Scottie Authors

We are delighted to spotlight Scottie Authors.

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Brandi Collins-Dexter ’02

Black Skinhead: Reflections on Blackness and our political future

In Black Skinhead, Brandi Collins-Dexter, former Senior Campaign Director for Color Of Change, explores the fragile alliance between Black voters and the Democratic party. Through sharp, timely essays that span the political, cultural, and personal, Collins-Dexter reveals decades of simmering disaffection in Black America, told as much through voter statistics and interviews as it is through music, film, and sport.

While Black Skinhead is an outward look at Black votership and electoral politics, it is also a funny, deeply personal, and introspective look at Black culture, identity, and feminism, ultimately revealing a Black America that has become deeply disillusioned with the failed promises of its country.

Sanjukta Shams ’90

She Called Me Throwaway – a Memoir

Shama Shams spent her childhood in her native land of Bangladesh during political turmoil, economic instability, and daily violence. When her father had to flee to the United States to save his life during the Bangladesh War for Independence in the early 1970s, Shama’s mother turned to extreme religion that changed her daughter’s life forever. She lived with her mother at a religious compound under the rule of a cruel, abusive, and heartless leader. Shama survived physical, mental, and sexual abuse until her grandmother finally rescued her. When she was ten, Shama’s father returned to move his family to the U.S., and her grandmother swore her to secrecy to keep the stories of her abuse to herself and never tell anyone, especially her father. Shama didn’t understand but loved her grandmother and made the promise. In the U.S., it seemed that every time Shama thought life would be okay, she had to survive another tragedy while living with the shame and guilt that sexual abuse survivors often do. This is the true story of what happens when a young girl must fight for her life and confront her family and past to find the truth and learn about happiness and acceptance as an adult.

Akpene Zikpi ’00

Intimacy With God

“I never thought that after many years of being a Christian, I would
come to a place where I would doubt my Christian faith.”

“You are not supposed to doubt God, or the Bible, and

here I was doubting the very thing on which my faith was founded. It was not that I doubted His existence, but I did doubt the many things I was taught about Him over the years.”

“It appeared as though I had lost my compass. I was looking for answers to some of life’s questions. I thought I would find those answers in other faiths. I purchased a book about world religions.”

Lynden Harris ’79

Right Here, Right Now: Life Stories from America’s Death Row

Right Here, Right Now collects the powerful, first-person stories of dozens of men on death rows across the country. From childhood experiences living with poverty, hunger, and violence to mental illness and police misconduct to coming to terms with their executions, these men outline their struggle to maintain their connection to society and sustain the humanity that incarceration and its daily insults attempt to extinguish. By offering their hopes, dreams, aspirations, fears, failures, and wounds, the men challenge us to reconsider whether our current justice system offers actual justice or simply perpetuates the social injustices that obscure our shared humanity.

Carolyn Harvey ’00/’20 (MA)

Notorious Bakersfield: The Book

Notorious Bakersfield: The Book is a riveting exploration of Bakersfield and Kern County’s history, derived from the successful podcast of the same name. Co-authored by Carolyn S. Harvey, this 242-page volume weaves together 30 true stories, complemented by rare and unreleased photographs, offering readers an in-depth look into the area’s intriguing past. Anyone with an interest in true crime and interesting personalities will enjoy this volume–even if they aren’t from Bakersfield.

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