freedomways

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Freedomways, “A Quarterly Review of the Negro Freedom Movement,” was published from 1961-85 (they dropped the word “Negro” from the title in 1968). Freedomways was noted for its progressive politics (it had close ties to the Communist Party); its first editor was Shirley Graham DuBois, wife of W.E.B. DuBois. It featured essays, poetry, reviews, short stories, and artwork by a host of African American writers, artists, and politicians, including Alice Walker, Paule Marshall, Jacob Lawrence, Harry Belafonte, James Baldwin, Julian Bond, W.E.B. DuBois, as well as frequent appearances by African political leaders like Kwame Nkrumah and Jomo Kenyatta.

The cover on the top features artwork by Jacob Lawrence.

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“Freedomways is the one place in those years, 25 years, that shows a history, of the Civil Rights Movement, how it relates to the international movement, that portrayed the works of the great black women poets - all of them, many of whom published for the first time in - Alice Walker for the first, published in Freedomways for the first time. Her short stories, her fiction. We published first. And it helped to open the door for some of the leading cultural figures in black life.” - Esther Cooper Jackson. 

WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE

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