“For My People” as the Fulfillment of Margaret Walker Alexander’s Literary Manifesto

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[by C. Liegh McInnis] Before I can discuss how “For My People” speaks to people today, I must begin by discussing the manner in which Dr. Alexander began her writing career by providing her readers with a literary manifesto, which shows that Dr. Alexander understood poetry to be an engagement of critical thinking through which societal ills can be resolved through creative approaches.  With “I […]

Genius and DAEMONIC GENIUS: Crafting a Biography of Richard Wright

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[by Jerry W. Ward, Jr.] Crafting a biography of Richard Wright places special demands on a biographer.  Wright was a genius, a man who embodied profound intelligence and creative vision, but Mississippi in the early twentieth century wasn’t the place for nurturing his kind of genius.  Gertrude Stein seems to have appreciated the irony that blooms when a native daughter and a native son share […]

Sam Greenlee’s THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR, Urban Revolts of the 1960s, and Beyond

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[by Thabiti Lewis] 50 years ago, in 1965, the Voting Rights Act was signed. This also happens to be the year that Watts went up flames. The Watts uprising in California left 1000 people injured and 34 people dead, and it led to more than 3900 arrests because of years of police brutality. In 2014, in cities across the United States–from Ferguson and St. Louis […]

Considering and Reconsidering Black Studies: A Dialogue Between Jerry Ward and Abdul Alkalimat

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In July, we shared a post by Jerry Ward on the main HBW website regarding Introduction to Afro-American Studies: A People’s College Primer (1973) and African American Studies 2013: A National Web-Based Survey (2013). This post has since invited a response from Abdul Alkalimat, primary author of both documents. The HBW Blog would like to share this dialogue and open it up for further commentary […]

Of Nature, Nation, and the Ethnic Body

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[by Jerry W. Ward, Jr.] Editor’s Note: The Project HBW Blog mostly traffics in shorter pieces, but from time to time we like to present our readers with a longer piece, as well, in a feature we call Taking the Long View.  For this installment, we feature the poetry and critical reflection of Dr. Jerry W. Ward.  To echo a famous twentieth-century statement, the mind […]

Fight Media Hegemony with a Trickster’s Critique: Ishmael Reed’s Faction about O.J. and Media Lynching

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[by Yuqing Lin] Editor’s Note: The Project HBW Blog mostly traffics in shorter pieces, but from time to time we like to present our readers with a longer piece, as well, in a feature we call Taking the Long View.  For this installment, we feature scholar Yuqing Lin’s insightful, challenging review of Ishmael Reed’s recent novel Juice! Thanks to HBW Lead Blogger Dr. Jerry W. […]