Talking "White" is a collection of lyric poetry that takes a hard look at the intra-cultural bullying that takes place within the African American community. With poems like "Ostracized," "Keeping it Real," and "The Post-Black Manifesto," Maria James-Thiaw skillfully brings cultural identity politics to light. At the same time she honors literary ancestors including Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer and others in her own family who rose above their circumstances and overcame obstacles. James-Thiaw bridges the gap between page and stage with a collection of poetry that is moving and emotional, unapologetically tackling tough issues. Talking "White" is a thought-provoking look at how a new generation of African Americans define identity.
"Saucy, witty, and vibrant, this lyrical collection resides in 'Langston's neighborhood'--it delivers verbal music, up-tempo incantations that embody social history and personal narrative in sensual lines we want to read aloud. The intimate tone allows us to feel connected to our poet, Maria James-Thiaw. Her blues are ours; her laughter uplifts us."
Marilyn Kallet, prize-winning poet and professor at The University of Tennessee - Knoxville
"Only an author who has truly mastered both the instrumentation of words and the instinctual music of the emotions behind them could have written the book Maria has created. She paints tender and intensely personal portraits of everything from fledgling romance to resolving racial identity, yet I felt and found myself in every experience she described. Most of us struggle to find just the right words to bring someone into a moment with us; Maria has captured an entire book of them."
Carla Christopher, Poet Laureate of York (2010-2013)