ICYMI: The Last Week in Black Writing and Culture (1/29-2/6)

Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902 and died on May 22, 1967. This week, Hughes would have celebrated his 114th birthday. To celebrate the life of Langston Hughes, Christine Delaroy of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at KU wrote “9 things you should know about Langston Hughes.”

Google kicked off Black History Month with a doodle of Fredrick Douglass.

The New York Times posted an inspiring article, “Meet the New Student Activists,” highlighting the many faces and stories of activism across college campuses. The University of Kansas’s very own Brylan Donaldson is featured in the article.

Poet E. Ethelbert Miller reflected on Black History with the beautiful piece, “Black History and the Coming of Black Rain.”

On February 11th and 12th, Rutgers University will host the conference Theorizing Black Literature Now: A Conference Exploring Current and Future Directions in African American Literary Criticism. For more information on the conference, follow the link above.

President Barack Obama released the presidential proclamation for National African American History Month.

On the PBS series Brief But Spectacular, author Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah spoke about the artists she chooses to write about — “We don’t always hear about the people who we know as legends the ways that they were very true to themselves. I’m more interested in the moments when they were uncompromising and they were fearless, because what I hope is that that fearlessness tells us a little bit about how we can be fearless.” Ghansah has written on figures such as Jimi Hendrix, Toni Morrison, Kendrick Lamar, Trayvon Martin, and Dave Chappelle.

Pamela Newkirk of the Washington Post reviewed Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.’s book Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul. Glaude argues that “American democracy and white supremacy are inextricably linked,” and that current civil rights insert blacks into various arenas of American society without attempting to uproot the underlying white supremacy. Glaude pushes for more “disruptive” movements such as Black Lives Matter in order to see real change. 
Mark your calendars and be sure to attend Project HBW’s annual Black Literary Suite on Thursday, February 18th from 2-5 P.M. in Watson 455. This years theme is “Sports Figures with a Kansas Connection.” The day before, Kevin Powell will be visiting KU to speak about his newest book and activism. Follow the links above for more information!