Author Bios

 

The contributors to the second volume of the Sister4Sister Empowerment Series are accomplished African-American writers and journalists. They bring a myriad of life experiences to bear upon their tales of hope, resilience, and understanding.

They are:


TRACY PRICE-THOMPSON, founder of Sister 4 Sister Empower Ourselves, national bestelling author, and co-editor of this project, is on a mission to spread a message of self-love and cultural pride to people of the African Diaspora. As a social worker, Tracy believes every good lesson begins at home, and she and her husband Gregory have raised their children in an environment that is surrounded by positive images of blackness in all its splendor and glory. A true champion of the beauty in black women, especially those whose media-rejected physical features readily identify them with the sweet earth of the Motherland, Tracy has spent her life edifying and empowering black women and encouraging them to reject the dominant ideology of European beauty which has no bearing on their intrinsic worth, while heartening them to embrace the God-given beauty that resides in every woman’s soul.

In recognition of the need to acknowledge, examine, and heal skin tone biases as they relate to the skin/hair “thang” between black women, Tracy partnered with TaRessa Stovall to develop a means of soothing the wounds of black women through literary fiction. A brief excerpt from her contribution to the first volume of the Sister4Sister Empowerment Series, the title story “Other People’s Skin” won a Hurston/Wright Award for Short Fiction.

In addition to editing Proverbs for the People: Contemporary African-American Literature, Other People’s Skin, and My Blue Suede Shoes, Tracy is the national bestselling author of Black CoffeeChocolate Sangria, A Woman’s Worth, Knockin’ Boots, 1-900-ANYTIME, and Gather Together In My Name , which is a gripping tale that takes a harsh look at the correlation between capital punishment and the death penalty in America as they relate to the race of the victim and the race of the accused.

A 2005 Hurston-Wright Award Winner for Contemporary Fiction (A Woman’s Worth), Tracy is a co-author of the novel Indecent Exposure , edited by Donna Hill, a contributor to the novel On the Line, and she recently wrote a story called “Black Love at It’s Best,” for the Hurston/Wright Foundation’s collection entitled, It’s All Love.

A former book reviewer for QBR: The Black Book Review, Tracy’s writing has been anthologized in the collections, Children of the Dream: Our Stories of Growing Up Black in America, Victor Hansen’s Chicken Soup For The African-American Soul, as well as True Grit: “A Military Mom,” Aunties: Thirty-five Writers Celebrate Their Other Mother, Ro Deezy’s, I Woke Up and Put My Crown On, and she is also a contributing author to the NAACP award-winning collection on domestic violence entitled, Breaking the Cycle, edited by NY Times Bestselling author, Zane. Tracy’s stories can also be found in, Samiya Bashir’s Best Black Women’s Erotica 2, Nancey Flowers’ Twilight Moods , Carol Taylor’s Brown Sugar 3When Opposites Attract, and Carol Taylor’s Wanderlust: Erotic Travel Tales.

Tracy is a retired Army engineer officer and decorated Desert Storm veteran who graduated from the Army’s Infantry Officer Candidate School after more than ten years as an enlisted soldier. She hails from Brooklyn, New York and has traveled the globe extensively and lived and worked in many amazing places. She is a Ralph Bunche graduate fellow who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in social work. Tracy is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and lives in Hawaii with her wonderfully supportive husband and several of their six bright, beautiful, incredible children.

TaRESSA STOVALL, is an author, blogger and journalist whose books include Other People’s Skin: Four Novellas; The Hot Spot; Proverbs for the People: Contemporary African-American Literature; A Love Supreme: Real-Life Stories of Black Love (featured on Oprah!) and The Buffalo Soldiers. A graduate of The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, TaRessa has pioneered newspaper columns—the award-winning Diverse City, and Now Read This: The Best Multi-Cultural Books, Magazines, Websites and More—and garnered awards for feature, news and arts newspaper writing. She is managing editor of TheDefendersOnline, the civil rights blog of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and part of the UPPITY News Network.com, which helps Black Boomers live long and prosper. She resides in Montclair, New Jersey.

DESIREE COOPER is a journalist, author, blogger and former co-host of American Public Media’s Weekend America. A 2002 Pulitzer Prize nominee for her column in the Detroit Free Press, Cooper graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Maryland with degrees in journalism and economics. She earned a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1984. Her poetry has been published in the online magazines, Simply Haiku and Torch. Her prose appears in Best African American Fiction 2010, Detroit Noir, and Other People’s Skin. She is a founding board member of Cave Canem, a national residency for emerging black poets. Cooper was born in Japan to a military family and now makes her home in metro Detroit.

Elizabeth Atkins writes and speaks from the spectacular human spectrum that she embodies as the daughter of an African American judge and a former Roman Catholic priest who was English, French Canadian and Cherokee.

The Montel Williams Show showcased Elizabeth’s message of colorblind love when she appeared as race expert/author of White Chocolate, one of her five novels featuring mixed-race people in provocative plots.

The film rights for Elizabeth’s second novel, Dark Secret — a sexy thriller about a biracial woman “passing” for white — are being shopped in Hollywood.

Elizabeth wrote Twilight, an exotic love story, with Billy Dee Williams.  And she authored two hip-hop novels featured in Black Expressions Book Club. Her novella, Take It Off! appears in Other People’s Skin, an anthology about triumphant women.

The Oprah Winfrey Show featured Elizabeth’s 100-pound weight loss!

She most recently completed a screenplay called Redemption.  Prior to that, Elizabeth worked as an editor for the late author E. Lynn Harris.

As a Diversity Speaker, Elizabeth inspired a standing ovation from the NAACP and praise at Beaumont Hospital’s Diversity Symposium. She spoke at a National Human Rights Conference, the University of Michigan’s Cultural Connections and the Oakland County Employment Diversity Council.  The former Fox News writer has lectured at GM’s World Diversity Day, Gannett, Columbia University, Levy Home Entertainment, Comerica Bank, the Association of Multi-Ethnic Americans and the American Library Association.

Elizabeth’s expertise is rooted in research for her master’s thesis about mixed-race Americans at Columbia University’s Journalism School.  The Toastmasters International member and University of Michigan English Major covered race for The Detroit News, where her articles were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed her to the Idlewild Centennial Commission to celebrate the historic resort’s 100-year anniversary in 2012.

Elizabeth has appeared on The CBS Evening News, Good Morning America Sunday, and many local TV shows.  She appeared on Tyra to discuss an article she wrote for Ebony that inspired Ms. Banks to host a show on racism within the black community.

The former Detroit NABJ Chapter president has written for The New York Times, The San Diego Tribune, Essence, Black Issues Book Review, and BLAC Detroit Magazine and a Rosa Parks tribute.

A health and fitness enthusiast, Elizabeth has run the Detroit Free Press Marathon and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  She also cycles, swims and lifts weights.

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