Author Spotlight: Saye C. Leneus

Saye Carrie was born in Far Rockaway, Queens, NY of Liberian parentage. She holds a master’s in social sciences. Saye is an author and Speaker. Her two books are Hidden Commonalities: Identifying Cultural Similarities among Africans and African Descendants and Unraveling the Story of Black/African Hair. Saye’s focus is on diversity, social justice, advocacy, African and African diaspora studies, and Black/African natural hair. Saye likes music, dancing, cooking, and reading books. She is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.

Saye Leneus, Author

“Though others may ask why hair is such a big deal for us, what they fail to realize is that the importance of our hair started with our African foremothers. Hair and hair styles were identifiers of your social status and even which ethnic group you belonged to.”

Black hair. It’s beautiful, complex, gravity-defying, and comes in so many textures. And it is policed by everyone. This dynamic author breaks down the history of Black hair, and shares some hairstories along the way.

Let’s get right to it.

1.) Tell us a little about yourself.

Saye Carrie was born in Far Rockaway, Queens, NY of Liberian parentage. She holds a master’s in social sciences. Saye is an author and speaker. Her two books are Hidden Commonalities: Identifying Cultural Similarities Among Africans and African Descendants and Unraveling the Story of Black/African Hair. Saye’s focus is on diversity, social justice, advocacy, African and African diaspora studies, and Black/African natural hair. Saye likes music, cooking, and reading books. She is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.

 2.) Tell us what your book, Unraveling the Story of Black/African Hair, is all about.

I bring Black/African hair to the forefront. Hair has played a key role in the lives of Black women and girls. Our “Crown and Glory” has direct links back to our African foremothers. I capture the hair stories of several women along with my own. The book explores the natural hair movement of this present time and its’ flaws. I also reveal how Black hair impacted the African diaspora. This book encourages all to embrace what God has blessed them with no matter what style of hair they choose.

 3.) What was the inspiration for this book?

I wanted to debunk the gaslighting, microaggression, and discrimination Black women and girls endure, in respect to their hair. I wanted to show them the historical reasoning why our hair is significant. Unraveling the Story of Black/African Hair helps Black women and girls to understand their hairstory, by embracing their natural coils, kinks, and curls. Though others may ask why hair is such a big deal for us, what they fail to realize is that the importance of our hair started with our African foremothers. Hair and hairstyles were identifiers of your social status and even which ethnic group you belonged to. Although some of us were not born in Africa or else in a lineage whose people have been out of Africa for hundreds of years, the significance of hair remains planted in our genes.

4.) What was the hardest thing about writing Unraveling the Story of Black/African Hair?

The hardest part of writing this book was having to talk about the struggle and hate I experienced with my hair. Along with discussing my experience with texturism growing up.

5.) What was one thing you learned about yourself while writing this book?

Despite what I faced with my hair; I was eager to educate myself about my hair. What products might be good for it and daily maintenance to keep it healthy. Also avoiding chemicals and not using excessive heat in my hair.

6.) What is your favorite part of this book?
Being able to capture the hairstories of the ladies who are a part of my book. While reading their stories, I felt connected to them even more because I went through a similar hair journey as most of them.

7.) Describe your book in one line.

Learning your past and present hairstory, to celebrate your “Crown” and “Glory.”

8.) Why did you choose to self-publish your book?

I published my two books with an independent publisher. I chose this route because I wanted my book to be available on major book sellers’ platforms. I also wanted to retain all rights to my books, yet I needed assistance with aspects of the publishing process such as designing, editing, and proofreading. 

9.) Where can readers buy your books?

Readers can buy purchase my book at www.saycarrie.com and major booksellers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

10.) Where can our readers find you on social media?

You can find me at Saye Carrie on Facebook, Instagram, and Fanbase.

11.) Do you have a website?

My website is www.sayecarrie.com

Saye Carrie, Author

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Audra Russell
Audra Russell

Audra Russell is a blogger, freelance writer, and published author. She holds two undergraduate degrees in journalism as well as a Master of Science degree in Education. She also completed the Wesleyan University online Creative Writing Specialization course series.

She is an avid reader and writer’s advocate. Her passion for promoting the works of up-and-coming authors inspired her to create her new podcast, Between the Reads, as well as her website, Read It Black to Me. Her debut novel, BLOOD LAND, was published on August 29, 2020, as her fiftieth birthday gift to herself. She lives in Maryland with her husband of more than 20 years, her 3 amazing children, a 12-year-old perpetual puppy, two dueling cats, and 2 chickens.