Category Archives: literature

And Still We Rise!: Amanda Gorman and the People’s Inauguration

Amanda Gorman, National Youth Poet Laureate, read her “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, Dr. Joseph Biden, Wednesday, January 20, 2021 Now 22-years-old, West LA raised Gorman was named Youth Poet … Continue reading

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Nnedi Okorafor’s “Mother in Invention” and the Power of Woman

*Illustration by Shyama Golden I have recently found two short stories that brought back some hard memories. They were both cathartic, gifting me with the ability to remember and, with a renewed conviction, reject the stories that I was told … Continue reading

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Young, Gifted, Black: Destinies Fulfilled

I don’t know about you, but with everything going on, especially these past few months, I’ve been thinking about death…a lot. Not really in a morbid sense, but rather, as a way of reflecting on the importance of living well … Continue reading

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Review of James McBride’s Deacon King Kong

A few weeks ago I watched a brilliant panel discussion entitled “Black American Buddhists on Community and Activism.” The panel featured three African American Buddhist practitioners and teachers, two with whom I was familiar: Kamilah Majied and DaRa Williams. When … Continue reading

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Review of Ayobami Adebayo’s Stay With Me

Ayobami Adebayo’s Stay With Me (2017) has gotten lots of positive press. It was a New York Times Notable Book, The New York Times’ Critics’ Top Books of the Year, was named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, National Public … Continue reading

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The Revolution Continues: Alligator Woods Now

In naming this blog Alligator Woods way back in 2009 I sought to uplift and share the revolutionary spirit that was alive in the enslaved men and women who declared liberty or death that fateful night in August 1791 in … Continue reading

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Toni Morrison Conference: March 19-21, Montpellier, France

Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon: Two Generations Later Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, Site St Charles Salle des colloques 1 Montpellier, France, March 19-21, 2020 https://tonimorrison.sciencesconf.org Thursday 19th March 9:00 Registration 9:30-9:40 Opening statements I.Textual/stylistic Analysis: Morrison’s Word-Work             Chair: Monica … Continue reading

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Review of Imani Perry’s Breathe

In 1967—it feels like forever ago—the brilliant writer and critic James Arthur Baldwin penned a letter to the son of his only brother and named it “And My Dungeon Shook”, a reference to the famous biblical passage. In the letter … Continue reading

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Review of Edwidge Danticat’s Everything Inside

The Haitian American writer Edwidge Danticat has authored numerous brilliant and inspiring narratives. A few of my favorites are her short story collection, Krik? Krak! (1996), her adult novels, The Dew Breaker (2005), Claire of the Sea Light (2014), The … Continue reading

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Review of Lesley Nneka Arimah’s What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky

I first learned of Lesley Nneka Arimah’s collection of short stories, What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky (2017) from Levar Burton’s brilliant podcast, Levar Burton Reads. I loved that even though the story that he read—the … Continue reading

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