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Black Women Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison Made Words Burn and Cry: Marlon James on His Biggest Hero

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Marlon James, Time — I don’t remember much else about the day I finished Song of Solomon. The Trinidadian novelist Elizabeth Nunez mentioned her in a manuscript-saving mission—mine being the script needing saving—because I didn’t have a clue about women. Nunez said so, and she was right of course, not just about my clueness-ness, but also that this clueness-ness stemmed from a problem universal among male writers: not reading women….

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Rhiana Gunn-Wright

Meet Rhiana Gunn-Wright, An Architect Behind The Green New Deal

By Editors' Choice

By Donna M. Owens, Essence — Rhiana Gunn-Wright was always curious about policy, even before she fully understood the term. “Growing up I’d wonder about structures—in my neighborhood and schools,” the 29-year-old South Side Chicago native told ESSENCE. “What are the rules, who made the rules? You can’t just look at the surface.” Raised by her mother, grandmother, extended family, and a caring “village,” the Yale grad and Rhodes Scholar…

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Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison’s Black Art Spoke in a Nation That Would Silence Us

By Editors' Choice

By Eisa Nefertari Ulen, Truthout — “To create art amid sorrow or oppression is to insist on excavating meaning from the dull senselessness of pain. It is to be alive and speaking back. Art dives headfirst into the uncharted perils and delights of the human condition. For people whose humanity is often denied, taking that plunge with an audience is inherently rebellious.” —Hannah Giorgis My mother called to tell me…

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Toni Morrison

Tayari Jones Honors Toni Morrison’s Work and Legacy

By Commentaries/Opinions

‘The Most Formidable Mind of Our Times.’ By Tayari Jones, Times — I have never been to Lorain, Ohio, but it has been on my bucket list for 20 years at least. I’m curious about this town, population 64,000, located 120 miles north of Columbus, at the mouth of Black River. One of my students drove across the country, passing through the town with which I was so infatuated. I…

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Toni Morrison

Beloved author Toni Morrison, dead at 88

By News & Current Affairs

Toni Morrison (February 18, 1931 — August 5, 2019) By Herb Boyd — “We die,” Toni Morrison said at the conclusion of her Nobel Prize address in 1993. “That may be the meaning of life.  But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” Morrison not only did language, she gave it her own special embellishments, an eloquence that elevated the human condition as she probed the…

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Mary Turner and the Lynching Rampage of 1918

No More Mary Turners

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux

By Julianne Malveaux — Mary Turner was lynched on May 19. 1918 because she dared raise her voice. Her husband, Hayes Turner, was among 13 people lynched in two weeks in and around Valdosta, Georgia. The lynchings took place because one brutal white man, who was known to abuse workers so severely that he was only able to attract workers by getting them through the convict labor system, beat the…

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Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee

In seeking reparations for slavery, it’s time to speak up. And it’s okay to be angry.

By HR 40 Congressional Hearing, Reparations

Black women often have spearheaded the fight for reparations, but it’s time they put their needs front and center. By Courtland Milloy, The Washington Post — At a recent congressional hearing on reparations for slavery, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee made an unusual disclaimer. “I am not here in anger or anguish, and I am not seeking to encourage hostilities,” said Jackson Lee (D-Tex.), who sponsored legislation that would set up…

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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, right, and Kwame Ture, the activist formerly known as Stokely Carmichael, attend a tribute to civil rights leader and black nationalist Audley “Queen Mother” Moore, left, in 1996 in New York.

The black woman who launched the modern fight for reparations

By Reparations

Her grass-roots efforts shaped the conversation and presented a path forward. By Ashley D. Farmer, The Washington Post — The reparations hearings in the House of Representatives last week turned contentious as experts such as writer Ta-Nehisi Coates traded barbs with politicians, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The bill at the heart of the hearings, H.R. 40, first introduced by Rep. John Conyers Jr. in 1989, would create a commission…

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NNPA President and CEO, Dr Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., (far right) invited Kettie Kamwangala (far left) and other Malawian women leaders for an open discussion while the ballots were being counted after a historic voter turnout across Malawi.

Women Play Key Role in Ensuring African Democracy

By News & Current Affairs

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA — Throughout this southeastern African nation of nearly 20 million residents, the strength and resiliency of women is on display 24 hours each day. The sustainability of democracy in any nation can be evaluated by the inclusive leadership roles performed by women in its social, political and economic life. According to statistics from the World Population Review, nearly half (49.1 percent)…

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Sojourner Truth

The History of Black Women Championing Demands for Reparations

By Editors' Choice

Ana Lucia Araujo is a historian and professor at Howard University. Her latest book Reparations for Slavery and the Atlantic Slave Trade: A Transnational and Comparative History was published in 2017. By Ana Lucia Araujo — The American media has paid increasing attention to the legacies of slavery. The new National Museum of African American History and Culture features a huge exhibition on the history of slavery. Many US universities…

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