Dorina Williamson pens Franklin’s “The Story of Gwenteth”

Dorina Williamson talks about her book

Dorina Williamson of Franklin has done many jobs in her life.

High on her list of accomplishments: she’s the mother of four adult children between the ages of 18 and 28. She is also the First Lady of the Nashville Church and works part-time. She was previously a longtime social worker.

Her latest profession? I found it.

“I’m starting to get this feeling that maybe I can help,” Williamson said. “Not out of pride…I have the heart to keep growing, learning and helping others do the same.”

Because of personal and professional experiences, she knew what questions children were asking and what the parents’ job was to answer them. As a partner in farming and leader of a strong multi-ethnic Tower Bible Church, she knew what white fathers struggle to discuss, especially when it comes to race in America.

So, I started writing children’s books.

sixth and latest effort, Jonathan’s story It was published live at a time when the holiday has entered the consciousness of more non-black people than ever before.

Dorina Williamson talks about her book

At just 250 words of 24 pages, the specially designed “board book” for young children with thick cardboard pages provides context and holiday history for children ages two to five.

Williamson: “How do you explain to infants and young children that people were enslaved?”

Last summer, after President Joe Biden declared Juneteenth a federal holiday, Williamson was invited to write the book.

She had just experienced the first Franklin-sponsored Juneteenth event, as well as a colorful United States Forces memorial that was finally installed in the city’s public square, thanks to the work of her husband, Reverend Chris Williamson, and other local religious leaders.

Sponsors and organizers chat together after a musical performance during a Juneteenth celebration at Public Square in Franklin, Tennessee, Saturday, June 19, 2021.

Although she has two more books in the works, two of her children’s weddings, her youngest child’s graduation and much more next year, she couldn’t turn down the opportunity to write on the subject.

“How do you explain to infants and young children that people have been enslaved? How can you not be ashamed of the fact that it was absolutely terrible?” I asked rhetorically. “It was a challenge that I was willing to accept because I felt that babies, young children, and pre-readers deserved to start understanding what this is all about.”