My Writing Journey
I’ve known stories. I had heard snatches of them from my father since I was a little child. So, when my son Thomas decided to videotape his grandfather when he was elderly and invited me to participate, I jumped at the chance. As Dad weaved the tales of his parents -- Sergeant Albert S. Johnson, Sr. and his wife Evelyn -- into a whole cloth, I became amazed at this family history of dreams denied, struggles waged, and prayers answered. I yearned to share the story.
A few years ago, I joined the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Writers Group, led by the renowned author and Harlem Writers Guild member, Grace Edwards. Thus began a journey which culminated in the writing of this novel,
Coal, War & Love.
Born and raised in New York City, Rudean Leinaeng received a BA degree in Chemistry from Hunter College and an MS from New York University. She was a Professor at Bronx Community College where she taught for 30 years. During the 1970s, Rudean lived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for two years. It was a life-changing experience, especially for her two young sons, Thomas and Lyle, who accompanied her.
After participating in the struggle for a free South Africa during the 1980s as a member of Women for Racial and Economic Equality, she and her husband Pule Leinaeng, an African National Congress activist, took up residence in Bloemfontein, South Africa. In 2002, she co-produced the acclaimed documentary film,
Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela, directed by award-winning filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris. In 2012, she was inducted into the Hunter College Hall of Fame for her activism and leadership.
About Rudean Leinaeng