Saturday, September 5, 2015

Education in the American South and in Kaduna, Nigeria

Sojourn to Kaduna Interview

Sojourn to Kaduna: The Life and Letters of Frank A. DeCosta
By Miriam DeCosta-Willis

House DeCostas lived in while in Northern Nigeria

Rudy: Four or five years I recall you have spoken of writing a biography of your father, Frank A. DeCosta. Vaguely, I recall him. While a sophomore, I saw him walking across the campus of Morgan State College. Coming from the isolation of the Virginia countryside in 1965, Dean DeCosta stood out just by his appearance. So I was curious what approach you his daughter would use to recall him and his significance in black life. When did you actually begin the work?

Miriam: Rudy, you never told me that you saw my father when you attended Morgan. That is serendipitous! Yes, my father's   appearance was impressive; he was tall, slender, handsome, and well groomed—but he was also very humble and unaffected by his looks. As Gracia Dawson recalled, “I can't count the times I saw him without a shirt and tie. {He was} formal and very dignified.”

I discovered his letters in 2000, when I emptied Mother's house and moved her to a senior residence. The last thing that I did was to organize my father's photos and papers for donation to the Avery Research Center. Before doing so, however, I copied all the letters because I realized their importance to my family's history and their significance to African-American education.

I remembered him, as a daughter, in relationship to me, my brother, and mother. I didn't realize, until I began research on his life, how significant he was to Black education in the South during segregation, because of his teaching and administration in HBCUs and his scholarship—articles, statistical studies, and, particularly, his book, Between Two Worlds: A Profile of Negro Higher Education.

I probably didn't start on the book until the early 2000s, because I was working on other books at the time. I took advantage of trips to Charleston and Orangeburg, before my 2007 move from Washington to Memphis, to do interviews with family members, friends of my parents, and former Avery students and faculty. I also did a lot of research on Nigeria at the Library of Congress during that period. I did most of the writing after my return to Memphis

Rudy: What sparked the interest in centering primarily this biography in Nigeria and on the letters your father wrote while he was in Northern Nigeria? Most of the letters were written to whom?

Miriam:  Although the 200 letters were written between 1934 and 1967, most of them were from the two-year period (1962-64) that he worked in Nigeria. They were written primarily to my mother, until she joined him in the summer of 1962, as well as to my brother and me. Later, he wrote to friends, Morgan colleagues, and extended family members.

I centered the book in Nigeria, because (1) Frank intended to write an article or book about his experiences in Nigeria, so he retained copies of his letters, and (2) I thought that my father's experiences in Northern Nigeria would be of particular interest to U. S. readers, most of whom knew little about that section of the country. I also wanted to debunk the view that the actions of the Boko Haram, a terrorist group, are typical of the people of Northern Nigeria.

Rudy: Although the topic of Nigeria flows throughout the book, the first part of the book is about your father Franks struggle to get a proper education and about his career as an educator. Getting a high school education in the South was no easy matter. I was the first in my family to graduate from high school (1965). What role did Avery play in your fathers preparation for a professional career?

Miriam:  Avery Normal Institute was extremely important for Frank DeCosta's intellectual, cultural, and personal development. He was the youngest of eleven children, and his father died when he was less than a year old, leaving a widow with few financial resources. Anna DeCosta borrowed money to keep the house from foreclosure, and paid the loan off in a year. A graduate of Avery, she struggled to pay the tuition at that private secondary school, so she sent Frank, first, to a public school and,

then, to Avery.

The school had a faculty that included young graduates of historically Black colleges, such as Fisk and Talladega, who served as role models and mentors for students like Frank. The principal, Benjamin F. Cox, was a Fisk graduate who encouraged Frank to attend college. The first college graduate in his family, my father constantly struggled to obtain higher education, and that struggle is one of the salient themes of Sojourn in Kaduna.

Rudy: His first college graduation was from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania with a degree in mathematics. What was so significant about Lincoln in those years? There were such schools as Fisk and Howard.

