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Michelle Coles on Her Role as an Author and the Inspiration Behind Her Book, Black Was the Ink

Young Adult novelist Michelle Coles talks about how writing her book, Black Was the Ink, came from the collision of her work as a civil rights attorney for the United States Department of Justice, her being pregnant with her second child, and the 2015 Mother Emanuel Massacre, the most violent hate crime against African Americans that she recalled witnessing in her lifetime. For more clips from our interview with Michelle, visit her author page.

Michelle Coles is the 2022 Grateful American Book Prize winner for her debut novel Black Was the Ink.

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Michelle wearing a red, plaid dress smiling at the camera with her hand under her chin


Michelle Coles

“I write relatable stories that empower children to face their futures with boldness and pride.”