Iyanla Vanzant- 2016

Iyanla Vanzant

Life coach, TV personality, spiritual teacher and author

From Abandoned Child to Female Inspiration

By Christian Cellasio 

Iyanla Vanzant is an African American author, TV personality, and spiritual teacher, known for her writing which empowers and inspires people of color due to her terrifying stories growing up. Growing up, Vanzant faced a challenging childhood; overwhelmed with poverty, loss, and abuse. Vanzant faced many high points and many low points in her young life and shaped her to be the fierce black woman she is today and has turned these moments into life lessons for not only herself but for the millions she inspires.   

Vanzant overcame an unhealthy amount of adversity and tragedy growing up. “I was an abandoned child living in his home and I was crying out for love” (OWN) Iyanla Vanzant wisely stated when opening up about being raped by a family member on her TV Show. These traumatic events in her childhood manufactured her passion to help and free others. In her early adulthood, recently divorced, Vanzant moved out and attended law school, where she became a public defender in Philadelphia for three years. However, after not receiving the satisfaction she yearned in law, Vanzant took up writing, and wrote her first book titled “Tapping the Power Within: A Path to Self-Empowerment for Black Women” in 1992, which won multiple awards and pioneered her career. Since then, she has written over thirty books covering various spiritual, mental, and ethical topics. One example being “Trust: Mastering the Four Essential Trusts” book Vanzant wrote in 2015, takes readers through various ethical and moral situations, such as a sibling stealing from you, and other family betrayals. In her book, Vanzant asks the question “Do I want to be right about how wrong they were? Or do I want to find and claim peace?” (Iyanla Vanzant) when writing about family dilemmas and how trust can be broken.  Her second career as an author brought her work, her passion for saving to the eye of the media.  

Vanzant also hosts her own reality show “Iyanla: Fix my Life” where she would help people in need; mentally, spiritually, and financially. This unique story shows why she is important and why she deserves a platform. Vanzant uses her platform to empower and encourage people in need, as she guides them on a spiritual path through motivation and meditation. “If we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day; there will be a miraculous payoff.”  (“About”) Vanzant has such a unique story that people want to listen to her. Another reason why Vanzant is so important is her methods of healing. Iyanla Vanzant is a very religious person, and she uses her faith to solve her problems; most of her books focus on the importance of self-repair and how faith can help resolve any personal or extramental problems you might face. She can motivate people and implements meditation into her speeches and that is why Iyanla is so important. She can heal people with her stories and her writing. She inspires people with her writing and her powerful voice, relating her books to the hardships from when she grew up.    

In conclusion, Iyanla Vanzant is not only an African American author, but she is also a teacher and a speaker of words. “Your willingness to look at your darkness is what empowers you to change.” (Meah). Vanzant is a spiritual novelist who aspires to lift everyone's spirit in her writing, while connecting her books to deep connections to her life, in hopes that no human ever has to go through what she went through.  

Works Cited 

“About - Iyanla Vanzant | New York Times Best-Selling Author.” Iyanla Vanzant, 2016, iyanla.com/about/. 

Iyanla Vanzant. Trust : Mastering the Four Essential Trusts. Carlsbad, California, Smileybooks, 2015. 

“Iyanla Vanzant Biography - Selected Writings.” Jrank.org, 2020, biography.jrank.org/pages/2379/Vanzant-Iyanla.html. 

Meah, Asad. “35 Inspirational Iyanla Vanzant Quotes on Success |AwakenTheGreatnessWithin.” Awaken the Greatness Within, 5 June 2018, www.awakenthegreatnesswithin.com/35-inspirational-iyanla-vanzant-quotes-on-success/. Accessed 17 Feb. 2021. 

OWN. “Iyanla Vanzant Opens up about Being Raped at Age 9 | Iyanla: Fix My Life | Oprah Winfrey Network.” YouTube, 13 Oct. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DPWJtWFhnw&ab_channel=OWN. Accessed 17 Feb. 2021. 

Schinke, Birgit. “Iyanla Vanzant (1953- ) •.” BLACKPAST, 27 Mar. 2015, www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/vanzant-iyanla-1953/#:~:text=Iyanla%20Vanzant%20was%20born%20as. Accessed 17 Feb. 2021