In recognition of Black History Month, the Maryland Writers’ Association invites you to walk with us through the journey of guest speaker Elayne Bond Hyman who, while researching her ancestral roots, has felt compelled to write the novel They Came Across South Mountain. With a story grounded in Maryland history during a ninety-year period between 1830 and 1920, Elayne will share the unique challenges and satisfactions she discovered during the seven year research and writing process. This includes, in her words, “a deeper knowledge and respect for people of color in America”, as well as her own genealogy. Elayne will also discuss how to identify points of inspiration and how to trust that our inspiration will ultimately inspire others.
Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, and a current resident of Frederick, MD, Elayne has spent most of her life in the Washington D.C. area. She graduated from Howard University with a major in Russian and a double minor in French and English. She later earned a master’s degree in Slavic Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Elayne became a college professor and taught multiple topics—English as a second language, Russian literature, humanities—at multiple institutions, including Howard University, Montgomery County Community College, and the Lorton Prison College Program in Lorton, VA.
Elayne’s worldview broadened further after earning her Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. For 24 years, Elayne worked as an ordained minister in National Capital Presbytery before honorably retiring in 2004. However, her interest in the arts was just getting started. She decided to pursue performance poetry and acting for the next decade as a member of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). Perhaps some of you will recognize her!
In 2012, Elayne started researching her family heritage to preserve for her granddaughters. She unexpectedly got inspired and, seven years later, is now ready for a publisher. Elayne’s inspiration and commitment to writing also helped to launch the African-American Writers of Frederick in 2017.
She became a member of the Maryland Writers’ Association in 2019.