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With her memoir, Hush Now, Baby (Texas Review Press, May 2015), Angela Williams honors Eva, a central and vital figure in her life from birth...until Eva stepped out of the shadows with a move that sent shock and awe into the heart of the author’s world. Williams will be recounting her transformative childhood experiences and autographing copies of her book on Wednesday, October 28th at the Huntsville Public Library from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
As classically Southern as a glass of sweet tea, Angela Williams grew up in a family with deep roots in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Like others, Williams’ family employed African American domestics to keep house and raise children. But unlike most families, the deep affection between Williams and caretaker Eva Aiken bonded them for life, even as the Civil Rights movement shook their worlds, propelling them – and the country – down a rocky path that changed history.
“My Eva and I shared a love that knew no color, knew no bounds, and for that, I’m very grateful. Hush now, Baby emanates from personal reflections of Eva’s influence on my life, an exploration of Civil Rights issues, and the subsequent embarrassment that I knew so little, did so little,” says Williams, a former Citadel professor and published academic and communications coach. She continues, “The urge to do something, if nothing more than to reach back and touch the “Eva wisdom,” plagued me for years. This re-seeing, this re-weaving, gives tribute to the Evas of our country—the long-delayed mourning and glorying of the host of African-American women whose physical strength and courage permeated the lives of Southern families. This is, as they say, ‘the rest of the story.’ And I’ve waited 50 years to tell it!” Naturally, Williams acknowledges the seemingly obvious but in reality, only topical comparisons between Hush Now, Baby and The Help. “That simply wasn’t my experience. Eva is a major character in my coming-of-age story of how a little white girl climbed out of an uneasy childhood in the segregated South…on the backbone of a black woman who loved me unabashedly.”