Raging, As Always

Over the past year, I’ve returned to this quote from Hurston’s 1928 essay “How it Feels to be Colored Me,” almost daily. I’ve written it down on sticky notes and scraps of used paper tucked into notebooks and novels. I’m always looking for ways to work it into conversation, or to cite it my academic…

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah: Writing and Profiling, Fearlessly

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah writes about Black artists and their lives with the great care and depth they deserve. In an interview on the Buzzfeed podcast, Another Round with Heben & Tracy, she states that the ways in which Black artists are written into the canon are “abysmal.” She has made it her business to change…

Talk, Talk Back

Artists and thinkers invite us to immerse ourselves in the written and visual worlds they have built using multiple genres and kinds of media. When these visionaries enter into public conversations with each other, they provide fascinating insight into the thought processes that inform their work, and share tools with which we can engage with…

Writing, Curating, Doing

There is no such thing as an apolitical or neutral archive. In curating this syllabus, we have made very pointed choices; to specify Black women and femmes, to make sure that the works we include reflect the complex links and fractures of experience throughout the Black diaspora and to highlight works that are not likely…

Writing the Caribbean in Verse

Writing the Caribbean in Verse “Who is that woman, the one in us all fleeing from us all, fleeing her enigma and her long origin with an incredulous prayer on her lips, or singing a hymn after a battle always being refought? -Nancy Morejón, Persona (2000), Translated by David Frye   In the selection of…

In Search of Harlem Renaissance Women

Alice Walker’s extensive and careful recovery of Zora Neale Hurston’s legacy is more than just an easily recognizable entry into a discussion of Black women artists during the Harlem Renaissance. Walker’s work is a powerful manifestation of womanism in practice, in the ways in which she expresses love and appreciation for women and “women’s culture,…