Everything Underground.com (EU) is excited to announce its new series, the "EU Member Spotlight." This weekly column highlights the careers and businesses of our members, making networking easier within particular fields or areas of interest. It is also a way to better link and connect our members within the network.
Producer, Author and Promoter
Everything Underground is happy to welcome its newest member, the versatile and prolific Delores Thornton. She is a successful author, playwright, founding publisher, literary entrepreneur, and talk show host, as well as a member of numerous grass roots organizations. Despite her extensive experience as both a writer and publisher, Thornton insists she didn't initially consider writing as a career.
"My children had left home," she told Everything Underground during a recent interview. "It was really the empty nest syndrome. Writing emerged like a new baby for me.
I wrote a novel in 1996. It was about the problems that a young African American child in a small Southern town experienced after she was adopted by biracial parents. I went to the library and did some research about publishing. The manuals that I read all said most authors could expect to get a host of rejection letters. When I had shown the novel to friends during the time I was working on it everyone kept saying they loved it and encouraged me to keep writing. So, I decided rather than go through that process and deal with a lot of rejections to publish it myself."
Not only did she publish the novel "Ida Mae," but Thornton also founded Marguerite Press. Since that time, she's published seven books, plus works by eight other authors, and created the Cradle to Grave (C2G Initiative), one of the several groups that spotlight her equally extensive community involvement. Her hard work and dedication have gained her a spot in the Self-Publishing Hall of Fame which is one of her biggest accomplishments. But the area where it initially seemed that she would make her biggest mark was in the ministry. Thornton was the Valedictorian of her class while earning a BA in Christian Education from Kentucky's Simmons College, and then later a Master of Theological Studies from Indianapolis' Christian Theological Seminary. She is still currently an Associate Minister at Greater Galilee MBC, whose pastor is the Rev. Dr. Ernest L. Porter, Sr.
She has now extended her writing focus into nonfiction, short stories, and essays, as well as theatrical works. In addition, Black history is a pivotal part of Thornton's activities. She's a member of the Advisory Board of the Indy Public Library African American History Committee, a board member of the Indy Black Chamber of Commerce (Membership Chair), and a committee member of the International Festival with the Center of Interfaith Cooperation (CIC).
A prime Thornton venture for Black History Month is her play "Black Voices from the Past," which features in its cast several top area performers appearing as famous figures Josephine Baker, Martin Delany, Ray Charles, Fannie Lou Hamer, Harriet Tubman, Billie Holiday, Shirley Chisholm, Henry Boxcar Brown, and Sojourner Truth. But even more intriguing is the fact the play's co-director is a four-year-old from Indy named Tyrell Smith.
"He's been a revelation," Thornton said in describing Smith's impact. "He was in a play I put on last year. Then he saw another play and started talking about what he would do differently and his ideas for casting. So, I got him involved in this production. I told him he had to interview the cast and sign all the contracts. I brought him in to meet them and he took them by storm. He is really something special."
"Black Voices from the Past" will be performed at the Jewel Event Center, 3333 N. Illinois Street in Indianapolis on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. But in addition to the play and Marguerite Press as well as all her community activities, Thornton hasn't abandoned her ministry training. She's heavily involved in youth mentoring and is starting something especially important in a large city like Indianapolis.
"I'm starting a bereavement ministry," Thornton continued. "There's a big need for consoling those who've been victims of violence, and those coming from families affected by it. There's so much that you see in these cities where young people see horrible deaths and don't have anyone they can talk to about it, nor anyone who is responding to their needs. I see this as something that is critical and vital."
Meanwhile, Delores Thornton not only juggles all these duties, she's the host of the talk show "Around2lt" on the NuuBeat Network. She maintains an active presence on multiple social media networks. She's on Facebook as Delores Lewis Thornton, and on both Instagram and Twitter. She also has two websites, margueritepress.org and deloresthornton.org. For more info on either "Black Voices from the Past," or her other ventures she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delores Thornton, Everything Underground's latest spotlight member.