Tiffany D Jackson Visits FCPS


Nicole Akumatey

Tiffany D Jackson taking questions from attendees at the white smoke book talk.

Nicole Akumatey, Editor

On October 27, Tiffany D. Jackson visited Frederick County Public Schools virtually. Jackson is a New York Times bestselling author, best known for her work in the Young Adult thriller genre. She is known for her active effort in highlighting issues that affect the black community, especially black women, in her work. In her latest book, White Smoke, Jackson dwells on themes of addiction, gentrification, mob mentality, the prison industrial complex and anxiety. As she best puts it, “I write what I know.”

The small group at Oakdale attended several sessions throughout the day. The agenda for the event included two Q&A sessions with Jackson, two book discussions chosen by the participants, and a writers workshop led by the author herself. The day ended with various activities depending on the home schools.

Fisaya Oyolola is a Sophomore at Oakdale High School, and attended the TDJ Virtual Authors Visit. Oyola stated, “The main thing that inspired me to attend the author’s visit is not only meeting Tiffany Jackson, but connect with other people who understand the importance of the topics Tiffany Jackson talks about such as grooming and gentrification.”

Jackson Is known for her unique way of writing about serious issues in a way that is digestible for younger audiences. “I didn’t really understand gentrification until I read White Smoke,” a student at Urbana high school responded during the book talk. “But the way she writes things and alludes to certain subjects without calling it by name is very interesting.

While the program was attended by many students from various schools, only 4 people attended the event from OHS. Oyola voiced,”I think the program could have improved on participation.”

Natalie Johnson, a freshman at Oakdale highschool offered a solution to the problem. “Next time they should let students know ahead of time about all the books that will be discussed”

Both students expressed an interest in attending another author’s visit. In the past, Oakdale author visits have garnered a fair amount of interest. Since Tiffany Jackson is not very well known, the turnout was not very high. Hopefully the next visit has a better OHS turnout.

White Smoke and other Tiffany D. Jackson novels are out at all local retailers and libraries.