Saturday, February 18, 2017

I heard J. California Cooper died

J. California Cooper dies at 82; a voice for struggles of black women

You’d think a professional writer would be able to keep up with all of his or her clips. But I used to be one, and it’s harder than you think. Honestly, you get tired of looking at them and toting them from apartment to apartment.

I interviewed J. California Cooper for Storytelling magazine in about 1991 or 1992. I remember she was prickly. She said (and sadly, I paraphrase): “I don’t like middle people. They are in their tests. I only like little children and old people.” She was implying, or maybe she said, “I don’t like people your age.” This seemed harsh, and I thought about cutting it, or softening it (which would have been a terrible thing to do, but in the moment you do think about it), but I put it in the piece.

She called or wrote me later and said she really liked the piece, and she liked that I had put that in. She said most of the magazines that wrote about her just wanted her to seem nice.

Posted by David Rhoden on 02/18 at 12:41 PM
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