– Jerry Ward reviewed Earle V. Bryant’s Byline Richard Wright, which collects pieces from Wright’s journalism career.
– HBW visited #CLA2015, and we’ve got the recap (with pictures).
– Kara Walker reviewed God Help the Child, Toni Morrison’s newest novel. Walker celebrates “Morrison’s obvious joy in language” but writes that the novel “left [her] hungering for warmth.”
– Michael Eric Dyson published a controversial take on Cornel West in the New Republic. (Colorlines posted a survey of responses to the piece here and links to West’s response here.)
– Karen Grigsby Brown used the verbal sparring between Dyson and West as the jumping-off point for “A History of Beef Between Black Artists, Writers, and Intellectuals.”
– Last year, Morgan Jenkins asked Junot Diaz for advice about how to survive as a black writer in a “blindingly white MFA program,” and he responded with a thoughtful and empathetic message. In “To Junot Diaz,” Jenkins wrote about what’s happened since.
– Playwright Katori Hall talked about creating plays by and for black women in the Washington Post.
– After leaked e-mails revealed that Ben Affleck pressured producers to remove an slave-owning ancestor from his segment on Find Your Roots, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. announced that he’ll be writing about the full story in his forthcoming book. (Gene Demby, lead blogger for NPR’s Code Switch, talked about the story on Morning Edition, and Affleck offered up his take here.)
– In a 44-page document, the family of Michael Brown filed a lawsuit against the city of Ferguson.
– Traci Currie of the Phoenix Rising Collective wrote about interviewing–or trying to interview–Jamaican lesbian poet Staceyann Chin and what it taught her about the “life-changing interviews [that] occur during the silent moments.”
– In the greatest news ever to be great, 7-year-old Natalie McGriff (and her mother Angie Nixon) created a comic book about a young girl who gets magic powers from her Afro puffs, The Adventures of Moxie Girl, and won over $16,000 to publish it.