Category Archives: African American Studies

Octavia Butler accomplished many near-impossibles. She succeeded as a woman in science fiction. She succeeded as an African American woman in science fiction. She also broke out of the genre’s restraints to earn attention in the American literary sphere. It … Continue reading

This week, we received word that Jane C. Beck’s acclaimed book Daisy Turner’s Kin: An African American Family Saga, won two awards: the 2016 Chicago Folklore Prize and the 2016 Wayland D. Hand Prize. The Chicago Folklore Prize, the oldest international … Continue reading

The new UIP release Slavery at Sea examines the infamous Middle Passage in a new light. Sowande’ Mustakeem reveals for the first time how slavery took critical shape at sea. Expanding the gaze even more deeply, the book centers how the oceanic transport … Continue reading

A geographic study of race and gender, Spatializing Blackness casts light upon the ubiquitous—and ordinary—ways carceral power functions in places where African Americans live. Moving from the kitchenette to the prison cell, and mining forgotten facts from sources as diverse … Continue reading

This past Sunday, Washington, D.C. radio station WAMU-FM went into the vaults to find a classic 1949 radio documentary on Ida B. Wells. Part of the classic Destination Freedom series, the Wells doc was penned by Richard Durham, the subject of … Continue reading

From the new UIP release Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century, by Nazera Sadiq Wright.  African American educator and activist Fannie Barrier Williams highlighted what could happen when black girls in literature served merely to illustrate the problems associated with race … Continue reading

John Wriggle is a musicologist, composer, arranger, and trombonist who has taught for the City University of New York, Rutgers University, and Boston University. He answered some questions about his book Blue Rhythm Fantasy: Big Band Jazz Arranging in the Swing … Continue reading

Progressive Era activist and reformer Fannie Barrier Williams was one of the most prominent educated African American women of her generation. A new effort to honor the woman who was a prominent spokesperson for economic, racial, and gender reforms has centered in Williams’ … Continue reading

Richard Durham’s varied career reflected his work ethic and tireless dedication to the many causes that drew him in. Putting aside his community and labor organizing, Durham’s writing included stints as a dramatist, star investigative reporter, newspaper editor, and the … Continue reading

In 2015, the State of Illinois designated May 19 as Malcolm X Day. It doesn’t always show up on the list of official state holidays, interestingly enough, perhaps due to bureaucracy’s slow wheels, perhaps because the observance is a trifle … Continue reading