Moses, Sheila P. 1961-
Moses, Sheila P. 1961-
Born 1961, in Rich Square, NC.
Writer and theatrical producer.
National Book Award finalist, 2004, Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, 2005, both for The Legend of Buddy Bush.
(With Dick Gregory) Callus on My Soul: A Memoir, Longstreet Press (Atlanta, GA), 2000.
The Legend of Buddy Bush, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2004.
I, Dred Scott: A Fictional Slave Narrative Based on the Life and Legal Precedent of Dred Scott, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2005.
The Return of Buddy Bush, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Sallie Gal and the Wall-a-kee Man, Scholastic (New York, NY), illustrated by Niki Daly, 2007.
The Baptism, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Joseph, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2008.
Sheila P. Moses writes across genres, working as a poet, playwright, novelist, and biographer. The ninth of ten children, she was born and raised in Rich Square, North Carolina, a setting she mined for her novel The Legend of Buddy Bush, in which twelve-year-old Pattie Mae shares Moses's childhood home. Moses depicts the issues of racism and segregation in North Carolina in 1947, following Pattie Mae and her family through their daily lives in a time before the civil rights movement, when Pattie Mae's uncle, the title character, escapes a near-lynching by the Ku Klux Klan. A contributor to NimbleSpirit.com commented that Moses "creates an appealing voice for her main character … a girl on the cusp of a young womanhood that is upon her, perhaps, too soon and under too stressful circumstances." In Kirkus Reviews, a contributor noted that the first-person narrative is not always appropriate to Moses's multilayered tale, but called The Legend of Buddy Bush "an important story."
I, Dred Scott: A Fictional Slave Narrative Based on the Life and Legal Precedent of Dred Scott is Moses's take on the infamous U.S. Supreme Court case. Inspired by the simple plaque outside the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, where Scott was tried in 1850, Moses decided to delve deeper into the history of the events surrounding the trial as well as Scott's background. The result is a book written as if from Scott's point of view, though Moses discovered more about Scott's owners than about Scott himself. In order to write as authentically as possible, she researched other slave narratives and studied interviews with former slaves. Claire Rosser, in a review for Kliatt, called Moses's effort "an accessible vehicle to tell about this important legal case."
In her 2006 book, The Return of Buddy Bush, Patty Mae's story continues as Uncle Buddy has disappeared after escaping the lynching and Patty Mae's grandfather has died. Visiting her sister in Harlem, Patty Mae is astounded at just how different people are in Harlem from the people she knows in North Carolina. A chance meeting with the author Richard Wright opens new horizons for Patty Mae as she searches for her Uncle Buddy. Patty Mae thinks he is hiding out in Harlem, and her goal is to bring her Uncle Buddy back to North Carolina where he can stand trial and once and for all prove that he is innocent of raping a white woman. Writing in the Washington Post, Elizabeth Ward called The Return of Buddy Bush an "equally fine sequel" to The Legend of Buddy Bush, adding that the author "offers a dazzling glimpse of postwar Harlem."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Ebony, January, 2005, review of The Legend of Buddy Bush, p. 27.
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2003, review of The Legend of Buddy Bush, p. 1361.
Kliatt, January, 2005, Claire Rosser, review of I, Dred Scott: A Fictional Slave Narrative Based on the Life and Legal Precedent of Dred Scott, p. 10.
USA Today, February 4, 2005, Bob Minzesheimer, review of I, Dred Scott.
Washington Post, February 6, 2005, review of I, Dred Scott, p. D8; January 29, 2006, Elizabeth Ward, review of The Return of Buddy Bush, p. BW11.
DallasBlack.com,http://new.dallasblack.com/ (February 23, 2005), "Sheila P. Moses."
National Book Foundation,http://www.nationalbook.org/ (February 11, 2008), "2004 National Book Award Finalist: Young People's Literature."
NimbleSpirit.com,http://www.nimblespirit.com/ (February 23, 2005), "Sheila P. Moses."
Simon & Schuster Web site,http://www.simonsays.com/ (February 23, 2005), "Sheila P. Moses"; (February 11, 2008), overview of The Return of Buddy Bush.
Washingtonpost.com,http://www.washingtonpost.com/ (February 23, 2005), "Sheila P. Moses."