Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Flat-Footed Truths

Flat-Footed Truths

Telling Black Women's Lives

Patricia Bell-Scott with Juanita Johnson-Bailey

Henry Holt and Co.



A new and exciting collection from the editor of the enormously successful Life Notes and the award-winning Double Stitch. With a foreword by Marcia Ann Gillespie.

To tell the flat-footed truth is a southern saying that means to tell the naked truth. This revealing and inspiring anthology brings together twenty-seven creative spirits who through essays, interviews, poetry, and photographic images tell black women's lives. In the opening section that discusses the risks involved in sharing your life with others, Sapphire tells us about the challenges in recording her experiences when there has never been any validation that her life was important. The next section chronicles the adventure in claiming the lives of those who have been lost or neglected, such as Alice Walker's search for the real story of Zora Neale Hurston. The third part, which affirms lives of resistance, includes Audre Lorde's acclaimed essay "Poetry Is Not a Luxury." The final chapter, focusing on transformed lives, presents an insightful interview with Sonia Sanchez.

This wonderful collection, featuring such writers as bell hooks, Barbara Smith, Marcia Ann Gillespie, and Pearl Cleage, is testimony to a flourishing literary tradition, filled with daring women, that will inspire others to tell their own stories.


Praise for Flat-Footed Truths

"Rather than solicit autobiographical essays, Bell-Scott, a professor of child, family and women's studies at the University of Georgia, and Johnson-Bailey, an assistant professor of adult education at the same university, sought contributors who could comment on the process of how black women relate their stories in their writings and art. The book, organized in three sections 'Telling One's Own Life,' 'Claiming Lives Lost' and 'Telling Lives as Resistance' succeeds admirably in examining the difficulties and rewards of autobiography." - Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Patricia Bell-Scott with Juanita Johnson-Bailey

Patricia Bell-Scott is a contributing editor at Ms. magazine, editor of Life Notes, and the co-editor of Double Stitch, which won the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Prize. She lives in Athens, Georgia, and is a professor at the University of Georgia. Juanita Johnson-Bailey also teaches at the University of Georgia and lives in Macon.

Patricia Bell-Scott

Patricia Bell-Scott

Juanita Johnson-Bailey

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