Shari Smith is a contributor to The Shoe Burnin': Stories of Southern Soul and also is the producer of the "Shoe Burnin' Show." She has been published in Thicket Magazine, Wildlife in North Carolina, Western North Carolina Magazine, O. Henry Magazine, Pinestraw Magazine and Abilene Living; and she also has written for BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated). Smith authors the blog Gunpowder, Cowboy Boots and Mascara.
The illegitimate daughter of a captain in the Royal Navy and an enslaved African woman, Dido Belle was sent to live with her great-uncle, the Earl of Mansfield, one of the most powerful men of the time and a leading opponent of slavery. Growing up in his lavish estate, Dido was raised as a sister and companion to her white cousin, Elizabeth. When a joint portrait of the girls, commissioned by Mansfield, was unveiled, eighteenth-century England was shocked to see a black woman and white woman depicted as equals. Inspired by the painting, Belle vividly brings to life this extraordinary woman caught between two worlds, and illuminates the great civil rights question of her age: the fight to end slavery.
Belle includes 20 pages of black-and-white photos.