Tanya Barfield's well-crafted story, Blue Door, centers on Lewis, an African-American math professor, whose life is unraveling. His wife leaves him because he refuses to attend the Million Man March and shortly thereafter, he is forced to go on
sabbatical. As he struggles to deal with both personal and professional crises during a night of insomnia, he is visited by the ghosts of his ancestors. Four generations of ancestors reveal their stories of history and survival
challenging Lewis to understand his culture and identity.
Written to combat her frustration over negative stereotypes and demeaning characterizations of African Americans in the media, Barfield's story was inspired by the African tradition of oral storytelling that was designed to preserve
family history and maintain identity.