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 onlineRead More →

This weekend I saw Free State of Jones, a dramatic and thought-provoking depiction of one man’s little known contribution to the Civil War. A controversial figure even among his own kin and understandably so – to some Newton Knight is a hero and unheralded example of civil disobedience, a Robin Hood of sorts standing up for the rights of poor whites and blacks in a war and its aftermath that pitted neighbor against neighbor and fueled sentiments of personal and states rights to preserve a way of life that benefited the privileged few. To others Knight was a traitor to the South, an outlaw, aRead More →

Sedahlia Take a Look! From the stories she told, Nanny had done many things – picked cotton, worked as a domestic and custodian, even owned her own cafe – and she did it all with a joy for life, a sense of humor and a feisty spirit. On holidays, the doorbell would ring and our family gathering would be interrupted by the white children she took care of long before I was born. Now grown, they always came with hugs and presents. Her smile genuine, Nanny greeted them warmly and never uttered a disparaging word even after they were gone. I was jealous of this other family that claimedRead More →