Stitching Rifts: Finney Mends American Environmentalism

[By DaMaris Hill] On September 6, 2012, the Hall Center for the Humanities hosted Dr. Nikky Finney. Her talk was entitled “Making Poetry in Our Anthropocene Age”. Anthropocene is a scientific term coined to suggest that humans are the geophysical force changing the climate of the planet, and ushering in a new geological period.  The central question of Dr. Finney’s talk concerned the connections between […]

Nikky Finney: The Role of the Writer and Critic

[By Kenton Rambsy] On Thursday, September 6, U.S. National Book Award-winning poet, Nikky Finney visited the University of Kansas to deliver a lecture on “Making Poetry in Our Anthropocene Age.” I was eager to attend the lecture to find out what angle Finney would take in bridging the literary world to issues of environmentalism. Perhaps my view of ecology was limited solely to the physical […]

Oprah Winfrey–A Sponsor of Black Artistic Culture

[By Kenton Rambsy] Oprah Winfrey’s role in expanding the readership of African American literature and promoting the work of black novelists serves as a point of entry for better understanding how well-known and lesser-known writers gain exposure to commercial audiences. Winfrey’s has featured novels writers such as Toni Morrison, Ernest J. Gaines, and Edwidge Danticat as book-of-the-month selections. She has served as an actress in […]

VoiceThread: The Color Purple

[By Kenton Rambsy] The visual reception and relationship between a particular book cover and the content of that novel plays a significant role in how larger audience regard the social context of a particular work. Specifically, Alice Walker’s 1982 novel The Color Purple has been a film, a radio broadcast mini-series in Britain as well as a Broadway musical. Certainly, the various iterations of The […]

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 Winfrey and The Color Purple

[By Kenton Rambsy] Since her debut acting role in the 1985 Steven Spielberg directed film, based on Alice Walker’s 1983 novel, Oprah Winfrey’s involvement movie adaption of novels has been active. She has served as both an actress and producer. Similar to her involvement with Morrison’s works, Winfrey’s has demonstrated an extended connection to The Color Purple. On December 18, 1985, in a Los Angeles […]

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, […]