Bermuda’s own Neletha ‘Honey’ Butterfield’s recent invitation to attend the 6th Annual Black Women’s Book Festival held in March to deliver a keynote “International Literary Artist” address, has made news headlines in New York.
The article is featured in a recent edition of the Minority Reporter by Tracie Isaac on the event held at the Phillis Wheatley Community Library in Rochester.
“Out of the numerous requests to participate, 24 black women authors, poets and spoken word artists were selected to present their literary works,” the report said.
Under the theme ‘Our Narratives – Tellin’ It Like It Is!’, the report noted that Ms Butterfield was one of the feature authors, who delivered a keynote address as an “International Literary Artist”, who travelled from Bermuda “to present at the book festival”.
Ms Butterfield is the author of five books – Speeches for the Soul, Workshops for the Soul, Political Benning’s for the
Soul, The Soul of a Community Leader and 17 Trailblazers Who Walked With Purpose.
The article also noted that the event was attended by “a diverse range of women authors, from a teen mother to elders near 80”.
“The family friendly event encouraged parents to bring their children to hear age appropriate stories, learn to write stories and make their own books, while adults perused the various author exhibits, purchased books and obtained information on how to publish independently or traditionally.”
The article continued: “Local author Leslie C Youngblood and The Hon Neletha Butterfield visited WXIR 100.9FM radio station to share some insights on a special broadcast with station manager and host Rashida Washington.”
Ms Butterfield is quoted in the article on “compiling a range of inspiring experiences”.
“My desire was to share my life, the experiences that I had with others and to leave a legacy for my children,” she said.
As “a computer education consultant, a former Computer Lecturer for the Government Community School, and a former lecturer
at the Bermuda College in computers, English and mathematics and reading with the Bermuda Correctional Facilities education department, she has advocated for many to obtain education”.
She is also the President of the Bermuda Business and Professional Women’s Club, the co-founder of Prison Fellowship Bermuda and a founding member of STAR (Supportive Therapy for AIDS Victims and their Relatives), a Past Vice President of
the Orchid Charity Club and a steward at St Paul AME Church.
As a Member of Parliament for the Progressive Labour Party as a “back bencher” from November 1998 to October 2002, Ms Butterfield also held multiple government appointments as Bermuda’s representative and has received numerous awards and honours.
“Now retired after 20 years from the political arena she spends some of her time in Jamaica where she finds peace and solace writing her memoirs.”
The noted author added: “This was the first visit to Rochester by The Hon. Butterfield, who was intrigued by the history of the city and the legacy of Frederick Douglass.”
“While visiting with City Council President Loretta C Scott, the two shared insights on seeing the number of women of color serving in politics at this time in history,” the report added.
“As a token of appreciation for the visit at City Hall, the Hon Butterfield presented a copy of her book Speeches for the Soul to President Scott In turn President Scott presented Hon Butterfield with two books, Frederick Douglass and the Underground
Railroad and Beyond These Gates – African Americans interred in Mt. Hope Cemetery.”
“I am overjoyed by the books on Frederick Douglass and local African Americans of Rochester. My hope was to learn more about Frederick Douglass and Rochester’s history,” said Ms Butterfield.
“To wind up the weekend activities”, the article stated that she also met with members of the Rochester Genesee Valley Club members, fellow authors Bishop Eulah M Nelson…along with other book fair participants”, who also attended “the gospel concert featuring Bishop Cortez Vaughn, Brian Courtney Wilson and Fred Hammond, where they heard their favorite gospel artists in an electrifying night of praise and worship and met Pastor Bernard McNeill and Co-Pastor Tina McNeill of New Life Fellowship”.