Hey! I'm Najja. Storytelling is my thing.
When I was 14 years old, my cousin gifted me with the greatest Christmas present - a journal. From the moment I ripped the wrapping paper from the velvety purple booklet, I committed to writing in it every Sunday, and I haven’t stopped since.
These days, I'm not only jotting down my experiences. I'm telling other people's stories, too.
But to figure out how, I hit the books, moving from my Memphis hometown to Atlanta to attend Spelman College. I snagged a bachelor's degree in English and theater and later a master's degree in journalism from Columbia College Chicago.
I made the Windy City my home, and I held down a bomb gig at Jet and Ebony magazines. From hard news coverage on matters such as Boko Haram and the police shooting of Michael Brown to celebrity interviews with some of my favorite stars like Taraji P. Henson and Morris Chestnut, I spent three years covering the topics I love.
Now, I'm back in the ATL, and I'm continuing my work at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I get to find the viral stories that readers can't resist and host some of the hottest events that hit The Peach City for digital and social media platforms.
You can even spot my byline in a few other publications, too, such as The Huffington Post; theGrio; Rare.us; and Sesi, a quarterly magazine for African-American teen girls.
Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
Now for the fun part...
My most embarrassing moment happened at church. I fell into the life-size nativity scene in the lobby after service in front of the entire congregation. Loud laugher commenced. Baby Jesus was not harmed.
Island Capri in Italy is the most beautiful place I've ever been.
One album I have on repeat is Buddy's Harlan & Alondra.
Desserts bring me joy. Warm chocolate chip cookies are the way to my heart.
I've never seen Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. Are you judging me?!
Right now, I'm reading Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing.
The easiest way to start a conversation with me is to mention anything about J. Cole.
My friends are some of my biggest inspirations. They're so dope.