Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Clovis E. Semmes's Invaluable Index

Google's collection of Negro Digest/Black World is an important resource, making it possible to trace back through dozens of issues of the publication. But, to effectively navigate all the materials, you need a guide. For me, that has been Clovis E. Semmes's Roots of Afrocentric Thought: A Reference Guide to Negro Digest/Black World, 1961-1976 (1998). The book has really helped me comprehend the overall productivity of writers in the publication and chart various works throughout the periodical. 

I can't say enough about how invaluable Semmes's index was for me thinking through Negro Digest/Black World as I completed my book The Black Arts Enterprise. In so many ways, my own bibliographic work related to black arts was made possible by what's found in Roots of Afrocentric Thought.

Semmes organizes the materials into two major sections. Part I consists of an annotated bibliography of original articles and speeches. Part II is a bibliography of poetry, short stories, plays, reviews, and interviews. Overall, there are 3,525 entries. 

In the introduction, Semmes makes the case for the value of  Fuller's publication:
There can be no definitive analysis of the formation and substance of Afrocentric methods and discourse, Black literary criticism, Black aesthetics, and the like without examining the content of Negro Digest/Black World.
I agree. I would also add that, it is difficult to fully grasp all that was taking place in the publication without a resource like Roots of Afrocentric Thought.

Blogging about Black World magazine


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Anonymous said...

thx! I will have to ck that book out.