Miriam:  Lincoln University had an illustrious history. First of all, it was the first HCBU, having been founded as a private institution in 1854, while most of the others were not founded until after the Civil War. Dr. Horace Mann Bond, who became Lincoln's first African American president in 1945, wrote in his book, Education for Freedom: A History of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania (reprinted by GrantHouse Publishers in 2014) that Lincoln was the first institution in the world to offer higher education to African-descended youth. Lincoln had many notable graduates, such as Thurgood Marshall, Langston Hughes, Nnamdi Azikiwe, and Kwame Nkrumah, and it produced 20% of this country's Black physicians and 10% of its lawyers.

I think that Frank also had one or more mentors in Charleston who persuaded him to attend Lincoln, in spite of the fact that Avery's principal and some teachers were graduates of Fisk and Talladega. Later, Frank was instrumental in encouraging Avery students to attend his alma mater. I met one native Charlestonian, a dentist in Ghana for over forty years, who told me that Frank DeCosta had persuaded him to go to Lincoln.

Finally, the DeCostas and Huberts (Beautine's family) were East Coast people. (Blacks from the coastal Southern States migrated primarily up the East Coast to Washington, New York, and New England, while those from the middle Southern States, such as Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee, migrated to Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio.) As a consequence, students from the middle region were more likely to attend Talladega, Tougaloo, and Fisk; natives of the coastal region, however, went to Hampton, Howard and Lincoln—one of the few HBCUs in the North.

Frank also probably chose Lincoln for its proximity to New York, to which his oldest brother (his surrogate father) and half of his siblings migrated in the 1920s.

Rudy: Some of the difficulties in developing quality HBCUs in the South were attracting professors with Ph.D.s and the willingness to pay competitive salaries. These were problems Frank encountered at both South Carolina and Alabama State. What impact did his long hours of dedicated work and low pay have on his wife and kids, and his health?

Miriam:  As I indicated in Sojourn, my parents were partners in every way. When Frank was out of work in New York in the summer of 1934, Beautine, who was pregnant with me, worked in Savannah. When Frank took a leave from Avery to complete his master's degree at Columbia in 1939, Beautine remained in Charleston to work at Avery. When Frank began doctoral studies in 1941 at the University of Pennsylvania, Beautine, accompanied by their two children, completed her master's degree at Atlanta University.

My brother and I were never aware that our parents struggled financially, because we had a rich childhood and adolescence. We always knew that we were our parents' first priority, and they provided us with a wealth of experiences. For example, my father helped my brother build a soap box and entered him—the first Black—in a soap box derby; he also got up at 5 a.m. to take Frank, Jr., aged 12, on a paper route. Daddy taught me to read before I entered school, and tutored me in geometry every day for an hour. My parents took Frank and me, aged 14 and 15, to play in the national tournament of the American Tennis Assoc. in Wilberforce, Ohio; encouraged our interest in basketball and swimming; and took us to Atlantic Beach, SC annually.

I didn't discover my parents' financial limitations—low salaries and overwhelming work loads—until I started doing research for the book. Our family lived simply and frugally. We stayed with family members while Mother and Daddy were in school, and we lived in rented faculty quarters for most of our life. Once, we lived for almost six months in a student dormitory, and my parents didn't purchase a home until I was a teenager.

In spite of their limited financial resources, they gave generously of themselves and the little that they had. They took in a sick brother, an elderly father, and widowed sisters; Daddy brought several of his nephews to study at S. C. State; they tithed at their churches; and Daddy gave a third of his salary ($5,000) to Morgan State.

Frank A. DeCosta circa 1930
Rudy: What was in Franks character and career possibilities that made him go from an undergraduate degree in mathematics to education statistics and administration and the teaching of teachers? His Ph.D. was not in mathematics, was it?
Miriam:  Although Frank's B. A. was in mathematics, he took a number of liberal arts courses, studied four languages—Spanish, French, German, and Latin—excelled in athletics, and worked on campus during the academic year and with his brother's construction company in the summer.

Both his master's and doctorate were in education, so he took courses in statistics (indicative of his mathematical frame of mind) and administration. His goals were to become a principal, college professor, dean, and, hopefully, college president. His students and colleagues noted that he was an excellent administrator, though very rigorous.

Rudy: In Sojourn in Kaduna, you have thirty or more photos of family, friends, and acquaintances. What was the source of these photos? Were they all part of the family archives? They suggest that the biography is about more than your father Frank, but also the people, the experiences, and the people that enriched his life.

