Sweet Little Black Kitty was born in St. Augustine, Florida. A black female growing up in the Deep South, abandoned soon after birth, her prospects seemed limited. Yet early on she sought to better her circumstances. The poet-to-be moved in with a tenant in an apartment house she lived under. The tenant, a writer from New York wintering in the historic city, exposed Sweet Little Black Kitty to the artist’s life of indolence and procrastination to which she seemed preternaturally suited. Yet she hardly appeared destined for literary greatness, displaying more interest in the concept of destroying literature rather than creating it; her favorite pastime was shredding 8.5”x11” copy paper into tiny, tiny bits.
Still lacking direction but possessed of a fierce desire to leave her native streets, she accompanied the writer back to New York City. New York has long been a magnet and crucible for creative personalities of all stripes, and Sweet Little Black Kitty blended in with the black-clad inhabitants of this eclectic demimonde. She suffered the de rigeur early rejections all artists endure – chased off the keyboard several times when she first began composing verse – but through persistence and the sheer power of her talent, her gifts were ultimately recognized.