PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The past few years have felt like 1918, 1929, and 1968 all rolled up into one period of turmoil.
“This country right now is in a very dark place … as we went through the COVID pandemic, in my lifetime … never was there a backlash on taking vaccines or doing things that were prescribed like wearing a mask to stop the spread of COVID,” said author, journalist, podcaster and scholar Sophia Nelson in a Zoom interview.
After a bout with COVID-19, Nelson, who is Christopher Newport University’s first Black scholar, started writing her fourth book, titled “Be the One You Need.” In the interview, she uses an iceberg analogy to describe how the unseen can pose the most danger.
“The things that sink us in life, the things that hurt us in life and the way we get in our own way. When we block our blessings when we don’t go deeper. This book is all about going deeper on you and about you,” Nelson said.
But while writing the book, Nelson’s relationship with CNU hit an iceberg after Nelson, in a tweet, questioned the wisdom of introducing children to a comic strip character who is bisexual.
Following protests from the LGBTQ community and others, Nelson removed the tweet and apologized. Chapter 16 in “Be The One You Need” describes what happened as Nelson says she was “canceled.” Her contract with CNU concludes at the end of the month.
“No other professor and no other scholar should ever be treated in such a manner over a tweeted question in a thread that’s very respectful and thoughtful.”
Kelley McGee, a spokesperson for CNU, issued a statement to 10 On Your Side.
“The University took no adverse action against Ms. Nelson, and she remains under contract through the end of August,” wrote McGee in an email.
While the CNU matter remains under dispute, Nelson encourages readers and viewers to practice self-care by simply getting proper sleep and hydration and by finding a place of refuge.
“I promise you, this is going to change you if you dare to go deeper,” said Nelson.
To discuss the complaint with she filed against CNU, Nelson decided to meet with two local reporters: Virginian-Pilot reporter Sierra Jenkins and 10 On Your Side’s Regina Mobley.
Sadly, Jenkins was killed in a mass shooting just months before the book’s release. In her podcast, “Be The One You Need with host Sophia Nelson,” the veteran journalist remembered the young journalist whose life was cut short in a senseless act of violence.