Reader's Spotlight: Mona Richardson

Dyanne: I love interviewing others because you learn so much about them. Mona Richardson has led such an interesting life. We did a phone interview but I decided to let Mona just talk to you instead. If she doesnít cover all the things I asked her, well then, Iíll put it in at the end. So Ms. Mona, The floor is yours.

MonaMona:  I have no idea what to say. I read non fiction and black and multicultural romances. The only fiction writer I will read that is not a romance writer is John Grisham.  I love romances where different cultures are involved that is why I love 'Lets Get It On;'.  Also love it when different countries are described in the plots.  I wish other writers would write stories based in other countries where an American woman is traveling to.

I love NYC, travel, New Orleans and art not sure of the order other than loving NYC 1st.  I feel that life is to live and enjoy.  I also feel no justice no peace so one has to agitate for justice for all. For me no one is above the law. 

My cat likes to sleep on top of the door but each time she falls off she lands on her feet.

My mom told me when I was about 2 years old I would lay in my uncle's arms (he was a merchant seaman) while he would tell the family about the places he had seen.  She said that I would be quiet and just watch his face. He said that some places the black seaman could not get off and some places white seaman could not get off the ship.

I am my family's genealogist and I actually found 1 slave owner-confirmed he reported 2 slave births naming my great great grandmother as their mother.  Another my great great grandmother was a gift when the daughter married (not confirmed but she had the wife’s maiden name her children the slave owners surname in 1870 right after slavery they lived next to each other).  I actually have a document that one bride had her husband   sign a paper stating that if they broke up  she would keep her slaves (it was common then when a woman married she would bring a slave to her new home).  My mom told me the surname of one slave owner but there are too many with that last name so I have not been able to pin point exactly who it is. 

Dyanne I went to a save the environment event and tried these chips they are really really good the barbecue ones I ordered a case.  Look at the fat not too high even carb not too bad.

I love to learn, I love doing things, that is why I love NYC there is always something to do many times for free or very low cost.  I don't have cable TV because I don’t think I need it.  I can't cook I call friends and family when I need help making something.  But I do like to eat.

In the beginning my  passion was travel now it is to improve my world. I love the internet because you can reach so many people in a few seconds so we are not dependent upon the media for information (too many times they leave pertinent information out) and we can communicate with others fast.  If anyone wants any emails on actions, political stuff one would not normally hear about please drop me a line and I will send you emails on such.

I have traveled or visited between 50-60 countries have not sat down and actually counted but have all my old passports so I can always go back and count. 

My favorite country in Africa is Sudan.  I was in Athens Greece saw some black guys (I had been out of the US for a few years and had seen very few black Americans) and assumed they were black Americans. I asked where they were from in the US they said we are not Americans  we are from Sudan (to me the Sudanese from the 'Arab North' out of all the African countries I have been to look the most like black Americans).  I said, “really, I am going to Sudan give me your address and I will go to your home (hey I have moxie  I'm a New Yorker rofl) I did and stayed with them for almost 6 months.

I remember I was someplace I forget where and a gentleman heard me talk and he asked me if I was American I said yes.  He said he was shocked because he did not think American Blacks could afford to travel because he thought all black people lived in poverty.  I asked him why and we had a discussion on what the media portrayed on what was happening to black people in the US and what was the truth. This was before the internet.

Australia to me was the most racist country I have visited though not overtly.  I went on a tour of Sydney and the tour guide kept using the N word.  Talked to friends who had been and they told me the same thing.  You go to stores and you see blacks only cleaning, no sales people in the stores.  I spent a day in the black area and talked to folks and found out about their life it is just like the US.  The black area was close to downtown just like Harlem(NYC) and before the Olympics the powers that be started tearing down this area so people had to move. Read Roberta Sykes Snake  trilogy books.

I do not like to shop (would rather someone beat me except going to a book store) but Shopping is heavenly in Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia

Dyanne I wish you had asked me what do I want to be remembered for and it would be that I gave a F#$k  and tried to make a difference (hey I am from New York City and there are 30 plus different ways to use the F word)

If I could have changed things I would have been born earlier so that I could have been involved in the Civil Rights movement including being a Black Panther.

I have collected documents on blacks in the US and the Diaspora since 1987.  My goal is to have a document from every country a black person was enslaved in.  My favorite document is a female Quaker protesting the treatment of a slave.  My most funny one is a Black revolutionary soldier being garnished (all the deductions are on the back of his pay stub).  I have been an art dealer since 1983 soon to become a hostel owner so I can combine most of my loves in one place. Email:

Dyanne:  Now you know why I did Mona’s interview in this manner.  Thanks Mona, fantastic job.  The documents posted are just a few that Mona has picked up through the years.  The woman is so talented you just wouldn’t believe it. Anyone else wants to drop me a line go ahead.

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