Kimbilio in POETS & WRITERS!

Kimbilio in POETS & WRITERS!

Kimbilio Nurtures Black Writers


March/April 2016


While Cave Canem’s annual retreat for African American poets has been changing the literary landscape for the past twenty years, the writing community has lacked a similar resource for African American fiction writers. That is, it did until 2013, when writers David Haynes and Sanderia Smith launched the Kimbilio Retreat. Now in its third year, the retreat is held annually in Taos, New Mexico, and is dedicated to supporting and empowering black fiction writers from America and the greater African diaspora.

After acquiring funding from the English department of Southern Methodist University (SMU), where Haynes teaches, Haynes and Smith met with the leadership of Cave Canem, as well as with other peer organizations serving writers of color, such as Kundiman and Canto Mundo, to develop their retreat model: a week of workshops, classes, and time to write for a small group of fellows. The two cofounders then relied on their network of African American fiction writers to recruit applicants, faculty members, and application judges. Victor LaValle and Emily Raboteau joined the advisory board during the planning stages, in 2012, and ZZ Packer and Dolen Perkins-Valdez came on as instructors for the inaugural retreat in July 2013.

Read the rest of the article here:  Kimbilio in Poets & Writers or in the March/April edition of the print magazine.

Dianca London Potts (’14) on “Formation”

Dianca London Potts (’14) on “Formation”


The first time I listened to Beyoncé’s “Formation,” I was en route to the Brooklyn Museum for an event commemorating Black History Month. While sitting in the back of a cab, I held my phone close to my face, trying to relate to what Black Twitter instantly embraced as a groundbreaking slay. I watched the unexpectedly released video again and again before texting my friend, “So this is why everyone is so turnt?”

Cinematic and painstakingly crafted, the intentionality of “Formation” seems clear: It is a celebration of black culture and black womanhood. Sure, the video for Bey’s latest track, amplified by images of a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, is difficult to dismiss. Much like her prior singles, it is nearly impossible to escape the constant flow of praise and admiration stemming from fans and critics alike. It’s happened before, and it’s happening again. Yet another single by Beyoncé has been canonized as a call to arms. She has been lauded as a pop icon turned activist. An anthem that will make her millions has been dubbed a revolution.

Read the full piece here:  Beyoncé’s capitalism, masquerading as radical change

Wrongness from Rion on Queen Mobs Teahouse

Wrongness from Rion on Queen Mobs Teahouse




In 1857, frustrated by the number of informants undermining her efforts along the Underground Railroad, abolitionist Harriet Tubman printed up 500 “Stop Snitching” shirts and distributed them throughout the South.


Black History Month was in danger of being canceled in 1981 before corporations such as McDonalds and Coca-Cola offered sponsorship.


Scientist George Washington Carver invented over 300 uses for the peanut, including peanut soap, peanut paint and peanut massage oil. He died of an undiagnosed peanut allergy in 1943.

Read the rest of this wrongness here:  TRUE BLACK HISTORY FACTS


Steven H. Wright (’15) in the NYR

Steven H. Wright (’15) in the NYR

Baltimore: What Hasn’t Changed

Amid a national epidemic of violence involving police officers and unarmed young black men, the city of Baltimore’s swift prosecution of six police in the alleged murder of Freddie Gray has been seen as a glimmer of hope. Following controversial grand jury decisions not to indict police in similar cases in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York, as well as a prosecutor’s decision not to pursue charges in Madison, Wisconsin, trust in the criminal justice system among African Americans seemed to have reached new lows. Recent polls suggest as many as 8 in 10 believe that police have different standards based on race; nearly 7 in 10 hold similar beliefs about the courts. By contrast, many have perceived the dramatic decision by Baltimore chief prosecutor Marilyn Mosby to charge six officers in Gray’s death—charges since upheld by a grand jury—as a new resolve to restore faith in the law.

Read the rest of the article here: