By Marissa Wells
“Are You That Girl on Soul Train?!” by Damita Jo Freeman is an book that details the author’s life before “Soul Train,” during, and after; offering readers an honest, closeup view of the details of her life as she fulfilled her childhood dream of wanting to be on television.
The book is intended for fans of “Soul Train,” the musical variety show featuring R&B and soul music that aired in syndication for 35 years from 1971 to 2006, and also the younger generations that can gain value from Freeman’s life story as a Black girl with big dreams who faced many obstacles due to the racial climate of the time.
“My audience is anyone who needs inspiration to move forth on whatever dreams they have,” Freeman said. “My audience is also a voice for those dancers of the 70s, whose voices have not been heard — yet they contributed so much to the Black communities nationally — and also worldwide.”
Freeman’s mother inspired her to write a book.
“She was a teacher, so she would be so proud to see that I’ve actually sat still long enough and accomplished this goal — which was her heart’s desire, too — of me writing this book…not just for me and her, but for others, too including my “Soul Train” friends, who I believe I’ve given a ‘voice’ in this book,” Freeman said.
As interest in Freeman’s life increased over the decades, she felt it was important to share her journey and offer insight into the “real” her.
“On a deeper level, I wanted them to understand other aspects, beyond the young, smiling girl on TV,” Freeman said. “Most important, I created this book because it gave me a voice to share some lessons learned, and to encourage others — especially young kids — to never give up on their dreams.”
Freeman hopes readers learn more about themselves after reading her book.
“I want them to gain a sense of strength and confidence in themselves by understanding that confidence and talent and hard work, and kindness are valuable and can help you attain your goals and live a decent life,” Freeman said.
“Are You That Girl on Soul Train?!” is the first volume in a series of books that will chronicle the author’s life and “Soul Train” journey. For more information about Freeman and her work, visit dancerjo.com. She is based in Inglewood.
“Are You That Girl on Soul Train?!” is available for $26.99 via dancerjo.com, Amazon and local bookstores.