Morristown native and award-winning author Crystal Senter Brown is living proof that you can come home again.
Brown, who is also a professor in Boston these days, visited the Morristown-Hamblen Public Library for a poetry and book reading, to greet members of the community and to greet members of the Morrstown-Hamblen Girls Inc. chapter, a busload of whom came to the gathering.
Brown has authored the books “AJ and the Magic Kite,” “Gabby Gives Back,” “But Now I See,” “But You Have Such a Pretty Face,” “Doubledutch, “Gabby Saturday” and “The Rhythm in Blue,” for Silver Birch Press.
The Morristown-Hamblen Taskforce on Diversity was responsible for Brown’s visit.
“Life’s most personal question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Brown said.
There were various answers, including celebrating when a person helps others, being a doctor to help animals, being kind and nice, helping old people, helping if one is hurt, helping to understand and complimenting a person.
“When I starting writing books when I was little, I would come into this library and get a bag that had a book and a puppet in them,” Brown said. “You could check out that book and act that story out with that puppet!
“I wrote my first story when I was six or seven. That was my first experience with writing stories,” Brown said.
She then showed a homemade book she had put together, complete with cover art.
“I believe everyone has a book inside them,” Brown said. “Everybody has a story that can help someone else. If you think you’re not a good writer, that’s what editors are for.”
“I am so happy to be here,” Brown said. “I came home last summer, but when you usually come home, you’re not here long enough, maybe a few days, and sometimes when you come home, it’s because someone has passed away. I’m glad to be here on a happy occasion.”
Brown shared some of her poetry, as well as showing a trailer for a new film based on her book, “The Rhythm in Blue,” to be released on Amazon or Netflix platforms soon.
“My mom enrolled me in a poetry class,” Brown said. “She would load up a church van, pick up kids from all over the community, go to the basement of this church and learn about poetry. The first poem I memorized was ‘The Negro Mother’ by Langston Hughes.”
Brown ended up at Girls Inc. during her formulative years.
Three of the Girls Inc. members read from Brown’s book “Gabby Saturday.”
“I remember being that age,” Brown said. “I love being on stage and being the center of attention.I’ve never been shy. For these little girls to get up here in front of people they don’t know to read a story that is great,” she said.
“I’m used to being in front of a lot of people, whether it be as a bass guitarist, a funeral director or preacher,” Brown’s father Joseph Senter said. “On my way over here, I got nervous for my baby. I thank you all for coming out. I thank God that Crystal is on her way, that her mother and I raised her right. I thank God that she has the foundation in Christ Jesus. That means a lot.”