Biography of Connie Porter
Connie Rose Porter (born in 1959) is an African-American author best known for her books for children and young adults. She was the third youngest of nine children of a family living in a housing project. She went on to earn degrees from SUNY Albany and Louisiana State University. She has since taught English and creative writing at Milton Academy, Emerson College, and Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She was a fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and was a regional winner in Granta's Best Young American Novelist contest.
Porter's debut novel All-Bright Court (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991) portrayed life in a northern urban "slum" community during the late 20th century. She then began work on a series of children's books about a pre-teenage girl named Addy Walker, who escaped from slavery in North Carolina during the American Civil War and learned the life of freedom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pleasant Company Publications (now owned by Mattel and operating as American Girl) published eleven of her "Addy" books between 1993 and 2003 as part of its American Girls Collection Series and in conjunction with the Addy Walker doll, which was the first non-white doll of its American Girl Collection. Porter returned briefly to a more mature and modern subject matter in 1999 to write the novel Imani All Mine (Houghton Mifflin, 1999) about a 14-year-old mother struggling in a present-day inner-city world of poverty and danger.