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African American Literature

Yesterday's Black Voices Matter Today

Nathan Fulcher | Posted 11.12.2014 | Education
Nathan Fulcher

I'm white. Male. In my 30s. College Educated. From Iowa. I also teach African American Literature at a public high school in Los Angeles. Telling that to people I have just met usually gets a second look.

Rereading Cheryl Clarke's First Poetry Collection: Narratives

Julie R. Enszer | Posted 09.22.2014 | Gay Voices
Julie R. Enszer

First published in 1982 by Clarke, Narratives: poems in the tradition of black women is a vital part of lesbian-feminist print culture.

"Plunging Into the Deep: Black Magic for Black Girls"

Zetta Elliott | Posted 01.25.2014 | Black Voices
Zetta Elliott

Ship of Souls combines urban fantasy with African American history; set in Prospect Park, the story features three unlikely friends who are pursued by ghosts from the Revolutionary War as they attempt to release the restless souls from the African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan.

Oldest Black Bookstore In America May Close Doors

Aaron Sankin | Posted 06.17.2013 | San Francisco

The oldest African American-owned bookstore in the country is on the brink of closing its doors. Founded in San Francisco's Fillmore District in 19...

Not an Urban Queen: Rants of a Bibliophile

Tayé Foster Bradshaw | Posted 06.18.2013 | Black Voices
Tayé Foster Bradshaw

I've been there, I see a rainbow everywhere. Is it because the media giants want to white wash out the experiences of black and brown women? Or is it because they think white women will not watch the show or read the book if the central character is a black woman?

My Father's Silence, a Kind of Grace

Heidi W. Durrow | Posted 01.12.2013 | Black Voices
Heidi W. Durrow

I was about 10-years-old when I tried to read Alex Haley's Pulitzer Prize winning book, Roots.

Educating for Democracy: Big Brother Is Watching in Arizona

Joel Shatzky | Posted 03.17.2012 | Education
Joel Shatzky

If The Tempest is banned from the classroom as being "too controversial," I wonder when the Bill of Rights will be banned as well.

Learning to Evade the "Black Tax" on Our Stories

Leonce Gaiter | Posted 11.07.2011 | Black Voices
Leonce Gaiter

It appears that shame -- black and white -- can shrink us. In literature we've been historically reduced to a slither of a people. Writers like me self-censor for fear of offending, for fear of not finding an audience. We don't tell our stories in the context of this nation.

On Dialect, Dialogue and Good Books

Angela Flournoy | Posted 11.06.2011 | Black Voices
Angela Flournoy

A recent conversation about Ebonics got me to thinking about Faulkner and James Baldwin, and the way certain dialects in this country get no respect.

White House Poetry Reading Leaked! Billy Collins, Elizabeth Alexander, and Secret Rejection Letter

Anis Shivani | Posted 07.10.2011 | Books
Anis Shivani

The White House poetry reading is on May 11. But PoetryLeaks got a hold of the goings-on before the big day!

The 17 Most Important Poetry Books Of Fall 2010

Anis Shivani | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Anis Shivani

There's much to be excited about, and these selections give a fair indication of the presses putting out the most important poetry of the day and the degree of vitality of various poetic styles.

'At the Dark End of the Street': A New History

Danielle McGuire | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Danielle McGuire

Gertrude Perkins is never mentioned in the history books, but she had as much to do with the Rosa Parks bus boycott as anyone on earth.

Tackling Terrorism in Teen Lit

Zetta Elliott | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Zetta Elliott

As we come up on the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, I hope readers will search for stories that reveal a different perspective on terrorism.

Happy Black History Month, And Guess Who's Guest Editing?

Baratunde Thurston | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Baratunde Thurston

Really though, I just look forward to recommending Dick Gregory's book "Nigger". I want to make white people buy, but not reference out loud, a book called "Nigger".

Rejecting the Publishing Ghetto

Leonce Gaiter | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Leonce Gaiter

Today, there is a publishing ghetto. Mainstream white-owned houses have black imprints. Here, they publish books by, for and about black people.