Illinois Authors

The Illinois Center for the Book banner

Darlena Williams-Burnett

Pen Name: Darlena Burnett

Connection to Illinois: Williams-Burnett lives on Chicago's near west side.

Biography: Darlena Williams-Burnett is Deputy Chief at the Chicago Housing Authority. She was elected State Central Committeewoman of the 7th Congressional District in March of 2002. In 2004, Darlena was appointed Delegate to the Democratic National Convention. She served as a Super Delegate for President-Elect Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. As an employee of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, she was appointed Union Contract Negotiator and elected by co-workers as union steward, lobbying members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation in Washington D.C. As a volunteer, Darlena serves as Treasurer for Friends of Jesse White. She was appointed Treasurer for First Baptist Congregational Church, in addition to serving as a Deaconess. Darlena has served on the Advisory board for Union Park and Deborah’s Place in addition to the Board of Aids Care. She is a member of the 13th Police District Domestic Violence Sub Committee.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Living History
ISBN: 1951946170 OCLC:

Biograph 2021

Why I Wrote This Book “Ma, you should write a book.” My youngest son, Walter, always encouraged me to document my life’s journey. He’s been saying that for a good 10 years. He’s 24 now. “Ma, you had so much going on,” he would remind me. “So many things have happened to you. You got to share your life’s journey with a broader audience.” He’s right. I do need to share, but I’ve always put the accounts of my life on the back burner. A part of me thought my story wasn’t significant enough to share, but another part of me always said, “I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it one day.” So, in the middle of a pandemic, during the summer of 2020, I found the strength to tell my story. I wrote this book for my children and grandchildren, so that they can know my struggles and aspire to greater heights in their own lives.