The Price City Library will host Rita Williams on Oct. 26 (tonight) at 7 p.m. This will be part of the Utah Humanities Great Book Festival. She will speak about her memoir, "If the Creek Don't Rise."
When Williams was 4 years old, her mother died in a Denver boarding house, leaving her in the care of her aunt, Daisy, the last surviving African American widow of a Union soldier.
A maverick in her own right, Daisy spirited her sharecropping family out of the lynching South and reinvented them as ranch and hunting guides out West. One by one the family members slipped away, either by death or to an easier existence elsewhere, leaving Rita as Daisy's own personal project to right the racial wrongs of the past and to make good on a lifetime of hardships and thwarted ambitions.
"If the creek don't rise," tells the story of how Rita found her way out from under the crippling legacy of her family and instead of becoming a perfect credit to her race, found a way to be herself.
Rita Williams lives in Los Angeles. Her previous works appeared in "LA Weekly" and "O, the Oprah Magazine." This is her first book.