Of poetry & protest From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin

Book - 2016

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Biographical poetry
New York : W.W. Norton & Company [2016]
Other Authors
Philip Cushway (editor), Michael Warr
First edition
Physical Description
219 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
  • Opening pages, essays. Children's crusade / Tamara Ginn ; Preface / Philip Cushway ; Introduction / Michael Warr ; Talk / Jeannine Ambre ; Harry Belafonte / Black Power and the Impact of Words ; Protest poetry / Amin Baraka
  • Poets/Poems. Narrative: Ali, a poem in twelve rounds / Elizabeth Alexander ; Wise 5 / Amiri Baraka ; Emmett Till / Wanda Coleman ; New day / Kwame Dawes ; Note on my son's face / Toi Derricotte ; Enactment / Rita Dove ; Conspiracy / Camille T. Dungy ; Emmett Till's glass-top casket / Cornelius Eady ; Superhero / Kelly Norman Ellis ; Identity repairman / Thomas Sayers Ellis ; Left / Nikky Finney ; Daytonm, OH, '50s & '60s / C.S. Giscombe ; Voice of America / Duriel E. Harris ; New rules of the road / Reginald Harris ; Some luminous distress (for Betty Shabazz) / Terrance Hayes ; Fannie (for Fannie Lou Hamer) / Angela Jackson ; Rose colored city / Major Jackson ; Infernal / Tyehimba Jess ; Saltimbanque / Patricia Spears Jones ; Tallahatchiue lullabye, baby / Douglas Kearney ; History lessons / Yusef Komunyakaa ; statement on the killing of patrick dorismond / Quraysh Ali Lansana ; Great wait / Haki Madhubuti ; on continuing to struggle / devorah major ; 10 race koans as presented to Charles Johnson on the morning of July 13, 2008 / E. Ethelbert Miller ; We are not responsible / Harryette Mullen ; Cells and window : after work by neogeo painter Peter Halley / Marilyn Nelson ; I hear the shuffle of the people's feet / Sterling Plumpp ; Poetic reflections enroute to, and during, the funeral and burial of Henry Dumas, poet, May 29, 1968 / Eugene B. Redmond ; Sweet pea / Ishmael Reed ; Not brought up / Ed Roberson ; Elegy (for MOVE and Philadelphia) / Sonia Sanchez ; x marks the spot / Evie Shockley ; At 59 / Tim Seibles ; NO WOUND OF EXIT / Patricia Smith ; Duende / Tracy K. Smith ; Such a boat of
  • Elizabeth Alexander
  • Amiri Baraka
  • Wanda Coleman
  • Kwame Dawes
  • Toi Derricotte
  • Rita Dove
  • Camille T. Dungy
  • Cornelius Eady
  • Kelly Norman Ellis
  • Thomas Sayers Ellis
  • Nikky Finney
  • C. S. Giscombe
  • Duriel E. Harris
  • Reginald Harris
  • Terrance Hayes
  • Angela Jackson
  • Major Jackson
  • Tyehimba Jess
  • Patricia Spears Jones
  • Douglas Kearney
  • Yusef Komunyakaa
  • Quraysh Ali Lansana
  • Haki Madhubuti
  • devorah major
  • E. Ethelbert Miller
  • Harryette Mullen
  • Marilyn Nelson
  • Sterling Plumpp
  • Eugene B. Redmond
  • Ishmael Reed
  • Ed Roberson
  • Sonia Sanchez
  • Evie Shockley
  • Tim Seibles
  • Patricia Smith
  • Tracy K. Smith
  • Lamont B. Steptoe
  • Natasha Trethewey
  • Quincy Troupe
  • Frank X Walker
  • Afaa M. Weaver
  • Ronaldo V. Wilson
  • Al Young.
Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* To All Those Who Have Died Because of the Color of Their Skin is the dedication to this large and magnetizing poetry anthology inspired by today's new iteration of the civil rights movement coalesced in protest against police killings of African American boys and men. Warr, himself a poet, explains in his introduction that this is an unapologetically political collection showcasing more than 40 living African American poets of black diversity and creative individualism, from Elizabeth Alexander (Narrative: Ali, a poem in twelve rounds) to Al Young (Blues for Malcolm X), engaged in the transformative work of truth-telling. Each poet is present in black-and-white photographs by Victoria Smith, a reverberating poet's statement, and his or her poem appearing on page spreads so expansive readers can fall headlong into these haunting works of love, family, community, hate, fear, violence, sorrow, outrage, and determination. This exceptional and powerful gathering includes Rita Dove, Cornelius Eady, Nikky Finney, Terrance Hayes, Angela Jackson, Tyehimba Jess, Yusef Komunyakaa, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Haki Madhubuti, Patricia Smith, Natasha Trethewey, and devorah major, who writes, i'm not going to carry banners of defeat / and wear shackles of resignation / i say i want to give thanks for community / that is birthing new freedoms / not burying fresh kill. --Seaman, Donna Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

This collection of poems and essays from 43 African-American poets, with photographs by Victoria Smith, functions as a platform for some of America's most prominent black poets to share how they came to poetry, how poetry functions in the social milieu, and how poems can address social justice, protest, and history. In his preface, editor Cushway writes that he aimed to produce "a book that would contain reverberating elements that appeal to nontraditional readers of poetry." As an introduction to some of the country's finest black writers, it succeeds. The anthology largely focuses on established, prominent poets writing in accepted modes, though a handful of younger poets round it out, along with quotes, stand-alone essays, and art displayed prominently along with the portraits. The poetry itself addresses topics such as slavery and reconstruction, the civil rights era, Martin Luther King Jr., Move, Malcolm X, France's May 1968 protests, Obama's presidency, police murders, and the Black Lives Matter movement. Amiri Baraka, in his 2013 essay "Protest Poetry" (reprinted here), writes that African-American literature "reveals American lives, culture and history in a depth that nothing else is able to do." Through the stories, struggles, beliefs, and work of these living black poets emerges the story of a nation. B+w photos. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved