Black Voices in Metro D.C.

“Black Voices in Metro D.C.” is the working title of a manuscript in progress, written by Amanda M. Socci.

This meaningful project was conceived and started in mid-September, 2020, with letters e-mailed to honorees starting on September 24, 2020. Currently, the manuscript is 10,000 words long.



Inspired by Greatness

In mid-September 2020, Amanda felt a strong pang of something that needed to be excised out of her, though all in a good way. The emotions had been bubbling for a long time and it was driving her crazy. Without hesitation, Amanda took what she felt inside and did what she knows how to do best – – write. She wrote a long stream of consciousness that ended up being roughly 14 pages of text.

Only after she wrote all that text did she consider it was time to make things serious and follow the correct path by asking for permission to write about a particular person. Of course, the very first person who she turned to for permission was the same exact person who inspired Amanda to write this book in the first place: entrepreneur Rocky Parrish from Alexandria, VA.

Amanda first learned about Rocky in January 2019 and since then, has been following him on social media with a growing interest in his business.

At first, Amanda thought she was going to write a simple blog post about Rocky’s business and put it on her blog, but then she considered opening up the door a bit wider by writing about others as well.

The lightbulb of intense creativity went off in Amanda’s head and she immediately came up with the idea to write an entire book about Black people. 

sb Rocky Parrish

"Black Voices in Metro D.C." is not just any book. It's a unique book that captures the essence of Black men and women who live and work locally in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Writing about People while they’re Alive

After coming up with a vision with her lightbulb moment, Amanda got to work as quickly as possible, with excitement oozing out of every pore. And then she called Rocky with great enthusiasm, anticipating that he would agree to be a part of Amanda’s new book project.

Amanda had a feeling Rocky would be happy to see his business efforts recognized in print. What Amanda did not expect was the strange coincidence in Rocky’s choice of language during that initial phone call.

As soon as Amanda explained to Rocky her mission in writing this book, Rocky immediately stated how important it was to “give flowers to a person while they’re alive,” referencing the odd and well-accepted custom of sending flower arrangements to a funeral home to celebrate a person’s life.


Amanda Socci visits Rocky Parrish at his home office in June 2021.

Give Flowers to the Living

The custom of sending flowers to the bereaved is socially accepted, yet odd. What is the real purpose of the flowers? Dead people can’t enjoy them. That is why it’s better to give flowers to people when they are alive, so that they can enjoy them.

Amanda’s father was the first person to tell her this exact observation about how common it was to send flower arrangements during funeral services. None of it made any sense, and that struck a chord with Amanda. From that point forward, Amanda has made it a personal mission to live a life where she gives flowers to every single person she meets or doesn’t meet.

The school janitor and kitchen crew get hearty hellos and pleasant conversations. That shy person on Facebook who loves pets but doesn’t socialize much gets thoughtful words of encouragement. No matter the circumstance, Amanda makes it a point to give flowers to others disguised as words, smiles, conversation, communication, and sometimes prayers.

Every person needs flowers.

It is one thing to get a school assignment and be required to write about memorable people from history. That is great. Nothing wrong with writing about dead people who once fought for our country, invented things, or did courageous things.

However, it is a totally different animal to write about someone who is living. You have to be able to write factually yet carefully because the living person, their family, and their work colleagues will all potentially read what you write.

Amanda Socci meets Molette Green and Irene Johnson from NBC4.

Profiles of Black Women and Men

With careful and thoughtful consideration, Amanda has taken her initial inspiration from business owner Rocky Parrish and decided to write an entire book about Black men and women who live and work in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Since mid-September 2020, Amanda already has been busy quietly observing people and has reached out to talk to potential honorees for her book, “Black Voices in Metro D.C.”

As of June 2021, Amanda has secured permission to write about several great Black me and women and looks forward to completing this book project.

11-19 Why are Black people important_