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Monthly Archives: October 2012

VIDEO: Lucille Clifton Recites Poem, “Homage To My Hips”

With all the destruction being felt on the East Coast from Hurricane Sandy, we felt the need to keep the mood light on the blog today.  And with that, we bring you this poem from Lucille Clifton, arguably one of the best poets we've ever had the pleasure of reading. She is a 2001 Lifetime Achievement winner, and her poem, "Homage to My Hips" is short, sassy and powerful - just like she was. Perfect for today. Enjoy.  Lucille Clifton Reads 'homage to my hips from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo. Read More →

VIDEO: Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah Shares His Personal Philosophy

1993 winner Kwame Anthony Appiah is well-known for his musings on race, culture, and identity. Born to a European mother and a Ghanaian father, he has been conscious of the way those three notions intersect in society. In this BigThink video, he shares his personal philosophy on life. Check it out and let us know what you think!  Read More →

VIDEO: Elizabeth Alexander Discusses Hip-Hop’s Link To Poetry

We talk about all things dealing with race and diversity here at Anisfield-Wolf but there is one subject we haven't explored much — the rise of hip hop. In this quick video from Big Think (one of favorite sources of videos of all the people you'd want to hear from), 2012 winner Elizabeth Alexander talks about the nuances of African American poetry and the link to hip-hop music. Check it out and let us know what you think.  Read More →

Incredible Artwork Of The One And Only Toni Morrison

We found this piece of art by local artist John Sokol fascinating. In it, he uses words to fill in the visage of Ms. Toni Morrison (perhaps words from her own works?). Visit the link to see more of his "word portraits," including those of James Joyce, Dante, and more. Read More →

SNEAK PEEK: Cover Of Mohsin Hamad’s Latest Novel

Mr. Hamad's latest book will hit stores in March. He recently sat down with The New Yorker for a brief Q&A about the book. Check it out here. Read More →

VIDEO: “Storytelling Was A Way…To Save Ourselves” – Russell Banks

How do you write a novel about some of our society's least sympathetic members? Russell Banks found out just how hard it might be when he wrote his book, Lost Memory of Skin, about a colony of homeless sex offenders. In the video above, he describes his writing process and how he is able to craft characters that readers might not necessarily feel drawn to at the onset of the book:  He says:  While writing the book, I was just simply following my own deep personal curiosity and need to understand a life very, very different from my own. Once the book enters the public world, of course, then I have to consider the fact, well, probably not everybody has the same curiosity and interest and desire to understand that I do. And you hope the Kid is sympathetic. And, you know, he’s funny... Read More →

David W. Blight On Voter Suppression — Then And Now

For all the words we could pick to describe this election cycle, one word that most of us would agree on would be overwhelming. We've seen a record number of campaign contributions, more ads, and more news stories than any other election in recent memory.  One major topic has been the practice of voter suppression, long thought to be a relic of the 1950s. 2012 winner David W. Blight tackled the issue in a recent op-ed in the New York Times, giving us the example of Frederick Douglass' attempts to vote as a fugitive man—not quite free, not quite a slave: In 1840, and again in 1841, the former Frederick Bailey, now Frederick Douglass, walked a few blocks from his rented apartment on Ray Street in New Bedford, Mass., to the town hall, where he paid a local tax of $1.50 to register to... Read More →

VIDEO: “The Great Migration Is The Story Of Most African-Americans” – Isabel Wilkerson

A full two years after her acclaimed book, The Warmth of Other Suns, was published, Isabel Wilkerson continues to work hard on the promotion trail, working to raise awareness of the Great Migration and its impact on today's culture. "They changed American culture as we know it," Wilkerson says in this short interview during the 2012 Leimert Park Book Fesitval. "So much of what we think of as American culture is actually the culture of the people who did this (migrated). We're talking about Toni Morrison, who became a Nobel Laureate; we're talking about people like August Wilson, the playwright; Lorraine Hansberry, who wrote The Raisin in the Sun...we're also talking about music. Motown wouldn't have existed at all. Rock 'n' roll, as we know it, would not have existed." Watch the short... Read More →

VIDEO: The Danger Of The Single Story

In this TED talk, Chimamanda Adichie discusses the danger of the single story—that is, how powerful individual stories about a country can warp our minds as to what life in those places is really like. Check out her story and let us know: How has literature impacted the way you see the world?    Read More →

Junot Diaz, Louise Erdrich Named Finalists For The National Book Awards

We keep on telling you how terrific 2012 is shaping up for Junot Diaz and the accolades keep coming. Today, he and fellow Anisfield-Wolf award winner Louise Erdrich were named as 2012 National Book Awards finalists. Watch the announcement in the video below: Read More →
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