The Books

When We Were Colored

When We Were Colored

Rutland's memoir tells the story about a huge swath of middle-class African Americans often missing in the popular media. It’s full of amusing anecdotes about the difficulties of motherhood that all mothers will recognize. But it is also layered with the added difficulties of being a black mother in a world where discrimination against your children just because of the color of their skin is widespread and legal. They faced discrimination but they held together as families, survived and even thrived. Her book is the tale of an ordinary black family living through an extraordinary time in America.

No Crystal Stair

No Crystal Stair

Telling the remarkable story of black Americans in the 20th century through the character of Ann Elizabeth Carter, this historical novel weaves real events throughout the tale of America making slow, steady, and still unfinished progress towards racial equality. Raised in the privileged and comfortable world of Atlanta's black elite, Ann Elizabeth still endures the dangers and rank discrimination of the deep south. When she marries Tuskegee Airman Robert Metcalf during World War II, their world broadens to include war-torn Germany, postwar Los Angeles, school integration, marches and sit-ins of the civil rights era, Cold War Europe, and the black separatist movement of the 1960s and early 1970s.