Thursday, January 24, 2013

Playwright Charles Smith on Black LIT Radio!

For December's Black LIT Radio, Hopeton and I had a conversation about Amiri Baraka's 1964 play Dutchman. For January, we are continuing the focus on black drama. I interviewed playwright Charles Smith about his latest work, Knock Me a Kiss, which opens in Houston this weekend and will be in Fort Worth in May. The pre-recorded interview will air MONDAY, January 28th at 8 AM Central, 9 AM Eastern on Austin's KAZI-FM 88.7 as part of KAZI Book Review with Hopeton Hay. Those outside of Austin can listen live online at (click the microphone on left side of page) or through the TuneIn Radio app on iPhone or Droid phones. When the podcast is available, I will share it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Interviewed about First Lady Michelle Obama

The research for Living with Lynching taught me that mobs most often targeted successful black men, not criminals.  The study also examines how survivors, including wives and children, coped.  Thus, the book is very much focused on successful black families.

My next book project continues this focus while investigating black cultural production from slavery to the Age of Michelle Obama.  I was therefore pleased to contribute to the January 18, 2013 Washington Post story, “Four Years Later, Feminists Split by Michelle Obama’s ‘Work’ as First Lady

On Inauguration Day, January 21, 2013, the conversation was continued on KCRW's To the Point, a live radio show hosted by Warren Olney in Santa Monica, California.  The “Reporters Notebook” segment on Michelle Obama begins at 42:00 in the podcast.  Listen on-demand HERE.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Radio Interview (Live Call-In Show)

TODAY, January 15, 2013 at 5PM EST:  Please tune in to KGNU 88.5 FM of Boulder, CO 5pm Eastern time/3pm Mountain. I will be interviewed by Greg Rasheed about issues raised by Django Unchained and about Living with Lynching.  You can listen live online ( and CALL IN via 303-442-4242.  The show will be posted on for on-demand listening later.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Praised in a Journal Published in Spain!

A thorough review of Living with Lynching appears in the current issue of Language Value, a journal published in Spain.  What a treat to have a 9-page book review!  And the author clearly appreciated the stakes of the study and understood my investment in shifting our gaze away from strange fruit” as we try to understand the enormity of the violence.  

A few quotations: 
From this first chapter onwards Mitchell is able to deconstruct the notion of lynching as a 'scenario of exorcism’ by unmasking the white supremacist logic that supported the spectacle of brutalized black bodies.”  
What is also innovative in Mitchell’s apt reading of lynching is her shifting focus from the victimized black body to the equally victimized black family life and black home.
Her impressive reading of the plays under study asserts the richness of lynching drama, as well as its heterogeneity and plurality.
A pdf of the complete review can be downloaded directly from the journal here.

For more on the journal itself, visit here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tayari Jones Interview Airing Again!

My interview with the lively Tayari Jones will re-air Monday, January 7th and Wednesday, January 9th, becoming available for on-demand listening shortly thereafter.  This presentation is made possible by cooperation between KAZI Book Review with Hopeton Hay, the home of Black LIT Radio, and Writers Talk at Ohio State. 

Monday (1/7) at 7 PM Eastern on WCRS radio, 98.3 & 102.1 FM, or listen online via

Wednesday (1/9) at 8 PM Eastern on WCBE radio, 90.5 FM, or listen online via

For more on KAZI Book Review, visit
For more on Writers Talk, visit