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

Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Focusing on Freedom with Harriet Tubman: Enduring Advice on Relentless Resistance

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

By Dr. Maulana Karenga — This is a reminder, prelude and promise of a coming review on the movie “Harriet”. This is in joyful and grateful homage to our illustrious foremother, Harriet Tubman, the liberator. We offer sacred words and water to this leader and liberator, this all-seasons soldier, abolitionist, freedom fighter, strategist, teacher, nurse, advocate of human, civil and women’s rights, and this family woman: daughter of her parents…

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Kasi Lemmons’s “Harriet” - Harriet Tubman Movie.

The Stunning Achievement of Kasi Lemmons’s “Harriet”

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Richard Brody, The New Yorker — A common failure of movies, especially historical ones, is that they don’t open their drama to intellectual context or to the inner lives of their characters. Kasi Lemmons’s “Harriet” is a bold and accomplished exception: this bio-pic of Harriet Tubman develops her actions as a freer of enslaved people with ardent and detailed attention to the prophetic visions that impel her, and the…

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Fannie Lou Hamer

Homage to Fannie Lou Hamer: Womanist, Warrior and Way-Opener

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

Dr. Maulana Karenga — This is a profoundly respectful re-remembering and raising up, an offering of word and water in tambiko, sacred offering to a most honored ancestor. Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer (October 6, 1917 – March 14, 1977) is one of those awesome ancestors about whom it is said: They were so tall when they stood up, they were the height of mountains and when they lay down, they…

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Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer Died of Untreated Breast Cancer

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux

By Julianne Malveaux — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the proliferation of pink ribbons is about to start.  Predatory capitalists will make breast cancer their cause, producing pink t-shirts, pocketbooks, everything. It’s a mixed blessing, this awareness, because too many will make this both a marketing and a profit-making opportunity, while others will wonder how they can use their health insurance to afford a mammogram.  Health equity is…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux

By Julianne Malveaux — I cannot overstate my tremendous admiration for Rev. William Barber.  Our connection goes back to North Carolina when I was the President of Bennett College, and he led the state NAACP.  His daughter, Sharrelle, graduated from Bennett in the spring before I assumed the Presidency and as student body president, she served on the search committee that selected me.  So he’s a friend of long-standing. In…

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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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