Carmaletta Williams, Executive Director of the Black Archives of Mid-America, is of the fourth generation of Taylors who migrated from Tennessee as part of the Exoduster Movement to Topeka, Kansas and is a third-generation Taylor born and raised in what is known as the 54th Street neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in English from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her Ph. D. in English from the University of Kansas.
After 28 years as a Professor of English and African American Studies, she retired from Johnson County Community College. To further her quest to teach on every continent, except for the frozen ones, she included Central China Normal University in Wuhan, Hubei Province, People’s Republic of China, to the School of Communication Studies in Accra, Ghana, Teaching Toni Morrison in Translation in Paris, France; L’ecole Nationale d’Postes et Communications in Guinea, West Africa and the American School of The Hague in The Netherlands.
Among her published works are a study guide for the National Council of Teachers of English High School literature series, Langston Hughes in the Classroom: Do Nothin’ Till You Hear from Me; co-edited with John Edgar Tidwell My Dear Boy: Letters from Carrie Hughes to Langston Hughes 1926-1938; a study guide for the Centennial Celebration of Langston Hughes at the University of Kansas; Of Two Spirits: African American and Native American Racial Identity Formation, co-edited with Mike Tosee of Haskell Indian Nations University; and two children’s books, Jacine and Grandma’s Cane and Lil Jay, Ivan, Axl and the Dreaded Mamy Wata. She has also contributed many book chapters and articles about Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and other writers to the works of others. Recently she was honored with an Emmy@ award for her portrayal of Zora Neale Hurston on Kansas City Public Television and Kansas City Public Library’s R. Crosby Kemper, III’s program Meet the Past.