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ICYMI: The Last 3 Weeks in Black Writing (7/13 – 8/3)

The HBW Blog didn’t post ICYMI for 3 weeks while staff members were preparing for and working on the NEH Summer Institute Black Poetry After the Black Arts Movement. Since it has now concluded, we return to the regular blog schedule!

 – HBW celebrated the lives of Norman Jordan and Paul Vesey (Samuel Allen), two great writers and thinkers.

– Jerry Ward discussed the effect of the digital medium on Asili Ya Nadhiri’s poetic performance.

– Dr. Ward also wondered if studies about how literature effects the brain have been conducted by his colleagues in Chinese universities.

Dr. Howard Rambsy II rounded up his thoughts and reflections from HBW & NEH’s recent summer seminar Black Poetry After the Black Arts Movement over at Cultural Front. (He also posted this excellent piece about book endorsements, spurred by Toni Morrison’s words about Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me.)

– Justina Ireland notes the privilege underlying many critics’ reviews of black social commentary like Coates’s book.

Relatedly, The Atlantic has been hosting a Between the World and Me book club, the last installment of which goes up today. Read them here (covering chapters 1 & 2), here (chapters 3 & 4), and here (chapter 5 & 6).

Errin Whack takes issue with the idea that Atticus Finch’s more overt racism in Go Set a Watchman damages To Kill a Mockingbird. Rather, she says it is a more complex, adult view on racism.

The extraordinary Roxane Gay writes about letting go of the love she once had for Bill Cosby in light of what she now knows about his crimes.

– John Metta published “I, Racist,” the text of a “congregational reflection” he gave to an all-white church congregation in late June about why he stopped speaking to white people about race for a long time – and why he’s starting again.

– While at Comic-Con to promote March: Book Two, a graphic novel about the Civil Rights Movement, Representative John Lewis of Georgia recreated the outfit he wore in the march on Selma.

If you live in Douglas County, Kansas, submissions for the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award are now open!