Four Ways to Commemorate Dr. King on MLK Day

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[By Kyndall Delph, DeAsia Paige, and Mona Ahmed] Martin Luther King Jr. Day is always celebrated on the third Monday in January across the United States to recognize his birthday, which is on Jan. 15. After King’s assassination in 1968, a public campaign by social activists, government officials and musicians (Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday” was used to popularize the campaign) began to urge the government […]

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 […]

“You Need to Live More”: the Power of Performance in Morgan Parker’s and Tommy Pico’s Poetry

Posted Posted in HBW

[By: Morgan McComb] Black Poetry Day is held every year on October 17th, the birthday of Jupiter Hammon, the first published Black poet. Hammon, who was first published when he was 49, is considered the beginning of an incomparable legacy of Black poets including Phyllis Wheatley, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sterling A. Brown, Lucille Clifton, Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Rita […]

Zero Tolerance Policy: The Realities Underneath

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  M. B. M. [By: Ellee Rogers] In April, Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented the inhumane, heartbreaking “zero tolerance” policy for people crossing the border into the United States. Within the next five weeks after this taking place, 2,300 children  have been torn away from their loved ones, proving the dismal truth that the America we are now molding isn’t “America first,” as Trump preaches, […]

Implacable Violence, Part One

Posted Posted in HBW

[By: Jerry W. Ward, Jr.] The death of Senator John McCain quickens our  interest in how to deal with contemporary  narratives of life history.  McCain’s touchstone story pertains to American conservative values, the consequences of trauma,  military and public service, violence, and  a sense of honor.  Barack Obama’s differently remarkable narratives direct attention to the absence of military service, class and caste violence, the audacity […]

Keeping the Faith: A Tribute Reginald Martin

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[By: Dr. Maryemma Graham] Reginald Martin 1956-2018 Poet, novelist, professor, scholar, editor, mentor, musician, and boxing enthusiast, Reginald Martin became a household name early in his career, not because he played by the rules, but because he did not. Awarded tenure at 35, the youngest for anyone at the University of Memphis, Martin was among those younger scholars who elected to remain in his native South, […]

An Open Letter to Chancellor Girod

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[By: Alysha Griffin] Dear Chancellor Girod, I write to expose a glaring contradiction with the agreement to remove Josephine Meckseper’s “Untitled (Flag 2)”—what Gov. Jeff Colyer calls a “desecrated American flag”– from the grounds of Spooner Hall. To be clear, I have no investment in the display of this particular piece. Also, I firmly believe that the American people gain nothing by conflating the sacrifices […]