DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Era Bell Thompson

Dorette and I are spending some time in Grand Forks. The weather is touch and go this time of year, so I brought along some reading material.

One of the books is Liesl Olson’s “Chicago Renaissance: Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis.” Of most interest to me is her account of the black writer, Era Bell Thompson, 1905-1986, who had moved to Chicago in 1933 from of all places my home state of North Dakota, where she had been raised by whites.

Thompson was an alumna of my alma maters, the University of North Dakota and Northwestern University, where like me she graduated from the Medill School of Journalism. She wrote several books including “American Daughter” and was a staff member at Ebony magazine for nearly forty years.

Amazing woman. I hope to learn more about her and her writing.

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