Image

10:03 PM / Saturday July 20, 2019

8 Jul 2019

Nikki Fortune’s “Hustle,” a story of generations

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
July 8, 2019 Category: Color Of Money Posted by:

By Monica Peters

Meet Chesilhurst, New Jersey native Nikki Fortune.

Fortune is the author of the novel, Hustle, inspired by the life of her late great-aunt Clara Johnson.

Hustle isn’t a nod to street culture but is actually a real town in Virginia where both Fortune’s great-aunt Clara and grandmother, Ernestine Jefferson, lived before migrating to Philadelphia for a better life.

“My Aunt Clara passed away last year at the age of 94.  She still lived alone, still had all her faculties and was financially independent. She was the matriarch of our family,” says Fortune who now resides in Long Island, New York.

Fortune, now 49-years-old, was a teenage mother herself.  One of her regrets for a long time was that she did not complete college.  She attended Morgan State University majoring in communications but ultimately had to focus on raising her child.

“I had my daughter when I was 19. I had to make some money.  That was the bottom line,” said Fortune who dropped out in her sophomore year.

“I got healed three years ago from not having a college degree,” said Fortune who lamented for many years that she did not graduate from the HBCU.

Although it was difficult being a teenage mother, Fortune realized that it was a blessing to add another generation to her family.

Fortune notes that many young daughters today don’t realize that they stand on the shoulders from the foundation the women in the family before them have laid.

“She [Aunt Clara] was so awesome, so resilient. She embodies a lot of what is missing in our community today. I wanted to highlight her so that her legacy will live on,” said Fortune.

Image

Fortune now has two grown children–a twenty and a thirty-year-old.  She is also the grandmother to an 11-year-old.

Fortune, a beauty marketing executive, makes it clear that although the book is inspired by her aunt, it is fictional.  

“It’s fiction based on fact.”

It took the author, who now lives in Long Island, NY,  ten months to publish the book. However, it was her friend Desi P. Shelton, who decided to write a play about the life of her Aunt Clara.

Shelton began writing the play for stage before reading the book. The theater production debuted in Philadelphia as a community show at the Independence Seaport Museum on Mother’s Day  to a sold-out audience. The show was followed by a Q&A session on how the production could be tweaked for it’s official Philadelphia run in September 2019.

Fortune gives advice to those who may be hesitant to dive into the waters of writing.

She encourages authors to go for it!

“Everyone has a story,” said Fortune.

Follow Nikki Fortune on Instagram at instagram.com/hustlethenovel. Follow the stage production at instagram.com/hustlethemusical

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Commentary

Alawfultruth: What your “tribe” says about you

July 19, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email By Andrea Lawful Sanders We all seek people in our lives who will...

Go With The-Flo

R. Kelly girlfriends deny reports that federal authorities evicted them from Kelly’s Trump Tower Chicago home

July 19, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: R. Kelly (Photo: shutterstock) By Florence Anthony At press time, the...

Entertainment

Boxing champ Pernell Whitaker dies; hit by car in Virginia

July 19, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Pernell Whitaker By Tim Dahlberg ASSOCIATED PRESS Pernell Whitaker, an Olympic...

Sports

Phillies Ryan Howard Retirement Ceremony

July 19, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email Last weekend former Phillies MVP and 2008 World Series Champion Ryan Howard retired,...

Oasis

Russell M. Nelson, President of the Mormon Church, to Speak at the NAACP Convention in Detroit

July 19, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email Taking another step toward solidifying the growing partnership between the LDS Church and...

Horoscopes

SUNscopes for the week of July 21

July 19, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email All Signs: The movement of the Sun through the 12 signs each year...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff