HBW Exclusive: Interview with Tayari Jones

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On Day 6 & 7 of our “Ode to #BlackExcellence” series we are celebrating the newest release from Tayari Jones An American Marriage. Oprah’s newest book club pick, An American Marriage masterfully intertwines love, suspense, and racial injustice through the story of Roy Hamilton and Celestial Davenport. KU Visiting Scholar and HBW Affiliate Lili Wong got a chance to speak with Jones about the new novel, as well […]

Day 5: An Ode to #BlackExcellence

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African American Vernacular English constitutes a crucial element of Charles W. Chestnutt’s short fiction– a distinctive linguistic feature of his southern character. Light enough to “pass” as white, he never did so and always openly identified as African American. You can read more about his novels and short stories in our Black Literary Suite feature “Histories of African American Short Stories: a Digital Humanities Exhibit“ […]

Day 4: An Ode to #BlackExcellence

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Novelist and essayist Ernest Gaines weaves the powerful traditions of storytelling and oral history throughout his works. Accentuating Black life in the rural South, Gaines does not shy away from confronting the racial overtones of our collective history.   “Sometimes you got to hurt something to help something. Sometimes you have to plow under one thing in order for something else to grow.” – Ernest […]

Day 3: An Ode to #BlackExcellence

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  Margaret Walker published her only novel Jubilee in 1966. Based on the story of her great-grandmother, the novel ushered in the era of neo-slave narratives. Though she published twelve books during her lifetime, her major legacy is the Institute for the Study of History, Life and Culture of Black People which she founded in 1986, and was later renamed the Margaret Walker Center in […]

Day 2: An Ode to #BlackExcellence

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Today we celebrate Toni Cade Bambara, writer of Black women’s literature, editor, and documentary film maker for her contributions to the Black womanist tradition, both through her own writing and as a pioneer of editing and publishing Black feminist anthologies. “Are you sure, sweetheart, that you want to be well?… Just so’s you’re sure, sweetheart, and ready to be healed, cause wholeness is no trifling […]

Black History Month + Black Futures Month

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  We are proud to celebrate Black History Month in conjunction with Black Futures Month at HBW. Each day we will feature works from our archives that celebrate the glory that is #BlackExcellence and the Black freedom movement.     Today we start with Langston Hughes, born on this day in 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. A poet, novelist, playwright, and essayist Hughes spent part of […]

Podcast Alert: “Dr. King and Donald Trump’s America”

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As we celebrate #MLKDay2018 take a moment to listen to the latest from our good friend Kevin Powell. “Host Kevin Powell delivers a passionate and captivating solo take on the life and legacy of Dr. King, then and now. Free-flowing, historical, and of these times too, Kevin does a deep dive into the whole man, not just the fragments many of us have been taught […]