When Pearl Cleage moved south 40 years ago, at age 19, no one could have known the Spelman transfer student would someday become one of the south’s most pre-eminent writers. But her novels, set in southwest Atlanta and the west end, have reached as far as the New York Times bestsellers list, the Essence Book Club, and Oprah Winfrey’s book club.
Long before the national attention, Cleage grew up the daughter of a Michigan pastor who preached the good news of the civil rights movement. After studying drama at Spelman she served as press secretary and speech writer to Atlanta’s first black mayor, Maynard Jackson. Over the last thirty years, her words have appeared in essays, plays, poems, newspaper articles, and now 6 novels.
Through all her work, Cleage takes a hard look at tough issues for Atlanta and the African-American community … including crime, AIDS, domestic violence and addictions. Still calling the city home, Pearl Cleage continues to speak out in her work — and her personal life — against racism, sexism and injustice… writing and speaking truth to power.