ICYMI: This Week in Black Writing (4/24 – 4/30)

– HBW kicked off the week by rounding up some of the best news stories in black writing from the past few months in a special We-Totally-Missed-It Edition of our weekly #ICYMI.

– Jerry Ward reviewed Toni Morrison’s newest novel, God Help the Child, noting how one of the great pleasures of reading Morrison is how doing so allows readers “to construct one’s own knowledge of how history revolves.”

 – Reviews of God Help the Child have been all over the internet the past week; one of the best is Roxane Gay’s evaluation for The Guardian. (It’s a big week for Gay: her essay collection Bad Feminist was just chosen as the first-year Common Book at UCLA.)

 – An adaptation of Larry Duplechan’s Blackbird will be the first movie available through the Urban Movie Channel, a streaming service created by BET founder Robert L. Johnson that’s being touted as the “black Netflix.”

– In black film news, Viola Davis will play Harriet Tubman in HBO’s forthcoming biopic, and Wendell Pierce is slated to portray Clarence Thomas in HBO’s Confirmation, about Thomas’s 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

And finally, links to important context and response to #BaltimoreUprising:

“In Baltimore, a Cry for Justice for Freddie Gray,” by Ericka Blount Danois
“The Mysterious Death of Freddie Gray,” by David A. Graham
“Baltimore’s Fire,” by Jamelle Bouie
“We Disagree with Any Implication that Freddie Gray Severed His Own Spinal Cord,” by Adam Chandler
“Baltimore and the State of American Cities,” by Jelani Cobb
“Nonviolence as Compliance,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
“Thugs. Students. Rioters. Fans: Media’s Subtle Racism in Unrest Coverage,” by Akiba Solomon 
A full transcript of President Obama’s Tuesday remarks about Baltimore
– Code Switch collected the readings people are sharing in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death; there are more on #twitterpoetryclub and #readingsforbmore.