Introducing Tara Stringfellow: teacher, poet and novelist


Annie Leow

Stringfellow is excited to see what new experiences teaching at White Station will bring.

While you may know her simply as the new 10th grade English teacher, there’s more to Tara Stringfellow than meets the eye. Having lived in Memphis as a young girl, Stringfellow is happy to return home after teaching in Alhaurín de la Torre, Spain.

One of the first things she did as a Spartan was establish a few classroom rules. For example, everyone must treat each other with dignity.

“It’s a good rule to enforce,” Kelsey Price (10), one of Stringfellow’s students, said.

According to Stringfellow, this principle has made adjusting to White Station easier, as she feels and appreciates the effect of it in her classroom.

“Scholars and students here are exceptional,” she said, stating that she has had little to no disciplinary problems in her classes.

She also expresses herself through protest poetry, which addresses and objects to real socio-political issues. She found a passion for while living in Chicago, where she was a teacher and attorney. Her works include poems written to the mothers of Laquan McDonald, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, and Trayvon Martin, all of whom were victims of police brutality.

“We shouldn’t live in a society where our children are being gunned down on their own property without any weapons on them simply because what? They’re dark-skinned?” Stringfellow said.

Poetry is her way of standing up for her beliefs, and she doesn’t stop there.

Stringfellow is currently writing a novel, Memphis, which mixes fiction with fact to tell her family’s history in the city, including how her grandfather was the first black police officer in Memphis and how her grandmother was Martin Luther King Jr.’s mistress.

Although Stringfellow anticipates some indignant reactions, she feels her work contains an important message to black girls who may feel that the odds are against them.

Look forward to the release of Memphis in 2019 and know that one of White Station’s own is striving to use her passions in a positive light.