In Memoriam: John Lewis

[ By: Dr. Maryemma Graham]   “We want our freedom; we want it now”  March of Washington, 1963 John Lewis (1940-2020) My autographed copy of John Lewis’s memoir, Walking with the Wind, belonged to my mother, who stood in line to get it, she said, “just in case I missed it.”   “To Helen G. Moore, Keep the faith, John Lewis,” it read.  Icon, a national […]

“What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

[By: Frederick Douglass] This speech was given at Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852 Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men, too Ñ great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one […]

Open Letter to Chancellor Girod and Provost Bichelmeyer Dear Doug and Barb, The above announcement was recently brought to our attention. Because the solicitation of funds for this purpose misrepresents our current reality, we feel compelled to respond.  We have joined many of our colleagues at KU and the whole of Lawrence in promoting an inclusive and socially just community at KU for the last 20 years.  Together, we have engaged in […]

“Pandemic, Interracial Strife, and the Saving Grace of the Humanities”

[By John Edgar Tidwell] Reposted from Humanities Kansas’s newsletter When Langston Hughes poetically posed the question “What happens to a dream deferred?” he unwittingly but profoundly anticipated the world we now inhabit. Our world has all the feel of a roller coaster or some other carnival ride where up seems down and down seems up. After January 20th, the nation was beset with preventative rules: wash our […]

Toni Morrison & Black Feminism

[By Jade Harrison] Late-twentieth century black feminist critiques written about Toni Morrison’s fiction framed her as an invaluable figure within the black feminist tradition, On March 3rd, 2020, in response to a New York Magazine article, “The Best Books for Budding Black Feminists, According to Experts,”, Dr. Sami Schalk tweeted, “To be on a Black feminist reading list alongside baddies like [Roxanne Gay], [Brittany Cooper], […]

Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor

    On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man was jogging in Satilla Shores neighborhood when two white men, Travis McMichael and his father Gregory McMichael spotted him and decided to pursue him in their pickup truck.  The duo then shot Arbery believing that he was attempting to rob a house that was under construction.  It took the Glynn County Police Department […]

AN HBW GEM: Naomi Long Madgett

In 2017, HBW staff member Morgan McComb [2017-2019] spent extensive time with acclaimed poet, editor and educator Naomi Long-Madgett for our GEMS project. Created in 2013, GEMS is an initiative created to bring increased awareness to important but often lesser-known Black writers and their work. McComb traveled to Southfield, Michigan, to interview Madgett. That interview became the basis of a video tribute to Madgett, which is available here. […]