Island author recalls ghetto life in new memoir

Bainbridge Island author Brenda Fantroy-Johnson will visit Eagle Harbor Book Company to read from and discuss her new memoir “Imagine Me” at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 8.

Wanting regular people who struggle to have hope, Fantroy-Johnson wrote her memoir to show it is possible to get out from under hardships, she said.

“That there is hope, there is a way out,” the author said. “I am living proof that it’s possible. Education is the key.”

The memoir gives a detailed accounting of a young black girl’s journey growing up in the ghetto in Detroit in the early 1960s. “Imagine Me” shows how a self-described good girl copes with childhood loss and abandonment. A coming-of-age story set during the Civil Rights Movement, the book illustrates Fantroy-Johnson developing and discovering her identity and “refusing to let herself quit.”

“This is a story of strength and commitment to fulfill her mother’s directive, proving to herself — even through domestic violence, drugs, and alcohol abuse — that faith can get you out and enough faith can overcome fear,” Fantroy-Johnson said.

Fantroy-Johnson grew up in Detroit. She graduated with distinction from Davenport University with a bachelor of arts degree in computer science and went on to obtain a master’s in business administration from Spring Arbor University. She is a certified information security professional and holds many other industry certifications.

An avid hiker, she has also climbed Mount Rainier, hiked to Mount Everest Base Camp and walked the Northern Camino of Spain.

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