ST. PETERSBURG —“The Beauty of Being A Black Woman,” Michelle Hartzog’s debut book, is the story of her journey of introspection and growth that she wants to share with her readers.
The book details how she began to display positivity and motivation towards herself, family and the community. Hartzog strived to give a more realistic and positive view of a black family as opposed to media stereotypes.
“The negative literature and information about black families is not my reality,” she stated.
In “The Beauty of Being a Black Woman,” Hartzog examines her transformational growth. Admitting that she used to be a very negative person, she began to project a more positive attitude towards her entire family and now encourages them to celebrate each other’s successes.
She is an advocate of having better mental health options in the black community and removing that stigma. She received beneficial counseling and is a firm believer in seeking outside therapy to address emotional issues.
Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., she graduated from Troy State University with a master’s degree in management services. She married her college sweetheart, Kevin, 27 years ago and they are the proud parents of Kevin, Jr., who recently obtained a master’s degree in nursing and daughter Shamarri, who is in the banking industry.
Hartzog believes visualizing one’s goals will help obtain them. She imagined a remarkable, abundant life with a husband who adored her, and she has just that.
“My choices in life have made it possible to realize many dreams. I believe that one has to be intentional when pursuing their goals. Despite obstacles, one has the power and ability to overcome challenges by persevering with diligence and a strong determination.”
“The Beauty of Being a Black Woman” explains how this was accomplished and ways her readers can achieve the same outcomes.
She was motivated to write by examining her life experiences, looking at her circumstances and analyzing them. The book’s eight chapters include titles such as “Purpose of Life: “You are the Captain of Your Ship, You are the Master of your Faith” and Self-Love: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Hartzog feels that the book is transformative for any woman who finds herself at a crossroad.
“Honestly, I believe that this book is edifying to the soul,” she said.
The first time author is excited about her first self-published book, and her advice to other budding writers is to “write it; go for it.” She also advises new writers to understand their target audience and to always keep good records and receipts.
“I’m still here, and life is really good,” said Hartzog. “Whatever obstacles you’re facing, don’t give up. Dream big; when that’s accomplished, dream bigger.”