Black Cloud Rising
Set during the American Civil War, Black Cloud Rising tells the story of a man grappling with his own complicated history as he forges a future for himself—and his country.
By fall of 1863, Union forces had taken control of Tidewater Virginia and established a toehold in eastern North Carolina, including along the Outer Banks. Thousands of freed slaves and runaways flooded the Union lines, but Confederate irregulars still roamed the region. In December, the newly formed African Brigade, a unit of these former slaves led by General Edward Augustus Wild—a one-armed, impassioned abolitionist—set out from Portsmouth to hunt down the rebel guerillas and extinguish the threat.
From this little-known historical episode comes Black Cloud Rising, a dramatic account of these soldiers—men who only weeks earlier had been enslaved, but were now Union infantrymen setting out to fight their former owners. At the heart of the narrative is Sergeant Richard Etheridge, the son of a slave and her master, raised with some privileges but constantly reminded of his place. Deeply conflicted about his past, Richard is eager to show himself to be a credit to his race. As the African Brigade conducts raids through the areas occupied by the Confederate Partisan Rangers, he and his comrades recognize that they are fighting for more than territory. Wild’s mission is to prove that his troops can be trusted as soldiers in combat. And because many of the men have fled from the very plantations in their path, each raid is also an opportunity to free loved ones left behind. For Richard, this means the possibility of reuniting with Fanny, the woman he hopes to one day marry.
Richard must navigate a world of violence and moral uncertainty, never knowing whether the shot that could end his life will be fired by his own white cousin, who has turned Confederate guerrilla, or his fellow soldier, the self-named Revere, who sneeringly sees through Richard’s racial self-doubt.
Publicist (US): John Mark Boling, firstname.lastname@example.org
Publicist (Canada): Alice Tibbetts, email@example.com
“Engrossing and complex, this will have readers riveted.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Wright Faladé’s richly detailed, grippingly told story breathes life into a revolutionary moment when the U.S. moved a vital step forward toward achieving the ideals we’ve always proclaimed.”
— Charles Frazier, National Book Award-winning author of Cold Mountain
“Black Cloud Rising turns Civil War history upside down and makes America give up one of its darkest secrets—that our racial tension is literally a family feud.”
— James Hannaham, Pen/Faulkner Award-winning author of Delicious Foods
“Action-packed” yet “introspective”
“Authors Wright and Bouchard, who met playing football in Paris and draw on experience for detailed authenticity, pull no punches in addressing racism and social ills, effectively presenting a complicated situation with no simple solution. Timely, nuanced, and highly respectful of readers’ intelligence.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“This book has fire behind the words… It also has poetry and asks questions that should be discussed openly and never swept under the rug of readers.”
— The Huffington Post
Fire on the Beach
“One of the Best Books of 2001.”
— The St. Louis Post dispatch
“Acompelling read about heroes and scoundrels, seafarers and soldiers, pride in doing a job and prejudice toward those who strove to prove themselves equals. With exhaustive research, the authors have brought to life an important chapter in seafaring history.”
— The Virginian Pilot (Norfolk)
“Fire on the Beach adds significantly to our understanding of the many essential ways in which African Americans have served their country.”
— The Washington Post Sunday Book Review
2011 San Francisco
Ocean Film Festival
Documentary Feature Category
2011 North Carolina
Triangle Press Club
Best Documentary Film for 2010
2010 Gig Harbor Film Festival
Audience Award Winner