Miriam:  Most of the photos are ones that I have collected from my parents, aunt/godmother, and cousin. I am the DeCosta family historian, so I have compiled the family archives and created a family tree on with lots of photos.

As a former painter and collector of Black art, I am a very visual person. A photographic historian can tell a lot from the dress, posture, activity, objects, and milieu of a person or subject. For instance, I wrote a 25-page article about Frank's gay brother with little more to go on than his photographic album.
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Frank and replacement Ibitomi
In Sojourn, I used photographs to provide a visual context for Frank's life. For example, the photo on p. 122 is indicative of the close working relationship between Frank and the Nigerian whom he trained to replace him.

Rudy:  Your mother Beautine followed your father Frank to Northern Nigeria. He arrived April 1962 and she sometime before Xmas 1962? The letters he wrote before that December were actually to her? What can you say about the style of the letters, depending on whom they were sent?

Miriam:  Between late March, when Frank arrived in Nigeria, and late June, when Beautine joined him, most of his letters were written to her. She stayed in Baltimore to complete the school year and to pack up items that they would need in Nigeria. He was the letter writer in their relationship, and, throughout his life, he complained about her failure to write as often as he. For Frank, letter writing was a way of cementing his marriage, assuaging his loneliness, and avoiding the temptation of an affair, for he had very traditional views about the sanctity of marriage and he was often separated from his wife. Yet, his “love letters” lack the intimacy and warmth that one associates with the genre.

All of his letters, even the ones to his wife and children, reflect his character: formal, organized, cerebral, matter-of-fact, and somewhat cold. He was perceptive, so his letters to friends, colleagues, and extended family members were similar; they recounted details about his work, people, and activities.

Beautine, on the other hand, was a more creative writer and storyteller, so her letters were warm, funny, anecdotal, descriptive, and flirty.

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Frank (suit) and Beautine (middle) with their male staff and their wives

 Rudy:  In a few letters, Frank spoke of acquiring African art pieces for himself, family, and friends, even Martin D. Jenkins, then the president of Morgan State College. Did he follow through on that? Do you or the family still have those pieces? I do not recall any photos of that artwork.

Miriam: Frank acquired a substantial art collection from many African countries. As he indicated in his letters, he took great pleasure out of bartering with vendors.

I collect art, so I knew the value of his collection. I contacted Dr. Gabriel Tenabe, Director of the James E. Lewis Museum of Art at Morgan, about donating the collection, and he explained that the objects would, first, have to be appraised. I took the art objects to my condo in DC and arranged for Kwaku Ofori-Ansa, an appraiser with Sankofa Edu-Cultural Consultancy, to do an appraisal. He came to my home, took photos, and sent me four copies of his appraisal—for the museum, IRS, me, and the Frank A. DeCosta Collection at Avery. Then I donated the collection to Morgan's Museum of Art on behalf of Frank and Beautine DeCosta. The appraisal was sufficient to offset the profit from the sale of Mother's house.

I kept some of the pieces—two drums, four beautifully sculptured heads, a Benin bronze statue, three ivory sculptures, two sets of book ends, and a few smaller works. One of the sculptures from Kenya, “Bust of a Boy,” has a value of $850-$950, and a “Royal Figure,” a bronze from Benin, Nigeria, has a value of $3,500 to $4,500. I kept those pages of the appraisal to pass down (with the art) to my children.

I should, indeed, have included in Sojourn a couple of photos of Frank's art collection, but, unfortunately, I didn't think of that.

Rudy: One of the educational dilemmas Frank hints at in his letters and you in your narrative is that the Hausa/Fulani possessed a socio-cultural system (because of its fundamental Islam) that undermined its rule, namely, the essential rejection of the Western educational system. This situation caused a shortage of Hausa/Fulani teachers. This shortage was shored up by Igbo and Yoruba teachers and professors, which underlay a fundamental tribal conflict and ultimately led to the Biafran War. With his fondness for the Hausa-Fulani, their religion, and culture, would Frank be surprised and shocked that that this culturally backward situation still exists over a half century later?

Miriam:  Absolutely, though he lived through the Biafran War and he had letters from Nigerian friends that alluded to the increase in tribal conflicts. Actually, the situation has worsened with the imposition of Sharia law in Northern Nigeria and the emergence of the Boko Haram, a terrorist group bent on eradicating Western institutions and murdering Christians as well as traditional Muslims.

