About the #BlackPantherSyllabus

Best known for his research into television content and cultivation theory, George Gerbner (1972) said that “representation in the fictional world signifies social existence; absence means symbolic annihilation” (p. 44). Historically, the Black experience has been absent, underrepresented, or misrepresented. Intersections within the identity have suffered with additional pressures, promoting a continued sense of invisibility. Within the last few years, visual representation has been on a rise, with our stories of the Black experience being told on a multitude of platforms. Narratives filled with stereotypes and misrepresentations are being overridden by success, wholeness, and imagination. This is particularly present in popular culture. Marvel’s Black Panther film serves as the highest profile example of a fundamental shift in our experience.

The Marvel character, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966, is inspiration personified: he is a servant leader, he is a protector, he is an intellectual, and he is a power house. Inspired by the record shattering blockbuster film filled with incredible performances and sociopolitical commentary, the #BlackPantherSyllabus is designed to continue the dialogue around the importance of diverse representation of the Black identity and its intersections in visible forms of media in popular culture and the arts, including television, film, comics, music, science/speculative fiction, fantasy literature, manga, anime, gaming, and more. The hope is that this celebration of Blackness in the form of a syllabus creates an educational tool and a movement that promotes a deeper sense of self-authorship.

Curators: Dr. Brandon W. Jones bjonesproject.com, Shawn J. Moore shawnjmoore.com

Source: #BlackPantherSyllabus | Feminism | Ethnicity, Race & Gender

Which books have been important in your life? And how did you, the son of a peasant, get to write one in the Kenya of the ’60s?

While growing up, we had no books in Gĩkũyũ, my mother tongue. The Bible’s Old Testament became my book of stories. In high school, when I saw a library for the first time, I had the ambition to be able to read all the books in the world. But guess what? I couldn’t even finish reading all the books in that library! Later, in 1959, I went to Makrere University College in Kampala (Uganda) that was part of the University of London. In 1962, at the first conference of African writers coming together on the African continent, called the Makrere Conference of Writers of English Expression, Chinua Achebe looked at my manuscript of Weep Not… and made a few comments. Achebe’s book Things Fall Apart had been published a few years ago. He told his publishers about my book. It was an important moment in my life. George Lammings’s [an important figure in Caribbean literature] work has also been important for me.

Source: ‘My god is more of a god than your god is ungodly – the same applies to languages,’ says writer Ngugi Wa Thiong’o | art and culture | Hindustan Times

When Kit de Waal was growing up in 1970s Birmingham, no one like her – poor, black and Irish – wrote books. Forty years on, the author asks, what has changed?

Source: Kit de Waal: ‘Make room for working class writers’ | Books | The Guardian


February 17, 2018

Beauty is in the eye
of the beholder
and I be holding beauty
when I glance upon them
theoretically shaping
the future into an afro
centric sharpness
that shook
the white power structure
into confronting
black consciousness
organized and mandated
to dismiss
that old time religion
that said everything in its place
especially the black race.

A new paradigm of blackness
rooted in a communal soliloquy:
ghetto equals colony
and racism is the bastard child
of fascist economies.
Fanon, Malcolm and James
became antidotes
for antiquated theologies
and anti-social pathologies.

In the belly of the imperialistic beast,
in the macro-and-microcosms
of streets and prisons
a new paradigm, a paradise
of struggle
created by ex-soldiers
high school and college students,
whores, pimps, drug dealers
NASA employees,
doctors and number runners
heady, ready and willing.

From Watts to the Congo
white power has gotta go
burn baby burn
no ashes in the urn
time for the tide to turn
and put an end to the yearn.


Panther power was here
turned the police into pigs
and nigs into blacks
figuratively burning effigies
with tactics and strategies
that earned them freedom’s mind.

Ejiọfọr Ugwu  lives and writes in Nsukka, Nigeria. His poetry chapbook The Book of God was selected by African Poetry

Source: Poetry and the Fullness of Things: A Dialogue With Ejiofor Ugwu – Africa in Dialogue

as “the”

“The” personifies death.

“The” woos she
saying she has a stake
and she does;
runs the businesses,
wears the uniforms,
shoots the guns,
terrorizes those
“the” proclaims
as enemies.

She personifies death.

“The” and she copulate
The seed is born

No cheerios for the cherub
named Damien.
Six fingers, six toes
and a sickening sense
of two tongues tangled up
in terror-tories
and districts
of under-developed

Columbine calamity
collides with
paltry parental perceptions
but still
the question is queried:

how alongside “The” came
inheritors of hitlerism
gorging on son of sam smorgasbords
defecating dahmerisms,
defiling the dream
of delusional deities?

We see but we don’t see
how it was bound to be
that the son of “The” devil
was born to revile
and revenge himself
upon his own
the most popular;
the most monied;
the mostly
free white
and under 21
of the status quo;

but for “The”
genesis of understanding
doesn’t germinate
from the sacrificial suicide
of the sum.

Deceptively dissociative
“The” avoids the answers
that may
anoint “The”
with humanity.

Freestyle #1, 2018

January 2, 2018

Freestyle #1, 2018

Stymied by the weather
words coalesce and collect
like dust, like soil.

I am an archaeologist
unearthing her hidden story.
A grain of sand, a paragraph
is all that history provides.

To the victor belongs the spoils

I guess…


Cover designer Alexander von Ness explains the value of a book cover redesign and walks through several cover redesigns and their goals.

Source: Book Cover Redesign as Marketing Tool | Jane Friedman

When I was a teenager (18/19), I didn’t know anything (relatively speaking) about the liberation struggle but I did know a lil about black feminism and the reason for that was because of the work of women such as Barbara Smith and books such as Homegirls – a Black Feminist Anthology.
A circle is an embrace and Barbara Smith deserves to be encircled. (TMC)


Source: A letter from Ms. Barbara’s Caring Circle – BARBARA SMITH CARING CIRCLE

Drafted and Shafted

May 29, 2017

Everyday, the street sweepers’ contempt
swept us, nothing and nobody exempt.

The whites of their eyes forecast doom
in their matrix soundstage of a room.

They insisted on incising my rights
with a language full of curses and slights.

You won’t catch me on the front line
being one God says is all mine.

It’ll be prison time you’ll reap
or on this floor, your blood will seep.

Either way I’d be gone, nonexistent
so I chose the path of least resistance.

For the first time, the gun in my hands is legal
which surprised me into feeling regal.

I wanted to swagger around like John Wayne
but everyone treated me like Major Payne.

To make sure I was constantly outdoors
They sent me on senseless missions to explore.

When my grumblings became a roar
MP’s dropped me in the real war.

One day their bombs blew my body apart
destroying my will to depart.