David Wright Faladé and Audrey Petty for BLACK CLOUD RISING

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Loyalty Bookstores and Harvard Book Store are excited to welcome David Wright Faladé and Audrey Petty for Black Cloud Rising! This event will be held digitally via Loyalty's Crowdcast. Click here to register for the event with a donation of any amount of your choice. You can also order the book below or order the book from Harvard Book Store to be added to the event's registration list. Donations will go to BLM DC. There will also be an option to snag the book during the event.


Already excerpted in the New YorkerBlack Cloud Rising is a compelling and important historical novel that takes us back to an extraordinary moment when enslaved men and women were shedding their bonds and embracing freedom

By fall of 1863, Union forces had taken control of Tidewater Virginia, and established a toehold in eastern North Carolina, including along the Outer Banks. Thousands of freed slaves and runaways flooded the Union lines, but Confederate irregulars still roamed the region. In December, the newly formed African Brigade, a unit of these former slaves led by General Edward Augustus Wild--a one-armed, impassioned Abolitionist--set out from Portsmouth to hunt down the rebel guerillas and extinguish the threat.

From this little-known historical episode comes Black Cloud Rising, a dramatic, moving account of these soldiers--men who only weeks earlier had been enslaved, but were now Union infantrymen setting out to fight their former owners. At the heart of the narrative is Sergeant Richard Etheridge, the son of a slave and her master, raised with some privileges but constantly reminded of his place. Deeply conflicted about his past, Richard is eager to show himself to be a credit to his race. As the African Brigade conducts raids through the areas occupied by the Confederate Partisan Rangers, he and his comrades recognize that they are fighting for more than territory. Wild's mission is to prove that his troops can be trusted as soldiers in combat. And because many of the men have fled from the very plantations in their path, each raid is also an opportunity to free loved ones left behind. For Richard, this means the possibility of reuniting with Fanny, the woman he hopes to marry one day.

With powerful depictions of the bonds formed between fighting men and heartrending scenes of sacrifice and courage, Black Cloud Rising offers a compelling and nuanced portrait of enslaved men and women crossing the threshold to freedom.


David Wright Faladé is a professor of English at the University of Illinois and a 2021-2022 Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library. He is the co-author of the young adult novel Away Running and the nonfiction book Fire on the Beach: Recovering the Lost Story of Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Lifesavers, which was a New Yorker notable selection and a St. Louis-Dispatch Best Book of 2001. The recipient of the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award, he has written for the New Yorker, Village Voice, Southern Review, Newsday, and more.


Audrey Petty is the editor of High Rise Stories: Voices from Chicago Public Housing (Voice of Witness/Haymarket Press) and co-editor of The Long Term: Resisting Life Sentences, Working Toward Freedom (Haymarket Press). Her writing has appeared in in Saveur, Oxford American, PoetryCallalooThe Chicago Neighborhood Guidebook (Belt) and the Best Food Writing anthology. Formerly on faculty in the Creative Writing Programs at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Knox College, Petty has served as the Simon Blattner Visiting Assistant Professor of Fiction at Northwestern University and the Tin House Writer-in-Residence at Portland State University. She is currently a Fellow at the Invisible Institute and a member of the Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project.


Harvard Book Store is a unique and special place to shop—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge landmark since 1932. Known for an extraordinary selection of new, used, and remaindered books, an award-winning author event series, and a history of innovation—including print-on-demand services, local partnerships, and digital media. 

Please note Loyalty has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during this virtual event. 

Event date: 
Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - 8:00pm
Event address: 
Staff Pick Badge
Black Cloud Rising By David Wright Falade Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802159199
Availability: Not In Store - Available to special order for pickup or ship. For even speediest shipping we suggest our Bookshop.org page!
Published: Grove Press - February 22nd, 2022

High Rise Stories: Voices from Chicago Public Housing (Voice of Witness) By Audrey Petty (Editor), Alex Kotlowitz (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Audrey Petty (Editor), Alex Kotlowitz (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781642595376
Availability: Not In Store - Available to special order for pickup or ship. For even speediest shipping we suggest our Bookshop.org page!
Published: Haymarket Books - January 26th, 2021