The Stone that the Builder Refused: An Interview with Naomi Long Madgett

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By: Morgan McComb The black women’s literary renaissance of the 1970s saw the emergence of some of today’s most accomplished black women writers: Maya Angelou, Toni Cade Bambara, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Rita Dove, Maya Angelou, among them. On the heels of — and often inspired by — the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, black women writers carved out their own space, […]

Black Speculative Fiction On the Rise

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[By: Marcus Haynes] In an age where Luke Cage can break Netflix, FIYAH literary magazine can win a World Fantasy Award, and speculative fiction legends Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes can give keynote speeches at the National Black Book Festival, it is clear that things are changing for creators of Black Speculative Fiction. And the fact that all of these things occurred during Black Speculative […]

The Great American Read: America’s Best-Loved Literature Centers Whiteness, Not Diversity

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[By: Morgan McComb] On October 23rd, 2018, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) announced the culmination of their Great American Read project, a survey of America’s 100 “best-loved” novels. The Great American Read began by conducting “a demographically and statistically representative survey asking Americans to name their most-loved novel.” Approximately 7,200 people participated in that survey, and the list that resulted from the survey was narrowed […]

Dear ‘Zake: A Disjointed Appreciation of Ntozake Shange

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[By: doris davenport] (Mourning, Memorial, Celebration) Like Stacey Abrams’ campaign for governor of Georgia has inspired and mobilized most African Americans, so too, the “early” Ntozake Shange of the 1970’s-80’s, especially inspired and mobilized most blackwimmin. So when i heard the “Ntozake is gone.” announcement in a FB post, by Pamela Sneed, on Oct. 27, my fingers spasmed “what?” then (sobbing) i rocked myself with […]

Ntozake Shange Roundtable

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An outpouring of love on social media followed the news of Ntozake Shange’s passing on October 27, 2018. A pioneering poet, playwright and novelist, who broke the rules of conventional theatre with her critically acclaimed  for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, Shange continues to inspire generations of women writers who come after her.

Four Reasons to Say Yes to Voting

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[By: Mona Ahmed] Election day is here and I can’t help but stress the significance of voting. My parents instilled in me the importance of voting at a young age. My earliest memory of voting is walking to my neighborhood polling station with my parents and filling out my pretend ballot. The highlight of my day would be receiving the “I Voted” sticker from the […]

Seeing the Monsters Among Us

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[By: Jane’a Johnson] I have often wondered why I like watching horror movies and reading horror fiction. I do not like violence. In fact, quite the opposite. I can barely stand to watch blood and guts. Psychological distress, too, is hard for me to bear. Still, I soldier on, watching most of the newest horror releases in theaters and on streaming services, buying novels new […]