Zero-Tolerance Policies and Its Contributions to Systematic Racism

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[By: Ellee Rogers] In a  rapidly changing education system, it can often be difficult to pinpoint if society is progressing or deteriorating. Behind institutionalized racism lies long-term consequences that studies show adolescents may carry with them for the rest of their lives. One of the most prevailing of these includes the school-to-prison-pipeline, which is the process in which children are pushed out of schools and […]

How Craft Makes Meaning: ‘Queen & Slim’ Articulates a Powerful Message through Excellent Use of Devices

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[By C. Liegh McInnis] The film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which chronicles the life of television icon Fred Rogers (aka Mister Rogers), reminded me that the “what” or the “subject” of art is equally as important as the “how” or the “crafting” of it.  However, what gives Queen and Slim its power and beauty is the manner in which Lena Waithe and Melina […]

“My Professor’s Workshops “-A Tribute to Gerald Barrax

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[By: Lenard D. Moore]  I need to visit those who weigh heavily on my mind.  As a result of the progression of years and the busyness of daily living, I don’t always get the opportunity to reach out.  For the past two or three months, however, I have constantly considered stopping by my former poetry professor’s house, which is only about eight minutes from mine.  […]

Kiese Laymon on the Power of Revision and Description

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[By: Victoria Garcia Unzueta] On October 3rd KU welcomed critically-acclaimed author Kiese Laymon to the Lied Center to deliver the 2019 Common Book Lecture. Laymon is a contributor in this year’s common book, Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation, and has authored a number of books including his debut novel Long Division, an award-winning collection of essays titled How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and most […]

We Do Language: Nikki Giovanni A 2019 Legacy Seminar Encounter

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[By: Shayna S. Israel]   The Furious Flower Poetry Center has held biennial summer legacy seminars since 2009 (with a hiatus in 2013 and 2015), a focused opportunity to study the work of a living poet.  Beginning with Lucille Clifton,  seminars have been held on Sonia Sanchez (2011) and Yusef Komunyakaa (2017). As the nation’s only center devoted to Black poetry, Furious Flower’s choice of […]

A Dying Democracy

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[By: Jerry Ward, Jr.]   We live in paradox.  It is a “truth,” universally recognized and universally denied in contemporary American society, that democracy is dying.  Recognition that this “truth” is not a “false-truth” can be enhanced by reading Lynch’s book in tandem with Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students […]

Toni Morrison Remembered

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In 1985-1986, I had the great fortune of winning an NEH Fellowship for Individual Study and Research.  At the time, I was teaching at the University of Kentucky, with Zora Neale Hurston scholar Bob Hemenway, Callaloo editor Charles Rowell, and the ineffable scholar-teacher Sandra Y. Govan.  It was an uplifting, timely gift, rescuing me from several life changes that had morphed into life challenges.  The […]