The Black Body

Moderated by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah, editor
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Episode Summary
Black, white and biracial contributors to a brave and unprecedented anthology take on the challenge of interpreting the black body's dramatic role in American culture. What does it mean to have, or love, a black body?

Participant(s) Bio
Meri Nana-Ama Danquah, a native of Ghana, is the author of the groundbreaking memoir Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman's Journey Through Depression. She is also the editor of two critically acclaimed anthologies: Becoming American: Personal Essays by First Generation Immigrant Women and Shaking the Tree: A Collection of New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women as well as The Black Body, a collection of original, commissioned essays on race by contributors of all colors. A frequent contributor to NPR, Ms. Danquah's essays, poems and short stories have been published in numerous journals and literary magazines. Ms. Danquah, has ghostwritten best-selling books for celebrities, and taught fiction and creative nonfiction writing in several writing programs. She divides her time between Los Angeles, California and Accra, Ghana.

Nzingha Clarke is a writer based in Los Angeles and Mexico. She is currently at work on a novel.

David Goldsmith is a music theatre lyricist and television producer/writer and screenwriter. His musical Having it Almost was performed at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. His most recent musical, Imagine This, enjoyed its World Premiere in 2007 at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in the UK and was a finalist for the prestigious Fred Ebb Award. He has also produced and written for television.

Peter J. Harris, founder and artistic director of Inspiration House, is an African American cultural worker who has since the 1970s published his poetry, essays, and fiction in a wide range of national publications. He has worked as a publisher, journalist, editor, and broadcaster and is currently writing a memoir with his daughter. Much of his work has explored the lives of black men. His magazine, Genetic Dancers: The Artistry Within African/American Fathers, was the first of its kind.

Philip Littell is an actor, teacher, performer, and playwright. He has written texts for modern American composers and has dabbled in opera as a performer. He is currently writing a sequence of plays and when not writing, exercises his passion for photography.

Jason Luckett is an essayist, poet, and performing songwriter. His work has appeared in poetry anthologies and his music appeared in the 2005 short Primary Next of Kin. In 2007 he founded the blog dedicated to a discussion of "Mulatto Moments in Post-Racial America."

Gail Wronsky is the author, coauthor, or translator of nine books of poetry and prose, inlcuding Dying for Beauty, Poems for Infidels, and Volando Bajito, among others. She teaches creative writing at Loyola Marymount University.