Black Was The Ink
Through the help of a ghostly ancestor, sixteen-year-old Malcolm is sent on a journey through Reconstruction-era America to find his place in modern-day Black progress. Taking on the persona of Cedric, Malcolm meets the real-life Black statesmen who fought for change during the Reconstruction era: Hiram Revels, Robert Smalls, Joseph Rainey, and other leaders who made American history. But even after witnessing their bravery, Malcolm's faith in his own future remains shaky, particularly since he knows that the gains these statesmen made were almost immediately stripped away. If those great men couldn't completely succeed, why should he try?
Malcolm must decide which path to take. Can Cedric's experiences help him construct a better future? Or will he resign himself to resentments and defeat?
Author Michelle Coles is a debut novelist, experienced civil rights attorney, and mother of four. As a 9th generation Louisianan, she is highly attuned to the struggles that African Americans have faced in overcoming the legacy of slavery and the periods of government-sanctioned discrimination that followed. Her goal in writing is to empower young people by educating them about history and giving them the tools to shape their own destiny. She lives in Maryland with her family.
Be sure to check out our podcast, “Let’s Talk Black Was The Ink,” Season 2 Episode 5, where we talk to author Michelle Coles and to Congressman Joseph Rainey’s great-great-granddaughter Schuyler Rainey Twyman about the Reconstruction Era, the importance of knowing our history, and how historical fiction can educate our black youth.