“African-American poets, writers, and intellectuals have always been the observers, conscience, and truth-tellers of the United States. America, like all nations, has its national myths. By their nature, myths gloss over the past, obscure the present, and distort the future. The Black USA poets and writers fall into two categories: present-day historians and counter-mythologists. The present-day historians know what America is and what it does. They walk the streets of New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Memphis, New Jersey, and elsewhere. They collect the truths behind the myths. They bring those truths to light. The counter-mythologists dismantle the often corrosive narratives put forth by the awesomely powerful American mythmaking machine, a machine that broadcasts anti-blackness to the world.
These writers and what is unique and magnificent in the African-American experience. They process and amplify those experiences so that others can learn and live. But let’s not rely too much on categories. In reality, all of the intellectuals you will meet are both historians and the creators of new stories. They will provide you a window on the re raging in ‘the city on the hill’ and, perhaps, inspire methods of resistance.”
– Maurice Ruffin.
Maurice Carlos Ruffin is romanschrijver en auteur van korte verhalen, waarmee hij verschillende prijzen won, onder meer de Iowa Review Fiction Award. Zijn roman We Cast A Shadow verscheen in 2019 bij One World Random House.