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New YA novel explores race, identity in Jim Crow South

kelly mcwilliams
Bill Mullen
Kelly McWilliams.

Biracial fraternal twins separated early in life are brought back together as teenagers in the Jim Crow South. But these sisters have had very different experiences because of their skin color.

Magnolia is white-presenting and lives on a southern plantation, while Charlie presents as Black and is a civil rights organizer in Harlem.

That’s the premise of a new young adult novel by author Kelly McWilliams, called, "Mirror Girls." McWilliams is the daughter of writer and Arizona State University professor Jewel Parker Rhodes.

The Show spoke with her and asked how she went about trying to write about this time specifically, living and discovering oneself in the Jim Crow South.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.