Ahmadu Bello
Nnamdi Azikiwe

Rudy:  Frank exchanged a number of fond letters with Nnamdi Zik Azikiwe, whom he had met at Lincoln, while they were both students. I dont quite recall, did they actually meet during Franks USAID two-year tour, or later? 

Miriam:  No and that was one of the disappointments of his stay in Nigeria. Actually, Azikiwe came to Kaduna for a day while Frank was there, but neither knew at that time of the other's presence in the city. Although the president invited Frank to visit him in Lagos, which was about the same distance from Kaduna as New York is from Miami, Frank could not leave his work in Kaduna.

Rudy:  The biography provides a glimpse into the development of black college education (HBCUs) in your fathers work at South Carolina State and Alabama State. It reminded me of Morgan State Colleges  push in the 1960s to hire black professors with doctorate degrees in philosophy. Its philosophy department, founded by Richard McKinney, had been more or less a department of religion. And that Morgan itself and other black college had been teacher colleges with few or no professors with doctorate degrees. Could you speak a bit more on the development of black colleges in the South and the role Frank DeCosta played in that development?

Miriam:  I was shocked to discover in my research that, in 1943, there were only 128 Black Ph.D.s in the whole country and that, when Frank went to S. C. State in late 1945, there were no faculty members with doctorates at the college. However, I can tell you from personal knowledge that the faculty members at State whom I knew were some of the most dedicated and hard-working professors that I have known. Most of them taught six days a week, had evening classes, served on four or five committees, planned programs, and advised several student organizations.

So Frank had a serious problem when he started the graduate program. Faculty with master's degrees can teach undergraduate courses, but only faculty with doctorates can teach graduate courses. There was no money in the budget to hire faculty with doctorates, so Frank hired summer school professors with doctorates, and the summer school enrollment was large enough to pay these professors.

When Frank started the Graduate School at Morgan, he didn't have this problem because area universities had professors with doctorates whom he could hire part-time, and Morgan had the funds for him to recruit teachers.

One of the topics that I wanted to underscore in Sojourn was the struggle—lack of funds, separation from family, obligation to support his family, and the pressures of work—that Frank had in obtaining all of his degrees and, especially, the doctorate. I didn't realize, when I was growing up, all the obstacles that my father had to surmount. He and Mother did a good job in shielding their children from their hardships.

Rudy:  Did your publisher print the photos and lay out the book as well as you would have liked? 

Miriam:  George Grant, who owns GrantHouse with his wife, has published over 150 books, including my last three: Black Memphis Landmarks, Travel in Egypt, and Sojourn in Kaduna, as well as Horace Mann Bond's book (mentioned above). He is a very hard worker and a perfectionist, who followed my every wish and I am grateful to him. Actually, I laid out the book and the photos.

I could write 30 pages on my attempts to get this book published. I wanted the University of South Carolina Press to publish it, because of Frank's Charleston origin, connection to Avery, and decade at S. C. State. One reader loved it and the other, a scholar in colonial African history (a racist), hated it, so the editor sent it to a  third reader who was just as bad as the second—racist, condescending, and patronizing. I was outraged, so I withdrew the manuscript. With the help of other friends/scholars, I tried other presses with no success.

With the advent of e-books and other technology, the publishing industry has changed so much. (I could write a book on the subject!) The bottom line, as with so many U. S. industries, is money; in choosing works by African Americans, editors want trash or a celebrity (as either author or subject). I also received lots of rejection letters from editors for Erotique Noir, which turned out to be a classic, and for Daughters of the Diaspora, so I chose, at the suggestion of a friend, a Jamaican press, which did a beautiful job with the work.

I was afraid that I wouldn't have the energy to promote the book. The proceeds don't interest me but, after all my research, I want my father's contributions to Black education to be remembered, because he is representative of so many unheralded college professors and scholars who toiled in the vineyard to educate Black Southern youth at a time when the doors of other institutions were closed to them.

