If “A Different World” had a children’s book, this would be it!
La-Donia Alford-Jefferies, a North Carolina A&T graduate, loves homecoming so much that she decided to write a children’s book about the HBCU homecoming experience, Greensboro News & Record reports.
The high school biology teacher first thought of the idea in 2015 while pregnant with her first child. She was living in Ohio and was too far away to return for homecoming. That’s when she started thinking about ways to tell her child about the experience and how she could help other young children understand the magic that is unique to Black college homecomings. She began researching books and found a lot of them about HBCUs but none specifically about homecoming.
Alford-Jeffries spoke to Greensboro News & Record about the inspiration behind the book saying, “This may be the teacher part of me, but I remember thinking I want young children to have a book with characters that look like them and characters that they can relate to in terms of what’s happening in their community.”
This past spring, she finally brought her dream to life. Now a mother of two, Jefferies decided to publish a 26 page children’s book entitled “Homecoming.” The book tells the story of two African American parents who bring their three young children to their very first homecoming. The kids visit the yard where they see the fraternity and sorority plots, they get to see the buildings where their parents took classes, enjoy a family football game, and end it all by eating fried food at the tailgate afterparty.
The high school biology teacher said that she “just wanted children across the country to have a sense of what homecoming is and why it’s important.”
Alford-Jeffries’ connection to A&T runs deep. She grew up attending preschool on the campus where her mother was a college professor, and her father was an A&T graduate. She also met her husband while attending college at the notable institution.
Since the book was released, she has already sold 1,000 copies. “This has exploded. I just did not see this coming in this time frame,” Alford-Jeffries said. She is currently thinking about writing a second book but said she hopes that parents will use her first book to talk to their kids about college.
“I just want kids to be excited about college. If homecoming is what does it, fine by me,” Alford-Jeffries said.
Visit www.thehbcuhomecomingbook.com to grab your copy!