Nathan McCall (born 1955) is an African-American author who grew up in the Cavalier Manor section of Portsmouth, Virginia.

Nathan McCall
Born1955 (age 64–65)
Portsmouth, Virginia, United States
OccupationAuthor, lecturer


As the stepson of a Navy man, McCall grew up in various locations, such as Morocco and Norfolk, Virginia. After serving three years in prison, he studied journalism at Norfolk State University. He reported for The Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution before moving to The Washington Post In 1989.

In his first book, Makes Me Wanna Holler,[1] McCall provides a detailed story of his life and the hardships he experienced growing up with racial profiling, class differences and peer pressure.[2][3]

His second book, What's Going On, used personal essays to discuss some larger issues such as social, cultural, and political tensions that affect the modern day United States.[4]

After the success of his books, McCall was in demand as a speaker. He left The Washington Post for the lecture circuit. Today he continues to write, and holds the post of lecturer in the Department of African-American Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

His first novel Them: A Novel, dealing with issues of gentrification in an Atlanta neighborhood, was published in 2007. Them tells the story of Barlowe Reed, a single, forty-something African-American man, who has to come to terms with the gentrification of his neighborhood, in particular the influx of white people to the area.[5][6]

In an April 2014 interview with Ebony magazine, McCall stated that he was amazed that Makes Me Wanna Holler was still selling after 20 years.[7]


  1. ^ Abcarian, Robin (April 6, 1994). "Focusing Only on Racism Blinds Author to Sexism". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ Hochschild, Adam (February 27, 1994). "A Furious Man". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Carter, Kevin L. (February 16, 1994). "Driven By Rage From Prison To Print". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  4. ^ Ross, Michael E. (November 2, 1997). "Books". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Miller, Laura (November 12, 2007). "The strangers next door". Salon.
  6. ^ McClurg, Jocelyn (November 12, 2007). "Race, real estate become a flashpoint in 'Them'". USA Today.
  7. ^ Washington, Nicholas L. (April 15, 2014). "Nathan McCall: 20 Years After 'Makes Me Wanna Holler'". Ebony.

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