‘MTSU On the Record’ explores gender identity in t...

‘MTSU On the Record’ explores gender identity in tweens with professor’s new novel

Two young women of color who dare to be different were in the spotlight on a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Nikki Jones, Department of Social Work assistant professor

Dr. Nikki Jones

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Nikki Jones, an assistant professor in the university’s Department of Social Work, first aired Oct. 9 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and online at You can listen to their conversation above.

Jones is the author of “Lyric and Blake,” a novel about two African-American female junior high school students who defy gender norms by wearing boys’ clothes and dating girls. The book follows them as they explore personal identity among the judgmental cliques in the student body.

cover of social work professor Dr. Nikki Jones’ book, “Lyric & Blake”Jones said she intended to present characters with a strong sense of self who could be examples for young people who are grappling with sexual identity issues.

WMOT Roots Radio-new logo-2017 web “It was very deliberate for me to make sure that I create characters who were self-assured … because they had a strong family network,” Jones said. “In so much of middle school fiction you see children with low self-esteem issues, children who are battling bullying and things like that.”

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.