Featuring Rita Roberts-Turner


My grandmothers in particular saw much more than a Black girl descended from slaves, sharecroppers and domestics. They saw the birth of a new generation of African American womanhood. They saw a generation filled with endless possibilities.
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About Rita

Rita Roberts-Turner is a former trial lawyer and served as the first African American female chief of staff for the Nashville and Davidson County Mayor’s Office. She currently serves in executive leadership in the public transit industry and recently published her first novel, God’s Daughters and Their Almost Happily Ever Afters.

We had the opportunity to interview author Rita Roberts-Turner, whose essay “When Life Is a Crystal Stair” appears in All the Women in My Family Sing. This is what we learned…

What inspired you to write your essay for this anthology?

I started out wanting to write something that acknowledged, honored, and thanked my grandmothers.

What is one of the most memorable challenges you have experienced as a woman of color in the twenty-first century?

Being in a courtroom and having to prove my competence while others were considered competent until proven otherwise.

What have your experiences been in leadership as a woman of color?

I have been blessed to be surrounded by men and women of all ages and races who respect my opinions and leadership. As a younger woman in leadership there were times I was reluctant to share my opinion, particularly a differing opinion, with my more seasoned male counterparts. I had to grow and realize that if others believed in me enough to invite me to the table, I should trust that I did in fact have something of value to say.  

What do you most hope readers will take away from reading this book? 

That even with all of our differences, we are a part of a universal sisterhood and humanity, which gives us strength to endure and thrive.