Ebony Adams – #TTBF Author Interview 2018

History vs Women: The Defiant Lives That They Don't Want You to Know

History vs Women: The Defiant Lives That They Don’t Want You to Know

Ebony Adams, Ph.D

Ebony Adams, Ph.D

If you had control of the TARDIS for one day, what would you use it for? And what Doctor would you want to go with you on your adventure?

No question: I would go back and spend another Christmas with my mom. Even knowing that I have all of history and the entirety of the known universe at my fingertips, I would be powerless to resist the need to go see her, to hold her face in my hands, to hear her laugh again. It’s not an adventure, but it’s what I would use the power of the TARDIS for. Reverse the polarity and let me see my mom again, Doctor.

As for which Doctor I would take with me, I think 12 would be the least likely to stop me from taking this trip back, so he gets to ride shotgun. I don’t know, though — my mom would definitely like hanging with 4 best, though; so if anyone is going to sit around with us dancing to Stevie Wonder singing ‘What Christmas Means to Me” while my mom cooks the ham, it should probably be 4.

Which woman’s story affected you most when researching your book?

Many of the women we present in this book lived and toiled so long ago that their stories — lurid, startling, awe-inspiring as they are — take on the aspect of fairy tales. But when you think about someone like Lucy Hicks Anderson, a black trans woman who lived fearlessly and truthfully in the 19th/20th century US…there’s something about encountering a heroine like that from our recent past that’s just humbling because they feel so close and real. In 2018, the virulent poison of transphobia is still corroding our culture and literally taking lives. Lucy Hicks Anderson lived in a time when there was even more misunderstanding or outright ignorance about trans identity than there is now, but she claimed her space and spoke her name without apology. I felt honored to learn about her.

Our festival slogan is “Read Everything.” What one book would you like to see on our official Read Everything list for 2018?

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, in which, “while most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.” Enough said! Go read this book!