ICYMI: The Last Week in Black Writing and Culture (5/21-5/27)

“On the first novel published by a Black Caribbean Writer in England” – Minty Alley by Cyril Lionel Robert James. The novel was among the first to focus on social class, realism, and race in Caribbean literature.

Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new comic book Black Panther has become one of the best selling comics of the year. Coates’s comic reinvents the Marvel character The Black Panther, who appeared as the first mainstream black superhero in 1966.

Jamaican writer Nicole Dennis-Benn discussed her debut novel Here Comes the Sunabout a young woman who is coming to terms with her sexuality and dealing with the effects of tourism on her village. In an interview with The New York Times, she stated, “I wanted readers to see the other side of paradise; I wanted them to see the real people behind the fantasy life advertised in commercials. Next time a reader visits any place — be it Jamaica or Thailand or India — perhaps now they might be more inclined to venture outside the gates of the resort.”

Michael Henry Adams of the New York Times spoke about the effects of gentrification in Harlem in “The End of Black Harlem.”

A new TV series of Roots aims to further “confront, discuss and try to understand our complicated racial history.” The series, based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel, seeks to retell the history of slavery, improving upon “overdrawn” and “oversimplified” elements in the original 1977 TV series.

Singer Candice Hoyes, on her debut album On a Turquoise Cloud, confronts the complex history of jazz in the United States and how race, identity, and womanhood intersect.