S7E1: Reflections on Black History Month

28 Feb 2023
S7E1: Reflections on Black History Month

Photo credits: Jaclyn Cole by Ron Barboza

Mandisa Haarhoff interviews Jaclyn Cole in the first episode of our Black History season. This episode airs on 28 February, the last day of Black History month 2023, and provides an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of this month. 

Among other topics, Mandisa and Jaclyn consider the significance of Howard University, African American studies, Carter G. Woodson’s The Mis-Education of the Negro (1933), Octavia E. Butler’s Parable Series and collective grief. Jaclyn also reads her “Creators’ Manifesto”.

Mandisa Haarhoff is an assistant professor of comparative literature at Penn State University and a board member of PEN SA. Jaclyn Cole is a career diplomat with over fifteen years in the U.S. Foreign Service currently serving as the Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Consulate General Durban.

In this episode we stand in solidarity with Burundian journalist Floriane Irangabiye. You can read more about her case in articles by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Mandisa reads the poem “Democracy” by Langston Hughes, and Jaclyn reads extracts from Butler’s The Parable of the Talents as tributes to Floriane.

Listen to the episode here: