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Daily Inspiration: Meet Tacardra Rountree

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tacardra Rountree.  

Hi Tacardra, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My journey as an author and poet started in elementary school. This is where my love for poetry began. I was exposed to inspirational poems such as “Be the Best of Whatever You Are” by Douglas Malloch and “If” by Rudyard Kipling. I can even recall having to recite the poem “If” in the fourth grade for an assignment. I am grateful that my teachers introduced me to poems that still inspire me today. As an educator, I have used some of these same poems to inspire my students. 

In the eleventh grade, I was given an assignment in my literature class to write a poem about myself beginning with “I Am.” I had been reading many of the works by Dr. Maya Angleou and thought, if I can be phenomenal, surely, I can be a Queen. My poem started with the words, “I Am an African Queen.” This poem was published in the Fall 1996 Edition of Treasured Poems of America. I also included the poem in my first book, Writings from Down Through the Years. Later, I decided to turn this poem into a children’s book with the title, Hello Queen. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I enjoy reading my books at schools, libraries, and community events. The pandemic greatly impacted the opportunity to do in-person events. However, this allowed me to have an even greater reach through virtual platforms. I have been able to be a part of virtual book clubs and submit videos to libraries of myself reading my book. This has allowed me to reach audiences at a state and national level. What seemed like an obstacle, actually turned into an opportunity. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am an author, inspirational speaker, and educator. I am the author of two books, Writings from Down Through the Years and Hello Queen. Writings From Down Through the Years is a compilation of inspirational poetry and readings. I seek to motivate, inspire, and honor heritage through various expressions of poetry. Hello, Queen is my second book and first children’s picture book. It is illustrated by Audrey “Sala Adenike” Jeter- Allen. Hello, Queen is a poetic portrayal of what a Queen represents – beauty, intelligence, determination, and more. It is an affirmation and reminder that there is a Queen in each of us regardless of your age or profession. Through beautiful paintings and graphic illustrations, readers are able to learn about African culture. I want young girls and women to boldly say, “I am a Queen!” 

I specialize in encouraging and inspiring others with my heartfelt words. I believe that everyone has a story. I hope that my experiences will encourage others to share their own stories. 

I am most proud of the opportunity to be a commencement speaker for an Adult Education Graduation Ceremony. Graduation is an important milestone in someone’s life. It was truly an honor for me provide words of inspiration to the graduates as they embarked upon a new journey. 

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I think that it is important to get out of your comfort zone and take risks. You will never know the extent of your abilities until you do so. Risk-taking provides you with opportunities of growth and ways to challenge yourself. 

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Image Credits

Jon J Photography

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