Mildred Taylor Biography



Mildred Taylor, born in 1943, American writer, whose children's fiction focuses on the lives of black Americans and on racism. Taylor was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and grew up in Toledo, Ohio. She received her bachelor's degree in education from the University of Toledo in 1965. After college she worked as a teacher of English and history before serving with the Peace Corps in Ethiopia. She earned her master's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado in 1969 and then moved to Los Angeles, where she worked as a proofreader and editor.

Determined to present African American life more accurately than it was taught in schools, Taylor began writing novels that drew upon stories told by her father and other family members. In her first book, Song of the Trees (1975), Taylor created the Logans, a black family living in Mississippi during the 1930s who must fight to maintain possession of their land. The Logans were also the subject of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (1976), which won the 1977 Newbery Medal. In this powerful story, nine-year-old Cassie Logan and her family face segregation and racial injustice but maintain their dignity, their strength, and their land. Taylor's other stories about the Logan family are Let the Circle Be Unbroken (1981), which won several awards, including the 1982 Coretta Scott King Award generally honoring books that explore black American experiences; The Road to Memphis (1990); and The Well (1995), about a summer in the childhood of David Logan, Cassie's father. Taylor also wrote The Friendship (1987), winner of the 1988 Coretta Scott King Award; The Gold Cadillac (1987); and Mississippi Bridge (1990).

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