The Art of John A. Williams

of Consequence


"My family now has accepted my being a writer; it did not at first. They seemed to feel that writing was like a bad cold and soon would pass. In a family where everyone for generations had earned their bread with muscle and sweat, as I once earned mine, I felt I had become a freak....

Young black writers will go through the same thing until we have established as a race, here in America, a tradition of books, literature, and writing. Once in this nation, it meant death for a black man to even learn to read; but we are freeing ourselves of this fear."

-Quote from "Time and Tide: The Roots of Black Awareness," in 
Flashbacks: A Twenty-Year Diary of Article Writing. 
(Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1973, p. 422)