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Sweetwater Book Trailer (2013)

starring Joidan Marie Roper

created by Jazz Franklin and Lucas Porter


Winner of the Qualitative Book Award, Book of the Year Award (the Ethnography Division of the National Communication Association), and the Goodall and Trujillo Award in Narrative Ethnography​

Sweetwater is now available in a Revised Edition 

​"Zora Neale Hurston is kicking dirt up out her remarked grave! With Boylorn's brave work, dust tracks become lineage and lines of text become clotheslines again. All that we are is hung out here to dry, wave surrender or see morning. In content and form Boylorn's Sweetwater actualizes the Black feminist imperative to lift up our stories, in this case the stories of rural Black women, as catalysts towards a world better understood, more deeply held, and more transformatively loved."

-Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Ph.D., Founder of the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind and author of Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugivity

"Sweetwater:  Black Women and Narratives of Resilience is a tour de force in truthtelling that highlights the indomitable spirit and legacy of Black women's lives. In a style that is creative, spiritual and necessarily complex, Boylorn shows us in vivid detail both the struggles and the triumphs of rural Black women's lives. And she does so with an artfulness reminiscent of Toni Morrison, a lyricism as magical as Billie Holiday, and with a Black-eyed female vision and analysis in the spirit of bell hooks.  Sweetwater is a must read for those interested in extending what we know about the lives of Black women, especially those in rural communities, those often forgotten and rendered invisible. And it is a must read for anyone seeking to understand Black feminist theory as it is lived, loved, and might be used to create justice in the world."

-Cynthia B. Dillard, Ph.D., Mary Frances Early Endowed Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Georgia

"​Like ancient and contemporary African griots, Robin is a storyteller, a keeper of the keys to part of our history, a scholar who has taken up the journey of making certain, like Zora Neale Hurston before her, that our stories are not only not forgotten but are recorded, published, and accessible to anyone interested in knowing more about the complexities of the experiences of Black women in the United States."

-Mary E Weems, Ph.D., Poet, Playwright, Author, Imagination-Intellect Theorist and author of Blackeyed: Plays and Monologues

Revised edition available at your local (independent) bookstore (, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon, .

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