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Extended Audio Sample A Kind of Freedom Audiobook, by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margaret Wilkerson Sexton Narrator: Kevin Kenerly, Bahni Turpin, Adenrele Ojo Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years Series Release Date: August 2017 ISBN: 9781538450918
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Evelyn is a Creole woman who comes of age in New Orleans at the height of World War II. Her family inhabits the upper echelon of black society, and when she falls for no-name Renard, she is forced to choose between her life of privilege and the man she loves.

In 1982, Evelyn’s daughter Jackie is a frazzled single mother grappling with her absent husband’s drug addiction. Just as she comes to terms with his abandoning the family, he returns, ready to resume their old life. Jackie must decide if the promise of her husband is worth the near certainty that he will leave again.

Jackie’s son T. C. loves the creative process of growing marijuana more than the weed itself. He finds something hypnotic about training the seedlings, testing the levels, trimming the leaves, and drying the buds. He was a square before Hurricane Katrina, but the New Orleans he knew didn’t survive the storm, and in its wake he was changed too. Now, fresh out of a four-month stint for possession with the intent to distribute, he decides to start over―until an old friend convinces him to stake his new beginning on one last deal.

For Evelyn, Jim Crow is an ongoing reality, and in its wake new threats spring up to haunt her descendants. A Kind of Freedom is an urgent novel that explores the legacy of racial disparity in the South through a poignant and redemptive family history.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The story moves through three generations of a black family, each represented by a character whose sections are delivered by three accomplished narrators. Bahni Turpin gives us Evelyn, daughter of a pioneering black doctor and creole wife, who have set themselves against her marrying Renard, the hard-working son of a janitor. Eventually, Evelyn and Renard’s daughter marries a man who loses his job and becomes addicted to crack cocaine. Adenrele Ojo delivers these sections, her voice filled with anguish and dashed hope. Meanwhile, Kevin Kenerly’s mellow, resonant voice gives us a young man struggling to get off drugs and become a fitting father to his own infant son.”

    Washington Post (audio review)

  • “This luminous and assured first novel shines an unflinching, compassionate light on three generations of a black family in New Orleans, emphasizing endurance more than damage.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Sexton subtly lays bare the ever-present societal forces at work to undermine black success and family.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Sexton’s powerful first novel…traces the complex downward spiral of a black family over three generations…Despite the struggles, A Kind of Freedom glimmers with hope.”


  • “An urgent novel that explores the legacy of racial disparity in the South through a poignant and redemptive family history.”

    Chicago Review of Books

  • "[An] emotionally wrenching, character-rich debut…Being able to capture seventy years of New Orleans history and the emotional changes in one family in such a short book is a testament to Sexton’s powers of descriptive restraint.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Sexton’s characters share the traits of kindness and struggle, and her first novel disavows any notion that prejudice is history…This family is worth every minute of a reader’s time.”


  • “Shows us that hard work does not guarantee success and that progress doesn’t always move in a straight line…Well-crafted—and altogether timely.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “An elegant, captivating, and generous debut novel…about how our choices are indelibly influenced by our familial histories, whether we’re aware or not, and how the present connects to the past…Demonstrates the complex web of fate…multifaceted and beautiful.”

    Victoria Patterson, author of This Vacant Paradise

  • “A fresh and unflinching portrait of African American life…Vividly imagined and boldly told, A Kind of Freedom is a book for our time. A fierce and courageous debut.”

    Natalie Baszile, author of Queen Sugar

  • “A brilliant mosaic of an African American family and a love song to New Orleans. Her characters are all of us, America’s family, written with deep insight and devastating honesty but also with grace and beauty. Wilkerson’s stunning debut illuminates the journey of sisters and the generations they bear.”

    Dana Johnson, author of In the Not Quite Dark

  • “A compassionately told story of four generations in one American family who endure the unpredictable challenges of our rapidly changing society. Bound together through blood ties and love, Sexton’s keenly drawn characters sweep you into a mesmerizing cascade of loss and triumph.”

    Carol Cassella, author of Oxygen, Healer

  • “Interweaves generations of parent-child relations to reveal, with sharp insight, how promise and possibility…[are] shaped by the limits to freedom.”

    Lauret Savoy, author of Trace

  • A Summer/Fall 2017 Indies Introduce Debut Pick
  • A Chicago Review of Books Pick for August
  • Huffington Post Pick of Incredible Summer Reads
  • One of the BBC’s Best Books to Read in August
  • A SIBA Okra Pick for Summer
  • A Washington Post Best Audiobook of 2017
  • Longlisted for the National Book Award
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week
  •  A New York Times Notable Book of 2017
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About the Author

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton studied creative writing at Dartmouth and law at the University of California, Berkeley. A recipient of the Lombard fellowship, she spent a year in the Dominican Republic working for a civil-rights organization and writing her first manuscript, A Kind of Freedom, which received an honorable mention in the Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest. Her stories have been published or are forthcoming in Grey Sparrow Journal, Limestone Journal, and Broad! magazine, and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

About the Narrators

Kevin Kenerly is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator and earned a BA at Olivet College. A longtime member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he has acted in fifteen seasons, playing dozens of roles.

Bahni Turpin has won numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and three prestigious Audie Awards for her audiobook narrations, and Publishers Weekly magazine named her Narrator of the Year for 2016. She is an ensemble member of the Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles. She has guest starred in many television series, including NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Six Feet Under, Cold Case, What about Brian, and The Comeback. Film credits include Brokedown Palace, Crossroads, and Daughters of the Dust. She is also a member of the recording cast of The Help, which won numerous awards.

Adenrele Ojo is an actress, dancer, and audiobook narrator, winner of over a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards for narration. She made her onscreen debut in My Little Girl, starring Jennifer Lopez, and has since starred in several other films. She has also performed extensively with the Philadelphia Dance Company. As the daughter of John E. Allen, Jr., founder and artistic director of Freedom Theatre, the oldest African American theater in Pennsylvania, is no stranger to the stage. In 2010 she performed in the Fountain Theatre’s production of The Ballad of Emmett Till, which won the 2010 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Best Ensemble. Other plays include August Wilson’s Jitney and Freedom Theatre’s own Black Nativity, where she played Mary.