Books

The Dark Room Collective: Where Black Poetry Took Wing – NYTimes.com

The Darkroom Collective

Scholars say that what has grown from the collective is a boom in African-American poetry that’s arguably as aesthetically significant in the writing world as the work of the Beat Generation, the New York School, the Fugitives, the Black Arts Movement, even the Harlem Renaissance.

via The Dark Room Collective: Where Black Poetry Took Wing – NYTimes.com.

African-American Books: Summer Reading Recommendations – The Root

‘The Root’ family offers this summer reading list. But why wait until summer?

Who says summer reading has to be fluff? There are so many recent titles and reprinted standouts tackling the black experience—in poetry, biography and works of fiction—that even the most voracious readers can barely keep up. Pack one of these to turn a trip to the pool into an inspiring escape, and get your sun with a side of substance. There are more where these came from, but this list will have you on track to read one a week between now and the end of beach season.

via African-American Books: Summer Reading Recommendations – The Root.

For Maya: 7 Works by Maya Angelou That Everyone Should Know

Dr. Maya Angelou

In fact, Dr. Angelou’s track record puts her in multiple categories, earning her the right to be regarded as a Renaissance woman by audiences. In addition to writing and activism, she’s taken on many roles over the course of her life, including dancer, historian, traveler, educator, playwright, actress, producer, and film director. All of Dr. Angelou’s achievements reflect her gift of putting her finger on the pulse of black identity and, in turn, giving a voice to work that can be cherished for many lifetimes.

via For Maya: 7 Works by Maya Angelou That Everyone Should Know.

The REAL ‘Lone Ranger’ Was An African American Lawman Who Lived With Native American Indians | Political Blind Spot

Bass Reeves, the original Lone Ranger

While historians have largely overlooked Reeves, there have been a few notable works on him. Vaunda Michaux Nelson’s book, Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal, won the 2010 Coretta Scott King Award for best author. Arthur Burton released an overview of the man’s life a few years ago. Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves recounts that Reeves was born into a life of slavery in 1838. His slave-keeper brought him along as another personal servant when he went off to fight with the Confederate Army, during the Civil War.

via The REAL ‘Lone Ranger’ Was An African American Lawman Who Lived With Native American Indians | Political Blind Spot.

Children’s Books You Didn’t Know Were Racist

Children's Literature

Every piece of art is a product of the society that created it. You can’t watch a romantic comedy from the early ’90s without getting a little desensitized to the horrible high-waisted jeans and turtleneck/flannel combo that was deemed attractive at the time. Fortunately, we can shield our children from movies that might otherwise lead them to believe that the cast of Friends had successful film careers.Things get a little trickier when classics of children’s literature suddenly let fly with the sort of out-of-the-blue casual racism usually reserved for old Southern men after a few too many drinks.

via Children’s Books You Didn’t Know Were Racist.

Professor Says He Has Solved a Mystery Over a Slave’s Novel – NYTimes.com

The Bondwoman's Narrative by Hannah Crafts

In 2002, a novel thought to be the first written by an African-American woman became a best seller, praised for its dramatic depiction of Southern life in the mid-1850s through the observant eyes of a refined and literate house servant.

Enlarge This Image

Gregg Hecimovich and Reverend Joseph Cooper

John Wheeler lived on the plantation where Hannah Bond escaped slavery.

But one part of the story remained a tantalizing secret: the author’s identity.

via Professor Says He Has Solved a Mystery Over a Slave’s Novel – NYTimes.com.

Ishmael Reed: “All the Demons Of American Racism Are Rising From the Sewer”

Why doesn’t the media draw more attention to the racial dynamics surrounding the nation’s first African-American president?

The media knows there are racial angles, but they dont want to alienate their white subscribers. They view their audience as the so-called majority, and to bring up racism as a factor would be seen as a turn-off. They couldnt sell their products.They coddle their white subscribers by ignoring white pathology and blaming all of the social ills on blacks in order to get ratings. For example, the typical substance abuser in California is a white woman, and once in a while you’ll read about heroin epidemics in the suburbs of Philadelphia or Dallas. But you won’t get a “White in America” show from CNN. They show crime as black for the entertainment of their white subscribers.Black men can’t get their books mentioned but they take up all of the time on “Lockup” and “Caught on Camera” which emphasize these pathetic street crimes of the underclass while the real thieves in Big Pharma and Wall Street have their huge, billion-dollar crimes hidden in the business pages.

via Ishmael Reed: “All the Demons Of American Racism Are Rising From the Sewer”.

“Nancy Heard a Who”: 39 Authors of Color / 105 Science Fiction and…

Who are the authors of color that are writing literature that moves readers to other dimensions, worlds, magical adventures, and spiritual realms? Why are the literary lists published of late invisible of their names and their books? The titles listed were published from 1978 to 2013. Many are Nebula Award winners and yet . . . This is a celebration, enlightenment, and an educational guide. Let’s not compare, let’s just appreciate and enjoy the story’s journey.

via “Nancy Heard a Who”: 39 Authors of Color / 105 Science Fiction and….