Reflections in Black

We continue our suggested reading series on "Reflections in Black" with selections from Toni Morrison's The Origin of Others. This segment originally aired on July 8, 2020.

Courtesy / Biography

Richard Wright was born in 1908 in Roxie, Miss., and would go on to become one of the most important literary voices in the 20th century. He began writing short stories before moving to Chicago in 1927 and became part of a new wave of Black urban intellectuals joining, and later abandoning, the Communist Party. Wright eventually moved to New York City in 1937 where he received federal funding to write through the Works Progress Administration.

Born in Ohio in 1833, Joseph Carter Corbin was one of 11 children born to freed slaves William and Susan Corbin. His early education mainly took place during winters in the 1840s. He worked as a teacher in Kentucky before enrolling at the University of Ohio at Athens, graduating with a degree in art in 1853 and attaining his master's degree in art in 1856. Joseph married in 1866, and the family moved to Arkansas in 1872 where Joseph worked as a reporter for the Arkansas Republican before serving as chief clerk in the Little Rock post office.

Born in 1869 in South Carolina, Charlotta Spears was destined for greatness. She moved to Rhode Island before settling in Los Angeles where she made a living selling subscriptions for a black newspaper called The Eagle. She later married the paper's editor Joseph Blackburn Bass. As a feminist and political activist, Charlotta Bass spoke out against the Ku Klux Klan in California and stood up against President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal representatives.

Courtesy / Penguin/Random House Books

We conclude our series of suggested readings for anti-racist education with I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown.

Courtesy / Jemar Tisby

This week's suggested reading focuses on the complex relationship between religion and complicity with white supremacy in Jemar Tisby's The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism.

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Born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1941, Stokely Carmichael was a major figure in the Civil Rights Movement who introduced the term and concept of Black Power to the public. He served in major campaigns like "Freedom Summer" and led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. 

Courtesy / Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

From the Reflections in Black archives, we continue our series of suggested readings for anti-racist education with selections from James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time.

Today's suggested reading features selections from Invisible Man, the 1952 novel by Ralph Ellison. The book addresses many issues faced by Black Americans and won the 1953 National Book Award for Fiction.

For today's suggested reading, we hear selections from Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America. The 2017 book by Michael Eric Dyson weaves pop culture with the cadence of the historic tradition of oratory from the Black church. The book is laid out like a sermon, and it provides an in-depth examination of whiteness, its priviledge, and the price of being black in America.