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The Israelite Author; but what does this mean?

The Israelite Author, but what does this really mean? In today's crammed packed world filled with a conglomeration of opinions, religions, thoughts, ideas, and politics, I would imagine that it is highly possible that you may have come across the word Israelite before --- but what does it really mean? Well, before I give you that, let me introduce myself a bit.

My name is Joanna Elisabeth Jones (whoa, full government lol). I am currently 31 years old, the youngest of three children and I have been writing since I was a young girl. I can remember one of my first written poems; 'Hand From Above', written when I was just about 12 or 13 years old while sitting at the computer in the public library of the small town in North Carolina where I grew up. I saw a post online saying that I could submit a short story or poem for the chance to have it published in a book. Well, I thought to myself, I've never really written anything "professional" before, but what the heck, let's give it a try! I wrote what I thought would be something that would be read but ultimately overlooked; but boy was I wrong!

It took me all of maybe 30 minutes to write it but just a few short weeks after submitting it, I received a letter in the mail stating that my poem was selected to be published and shortly after that I received the book where my poem (along with many other writers) was published! There I was, little ole me in a published book! Needless to say, that experience ignited a passion in me that I didn't realize I had; a realization of a gift and talent that I had no clue resided in me until then. And thus, The Israelite Author was born.

So, The Israelite Author, I'm supposed to be telling you what that means right? Well, like I said earlier, I would imagine that in today's world, it is highly likely that you may have come across the term or phrase, Israelite before. Perhaps it was in church on a Sunday morning listening to the Pastor speak about the great Exodus out of Egypt with Moses leading a multitude of Israelites across the Red Sea. Or maybe it was from casually scrolling on social media and seeing someone post a thought provoking message about the history of African Americans? Well for me, it was a little bit of both.

Hebrew Israelite, is not my religion, it is my culture and heritage. Like the Igbos of Nigeria or the Zulu of South Africa. That may seem alarming and overwhelming to some; maybe even a bit scary, but let me explain. In the Fall of 2015, while sitting at a cubicle sorting through a mass of clothes for the women's clothing department store that I worked at then, the Most High God (or power) of the Israelites gently tugged at me to watch a video on YouTube. This video spoke about something I had never heard of before but always wondered about; the hidden identity of 'African Americans.' Needless to say, the concept was foreign and scary to me at first so I rejected it. Like most Black Americans, I was raised in the church (the daughter of a two ministers) and taught to love and serve Jesus, but what was this new thing I was hearing about? That we were literally the children and chosen of God? That He had a special covenant with us and had died to redeem us, His Chosen? I didn't understand, and I feared that it would lead me down a dark path that I would not be able to get off of! Dramatic, I know. But rather what it did for me was provide a deeper relationship with the Father (and His Son, the Messiah, who are One), and a greater and true understanding of the scriptures.

But what does that have to do with writing? Well, for me, being an Israelite Author is no different than being a Christian author etc. I was afraid that by using the name, The Israelite Author, I would pigeon-hole myself into being looked at as an author that only wrote about the Bible and history. While I have authored a book concerning the Bible, it's not all that I do. I am also a creative writer. What does The Israelite Author mean? It means that I fuse my culture and heritage into my writing to create a story that captivates readers but also teaches them something new. My goal and prayer is to use my gifting and talent to write about everyday, real life experiences like faith, family, relationships and career but give a righteous approach to how to handle them. One that the reader, regardless of their current walk of life, belief(s) or experiences can relate to. Ultimately, I would like to build out the niche for Israelite creative writers in this large world of writing but, I'll just take baby steps for now. So, with that being said, who is The Israelite Author? I am all of the above and so much more!

All Praises to the Most High YAH,

Joanna Elisabeth Jones

(Yahanah Elisheyba)

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