GUEST BLOG: Remembering Derek Walcott

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[By Dr. Giselle L. Anatol] Around the year 2000, the University of Kansas hosted the African Studies Association International Conference, and I was delighted to be able to chat for a few moments with Derek Walcott, Nobel Laureate, MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellow, Guinness Poetry Award winner, Royal Society of Literature Awardee, Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, etc., etc. etc. Walcott was a keynote speaker at the conference […]

Instruments of Termination

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[Jerry W. Ward, Jr.] Mass media and social media do seem to serve the purposes of the Trump administration well. Despite its commitment to inform the public, mass media use half-truths and lies to frustrate the process of thinking in the United States of America. Its agencies profit from the enterprise.  Its agents take delight in toying with issues and ideas, providing scant evidence one might […]

Remembering Jerrie Louise Cobb Scott

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[Dr. David E. Kirkland] Usually seeds aren’t planted into the ground in the stubborn cold of February. But what other month could capture such seeds as the ones that our dear friend Jerrie planted in her lifetime. For February stands out not only for the shared history that we commemorate but the campaign of Black books that Jerrie so awesomely pushed. The African American Read-In […]

Strong Readers Reading the Difficult Long Poem

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A metronome does not measure the pleasure of reading a long poem. The pleasure exists, outside of time, in a reader’s total aesthetic experience of bringing something to the poem and taking away much more than she or he arrived with. Only strong readers survive, and some of them opt to transform knowledge gained into actions. Others hoard their intellectual wealth. In American time-and-capital-driven cultures […]

GUEST BLOG: The Centrality of Works by Black Writers in the African American Read-In

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[Dr. Sandra E. Gibbs] The African American Read-In was founded and sponsored by the Black Caucus (a group of Black professional educators and scholars) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in 1990. The Black Caucus voted to initiate the African American Read-In at its November 1989 meeting, but it was not until 1991 that the National Council of Teachers of English joined […]

GUEST BLOG: A Picture in the National Museum of African American History and Culture

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[Dr. Sandra E. Gibbs] What it’s like to discover that you are in the National Museum of African American History & Culture? “In” as in one of the pictures featured in the museum. It is absolute sheer pleasure. Recently, a friend sent me an e-mail with the subject heading “Wedding.” I ignored it thinking it might have been a spam because this friend and I […]

REMEMBERING DARK AND SPLENDID

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[Jerry W. Ward, Jr.] REMEMBERING DARK AND SPLENDID  (Mari Evans, July 16, 1923-March 10, 2017)   After a zillion sounds, stone-washed clean;   after broadly casting such truths to people;   after taming music into measure of mind;   after making bronze lyrics of ancient black,   you came to return space to origin.   You left a stern, eternal  crystal watch.   You left warning […]