Mildred D. Taylor (citations of her name almost always include the D.) was born on September 13, 1943, in Jackson, Mississippi. Her family soon moved North to avoid the volatile racial tensions of the South. She went to the University of Toledo, then joined the Peace Corps and taught English and history in Ethiopia.

Growing up in the North, she was the only black child in her class. Her father, raised in a very segregated South, made sure his children understood their heritage, including the ugly bits - slavery, the viciousness of the civil rights struggle.   "From as far back as I can remember, my father taught me a different history from the one I learned in school."   She later became a member of the Black Student Alliance at the University of Colorado, where she also helped found a black studies program.

Her kids' books all deal with race relations and prejudice, and she has no hesitation about using racial slurs in her writing. This has earned her much criticism, and some schools ban her books, which is of course ridiculous. "My stories might not be 'politically correct,' so there will be those who will be offended, but as we all know, racism is offensive. It is not polite, and it is full of pain."


"I do not know how old I was when the daydreams became more than that, and I decided to write them down, but by the time I entered high school, I was confident that I would one day be a writer. I still wonder at myself for feeling so confident."


The Friendship

The Gold Cadillac: A Fancy New Car and an Unforgettable Drive

Let the Circle Be Unbroken

The Road to Memphis

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (1977 Newbery Award)

The Well: David's Story

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