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The East Texan

A&M-Commerce alumna has a never-ending streak of success


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East Texan File Photo
Camika Spencer wins Homecoming Queen in 1993.

 

Joseph Miller | Staff Reporter

A&M-Commerce Alumna Camika Spencer is a modern-day renaissance woman. The Oak Cliff [Dallas, Texas neighborhood] native is a best-selling author, teacher, poet, singer, playwright and publisher.

Spencer graduated from A&M-Commerce in 1994 with her Bachelor’s of Science in Mass Communications and Media Studies. She has spent her time spreading her voice in a variety of ways.

While on campus, Spencer was a well-known figure as a senator in the Student Government Association, writer for The East Texan Newspaper, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) president, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Historian, and 1993 Homecoming Queen. During her time as a student, she would show her drive by being outspoken and fighting to have her voice and beliefs heard.

“I know there are a lot of injustices on this campus and I plan to make a difference before I leave here,” Spencer said to The East Texan in 1994.

After graduating TAMU-C, Spencer found difficulty in getting a job in her field. She began working with Emma Rodgers at the Black Images Book Bazaar, a cornerstone of the Dallas African-American community, bring African-American literature and offering books from 1977 to 2006 when it shut down, in Dallas.

While working at Black Images, Spencer realized her talent at writing and crafting fiction and wrote her first novel “Keep it on the Down Low” in 1996.

While shopping the novel around to agents, Spencer wrote her second novel “Cubicles” and set it aside for a later date. After multiple attempts and rejections at publication, Spencer decided to self-publish and created Akimac Publishing.

Through Akimac Publishing Spencer published her first novel “When All Hell Breaks Loose” in 1998. She followed this work with the release of “Cubicles” in 2002 and “He Had It Coming” in 2004.

Spencer has also performed as a singer going by the name Emotion Brown. As Emotion Brown, she has performed solo and as a singer for Johnathan Tyler and the Northern Lights (JTNL) who have earned various awards and rave reviews across the nation.

As a member of JTNL, Spencer toured with ZZ Top and played several festivals such as Bonnaroo and SXSW. The band’s songs wave been featured on television shows like Boardwalk Empire, Friday Night Lights, and in 2011 the group’s version of “Sugar, Sugar” became the theme to the TLC series “Cake Boss.” JTNL has also played live on television, most notably the group appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on April 8, 2010.

Later on, Spencer accomplished playwright where she and cousin, Kyndal Robertson won TeCo Theatrical Productions’ new play competition in March 2013 with their play “Pious.”

In October 2013, the duo wrote and produced the play “Black at the Assassination” that showed at the Bishop Arts Theater Center in Dallas, Texas. More recently Spencer produced a play for the second Down For #TheCount one-act play festival in February 2017. Her play “Things That Go Bump” was one of the stronger pieces, according to critics, from the festival that features plays written by females.

Today, Spencer is a 7th Grade English Language Arts and Reading Instructor at Elsie Robertson Middle School in Lancaster, Texas.

“My mom did the best she could and now I have to make her happy by doing the best that I can,” she told The East Texan in 1994.

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The student news site of Texas A&M University-Commerce
A&M-Commerce alumna has a never-ending streak of success