacy and the belief that I was never quite good or smart enough, from the fear of greatness that had me playing way too small, from the fear that I would go through my entire life and never stand in the same room with my father, and, most decidedly, from the fear of giving God total and complete control over my life.

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.

#QuickQuote – 2016 Dec 5

Laney Book Project

“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 Zepol 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

I grew up in an apartment building that had lots of very different, colorful characters, most nice, one in particular, not so nice.

#QuickQuote – 2016 Nov 20

Laney Book Project

“Did you know that soft voice whispering inside of you, saying you’re supposed to be doing something else, is the seed of a dream, waiting to be nurtured and fulfilled?” —Anita D Russell


#QuickQuote – 2016 Dec 02

Laney Book Project

“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

Writing this book is bringing back so many memories. Please pray for me as I dig deeper. I am so grateful for all my family and friends scattered all around Pittsburgh and beyond, especially those from Homestead.

#QuickQuote – 2016 Nov 21

Laney Book Project

“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 – 2016 Nov 30

Laney Book Project

“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 alone 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

Working on this book is a huge challenge for me. Many thanks to DrShirley M Gaines for her amazing book, In Your Journey Lies Your Awakening, that gave me the courage to meet myself again.