My interests are in African American literature, ethnic American literatures, autobiography, and professional editing and publishing. During the 1960s I became involved with the civil rights movement through my family. After completing a B.A. in English at Northern Illinois University in 1968 and an M.A. in English at Northwestern University in 1969, I finished a Ph.D. at Northern Illinois University in 1973 with the dissertation "Black American Autobiography." Starting in 1972 I taught at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and at Roosevelt University in Chicago before coming to the University of Hawai'i in 1976. I have published scholarly articles in journals such as African American Review, MELUS, Studies in American Indian Literatures, and Ethnic Studies Review, and have published several books on Hawaiian history that are used in many of Hawai‘i's schools.