African American Culture
Layering histories and identity.
Conducting a posthumous interview with science-fiction author Octavia E. Butler.
“All the pieces … are an attempt to unite my mind again, to mend the rupture.”—Howardena Pindell
Alvin Ailey’s Jamar Roberts on pain, joy, and choreographing to John Coltrane.
“I gave myself this education on my own eye and on my own instincts. I was trying to find a place of resonance.”
A rediscovered milestone in independent black cinema.
The author discusses Black feminist breathing, academia as access point, and writing three books that came from the same decision.
“I didn’t want to paint figuratively. I didn’t want something that was overtly referencing the social issues around me, but I wanted to find a way to describe them. How do you internalize this? How do you make a form that forces a painting to be an experience that is not necessarily easy to see, handle, or look at?”
The hymn for the time is bone on bone. / One man’s anthem slaughters another. / I know you’ve seen it all before— / a boy born wrong is opened up by the law
“The mill is a metaphor for all of us.”
Confronting the legacy of J. Marion Sims.
Congratulations to Ward on winning the 2017 National Book Award for Sing, Unburied, Sing.
“Everything is equally treated.”
Experimental black poetry and visual art.
“I don’t want the kind of career where everything is sensible and safe; I’d rather suffer through the anxiety of wondering where I’m going next than suffer the boredom of dancing in the same safe square.”
“The reward is getting through the tough stuff. And that’s what’s perplexing about the art thing. When I was going to school there were kids that could draw their asses off. There were kids that were better draftsman than me, for certain. But no one was more determined than me.”
Early film, nineteenth-century science fiction, and experimental musical languages serve a young artist’s explorations of race and our political present.
“I don’t want to mention names, but there are several black artists that would like to shoot me today because they weren’t in that show. Some of them are dead, but the ones that aren’t dead still give me a lot of bullshit every time I see them.”