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Forever Editor - The Highest Editor Praise

In June 2023, it was the official debut and book signing for the sculptor’s book I had been copyediting for the past four years. It was my first art book, “Identity Theft: Creations from a Social Conscience,” and the experience forever changed my life. Artist and author Michael Chukes, known as “Chukes,” opened my eyes to perspectives on the Black community and what my own learnings growing up neglected to teach me.

As perfectly stated by the publisher, “‘Identity theft’ is not the computer kind, but cultural, sociological, and historical with individual commentary relating to each piece that contain many pithy and insightful musings for the Black community and beyond.” His extraordinary collection of sculptures and paintings invite you to contemplate the causes and effects of misrepresentation of historical facts and its dire effects on the past and present world.

Michael Chukes, artist, and Christine Steele, editor, holding "Identity Theft" book
Michael Chukes and Christine Steele

Chukes asked me to also speak at his book signing and said I’m his “forever editor.” That’s the highest praise any author could give to an editor. He said I understood what he was trying to say in so many of my thoughtful edits, and that “You get me.” An editor’s job isn’t to change an author’s writing but to enhance it, and how rewarding it is to know that I was able to do that in his eyes. If you’d like to learn more or check out the book, visit (Permission granted for sharing book images.)

-- Say it with Steele, x C

Chukes and wife, editor and publisher holding up copies of "Identity Theft" book.
L to R: Rhonda Chukes (wife), Michael Chukes, me, publisher Charles Allen (Sagest Publishing)

Identity Theft book and Silent Protect sculpture on table at book signing
Identity Theft book and Silent Protect sculpture: "I cover my ears so that your words will not corrupt my soul! / I close my eyes, not to hide my visions, but to keep them sacred! / I teach wisdom, knowledge, and love for humanity to my offspring! / I will let nothing you do ever stop me from reaching my destiny! / This is my Silent Protest!

Book of Knowledge art with a book collage and Chukes painted in the middle
"Book of Knowledge" art

Book of Knowledge art with a book collage and Chukes painted in the middle
"Book of Knowledge" art description

A man and woman hugging each other in clay
"One" sculpture

"One" sculpture description
"One" sculpture book description

Sculpture of a man holding his baby close to his chest
"Protector of Next Generation" sculpture

"Protector of Next Generation" sculpture description
"Protector of Next Generation" sculpture description

Check out Chukes sculptures and paintings at

Buy the book at

Permission granted by Michael Chukes for sharing book images.

(c) 2023 Christine Steele


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