Book Review: “All the Songs We Sing: Celebrating 25 years of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective”

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[ By Simone Savannah ] “All the Songs We Sing” celebrates the 25th anniversary of The Carolina African American Writers’ Collective, which began in 1995 as a group where aspiring Black authors could come to have their work peer reviewed. The history of writer’s collectives stems back decades, starting most notably with the South Side Writer’s Group, which was founded by Richard Wright in 1936 […]

Book Review: Richard Wright’s The Man Who Lived Underground (2021)

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[ By: Morgan McComb ]  Last fall, during HBW’s 2020 Black Literary Suite “Black Writing in Reel Time,” we received the news from Julia Wright, regarding the forthcoming publication of unpublished novel by her father Richard Wright (1908-1960). A portion of that novel had first appeared in 1942, but most readers first learned of it in Wright’s short story collection, “Eight Men” (1960). We are […]

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 […]

Book Review: Posthuman Blackness and the Black Female Imagination

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[By: Christopher Peace] Lillvis, Kristen. Posthuman Blackness and the Black Female Imagination. University of Georgia Press, 2017. Kristen Lillvis’s  Posthuman Blackness and the Black Female Imagination explores posthumanism’s fusion of the body, flesh, gender and race through the works of various neo-slave narratives and contemporary performance artists. This “assemblage of ideas, material, and beings” speculates the future and positionality of the Black female imagination. Lillivis […]

A Great American Protest Novel

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A spiritual inheritor to Agee, says Ward. [by Jerry W. Ward, Jr.] “There is in Southern white man, distributed almost as thickly as the dialect,” James Agee wrote in 1936, “an epidemic capability of sadism which you would have to go as far to match and whose chief basis is possibly, but only possibly, and only one among many, a fear of the Negro, deeper […]

In Toni Morrison’s Latest Novel, Black (Children’s) Lives Matter

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 [by Portia Owusu] In her review of Toni Morrison’s eighth novel, Love, English writer Hilary Mantel asserts: “when Morrison writes at her best, you can feel the workings of history through her prose.” An accurate description, if ever there was one, for the novelist who is often described as the voice of America’s conscience. For many, it is Morrison’s achievements in Beloved, the Pulitzer prize-winning […]

Toni Morrison: A Full Circle in Motion

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[by Jerry W. Ward, Jr.] Abraham Lincoln’s surmising that Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin begat the War Between the States is a folkloric salute to the power of language and imagination. Stowe used a lot of sugar to advance the cause of abolition. Superior to Stowe and members of her liberal tribe, Toni Morrison has avoided traffic in sugar or kindred flavorings. She is […]