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"We need to tell our story, for our own edification and for that of future generations. Laini does this, honestly and compassionately. Here is the voice of the urban Black folk--hard-pressed, making a way out of no way, cutting through illusion to hard-core reality."

Eugenia Collier

"In her awesome poetic crucible  of despair, hope, loneliness, racism, self-hate, self-love and recollected ritual, she invents verb and re-verb. Titillating antidotes for what ails and flails us. Ultimately, she uplifts us."

Eugene B. Redmond
Poet Laureate, East St. Louis

"I see in her work from "White Traditions in Black-Face," to the title poem, "Never As Strangers," a complete repertory of one woman's travels through Black America. It is quite a trip."

Haki R. Madhubuti
Third World Press


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  • Laini Mataka