Author Sam Kelley Weaves A Dramatic Tapestry About One Ordinary Family and Their Extraordinary Faith In The Face Of Life’s Challenges

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New Book Tells a Compelling Tale of Family Bonds and Unyielding Faith

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“That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” This is just one of the lessons that readers will learn as author Sam Kelley tells a compelling story about family, faith, discrimination, courage and hope in “Thruway Diaries.”

In this book, the Cadillac, that Black American symbol of “having made it,” provides no immunity to Big T and his family as they travel from Chicago to his native Mississippi in the early sixties. They find themselves the target of police officers hell bent on making sure they “know their place.” Almost 40 years later, a retired Big T pulls his Cadillac off the blocks and travels with his family to the Southeast. His Cadillac becomes the perfect target for police officers seeking the “big bust” in America’s War on Drugs, creating racial profiling nightmare. When Big T’s Cadillac is taken apart piece by piece and the women stripped searched, it is through strong family bonds, their unyielding faith, and life’s tough lessons that the family finds the strength to maintain their human dignity.

“Sam Kelley has taken a big familiar experience in Black America and brought it stunningly to life. It is painful and insightful to witness and yet it is a scene known only too well to all of Black America. It is said “Once you know better you do better.” We know this scenario and it is up to us all to speak about and work to change the situation we all know as ‘DWB’ Driving while Black.”
—Jackie Warrern-Moore, Central New York poet, playwright, actress

“‘Thruway Diaries’ deals with stereotypes head-on.”
—Samantha Ragland, Syracuse Post Standard

For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

About the Author
Sam Kelley first came to the attention of the theatre community with the production of the nationally acclaimed Pill Hill, which premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre when he was a playwriting student at the Yale School of Drama. Kelley received his Ph.D. in Speech, with a concentration in Radio-TV-Film, from the U. Michigan and his MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama. He earned his MA in Speech from Arkansas at Fayetteville and his BA in Speech and Drama from Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He has also studied screen writing, playwriting and Film Script development at New York University. A graduate of M. M. Tate High School in Marvell, Kelley claims Turkey Scratch, Arkansas as home. In addition to his work as a playwright, the author has performed at the school community level for most of his life. Kelley is also well established as a professor at the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Cortland where his courses include Films of Spike Lee, African Americans in TV and Film, Human Communication, Interviewing Principles and Practices, and Mass Media Advertising. He has also taught a number of special topics courses, such as African American Women in Theatre, African American Theatre and Video Workshop, Screen writing and Films of Spike Lee for Teachers.

Thruway Diaries * by Sam Kelley
Publication Date: 10/26/2012
Trade Paperback; $15.99; 109 pages; 978-1-4797-1011-9
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4797-1012-6
Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

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