The birth of Falisa Ray’s son, Aaron, in December 1989 was not an easy one, nor had her pregnancy been straightforward, although everything turned out alright for the pair in the end, which Falisa attributes to the influence and guidance of God. In fact, it’s clear from the outset in Raising Simba that Falisa’s strong and dedicated Christian faith has supported and inspired her throughout her life, giving her the courage, belief, and drive necessary to overcome the many hurdles she and her family have faced.
Among those hurdles was the seemingly insurmountable difficulty associated with a child from the Altgeld Gardens Chicago housing project seeking to pursue a career as a performer on the star-studded stages of Broadway. Yet, through dedication, commitment, and a lot of hard work, Aaron managed exactly that, and he did so with the unwavering and indefatigable help and support of his mother, Falisa.
In Raising Simba, Falisa details how a trip to watch a touring production of The Lion King stage show inspired fifteen-year-old Aaron to dream of starring as Simba himself one day, in addition to the myriad steps both she and he had to take to ensure that dream came true. As she was initially uncertain what a career on Broadway entailed and how it could be achieved, Falisa’s reminiscences in this regard are motivational and useful in a practical sense for those looking for ways to pursue a career in the arts, especially theater.
However, while Raising Simba is the inspiring story of how Falisa and Aaron together achieved his dream of playing Simba on Broadway, it is also much more than that. Falisa has lived a remarkable life and had to face issues that may have broken other people. Indeed, by the point at which she and Aaron were watching The Lion King, Falisa had dealt with illness and death in the family, sexual assault, domestic violence, divorce, an acrimonious custody battle, the possibility of homelessness, and more.
Although getting to the stage where she was happy, secure, and successful enough to feel able to write Raising Simba was certainly not easy, Falisa was always guided by her religious convictions and willing to take a leap of faith when required. The discussion about her Christian faith and the prophetic dreams that helped to fortify her during times of difficulty with appeal to and inspire both those who share a similar faith/belief system and those looking for more general spiritual encouragement.
Overall, Raising Simba is a warm-hearted, engaging, and emotive account of how Falisa Ray did whatever it took to survive, thrive, and ensure that her son had the best life possible. Honest and conversational in tone, it should motivate and encourage those searching for the strength to pursue their dreams.
|Page Count||232 pages|
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|Category||Spirituality & Inspiration|