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‘It’s My Time to Talk’: Edgecombe student publishes book

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Meet Emmanuel “E-Man” Highsmith, a junior at SouthWest Edgecombe High School who wants to be an inspiration for his peers through his book, “It’s My Time to Talk.”

“I decided to do a journal one day because I was just so depressed. A lot of stuff was eating me up inside,” E-Man shared. “I was mad for no reason, and I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I was really stubborn and didn’t want to express, so I just wrote.” 

Since then, using his journal to release his feelings has matured into E-Man publishing his own book last year. He began the journey by posting uplifting messages on his Youtube channel, THE EMANSOBREEZY SHOW. Initially thinking that the content may lead up to a documentary, he ultimately decided to reach out to Writer’s Republic, a publishing company, to release his message to the world. 

Cover photo, “It’s My Time to Talk,” written by Emmanuel “E-Man” Highsmith.” Published by Writer’s Republic. Photo courtesy of Emmanuel Highsmith.

Life saver

The book follows his journey through hardships, detailing how he persevered and what he learned a long the way. E-Man, who credits writing with saving his life, learned that sharing his story helped him find peace with his emotions and experiences.

The young author named that dealing with the hurt of losing his father had a significant impact on his approach to the book.  He specifically wanted to highlight the importance of dealing with trauma, even if it was from long ago, because he knows that it is something many people can relate to. 

Message to fellow teens

No time is being wasted; his eyes are already on future projects, and he is still set on producing a film or documentary.

For now, E-Man just wants to be an inspiration, specifically encouraging teens to express themselves.

“We kind of hold back from some things, we don’t want to tell some things, you think, ‘this is just a little embarrassing,’ or could be uncomfortable, but honestly, you just have to get out of that comfort zone,” he said. “You never know, it could help you and also impact so many others that felt the same way you felt. So, honestly, I would say really, truly, just get comfortable with it.”

Emmanuel “E-Man” Highsmith’s “It’s My Time To Talk” is available online on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other platforms.

Derick Lee

Derick Lee is a regional storyteller for EdNC.