When Bay Shore resident Kimberly Seals-Allers was pregnant with her first child in 2000, she needed straightforward advice geared toward modern, professional, sophisticated African-American moms-to-be.
She says she couldn’t find what she craved anywhere.
Her own mother’s experiences were geared to a different generation, Seals-Allers says. “She was just appalled that I wanted to exercise. To my mom, when you’re pregnant you sit still and put your feet up.” Seals-Allers calls that “Granny advice.” She says she wanted experts and voices of her peers. “We like our sister network. We liked to feel we’re getting our advice from a panel of girlfriend experts,” Seals-Allers says.
Being a journalist, Seals-Allers decided to write the hip book she longed for herself. So began “The Mocha Manual” series, which she launched after returning to the United States and settling in Bay Shore. “When I did ‘The Mocha Manual’ I had a vision to do a series of books like the ‘Dummies’ series,” Seals-Allers says.
She’s on her way. Seals-Allers published “The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy” in December 2005 (Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins, $14.95); a DVD version came out in April this year and is on sale at Wal-Mart stores. A second “Mocha Manual” – this one called “The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion into Profit” – is scheduled for publication in January. A third – “The Mocha Manual to Military Life” is scheduled for release in June. For that one, Seals-Allers teamed up with Pamela McBride, an Army wife from Georgia, to advise military service members, their fiances or fiancees, spouses and parents of color.
A revamped mochamanual.com Web site debuted Friday, and one goal for the coming year is to bring together moms of color on Long Island through its message board section, Seals-Allers says. “We’re actually creating more of a community,” she says.
Logo from The Mocha Manual.