Thank you for visiting my website.
These webpages contain information about my broadcast productions, along with details regarding my book, Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio, and Freedom (University of Illinois Press). Word Warrior is an engaging biography of Chicagoan Richard Durham (1917-1984), an inventive writer who was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame posthumously in 2007. Please click on the video below to see more information about my book.
In July 2016, Word Warrior became one of four nonfiction finalists nominated by QBR, The Black Book Review’s 2016 Phyllis Wheatley Book Awards. According to the African American Literary Book Club (AALBC), the Wheatley Awards recognizes “literary work and literary advocacy that transcends culture, boundary, and perception.”
Richard Durham may be best known for Destination Freedom, his award-winning radio series about African American history makers. One episode explored the contributions of baseball great, Jackie Robinson. Robinson defied “Jim Crow” segregation and integrated the sport’s all-white major leagues in 1947 when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers team. In following clip, Durham dramatized the initial meeting between Robinson and the Dodgers’ president, Branch Rickey. Actors Oscar Brown Jr. and Everett Clark played Robinson and Rickey. Writer Studs Terkel narrated.
And as a special 2017 Black History Month treat, click here to hear WAMU-FM’s The Big Broadcast show that featured the Destination Freedom episode about the man called the father of Black History, Carter G. Woodson.
Each month on my Blog page, I’ll include excerpts from and background information about Word Warrior – along with examples of how Richard Durham’s writing and activism still resonates today… [Read More]
Check out Word Warrior on Teaching for Change’s new Nonfiction Adult Books list. This nonprofit organization “carefully selects” and features “the best multicultural and social justice books.”
Attendees at one of my recent book events said:
- Sonja D. Williams gave a dynamic presentation…[she is] an outstanding speaker.
- Great subject matter. Great author. Great Book.
- I really knew almost nothing about this writer, his times, etc. prior to the program. Excellent presenter.
- I want to thank Sonja Williams for illuminating why Richard Durham was a literary legend.
- Prof. Williams was amazing.
- Excellent! Very informative and interesting. Great talk!
- Little known media personality & history well worth knowing about.
- Good story about a heroic artist.
Note: In the images at the top of this page Sonja D. Williams, 1) talks about Word Warrior at WHUR-FM in Washington, DC; 2) lectures at Howard University; 3) sits with Chicago scholar Timuel D. Black Jr.; 4) enjoys a moment with comedian Sinbad after receiving a 1992 CEBA (Communications Excellence to Black Audiences) Award; 5) celebrates Word Warrior’s release with Durham’s wife, Clarice Davis Durham; 6) sells books with brother Craig Williams in St. Augustine, Florida.
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