~ Gemification ~
“You don’t look like you come from the hood,” exclaims the Business Executive at a snazzy networking event.
Dream holds her head high and calmly replies, “The hood doesn’t have a ‘look,’ it’s merely a location. A gem can indeed grow in Brownsville.”
In Dream Jordan’s world, this exchange has taken place too many times. But the above response is how you “Gemify.” Dream’s ultimate goal is to remove all labels of shame unfairly placed on less than perfect backgrounds. In 2018, she introduced the term, “Gem-ification” to the English Lexicon. No, it’s not official. She’s counting on you - dear reader - to make it official. To literally spread the word.
Gem-ification describes the process of moving out deteriorated self-images and moving in feelings of pride and power. It is Dream’s hope to calibrate a global conversation that includes what’s good in every hood. Yes, there’s hardships, but what about the sense of heart, soul and community? Hardworking professionals live in the hood too, but are rarely portrayed by the media and former residents who manage to “escape.”
Dream vividly recounts meeting a young professional hailing from London who grew up in the “Estates.” At first, Dream thought, how fancy! But she was soberly corrected by him. The “Estates” are equivalent to the “Projects.” Perception is reality. Dream couldn’t believe that this studious, successful man still carried a hint of shame owing to his background.
In the past, Dream also held her head in shame at the stigma of her surroundings. But now, she’s unleashing on ‘em - literary style. Letting people who question her pedigree know that success can come from all backgrounds, and that the attitude of, “Making it out the hood,” is what lets “Gentrification” in. Dream may now live in Manhattan, but she stays true to her borough of origin, returning whenever possible, and in return, children learn that you can be relentlessly proud of your beginnings in spite of the stereotypical narrative perpetuated by many - corrected by few.
The heart of Dream Jordan’s work beats for Brooklyn - in particular, Bed-Stuy where her parents were born, and Brownsville, where she spent her formative years. “Kate” is Dream’s Brooklyn baby, a rare gem living within a brilliant setting called, LOVE ME OR MISS ME.
With the reprint of this important work, Kate’s voice is getting a second chance to be heard. And Dream Jordan is getting a second chance to pursue her writing life.* Dream admits that she was just about to give up on her career as a YA writer when her Angels at St. Martin’s Press came calling.
This is a story of second chances. A rare opportunity for a writer to follow her true passion, and a worthy work of art to be placed back on the shelves. Dream profusely thanks the family, friends and colleagues who believed in her talent, even when she did not.
To “Gemify” is to defy. Or in Kate’s own words, “Think I will fail? Then watch me succeed.”
Thank you for stopping by!