ICYMI: The Last Few Weeks in Black Writing and Culture (July 31-August 18)

After a brief break, we’re back! We at Project HBW look forward to bringing you the latest content in black writing and culture.

Dr. Howard Rambsy of Southern Illinois University wrote a review in The Crisis of the collection Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky (March 2016).

Poet and Kansas native Kevin Young has been named the new director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York.

Jaime Alfaro addressed the treatment of racial trauma. Racial trauma is a “cumulative experience, where every personal or vicarious encounter with racism contributes to a more insidious, chronic stress.” This racial trauma can occur through direct or indirect experiences with racism, such as social media and the continuous killing of black men published in the news.

Responding to the all-too-frequent killing of black men, poet Danez Smith imagined a place where “everything is a sanctuary and nothing is a gun.”

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke about the 10th anniversary of her novel Half of a Yellow Sun and her identification as a feminist. 

Lynn Okura Bey revisited Maya Angelou’s powerful 1993 interview in which she spoke on the dangerous impact of racist language. 

Colson Whitehead’s newest novel, The Underground Railroad, has been named the next title for Oprah’s Book Club.   In an interview, Whitehead discussed his novel with National Public Radio. Additionally, Michael Schaub of NPR wrote a review of The Underground Railroad.

Jean Ho responded to the ongoing debate about the lack of diversity in publishing by arguing that having more diversity alone isn’t enough. The books also need to be marketed more effectively.

Audie Cornish of NPR spoke with Jesmyn Ward, editor of the new collection The Fire This Time. Ward collection is a tribute to James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. Writers acknowledged Baldwin’s legacy while responding to the current racial situation in the United States.