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Shana Abé

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Barbara Keaton
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My mother, who is the light of my life, says I always wrote stories. She often relays how my stories were about characters with strange names who fought amongst each other, mostly vying for power. I have been writing since I could put pencil to paper! I was born in 1964 in Chicago, and, as a native, I loved my city and could not imagine living anywhere else. I attended Catholic schools up until the twelfth grade, but it was in grammar school, at the hands of the Oblate Sisters of Prividence, where I solidified my love and respect for written words. My maternal grandfather, the late Thomas Hill, instilled in me my passion. At the Oblate's, this little-known order of black nuns taught with an iron hand and truly believed in the future and success of black children. Outside of my mother, I owe much of who I am to my Grandfather and those incredible nuns! In 1987, I received a BA in Communications from Columbia College. After graduation, I worked as a Bus Operator for the Chicago Transit Authority for nearly 3 years. I found this period of my life as one of profound growth in that it allowed me to address and face my fear of success. I resigned in 1990 from CTA and went on to hold various professional positions, mostly in print news and public relations. Professionally, I have nearly 13 years experience in public, government, and community relations. In addition, I've had several articles and editorials published in various publications: Today's Black Woman Magazine; The Chicago Crusader; The Chicago Defender; and The Chicago Reader. My first book, All I Ask, was published by Genesis Press under its Indigo Imprint in 2000. And my second book, An Unfinished Love Affair, also published by Genesis, was released in March, 2002. Currently, I am a Government and Community Relations Officer for the Chicago Transit Authority. In May of 1999, I received my Master of Science in Journalism from Roosevelt Univerity in Chicago. I belong to several civic and professional organizations; namely the Masonic Order of the Eastern Star. In my spare time I am an avid reader, writer and bid whist player. Though I have no children of my own, I do have "babies", my niece and nephew, Stephanie and Matthew; and my Godchildren, Kenny and Lauren. I'm divorced and share my personal space with my cat, General Patton. My personal creo is: I ANSWER TO TWO - MY GOD AND MYSELF!

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Photo: Barbara Keaton
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