A 12-year Collaboration with Co-Author Katie McCabe
“From the time we met [in 1995] until her death in 2018, Dovey gave me the gifts of her time, her wisdom, her friendship, her support of me and my family, and the breathtaking example of her unflagging faith. And, in a world riven by racial hurt and anger, she gave me her trust. She was a Black woman born in the early twentieth century in the Jim Crow South. I am a white woman who came of age in 1950’s Washington, DC. And yet Dovey chose to enter into a critical partnership with me … She spoke with a depth and honesty that told me she believed I could in fact understand both her worldview and her suffering, for all the apparent differences between us.”
Co-Author Katie McCabe, Author's Note, Mighty Justice
Washington writer Katie McCabe, the co-author, with Dovey Johnson Roundtree, of Mighty Justice, is a nationally recognized non-fiction writer whose work on unsung heroes has garnered wide attention, both in print and in film. Her National Magazine Award-winning Washingtonian article on Black cardiac surgery pioneer Vivien Thomas, “Like Something the Lord Made,” formed the basis for the 2004 Emmy and 2005 Peabody Award winning HBO film “Something the Lord Made,” and a 2017 BBC Witness History Program on Vivien Thomas.
McCabe learned about Dovey Roundtree in a 1995 Washington Post article, and was inspired to profile her in a Washingtonian Magazine piece. That piece won the 2004 Dateline Award for Excellence in Washington, DC Journalism. The book Mighty Justice (originally published in 2009 with the title Justice Older than the Law) is the product of a 12-year collaboration between McCabe and Roundtree which began in Washington shortly before Roundtree’s retirement to Charlotte, NC in 1996 and survived the obstacles of distance, of Roundtree’s blindness, and of her failing health. The book, a January 2020 Oprah Best Book Pick, won the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize from the Association of Black Women Historians.
Two children’s books were inspired by McCabe and Roundtree’s Mighty Justice: a middle-grade adaptation of the same title and the 2022 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book, We Wait for the Sun.
Above left, Katie McCabe and Dovey Roundtree at Thurgood Marshall Awards Dinner, Charlotte, NC, 2006.
Above, the co-authors celebrating the initial release of Dovey's memoir, Charlotte, NC, 2009.