ALLEN B. BALLARD | professor, author and musician

Carried by Six

Carried By Six is the 2010 winner of an "Honor Book Prize" in Afro-American Literature from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.


Obie Bullock, leader of a Philadelphia anti–violence group (the Mau-Mau), returns home from his janitor’s job early one morning and stumbles upon a crime scene—someone has just slit the throat of a police officer. Armed with the officer’s recovered revolver, Obie, an Iraq war vet, corners and kills the masked assassin who turns out to be the youngest brother of Son Teagle, a powerful, but imprisoned drug dealer.

Angered, Teagle vows revenge upon Obie, his beautiful wife, Dora Lee, and their two teen-age children. Fearful of Teagle, many members of the Mau-Mau desert and the pressures upon the crusading Bullock family become unbearable. Their marriage founders when Dora Lee takes the children and flees with them to the south to seek refuge with relatives. Then comes the word to Obie that Son Teagle has broken out of prison!

“In Carried By Six, Allen Ballard has created a memorable novel that is a fast paced, page turning story of a black community determined to rid itself of the drug-driven plague of crime and violence….Ballard writes with passion and conviction of the power of ordinary men and women to do extraordinary things when family, friends, and community decide enough is enough. It is a book that entertains , ennobles, and inspires. Bravo Ballard!”
-Darlene Clark Hine, Professor of African American Studies and History, Northwestern University, co-author, The African-American Odyssey.

“Carried By Six is a very well-told story that celebrates the courage of those valiant folks in the inner city who, contrary to the “no snitchin’”code, are determined to fight for neighborhoods where their children can grow up safe and secure from gunfire and random violence. Ballard keeps it real and writes with power and authority. I could hardly put the book down. Neither will you!”
-John Herritage, Staff Inspector (Ret.) New York State Police

“Allen Ballard has done it again! His first novel, Where I’m Bound, was a great epic of the Civil War and this new novel is just as powerful and well-written and will definitely keep the reader engaged. The characters are compelling, ordinary, church-going African-Americans whose faith in God sustains them in their daily struggle to make a decent life for their family, their neighbors, and their communities, This is an uplifting and dramatic piece of writing and I highly recommend it.”
-Lillian Williams, Associate Professor Of African-American Studies, the University of Buffalo.

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Selected Works

Breaching Jericho's Walls
“Breaching Jericho’s Walls is a journey-through-life book that takes the reader to interesting and very different (surprisingly so) sites of memory where compelling experiences take place. I couldn’t stop reading.” — Gloria Wade-Gayles, editor of My Soul Is a Witness: African-American Women’s Spirituality
Carried by Six
The leader of an anti-violence group stumbles upon a crime scene, and unknowingly kills the brother of a powerful but imprisoned drug dealer.
Where I'm Bound
"The important story of black soldiers in the Union army has finally found a writer of historical fiction equal to the occasion."
--James M. McPherson, Professor of History, Princeton University
One More Day’s Journey: The Story
of a Family and a People

Chronicles the movement of Blacks from South Carolina to Philadelphia during the Great Migration, 1917-1940.
The Education of Black Folk: The Afro-American Struggle for Knowledge in
White America

A short history of the education of African-Americans in the United States.