Author, producer, and emerging poet Roje Augustin has written a groundbreaking debut collection of dramatic poems about hair care entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker and her daughter, A’Lelia. Roje’s singular and accomplished work is presented through the intimate lens of the mother-daughter relationship via different poetic forms – from lyric to haiku, blackout to narrative. (One poem takes its inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven.) Written in tribute to Walker, Out of No Way deftly and beautifully explores themes of race, motherhood, sacrifice, beauty, and the meaning of success in Jim Crow America.
Out of No Way by Roje Augustin is an incredible journey to a Black woman’s past. One that had a positive effect on the Black women population and inspired other women worldwide. Madam C.J. Walker is an unforgettable kind of woman. She was dealt a difficult hand in life and yet she worked hard. Later on, it all paid off for her and her family. There are many themes in this book that are explored. However, remembering one prominent woman like Madam C.J. Walker is the highlight. She defied her time period and became a success in everything she did. For a history buff, I found this interesting book a joy to read.