In Men We Reaped, Jesmyn Ward recalls the deaths of five young men in her life, which she believes were all connected to being poor and black in the rural South. "It made me feel that I wasn't promised some long life. ...That's not a given for me."
Coulson Whitehead's novel Zone One is a post-apocalyptics tale ofd a Manhattan crippled by a plague and overrun with zombies. He explains that he created the novel, in part, to pay homage to the grimy 1970s New York of his childhood.
The stand-up comedian and star of In Living Color was recently nominated for a Tony Award for his portrays of Sporting Life in the opera Porgy and Bess. "I think the character of Sporting Life is a salesman so he has to be flamboyant, the life of the party," he says.
"You can no longer talk about what black America thinks or feels," says Pulitzer Prize--winning columnist Eugene Robinson. His new book, Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America, describes how African-American communities are becoming increasingly disconnected from one another.
Author Philip Dray is the author of the book, At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America. Dray chronicles lynching. He looks at the perpetrators, the groups and individuals who courageously took a stand against it (the NAACP, Ida Wells, and W.E.B. Du Bois) and the legacy it left behind. Dray researched his book at the Tuskegee Institute where records about lynchings have been kept from 1882. He is also the co-author of We Are not Afraid: The Story of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney and the Civil Rights Campaign for Mississippi.
Rapper and actor ICE-T...one of the original "gangsta" rappers. He’s got a new CD,”Greatest Hits: The Evidence” (Atomic Pop). Greg Knot of The Chicago Tribune has written that "ICE-T is that rare gangster rapper who leads with his brain instead of his gun or his crotch." ICE-T's 1992 song "Cop Killer" landed him at the center of a controversy about gansta rap--is it a legitimate form of expression or is it incendiary hate-mongering? In addition to his singing career, ICE-T is an actor.