Black Literary Suite
The Black Literary Suite (BLS) is HBW's annual physical and audiovisual exhibit that has the goal of educating the larger community on lesser-known figures in literature and the arts. Accordingly, this experience also serves as an opportunity for members of the student-led HBW staff to learn and refine their research skills through the planning process. Past BLS exhibits have featured authors with a Kansas connection like Gwendolyn Brooks and Langston Hughes, Kansas sports figures to compliment the annual “Race and Sports Symposium,” and the ways Wikipedia presents information about Black writers.
The 2017 Black Literary Suite theme is Mississippi Renaissance.
We are coining the term “Mississippi Renaissance” to place this movement in conversation with earlier renaissance efforts and to highlight the importance of Mississippi to Black writing and culture. We will explore the commonalities in form, content, symbols found in Black Mississippian texts and how they have changed over time. We’ll question what the historical social conditions of Mississippi that heavily influence black writing, and how the classical meaning of “renaissance” is applicable.
There are five major components of this year’s BLS:
On display at the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) through the end of March, we are featuring 10 foundational writer and activists of the period. Join us for our Kickoff Reception at OMA on Wednesday, February 8th starting at Noon.
Every Wednesday between Feb. 15th and March 15th from Noon - 1pm we will be moderating panel discussions on different key figures of the Mississippi Renaissance.
To compliment our panel discussions, we are hosting four Twitterchats every Wednesday starting at 8PM(est) / 7PM(cst). You can follow us @ProjectHBW and follow our hashtags #BlackLitSuite and #HBW.
2/8 Ida B. Wells
2/15 Richard Wright
2/22 Margaret Walker
3/1 Jesmyn Ward
The KU Bookstore has created a Mississippi Renaissance display of featured books for purchase so you can continue your exploration of this period and its impact. Also, we are creating a Mississippi Renaissance Syllabus. This wide-ranging electronic source list will help educators and scholars alike to reflect on this literary period, and incorporate its works into your future lesson planning.