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In celebration of Juneteenth, Courageous Woman Magazine honors the remarkable journey of Alretha Thomas, a series regular on Tyler Perry’s Assisted Living





She is a prolific playwright, and the author of fifteen novels, including the celebrated Cass & Nick series. Thomas, whose works have been recognized for their authentic portrayal of African American lives, has made significant strides as an African American woman in the literary world. Her novel Four Ladies Only earned the prestigious 2014 Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Award for Fiction. Through her diverse and inspiring narratives, Thomas continues to uplift and empower the African American community.


We were thrilled to have the opportunity to speak to Alretha Thomas about her journey.



What inspired you to start your business, and how has your journey been as an African American woman entrepreneur?


I began writing in the fifth grade. My English teacher had us write a short story and she chose one story that stood out and that story was mine. The reaction of my classmates took me by surprise. They were impressed and I was hooked. I have since written numerous plays and fifteen books. My journey has been challenging but worth it.


How does your business impact and support the African American community, and what initiatives are you most proud of?


I write diverse books that show African American people, particularly women, living their best lives. They have challenges, but the challenges aren’t stereotypical.


What challenges have you faced in your entrepreneurial journey, and how have you overcome them?


I’ve yet to get a major publishing deal, although I did have a small one in 2014. Nonetheless, I continue to self-publish novels that readers enjoy.


What advice would you give other African American women aspiring to start a business?


Continue to believe in yourself and stay focused.


If there was one thing you could change about your entrepreneurship Journey, what would it be?


If I had gone back to school to study novel/fiction writing instead of learning by trial and error, I believe I would be further along by now. I have a degree in journalism, but writing news copy is different from writing a novel.


 What projects are you currently working on, and can you give us a sneak peek?


Readers should expect another ‘Then and Now’ multiple point-of-view story from me in

2025. I want to conclude by thanking readers everywhere for their ongoing support!

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