Imani's Heart

by Abigail Jefferson and Chaka Bedell
Illustrations by Alvin Burts
CJW Associates
Washington, DC

2003 Abigail Jefferson and Chaka Bedell
36 pages

ISBN 0-9724003-2-X (hard cover)

Price $15.95

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From the Back Cover --

Ten year old Chaka loved listening to stories. One day, Chaka was feeling sad Because her best friend, Imani, had passed away. Providing comfort, Chaka's mom shared this gentle story of a delightful angel. Imani is an angel who loves to dance. Her deepest wish is to visit planet earth, so she convinces skeptical Oludamare, the sky god, to let her go. Imani promises that if her wish is granted, she will fill hearts with love. While visiting earth, Imani makes many friends, but she finds that all that glitters is not gold. As Oludamare had cautioned, there were many hearts in need of mending, and there was much trouble and strife. However, Imani has faith and believes that by sharing her joy, she will bring people together.

This inspirational story of compassion and grace is accompanied by beautiful, illuminating paintings by Alvin Burts which capture Imani's giving heart.

Abigail "Ifatola" Jefferson, is a storyteller, dancer and arts educator ( She holds a M.Ed. from Lesley University and a B.F.A. from Howard University, and is a founding member of the Rhode Island Black Storytellers. Currently, she is an adjunct professor for Lesley University. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Abigail received the gift of weaving stories from her grandparents, Vincent and Eleanor Harrison. Her intent is to bring forth the wisdom of her elders through the telling of tales. She has traveled to Ghana, Nigeria, Niger and Cuba to study cultural traditions. She presently lives in Rhode Island with her family.

Chaka Bedell
is a student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where she studies sociology and social work. Chaka loves dancing, reading and spending time with her friends. Through the art of storytelling, Chaka hopes to touch the hearts of children and keep alive the memory of her beloved cousin, Imani Wilson. Chaka was born in Baltimore, MD, and lived in Brooklyn, NY, most of her early childhood. Presently, she lives with her mom and step-dad in Rhode Island.

Abigail Jefferson and Chaka Bedell


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