Live Chat with Melda Beaty

November 4, 2008; Marks, Mississippi. America is on the eve of electing its first black president. Amidst the town’s excitement over Barack Obama, Carrie Honey grieves her son’s tragic death. After 40 years of failed attempts to seek justice, Carrie has grown bitter and is no longer interested in life’s celebrations, but when a scandal in town rocks this historic day, a past secret is revealed that restores her faded faith.

That is the premise of Melda Beaty’s play Front Porch Society.

Beaty is a passionate playwright. Her second play, Coconut Cake, was accepted into the New Works Reader’s Series at the 2017 National Black Theatre Festival and had a 2017 staged reading during ReadFest in Houston, TX. Her most recent stage play, Thirty, is an explosive look at a generation of Black women trying to make sense of family secrets. Melda was commissioned by The Ensemble Theatre for their 2021-2022 season. Her upcoming short film, Cupcake, chronicles the divide mental illness creates between a mother and her daughter.

In addition, Melda is an author of two books and a freelance contributor to Black Masks magazine. Her first book, My Soul to His Spirit: Soulful Expressions from Black Daughters to Their Fathers won the 2006 National Fresh Voices Award. It is a diverse and cathartic compilation of non-fiction writings by black women from across the United States. Her debut novel, Lime, is hailed as “America’s Next Top Model” meets “Burning Bed.” Both books are available on For more information about Beaty, visit:

Hear what Melda Beaty has to say about her work, racism, and writing amidst a pandemic in this live chat.

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