Yesterday I came across an article in Ebony entitled, “7 Young Black Writers You Should Know” written by a multimedia storyteller named Patrice Peck. I hadn’t heard of any of them (which actually doesn’t mean much), but I thank you, Ebony, for introducing me to them now. Now, if I run into one of them on the street (hey, it’s a small young black writer world), this article will make me better prepared to strike up an intellectually stimulating conversation…and pub my blog. No lawyers made the list, but that’s for next year, obvi. 🙂 Below are blurbs about my three faves (not pictured above, but that’s what Ebony had!). Lata!
Like many of his twenty-something year-old peers, Rembert Browne started a blog, 500 Days Asunder, in 2011 to document his daily musings and to put his “creative juices” to practice. His exhilarating honesty coupled with his tangy wit and introspective rumination made for some of the best, most unique blog posts published in a while. Included in his most popular posts are “5 Black Comedians: A Study,” “Top 10 Diddy Moments. Ever,” and “Me vs. Drake.” While most people, young or old, might have balled up into a dark, deep hole after being fired from their first job within nine months, or withdrawing from graduate school with eight months left, Browne wrote a kick ass, inspirational farewell blog post titled “About That Life” before reassessing his next moves. The Dartmouth alum was soon after promoted from freelancer to staff writer at Grantland, where he puts his distinct spin on culture and sports.
When Toni Morrison sets a deadline for you, you meet it. And that is exactly what Taiye Selasi did, according to an NPR interview. After meeting Morrison through the author’s niece, Selasi ended up having dinner at Morrison’s home and then her son’s home. It was during that second meeting that the Pulitzer Prize winner gave Selasi an ultimatum. “She said, ‘Listen, I’m going to give you a year. If you don’t have something for me by then, I don’t know what to say.” A year later, Selasi produced the short story, “The Sex Lives of African Girls,” which was published in the heralded literary journal Granta in 2011 and featured in Best American Short Stories of 2012. Born in London and raised in Massachusetts, Selasi unpacked intricate notions of identity in her 2005 seminal essay titled, “Bye-Bye, Babar (Or: What is an Afropolitan?”) Ghana Must Go, her highly-anticipated debut novel, will be released in March.
Otherwise known as Max, Uzoamaka Maduka’s name has been plastered all over major New York City publications. More attention has been given to her socialite-like charisma than her literary journal, The American Reader. Nonetheless, the Nigerian-American Princeton graduate has been on a steadfast mission to revitalize the American literary magazine. “So many of the voices in fiction that are out there are deeply neurotic white male stories…I kind of felt like, I really don’t want to sit still for this,” Maduka told The New York Times. “Literature, from women of any race and men of any race, besides white, would always be pigeonholed as, ‘Now I’m going to tell you my Nigerian story,’ and it was so tiring.” Two issues of The American Reader were published in 2012 to mostly tentative reviews, but Maduka has already shifted her focus to this calendar year with aims of landing a second investor and scouting potential writers.