Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Ronne Hartfield  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: 1936 in Chicago, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Hartfield was born and raised in Chicago and attended Wendell Phillips High School and local universities.

Biographical and Professional Information

Born Ronola Rone, Hartfield is a poet, essayist, and international museum consultant. She attended the University of Chicago for both her undergraduate and master’s degree. Her B.A. is in History and her M.A. is in Theology and Literature. The former Woman’s Board Endowed Executive Director of Museum Education at the Art Institute of Chicago, Hartfield was also the executive director of Chicago-based Urban Gateways: The Center for Arts in Education. In 2006, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters by DePaul University.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Another Way Home: The Tangled Roots of Race in One Chicago Family
ISBN: 0226318230

University of Chicago Press. 2005

Spanning most of the twentieth century, Another Way Home celebrates the special circumstance of being born and reared in a household where being a woman of mixed race could be a fundamental source of strength, vitality, and courage. Ronne Hartfield begins her chronicle with the early life of her mother, Day Shepherd. Born to a wealthy British plantation owner and the mixed-race daughter of a former slave, Day negotiates the complicated circumstances of plantation life in the border country of Louisiana and Mississippi and, as she enters womanhood, the quadroon and octoroon societies of New Orleans. Equally a tale of the Great Migration, Another Way Home traces Day's journey to Bronzeville, the epicenter of black Chicago during the first half of the twentieth century. Here, through the eyes of Day and, ultimately, her daughter, we witness the bustling city streets and vibrant middle-class culture of this iconic black neighborhood. We also relive crucial moments in African American history as they are experienced by the author's family and others in Chicago's South Side black community, from the race riots of 1919 and the Great Depression to the murder of Emmett Till and the dawn of the civil rights movement.

Throughout her book, Hartfield portrays mixed-race Americans navigating the challenges of their lives with resilience and grace, making Another Way Home an intimate and compelling encounter with one family's response to our racially charged culture.

"A warm and touching memoir of a close-knit family as well as a record of the tumultuous history of race relations in the U.S."—Booklist