By: Jen Russon
When Micah Dawanyl graduated from Coral Glades High School in 2018, he was already one of 17 recipients of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship.
The now 19-year old has applied those funds to a double major in health science and psychology at Nova Southeastern University, where he says an affinity for public speaking led to the writing of his first book.
“After giving a speech about some of the issues affecting the Black community, a classmate came to me, sympathizing with my experiences. I told her there was no need to feel sorry. I simply wanted people to step into my shoes,” said Dawanyl.
The 20-minute speech he made that culminated in a book was released on July 30 of this year.
Step Into My Shoes: Memoirs From the Other Side of America are Dawanyl’s personal stories of racial tension and transcending the pain and frustration of being treated as less than in predominantly White parts of the country, simply for the color of his skin.
Using historical context throughout the 78-page book, Dawanyl also counts himself lucky — not only for his upbringing in Coral Springs, where he continues to reside but for the excellent education that makes his constant march toward self-improvement and a brighter future possible.
”If you step into my shoes, you will see they are worn and uncomfortable, but they aren’t battered to the point of no return,” said the author.
Dawanyl said he designed the book’s cover and converted his manuscript to Kindle, where it is available for $2.99.
In December, Dawanyl is launching a Soundcloud podcast, which he thinks will keep sales of the book trending upward.
“The launch of my podcast is to continue conversations about racial injustice and how to improve society for everyone,” he said.
The intrepid teenager is now old enough to vote and has devoted parts of his book to the importance of exercising civil rights and getting out the vote on November 3.
Dawanyl said his Instagram @Micah19_ keeps fans aware of Step Into My Shoes plans and alerts people to future books of his with big shoes to fill.
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- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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