Making the Wright Connection

An Online Community for the Study of Richard Wright

Bibliography Addition

Posted on September 11, 2013 | No Comments


Sollors, Werner. “Obligations to Negroes who would be kin if they were not Negro.” Daedalus 140.1 (2011): 142+
Academic OneFile.  Web 25 Mar. 2013

Bibliography addition

Posted on March 10, 2013 | No Comments

Pang, Haonong. The Triple Consciousness Under the Impact of Acculturation: A Study of Richard Wright’s Four Novels. Shanghai: U of Shanghai P. 2007.

Focuses on the evolution of triple consciousness under the impact of acculturation in Native SonThe OutsiderThe Long Dream and Lawd Today.

– Runrun Pan, Zhejiang University, CN

Wright Bibliography Updated

Posted on January 4, 2013 | No Comments

The Richard Wright Circle is pleased to provide an updated Wright bibliography for users of the WRIGHT CONNECTION.  Both the Circle and the Project on the History of Black Writing are very grateful to Marilyn Lee, Serials Librarian at Xavier University (New Orleans), for her initiative in continuing the bibliographic work begun by Keneth Kinnamon, who until his death was the Circle’s official bibliographer.

The new bibliography continues to reflect Kinnamon’s belief that all published mentions of Richard Wright and his works must be documented.

We invite users of the WRIGHT CONNECTION to submit complete citations in MLA format for items not listed here for the period 2004-2012. Contributors will be acknowledged by having their initials appear after the entry or entries they send.  Entries may be sent to

Wright Bib 1-2-2013


Maryemma Graham and Jerry W. Ward, Jr. for the Richard Wright Circle

A New look at richard wright’s mind

Posted on October 24, 2012 | No Comments

Haile, James B., III, ed. Philosophical Meditations on Richard Wright.  Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2012.

In recent years, there has been a renewal of scholarly interest in Richard Wright.  Wright was a vociferous reader of Western philosophy, which he revised and often incorporated into his works. Philosophical Meditations on Richard Wright is a distinctive collection of essays that engages, interrogates, and illuminates the philosophical meanings and implications of Wright’s fiction and nonfiction.  Thought-provoking and eloquent, this volume makes a vital contribution to Wright studies. Both philosophers and readers of philosophy will find these critically important essays to be of enormous interest.

– Floyd W. Hayes, III.  Johns Hopkins University

In this groundbreaking volume, James B. Haile, III, and his cohorts transgress and transcend the disciplinary boundaries of philosophy by critically exploring Richard Wright’s oeuvre.  Here Wright is not simply read into the philosophy of literature and philosophical fiction traditions, but his novels, short stories, poems, and essays are also shown to unambiguously challenge, if not ultimately upend, these traditions. Indeed, Philosophical Meditations on Richard Wright deftly demonstrates that Wright not only wrote existential-phenomenology-informed fiction, but his prose also often eerily mirrored the oppression, alienation, tragicomic, absurd, and angst-filled realities of African American life, culture, and struggle.

– Reiland Rabaka, author of Forms of Fanonism: Frantz Fanon’s Critical Theory and the Dialectics of Decolonization

Black Southern Voices Revisited

Posted on April 5, 2012 | No Comments

Grandt, Jürgen E.  Shaping Words to Fit the Soul: The Southern Ritual Grounds of Afro-Modernism. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2009.

In his introduction for the anthology Black Southern Voices (1992), John Oliver Killens quoted an observation Richard Wright made in 12 Million Black Voices: “…you usually take us for granted and think you know us, but our history is far stranger than you suspect, and we are not what we seem”(3).  Killens knew, and Grandt has learned by virtue of highly principled scholarship, that it is suicidal to take Black South cultural expressions for granted.  One valuable function of Shaping Words to Fit the Soul is its reminding  post-whatever literary theorists and critics that history is not dead, that recovering histories is a crucial gesture in interpretation.

Grandt’s exploration of Afro-modernism ( in the sense that Houston A. Baker, Jr. articulates that concept in Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance ) led him to examine it as “modernism with a historical conscience” and, thus, to avoid being hit by the boomerang of post-modernism.  Grandt is as savvy as any post-modernist I know, but he exercises remarkable common sense in reconfiguring “southern ritual grounds as situated in time and mind rather than in time and place”(9).  The key word is mind.  Indeed, such Black South writers as Jean Toomer, Richard Wright, and Tayari Jones are noteworthy for how they have artfully inscribed their minds upon the page.  Overmuch attention to the mythology of Southern place obscures the genius of their artistry.

Grandt makes a fine contribution to Wright studies in Chapter 3  —  “Roll Call: Richard Wright’s ‘Long Black Song’ and the Betrayal of Music.”  I urge Wright scholars to revitalize historical conscience by reading all of Shaping Words to Fit the Soul and giving special attention to the chapter on Wright.  Grandt makes a good case for reconfiguring how we study the clash and cooperation of genres in Black South cultural expressions, including the contemporary hip hop representations of the “Dirty South.” But what he does in his commentary on “Long Black Song” is invaluable, because it validates the unending quest for the pre-future in our study of Richard Wright.  Read Shaping Words to Fit the Soul and be renewed.

Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

April 4, 2012

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