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Carolivia Herron

Carolivia Herron

Lives in Washington, District Of Columbia United States · Born on July 22, 1947
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Birth Date:
July 22, 1947
Last Login:
December 20, 2016
Member Since:
August 24, 2016
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About Me
Carolivia Herron is an African American Jewish author, educator, and publisher living in Washington, DC. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania. She has held professorial appointments at Harvard University, Mount Holyoke College, California State University, Chico, and the College of William and Mary. Most recently she has been the Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Project Humanities at Arizona State University.Carolivia grew up in the Mayfair and Kenilworth neighborhoods of Washington, DC. She moved to the Takoma neighborhood of Washington with her family in the 1960s. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in 1963. She studied at Howard University with fellow student, Stokely Carmichael, an architect of the Black Power Movement. And she is descended from runaway Virginia slaves, Sephardic Jewish exiles, and the Wampanoag Nation.Carolivia’s publications include the adult novels Thereafter Johnnie (Random House, 1991), and Asenath and the Origin of Nappy Hair (Street to Street Epic Publications, 2014). She has also published the critical edition, The Selected Works of Angelina Weld Grimké (Oxford University Press, 1991). Thereafter Johnnie is a tragic novel of the rise and fall of an African American family in Washington, DC. Asenath and the Origin of Nappy Hair is a comic novel describing the nappy haired interconnection of a contemporary African American Jewish graduate student, Shirah Shulamit, and Asenath of Ancient Egypt.Professor Herron is best known for her children’s book, Nappy Hair (Knopf books for Young Children, 1997) which was the center of a national multicultural controversy in 1998. Her other publications for children are: Little Georgia and the Apples (EpicCenter Stories, 2005), and Always An Olivia (Kar-Ben, 2007). Little Georgia recounts a humorous family story handed down from 1930s Washington. Always An Olivia retells Herron’s Jewish heritage as told by her 103 year old Great Grandmother Olivia when Carolivia was nine years old.Carolivia has also written lyrics and librettos for the following musical works: Let Freedom Sing: The Story of Marian Anderson (music composed by Bruce Adolphe; commissioned by the Washington National Opera and the Washington Performing Arts Society, libretto published 2015); The Journey of Phillis Wheatley (music composed by Nkeiru Okoye, commissioned by Boston Landmarks Orchestra);We are Free in choral composition, Reach out, Raise Hope, Change Society (music composed by Bruce Adolphe, commissioned by the University of Michigan School of Social Work), and An Ocean Can Dry Into Silence (music composed by Ellen Harrison; performed by University of Cincinnati Camarata).Carolivia’s latest book, Peacesong DC went to press on her 69th birthday, July 22, 2016. Peacesong DC consists of fictionalized autobiographical chapters extracted and amended from Carolivia Herron’s longer work, Asenath and the Origin of Nappy Hair. In order to highlight the Washington DC aspect of the author’s identity.In Peacesong DC Carolivia’s persona, Shirah Shulamit Ojero has four loves, her African American culture, her Jewish heritage, academic study — especially the study of literary epics — and her city, Washington, DC. Peacesong DC displays the interconnection of these four loves as Shirah grows up in the Washington DC neighborhoods of Mayfair Mansions, Kenilworth, Anacostia, Takoma DC. and downtown.Carolivia Herron is an active member of her synagogue, Tifereth Israel of Washington, DC, and is the synagogue’s liaison for Social Action programs in Africa. She is president of North Washington Neighbors Inc., an organization that works for racial equality in housing and education.She is also President of Epic Publishing, a program of the Street to Street EpicCenter Stories. The program is supported by her synagogue and publishes the works of Jewish members of a village in Africa.Dr. Herron promotes and publishes the writings of African Jews living in Africa and or Israel. She also assists in the publication of selected works of fiction and non-fiction by authors in the United States. She directs the educational program, EpicCenter Stories, a non-profit that encourages the study of traditional epics and the writing and publishing of contemporary epic. EpicCenter Stories oversees the PAUSE writing program (Potomac Anacostia Ultimate Story Exchange), which encourages youth writings in Washington, DC public schools.Carolivia Herron has won writing awards and commendations from Be’chol Lashon, Kulanu, Parenting Magazine Reading Magic, Marian Vanett Ridgway Awards, the Patterson Poetry Center, the Elizabeth Stone Memorial Award, and has received the Exceptional Women in the Arts Award from Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser.Her first book, Hereafter Johnnie, was listed in 2016 as Number 77 on Book Riot’s list of 100 Must Read Works of Jewish fiction.Nappy Hair was designated a classic.