Furious Flower 25th Anniversary Celebration: Day One

Furious Flower Poetry Center has been at the forefront of Black poetry for 25 years. As the nation’s first academic center for Black poetry, Furious Flower was founded on the campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and born out of a 1994 poetry festival titled “Furious Flower: A Revolution in African American Poetry,” organized by scholar Joanne Gabbin. The festival brought thirty presenters […]

Toni Morrison Remembered

In 1985-1986, I had the great fortune of winning an NEH Fellowship for Individual Study and Research.  At the time, I was teaching at the University of Kentucky, with Zora Neale Hurston scholar Bob Hemenway, Callaloo editor Charles Rowell, and the ineffable scholar-teacher Sandra Y. Govan.  It was an uplifting, timely gift, rescuing me from several life changes that had morphed into life challenges.  The […]

In Memoriam: Toni Morrison

  The Project on the History of Black Writing mourns the death of the incomparable Toni Morrison. A literary icon and our friend, we have long admired her brilliance, literary genius, and love of our culture. There are simply no words to describe the impact Toni Morrison has made on all of us as readers, writers, and researchers. Equally there are no words to fully capture […]

Critical Reception of African-American Women Writers in Mainland China

  [By: Lili Wang] With widespread interest in Western literature in the early 1980s, Chinese literary scholars began to actively engage American writers, giving rise to a boom in the translation of American literature. This boom also generated a reciprocal relationship between African-American women writers and China. The introduction of African-American women writers and the translation of their works soon became a central component of […]

About Japan Black Studies Association since 1954

The Project on the History of Black Writing is pleased to welcome our colleagues from the Japanese Black Studies Association, one of the oldest professional organizations in the field. [By Tsunehiko Kato] Japan Black Studies Association was founded in 1954, the year of the Supreme Court decision in America. But it was not the founders’ intention to be timely. Rather, the establishment had its own […]

Break It Down: Song of Solomon

“Break It Down” is a HBW Literary Blog initiative that strives to offer critical interpretations of song lyrics, excerpts from novels, and poems. This week, an excerpt from Song of Solomon, a novel written by Toni Morrison, was analyzed by blog contributor Kenton Rambsy. The excerpt comes from Chapter 1. *Hold cursor over underlined text to display comments Song of Solomon Analysis–Chapter 1: One of […]

Oprah’s Book Club and Toni Morrison

[By Kenton Rambsy] “Oprah’s Book Club” contributed greatly to helping well-known and lesser-known black writers gain exposure to mainstream reading audiences. Founded in September 1996, Winfrey’s book club ran until December 2010, and several different writers were featured on her talk show to discuss the selected texts. Four of Toni Morrison’s novels were featured as selections in the book club. Morrison’s sales, as a result, […]