In Her Last Book, Valerie Boyd Amplifies the Voices of Black Writers

To say that Valerie Boyd was a critically acclaimed writer, editor and educator doesn't do her justice. And when she passed away in February at age 58 after a five-year battle with pancreatic cancer, she left behind an incredible legacy. “Wrapped in Rainbows,” Valerie Boyd's biography of Zora Neale Hurston, is considered one of the most praiseworthy profiles of the legendary author. As the founder of the MFA Program in Narrative Nonfiction at the University of Georgia, she created the first program in the country of its kind. And her last published work, “ Bigger Than Bravery,” was a brilliant compilation of Black writers' reflections on the intersection of the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism. But to journalist Rosalind Bentley, Valerie Boyd was a mentor and close friend. The Root spoke with Bentley her relationship with Boyd and the light she was for other Black writers. Gifted From The Beginning Valerie Boyd was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, to a mother who was a homemaker and a father who owned a Texaco franchise and tire shop. From running her high school newspaper to the 20 years she as a reporter and arts editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she's always had a special gift for telling stories. But Boyd left her job at the AJC to set off on the journey of a lifetime – writing a biography of Zora Neale Hurston, one of the most […]

Rosalind Bentley (l) and Valerie Boyd (r) Photo: Rosalind Bentley

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