Making the Wright Connection

An Online Community for the Study of Richard Wright

Centennial of Richard Wright’s Birth

Posted on September 9, 2010 | No Comments

September 4, 2008, Richard Wright’s 100th birthday, began with early morning radio broadcasts. On National Public Radio, Garrison Keller made remarks about Wright’s importance on “The Writer’s Almanac.” Patrick Oliver hosted the birthday tribute on “Literary Nation” (KABF FM 88.3, Little Rock, Arkansas) which included interviews with Dr. Patricia McGraw and Jerry Ward. At Tougaloo College, Dr. Howard Rambsy (Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville) spoke on publishing and Wright, a prelude to evening activities. In Little Rock, the Willie Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center unveiled the “Richard Wright Day Proclamation” and presented a program of Wright’s poetry; discussions of Wright’s teenage years, Wright and the Harlem Renaissance, Wright and today’s music (rap, r&b, hip-hop); readings of excerpts from Wright’s works by male youths. In Dallas, Texas, the Paul Quinn College Library presented “One Book, One College.” In Mississippi, citizens of Jackson initiated a week of events (September 4 – 11) with a birthday reception for Wright’s daughter, Julia, at Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, the school from which her father graduated in 1925. Although the 100th anniversary of Wright’s birth was a climactic moment, it marked new beginnings rather than a traditional sense of an ending.

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