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About Author

Amakiasu's Background


Amakiasu grew up in the burgeoning, yet small town of Pontiac, Michigan, then an automotive hub like so many cities near Detroit. Pontiac  was a city of new hope and fresh horizons for Black professionals who could actually participate in the life of the city and establish themselves without undue harassment (most of the time). It was a place of opportunity. Many of the schools were integrated, so children, black and white played and went to school together, in a time when the racial and social climate in America was volatile. 

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Born Barbara Turpin, Amakiasu was deeply disturbed by the unrest taking place throughout the country and was quietly determined to be friendly and loving toward all people. She was taught by her parents that any hierarchy existing within the human race was imposed and not in the least bit real. Thus, she extended herself to classmates from all backgrounds, which was not entirely popular and for which she often had to defend herself or make tough decisions about those with whom she would play or spend time.


When she reached highschool, things were beginning to settle; the race riots had cooled, the vietnam war had ended and the public was becoming accustomed to a new era of  representation and engagement by people of color.

Going to college was not even a question in Amakiasu’s household; the question was, which one? Amakiasu chose Occidental College in California but only remained there for a year and a half, transferring to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she was immersed in the African American cultural experience.


Amakiasu emerged from college with much improved writing skills and a love for the craft that was very new to her. She also dug deep into her interest in spirituality and developed an affinity for Eastern spiritual practices and schools of thought. She emerged with the desire to lift and inspire children, having discovered that a spark ignited within her whenever she engaged with young people, thus a teacher was born.

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Her career spanned the gamut from homeschooling to public and private school settings. When diverging from conventional educational settings, Amakiasu still found herself teaching in some form or another……in the Georgia Aquarium’s education department, at summer camp programs and she even designed a hands-on, sustainable model making project for children called “An Eco-hood Does Good!” Her love for nature led her to finish her career as a garden educator, where the outdoor classroom served as her primary domain. This brought Amakiasu great joy.


Amakiasu has several writing projects clamoring for her attention, including a few children’s books, a collection of poetry and other wild imaginings, both fiction and non-fiction.

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