Sonja D. Williams

Johanna Lawshea

Sonja D. Williams is a professor in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film at Howard University and the winner of three George Foster Peabody Awards as a radio producer. Her credits include the radio series Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Music Traditions and Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was. Her latest book is Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio, and Freedom (University of Illinois Press). 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. In Word Warrior, 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. Incisive and in-depth, Word Warrior tells the story of a tireless champion of African American freedom, equality, and justice during an epoch that forever changed a nation.