Your gifts will make room for you

By Chanda Temple 

Have you ever received news so good that it eft you weak in the knees? That happened to me today after receiving a text from a friend.

Her text: “I just saw this. Very cool to see you guys on this list.” She was referring to Birmingham News photojournalist Tamika Moore and me making the “50 Black Southern Belles in Lifestyle: African American Tastemakers of the South.”  After reading  her message, I was like, “Wait! What! Really?”

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I had no idea this list existed nor did I know I was on the list. Immediately, I opened the link my friend sent. As I surveyed the list to look for my name, I got nervous.  My heart started to beat faster. My knees got weaker. I couldn’t concentrate.

I scrolled past the names on the list, noticing that four of my Birmingham friends were on it. And there, in black and white, we were cited as women known to inspire in various walks of life. I couldn’t believe me, a person passionate about the weight of words, was highlighted.

The writer cited my work as a journalist and as a public relations professional, as well as being the coauthor of the award-winning “Birmingham’s Best Bites” cookbook, released in 2012 and the new “Magic City Cravings” cookbook, released in 2017. I did both projects for charity with Food Network Star Martie Duncan.

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The writer also cited the “You Had Me at Hello” marriage column I started for The Birmingham Times. It looks at unique love stories in Birmingham.

It’s through projects like the books and the column that I get to tell people’s stories because good stories.  I’m so honored that Black Southern Belle recognized me for my  love of storytelling and connecting with people.

If making this list has taught me anything, it’s that your gifts will make room for you. No matter what you are doing now, if you have a passion that pulls at you day and night, you should do everything possible to pursue it. Your dreams won’t work unless you do.

Chanda Temple is a veteran reporter living in Birmingham, Ala. She blogs at Follow her on Twitter at @chandatemple and on Instagram at @chandatemple.

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