Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

The Not-So-Open Road

Candacy Taylor documents the revolutionary guide that helped black travelers navigate a segregated America

In Overground Railroad, Candacy Taylor conjures the menacing byways and backwaters black Americans traveled in the era of Jim Crow — and the revolutionary guide that lit their way. Taylor will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 17 and at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis on February 27.

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Down From the Mountain

How Hancock County embraced its Melungeon secret

In Beyond the Sunset: The Melungeon Outdoor Drama, 1969-1976, Wayne Winkler explores how Tennessee’s poorest county turned to an unlikely source for economic revival: an outdoor drama about the region’s Melungeon heritage. The play ran for just five seasons but changed the county’s view of its mixed-race neighbors forever.

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Unconditional Love 101

Alice Faye Duncan’s Just Like a Mama explores the bond between a child and the grandmother raising her

Alice Faye Duncan’s latest picture book, Just Like a Mama, with illustrations by debut artist Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, pays tribute to the caregivers who raise children with abundant love and devotion.

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Book Excerpt: Letters to the Home

Michael Gray Bulla is a writer and poet from Franklin. He was named the 2017 Nashville Youth Poet Laureate with Southern Word, and his work has been published in Nashville Arts Magazineand Stonewall’s Legacy: A Poetry Anthology. Letters to the Home is his first poetry collection.

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Freedom Fighter

A trip through the mind of civil rights icon Julian Bond

Race Man: Selected Works, 1960-2015 collects a wide array of writings from civil rights leader Julian Bond, whose life provides a model of servant leadership.

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Fake It Till You Make It

A junior entrepreneur and a budding drag queen set their sights on stardom

In Greg Howard’s second middle-grade novel, Middle School’s a Drag: You Better Werk!, entrepreneurial pre-teen Mikey Pruitt thinks his new talent agency can’t miss, now that he’s representing an eighth-grade aspiring drag queen. Readers won’t be surprised to find out that things don’t go as smoothly as Mikey anticipates. Howard will discuss the book at Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 11, at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on February 13, and at the SE-YA Book Fest in Murfreesboro on March 12-14.

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