Celebrating African-American Authors
by Selena Montgomery

On President's Day, I am tempted to wade into the current political fracas, but I will resist.

Instead, I thought I'd muse about black women writers who have changed the course of our American history.

I owe a debt of gratitude to pioneering poets like Gwendolyn Brooks and Toni Cade Bambara, whose love of language explained the pain and glory of black womanhood to generations.

I celebrate playwrights of exceptional talent such as Suzanne Lori-Parks and Pearl Cleage, who also used their words
to take shape on stage and transcend the singular, instant experience.

Of course, I curtsy before the legend of authors like Alice Walker and Toni Morrison and Octavia Butler and Beverly Jenkins and Edwidge Danicat and others, who tackled the hierarchy of majority domination in letters and yielded lovely tomes that transport this reader to fantastic worlds.

Life as a writer demands homage to those pens that struck first and drew paths. I can't image my bookshelves without them and countless others who remind us all that the writer's strike was a sojourn to boundless worlds of imagination, one that can be revisited more regularly--and pleasantly--than re-runs.

My deepest, deepest thanks!

Selena Montgomery


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