Disrupt/ed (a mem-noir)

by Pamela Woolford


mem-noir: [mem-nwär] NOUN, A memoir, written in short paragraphs or verse, concerned with being a person of the Black race within the context of a specified subject, time period, or circumstance. Visual art or photographs, especially biographical in nature, are often incorporated.

Supported in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, Disrupt/ed (a mem-noir) is an upcoming Pamela Woolford memoir in verse with drawings by nationally syndicated Black-American editorial cartoonist Walt Carr. In the book Pamela Woolford explores her early childhood in the 1970s in the planned integrated town of Columbia, Maryland, amidst this nation's legacy of enslavement of Black people, like her.

(With the creation of Disrupt/ed (a mem-noir), Pamela Woolford originates the term "mem-noir.")

Pamela Woolford and her dog in her backyard in 1970s Columbia, Maryland.


Busboys and Poets (coming to Columbia, MD), “a cultural hub for artists, activists, writers, thinkers and dreamers.” Date TBA.



I AM AWED BY ITS DELICATE BEAUTY AND POWER AND FIERCE HONORING OF OUR TRUTH!...this is an extraordinary book. The young heroine is rendered with such tenderness for who she was then, such deep understanding of the complexities of her internal and external worlds that I immediately fell in love with her. She is just the kind of heroine readers will love, smart and tough and curious and brave and wondering. Although this is a memoir of coming of age against the backdrop of a racist society it has much that will feed and nurture all readers, any reader who has been a child. There are so many lovely lines of lyricism and stark reality, .... . --Marita Golden, NPR Best Book author and two-time NAACP Image Award nominee
“…A BLACK STORY ABOUT NOT JUST SURVIVING BUT THRIVING. It is wonderfully written, detailing the nuances of histories as they unfold—both the violence of slavery and the constant insidious injustices and micro- and macro-aggressions of being black (and brown!) and this parallel plane of existence of a purportedly and earnestly post-racial world…." She traces her “genesis with sharp, gorgeous detail about the discrepancy between people's words and actions…." She “deftly explicate[s] [her] child self's belonging almost as code-switching, making sense of the larger outside world and its events, its sensibility, on the one hand, and [her] internal, private, burgeoning sense of self, on the other hand…." Her "memoir is deeply personal, intimate, and generous, throughout; it felt to this reader not so much like being ‘invited in’ as being instantly transported in—into [her] specific experience of being Black in America; like [she was] removing the walls between [herself] and [her] reader, no matter who they were or what skin they were in…." "…this is a book about belonging, sources of power, and identity." --Mayumi Shimose Poe, author of Alice on the Island: A Pearl Harbor Survival Story

For more info on Pamela Woolford:

Disrupt/ed is supported in part by Maryland State Arts Council.