From 2011–2015 The United States is commemorating the 150th anniversary of The Civil War.

Cheryl Wills’ acclaimed book, Die Free pays homage to the storied treasure of her great-great-great grandfather, Sandy Wills, who fled his slave master (Edmund Wills) and fought valiantly as a member of the United States Colored Troops from 1863–1865. Sandy’s courage was mirrored in Cheryl’s father, a Vietnam-era paratrooper, who died without knowing his family’s historic legacy.

Told with deep love & brow-raising honesty, Die Free stretches from Haywood County, Tennessee in the 1850s to New York City in the 20th century. The author shares the unvarnished truth about the Wills’ family roots, ever entwined in passion, music, and faith. Read More…



Buy Die Free today at your favorite book store:

ISBN: 978–1-935098–40-9

Uncover Your Past to Empower Your Future



The Wills Family Archives

Browse the family archives from the bounds of Haywood County, Tennessee in the 1860s to modern-day New York City. View…

About the Author

In 2011, Cheryl Wills made history as the first journalist invited to speak inside the United Nations General Assembly Hall for The International Remembrance of Victims of Slavery. Read more…

Advance Praise

A memorable read for those who want to bear witness to a true and heartfelt ren­dering of the lives of African Americans over the last 170 years.” Read More…



”Die Free is a compelling American story as Cheryl Wills traces the lives of her forefathers and foremothers … she writes with the creative flair of a novelist … This is a must-read for all members of the family, young and old alike.”

- Rev. Al Sharpton, President, National Action Network -