Local Black Author Stroll

The Local Black Author Stroll occured on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023 at 6:00 PM in the Friends Auditorium and the main lobby. Several incredible local black authors came to sell their works, talk about their influences, and network with other creatives. If you are interested in learning about them and purchasing their works, contact information is listed in each author's bio below. If you'd like to check out their works, they have been added to our collection.

If you have any questions, please contact adultreference@romi.gov

Darliss Batchelor


Her prolific pen breathes fire into stories of everyday believers who fumble in their faith. Captivated by words and armed with her love for GOD, she uses her vivid imagination to entertain, inspire and set her readers free. 

…but we wouldn’t expect anything less from the granddaughter of a Christian playwright. 

Author Darliss Batchelor received her call to write as she casually squeezed the sand between her toes on the cozy beaches of Cozumel, Mexico. Ten years later, her first book – Secrets was born. She hasn’t stopped blazing across the keyboard since!

Darliss’ dynamic voice leaps from the pages of her books: Hell is a Skyscraper: A Trio of Novelettes, Something Else to Want, The Make-Believe Wives, and The Make-Believe Family. The mentor of the Scribe Tribe writer’s group released What is God’s Name and Edgar’s Embrace in 2019; she’s hard at work letting her next faith-filled drama spill from her pen.  

You can find more information about Darliss at her website.

Doris D Hannah-Turner


Doris D. Hannah-Turner is a phenomenal and godly woman. She is multi-talented. “Dolls Dressed Exquisitely” by: Doris were showcased in Detroit Public Schools.

A co-founder of “Lady Butterflies” mentorship program for girls at Chandler Park Academy. 

She earned two certificates. A Certificate of Ministry from Southern California School of Ministry in Inglewood, California and Rules of Etiquette Behavior from the Etiquette Institute in St. Louis, Missouri.

An author of two books of poetry; “An African Rock” which are compilations about love, lost, legacy and life; “Listen” which are a treasure trove of unfiltered and blunt perspectives on wisdom. She is one of the co-writers for A Widow’s Resilience. Her penned experience helps women to move beyond their grief. 

Lady Dean; the comedic persona of Doris captures her humorous personality on love, life, and family.    

Doris can be reached at email: turnerdd62@gmail.com 

Learn more about Doris on social mediaYouTube.

Colette R Harrell


A Detroit, Michigan native, Colette is an author, story editor, book coach, screenwriter, playwright, and entrepreneur. Holding a master’s degree, she is a retired director of social services and believes God has a plan for every life, but you hold the key to manifesting its fullness. Colette is the owner of Intentional Entertainment LLC and Co-founder of COJACK Productions LLC, both entertainment companies that minister through literary, film, stage, and audio platforms. She sits on the board of the Ohio Writers Association.  As a motivational speaker, teaching workshops on state and national levels, she has spoken at various book fairs, festivals, conferences, and churches. She facilitates retreats that free women to live their best lives.

She is the author of “The Devil Made Me Do It,” a finalist in the Phyliss Wheatley, Harlem First Books awards, and one of the top ten books for 2014 for the Read You Later Radio show. Her other book, “Tell The Truth, The Devil Won’t’ is listed as a five-star review on Amazon and Good Reads. Her latest book, "Later", debuted as number one in African American Historical Fiction on Amazon and was named as one of the top 40 Fiction Books of 2022 by Conversations Magazine, Inc. 

 She currently resides in Columbus, Ohio, writing with humor and compassion to engage and minister to the human heart.

You can find her on her YouTube channel Mother Sweat, Collards N Cornbread, the seasonings of life. As well as on her website.

Tenita C Johnson


Authors worldwide write better thanks to editorial guru and authorpreneur, Tenita C. Johnson. 

Perfecting manuscripts for hundreds of best-selling authors, she’s on a mission to end the prominent everyday abuse of the English language and rectify punctuation pet peeves. As the founder and CEO of So It Is Written, Tenita collaborates with industry professionals to take manuscripts to the marketplace, positioning authors for success in the literary world. 

Well-known by many as a human spell check, noun nerd and grammar police, she proudly wears the badge of honor to correct and serve. Dubbed the book bully by many, she empowers aspiring authors to write from the editor’s point of view to save them time and money in the publishing process. She positions writers as experts in the industry, empowering them to create multiple streams of income from just one book. 

To connect with Tenita, visit her website, or email info@soitiswritten.net.     

Dr. De’Andrea Matthews


An international speaker and award-winning author, Dr. De’Andrea (deon-dria) Matthews has published 14 books, in addition to two peer-reviewed articles, one in Academic Medicine and the other in the Journal of the Poor & Underserved by Johns Hopkins University Press. She is a 2022 Michigan Chronicle Woman of Excellence, the recipient of the 2021 Top 100 Leaders in Education award from the Global Forum for Education & Learning (GFEL), the 2020 Better Business Bureau (BBB) Torch Awards for Ethics and the 2020 Corp! Magazine Diversity Business Leader award. 

Dr. Matthews currently serves as the vice president of diversity and community engagement for the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS). Most recently, Dr. Matthews became a National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional (NDCCDP) which she uses to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) locally, regionally and around the globe. 

Valerie D Wade


Valerie D. Wade is the author of the debut novel, Ivy Lee’s Rue and the upcoming novella Leaving Jacksonville. A lifelong resident of Michigan; currently living in Detroit, but raised in Highland Park. She is an alum of Wayne State University and currently works as a Research Administrator.

Valerie has published poetry, is a volunteer literacy tutor, and currently tutors an ESL student. She has volunteered as a dog walker at the local human society, and cherished her late beagle, Buttercup, for twelve years. She loves spending time with her adult children and grandchildren, and plans to pursue learning to play drums. 

Ivy Lee’s Rue began as an assignment in an Imaginative Writing class while enrolled in her last semester at Wayne State University. The initial assignment was to create an essay based on a random photograph. The journey has taken many turns, shifts, and title changes. It began as a story entitled, Leaving Jacksonville, where Ivy Lee was a minor character, but soon emerged as the protagonist with inspiration from an ancestor’s real-life challenges. From that, the simple story of Ivy Lee’s Rue was born; a heartwarming coming-of-age narrative of a Christian woman depicting deep love and sacrifice within a strained sister’s bond.

You can find more information about Valerie on her website.

David Watkins


David’s grandfather’s favorite poet was Paul Laurence Dunbar, a late 19th Century genius who weaved wonderful tales of Black life – mostly through the Negro dialect form. As his grandfather recited Dunbar’s poems, David knew that one day he would be a writer who would create stories in verse.

David Watkins was born and reared in Detroit, Michigan. His mother's favorite phrase was, "Without the love of books, the richest man is poor."  Those words resonated with David over the years. He loved books throughout his life and decided to share his love of reading and writing by becoming an author of children's books. It is his wish that all children develop a passion for reading.

David has spoken at various schools, churches and community events. He is available for workshops on writing or lettering.

You can find more information about David at his website.