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Shonda Buchanan


MFA Faculty Member


MFA - Creative Writing


Shonda Buchanan, native of Kalamazoo, is an award-winning author, and scholar. Buchanan is perhaps most well known as the author of “Black Indian”, a memoir that explores her family’s legacy of being African-Americans with Native American roots: growing up in southwest Michigan, dealing with society’s ostracization and the consequences of her dual inheritance. “Black Indian” won the 2020 Indie New Generation Book Award and was chosen by “PBS News Hour” in its “top 20 books to read” to learn about institutional racism.

Among her other accolades as a writer and educator, Buchanan has received the Brody Arts Fellowship from the California Community Foundation, a Big Read grant from the National Endowments for the Arts, several Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grants, the Denise L. Scott and Frank Sullivan Awards, and Eloise Klein-Healy Scholarship.

Buchanan is a Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities Fellow at the University of Southern California and a Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles (COLA) Master Artist Fellow. She has worked as a lecturer and a professor for more than 20 years, most prominently at Hampton University, in Hampton, Va., where she taught English and creative writing and serves as an interim department chair in the School of Liberal Arts and Education.