Indy School Parents Who Write!

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The Horace Mann School Parents Association Book Club along with the Black Parents Union (BPU) was excited to welcome one of their own, Ginger McKnight-Chavers P’18, whose daughter is a senior at the school. Ginger is a native of Dallas, Texas where she attended Ursuline Academy before moving on to Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and Harvard Law School. She was a Kathryn Gurfein Writing Fellow at Sarah Lawrence College and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Ginger’s book, In the Heart of Texas, was released in the Fall of 2016. In the Heart of Texas won the 2016 USA Best Book Award for African-American fiction. Today, the former entertainment attorney currently is a contributing writer at ShareBlue Media and an instructor at Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute, while working on two additional book project and blogging for the Huffington Post and the TexPatch. She resides in Westchester County, New York with her husband, daughter and their overweight West Highland White Terrier.

The meeting at the school on Thursday evening (January 18th) focused on her fictional book, In the Heart of Texas whose principal character, forty-one-year soap star Jo Randolph is pitched as “a poor man’s Halle Berry and has successfully avoided waiting tables since she left Midland, Texas eighteen years prior. The book explores the soap star’s return to her Texas roots to recover from career and personal mishaps. Ms. McKnight-Chavers’ pride in her Texas background is evident in her novel, and she uses her background and foundation in her African-American community and cultural ties to provide depth in her book’s characters. The book is an easy read that familiarizes the reader with the uniqueness of Texas roots intertwined with black culture/familial ties. It is a must read that explores life’s journey and what it means to be your authentic self.



Riverdale’s Parents of Color (POC) will be joined by Dr. Robyn C. Spencer, author of The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and The Black Panther Party in Oakland. Robyn is a dynamic speaker and an independent school mom of a Fieldston middle schooler. Robyn C. Spencer is a historian whose research centers on social protest after World War II, urban and working-class radicalism, and gender. She teaches survey and seminar courses on African American Heritage, Civil rights and Black Power and Black women’s history in the US as an Associate Professor of History at Lehman College, City University of New York.

Since she began studying social movements as an undergraduate history major at SUNY Binghamton, Professor Spencer’s inspiration has come from the examples of those who made often incalculable sacrifice to fight injustice, racism, and sexism.  Her masters essay entitled “Contested Terrain: The Mississippi Flood of 1927 and the Struggle to Control Black Labor” explored the impact of the Mississippi Flood of 1927 on almost 300,000 displaced African Americans. This research, which was published in the Journal of Negro History (Vol. 79, No. 2 Spring, 1994), was featured in the documentary “When Weather Changed History,” which aired on the Weather Channel on March 9, 2008 at 9pm EST. Her writings on the Black Panther Party have appeared in  The Journal of Women’s History, SoulsRadical Teacher and several collections of essays on the 1960s. Spencer’s article “Engendering the Black Freedom Struggle: Revolutionary Black Womanhood and the Black Panther Party in the Bay Area, California” was published in the Journal of Women’s History (Vol. 20, No. 1, Spring 2008) and awarded the 2008 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Article Prize by the Association of Black Women Historians. Her book The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland, analyzes the organizational evolution of the Black Panther Party in Oakland and was published by Duke University Press in December 2016.. [more]

Let’s add to this list! Who should we know about at our member schools?




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