Salamishah Tillet is the Henry Rutgers Professor of African-American and African Studies at Rutger University-Newark. She is the faculty founder of the New Arts Social Justice Initiative at Express Newark and the co-founder of A Long Walk Home, a Chicago-based non profit that uses art to empower young people and end violence against all girls and women. Salamishah is the author of the forthcoming memoir, In Search of ‘The Color Purple’ with Abrams Press and All The Rage: ‘Mississippi Goddamn’ and The World Nina Simone Made with Ecco. (September 2018)
Salamishah Tillet: Why did you title your new collection Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart? In your introduction, you mention that it was originally going to be called The Long Road Home.
Alice Walker: I think that I was called back to the world. I was called back to the reality that people are suffering so deeply and that many people are not even calm enough and centered enough to contemplate the long road home. They’re still fighting with the arrow that they have been pierced with. About the media and the reality of what is happening on the planet, the murder of children, the abuse of the earth, the ocean, everything.
In Jules Allen’s Marching Bands, a stunning collection of social documentary, portraiture, and panoramic photography, he takes us into this behind-the-scenes world of African-American marching bands all over the country. The roots of historically black college marching band performance stretch back to the post-Civil War period, when newly freed African Americans began to experiment with sounds, styles, and what it meant to be an American citizen.