Melva Graham is a writer, actress, and part-time activist (working her way to a full-time position). She grew up in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, a Pittsburgh suburb. She graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she received a BFA in Drama and the Outstanding Achievement in Acting Award from the Meisner Studio. She lives in Los Angeles and is the proud aunt of a niece and two nephews.
In second grade her teacher wrote on her report card, “Melva is one of my most enthusiastic, creative writers.” In fact, buried in her parents’ basement is an unfinished manuscript saved on a floppy disk waiting to be completed. She started writing as an adult mostly because friends kept asking her to write material for projects they were working on. It didn’t take long, though, before she was working on projects of her own. She wrote pilots, plays, essays, a screenplay, a web series, and a three-minute stand-up routine (that she only performed once). Her sitcom pilot, “Tales of a Post-College Nothing,” was a finalist in the Page International Screenwriting Awards. Her one-act play, Aftermath, was produced in Los Angeles. Her web series, “Unprotected Texts,” was a runner-up in the Tisch West Web Series Competition.
Melva started writing about race as a way to respond to bias and bigotry. If her experience with casual (and not-so casual) racism has taught her anything, it’s that silence serves no one, and so, in order to show up for herself in a way that she couldn’t as a child, or even at times as an adult, she writes. She writes about belonging. She writes about accepting yourself when others don’t. She writes about moving in and out of spaces without leaving a part of yourself behind. Your Black Friend Has Something To Say is her debut essay collection. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @msmelvagraham.