Coming of Age in Mississippi
- Born in Wilkinson County, Mississippi on September 15, 1940.
- Attended Nachez Junior College on a basketball scholarship and later graduated from
Tougaloo College with a B.S. (1964).
- During college, became involved in the Civil Rights Movement with organizations like the
NAACP, CORE, and SNCC. Involved in the famous integration of Woolworth's lunch counter
sit-in in Jackson, Mississippi. Later participated in the March on Washington when Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his famous "I have a dream" speech.
- Married Austin Stratus and had one child, Sascha. Divorced in 1967.
- Moved north, and became increasingly militant, when the Civil Rights Movement in
Mississippi seemed to be making little progress.
- Saw herself more as a civil rights activist than a writer.
- Worked as a civil rights project coordinator at Cornell University in 1964-65. Relocated
to New York City.
- In 1969, Coming of Age in Mississippi (1974) received the Brotherhood Award from
The National Council of Christians and Jews and the Best Book of the Year Award from the
National Library Association.
- Continues to live in New York and write, but grants no interviews and does not make
Coming of Age in Mississippi (1968)
Mr. Death: Four Stories (1975)
Critical Sources and Reviews
Retired Discussion Series