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African American Women Writers

April Sinclair grew up on the south side and became a longtime community activist in Oakland, California. As an activist, she worked to establish literacy instruction in adult prisons, juvenile detention centers, alternative schools, and drug rehabilitation facilities. In the mid-1990’s, while directing a food bank, Sinclair also was an aspiring and determined writer. She had finished only twenty pages of her first novel, Coffee Will Make You Black, when she volunteered to give a reading at a women’s bookstore. The reading was so successful that word spread, and Sinclair fielded phone calls from agents who wanted her to finish the book. Coffee Will Make You Black, which chronicles the life of an African American girl named Stevie from age eleven to age sixteen, was published in 1994. Sinclair published a sequel to her debut novel, Ain’t Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice (1996), which follows Stevie from her college graduation in the Midwest to her travels to San Francisco and her subsequent realization that all is not as it seems in her small world. She has many unique experiences and has a lot to learn about herself. Sinclair’s next book, I Left My Back Door Open, published in 1999, follows the trials of Chicago disc jockey Daphne Dupree as she struggles to make sense of her life. It is a refreshing look at how a middle-aged woman comes to terms with her live and the lives of those around her. (Guide to Literary Masters & Their Works)

Genre: Coming-of-age stories; Contemporary romances

By April Sinclair