The daughter of an army sergeant and a member of the Womens Army Corps, Sapphire moved around the country often as a child. She dropped out of San Francisco City College to move to New York and become a hippie. She eventually graduated in 1993 from Brooklyn College with a degree in modern dance. The following year, she published American Dreams, a collection of poetry cited in Publishers Weekly as one of the strongest debut collections of the nineties.
Inspired by girls she met as a remedial reading teacher in Harlem, Sapphire wrote Push, which has since won numerous literary awards, including the Book-of-the- Month Club Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction, the Black Caucus of the American Library Associations First Novelist Award, and in Great Britain. Although Sapphire says she was hesitant to turn her book into a movie, the film has won several awards in its own right: it is the only film to win both the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals Audience Awards. Sapphire has also taught literature, fiction and poetry workshops at universities across the country.
In conjunction with Sapphires visit, Jim Nauls and the CMC Office of Student Activities will show Precious on Friday, February 5th at 9:00 PM in Pickford Auditorium.