The other thing that went into my decision was the negative experience that I had with Notable Black Memphians. I want to make my research and writing accessible to everyone who's interested. After all that work on the book, I was shocked when the New York publisher put it on the market for $135 (and it hasn't gone down), which defeated my purpose. Consequently, I really couldn't ask people to buy the book. On the other hand, Black Memphis Landmarks, which GrantHouse published, has sold very well, and I'm delighted when people tell me, “That's the elementary school that I went to.” “My children were born in Collins Chapel Hospital,” and “I remember that church in my neighborhood.”

Dr. George Grant, who has served as library director at many universities throughout the country, including Morgan, is providing a valuable service, and he is not concerned about profit.

Rudy: Amazon is not yet carrying Sojourn in Kaduna. The book is available for $20 at Miriam DeCosta-Willis / 585 S. Greer Street, Unit 901 / Memphis, TN 38111 / (901) 323-8870 /  Is there a discount if multiple copies are ordered? Have you scheduled any readings?

Miriam:  I have tried innumerable times to put Sojourn and two other books of mine on Amazon, but, every time I add a photo of the book, it won't go through and I haven't had time to contact the company.

There is so much that I have yet to do. Herbert Rogers has given me some excellent suggestions, but I simply have not had time to follow through. Also, this is the part of publishing that I don't particularly like—the marketing.

Yes, there is a discount of $5.00 for multiple copies, and the books are available to book stores for $12.00.

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Sir Ahmadu Bello (June 12, 1910 – January 15, 1966) was a Nigerian politician, and was the first premier of the Northern Nigeria region from 1954-1966. He was the Sardauna of  Sokoto and one of the prominent leaders in Northern Nigeria alongside Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, both of whom were prominent in negotiations about the region's place in an independent Nigeria. As leader of the Northern People's Congress, he dominated Nigerian politics throughout the early Nigerian Federation and the First Nigerian Republic.  

Chief Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe, P.C. (16 November 1904 – 11 May 1996), usually referred to as Nnamdi Azikiwe, was one of the leading figures of modern Nigerian nationalism. He was head of state of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. He served as the second and last Governor-General from 1960 to 1963 and the first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966, holding the presidency throughout the Nigerian First Republic.

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Frank Hamilton Bowles, Frank A DeCosta, and Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. Between Two Worlds: A Profile of Negro Higher Education. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971.

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Horace Mann Bond
Miriam DeCosta-Willis

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Horace Mann Bond. Education for Freedom: A History of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania. PA: Lincoln University, 1976

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“Doctoral Degree Awards to African Americans Reach Another All-Time High.” Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. 

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 “Recent Trends in Black Higher Education.” October 15th, 2008—First, some positive news. According to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (Winter 2007-2008 issue), as of 2007, about 4 million African Americans hold a bachelor’s degree, representing 18.5 percent of all blacks 25 years and older. Of that group, nearly one million (952,000) also hold master’s degrees. About 166,000 African Americans have earned professional degrees in fields such as medicine, business, engineering and law. And approximately 111,000 blacks in America now hold PhD’s”—Dr. Manning Marble.. Hudson Valley Press Online.

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A Profile of Black/African American Doctorate Recipients—African Americans earned a total of 1,821 doctorates from U.S. institutions in the period of July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007. This represented 7 percent of all research doctoral degrees awarded to U.S. citizens in that year. . . .

• Over the past ten years, there has been a modest increase in the proportion of U.S. citizen doctorate recipients who were African American (from 5 percent in 1997 to 7 percent in 2007). . . 

• In 2007, 38 percent of African American doctorate recipients received their degrees in education, 17 percent in the social sciences, 4 percent in engineering, and 6 percent in the physical sciences. In comparison, 18 percent of white doctorates received a doctorate in education, 18 percent in the social sciences, 13 percent in physical sciences, and 8 percent in engineering.

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Miriam DeCosta-Willis “The Life and Legacy of Beautine Hubert DeCosta-Lee.” (Obituary). ““My mother and grandmother were great liars. Whether it was telling us that drinking cod liver oil would make us swim like fishes or swearing that if we were bad, we would be sold to the gypsies, both of them knew the power of prevarication.”

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Miriam DeCosta-Willis


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Other Books By Miriam DeCosta-Willis

Miriam Decosta-Willis, editor.  Daughters of the Diaspora: Afra-Hispanic Writers.

