Daniel Black

Daniel Black is a native of Kansas City, Kansas, yet spent the majority of his childhood years in Blackwell, Arkansas. He is an associate professor at his alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, where he now aims to provide an example to young Americans of the importance of self-knowledge and communal commitment. He is the author of They Tell Me of a Home and The Sacred Place.


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Q & A

1. What do you like to do in your free time?
My all-time favorite hobby is fishing. It allows me to think, relax, and conceive new ideas to write about. Although fish only bite half the time one spends at the water, the serenity and silence rejuvenates my mind and I always come back from the lake having traded mental chaos for clarity. If I could fish every single day, I would most certainly do so.
 
2. What kind of music do you like and why?
I am a gospel music lover, precisely because it keeps me reminded of the bigger picture—that, in truth, the insignificant things matter not. Rather, one's ability to love every soul one meets and one's ability to be clear that the world is, ultimately, governed by something far superior to humans keeps joy flowing in my soul and keeps depression at bay. Also, the strength and power of black voices belting to the world about how they and their God made it over, always reminds me that I come from a people who shall never be defeated.
 
3. What's your favorite movie and why?
I'm not sure I can choose one, but I'll never forget how Antwone Fisher moved my heart. Here's this talented, beautiful young black man whose flawed parentage makes him believe that he is nothing but a reflection of his parents’ weaknesses. However, another black man enters Antwone's life and loves him enough to mentor him into self-love and self-awareness. By the end of the movie, Antwone has connected with his larger familial community and he understands that his greatness is his own to create--he is not simply the composite conglomeration of a crack mother and an absent father. His ability to circumvent what often destroys so many others and his mentor's willingness to help him do so makes this movie one of my all-time favorites.
 
4. What's your favorite novel?
Of course no real writer can ever name one favorite book, but the beauty and language of Paule Marshall's The Chosen Place, The Timeless People can hardly be matched, it seems. The introduction and development of Merle, the protagonist, is a character development most excellent. Anyone who loves literature must read this book!
 
5. Who is your favorite writer?
James Baldwin is probably my favorite writer. His eloquence and profundity have yet to be comprehended. I love how, in his essays, he challenges Americans to grow up and to understand the world as a complex web of people, differences, and cultures, and I bow in reverence to his bold way of asking Black people not to become the oppressor we claim to despise. Baldwin was absolutely a prophet of his time.
 
6. What do you like best about being a writer?
I think I like best the therapeutic, cleansing feeling I get after expunging an idea I've carried for years. I often feel as though my calling is to press the citizens of America--and indeed the world--toward a liberty which allows EVERYONE to be themselves without fear of others' judgment. Every time I write, I consider the very real possibility that my words will usher in that freedom and, instantly, I am reenergized.
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books
by the author

Twelve Gates to the City
Tommy Lee Tyson
Daniel Black
St. Martin's Griffin

A novel of self-discovery, family bonds and the healing of one small southern town Twelve Gates to the City is the much-anticipated sequel to Black’s...


Available In:

Book eBook
Perfect Peace

Daniel Black
St. Martin's Griffin

Daniel Black's Perfect Peace is the heartbreaking portrait of a large, rural southern family’s attempt to grapple with their mother’s desperate decision to...


Available In:

Book eBook
The Sacred Place

Daniel Black
St. Martin's Griffin

In the summer of 1955, fourteen-year-old Clement enters a general store in Money, Mississippi to purchase a soda. Unaware of the consequences of flouting the...


Available In:

Book eBook
They Tell Me of a Home
Tommy Lee Tyson
Daniel Black
St. Martin's Griffin

Twenty-eight-year-old protagonist Tommy Lee Tyson steps off the Greyhound bus in his hometown of Swamp Creek, Arkansas—a place he left when he was eighteen,...


Available In:

Book eBook
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