Evelyn C. Fortson

African American Author of Women's Fiction


Every parent wants their children to do better and have more than they did. Some of us shower our children with elaborate gifts, big parties, expensive clothes, and accessories. Children of the working class walk around like they were born with a silver spoon in their mouths. But what happens when our children grow up expecting a certain level of living and giving that you can no longer afford to give?

My parents worked hard to provide for their children. We would have been considered the working poor, but I wouldn’t call us poor. My mother made our clothes when we were in elementary school and my father worked two jobs. They fed and clothed six kids, added on two rooms on their house and maintained two cars. Sometimes we ate breakfast for dinner and my mom would send us to the neighborhood store with bottles to redeem money to buy bread, but we never went to bed hungry.

We had chores to do after school and on Saturdays. We did not receive an allowance we worked as a family unit. When we were old enough to help our dad on his second job, (cleaning buildings) my sibling and I would go to work with him at night. During the summer I would help my mom clean other people’s houses.

Often times children today don’t see the struggles of the parents. They become self-indulgent materialistic and self-centered people that treat people that have less than they do poorly. Material things become a status symbol that they are willing to do anything to obtain and keep.

Teaching our kids how to save, set goals and survive during hard times is a skill that they will never outgrow. Teaching them to be an individual instead of trying to be like everyone else will make them better people.

Parenting isn’t easy and we all have made mistakes. My only advise is to do the best you can and give/teach you kids things that won’t lose its value.

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Some of us are struck in the past because of mistakes made and some of us can’t fully enjoy life now because nothing compares to what they had.

Coming of age in the eighty’s was a wild ride, and some of us tried everything we could get our hands on. In the words of Rick James, “Cocaine is a powerful drug.” We were reckless and some of us paid a heavy price. I know that it was by the grace of God that I did not suffer too greatly from the consequences of irresponsible choices. I saw beautiful young men and women destroyed by drug addictions. I saw dreams casted aside because of mistakes made.

In my second book, Finally Doing Me! Phoebe became addicted to crack cocaine with her boyfriend Tyrone. Phoebe became struck in the past afraid to move forward because of mistakes made and events of the past. Reading how Phoebe wasted so much of her life struck in the past, unable to forgive herself will hopefully allow others to forgive themselves.

In my first book, Bittersweet, Eloise could never fully enjoy the life that she had because of the past. Eloise experienced something that all girls dream of. She falls in love with the man of her dreams, and he becomes the love of her life. After years of heartbreak Eloise is able to appreciate the past for what it was and allows herself to move forward and live her life.

We all have a past and have made mistakes. We all have loved someone, and probably lost someone that we loved. Some of us may feel that our best days were in the past. Whatever the case may be, we can not become struck in the past. We have to forgive ourselves and learn the lessons that will allow us to make better choices in the future. We have to cherish the past and know that nothing can stay the same. Changes in life is inevitable, change can be hard and even scary. But change is necessary to keep moving forward in life. Change keep life fresh and exciting if you embrace it.

As I get older and weather the storms in my life, I keep telling myself that getting old is not for the faint of heart, and I make myself find something beautiful in each day. I am thankful that God keeps moving me forward even when I’m afraid.

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When you were just starting out on your independent life. The life that you would have under your own roof. Could you have imagined that you would have gone through so much and still be standing. Sometimes when I look back over my life, I wonder how I got here.

The first part of my life was good. I wore homemade dresses, ate spam sandwiches, but yet I didn’t know that my family would have been considered poor or lower income. There was nothing poor about my childhood. My early years were full of laughter, people, music, fights, loud characters, and loving parents. My parents shared their home with others even though they had six mouths to feed. People and sometimes families stayed with us until they could get a job and find a place of their own.

My life was pretty easy, even when I left home and paid my own way. The life lessons that I learned were hard from a young woman’s perspective. But they were nothing compared to what I would endure in my latter years.

Sometimes I sit down and look back on the things that I have been through. The things that could have made me give up. The things that could have destroyed me and I thank God for his grace and mercy.

When I graduated from high school, I had no idea who or what I wanted to be. So, I did the practical thing and worked 40 years at Los Angeles Superior Court. It wasn’t always easy, and it wasn’t always hard. I am thankful for the opportunities that job afforded me. I was able to support myself and my son. But it wasn’t until after I retired that I found myself. In my sixties I have become a writer of African American Women’s Fiction. So, the things that I went through, and things that I saw other women experience have all worked together to allow me to find myself. I can not tell you how cathartic it is for me to write these blogs and books about the African American Women’s quest for love, joy, peace, and the answers to who she is, and how she came to be in the place that she finds herself.

My books examine the complexities of women’s lives as they go about living their lives. I hope that you are entertained by my work, and I hope you will find something of value in it.

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