In the early United States, a Black person committed an act of resistance simply by reading and writing. Yet we overlook that these activities also brought pleasure. In her book, Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America, Tara A. Bynum tells the compelling stories of four early American writers who expressed feeling good despite living while enslaved or only nominally free. The poet Phillis Wheatley delights in writing letters to a friend. Ministers John Marrant and James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw memorialize their love for God. David Walker’s pamphlets ask Black Americans to claim their victory over slavery. Together, their writings reflect the joyous, if messy, humanity inside each of them. This proof of a thriving interior self in pursuit of good feeling forces us to reckon with the fact that Black lives do matter.
Episode 2: “Drinking Lemonade and Spilling Tea: An Interview with the women behind The Lemonade Reader”
September 4, 2019
It’s Beyoncé’s birthday and what better way to celebrate than to gather the Beyhive for a black feminist dive into her most personal work? African American Studies alumni, Courtney Hicks (’19) interviews four contributors to The Lemonade Reader (Professors Regina Bradley, Kinitra Brooks, Birgitta Johnson, and Kameelah Martin) to discuss black women, the south, and Lemonade as African American Studies subject matter.
Click the link below to listen to the 1st episode of Port of Entry! Episode 1: “Alumni Spotlight–Olivia Williams and that viral Washington Post article!”Olivia Williams ’15
August 19, 2019
Kameelah Martin, Director of African American Studies at the College of Charleston interviews Olivia Williams (’15) on the heels of the Washington Post article that exposed white tourists who visit historic plantation sites and resent being presented with what actually transpired there. She also shares why completing a double major in African American Studies has been critical to her career trajectory.