As an author of historical fiction, I try to infuse realism and possibility into my characters, settings and plots. I dare not leave it all to the imagination. I am driven to discover and write about life in this country before I was cognizant enough to know or care about more than the clothes on my back and the food in my belly. Enumerable true and untold stories pepper our past. How did my ancestors survive and thrive through slavery, the Civil War and its aftermath, the backlash of Jim Crow, segregation and institutionalized discrimination? To satisfy my curiosity, I browse bookstores, libraries, and online resources for gems:
- Vintage publications like the Farmer’s Almanac and Sears Catalogue,
- The slave narratives from the Federal Writers Project
- Little known Black history facts from blackamericaweb.com,
- Isabel Wilkerson’s chronicle of the southern black migration, The Warmth of Other Suns
So many generations have come and gone. The stories must not die with them. We preserve history so we will not forget. I celebrate all who shed light on those dark yet hopeful years.