Black Indian


Product Details

$26.99  $25.10
Wayne State University Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.2 inches | 1.2 pounds

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About the Author

Literary editor of Harriet Tubman Press, Shonda Buchanan is an award-winning poet and educator. She is also the author of Who's Afraid of Black Indians? and Equipoise: Poems from Goddess Country and editor of two anthologies, Voices from Leimert Park and Voices from Leimert Park Redux.


An inherently fascinating, deftly written, thoughtful and thought-provoking memoir of an extraordinary woman and her extraordinary family.

-- "Midwest Book Review"

With a writing style that moves with ease in and out of the poetic, the no-nonsense, the tragic and a kind of endurance that is earthily and spiritually human, "Black Indian" is a read both intriguing and satisfying.

--Linda Legarde Grover "Star Tribune"

It is a stark account of a rich, cultural heritage that is unnecessarily persecuted.

--Alice Kelly "Your Tango"

featured in O. Henry Magazine
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--Virginia Holman "O. Henry Magazine"

With interwoven stories about the women in her Michigan family, Buchanan, the literary editor of Harriet Tubman Press, furthers the important work she has done in her poetry, uncovering the hidden histories of families struggling to define their mixed black and Native American bloodlines to their own satisfaction.

-- "Kirkus Reviews"

"[. . . ] there is a saving grace in the lives of Buchanan and her women relatives. Many of them have dreams that tell the future, that help guide them away from oncoming shipwrecks. It is through this alchemical magic that Buchanan is able to both reinvent herself and connect with the family she thought she had left behind.

--Falling James "L.A. Weekly"

Black Indian is an emotionally draining memoir that is also resonant in its discussions of poverty's destructive forces.

--Karl Helicher "Foreword Reviews"

In her grimly haunting memoir, Buchanan reveals many aspects of American racism and sexism as she grapples with a painful legacy.

--Deborah Donovan "Booklist"

Award-winning poet Shonda Buchanan honors multiple literary traditions in her breathtaking new memoir, Black Indian. An educator, freelance writer, and literary editor, Buchanan is a culture worker with deep, decades-long engagement in communities of color. Her work honors the complexity and diversity of these Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. At once Indigenous, Black Female, Speculative, Feminist, Womanist, Urban, Southern Gothic, and counter to the Tragic Mulatto stereotype in American literature, stage, and film, Black Indian is a quintessentially American narrative.

--Eisa Nefertari Ulen "Los Angeles Review of Books"

Secrets have a tendency of dancing with silence. Shonda Buchanan's journey to discover her roots, to learn her identity, is not another American story, it's perhaps the first story. Black Indian acknowledges the past with all its implication of who we are as Americans. Our nation cannot walk a path of denial into the future. When we look into the mirror of history our features, our hair, and the essence of our blood and bone structure will provide us with the evidence and answers we've been waiting for. Shonda Buchanan has the courage to tell her story and the story of her family. Her story is our song. This book is muscle music. It can only make our nation stronger.

--E. Ethelbert Miller "literary activist, writer, and host of On the Margin (WPFW 89.3 FM)"