Author Archive

The Words of Black Activists

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Black people have been fed so much toothless rhetoric regarding how we are supposed to deal with the brutal realities of racism that it now starts to ring both disingenuous and hollow.

Where Zadie Smith’s “Getting In and Out” Misses the Mark

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Despite Smith’s powerful and undeniable ability to employ and maneuver language the way she does, “Getting In and Out” comes up short for two very vital reasons.

Embracing My Identity as a Black Woman

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When Performer Magazine prompted me to write about being a Black female music writer, I was apprehensive at first. But when that essay was published, I realized how inherently political my writing is—and how important it was for it to stay that way.

Brief Primer on Michael Eric Dyson

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As an ordained Baptist minister, Dyson poses the book as a sermon and executes what few writers who address racism can: examine such a disparaging and complex issue in a broader and historical context without making it palatable to those who benefit from its existence.

Five Essays That Confront the Painful Realities of Black Suffering

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These articles are by no means an answer to a dangerous societal deficit that constantly stereotypes, punishes, and kills Black people. But the conversations that they both start and continue are ones that need to be had.

Wanda Coleman, Colin Kaepernick, and The Refusal to Prioritize Patriotism Over Blackness

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The gravitational pull of reading any of Wanda Coleman's work is as elusive as it is startlingly raw and cathartic—the unofficial poet laureate of Los Angeles has always teetered between nuance and nihilism, between and distraction and destruction.

Seven Black Films Based On Books You Should Watch Right Now

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The history of Black people in America is important and complex, which is why film is such a crucial, valuable way to understand it. Here’s a list of seven Black films, based on books, that impart insight into the depths of Black joy, Black suffering, and Black life.

Art Is Resistance: Editor Peter Kahn Talks The Golden Shovel Anthology and the Power of Poetry

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As a commemoration and celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks’s work, the University of Arkansas Press released The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks. Editor and Chicago high school educator Peter Kahn explains the importance of the anthology and the transformative nature of poetry.