Category: frank yerby

+

Top Five Frank Yerby Novels: Part II

Last post, I wrote about three of my favorite Frank Yerby novels. Today, I want to talk about two more of my favorite novels plus mu favorite Yerby short story. Choosing my top three Yerby novels was fairly simple. They are ones I go back to, again and again, for various reasons. However, when I started to think about the last two novels that … Read More Top Five Frank Yerby Novels: Part II

+

Top Five Frank Yerby Novels: Part I

At this moment, I am almost exactly halfway through Frank Yerby’s oeuvre. During his career, he published thirty-three novels, and at the time of this writing, I am reading my seventeenth, Devilseed (1984). I’ve been reading Yerby for about five years now, working, in my spare time, to complete his works. I have twenty-four of his novels on my shelf, so I still need … Read More Top Five Frank Yerby Novels: Part I

Divide and Conquer: Part I

I’ve always known that rhetoric, speech, and writing serve as weapons to sever communities or as tools to bring them together. Because of this, I know that individuals in power will use that weapon to keep individuals below separate through demonizing one group and promising hopes to the other. This has occurred throughout history, and in regard to race in America, it has occurred … Read More Divide and Conquer: Part I

+

Gone With the Wind and the Mythologized South

Last week, John Ridley, Academy Award winner for adapted screenplay for 12 Years a Slave, spurred on calls fro HBO Max to remove David O Selznick’s film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind from its streaming service. Ridley points out that the film, “as part of the narrative of the ‘Lost Cause,’ romanticizes the Confederacy in a way that continues to give … Read More Gone With the Wind and the Mythologized South

+

Adjectives Are the Enemies of Nouns

This semester in the LES Studies Course, we just finished Jennine Capó Crucet’s My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education. Crucet’s essays, in relation to what we have read from Lillian Smith and Ibram X. Kendi provide countless points for discussion, and I today I want to focus on one of those points: the ways that labels define others and construct … Read More Adjectives Are the Enemies of Nouns

“Rediscovering Frank Yerby” Introduction

If you have been following my blog over the past few years, you have seen a lot of my work on Frank Yerby. That work has led to the publication of Rediscovering Frank Yerby: Critical Essays, a collection of essays that seeks to, as the title says, rediscover and reorient Yerby within the African American and American literary tradition. Pubisher’s Weekly review of the … Read More “Rediscovering Frank Yerby” Introduction

+

What keeps us from acting?

Lillian Smith wrote Now is the Time (1955) in reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Smith saw the decision as every child’s Magna Carta, and in Now is the Time, she laid out that in order to move forward, we must act. The book, in essence, as Rose Gladney and Lisa Hodgens put it, “crystallized approximately two decades … Read More What keeps us from acting?

+

“That is merde alors!”: Frank Yerby and Identity

Rediscovering Frank Yerby, a project I have been working on for a few years, will be out this May from the University Press of Mississippi. Along with this, UPM will release Veronica Watson’s The Short Stories of Frank Yerby around the same time. I am extremely excited for each of these books, not just because I edited one of them. I am excited because … Read More “That is merde alors!”: Frank Yerby and Identity

+

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lillian E. Smith: Part I

On February 4, 1968, two months before his assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered “The Drum Major Instinct” at Ebenezer Baptist Church. During the sermon, King pointed out that the drum major instinct can lead to “tragic race prejudice.” On this point, he continued, “Many have written about this problem—Lillian Smith used to say it beautifully in some of her books. And she would … Read More Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lillian E. Smith: Part I

+

The “Visceral Feelings” of Racism in Frank Yerby’s “Griffin’s Way”

Throughout his career, Frank Yerby confronted whiteness and white supremacy in his novels. He looked at the ways that racism, xenophobia, nationalism, and oppression affected the oppressor as well as the oppressed. This is what Lillian Smith does throughout her work. It’s what Harper Lee attempts to do in To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s what Toni Morrison says we should do in Playing in … Read More The “Visceral Feelings” of Racism in Frank Yerby’s “Griffin’s Way”

+

The Mythologized South in Frank Yerby’s “Griffin’s Way”

I have to admit, when I started reading Frank Yerby’s Griffin’s Way (1962) I was not impressed. Having written 33 novels over the course of his career, I knew I wouldn’t like all of them, but Griffin’s Way struck me, from the beginning, as odd. I didn’t really like the organization of Candace Trevor’s section. It seemed really disjointed and not at all what … Read More The Mythologized South in Frank Yerby’s “Griffin’s Way”

+

Current and Future Projects at the Lillian E. Smith Center

Over the past few weeks, I have been settling into my new position as the Director of the Lillian E. Smith Center (LES Center). During this process, I have started to read more of Smith’s work and learned more about her life and social justice work, specifically through the Laurel Falls Camp and during the Civil Rights movement. There is a lot I could … Read More Current and Future Projects at the Lillian E. Smith Center