The hill we climb is no hill, sistah. It is a plateau littered with Black bodies that are the detritus of white supremacy, jim crow, segregation, and police brutality. Every four years, the casualties climb as politicians come around peddling hope that has become an anesthesia to numb us to the decades of promise that remain unfulfilled, as they ask once again for our votes, with every intention of discarding us after the inauguration.

There is no hill, but rather a flat stretch of land with Black people storming the forts of white privilege and being fired upon by white…

Many of you may know that this past August I finally became a published author. When I finally decided to pursue my dream of being a writer 3 years ago, my intention was to be traditionally published. That goal changed and I will tell you why. But first, let me explain what “Indie” authors and self-published authors are.

The term “Indie” stands for independent. This means that the author is not published by traditional publishing companies like Penguin/Random House or Simon and Schuster.

Independently and self-published are also used interchangeably, which can make things confusing. An author can be published…

Sword & Soul. You may be wondering what this is. I was, too. So I decided to do a little research on it. Sword & Soul is like sword and sorcery, but with, well, soul. According to Milton Davis, an author in the field, it is defined as “heroic fiction and epic fantasy based on African traditions, cultures, and history.”

That’s pretty damn fabulous! It truly warms my heart to see Black people as the main characters in the speculative fiction genres of fantasy and science fiction. And apparently, it isn’t something new! …

Happy October!!

This is the month of Halloween and spooky stories!

I’ve been doing a lot of research on Black authors in the Horror genre and I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are way more out there than I thought there were.

For the month of October, I am featuring Black authors in the horror genre and calling it Blacktober.

Some Black people look at me sideways when I talk about reading horror as if my soul is destined for some special place in hell, or I’m demon-possessed.

But let’s think about it for a moment. Black people live in…

Front cover of my debut novel, Blood Land

The year 2020 has been nothing short of unbelievable for us all. It has been full of so much bad news, including this global pandemic that has wreaked havoc on every aspect of our lives.

Despite all the tragedy, I have managed to accomplish my life’s dream. On August 29th, I not only turned FIFTY, but I became a published author!

The book, as you can see from the photo, is entitled Blood Land. It is a paranormal suspense novel about an African American couple, Paul and Theresa, who are the new owners of a former plantation in Maryland. They…

Four hundred years. Four hundred years of opportunities to make it right. Four centuries of begging, pleading, praying, yelling, marching, uprisings. But you just let the wound of our anger, our outrage, our moans of grief, fester and ooze and become a puss-filled infected sore. You let it grow.

You tried to force a scab over it with the scraps of empty promises you threw to us, hoping it would pacify our bruised spirits, but another black life taken at your hands ripped the scab off the wound. …

Disingenuous. This is a word that is knocking around in my brain a lot lately. The Webster’s Dictionary defines it as not candid or sincere. Since George Floyd was brutally lynched in the street by a white supremacist who just happened to be a cop, I have seen so many companies post online and send emails saying they stand with people of color.

There are two things wrong with this sentiment. First, do not lump BLACK people with other people of color. NO OTHER RACE has been owned as chattel. Please spare me the ‘white people were slaves, too’ rhetoric…

I remember the first time I was introduced to his words. My parents decided to put me in an all black private school in third grade. When I walked into Mr. Dunbar’s class, they were reciting, in unison, one of Mr. Hughes’ poems, The Negro Speaks of Rivers.

My self-esteem was at an all time low because of teachers and their prejudices at my previous school. But the way Mr. Dunbar had these kids shouting that poem went straight to the core of my young, bruised beautiful blackness and healed it. The thunder of Mr. …

I have had four of Alice Walker’s books sitting on my bookshelf for YEARS and never opened them. I often collect the works of black authors and wait for the book to find its way into my mind to read. That happened with this book.

I was cleaning off my bookshelves and getting rid of a lot of books I knew I would never read. When I read the back of this one, I decided to give it a try.

At first, I couldn’t stand it. I found myself shifting in my seat and my spirit unsettled as I read…

Audra Russell

Writer. Blogger. Native Jersey girl in a Maryland world. Come visit me at

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