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I Am My Sisters Keeper: Mary Mary Empowers Girls and Women In Their New Book, "Be U"
By Maleena Lawrence
Sentinel Contributing Writer
The expectations of the dynamic urban gospel duo, Mary Mary continue to bless the streets and sanctuaries with their greatness. This time, the calling is not so focused on tracks of The Sound but more so laid out in the chapters of their debut book release, "Be U: Be Honest, Be Beautiful, Be Intentional, Be Strong, Be You!" According to the two sisters Erica and Tina Campbell, Be U is our statement for life, it keeps us focused on authenticity and truth, and keeps us honest: honest to God and honest to ourselves". By all means, Be U gives Mary Mary an opportunity to focus on a longing passion to inspire young girls and women in understanding who God created them to be.
As I settled in the seat of my mini recording studio, I set the lines up to capture the essence, beauty and energy of two incredible women. I trusted God in knowing that we were about to engage in an insightful conversation about the importance of their new book, "Be U".
Sentinel: Thank you ladies for your time. I am so interested in your upcoming release, Be U along with the message you want to share with readers...sounds awesome.
Erica & Tina Campbell: Thank you, we are too!
Sentinel: Let's not waist time. What are some of the issues and struggles that many girls face today? Are these the same struggles you encountered growing up?
Tina: Yes, Insecurities. A lot of girls watch TV and media with mixed messages and false realities. Then they start wanting to be the 'It' Girl. Insecure as if they could take on someone else. Also, Promiscuity. Trying to keep a boyfriend and keep up with the trend of so-and-so.
Erica: More so, fitting in. It is about young girls and women finding themselves. Having a guy or boyfriend for the sake of...yet, no value in the relationship. Everybody wants to feel valued.
Sentinel: What is your message to girls who find it difficult to trust in other people, let alone a God they can't seem to connect to?
Erica: Realize people are human. This saved me from myself. Teachers, parents, counselors mean well. People who love you tell you the truth even when you think they are being haters. They really love you though it may seem that they are hurting you. The way you may view it as, "he's a crutch, or insecure because he's smarter than you or she don't want you to be happy...especially girls thinking parents or teachers can't see what you want them to see"... Sometime people are just telling you the truth. You have to listen.
Tina: Pick up the Bible and read about God! Everything is the creator. He's the one, looking out for me. Magnificent. I ask God to help me to understand what's in his plan for me. Who am I? He can if I just consult him a little more. I say, "Pray". Trust will be developed. People will let you down but trust in God and he will all ways make a way. Read your Bible and pray.
"God didn't make a mistake when he created you, so you should accept who you are and what you are and live on purpose and not by accident." ~Mary Mary
Sentinel: What are some of the times that seemed uncertain to you? How did you hold on to hope?
Erica: I have full confidence in who God made me to be. Even in my lowest point. No matter of my human days. I know it's not going to last forever.
Tina: When I ain't got any choice but God, I depend on God. I'm not ever confused or in a funk. I think that's why God puts low points in our lives. To recognize as God, prayers are being answered. I always ask for God to bless my preparation.
Erica: I remember dating the wrong guy. Knowing he ain't 'him'. Thinking and crying because we go to the same church and seeing him all the time would be too painful. I asked God to help me because I knew I could not do it alone, God took him out of my heart. When I seen him the next time, I didn't care and I did not feel anything for him. Allow God to lead from inside/out.
Sentinel: What is your advice and message to young girls and women when reading Be U?
Tina: If I was a woman from age 12-50 this book would make sense. Tap into beautiful, what God wants you to be...whoever it is you're looking at, Beyonce, Oprah; whoever, use them as your inspiration and ask yourself, "What is it that I have to offer to the world to be my best self?" Find your passion and pursue.
Tina and Erica: We want women to Be Intentional. Living life on purpose. Write what it is going to be daily. Write it down.
Sentinel: Habakkuk 2:2
Tina: Go after what you want. Everybody can't sing, maybe it is college. If you do 7%, 10% 20% God will give you 93%, 90% or 80%. We were working...unrecognized. We sang everywhere. We did not stop.
Sentinel: Most R&B female groups fall off. When it comes to your successful longevity as Mary Mary, how do you work out your differences, manage projects and your day-to-day lives?
Tina: Upbringing. My parents taught us no matter what, you gonna get over it, work through it and love each other. Family doesn't have issues and do not get over it. No matter what we (you) get over it even if we aren't feeling it. We can not be Mary Mary by ourselves. It's God's work. So, we were taught to love land let go. It takes to much effort in being angry and rollin' your eyes or not speaking at family gatherings...We were not allowed to hold on to that stuff we had to work it out.
Erica: In the administration and with our schedules and even through emotional times, during pregnancy...Issues that are personal we find a way to work them out. Then on the God side, what we do as MaryMary can not be separated. You're fittin' to be separate the family.
Tina: Erica is amazing.
Sentinel: You sisters are remarkable. And Erica, in one word how would you describe Tina?
Sentinel: As we all end in laughter, Please share some future plans for Mary Mary?
Tina: Of course our music and the book, Be U
Erica: We are also working on a fashion line and beauty products...so much. Whatever God has for us...
Sentinel: Ladies, with the pressing work needed to empower our young girls and women to live beyond their circumstances, I look forward to reading Be U in its entirety. Thank you and God Bless you and your families.
Erica and Tina: Thank You so much and we want everyone to read Be U...
Be U features topics that include: Forgiveness, Perseverance, Stillness and Loyalty. All of which are followed by words of empowerment, Bible scriptures and affirmations. Seems to me that Be U is a spiritual yet practical remedy to remind and reconnect sister-souls of various ages to love thyself and seek God in all you do in order to manifest your individual authenticity and life passion.
"Be U" by Mary Mary, (Publisher: Howard/Simon and Schuster Books) releases nationwide in stores April 2010.
For more information about Mary Mary visit: www.mary-mary.com