Thursday, November 27, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Eudora Welty Speakers Bureau

The Eudora Welty Society is pleased to announce the Eudora Welty Centenary Speakers Bureau for 2009. Interested scholars are invited to send a brief bio (100 words or less) and up to three titles, plus contact information to the Mississippi Quarterly at or Institutions will contact scholars directly for arrangements.

Margaret Walker Alexander National Research Center

On Thursday, December 4, 2008, the Margaret Walker Alexander National Research Center will hold it's 16th Annual Dinner Theatre. There will be a special appearance by Dorothy Moore. Entertainment will be provided by the Central Mississippi Blues Society Band. "Proceeds from the Dinner Theatre support the Margaret Walker Alexander NEH Endowment that assist in caring for the Alexander papers, sponsoring interpretive programs, hiring graduate students and purchasing archival supplies. For more information, contact Dr. Alferdteen Harrison or call 601-979-2055.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Beginning To Read Welty

Reading Welty has been a huge transition from Richard Wright's work. Having not been familiar with her texts, I am really enjoying reading them. I love her intense usage of dialogue. Her usage of dialogue allows the reader to feel as if they are apart of the story. What has intrigued you the most about Welty's ability to tell stories?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Southern Literary Trailfest March 2009

Playing around on the Internet, I found a site about the Southern Literary Trailfest being held next year in March. Covering our four authors of choice, (Welty, Wright, Williams, and Walker) I thought I would share this wonderful information with you. Being held in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi, it is a great opportunity to further increase our knowledge surrounding the legacies of these four writers, as well as many others. For travel information visit The website contains contact information of the various entities associated with the festival, as well as sponsors!

Trip to Natchez

I tried to reflect as we rode back from Natchez about my experience. I kept wondering if everyone felt as empowered as I did from the entire experience. Having the opportunity to reflect with colleagues about their take and perception of the entire trip, reinforced the impact everyone felt from being apart of the 4W's Writing Institute.

Traveling down the Richard Wright Memorial Highway and being lead down the trail that Wright himself took was monumental in itself.

Special thanks to Charles Wright! He gave us the greatest tour ever! He was so down to earth and knowledgeable. Yet what intrigued me the most was his passion and desire to continue the legacy of Richard Wright. I felt the screams of his utmost respect for Richard Wright's existence in history and the literary world. I understood the underlying inspiration to continue informing Natchez, Mississippi, and the World of his gifted and talented family member, who felt the tragic beaming of terror, hunger, and cruelty for his race and for himself.

I am unable to process all that I saw - the Forks, the ruins of the Ace Theater, Richard Wright's Home, Rhythm Night Club Monument and Slab.

We made history today, and I just can't grasp hold of what I saw, heard, and discussed. After returning from Natchez, I basically flew to Barnes and Nobles. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to discover that they did not have the book about Prince Ibrahim, entitled Prince Among Slaves. However, I have ordered it from Barnes and Noble's online website.

Being a part of the 4W's Writing Institute is really great! Being a part of this institute is opening a whole new world for me. I learn so much more about the writers, about my colleagues, and about Mississippi. I am forever grateful!

*Please click on all the links. They are linked to wonderful sites, even a letter written by his daughter!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wrapping up

Trying to make sure I can contribute during our talks on Saturday, I am wrapping up reading Black Boy for the umpteenth time. I try to read before I go to bed. My oldest son, a first grader, asked me to read it to him, as a bedtime story. Not thinking he would actually get anything out of it, I was shocked when he stopped me and explained that he wanted me to read the rest to him the next day. As I told him good night, I wanted to engage in conversation with him. What did he get out of what I read to him. Could he feel what Richard Wright was trying to illustrate with words?

Drifting off into more complex thinking, I wondered what the future held for him as a young black boy. Will his life be different? Will he feel constricted because of his race? Will he ever desire to escape into an unknown world because of his race? Only time will tell the answers to these questions. I do find comfort in the fact that he does have a promising and different future in comparison to Richard Wright.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Big Boy Leaves Home

Reading Big Boy Leaves Home brought to mind the sheer horror and inhumane treatment of African Americans during the Jim Crow era. What I cannot grasp is the desire to participate in this treatment. From the glorious singing to the presence of women, I am unable to understand the pure gratification and satisfaction associated with lynching and harassment of African Americans. If you could rewrite this story what would you add? What would you take away? How would it end?