Who's Afraid of Black Indians? is a difficult yet beautiful collection of poetry that peeks into one American family's cultural window. Wanting to forget the past, this chapbook of poetry explores the journey Shonda’s ancestors took from North Carolina to Tennessee, to Indiana and finally Michigan, and the flight and fight to escape racial persecution and racial classification. Yet it is also a book about the recovery of an identity--the intersection of Blacks and Indians in this country. Shonda and her family, like so many other “bi-racial” Native Americans, suffered from not knowing their full roots, and the ills of assimilation, all the while and enduring society's ever-evolving definition of them. This book will hopefully help other Black Indians, as well as bi-racial and tri-racial peoples, research, reclaim and celebrate their multifaceted heritage.
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About the Author
Shonda Buchanan is an award-winning poet, fiction, and narrative-nonfiction writer. She is the recipient of the Brody Arts Fellowship from the California Community Foundation, the Writing Arts fellowship from the Sundance Institute, and the Emerging Voices fellowship from PEN. She has been honored with the Denise L. Scott and Frank Sullivan Awards, an Eloise Klein-Healy Scholarship, a Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and several Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grants. In 2010, she won the poem of the year award from Long Story Short Ezine. She is the editor of Voices from Leimert Park, and she has freelanced for the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle, Indian Country Today, and The International Review of African American Art. Shonda has published in Phati’tude Literary Magazine, Red Ink, Strange Cargo: An Emerging Voices Anthology, Step into a World: A Global Anthology of New Black Literature, Arise! Magazine, Def Jam Poetry’s Bum Rush the Page, Geography of Rage: Remembering the Los Angeles Riots of 1992 and Rivendell. Shonda served as judge of the North Carolina Arts Council Poetry Fellowship, the Virginia Commission for the Arts Fiction Contest, the Metrorail Public Art Project Poetry Contest, the 2012 Poetry Society of Virginia Student Poetry Contest, and the Creative Writing Youth Contest for the College Language Association. Shonda received her B.A. and M.A. from Loyola Marymount University in English and her M.F.A. from Antioch University. Board member of the Poetry Society of Virginia and Hampton Roads Writers, Shonda is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Hampton University, teaching Creative Writing and Composition.