As I continue to research various poems and poetic texts, I am continuously inspired to discuss African American poetry’s impact on the public sphere as well as within Literature and the Humanities. As an African American poet who enjoys experimenting with both the written and the spoken, my research continues to examine the ways in which “the contemporary landscape of poetry reflects a paradigmatic shift away from the prevailing model of written and/or academic poetry and more toward spoken word poetries (Why Study African American Literature)”.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Monday, April 22, 2013
[By Kenton Rambsy]
The Black Heritage Series—a U.S. Postal Service initiative started in 1978—seeks to honor prominent African Americans who have contributed to American culture through civic and intellectual involvement. My post, today, reflects on the seven black literary figures featured in this series. The seven black novelists—James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Oscar Micheaux, W.E.B. Dubois, and Charles W. Chesnutt—are novelists in the HBW collections as well.
The different renderings of these artists and artistic background of each stamp represents an aspect of each of the novelists personalities. For instance, the cityscape behind James Baldwin seems to suggest a connection to Harlem and New York in general. In a similar fashion, W.E.B. DuBois is looking off at a distance similar to his character poses. Therefore, taking the visual representations of these writers into consideration is important given the manner in which they have been framed in the public’s historical imaginations through these stamps.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
[By Will Cunningham]
In Perfect Peace (2010), contemporary novelist Daniel Black poses a series of interesting questions: What is gender? How is it constructed? What if a backwoods mother of six boys raises her seventh boy as a girl? And what if she convinces everyone that he (she) is a girl?
In 2011 at the African American Sexualities Conference at Penn State, I asked Black a very simple question: How did you think of this story? In a self-deprecating tone so endearing to his personality, Black chuckled to himself and replied with a smile, “It just seemed like a fun thing to write about. I am a storyteller first. And whenever identity is manipulated in a way that is counter-culture, you tend to get an interesting story.”
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
[By Simone Savannah]
After returning from the College Language Association (CLA), I wondered what I should write blog about this week. I learned so many new things through networking and listening to my colleagues and professors speak, and I wondered how I could take all of it in and simultaneously offer knowledge to others.
And because The Project on the History of Black Writing is dedicated to recovering and reclaiming literary contributions by African Americans as well as promoting an awareness of black authors, I’d compiled a list of a few books and essays that I find useful and encouraging as a creative and critical writer.