Black Ice now on iTunes!

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Thanks to sound editor Zach Carduner at Wexler Studio in Kelly Writers House at the University of Penn for helping me to record Black Ice. Years ago, the director of The Price of a Child audiobook told me that reading into someone's ear is not so much performance as storytelling made intimate by technology. Almost like imagining the book into being again, this time with a friend. I tried to remember that as I read Black Ice all the way through for the first time in 25 years. Can't access iTunes? Here's the link to the recording on the Writers House site: http://writing.upenn.edu/wh/involved/groups/ bookgroups/materials/Black-Ice.php

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Tribute to Gwen Ifill, 1955-2016

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I met Gwen Ifill once, through Michel Martin, and felt the power of Ifill's openness and hearty welcome. Michel's impeccable tribute captures Ifill's humor, intelligence, truth-telling, and generosity.

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For Advent: From Bethlehem to Mars with Nikki G

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At Lehigh University Students in Bethlehem, PA, students hush as Nikki Giovanni steps into the wide-open auditorium. They’ve been reading her poems, and now here she is, easygoing, informal, sitting quietly and mouthing the words to herself as Ari’a Williams reads Giovanni’s “Knoxville, Tennessee” and Allen Grimes reads “A Poem (for Langston Hughes)”...

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From W. Ralph Eubanks, Eudora Welty Visiting Scholar in Southern Studies at Millsaps College

This semester, as a visiting professor here at Millsaps College, I am teaching your book Black Ice as part of my class on the African American memoir. When you look at the African American memoir, moving from slave narratives to the present, this genre reveals the ways that the idea of blackness collides with American and regional cultural identity. My students found that was especially strong in your book. Most important of all, they saw a link between your book and W.E.B. DuBois’s The Souls of Black Folk, which is a foundational text for the course. Black Ice demonstrates how African American writers are using the memoir to create a cultural narrative that mirrors the growing diversity of the black experience in the 21st century. We moved to your book from Richard Wright’s Black Boy and The Autobiography of Malcolm X and I have really enjoyed the connections my students have made with those other texts. It’s been a real pleasure to teach your memoir.