Segregated Atlanta, Georgia, in the 1950s was not an easy place for a young, black girl to grow up and thrive. Author Linda Joyce, the ninth of eleven children, survived many challenging childhood circumstances too hopeless for most people to overcome. In The Second Room on the Right, Linda reaches down inside and plucks all those internal strings that connect us as human beings. The author makes history come alive as she describes the indomitable spirit and resolve required to overcome the many obstacles faced by a young, black female—not only in her family, but in a society not easily accepting of people with different-colored skin. Written with a combination of courage, humor, wisdom, and forgiveness, this book pulls out of the darkness into the light the truth behind race, class, and culture. It also makes the truth stand up and become a story of triumph rather than shame. The author has a determination to tell her story, especially to young African Americans who might identify with her background but not see a path to success for themselves. For those who have lived some of the experiences cited in this book, it is a reminder of how far we have come. For those who have not had to endure similar experiences, it is a reminder of the power of the spirit of determination. Either way, this book is a must read.
Linda Joyce is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, and an avid reader. The Second Room on the Right is her first creative nonfiction. Her easy, unrestrained style paints the sound, shape, and color of the characters in her world. WFDD 88.5 FM, the National Public Radio (NPR) station on the campus of Wake Forest University, has featured several stories from her memoir. Linda gets her inspiration to write from the colorful lives of her family members, the many people she meets, and the advice given by Theodore Isaac Rubin, that we must learn to love the “fool” in ourselves—that part of us that “feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances,” wins some but loses more, lacks self-control, loves, hates, laughs and cries. Although many other stories give her fond memories of growing up in Atlanta, Linda Joyce loves calling North Carolina home. The author holds an undergraduate degree from Clark College in Atlanta and a master’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. She has resided in the Piedmont Triad area for the last thirty-four years. In 2014, Linda was a winner in the Greensboro Senior Games. She received a 1st place blue ribbon in the Silver Arts Literary Category, writing about her life experiences.