When my cousin, Parys, texted me last fall with a flyer from The Dinner Table Doc, saying that they were looking for interns, I knew my aspirations and talents would soon blossom.
Parys is a major influence and a source of inspiration for me. Because she herself is a writer, I am inspired to apply her wisdom and knowledge to my own writing and goals. I was further inspired and confident in choosing Parys as a role model when I realized that we both came to writing the same way. She said to me, “I was just born a writer; always been reading, words have always been a thing. My dad would take me to the library every week when I was younger and I would constantly read. Writing comes naturally. It is innate.”
To put it simply, my cousin Parys is the bomb. Born in Pensacola, FL and raised in ATL, she is a joy to be around. She currently resides in Maryland but is soon moving back to Atlanta where she is excited to be closer to family. She graduated from the University of Georgia and has a degree in Journalism. She works as an executive manager and says she “envisions a life where I love my writing so much that I do it because I feel good.” She recently launched her blog, Parys the Writer, where she writes personal reflections and pieces about black people in love.
Parys’ passion for writing love stories surrounding black people is extremely inspiring. When asked why this is a main point of writing for her, she says, “The tagline for my website is ‘I am Parys and I write my daydreams.’ What that really means is, there is so much love inside of me and the way that it presents itself is through my characters. And then, my blackness is just something that is important to me.” Parys contributes to the world around her through her innate love and proud blackness. She embodies this; it is not something that she just read and thus wanted her writing to be like. “Black people loving each other, I think is such an act of resistance. It is such an act of courage and bravery just because of everything our people have gone through,” she elaborates.
It is common for black women to face some type of adversity when releasing their own content or making their goals become reality. However, for Parys, she told me that the only adversity she faced was from herself. She found herself doing everything but writing. The only way she combatted her own doubts is by simply sitting down and writing. “I am already surrounded by people that support who I am,” she explains, “But, for everyone who has told me no, I have said yes.”
Here is a message Parys has for young black girls coming into themselves and simply figuring their lives out: “Be selfish. Selfish is not a bad thing to be. If you are not prioritizing you, who will? Start young. Get to know you. It will result in the life you want to live because you are the person that you want to be.”
This is advice that I have applied to my life because of Parys. Her poise, wisdom, and maturity pushes me to be a better writer, woman, and person. Thank you, Parys. Thank you for being a person that I have the utmost respect and love for. Thank you for being so amazing that I love when I am able to brag about you and your accomplishments. Thank you for being a beacon of light for black girls all around the world. This planet is such a better place with you in it. I am so excited for the world to experience your greatness.
I cannot wait to see what is next for Parys and I know she has so much in store. In the meantime, check out her blog and support her work!
Written By Maia Wells
I am 19 years old, born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. I am a recent graduate with my Associates in Arts degree, then pursue a journalism degree at a four year university. Writing is my first love, but I also have a deep adoration for the arts. One day, I hope to own my own news network surrounding music and culture in communities of color.