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by Willmarine Hurst, New Orleans Tribune Contributor

Queens Have the Power!

Awarding-winning author and an Essence best seller author, Dionne Character has done it again with her new book “You Better Got You Dream.” And this one is sure to make waves in the literary world, as well. The author of “Seven Pairs of Black Shoes,” and “Wildflower: Growing from the Muck,” has come full circle and back to self with a book of poems, self-reflections, and advice to others who might not be living their best lives. 

In “You Better Got Your Dream,” Character advises women to stretch out, reach out, and branch out to bring their creative dreams to fruition. She comes raw in some of her poems and in others, she is a little gentler in her prodding. But her bottom line is to help women see themselves in a healthier, confident, creative life. 

“Empowerment comes from within,” says Character. “The more you love yourself, the better you can tap into your creative power, mentally and spiritually.” Character tells women that they are graceful and perfect, just as God made them.

Women are called “Queens” in the book. It’s Character’s way of letting women know they are the genesis of all mankind. “Should anyone not believe that we are true ‘Queens,’ perhaps they are not clear-minded enough to tap into the universe,” she writes. “Women rule the world.” Character tells women there’s no need to wait for a man to come to the rescue and that they have the power to achieve their goals. 

“We are entering boardrooms with marching bands trumpeting our causes, waving no white flags of surrender, forming sisterhoods, lifting every voice of bravery because we know we are phenomenal together,” she explains.

Ninth Ward Warrior!  Let Me Help You!

You Better Got Your Dream” looks back on Character’s childhood in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward to the grown woman who mingles with some of the Hollywood elite. 

More importantly, Character’s book is a blueprint for getting a ‘piece of the action.’ It is thought-provoking, empowering, and encouraging. It is illustrative of a path to success. It dares you to “Put on your good Bra and Fly.” It admonishes you to “Close all of your windows when you see them, [unhappy people] walking on your side of the street; for they will become the death of all of your aspirations.” It also encourages you to “Do something that you enjoy.” 

As with some of her other books, Character’s dichotomous writing style is plain and simple and complex and comforting, fierce and flattering and sharp and cutting. 

Character’s book includes several positive affirmations in “We Run the World,” “Queens on Thrones,” and her celebrated “Put on Your Good Bra and Fly.” The book also poses questions for the reader and workspace to respond and to be a creative.

Character says the book’s main message is: “Being a woman is hard, but when you tap into your uniqueness, that strength will provide the guiding course for all the ups and downs you may encounter.” Her favorite part in the book is “A real woman is not afraid of the dark…” 

This book is a great read for any woman who is searching for inner power and creativity. “These poems represent most of the things and feelings women may encounter as creatives. I wanted to give the readers real and raw lessons throughout the book,” says Character. 

In “You Better Got Your Dream,” Character offers readers a gentle reality check: “Honey, the universe is not going to show you anything until you are clear-minded enough to receive everything.” And “never let the words of others interfere with your destination.” 

Character’s blunt, bold advice can also be really raw: “If you can’t light up the room, there’s no reason to enter the mother***er; blind them with your wisdom.” 

A Firm Foundation 

Character advice is based on her lived experiences and the wisdom her grandmother passed down. When asked about her motivation for writing, “Put on Your Good Bra and Fly,” Character says, “One of the things that my grandmother taught me as a young adult was that your foundation has to be supported in order for you to succeed. ‘Put on Your Good Bra and Fly’ means sometimes you gotta fasten your bra straps as tight as they can go and no matter how uncomfortable, you can make it happen because a woman is capable of all things, no matter the adversity.”

This book helps women to recognize their innate power and encourages them to see the beauty in themselves and other women. It prompts women to unlock their uniqueness and to find their purpose in life.

Speaking directly to women, Character shares her affirmations, “Every day I will listen to a song. I will tell someone I love them. I will focus on living. Every day I will dance to the rhythm of my own wide hips.” What about you ladies? 

“You Better Got Your Dream” is scheduled to be released this month and just in time for Women History Month. 

Willmarine B. Hurst is a freelance writer in New Orleans. She can be reached at willmarine@gmail.com