1. Ralph Ellison - Invisible Man Cover illustration by James Avat (1953)

    Source: Kyle K

    (Source: newmanology, via afrofuturistaffair)

     
  2. Octavia Butler is remembered by authors Samuel Delany and N.K. Jemisin in this new short.

    (Source: openroadmedia)

     
     
  3. Rare Interview Footage of Ralph Ellison (1966)

    Black and white film footage (commercially produced) provides a rare interview with award-winning novelist Ralph Ellison. In the interview Ellison addresses a variety of topics and offers a few opinions. For instance, in discussing diversity he says “there is no United States”. There is so much happening in America that it is difficult to have consensus. Furthermore, a Black novelist attempting to be a political spokesperson is speaking out of context because he is interpreted by racial identity. He discusses the origins of his novel The Invisible Man, the work that first gave him notoriety. Ellison also speaks about teaching, continuity of his work, the practice of writing and the elements that contribute to “eloquence” in writing. Ellison concludes with a reading from a work in progress and his aspirations for its publication.

    Creator: National Education Television (Creator)

    Coverage: New York City

    Resource Type: Image — Moving Image; Sound

    Extent (quantity/size): 28 minutes 57 seconds

    Media: 16 mm film; video/avi

    Contact The Oklahoma Historical Society to purchase non watermarked DVD or High resolution Digital File

‪

    http://www.okhistory.org/research/orders?full

    (Source: youtube.com)

     
     

  4. "I begin, a sentence lover. I’m forever delighted, then delighted all over, at the things sentences can trip and trick you into saying, into seeing. I’m astonished—just plain tickled!—at the sharp turns and tiny tremors they can whip your thoughts across. I’m entranced by their lollop and flow, their prickles and points. Poetry is made of words, Mallarmé told us a hundred years back. But I write prose. And prose is made of sentences."
    — Samuel R. Delany - The Semiology of Silence (1983)

    (Source: depauw.edu, via beautone)

     
  5. Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, June Jordan, Lori Sharpe, and Audrey Edwards circa 1977 at a Black women’s writing group. 

    (Source: msnydiaswaby, via jameyhatley)

     
  6. Nikki Giovanni reading to her son.

    (via sovereigntyordeath-deactivated2)

     

  7. "I begin, a sentence lover. I’m forever delighted, then delighted all over, at the things sentences can trip and trick you into saying, into seeing. I’m astonished—just plain tickled!—at the sharp turns and tiny tremors they can whip your thoughts across. I’m entranced by their lollop and flow, their prickles and points. Poetry is made of words, Mallarmé told us a hundred years back. But I write prose. And prose is made of sentences."
    — Samuel R. Delany - The Semiology of Silence (1983)

    (Source: depauw.edu)

     

  8. Andrea Levy

    “I am English. Born and bred, as the saying goes … England is the only society I truly know and sometimes understand. I don’t look as the English did in the England of the 30s or before, but being English is my birthright. England is my home. An eccentric place where sometimes I love being English.

    When I hear that the surge of energy needed after a good television programme is because everyone is getting up to make a cup of tea, it makes me smile. I, too, was there with my teapot after the last episode of Only Fools And Horses. I love that our national dish has become curry. And the view from London’s Waterloo Bridge just takes my breath away. I hate being English when I hear what happened to Stephen Lawrence. When every day seems like a battle against racism, and hatred, and the quiet, polite hostility that holds many black and Asian people back from fulfiling their potential. I want to belong to anywhere but this place where I am made to feel like an outsider - not welcome, definitely not welcome at all.

    Saying that I’m English doesn’t mean I want to be assimilated; to take on the majority white culture to the exclusion of all other. (I cannot live without rice and peas. I now dance like a lunatic when Jamaica wins anything. And I will always make a noise when moved by emotion.) I will not take up a flag and wave it to intimidate. And being English will not stop me from fighting to live in a country free from racism and social divisiveness.

    There are many white people here who are appalled that someone like me could be English. And there are many black people with similar backgrounds to mine who do not wish to be called English. But national identity is not a personal issue. It is political. It cannot be decided at the whim of the individual. Englishness must never be allowed to attach itself to ethnicity. The majority of English people are white, but some are not. If we say otherwise, it is in tacit agreement with the idea of racial purity, and we all know where that dangerous myth can lead. Let England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland be nations that are plural and inclusive.

    Last year, I was in Scotland reading at the Edinburgh Festival. I was telling the audience about my great-grandfather with the flame-red hair. After the reading, a Scottish woman came up to me, held my arm and whispered, “You know, I could just tell you were Scottish.”

    via derica

    (Source: Guardian)

     

  9. Nnedi Okorafor — Akata Witch

    Akata Witch

    Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits. And then she discovers something amazing-she is a “free agent,” with latent magical power. Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?

    http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0„9780670011964,00.html#


     
  10. Chris Abani: Telling Stories of Our Shared Humanity 

    (Source: youtube.com)

     
     

  11. "

    While it requires more than one reading, the dean’s memo is also artful in its way. It performs a perlocutionary wonder, simultaneously filling the tenure-track (“probationary”) faculty member with existential dread and intellectual smugness. Why is the goal “excellence” in teaching but only “productivity” in scholarship? Does this mean I can get away with producing crap, as long as I produce it in sufficient quantities? As long as I keep fertilizing the fields of knowledge?

    Actually, we shouldn’t be too hard on the dean, who is a capable administrator and a talented scholar. The chances that she wrote or even read this sentence are slim. It is much more likely that one of her assistants copied and pasted it from some other letter, where it had been copied and pasted from yet another letter, and so on, back to a lunch meeting when an ad hoc committee of senior faculty members with kids and credit-card bills and elderly aunts in the hospital and papers to grade sat down and composed it over “lunch provided.”

    "
    — 

    Ben Kafka - Pushing Paper 

    An Inquiry Into the Psychopathology of Paperwork

    (Source: laphamsquarterly.org)

     

  12. "

    To Alsana’s mind the real difference between people was not colour. Nor did it lie in gender, faith, and their relative ability to dance a syncopated rhythm or open their fists to reveal a handful of gold coins. The real difference was far more fundamental. It was in the earth. It was in the sky. You could divide the whole of humanity into two distinct camps, as far as she was concerned, simply by asking them to complete a very simple questionnaire:

    a) Are the skies you sleep under likely to open up for weeks on end?
    b) Is the ground you walk on likely to tremble and split?
    c) Is there a chance (and please tick the box, no matter how small that chance seems) that the ominous mountain casting a midday shadow over your home might one day erupt with no rhyme or reason?

    Because if the answer is yes to one or all of these questions, then the life you lead is a midnight thing, always a hair’s breadth from the witching hour; it is volatile, it is threadbare; it is carefree in the true sense of that term; it is light, losable like a keyring or a hairclip. And it is lethargy: why not sit all morning, all day, all year, under the same cypress tree drawing the figure of eight in the dust? More than that, it is disaster, it is chaos: why not overthrow the government on a whim, why not blind the man you hated, why not go mad, go gibbering though the town like a loon, waving your hands, tearing your hair? There’s nothing to stop you — or rather anything could stop you, any hour, any minute. That feeling. That’s the real difference in a life. People who live on solid ground, underneath safe skies, know nothing of this; they are like the English POWs in Dresden who continued to pour tea and dress for dinner, even as the alarms went off, even as the city became a towering ball of fire.

    Zadie Smith-White Teeth

    "
    —  Zadie Smith-White Teeth
     
  13. Interview-Nuruddin Farah at the Commonwealth Club 2007