Glenda R. Taylor, Author, Scholar, Critic, Editor, Literary Activist, Poet, Educator, Philosopher, and Cultural Historian ★

Glenda R. Taylor

Glenda R. Taylor photo

Glenda R. Taylor is an author, scholar, critic, editor, literary activist, poet, educator, philosopher, and cultural historian. In the midst of a career as a formidable executive in the nonprofit sector, Taylor had a life altering experience. She lost 95% of her eyesight. At forty-five years old, she was blind. Taylor, a creative thinker, did not fall into the depths of depression and despair. No longer able to drive, feed her passion for photography or fully engage in what she terms her only addiction, reading a book, she sought higher ground by intensifying her study of how her ancestors rose above the depths of despair and overcame the immense obstacles which they faced in the Jim Crow south. She has often said, “If Harriet Tubman in the face of death could accomplish her agenda, navigating through the woods in the 1800s, guided only by creative thinking and the sheer strength of her will and spirit, then blindness is no obstacle.”

Taylor authored two motivational books before her crisis and acknowledges that “It is easy to motivate and spread positive thoughts when one has not walked through fire. I was faced with fire and had to be cremated or walk out of the furnace. I had to ask myself: What do I believe?” Her stance resulted in the pursuit of a M.A. degree in History and Culture and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary studies.

Prose & Poetry

A prolific writer, Taylor is the author of thirteen books which include four volumes of poetry. Her prose and poetry blend history, pop culture, African American cultural traditions, world religions, metaphysics, and references to British and European literary classics. Taylor’s poetry invokes critical thinking and presents an on-going philosophical discourse on God, ethics, social justice, race, politics, karma, American culture, Biblical principles, and the individual’s responsibility to his fellow man.

Taylor holds that a comprehensive discourse on American history and culture cannot exist without the perspective of a people who are integral to its very being. Her nonfiction work, The Jalimuso’s Drum (2011) explores the autobiographies and memoirs of African American female artists born before 1955. She determines these narratives are essential reading if one wants to have a holistic perspective of American history. Corridors of Genius (2018), her Magnum opus, is lauded for its interdisciplinary approach to examining the consciousness, artistic statements, worldview, and creative process of Michael Jackson (1958-2009). The work is masterful in its deconstruction of Jackson’s evolving consciousness and his creative process. It skillfully decodes Jackson’s songs and short films based upon his unique, often misunderstood, perspective. It explores how his relationships with African American elders such as the Honorable Louis Farrakhan, Dick Gregory, Muhammad Ali, Sammy Davis, Jr., Coretta Scott King, and Madeba (a.k.a. Nelson Mandela) impacted his artistic statement.

In Crossing Boundaries: The Joseph Jackson Story (2019), Taylor moves away from the discourse of Joseph Jackson as a cruel disciplinarian and offers a fresh perspective of a complex man who was willing to defy the odds and fight the manacles of his era. After reading his memoir and holding many conversations with Joseph Jackson, she asserts that the consciousness of Jackson contains a complex web of imagination, dream, faith, determination, and persistence. The reader is introduced to a father who loved his family, was willing to make sacrifices to develop the talents of his children, and had the spirit of a fierce warrior determined to make it to the Promised Land.

Joseph Jackson’s consciousness is placed within a historical context, laying the foundation for a study of how men of his era used strategic thinking to nurture creativity and beat the odds. Rooted in the research done for Corridors of Genius, Crossing Boundaries is the first book to explore the consciousness of Joseph Jackson, father and manager of the most successful entertainment family in American history. Crossing Boundaries, as Taylor’s other works, adds a fresh perspective to the historical record.

The Museum

Taylor is committed to preserving cultural artifacts connected to Americans of African descent. This manifests through her museum. The Glenda R. Taylor Museum for the Preservation of African American Women’s History & Culture (a.k.a The African American Women’s History Museum) is a 21st century monument (website) documenting the history and culture of African American Women. It was founded in 2009 by Glenda R. Taylor and Mary J. Taylor. The museum provides an inclusive perspective of American history. The exhibits allow the public to discover the enormous contribution African American women have made to our nation.

The Mission of the museum is to use 21st century technology to provide access to educational exhibits and data which document the history and culture of African American women. The museum does not duplicate what is currently exhibited in other museums. It contains original exhibits which are held, unseen, in private collections. The collectors, committed to preserving American history and culture, have permitted their items to be photographed. The items are displayed in online galleries. The galleries combine artifacts, art, rare documents and ephemera. New exhibitions are added to the galleries on a regular basis. The museum is supported by an international online community of researchers, historians, collectors, scholars and those interested in American history, specifically the history and culture of African American women.

Learn more at Glenda R. Taylor’s official website

6 Books by Glenda R. Taylor