Monthly Archives: January 2017

Marlon James announces new book trilogy

Author and Before Columbus board member Marlon James, recipient of the American Book Award and Man Booker prizes, announces a new book series: The Dark Star Trilogy.

Wajahat Ali, journalist and board member of Before Columbus Foundation, interviewed by CNN

The interview questions the qualifications of Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for Attorney General.

Robin D.G. Kelley, American Book Award recipient, and Connie Rice, lawyer and civil rights activist, discuss police accountability

Video courtesy of Tavis Smiley.

Connie Rice is one of America’s most influential lawyers. Rice has taken on public school and transit systems, death row, the states of Mississippi and California and the L.A.P.D. and won—in court, on the streets and in prisons. She’s also known for co-authoring a report that revolutionized Los Angeles’ law enforcement policies and outreach to gangs. Rice was co-director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s L.A. office and co-founded the nonprofit Advancement Project, which provides support for organizations working for racial and social justice. Rice is a graduate of Harvard College and the New York University School of Law, she chronicled her life in the trenches of civil rights law in her memoir, Power Concedes Nothing. Robin D. G. Kelley is a professor of history at UCLA. His research explores the history of social movements in the U.S., the African Diaspora, and Africa as well as black intellectuals; music; visual culture and contemporary urban studies. His essays have appeared in a wide variety of professional journals and publications, including the Journal of American History, American Historical Review, Black Music Research Journal, African Studies Review, New York Times (Arts and Leisure) and New York Times Magazine, to name a few.

Professor Emily Raboteau, American Book Award recipient, interviewed

In an interview from The Rumpus, Raboteau discusses her essay, “Know Your Rights!” from the collection, THE FIRE THIS TIME, what she loves about motherhood, and why it’s time for White America to get uncomfortable. Emily Raboteau is a professor of english at CCNY.

David Meltzer, Beat generation poet and musician, has passed

A central figure of the San Francisco renaissance of the 1950s-60s, David Meltzer was also a founding member of the Before Columbus Foundation. See the San Francisco Chronicle’s tribute:

A Tribute to Audre Lorde, an early recipient of the American Book Award

The famed author, poet, and queer feminist has been honored by the New York Amdsterdam News. “Much deserved tribute to Audre Lorde. The only major literary award that she received during her lifetime was The American Book Award.” – Ishmael Reed


American Book Awards 2016 – Video Footage of Ceremony available online

C-Span has made available video footage of the 2016 American Book Award ceremony. Hosted in San Francisco at the SFJazz Center on October 30, 2016. Emceed by Before Columbus Foundation board Chairman Justin Desmangles, the ceremony features speeches from award recipients and performances from Foundation affiliates.

Wajahat Ali, Before Columbus Foundation board member, interviewed

The esteemed writer and journalist draws parallels between the 2016 presidential election and post-9/11 islamophobia. From The Progressive Magazine:

Excerpt: “For all those people who thought racism was dead, and bigotry was dead, especially those who are well intentioned and white allies, it’s out in the open now. You can taste it. It will force people to bust out of their isolated cocoon. I see an opportunity for a multicultural coalition of the willing that includes a populist agenda, which reclaims populism. Meaning higher wages. Help workers. Better access to education. Fight climate change. Maybe, knock on wood, and this might be way too optimistic, in 2020 if Democrats get their act together, I think they can shift it.”

Laila Lalami interviewed at National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

NPR’s Bilal Quareshi asked Laila Lalami, American Book Award recipient, about The Moor’s Account. Video from Youtube:

Ishmael Reed, founder of Before Columbus Foundation, critiques “Hamilton”

Reed challenges the production’s historical revisionism in an article for the San Francisco Chronicle: