Konch Magazine - January 2014 Editorial by Ishmael Reed

         In the January issue of Konch prints a provocative essay by the great Frank Chin, who wonders whether a San Francisco Chinatown alley should be named for a racist. As someone who travels through the south and is confronted by statues dedicated to slave owners and traitors, I can sympathize with Frank Chin.Frank and I were taken down as “misogynists” by Junot Diaz, the provincial North Eastern segregated Lit. Estb. latest token, who is not aware that he is one. This was published in the white separatist The Boston Book Review, which has never reviewed a book written by Frank Chin. The problem was that when it comes to me, he got his black women mixed up, like the media putting Serena’s name underneath a picture of Venus. He issued a self-pitying apology.

         Not only did his attempt to attract white feminist book buyers, who take all of their rage out on the brothers, fail, but last I heard he was in a quarrel with Dominican intellectuals.       

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Looks like black voters are about to be sucker punched by Ma and Pa Clinton, again, Robin Philpot reminds us that not only was his domestic policies injurious to blacks, but his foreign policy as well.

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     Karla Brundage, one of the authors whose book Swallowing Watermelons was published by Ishmael Reed Publishing Co. in  2006, sends us another letter from Abidjan.

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     Al Young remembers Konch contributor, Wanda Coleman.Konch contributor Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure remembers President Nelson Mandela.

 

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I attended a Hip Hop reading at the Nuyorican Poet’s Café and was knocked out by young Devon Moyd. With his new poem, “Notes” Theo Konrad Auer, proves once again that he is one of the most interesting among the younger generation of white male poets.

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   Esther Armah, one of the most brilliant and informed commentators, submits a review of “12 Years A Slave.” We’ve bungled Brenda M. Greene’s review of Melba Boyd’s “ Death of a Butterfly”; we hope that we get it right this time. She has been very patient with us. Brenda Greene is among those black critics who treat the art of black writers with painstaking attention. These critics never get a by line in mainstream book reviews whose editors prefer lazy summaries by their handpicked scouts.

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   Amiri Baraka, the author of two books published by Ishmael Reed Publishing. Co., was dismissed as a sixties writer by these scouts,when some of his best work was published after the 1960s. Baraka and I had a complex relationship. I talk about that relationship in this issue. Thanks to Tennessee Reed for publishing the January issue of Konch.

 

Ishmael Reed Jan. 19, 2014