Tune In This Week
“Writers on Writing” Radio Show
Sunday, Sept. 15 and Sept. 22, 2019
Interview with Shonda Buchanan
With Dr. Brenda M. Greene, Executive Director
Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY
WNYE 91.5 FM
Sundays, 7 PM – 7:30 PM
Listen at WMEC Radio: http://wmec.mec.cuny.edu
About the Episode
Dr. Brenda Greene interviews Shonda Buchanan, author of Black Indian: A Memoir (Wayne State University Press, 2019). They discuss Buchanan’s mixed heritage and her motivation for writing this memoir. Buchanan addresses the intricate relationship between African Americans and Indians and describes how themes such as abuse, addiction, violence, healing, and spirituality have been recurring themes in the stories of her heritage and are constant themes in the lives of many African Americans and Black Indians. Greene and Buchanan also discuss the ways in which stories have given Black Indians and African Americans a way to survive and the value of the counternarrative in the literature of Black writers.
About the Author
BlackIndian Cover.jpeg Award-winning poet and educator Shonda Buchanan (1968) was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a daughter of Mixed Bloods, tri-racial and tri-ethnic African American, American Indian and European-descendant families who migrated from North Carolina and Virginia in the mid-1700s to 1800s to Southwestern Michigan. Black Indian, her memoir, begins the saga of these migration stories of Free People of Color communities exploring identity, ethnicity, landscape and loss.
For the last 18 years, Buchanan has taught creative writing, composition and critical theory at Loyola Marymount University, Hampton University, and William & Mary College. An Eloise Klein-Healy Scholarship recipient, a Sundance Institute Writing Arts Fellow, a Jentel Artist Residency Fellow and a PEN Center Emerging Voices Fellow, Buchanan has received grants from the California Community Foundation, Arts Midwest/National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Program and several grants from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.
Her first book of poetry, Who’s Afraid of Black Indians? was nominated for the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and the Library of Virginia Book Awards. Literary Editor of Harriet Tubman Press, her second collection of poetry, Equipoise: Poems from Goddess Country, was published by San Francisco Bay Press. Buchanan’s poetry and essays have been featured in numerous anthologies. Freelance writer for the LA Weekly since 1991, and Indian Country Today, the Los Angeles Times and The Writer’s Chronicle, Buchanan is completing a second memoir as well as the screenplay of Black Indian. She’s also editing a novel and a collection of poetry about the iconic singer, concert pianist and Civil Rights activist Nina Simone. For more information, visit https://www.wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/black-indian and www.shondabuchanan.com. Follow Shonda @shondabuchanan.