Linda Janet Holmes is a writer, independent scholar, curator, and long-time women’s health activist. Her writing, including articles in medical journals and essays in feminist journals, has been pivotal in contributing to a resurgence of international recognition of the significance of African American midwifery practices. Her book, Listen To Me Good: The Life Story of an Alabama Midwife, was co-authored with Margaret Charles Smith, a traditional African American midwife.
Her recently completed book is titled A Joyous Revolt: Toni Cade Bambara, Writer and Activist. This first biography on a transformative black fiction writer, activist, filmmaker, and cultural worker includes previously unpublished letters, journal notes, and extensive interviews with Bambara’s family members and friends. Holmes is also co-editor (with Cheryl Wall) of the anthology Savoring the Salt: The Legacy of Toni Cade Bambara.
Holmes, former director of New Jersey’s Office of Minority and Multicultural Health, now lives in Hampton, Virginia. Her most recent work focused on collecting oral histories from Hampton Institute Civil Rights Veterans who were in the forefront of the 1960s movement to desegregate public spaces in Virginia. The oral history interviews are posted on the Hampton History Museum website.
Holmes is currently working on her second book on midwives. This book will include the voices of traditional midwives of African descent across the diaspora, past and present.