Thursday, October 1, 2015
30 Days of Blogging about Black World magazine
From September 1 - 30, I wrote a blog entry on Negro Digest/Black World each day. As a practical matter, I'm pursuing research as I prepare for a presentation that I will give, along with scholars Margo Crawford and James Smethurst, on the textual production of the Black Arts Movement at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference in January 2016.
More importantly, I've used the occasion of preparing for the presentation as an excuse to explore a publication that has been central to my thinking about African American literary art, cultural productions, and a variety of ideas and writers from the 1960s and 1970s.
I researched and wrote about Negro Digest/Black World as a graduate student. Later, as a junior professor, I produced a chapter about the periodical for my book on textual production of the Black Arts era. And so now, I'm back again.
Some things have changed this time around in my work on Black World. For one, Google now has almost the entire run of Negro Digest/Black World online. That resource, along with Clovis E. Semmes's invaluable Roots of Afrocentric Thought: A Reference Guide to Negro Digest/Black World, 1961-1976 (1998), makes it possible for me to navigate and gain access to an enormous body of data.
There's also the matter of Facebook. Yeah, Facebook. A range of scholar "friends," including William J. Harris, Tony Bolden, Adam Banks, James Smethurst, Kathy Lou Schultz, Micky New, Laura Vrana, and Lauri Ramey have corresponded with me about the publication over the last month on that social media site. Their responses and interests have shaped what I've written and considered on several occasions.
A comment online from Jerry W. Ward, Jr., on one of my early entries led me to produce a more extensive piece on the poet and reviewer Kalamu ya Salaam. Some of the work I've witnessed online from the Public Archive prompted me to think more about black diaspora in Black World. Those are just some of the examples of how online culture has affected my approach to writing and thinking about the publication.
Moving forward, I'll write about Negro Digest/Black World about twice per week, leading up to the MLA conference. What follows is a list of the entries so far.
• September 1: Blogging about Black World magazine
• September 2: Discovering Black World magazine
• September 3: Google Books and Black World magazine
• September 4: Exploring Black World--Then and Now
• September 5: Zora Neale Hurston, Mary Helen Washington, and Black World
• September 6: Outstanding Special Issue on Black Poetry--Negro Digest (Sept. 1969)
• September 7: Searching for Sarah Webster Fabio in Negro Digest and Black World
• September 8: Diaspora and Black World magazine
• September 9: The missing online issues of Black World
• September 10: The Rise of Poet-Critics during the 1960s and 1970s
• September 11: The Literary Scholar as Journalist
• September 12: Black World and this broader African American discourse
• September 13: Amiri Baraka previews a shift in African American literary discourse, 1965
• September 14: Negro Digest/Black World & Black Aesthetics
• September 15: Pricing for Negro Digest/Black World
• September 16: Back covers of Negro Digest/Black World, Pt. 1
• September 17: Tracing "Black Aesthetic" in Negro Digest/Black World
• September 18: An early poem for Malcolm X
• September 19: "The Black Aesthetic" and "The Black Arts Movement"
• September 20: Malcolm X and Black World
• September 21: Displaying images of poets and their publications
• September 22: Illegibility and Negro Digest/Black World
• September 23: Frederick Douglass and Negro Digest/Black World
• September 24: Literary criticism for African American audiences
• September 25: The concentration of black women critical writings during the 1960s/70s
• September 26: From Poet-Scholars to Poets and Scholars
• September 27: Special issues of Negro Digest/Black World
• September 28: The many appearances of Amiri Baraka in Negro Digest/Black World
• September 29: Kalamu ya Salaam and the Richard Wright Award for Literary Criticism
• September 30: Clovis E. Semmes's Invaluable Index
• Blogging about Black World magazine