Interview with Paula Giddings
QUESTION 9
JUDY RICHARDSON:

How did this growing Black consciousness begin to be reflected in the literary magazine for example?

PAULA GIDDINGS:

Well, I remember in 1966, I began to edit, in '66, '67 year, I began to edit the literary magazine. And I inherited the magazine called the Promethean, named after the god, the greek god of fire. And the work in it was, it was, some very important work in it. We had also, ah, ah, essays and poems from professors like.

JUDY RICHARDSON:

Please start over again.

PAULA GIDDINGS:

OK, OK--would you ask the question again.

JUDY RICHARDSON:

How did the growing by consciousness movement begin to be reflected in the literary magazine?

PAULA GIDDINGS:

I was the editor of the literary magazine in 1966, '67. And I inherited a magazine called The Promethean, named after the greek god of fire. And there were some very good things in the Promethean but there, it was not yet reflective of the racial militancy that was happening. Remember '66 is Black Power, '67 we're talking about separation. Ah, and in '66 there was very important work in it, Sterling Brown for example, his poem Confessions of Nat Turner, Remembering Nat Turner it was called. Arthur Davis had a piece in it. Some other people did. We had a print of Henry O'Tanner in it, which is kind of benign, of course a fine artist. By '67 you saw the changes. By '67 we called it the Afro American Review. And I remember the introduction by the president of the liberal arts student council is Louis Myers, who talked about the liberation struggle. And this is really a stark contrast just to the year before. Ah, talked about the role of writers, now in that struggle. And this was something rather new that we were all beginning to talk about. Certainly in 1967 was a very important year in that that was the year of the famous Fisk Writers Conference that really launches the new Black poetry movement as a movement. At that conference where the people, they call the young Tur--Turks like Nicky Giovani who was then a student a Fisk, Sonya Sanchez had come into that meeting. Haki Madhubuti, then Don Lee, come to the meeting. And there were also older writers like GwenGwendolyn Brooks and Margaret Walker and Dudley Randall. And what had happened was a kind of a passing of the torch in certain ways. Of the younger people demanding that the role of writers be different and that their poetry was different. I remember Gwen(dolyn) Brooks, ah, later on, writing that she felt like a negro being coldly respected at that conference. Ah, Hakai, in fact created the rural press in that same year.

JUDY RICHARDSON:

We're not going to be able to do this.

PAULA GIDDINGS:

OK, that's too much. All right. All right. Rolling and speed. Mark it.


PAULA GIDDINGS:

Where are we starting from?