Press "Enter" to skip to content

Sinclair visits Mills

Mills College Weekly

Raised on Chicago’s South Side, April Sinclair earned her
bachelor’s degree at Western Illinois before moving to California
where she worked as a community activist in Oakland for 15

Determined to make her mark on the literary world, Sinclair,
after finishing just 20 pages of her first novel Coffee Will Make
You Black decided she was going to give a public reading. She
volunteered herself as a reader to a local bookstore and once the
owner agreed, she quickly began distributing hundreds of fliers and
prepared herself for her first public reading.

In most cases, it takes seasoned writers years to gain a
following, but Sinclair, unpublished and unknown, summoned 125
people to her first reading. The most astonishing fact in all of
this was no one was aware that she only had 20 pages completed of
her story.

Sinclair began receiving calls from agents who’d heard about her
successful reading and soon thereafter she received a contract to
finish Coffee Will Make You Black a coming of age story about a
young black woman, Stevie, growing up on the South Side of

She then went on to publish two additional novels, Ain’t Gonna
Be the Same Fool Twice (1996) a sequel to Coffee Will Make You
Black. In Ain’t Gonna Be The Same Fool Twice, Stevie is sent to San
Francisco, where she experiments with her sexuality and becomes
torn between the traditional values she left in Chicago and the
liberated life she enjoys in California. I Left My Back Door Open
(1999) also deals with a young black woman living in Chicago.

Sinclair will visit Mills to share her literature and discuss
other issues on March 2 at the Faculty Lounge in the Rothwell
Center at 5:30 p.m. Mark your calendars, admission is free.