It was, for the most part, a heartbreaking occurrence that essentially had come back to hunt Qshebra Taylor Dickerson all too often, probably as much as it should have.
Time and again, during what seemingly was a mostly gruesome, yet disturbing upbringing, Dickerson struggled to connect with her worth, struggled to discover and embrace the divine purpose for which God had created her.
Raised in the heart of North Memphis, in the now-defunct Hurt Village Projects along with her mother and four younger sisters, Dickerson, during a recent exclusive interview with longtime journalist Andre Johnson, assessed in detail her stormy upbringing the best way she knew how.
By and large, it wasn’t what many of us would have imagined from a progressive vibrant, thriving, attractive woman of color whom, today, appears as if she’s living life like it is golden.
“I was raised in a single parent home,” Dickerson explained. “I was the only child who didn’t know her dad. The last time I saw my dad was at the age of seven. My mom never talked about my dad unless someone else mentioned it. I believe her intentions were good as my protector, but eventually it was harmful as a little girl growing up without my dad.”
So disastrous, in fact, that Dickerson admittedly was tortured and attacked and violated time and again, trends that altered the overall landscape of her life unlike never before.
“Because I didn’t know the difference between love and lust, I continued to fall into diver’s temptation with a disbelief of stability,” Dickerson said. “My experience with this older guy allowed me to see that I was seeking my dad’s attention.”
Attention is what she surely got. But it wasn’t the kind that atoned for the absenteeism of her father in any shape of form.
In a rather bizarre sequence of events, Dickerson recalled being molested by an older cousin, sexually assaulted by an uncle, raped in the back of a school, and domestically assaulted and raped at just eight years of age by a neighborhood friend of the family. Attempts to expose her attackers were unsuccessful because, according to her, “There were times I tried to tell someone, but no one listened.”
Decades removed from her mostly tumultuous upbringing in arguably one of Memphis’ poverty-stricken, crime-infested neighborhoods, Dickerson apparently has adopted a newfound disposition on life while residing in Atlanta, all while she continues to evolve as the godly wife and mother God has equipped her to become.
Life, as she knows it today, is, in fact, golden.
“My most defining moment was when I decided to take a new path on life and turn my entire life over to a Savior who loved me enough to accept me as I was,” Dickerson explained. “The feeling was breath-taking knowing I was wanted and cared for. This moment was a reminder of recognizing when I turned from one thing — the old me — and turned to something different — the new me.”
To her credit, regardless of the plethora of hardships, trials and tribulations, letdowns and betrayals, Dickerson deemed it necessary to share her rise to success in a rather intriguing, life-changing book.
Having recently released “T.R.U.E. Shades of H.I.M.” Dickerson’s debut book discussed mostly life’s journey, accompanied by the provocative theme, from Pain to Purpose. By all accounts this book is geared largely on a woman who years ago was born in what apparently was a broken, dysfunctional home the home only to be driven into the world, one that was mired by constant hurt in the church, one that prompted her to pose the thought-provoking question: “How do you find a safe haven?”
Moreover, “T.R.U.E. Shades of H.I.M.,” is a story line of a single mother with five children who grew up in the Hurt Village Projects inner city Memphis.
“She took what could have broken her and choose to build a legacy to love and forgive,” said Dickerson, providing additional details of her book. “The author’s decision allows her to be F.R.E.E. from all that once held her in mental bondage. A survivor of rape, domestic violence, mental, sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse has chosen to live her life’s story so that many others can see that God is real and there is life after death in the physical.”
As Dickerson explained, it won’t take long for readers of “T.R.U.E. Shades of H.I.M.” to discover that her book is comprised of an assortment of acronyms as her unique way of detailing causes and effects of her sometime unfavorable circumstances and situations.
“True is an acronym for True-Real-Underlined-Effect,” Dickerson explained. “Most of the time, we focus on what’s on the surface when what we are really witnessing is the end result from a root cause. The Shades are different seasons in life, from being blind to reality and finally seeing the light to the real true shades of the truth. Him is for a man or a woman, which stands for Hands In Molestation, Hindrances In Ministry, Heads In Manipulation (just to name a few). All of these are areas I have encountered at some point in my life.
“It shares about the journey of the R.E.A.L. to the FA.K.E. HIM, to the W.A.N.N.A. B.E. H.I.M. to the R.I.G.H.T. and W.R.O.N.G. H.I.M.,” Dickerson continued. A gumbo book of prayers, poetry, wise thoughts, and motivation in understanding how everything in your life will work together for your good. It will help birth out your purpose by giving you direction and instructions to your life’s destiny. It’s never too late to make a difference.”
With God, her Helper leading the way, many whom have witnessed Dickerson grow up from a youngster who had seemingly lost her identity when she was too young to remember to an accomplished author who is steadfastly changing generations — one life at a time — can greatly attest that she’s undoubtedly making a difference.
A monumental difference, mind you.
When asked who inspired her to write her latest book, Dickerson, who’s currently working on a second book, said, “It’s not who, but what inspired me. The reason I say that is because I didn’t think it was possible for me to be able to accomplish anything as such. I knew I had a story but I was fearful of telling it. After assessing my life from the moment of my right now and where I desired to be. I realized there was some work to be done on myself. I’ve always been creative however, I was afraid to talk about me or my life without being judged.”
Judge no more.
Dickerson is a proven, relentless survivor and, unlike never before, she’s sharing her life-changing story to those who need to hear — and read it — the most.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.