Born with albinism, Melisande Randall experienced discrimination in her community as a result of looking “white.” In her book “Under the Invisible Umbrella,” Randall explains the challenges she faced because she was “different.”
“No one knows what to make of you when you are born different head to toe,” she explains. “I was raised in a family that normalized me quite well, but classmates and peers were always asking me to define myself.”
Randall also raises the volume on the silence regarding the little-discussed topic of mental health issues in the black community. She shares her compelling journey as the daughter of a parent whose mood disorder went undiagnosed for decades. Her goal? To help the many people impacted by these disorders who choose to suffer in silence.
Randall felt compelled to write her life story in her late 40s following the diagnosis of her mother’s dementia. Throughout the years, she examined her life growing up in a very confused and volatile world where she faced bullying in school and hostility at home.
In “Invisible Umbrella,” Randall shares the tools that helped her “survive, heal, and grow as a Christian, single mother and broken daughter.” She also gives readers a glimpse of her survival tactics while under the “invisible umbrella” of toxic parenting.
Randall said she hopes readers are left with some understanding of the stigma associated with mental illness, family dysfunction, disability, and color, as well as issues associated with womanhood.
The USC graduate has worked as an educator in the Los Angeles area and contributes to mental health blogs. She has found writing to be therapeutic and is currently working on a more in-depth piece about her life.
“Under the Invisible Umbrella” is available for $20 on chipmunkapublishing.com or amazon.com.