Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Writing, Linguistics, and Creative Process

First Advisor

Kateri Kosek

Second Advisor

Laura B. Hayden

Third Advisor

Mary Ann Campbell


Shhh! Nana’s Talking centers on important incidents, discussions, and confrontations, as well as the personal achievements of one African-American family. Individual essays guide the intention of these narratives to invite the reader into the legal slavery experience of the 1930s known as sharecropping.

Having survived lynchings and killings initiated by the KKK, police and government entrapment, African-Americans walk daily in a minefield of do’s and don’ts. Jim Crow and the Great Migration north teach that history always repeats itself even amidst greater strides toward acceptance.

Shhh! Nana’s Talking is one family’s narrative to record the pain of history inflicted on this Black family and its determination to turn the hand of racism that once tied the hangman’s noose into the hand that unlocked the power of education and turned the key to the executive suite.

Available for download on Saturday, April 09, 2118