(Daniel Omotosho Black)
PERSONAL: Born in Kansas City, KS. Education: Clark College, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1988; Temple University, Ph.D., 1993.
ADDRESSES: Office—Department of African and African American Studies and Africana Women's Studies, Clark Atlanta University, 223 James P. Brawley Dr., SW, Atlanta, GA 30314.
CAREER: Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA, assistant professor of African and African-American studies and Africana women's studies.
MEMBER: Nzinga-Ndugu (a group for African-American youth; founder).
They Tell Me of a Home (novel), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Daniel Black's debut novel They Tell Me of a Home is the story of T.L. Tyson, who grew up in an African-American farming community in Arkansas. Intelligent and ambitious, young T.L. finds his hometown backward and dull. As soon as he is able, he leaves Arkansas. T.L. puts himself through college and earns a Ph.D., but something inside him is still connected to his home town. Ten years after he left it, T.L. returns, though he is not exactly sure why. He finds that the sights and sounds of his birthplace bring long-repressed conflicts within him to the fore. Furthermore, he finds tragedy and mystery hanging over his old home; his sister has died and is buried in his parents' backyard, but no one will tell him what caused her death. In sorting through the past and present, T.L. also uncovers a shocking secret about his own birth.
A reviewer for Publishers Weekly found Black's novel marred at times by self-conscious narration about identity and self-hatred, but praised They Tell Me of a Home as "promising" and particularly noted the author's "ear for dialogue and a specific sense of Southern place." A Kirkus Reviews writer found the story "heartwarming, if not always believable," and further stated: "The narrative has a nice rhythm and warmth."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2005, review of They Tell Me of a Home, p. 931.
Publishers Weekly, August 22, 2005, review of They Tell Me of a Home, p. 39.
Clark Atlanta University Web site, http://www.cau.edu/ (November 30, 2005), author profile.