Monday, December 29, 2014

Reading 2015: Part I

[by Jerry W. Ward, Jr.]

Having abandoned the bad faith of making New Year’s Resolutions, I am determined in 2015 to pursue three priorities:




Monday, December 22, 2014

On a Novel by Caryl Phillips

[by Jerry Ward, Jr.]

Toni Morrison’s Beloved deftly exposes the psychology of enslavement in North America, but it is Dessa Rose by Sherley Anne Williams that succeeds best in exposing the narratological features of a female slave’s “story,” namely the verbal strategies she uses to impede the extent to which her story (herstory versus history) can be stolen. Caryl Phillips, however, ought to be valued as much as Williams and Morrison from the angle of post-colonial witnessing. In his novel Cambridge, he “films” the tragic irony of the metanarrative of the enslaver and the enslaved, bringing to fiction what Hegel brought to philosophy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reading List: 3 More Staff Recommendations for Winter Reading

Lawrence Public Library's Christmas (book) tree.

Last Wednesday, the HBW Blog Editor Meredith Wiggins shared her list of five recent black-authored books to check out over the winter break.

Today, HBW Communications Director and Office Manager Crystal Bradshaw shares three additional recommendations to spend some time with while the temperatures drop.

Below the cut, check out Crystal's choices, including two historical novels and a poem.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Farewell to Dean of KU Libraries Lorraine Haricombe

On Friday, December 12, HBW founder Maryemma Graham and current staff members met with Dean of Libraries Lorraine Haricombe on her final day at KU. 

HBW presented Dean Haricombe with a commemorative plaque in appreciation of her support of HBW programming like Black Literary Suites. 

HBW staff members present KU Dean of Libraries Lorraine Haricombe with a plaque in appreciation of her support.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Reading List: 5 Books for the Winter Break

This will always be the dream.
[by Meredith Wiggins]

The Fall 2014 semester is drawing to a close and winter break is rapidly coming upon us, which means it's almost the time of year when we here at HBW get to to indulge in more pleasure-reading than is always possible in the thick of the school year.

Back in 2012, Goyland Williams posted about some black-authored books he planned to read over the break. Over the next few days, HBW staff members will be posting their own recommendations for some winter reading.

For today's post, I chose to focus on recent "popular" works by black writers, including a young adult novel, a poetic memoir, a book of photography, and two collections of essays that I can't wait to read during some down time.

Monday, December 8, 2014

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

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 from the authors and from readers of the HBW Blog.

Below the cut: Jerry Ward's "Black Studies Reconsidered" and Abdul Alkalimat's response, "Reconsidering Jerry Ward on Black Studies."

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Continuing Ferguson's Literary History

[by Meredith Wiggins]

After the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014, staff and contributors of Avidly put together a list of texts that they called "Ferguson's Literary History" - books, essays, and poems that offer context for the continuing climate of racism and racial violence in the United States.

The list received renewed attention in the wake of last week's grand jury decision not to indict Wilson for killing Michael Brown. The article made the rounds again on social media, encouraging readers to seek out the works of thinkers like Ida B. Wells, Martin Delany, and William Wells Brown. Here, I suggest two additional titles for the list.

Monday, December 1, 2014

African-American Studies in China: The 2nd International Symposium on Ethnic Literature

[by Deaweh Benson]

I was shocked as I sat among a room of Chinese students intently reading, listening to, and discussing lectures on African-American Studies. I was given the outstanding opportunity to attend the 2nd International Symposium on Ethnic Literature, hosted at Central China Normal University of Wuhan. In just two days, my ideas about how the Chinese perceived African-Americans were dramatically reconstructed.