Entering Another World

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Jerry W. Ward, Jr., Professor of English at Dillard University, is the author of The Katrina Papers: A Journal of Trauma and Recovery (UNO Press, 2008). Professor Ward has been a faithful guest blogger for the HBW   Just as Camille T. Dungy’s Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (2009) invites us to be more attentive to how black poets have reflected on ecological […]

Literary Vantage Points: Multiple Perspectives of Richard Wright

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In our fourth installment of Literary Vantage Points, we have collected brief interviews from a number of professors to get their perspectives about various authors. In this particular feature, we asked three literary scholars—Professors Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper, Bob Butler, and Aldon Lynn Nielsen—to describe their initial impressions of author Richard Wright and discuss the legacy of hiis work. The goal of these interviews is […]

Richard Wright’s Formal and Informal Networks

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[By Kenton Rambsy] The overall importance of RichardWright in African American literary and intellectual history makes it vital to consider his background and educational development in order to fully appreciate how he became such a significant figure. Wright’s move to Mississippi as a adolescent and his enrollment at Jim Hill Primary School were key factors in the expansion of his life chances and opportunities. Hazel […]

How Richard Wright’s Mother and Grandmother Taught him to Revere the Imaginative

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[By Kenton Rambsy] A consideration of Richard Wright’s childhood provides an opportunity for continuing to unpack the often hidden baggage associated with “self-taught” education. Wright’s maternal grandmother and mother were likely key and early contributors to the young Wright’s intellectual development.    Hazel Rowley writes in Richard Wright: The Life and Times that Wright’s mother Ella Wilson Wright was a significant figure in his educational […]

Disrupting and Expanding the Notion of “Self-Taught”

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[By Kenton Rambsy] Over the past month, I have commented on the particular ways in which a number of authors provide us readers with useful information concerning their views of how African American men acquire and share knowledge. These fictional representations have led me to think about autobiographical examples, specifically the narratives of Frederick Douglass and Richard Wright and the overall tradition of education in […]

The Significance of Early Support For Novelists: Richard Wright & Colson Whitehead

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Howard Rambsy II is an associate professor of literature and the director of the Black Studies Program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.     There are some notable similarities between the early literary careers of novelists Richard Wright and Colson Whitehead. In particular, the early, substantial support and endorsements that they received for their first published novels were remarkable and helped established them as notable literary […]

Richard Wright and Philosophy

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Review By Guest Blogger Jerry W. Ward        We can expect a significant contribution to Wright studies in late 2011 when Philosophical Meditations on Richard Wright, edited by James Haile, is published by Lexington Publishers.  According to an email I received from Hail Philosophical Meditations on Richard Wright is an edited collection that brings together philosophers, literary theorists, and theologians on the intersection of […]