Conversations with Margaret Walker

Conversations with Margaret Walker


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes




 The serpent is loosed and the hour is come / The last shall be first and first shall be none

     The serpent is loosed and the hour is come



 Books by Maryemma Graham

Conversations with Ralph Ellison / How I Wrote Jubilee and Other Essays on Life and Literature by Margaret Walker (1990)

 On Being Female, Black and Free: Essays by Margaret Walker, 1932-1992 (1997);  Complete Poems of Frances E.W. Harper (1988)

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Books by Margaret Walker

On Being Female, Black and Free  / For My People: A Tribute  /  How I Wrote Jubilee and Other Essays on Life and Literature  / 

This Is My Country: New and Collected Poems  / Richard Wright: Daemonic Genius 

Poetic Equation: Conversations with Nikki Giovanni and Margaret Walker

How I Wrote Jubilee


Prophets for a New Day  / Jubilee / For My People

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Conversations with Margaret Walker

Edited by Maryemma Graham






Margaret Walker and Nikki Giovanni: Two Women, two Views   Nikki Giovanni


Poetry, History, and Humanism: an Interview with Margaret Walker  Charles H. Rowell


Black Women and Oral History: Margaret Walker Alexander  Marcia Greenlee


Interview with Margaret Walker  Claudia Tate


A Mississippi Writer Talks  John Griffin Jones  


Interview with Margaret Walker  Ruth Campbell


Southern Song: An Interview with Margaret Walker  Lucy M. Freibert


A Writer for Her People  Jerry W. Ward, Jr.


An Interview with Margaret Walker Alexander  Kay Bonetti


Looking Back: A Conversation with Margaret Walker  Alferdteen Harrison


The Fusion of Ideas: An Interview with Margaret Walker Alexander  Maryemma Graham


Margaret Walker’s Reflections and Celebrations: An Interview  Jacqueline Miller Carmichael


Spirituality, Sexuality, and Creativity: A Conversation with Margaret Walker Alexander                                                                                                                   Dilla Buckner


Conversation: Margaret Walker Alexander  Joanne V. Gabbin





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Other scholarly work on Margaret Walker:

Maryemma Graham. Conversations with Margaret Walker (2002)

Maryemma Graham. Fields Watered with Blood: Critical Essays on Margaret Walker (Georgia, 2001).

Maryemma Graham. How I Wrote Jubilee and Other Essays on Life and Literature by Margaret Walker (1990).

Maryemma Graham. On Being Female, Black and Free: Essays by Margaret Walker, 1932-1992 (199

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Maryemma Graham, former Hughes Centennial Committee cochair and symposium director, is a professor of English at the University of Kansas. Founder and director of the Project on the History of Black Writing, she has published more than twenty-five journal articles and essays, and six critical studies, including edited collections on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and African American literature and pedagogy. Recipient of numerous grants and fellowships from NEH, the Ford Foundation, the Smithsonian, and the New York Public Library, she is a frequent director of international seminars and public symposia. Dr. Graham edited Fields Watered with Blood: Critical Essays on Margaret Walker (Georgia, 2001).

She is the editor of Conversations with Ralph Ellison (University Press of Mississippi, 1995). She also edited How I Wrote Jubilee and Other Essays on Life and Literature by Margaret Walker (1990), and On Being Female, Black and Free: Essays by Margaret Walker, 1932-1992 (1997); Complete Poems of Frances E.W. Harper (1988)

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books



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Replenishing the Earth: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World

By Wangari Maathai

The Challenge of Africa

By Wangari Maathai

The Green Belt Movement: Sharing the Approach and the Experience

By Wangari Maathai


Unbowed: A Memoir

By Wangari Maathai

The mother of three, the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate, and the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai of Kenya understands how the good earth sustains life both as a biologist and as a Kikuyu woman who, like generations before her, grew nourishing food in the rich soil of Kenya’s central highlands. In her engrossing and eye-opening memoir, a work of tremendous dignity and rigor, Maathai describes the paradise she knew as a child in the 1940s, when Kenya was a “lush, green, fertile” land of plenty, and the deforested nightmare it became. Discriminated against as a female university professor, Maathai has fought hard for women’s rights. And it was women she turned to when she undertook her mission to restore Kenya’s decimated forests, launching the Green Belt Movement and providing women with work planting trees. Maathai’s ingenious, courageous, and tenacious activism led to arrests, beatings, and death threats, and yet she and her tree-planting followers remained unbowed. Currently Kenya’s deputy minister for the environment and natural resources, Nobel laureate, visionary, and hero, Maathai has restored humankind’s innate if nearly lost knowledge of the intrinsic connection between thriving, wisely managed ecosystems and health, justice, and peace.—Booklist

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 9 January 2012




Home Jonathan Scott Table

Related files:   Conversations  Contents  Conversations Review    Remembering to Not Forget (Scott)  Margaret Walker Chronology  The Ballad of the Free

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