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

Toni Morrison

A Tribute for Toni Morrison

By Editors' Choice

By Herb Boyd — An ensemble of luminaries, mainly writers and musicians, shared their memories and reflections of the esteemed author Toni Morrison on Thursday at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. The church was packed to the rafters for the tribute to Morrison who made her transition on August 5. She was 88. This collection of voices and impressions in their separate ways provided a loving profile…

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Ta-Nehisi Coates

An Ongoing Battle. Ta-Nehisi Coates’s narratives of freedom.

By Editors' Choice

History has always been a weapon in the hands of Ta-Nehisi Coates. Now, in his debut novel, the social critic and essayist sets out to recover those struggles for emancipation that have been lost to the past. By Elias Rodriques, The Nation — American history has always been a weapon in the hands of Ta-Nehisi Coates. As a blogger and columnist for The Atlantic, he wielded it to chronicle the long…

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Dr. Lonnie Bunch III and Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

Dr. Lonnie Bunch’s African American Museum Dream Fulfilled

By News & Current Affairs

Smithsonian Secretary Goes One-on-One with NNPA President about New Book By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA — Dr. Lonnie Bunch III, the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, sat down for an exclusive interview with National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The two discussed Bunch’s timely new book, “A Fool’s Errand: Creating the…

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Ta-Nehisi Coates

How Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Novel Reckons With the Past

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

“The Water Dancer” comes out of a powerful examination of the legacies of slavery today. By Eric Herschthal, The New Republic — Eight years ago, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an essay in The Atlantic asking why so few black people studied the Civil War. Coates noted that he himself had only recently become an avid reader of Civil War history, and along with it, a student of the larger system that propelled it into…

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Ibram X. Kendi

How to Be an Anti-Racist, according to Ibram X Kendi

By Editors' Choice

In his new book, Kendi noted that “racial inequity is a problem of bad policy, not bad people.” By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire — Ibram X. Kendi admittedly once trivialized racism. The American University professor placed some of the blame for race relations in America on blacks. In a speech delivered in 2000, while he was still in high school, Kendi suggested African Americans were too busy blaming their…

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Skin tone band-aids

The Fight to Redefine Racism

By Editors' Choice

In “How to Be an Antiracist,” Ibram X. Kendi argues that we should think of “racist” not as a pejorative but as a simple, widely encompassing term of description. By Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker — Sixteen years ago, in 2003, the student newspaper at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, a historically black institution in Tallahassee, published a lively column about white people. “I don’t hate whites,” the author, a…

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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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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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