Mourner’s Bench tells the story of brave, bold women who led the civil rights movement in the Arkansas Delta. Set in 1964, the story unfolds from the perspective of eight-year-old Sarah White, a serious child who feels ready to get baptized, but increasingly finds herself torn between the traditions of her community and her church and her mother’s progressive and feminist views. When the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee comes to town, the reverend considers them “the evil among us,” while Sarah’s mother and her friends seem determined to push the town toward integration. With vibrant characters and setting, Mourner’s Bench explores the conflict between progress and tradition as Sarah navigates her place in her family and community.
• Winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction
• More than five years of experience teaching composition, creative writing and literature courses
• Nationally recognized author with a University press published novel
• Experienced curriculum designer and instructor for community-based creative writing courses
• Adept at bridging higher education with writer’s communities, programs and initiatives
• More than 15 years of leadership experience in the corporate arena building executive level networks, increasing sales and employee productivity and launching successful marketing campaigns
• Successful record of designing and producing events that improve awareness, build strong community relations and make a real difference to the lives of others institution
• Passionate about education and tenacious in the pursuit of goals
The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award TM honors the best in Black literature in the United States and around the globe. Introduced in 2001, the Legacy Award was the first national award presented to Black writers by a national organization of Black writers. Fiction, nonfiction and poetry honorees are selected in a juried competition. Merit awards are given at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Each October, the award winners are celebrated during a gala that draws hundreds of literary stars, readers, and representatives of the publishing industry, the arts, media, politics, and academia.