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Black Blessings: Toni Cade Bambara and Octavia E. Butler

November 23, 2014
By
Ayana A. H. Jamieson

Ayana A. H. Jamieson: I never had a chance to meet these two women in person, but they exist in the imaginal spaces created by their words. I read their letters as long distance conversations simultaneously situated in and transcending both time and place. Like the grandmothers, mothers, aunties, and other-mothers in our individual lives, Miz Toni and Mama Octavia exchange more than words and ideas.
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One Thing: Toni Cade Bambara in the Speaking Everyday

November 23, 2014
By
kai

So when The Salt Eaters or any of Toni Cade Bambara’s life-saving works fall off my bookshelf, or a scene from her literary creation shows up in my dream, or a number of people start mentioning her name to me, I think there is a message or at least an alert, urging me to go back to one of the most persistent lessons that The Salt Eaters offers me...
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Unleashing the Power of the Soul: Spirit and Spirituality through Toni Cade Bambara’s The Salt Eaters and John Bolling’s The Spirit of the Soul (Part II)

November 23, 2014
By
The Salt Eaters (new)

Dr. Janice Liddell: This is the power that Bambara reclaims for women and this power is the “force” of the novel. Minnie, as healer, in fact, is not unlike Jesus who upon encountering the infirmed man in Jerusalem queries him, “Do you want to be made whole?” (John 5:6). Minnie, obviously Africentric with her” bright-red flouncy dress,” “two different strips of kinte,” “a minor fortune of gold, brass and...
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Unleashing the Power of the Soul: Spirit and Spirituality through Toni Cade Bambara’s The Salt Eaters and John Bolling’s The Spirit of the Soul (Part I)

November 22, 2014
By
Dr. Janice Liddell

Dr. Janice Liddell: However, in order for peoples of African descent and people of other “soul centered” cultures (Asian, Indians, Aborigines, etc.) to achieve balance and wholeness at the levels of the personal and the community, they must recognize the existence and understand the nature of these two “planes of reality.” Then, even more importantly, they must be able to (re)discover, (re)claim, and integrate fully, the soul-centered worldview of...
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Resembling a Revolutionary: My Sister Toni

November 21, 2014
By
Photo Credit: John Pinderhughes

Malaika Adero: She read people; she read me. Stopped by my little house in Southwest Atlanta in the mid-80s and said, “You need to go to New York.” She came with a typed list that she wrote notes on for me as we talked. Check out the Clark Center for dance, Cheryll Green and Marie Brown for what’s happening on the publishing scene, John O. Killens for his writers’...
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Remembering Toni

November 21, 2014
By
alice lovelace (Nic Paget-Clarke) US Social Forum 2007

Alice Lovelace: Her questions gently guided me to claim my life as a writer. Through the years, Toni asked me many questions that lead to me owning my gifts. Her questions led me to the realization that I was a natural teacher. Her questions forced me to value my writing and to request payment for my performances. She guided me to a place where I could claim my job...
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In ‘My Solitude’ with Toni Cade Bambara

November 21, 2014
By
Pamela A. Hooks

Pamela Hooks: She opened my world, opened my eyes. I saw the political and poetry in everything now. Together, Toni and Njeri would break down everything with a fine tooth comb—from the politics of government cheese to the best places to find vegetarian food or chicken wings and then stuck the bush comb pick firmly into the back of all of it to bring it back to the...
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We Remember You, Me and Us: Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20, 2014
By
Dr. Kai Green

In reclaiming the body from the biomedical syndicate as well as from the naturopathic types I have been dealing with, the best way I know of recovering the body is movement. It is only when I am dancing that I inhabit all of my body. When I was in academia, that life would drive me up into my mouth, and all of me would be huddled behind my teeth,...
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Toni Cade Bambara’s Art of Bridging Praxis and Theory

November 20, 2014
By
Thabiti Lewis

Thabiti Lewis: Young feminists need to pay more attention to Bambara’s fiction and essays, which reveal a pioneering voice that betrothed answers to the range of issues consuming contemporary feminist struggles. Indeed, Bambara’s art is in the tradition of abolitionist Maria Stewart, who deftly negotiated Christianity, nationalism, and feminism. There is no question that a deeper examination of her work is necessary, above all her revolutionary feminist approach and...
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It’s Not the Salt; it’s the Sugar that Will Kill You

November 20, 2014
By
Kalamu ya Salaam
Photographer/copyright: Alex Lear

Kalamu ya Salaam: This Toni was never going to win major awards, never going to be enshrined in the academy. This Toni would look back on America and turn to salt before she would abandon her people.
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Toni’s Powerful Intervention: Artist Tom Feelings Talks with His Son

November 20, 2014
By
Kamili, Zamani, and Tom Feelings
Courtesy of Kamili Feelings

Kamili and Tom Feelings: As members of “progressive” communities, these kinds of interventions can be embarrassing. We flatter ourselves into thinking that “we’re all right” and it’s always the other person who has the problem. But Toni Cade Bambara, once wrote that revolution starts “with the self in the self.”
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Arts & Culture

  • I’ve Got Something To Say About This: A Survival Incantation Kate Rushin
credit/copyright: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

    Kate Rushin: I see the whole thing played out. I’m bludgeoned, bloody, raped. My story is reduced to filler buried in the back of the paper, on page 49, and I say, “No. No way.”

  • what is left M. Nzadi Keita
photograph: ©Elizabeth Ho

    M. Nzadi Keita: what you remember/ starts with a smile/ a raw edge/ a single snip/ from the someone dead

  • Praise to the Writer Toni Cade Bambara,
Southern Collective of African American Writers (SCAAW), 1988
©Susan J. Ross

    Alice Lovelace: Toni Cade made an art of living/ Toni stood and we were lifted
Toni spoke and our lives were saved/ Toni listened and we were validated/ She is the breast that fed our union/ Hers’ was the womb of our nourishment.

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