February 2014

Remembering Amiri Baraka I met Amiri Baraka in Granada, at a conference at the university, in the early 1990s. He spoke softly, interested in the world in which he lived, attentive to the new generations of poets, whom he supported without reservations. Baraka was an inspiring and polemic figure, rightful successor of James Baldwin, when[…]

January 2014

On Reading Two Recent Memoirs by Afro-Germans Two recent memoirs by German authors with an African connection emphasize that German history cannot be written without including the histories and perspectives of black Germans (as well as that of many other non-white people). In Deutsch sein und Schwarz dazu [Being German and also Being Black], published[…]


December 2013

Dear all, I am sure that we all share the same sadness that we felt when we turned to the news in the morning of December 6 and learned that one of the last icons of the 20th century had passed away: Nelson Mandela died in the evening of December 5, 2013. Even if this[…]

Guest Editorial November 2013

Dear all, This month’s guest editorial has been written by Christiana Lambrinidis, who wished to share her thoughts with the CAAR community shortly after the first ship sank at Lampedusa in October. Christiana is an award-winning playwright, director, scholar of creative writing, pedagogue, essayist, lecturer, editor, and activist. Christiana is currently based in the Netherlands. She[…]

October/November 2013

Dear Colleagues and Fellow Members of CAAR, I remember the first time we met at the inaugural conference in Paris full of veracity and rigor in teaching the African American paradigm to the world. It is my pleasure to address you and once again feel included in this amity of spirit and scholarship. “A cart came[…]


October 2013

On Reading Long Division by Kiese Laymon Kiese Laymon represents a new breed of Southern Black writers. Born in Jackson, Mississippi and trained at Oberlin College and Indiana University, Laymon has crafted a funny and complex coming-of-age story set in contemporary Mississippi. Like Richard Wright, Laymon’s characters embody the temperament, temperature, and tone of racially[…]

Special October 2013

Dear all, After lampedusa, we are once again, in the wake. thank you, christina sharpe, for the term which alerts me to our always again after-the-fact-ness of witnessing black death, unnamed dying, waking to it and holding a wake, if only one could. it is not known: how many lives really lost? who were these[…]


September 2013

Why Should We Unleash the Black Erotic? This year’s Avery Research Center conference, “Unleashing the Black Erotic: Gender and Sexuality—Passion, Power, and Praxis”, will bring together scholars, activists, and artists for two days of lively intellectual exchange of ideas and reflections on the state of Black gender and sexuality in the United States and throughout[…]

August 2013

Dear all, Just a few weeks before the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, Sesame Street presented its take on the United States’ judicial system, adding its bit to a sweltry summer that has been slowly chipping away at the legacy of the Civil Rights movement. While overreaching descriptions of the killing of Martin and[…]

Special July 2013

Dear all, It is Sunday morning July 14, a few hours after the verdict in the Zimmerman, Florida case. http://www.thenation.com/blog/175260/white-supremacy-acquits-george-zimmerman#axzz2Z2IgfFpQ The jury of six almost all white women found Zimmerman not guilty of murder, not guilty of manslaughter.  The perfidious racist predictability of the verdict makes me mute with anger and grief. An armed man has[…]