Sonja Williams’ incisive biography of Richard Durham, Word Warrior, tells the story of a tireless champion of African American freedom, equality, and justice during an epoch that forever changed a nation. Posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2007, Richard Durham creatively chronicled and brought to life the significant events of his times. Durham's trademark narrative style engaged listeners with fascinating characters, compelling details, and sharp images of pivotal moments in American and African American history and culture. Williams draws on archives and hard-to-access family records, as well as interviews with family and colleagues like Studs Terkel and Toni Morrison, to illuminate Durham's astounding career. Durham paved the way for black journalists as a dramatist and a star investigative reporter and editor for the pioneering black newspapers the Chicago Defender and Muhammed Speaks . Talented and versatile, he also created the acclaimed radio series Destination Freedom and Here Comes Tomorrow and wrote for popular radio fare like The Lone Ranger . Incredibly, his energies extended still further--to community and labor organizing, advising Chicago mayoral hopeful Harold Washington, and mentoring generations of activists.
Sonja Williams was born and raised in NYC. She wrote and produced features and documentaries for PBS, Public Radio International, the Smithsonian and local radio stations. Williams began teaching at Edward Waters College in Florida and she continued on to Winston Salem State University and is currently at Howard University in their Media, Journalism and Film Department. She also taught in South Africa. Word Warrior is her first book.