Terpischore’s Atrium with Kalisha Buckhanon

Kalisha:

I am happy and blessed to share my interview with Shinjini Bhattacharjee, Editor-in-Chief of the fine new literary journal Hermeneutic Chaos, which published a portion of my new novel with much encouragement and interest. My interview appears in the journal’s companion blog Morphemic Morphology. I hope our words inspire you. Blessings, Kalisha

Originally posted on Morphemic Morphology:

Welcome to Terspischore’s Atrium, where the Hermeneutic Chaos editors find delight in the elfin task of  confronting their contributing authors with some really tough questions.

Today, our Editor-in-Chief Shinjini Bhattacharjee interviews Kalisha Buckhanon, who is undoubtedly one of the most talented writers in the contemporary literary milieu. Her debut venture, Upstate, was published in 2006 to massive critical acclaim, and won an American Library Association ALEX Award and an Audie Award in Literary Fiction for its audiobook, besides being a Hurston-Wright Foundation Debut Fiction finalist. Her sophomore novel, Conception, was greeted with much greater enthusiasm, and won a Friends of American Writers Adult Literature Award. Kalisha has been awarded an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Prose; a Zora Neale Hurston/Bessie Head Fiction Award at the Gwendolyn Brooks Black Literature and Writing Conference, for her short story “Card Parties” ; the Terry McMillan Young Author Award at the National Book Club Conference; an Honorable Mention in…

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Read my work SPEAKING OF SUMMER in Intellectual Refuge Literary Journal…

Speaking of Summer

In “Speaking of Summer,” the Black women appear to have it all: great homes, men, careers, girlfriends, beauty. But there is a cost to keeping the realities of how they feel about their treatment in the world such a closed secret… I thank editor Christopher Schnieders for publishing this small piece of it and I look forward to finishing it, to share more to come! Continue reading

“Liberty City” extended until July 19 at #etaCreativeArts in Chicago.

Actress Anna Dauzvardis as 'April' in "Liberty City"

The intimacy and trust between audience and actor for this performance can hardly be reviewed or criticized and must just be experienced… Jeff- recommended “Liberty City” is LIVE this weekend and extended until July 19: this Friday, Jul 10 (8pm), Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, Jul 12 (3pm). ALL SEATS – $20. To get your tickets call 773 752-3955 or go online http://www.etacreativearts.org/ Continue reading

Little Rock Nine, Four Little Girls, and One Confederate Flag: A Retrospective

The Charleston Nine

One way to move this tragedy and the deceased in it past public ephemera and into history is to forever connect the loss of their lives to a national symbolic act against domestic terrorism: the legally-mandated abolition of our Confederate flag, and civil prosecution of anyone who waves it. Continue reading

“We have to give our black girls “the Talk”- and it’s not about sex…”…my essay on the horrifying McKinney, Texas, injustice, on SheKnows.com…

Racial Profiling and Black Girls

Racial profiling does not discriminate by gender…it’s time to tell our black girls the police may not be working for them. Continue reading

“Spirit of Writing” is now a class at The Eckleburg Workshops…hope to work with you!

Spirit of Writing

I am so happy I found an opportunity through The Eckleburg Workshops to teach online starting July 5, 2015, in a combination writing/life skills course called “The Spirit of Writing.” I posted the mini-class weekly here on Negression last Fall. The course is meant to draw people like I used to be, a buried creator and bustled imaginer the world was worse off without. For more info or to join, visit: http://eckleburgworkshops.com/courses-2/spirit-of-writing/spirit-of-writing-july-2015-kalisha-v-buckhanon/. Continue reading

My story “There Were Six” appears in Per Contra: An International Journal of The Arts, Literature, and Ideas

Per Contra 36

The number of black women and girls who go missing without a manhunt or trace continues. I am grateful to share my fictionalization of the predicament of deprioritized black women and girls as the story “There Were Six” in Per Contra: An International Journal of The Arts, Literature and Ideas. I don’t presume to do justice to the realistic situation in a story, but please find some helpful links and resources included in this post. Continue reading

Birthing a Slave: Reproduction and Inhumanity during America’s Slavery Era

Kalisha:

To understand how the joyous occasion of motherhood was a form of suffering for black female slave, please read this excellent post on “the book Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South, by Marie Jenkins Schwartz. The book tells the history of a somewhat esoteric subject: the need of slaveholders, and the doctors they hired, to control and manage the bodies and reproductive lives of slave women.” We can have more admiration for black mothers and families today if we understand just how much our ancestral histories included so many challenges meant to destroy them.

Originally posted on Jubilo! The Emancipation Century:

Most people know of slavery, but we don’t know about slavery. Specifically, we don’t know how dehumanizing it was to be a slave.

We might understand what it’s like to be denied freedom or dignity at an intellectual level. But for many of us, we don’t have a grasp on how horrible the institution was, in the day to day life of an enslaved person. Most of us don’t “get” what it was about inhuman bondage that made it so inhuman.

For example: what was it like to be slave mother?

Some insights on this are given in the book Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South, by Marie Jenkins Schwartz. The book tells the history of a somewhat esoteric subject: the need of slaveholders, and the doctors they hired, to control and manage the bodies and reproductive lives of slave women.

But while the subject is…

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Holiday’s “God Bless the Child” and Morrison’s “God Help the Child”

Lady Day

The mantra of “God bless the child…” is actually Morrison’s most consistent answer to black women. Enjoy Holiday’s original version, as well as these covers. Continue reading

Toni Morrison’s New Novel is Out.

Morrison

From Goodreads: At the center: a woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life; but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love until she told a lie that ruined the life of an innocent woman, a lie whose reverberations refuse to diminish . . . Continue reading

What Billie and Phyllis Sang About

Harlem

Read my story “What Billie and Phyllis Sang About”, about an abandoned black woman left to survive alone in Harlem, in the new issue of Atticus Review. My favorite Billie Holiday and Phyllis Hyman music is on the story’s companion soundtrack Here. #BillieandPhyllis Continue reading

A Story and a Mentor’s Memoir

Crack the Spine

Look into my new story just published in Crack the Spine Literary Magazine: “The Incredibly Short Love Affair of Sixo Reese”… and the memoir WHAT COMES NEXT AND HOW TO LIKE IT by Abigail Thomas, the magnificent writer and teacher who taught the workshop where the story was born. Continue reading

My Favorite Life’s Essentials With Ruby Dee™

Life's Essentials with Ruby Dee Movie Poster

The filmmakers will next take Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee™ to New York City and the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Saturday, March 28. To keep up with new screenings as well as upcoming news about DVD availability, follow hasthtags #RubyDeeStory and #LoveArtActivism. Continue reading

Read my new story “No Comment” in Helen Presents: Friday Night Specials.

Helen a literary magazine

“No Comment” is excerpted from my novelette of the same name, about a Las Vegas to New York transplant who buys a one-way train ticket to leave the Big Apple, unfulfilled wishes and her abusive relationship behind. Helen is a print and digital literary magazine focused on the culture of Nevada and Las Vegas. If you get a chance to read “No Comment” I’d like to know your thoughts and responses about the character and issues she raises. Thank you for reading… Continue reading

We Love Barbie…But We Need New Dolls: Read my piece on Artist Tiffany Gholar over at BlogHer.com.

doll project 2

“As a young woman dealing with my own issues of body image, I began to look differently at Barbie dolls. I began to wonder whether my re-emerging interest in fashion dolls was a good or a bad thing. And the more I confronted my own disordered patterns of eating and exercise, the more I realized the extent to which social pressure to conform to such stringent standards was the real issue I was facing.” -Tiffany Gholar, THE DOLL PROJECT Continue reading