“Paths are poems that write themselves into existence.”

Has someone already said this? If not, I’m claiming it.

The cadence. The precision. The buttery essence. The silky perfection. Today is the 40th anniversary of “Never Too Much,” the debut album of Luther Ronzoni Vandross, Jr. Get into it.

Links For The Voracious

This edition of Links For The Voracious is about women who made history, attempts to deny history, and making sense of the past in art and life.

Gloria Richardson could not tolerate the dehumanizing terror of second-class citizenship, so she organized. Her work to end segregation on Maryland’s Eastern Shore helped transform the nation. Ms. Richardson died at the age of 99 on July 15. May her memory be a blessing and may she long be remembered by those who hunger for justice. 

When Ida B. Wells was born into slavery on July 16, 1862, the trajectory of her future was beyond imagination. Ms. Barnett became the moral compass of a nation unwilling to live up to its own ideals. 

In Mary Wang’s Miscellaneous Files series for Guernica, artists share the references and ideas that shape their work. 

Photographer Carol Highsmith is traveling across the country documenting the grand diversity of American places. She’s donating all the photographs (60,000 so far) copyright-free to the Library of Congress. 

Nothing good comes from trying to erase history.

Boiling absurdity down to its ridiculously contradictory essence. Making a way out of no way. Laughing to keep from crying and sometimes doing both because that’s the only way to survive. Professor Danielle Fuentes Morgan explores Black satire in the 21st century.


Writer Scott Hoshida’s short story “To Move is To Hope” in The Broadkill Review.

Toni Morrison had enduring friendships with Angela Davis and Fran Lebowitz. That’s range.

Angela Davis on Toni Morrison: “I have always been impressed by her ability to be so focused and to inhabit the universe of her writing while not neglecting the universe that involves the rest of us.”

Fran Lebowitz on Toni Morrison: “People who aren’t in a constant state of fury aren’t paying attention. But Toni was paying attention. She was simply above it rather than swamped by it. I don’t know how you do this, because I cannot do this. People use the word compassionate a lot, and I don’t know many people who really are. Toni was. And forgiving. She was forgiving.”

In honor of Lucille Clifton’s birthday

won’t you celebrate with me 

By Lucille Clifton

won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

Clouds

I spend a lot of time looking at clouds. They’re beautiful and captivating. Their shapes, colors, and textures offer a universe of gorgeous possibilities. A cloud is a cloud is a cloud. Unless it’s a mermaid or an ice cream cone or whatever else comes to mind. Clouds tease and spark the imagination. They can be whatever someone wants them to be.

Gwendolyn Brooks’ reflection on clouds. Ebony magazine, 1968.
Source: Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

NASA describes a cloud as “a mass of water drops or ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere.” Clouds also provide a celestial guide for interpreting our experiences. Situations can be like the images we see in clouds, not necessarily what they seem. A cloud can look like a dog with a stick in its mouth one second and the shape of Tennessee the next. A sure thing can transform into something unexpected in a matter of minutes. Change happens. Looking to the sky can help put things in perspective.