HBW introduced its #ICYMI posts a while back to give our readers a chance to catch up on some of the most interesting stories in black writing each week. But the internet is vast, and like anyone else, sometimes we miss out on great content. So today, instead of a regular post, we’ve got a round-up of stories we missed the first time around. Enjoy!
– NPR’s Code Switch blog interviewed James McGrath Morris about his new book Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, First Lady of the Black Press, about pioneering African American journalist Ethel Payne.
– New Yorker theatre critic Hilton Als pays tribute to the art and politics of actor and activist Paul Robeson.
– Ayana Mathis and Pankaj Mishra discussed now-infamous James Baldwin’s characterization of Native Son as a “protest novel.”
– Marlon James, recent winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction, shared his story of the challenges of growing up gay in Jamaica and finding himself in Minnesota.
– Obie Award-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins discussed his “obligation” to confront race and history in an interview with All Things Considered.
– The New York Times talked with author Paul Beatty, who just published the novel The Sellout, about looking for humor in writing about race. A lot of race discussion, Beatty said, is “either too down-homey or too earnest or too something. Too a lot of things.”
– And finally, here’s the full transcript of President Obama’s speech from Selma, Alabama, on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.