Celebrating Gwendolyn Brooks on World Book Day

Gwendolyn Brooks was the very first real famous writer (the gods!) I helped organize a special event for. My ad hoc University of Chicago "sorority" for women of color on campus was blessed enough to get Ms. Brooks as the first guest speaker we ever booked, to launch our name and mission on campus. What a launch it was!

“Passing,” or your wknd and Nov. 10 sorted

I was so excited at the first impression I got for this book's film adaptation on its way. I'm an English major/major book nerd, so yes, the great Nella Larsen's Passing is a novel to define my college days. If you were a woman with melanin and not going into medicine or science as a career, you loved Passing. It was your Dynasty and Real Housewives franchise, yet so aged and psychologically impressive it was totally okay to call this soap opera a favorite novel. Oh, the drama..

Cicely, Titan of American Literature: 13 Classics She Brought to Life

No other screen persona served the general public more as a constant reminder of the stubborn, healthy and diverse black literary world which defied sentencing to invisibility and dismissal as just a trend. Cicely Tyson achieved this while diversifying in roles by other writers from all backgrounds, regions and genres… Please enjoy and share this catalog of Ms. Tyson’s greatest roles drawn from great, classic American literature I hope you seek out soon.

Zora Would Want You To

On days like this, meaning a notable artist like Zora Neale Hurston's birthday, the custom is to suggest enjoying his or her work and to "support" others like them in their names. However, something tells me this is not what Zora would want. I think most writers take their birthdays off for things like cake, people, wine and gluttony over discipline. So today Zora wants us to party in her name. And for you to write your own novel, put elbow grease on your big dream and take her as example somebody somewhere will love your work someday.

Thank you, Eric Jerome Dickey

Unlike Zora Neale Hurston, Eric Jerome Dickey worked for prosperity instead of obscurity; he will have the appropriate African-American grand homegoing traditions, including a headstone visible from afar. This respect and appreciation for the most tireless Black writers during their human lifetimes is what America owed Zora, her predecessors and her peers. Now, he joins her as an ancestor looking down.