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Long live the Atlanta University Center

Long live the Atlanta University Center

The Atlanta University Center has shaped generations of leaders—for the nation and for their home city. Atlanta would be nothing like it is today without it.

Tayari Jones on her literary lineage and choosing Atlanta

Tayari Jones—author, professor, and griot of the American South—has a lot on her plate. She teaches a creative writing class at Emory University, she has book blurbs due and forewords to file, and she has words in a just-released craft book, How We Do It, where her Emory colleague Jericho Brown gathered Black writers to explain “how they go about making what they make.” “I know I have a novel,” Jones writes, “when I have a question to which I don’t know the moral/ethical answer.” She is also putting the finishing touches on her fifth and forthcoming novel, Old Fourth Ward, which is set squarely in Black Atlanta’s centers of gravity: the historic neighborhood adjacent to downtown Atlanta (and the book’s namesake) and Cascade Heights (her old stomping grounds).
Spelman College

In 1988, some of the most important Black women in American literature posed for a photo at Spelman. Here’s how it came about.

In 1988, a group of writers gathered on the steps of Spelman College’s Rockefeller Fine Arts building to fete Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, who, that weekend, had become the college’s first Black woman president. We had just gotten out of a wonderful program honoring Dr. Cole and Black women in the arts. People were talking, laughing, and greeting each other . . . Everybody was high off the charge of the whole gathering: This was the culmination of a decades-long discussion of who should lead this historically Black institution, and this was a celebration of the leadership of Black women in many different fields, particularly in scholarship, in literature, and in the arts.
Valerie Boyd Rememberance

Valerie Boyd: A Remembrance

When a mutual friend called to let me know Valerie Boyd had joined the ancestors, I already knew. The night before, I had felt the rush of something irreplaceable leaving us way too soon.
Pearl Cleage Garden essay

Pearl Cleage’s fantasy garden

"The truth is that I’m more of a fantasy gardener—in much the same way that I clip complicated, multistep recipes I have no intention of ever actually cooking." Atlanta playwright and poet Pearl Cleage pens this essay on gardening dreams.

Pearl Cleage’s new play is a comical ode to female artists—and activists—young or old

Giving women the opportunity to tell their own stories is what connects two generations of artists in Pearl Cleage’s new play, Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous, running March 20 to April 14 at Alliance Theatre.

Best of Atlanta 2018: Arts & Culture

The best of Atlanta's arts and culture in 2018, including best superstar, painter, museum for local art, improv theater, and more.
Pearl Cleage

5 Atlanta events you won’t want to miss: March 21-27

The world's largest key lime pie at Lenox Square, spring is back with the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival, and Alliance Theatre showcases two Pearl Cleage one-acts.

Pearl Cleage tells all (and then some) in her new memoir

Playwright and novelist Pearl Cleage titled her memoir Things I Should Have Told My Daughter: Lies, Lessons & Love Affairs, but one suspects her child, now in her forties, is happy it took awhile for Mom’s breezily candid book, crafted from 1970s and 1980s diary entries, to be published.

Pearl Cleage wrote a poem to memorialize the Orly crash

On June 3, we remembered the fiftieth anniversary of the famed Orly crash, which killed nearly all of Atlanta's most influential arts patrons at a time when the city needed their guidance most. The Woodruff Arts Center eventually rose like a phoenix from the proverbial wreckage, so it's fitting that the Alliance Theatre thought it appropriate to immortalize the tragedy in poetry.

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