Daughters of the Diaspora features the creative writing of 20 Hispanophone women of African descent, as well as the interpretive essays of 15 literary critics. The collection is unique in its combination of genres, including poetry, short stories, essays, excerpts from novels and personal narratives, many of which are being translated into English for the first time. They address issues of ethnicity, sexuality, social class and self-representation and in so doing shape a revolutionary discourse that questions and subverts historical assumptions and literary conventions. Miriam DeCosta-Willis's comprehensive Introduction, biographical sketches of the authors and their chronological arrangement within the text, provide an accessible history of the evolution of an Afra-Hispanic literary tradition in the Caribbean, Africa and Latin America. The book will be useful as textbook in courses in Africana Studies, Women's Studies, Caribbean, Latina and Latin American Studies as well as courses in literature and the humanities.

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Miriam DeCosta-Willis. Black Memphis Landmarks.

Black Memphis Landmarks is a must read book for anyone interested in the numerous contributions that African Americans have made to the development of Memphis. Dr. DeCosta-Willis has documented many of the landmarks and achievements made by Black people in Memphis.—Frank J. Banks, co-founder Banks, Finley, Thomas & White, CPA

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Miriam DeCosta-Willis. Notable Black Memphians.

This biographical and historical study by Miriam DeCosta-Willis (PhD, Johns Hopkins University and the first African American faculty member of Memphis State University) traces the evolution of a major Southern city through the lives of men and women who overcame social and economic barriers to create artistic works, found institutions, and obtain leadership positions that enabled them to shape their community. Documenting the accomplishments of Memphians who were born between 1795 and 1972, it contains photographs and biographical sketches of 223 individuals (as well as brief notes on 122 others), such as musicians Isaac Hayes and Aretha Franklin, activists Ida B. Wells and Benjamin L. Hooks, politicians Harold Ford Sr. and Jr., writers Sutton Griggs and Jerome Eric Dickey, and Bishop Charles Mason and Archbishop James Lyke—all of whom were born in Memphis or lived in the city for over a decade. . .  .

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 Miriam DeCosta-Willis, editor. The Memphis Diary of Ida B. Wells
Foreword by Mary Helen Washington. Afterword by Dorothy Sterling.

DeCosta-Willis makes it possible to look back in a new way into the character of wells, and, more than that, into the daily life of African-Americans a century ago.Chicago Tribune

Wells and DeCosta-Willis join together across time in a scholarly collaborative dance of sisterhood to produce a work that not only holds an insightful mirror to the past, but could be used as a guidepost for African-American and other women today in living totally self-defined lives.—Tri-State Defender

A unique look at the life o an independent, unmarried African-American woman coping with financial hardships, romantic entanglements, sexism, and racism . . . A substantial contribution to African-American Studies—Publisher Weekly

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Miriam DeCosta-Willis , Reginald Martin, and Roseann P. Bell, editors. Erotique Noire/Black Erotica.

The editors are to be congratulated for amassing a collection of erotica worthy in its own right because of the writers showcased, among them Alice Walker, Chester Himes, Gloria Naylor, Jewelle Gomez, Charles Blockson, Audre Lorde, and Essex Hemphill. Coverage is not limited to African American writers but includes African, Caribbean American, and Latin American writers, whether straight or gay, of prose, poetry, or fiction. For some authors, this anthology features their first piece of erotic writing. Readers will be familiar with other selections, for example, Lorde's "Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power." As a whole, this book successfully challenges stereotypical notions. about black erotica and serves up delightful sexual tidbits for just about everyone's taste.—Faye A. Chadwell, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia

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Miriam DeCosta-Willis Table


  1. This extensive interview with Dr. Miriam DeCosta-Willis illuminates the importance of using full and precise documentation in writing about African American cultures and the necessity of framing interview questions which provoke historical reflection and whet our appetites for deeper exploration of cultural plots in how we shape our life histories, how we depict the non-sensational information that gives heft to meaning. Both DeCosta-Willis and Rudolph Lewis model for us why scholarship is crucial.

  2. Excellent interview Rudy. Thank you for sharing it. The interview causes me to certainly be more interested in Dr. DeCosta-Willis and her endeavors as well as the legacy she continues. What an interesting history, and it must be shared.