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DeWayne Wickham

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Profile created August 16, 2006
  • Destiny 2000: The State of Black Baltimore (1987)

  • Fire at Will (1989)

  • Woodholme: A Black Man's Story of Growing Up Alone (1995)
    DeWayne Wickham was just eight years old when his father murdered his mother and then killed himself.  Woodholme is his poignant memoir about growing up haunted by this traumatic event and about how he eventually overcame the reality of his loss.  A troublemaker in school who nearly ended up in jail, DeWayne found a home among the black caddies at an all-white Jewish country club in suburban Maryland -- Woodholme -- an oasis from the strife of the
    civil rights era and his own problem-plagued life.  The encounters he had there helped him to accept responsibility as an unwed seventeen-year old father. and finally to come to terms with the death of his parents.  Woodholme is an evocative portrait of growing up black in the 1960s, a sensitive exploration of paternalism and paternity, and a deeply moving story of self-discovery.

  • Thinking Black: Some of the Nation's Best Black Columnists Speak Their Mind (1997)
    Times are changing in America, and nowhere is this more apparent than in today's racial climate. In the wake of so many turbulent events--the Million Man March, the Clarence Thomas debacle, the Colin Ferguson "slaughter," the bestsellerdom of The Bell Curve, the Marion Barry reelection, the Rodney King "incident," and the O.J. Simpson decision--the racial fault line is widening. If it really is time for an honest discussion about race in America, then it will start with these original essays from the preeminent black columnists in Thinking Black.

    Pulitzer prize-winner Harold Jackson; National Association of Black Journalists award winners DeWayne Wickham, Dwight Lewis, Dorothy Gilliam, and Derrick Jackson; along with Wiley Hall, Norman Lockman, Allegra Bennett, and a host of other notable writers are collectively the voice of millions of African-Americans.

    Reflected in these essays are interests and opinions as diverse as the numerous hues within the black community. For instance, as Betty Bayé of the Louisville Courier Journal writes: "White columnists can criticize bad, ignorant white people all day long because bad white people, no matter how ignorant or how terrible their crimes, are still perceived as individuals. However, bad, ignorant black people are not perceived as individuals, but as representatives of their race. The irony, of course, is that good black people are generally perceived as individual exceptions to the race."

    Hauntingly introspective and painfully self-revealing work--such as Lisa Baird's rhythmic essay about her light complexion and straight hair causing her to ponder what it means to be a black woman; Brenda Payton's revelatory essay on color discrimination within the black community; DeWayne Wickham's ruminative essay on the color line; or Dwight Lewis's plaintive call to the black father--probes the soft underbelly of black America's internal and external racial conflicts.

  • Bill Clinton and Black America (2002)
    While white Americans were evenly divided about Bill Clinton’s impeachment ninety percent of African-Americans opposed it. Now from a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists comes a groundbreaking new book that explores the deep and unique connection between the former president and the black community–in the words of journalists, celebrities, academics, and other thoughtful Americans.

    Going well beyond mere TV punditry, luminaries such as Dr. Mary Frances Berry, Bill Gray, Kweisi Mfume, and Alice Randall, as well as ordinary citizens, offer insight into why African-Americans for the first time saw themselves in the soul of a president–Whether it was the large African-American presence in his administration, his perceived legal persecutions, his personal style, or his lasting yet tumultuous marriage–and why that kinship has sweeping cultural implications. Bill Clinton’s actions, associations, and essence are all analyzed in light of their effect on and appeal to this crucial constituency.

    Much-awaited and long overdue, Bill Clinton and Black America features fascinating, provocative interpretations of the special relationship between the black people and this extraordinary man who, when his presidency ended, moved his office from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue–White America’s most famous address–to Harlem’s 125th Street–the heart of Black America.

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