Our panel on Wednesday night was a raging success. About 60 or 65 people were in attendance to hear provocative, innovative, interesting discussion about black writing in the age of Obama, Obama as symbol, Obama as incredibly disciplined guy, Obama as name--all Obama all the time. The event lasted more than an hour so we can't post it as a whole (don't have that streaming capacity yet) But we have posted each of the panelists short presentations both here and on YouTube. (forgive the quality--but hey, at least you can hear it!) We hope to receive audio of the entire event soon and will share that with you as soon as we can. But for now, you can start with Emily Bernard's thoughtful comments about Obama as symbol. And don't forget, you can read our work (on a host of issues) in Best African-American Essays 2009
Founded in 2007 by a group of writers, editors and booksellers,
ringShout: A Place for Black Literature
is dedicated to recognizing, reclaiming and celebrating
excellence in contemporary literary fiction and nonfiction
by black writers in the United States.
Why the name ringShout?
One of the first dances created by
Africans brought to America as slaves
in the 1700s, the ring shout was a
sacred circle dance of salvation that enabled
a community to find perserverance,
provided solace and rejuvenation,
and sheltered many early nuances of
Africanist culture and practice. (Adapted from Thea Nerissa Barnes,
The Association of Dance of the African Diaspora Dictionary 2005-2006)
We hope that our ringShout can be the same for serious, skilled black writers creating ambitious fiction. We also want to assert our centrality to all facets of the American experience, literary and otherwise.