Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams' debut publication "Black Gardenias” is a collection of poetry, short stories and sayings dedicated to women from many different areas of life and their struggles against and triumphant over various forms of oppression, including but not limited to sexism, racism and classism. Through Dr. Ellis-Williams' use of intense emotion, language and imagery her work is relatable to a wide audience; men and women, old and young.
Dr. Antoinette Ellis- Williams is a scholar, minister, mother, wife, activist, poet and artist. Antoinette Ellis-Williams is a professor of Women's and Gender Studies at New Jersey City University. Dr. Ellis-Williams applies her research of topics such as urban politics, health care, social justice and race her daily life. She works daily to enrich and empower the people of her community and the world.
Read more www.antoinetteelliswilliams.com
In the spirit of C. Wright Mills, Dr. Ellis has managed to elucidate through beautiful prose that precise point where personal biography and history melt into one. Dr. Ellis's acute sense of history and dedication to historical accuracy, places the reader in the time and space needed to recognize and empathize with the emotions involved in each story and power. Dr. Ellis has masterfully created a collection of women's voices that reflect a myriad of real life experiences. Whether she is writing in the voice of an infant as in Speak for Me Mama or as twenty-something year old woman navigating the pains of love lost in Rebe's Regret, Dr. Ellis writes in a voice that is recognizable to all. Dr. Ellis paints with her works and has created a piece of art in Black Gardenias. Kasandra Pantoja
"Black Gardenias tell its many stories with great cultural flavor, true grit and perspective that is beyond category. The title alone rekindles thoughts of Lady Day. It's well told poetic stories of many poeple...on any given day. Bathing in Black Gardenias released and softened my willingness to expand my paradigm to familiar and not so familiar people, places, foods, and things. The human emotion and responses to good, bad, joy, pain and more...make us one, beyond category. As un-boxable as black gardenias."Antoinette Montague, Jazz, Blues Singer/Entertainer
"Black Gardenias is a gift of love. Through poetry, short stories, and just plain words, the book offers us a glimpse of the interior of women who bear the burden of creating beauty in lives often scarred by unimaginable wounds. Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams chronicles the complex layers of that living with the eyes and ears of an artist and the analytical skill of a scholar. She writes in the epilogue that "justice, redemption, grace and mercy are codifying jewels of agency…." This is more than insight; this is wisdom. In the end, what this powerful book shows is that love isn't always pretty. But beauty forever resides wherever love is."Dr. Eddie Glaude, Professor, Princeton University
"Black Gardenias is a hauntingly beautiful collection of poems that leave you breathless. With works giving voice to the often voiceless Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams takes readers on an introspective and intimate journey through the interior lives of African-American women. From hypnotic verses exploring the ancestors cries against unimaginable brutality to deeply personal reflections on topics like love, loss, race and gender, this poignant collection is a timeless gift to its readers"Angela Burt-Murray, Journalist, Former Editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine