Starkishia: Estrella is a memoir about child abandonment, child abuse, dysfunctional teen parenting practices, and how a young woman came to terms with her past, and discovered new beginnings. This is Starkishia’s debut work.
Starkishia is the co-author of Mary’s Story & Song, a memoir; and a contributing writing of My A to G Activity Book, and My 1 to 5 Activity Book (preschool prep).
*** Publication date: Sunday, May 25, 2014 ***
“An appalling childhood is without a doubt difficult to overcome, but survival is achievable for a child with a mighty will, who chooses to conquer his/her demons.”
Meredith Coleman McGee
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https://www.amazon.com/dp/1494814323 trade paperback $10.49
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http://www.blogtalkradio.com/livelovelaugh/2014/06/17/tuesday-talk-with-dr-meredith-starkisha-rountree-and-aimmee-kodachian Listen to Starkishia’s Live Love Laugh Radio Interview
Press PLAY to hear Starkishia’s interview with Dr. Henderson
Meredith Etc Press release Starkishia: Estrella
“We hear a lot about the undocumented Immigrants and the Black underclass. Yet, most of us understand little about both. In order to understand both issues, read this book.”
James Meredith, the first Black graduate from Ole Miss, Three Years in Mississippi, A Mission from God: A Memoir and Challenge for America….
“Starkishia Estrella is her name. And while Estrella means star in Spanish….the light Starkishia builds from her life’s story feels more like a lighthouse…built on crushed rock hardened by the cement of survival. Star’s lighthouse is as much a beacon of hope that her lost children will find her as it is a light for others to avoid the lethal rocks of selfhatred and revenge. In the end it is the graces of forgiveness that earn Starkishia her passage to new beginnings. And her path to forgiveness makes the reader, no matter their background, better for entering this amazing woman’s life.”
Maria Varela, Writer, Photographer and Educator
“Consider navigating life down a spiraling birth canal spit out into utter darkness onto the edge of a mammoth cliff, alone. And as you desperately cling to the slippery slopes, every sound you hear you believe is someone coming to pull you to safety, but they only push you closer to doom. How one champions such an existence void of love and overwhelming deceit can best be answered by Starkishia, Estrella. It is her story. And we are grateful to God she lived to tell it. Star puts our complaining to shame.”
Alice Thomas-Tisdale, Publisher, Jackson Advocate
“Starkishia exhibits great courage in unveiling the raw, sordid details of a way of life many people never see.”
Cynthia Leavelle, Co-author, Plantation Christmas Wedding
It is an honor to write the foreword for this special memoir as my background is in the field of psychology, not literature! And so I read Starkishia’s story looking through the lens of a psychologist, diagnosing family patterns and analyzing the different characters.
I was impressed by Starkishia’s writing ability and her willingness to share the most intimate details of her traumatic childhood with unflinching honesty. Her courage and insight are admirable. Starkishia spared no detail as she described her early life with an abusive mother whose behavior toward her first born can only be described as horrifying.
Starkishia embodies resilience which is a psychological term that refers to an innate ability possessed by a fortunate few allowing them to survive tortured childhoods to become functioning adults.
Her childhood was a nightmare due to the physical, psychological and emotional abuse meted out by her toxic mother. Starkishia’s mother would perform a weekly ritual where her siblings were told they needed to report Star’s supposed sins, and they would make some up to stay in mama’s good graces. Mama would cast her own sins upon Starkishia and then mercilessly punish the innocent adolescent for being a “whore.”
Scapegoating is another psychological term that is pertinent to understanding this family. The term comes from the ancient Hebrews who would once a year take a goat and symbolically cast all of their sins on it. The goat would then be set free and stoned to death, taking all of their sins away.
Starkishia’s mother chose her to be the family scapegoat in order to ignore her own sick behavior. Scapegoats are often the most psychologically healthy members of the family and Starkishia surely was.
While Starkishia was the scapegoat in her family, she did have a loving, sane grandmother who tried to protect her. Psychologists look for at least one loving sane person in the life of a child to mitigate the harm from abuse. We rejoice when there is that special one because we know the prognosis is much more hopeful for recovery. This saintly grandmother gave Starkishia unconditional love and was her saving grace.
Starkishia struggled to survive. Her mother threw her in the streets when she was just 14 and she had to fend for herself. Her hateful mother lurked in the periphery of her daughter’s life ready to tear down or take away whatever her oldest child managed to accomplish. Yet Starkishia survived to tell her tale of redemption.
Her story ends with forgiveness of those who have hurt her. This element of forgiveness is a difficult task to achieve but key to obtaining peace and closure. It is not a forgiveness of allowing others to hurt you but a letting go of bitterness and pain that allows you to go on with life.
I admire her willingness to write her memoir and share her pain. Her book is important as it gives readers a glimpse into the world of severe poverty, childhood abuse and trauma. We can all learn from her wrenching story.
Dr. Victoria Barlow
Retired Trauma Therapist
Starkishia: Estrella is a story about a little girl who grew up too fast to feel the grass wear thin under the soles of her shoes. Abuse thickened her skin, yet her nightmares were as dark as they were real. The library became her sanctuary where stories took her to another place and time. But, in reality there was nothing imaginary about the bruises under her clothing as she advanced from one classroom to another during middle school, or nothing fictitious about being molested by the maggot hands of a despicable relative.
Her plight was hidden in a small town in Georgia, just as her physical abuse was disregarded by the school’s social worker. This colored child was brought into this world by her 14 year old mother who was ruthlessly dominated by her husband. Starkishia loved her mother above all else; her step-father who provided shelter for them witnessed her birth and helped raise her. She consumed pieces of joy, but sometimes she received broken reprisals and ended up walking down the dark road alone; yet in some fortunate way humanity was always within reach.
After her parents split up, Starkishia and her family ended up in Texas. Single parenthood changed their family structure forevermore. Starkishia became a wage earner at age 13; she also became homeless the following year. She was, for years, engulfed by her impoverished and dysfunctional environment.
She married a native of Mexico a few days after her 15th birthday. He nicknamed her ‘Estrella’ a Spanish term which means ‘Star.’ It goes without saying that Starkishia was born in the land of opportunity, but it was not exactly within her reach. Yes, she was her grandmother’s star, but she was a statistic of minimal proportions as far as small town and suburbia America was concerned.
Shortly after marriage, she became a mother. Afterward the life of this teen went downhill at lightning speed. Many readers will identify with her; for, she walked away from her husband broken hearted; then, she fell in love with another man, and as new babies arrived, she took her limited funds and focused on the lives of those under her roof; in time, her parental absence to her oldest two children turned flat out into abandonment. Have mercy! Starkishia was a lost teen, but through grace she eventually became a productive woman in American society.
Meredith Etc., a small press, proudly introduces readers to Starkishia: Estrella, a story about the perils of teen parenthood, economic dispossession, and the charity of new beginnings.
Meredith Coleman McGee, Acquisition Editor
Meredith Etc., a small press
Jackson, Mississippi, USA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=455b31YlM7k Starkishia’s Interview with Lady Walker