“ I learned how to be free in my mind.” —Joy E. Glenn
Joy E. Glenn is an author, a world traveler, a writer, a mother, a wife, and a sister. Beyond those labels, she is a dreamer and someone who was bold enough to go after her dreams. Three years ago she packed up her life in Florida and moved to the south of Spain. Through experiencing a new culture, becoming an ex-pat, and a reinventing herself, she decided to fulfill another dream. She wrote the thought-provoking book Spain Through the Eyes of a Black American Woman. BGN spoke with Glenn over Zoom about her experiences living in Spain and the impact of using her voice.
How would you describe your voice? What helped you find it?
I would describe my voice as subtle yet powerful. When I was younger, I grew up in an overly religious household. I was the second youngest of 7 children. It was very easy for my voice not to be heard. I began to read and that reading became a bit of an obsession. When I read, I felt free. I learned how to be free in my mind. That sparked my interest in writing. I began to feel even more empowered.
How has traveling contributed to finding your voice?
When you travel, you enter a different world because you’re entering a different culture. [Traveling] also gave me more of an appreciation for being a Black woman. You’re getting different pieces of different cultures, you’re learning, and you add that to your database. That’s what life is, adding and learning and progressing.
Why did you decide to settle with your family in Spain?
Coming from a military background, 7 years in the U.S. Air Force, our lives were being shaped by the military. Starting my career in the military caused me to feel like my life is my own but it’s kind of not. Once I separated from the military, I felt freer. I have this deep respect and appreciation for Spain because I feel like I found this peace here that I didn’t have before. We decided to stay because we just felt so much peace and freedom.
What inspired you to write this book?
In the 3rd grade I ended up winning a contest, and that…