About Taylor Made

Winner of the 2019 Royal Palm Literary Award!

Join award-winning, first-time author Dr. Ray Noble Taylor as he guides us through his family’s Great Migration story. In Taylor Made: Poetry, Prose, and Reflections, we meet the colorful people who populate the Taylor family tree: his grandfather Papa Will Henry, a hard drinking man who nevertheless imparts important life lessons to his grandson; Papa Will Henry’s long-suffering wife, Mama Zorah, who finally takes matters into her own hands; Dr. Taylor’s father, a successful preacher hiding a secret; Dr. Taylor’s family, with characters easily recognizable in so many families; and Dr. Taylor’s wife, Frances, the love of his life. Here in these pages is also found a lovely tip of the hat to the “little people,” who Dr. Taylor is the first to acknowledge contributed to both his professional and personal success.

Awarded the Florida Writers Association’s Gold Medal at the 2019 Royal Literary Awards, Taylor Made: Poetry, Prose, and Reflections is at once a gentle walk down memory lane and, at the same time, is an unsparing look at America’s difficult, disruptive, and oftentimes tumultuous history.


When I was two years old, my mother told me that my father decided to move our family from Samantha, Alabama, to the south side of Chicago. This emigration was a part of what historians call “The Great Migration.”

I began to notice some doctors in the operating room and on the wards. They talked to nurses and technicians as though they were children. These were the people who helped to ensure smooth surgeries and calmed their patients through the night. Without the janitors, housekeepers, dietary workers, technicians, nurses, and, oh yes, doctors, our hospitals would collapse.

Chester drove home in a brand new 1955 yellow Chevy 210 2-door hardtop. That was it! Studies were out, swag was in. Chester was the uncrowned King of Froebel. I was just his little brother, but, there were fringe benefits.

He also had the habit of saying exactly what was on his mind. In the South, this usually led to death or institutionalization for a black man.

The true lover is one who takes that largest of risks: to expose all tender and vulnerable places of himself. He is a giver who, at times, is made honest, helpless, hopeless; to be in Heaven or Hell, but always hopeful.


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