Veronica Chapman & “I Know I Can!”
As a social media obsessed millennial, I often find different use cases of the popular tools we use daily. I recall browsing my Instagram explore page back in December and coming across a photo of a children’s book. I clicked on Veronica’s Instagram, looked around, and was instantly interested. It’s not often that I run across someone who has published a book, especially a children’s book!
After checking out her website, I knew I had to add Veronica to the #2017BlackList due to the theme of I Know I Can!, and the many Black heroes featured in the book.
Sit back and learn more about Literary V!
First & Last Name
Veronica N. Chapman
Why did you decide to write “I Know I Can!”?
I design and implement creative educational programming for teenagers. One of my workshops focuses on improving the self-esteem of teenage girls. While I know the workshop is impactful, I would often think that I could have an even greater impact if I could reach girls at an earlier age. I Know I Can! is my opportunity to do just that!
What does “I Know I Can!” mean to you?
I have always been committed to youth development. Over the years I’ve written and produced a motivational play called Ancestors Inc. for teenagers; launched a youth organization called Boxxout that designs practical and innovative educational programming; and now I’ve written and self-published I Know I Can! — I feel truly grateful that the products and services I create have a positive impact on the lives of our young people.
What have you had to overcome in order to achieve success?
I launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the publication of I Know I Can!, and to gauge interest by taking pre-orders. However, I was also launching another business ventures during the same period. Because successful Kickstarter campaigns require 100% of your time and effort, my campaign failed. It took me six months to regroup and make additional efforts to fundraise. Perseverance paid off, and now thousands of girls and boys know they can!
“I feel truly grateful that the products and services I create have a positive impact on the lives of our young people.”
What does it mean to be a black business owner and author?
My play Ancestors Inc. highlights the role entrepreneurship played in the history of Black people in the United States. To some of our enslaved ancestors, entrepreneurship literally meant freedom as those who managed to start small ventures used their profits to purchase their freedom and the freedom of others.
In my children’s book I Know I Can! there is mention of the need to fight for economic justice because we still have a long way to go in that quest. Even today, being a Black business owner still means freedom. I know that as I become more successful, I will be able to invest more resources into products, services, and movements that uplift, inspire, and improve the life experience of Black and Brown people here and abroad.
What advice do you have for people who are ready to follow their dreams but are hesitating?
Action is the solution. Small steps toward one’s goal always helps combat fear. If a person has a vision for something, it is up to him or her to see it through. You never know who needs just what you have to offer so don’t deprive the world of your greatest self and all you have to offer! I also suggest that people, and even adults, read I Know I Can! Based on the feedback I’ve received, it not only empowers the kids who read it, but the adults as well!
More on Veronica + Bragging Rights
I’m a Jersey girl who loves great music and still gets excited when a DJ plays “The Percolator!” I also love to challenge myself, whether it be singing a solo or learning to code.
To learn more about my interests and initiatives please visit my personal website: veronicadrive.com. This website is the meeting place for everything I’m up to.
Want to contact Veronica for more information?
Do you know a Black Creator or Tastemaker? Of course you do! Let me know in the comments so I can feature him or her this year!
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