Compelling NonFiction Storytelling: A NABJ/NAHJ Discussion

Interested in a fascinating discussion about nonfiction writing? Then you’ll want to attend the National Association of Black Journalists/National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ joint 2016 conference session, “Tell Me A Story: Compelling Narrative Nonfiction Writing and the Authors who Create Them.”
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Whether exploring heartbreaking church murders in Charleston, a broken justice system in Chicago or colorism, as well as the life stories of remarkable people from the eras of vinyl records and radio, authors Wayne Dawkins, (City Son), Herb Frazier (We Are Charleston), Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve (Crook County), Rashod Ollison (Soul Serenade), Lori Tharps (Same Family, Different Colors) and myself (Word Warrior), will talk about our books – and sign your own personal copy.

This exciting NABJ/NAHJ Authors Showcase session starts at 10:30am on Friday, August 5th in at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Northwest DC.

For more details visit http://www.nabjnahj.com. I hope to see you there!


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Word Warrior Earns Book Awards Recognition!

This month Word Warrior was selected as a finalist in the 2016 Phyllis Wheatley Book Awards. These awards were created in honor of the first published African American poet/writer by QBR, The Black Books Review – “the African American book review of record,” according to cultural critic Martin Arnold of the New York Times.

 

Phyllis Wheatley was brought to America as an enslaved Phillis_WheatleyAfrican from the Gambia, West Africa in 1770. She was seven or eight years old. Wheatley soon learned how to read and write, and published her first poem at age 12. She went on to publish several poems that made her famous in early 1770s, and by 1775 Wheatley became the first enslaved African in America to publish a book.

 

How fitting that Word Warrior, a book about a man who loved poetry and who was a lyrical poet and powerful writer, would earn finalist status in the Wheatley Awards category that celebrates an author’s first nonfiction book!

 

Please click here to see the other finalists in this and the other Wheatley Awards categories. And thanks for your support!

 


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A Ringing Review of a “Well Written Analytical Profile”

Recommended!
That was a recent assessment of my book Word Warrior in Choice Connect (Vol. 53, No. 9, May 2016), published by the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. According to reviewer D.O. Cullen, Word Warrior is recommended for lower division undergraduates students, faculty members and general readers.
Why?
Well, read the following Choice review and see for yourself.  Thanks!

Williams, Sonja D. Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio, and Freedom. Illinois, 2015. 250p bibl index afp ISBN 9780252081392 pbk, $26.00; ISBN 9780252039874, $95.00; ISBN 9780252097980 ebook, contact publisher for price.

With this book, Williams (Howard Univ.) rescues a forgotten but important voice in the Civil Rights Movement.  Whether Durham (1917–84) was writing poetry, reporting, or creating radio and television scripts, his subjects remained the same: justice for the African American community and the injustice of segregation.  Inspired by Langston Hughes and Richard Wright, Durham began his literary career as a poet in the late 1920s.  By the mid-1930s, he was a writer for the Illinois Writer’s Project, profiling the state’s African American community.  By the 1940s, he was a reporter for the Chicago Defender, where he focused on the illegality of segregation.  The newspaper sponsored a radio series written by Durham, Democracy USA, in which he focused on forgotten historical black heroes.  In 1947, he wrote and produced the radio program Here Comes Tomorrow, the first radio drama to highlight an African American family.  In the 1960s–70s, he was the editor of Muhammad Speaks, the journal of the Nation of Islam, and wrote co-wrote Muhammad Ali’s autobiography, The Greatest: My Story (1975).  Williams details all this in this well-written analytical profile of this important, versatile writer.

Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers.

–D. O. Cullen, Collin College


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