African American Art & Culture

Those interested in African American culture, particularly as it pertains to the arts, may find some books published by Xavier Review Press worth noting. A few issues of Xavier Review are featured below, as well. For a complete list of authors published in the journal, not to mention subjects relevant to African American culture, please see the Author Index section of the website.





Troubling Accents
R. Flowers Rivera


“R. Flowers Rivera's Troubling Accents is an impressive act of storytelling and at times ventriloquism. With a compelling mix of tenderness and ambivalence, yearning and loss, the poems embrace 'brutal and beautiful' human experience and histories, returning often to the subjectivity of black Southerners, women in particular…. The subjects and scenes of the poems vary widely and wildly-- flirtation at a funeral, the silence in a family surrounding one member's death [complicated by] AIDS, domestic violence, conflicted love and sexuality, the indomitable Bessie Smith, and more.” Shara McCallum, author and Director of Stadler Center for Poetry

Troubling Accesnts

Stormy Blues
Carole Boston Weatherford


The fifth collection by this award-winning African American writer features sharply imaged verse that calls up a multitude of images from black culture and history, but which seems centered on the experience of everyday people in ordinary settings. "Yeast Rolls and Water Biscuits," "Turkey Necks and Crowder Peas," "Juchitech Market Woman," "B&O RR. Mount Royal Station Recap," and "December 1, 1955: Before Rosa Altered History" are but a few of the poems in this collection, many of which have previously appeared in literary reviews and poetry magazines.

Stormy Blues

Songs of Blue Negritude
Van G. Garrett


Garrett's first book of poems attempts to extend the tradition of the Negritude movement, but displays a sense of style uniquely his own. Utilizing a number of poetic forms, Garrett pays homage to his heroes and elders while showing his abiding love for hip-hop, injecting a sense of play into many of his poems. Garrett's poetry has been featured regularly in the media, including HBO's THE WIRE, IFC, and at the Indie Black Film Festival.

Songs of Blue Negritude



Jordon B. Noble: General Jackson's Black Drummer Boy 
Jacqueline Pattison


A Special issue containing a young adult novel based on the adventures of Jordan Noble, a young African-American boy who served as drummer boy for Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans

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"The New Orleans Brass Band in the Twentieth Century"
Michael White 

This essay appeared in Xavier Review in 1984 by Dr. White: clarinetist, band leader, composer, and jazz historian.


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The Story behind the Painting: Frederick J. Brown’s The Assumption of Mary as Xavier University
Katheryn Krotzer Laborde

Standing three stories tall, The Assumption of Mary celebrates both Catholic faith and the Black contribution to American music. The framed, 6,500 pound work, which hangs in the Xavier University of Louisiana's Library Resource Center, is the rare piece that combines an enculturated Madonna with the images of more than 50 African American musicians. The likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ruby and the Romantics, Jimi Hendrix, and Son House form a heavenly choir to make a joyful noise as the mother of Jesus rises to heaven.

The Story behind the Painting is a photo-rich oral history that explores the inspiration and creation of this mammoth painting by late Expressionist Frederick J. Brown (1945-2012), as well as the installation process, which was an engineering feat itself.

Assumption of Mary



New Orleans’ Free Men of Color Cabinet Makers in the New Orleans Furniture Trade 1800-1850
Margo Moscou

This new study is one of a bare handful of books devoted to the contributions of African Americans to the economy and culture of New Orleans. Moscou is particularly concerned with the freed blacks who lived alongside whites and Negro slaves, forming a distinct group in the years before the Civil War. Within this group were skilled artisans who owned and operated their own furniture- and cabinet-making companies. Moscou looks into the lives and work of these neglected men, examining them within the context of their time and attempting to understand them on their own terms.

Cabinet Makers



Percival Everett: Writing Other/Wise
Edited by Keith B. Mitchell and Robin G. Vander


This collection presents eight original critical essays analyzing the fiction and poetry of contemporary American writer, Percival Everett and includes a special section highlighting Everett’s visual art.  The collection is the second comprehensive volume to be published on Everett in the United States and serves as the companion volume to Perspectives onPercival Everett (University Press of Mississippi), also co-edited by Drs. Mitchell and Vander.


Race: Jean Toomer’s Swan Song
Ronald Dorris

This study of Jean Toomer centers on Toomer's address of race in his development as a writer; the South as a region that inspired him to focus on an examination of race; and after publication of his novel, CANE, eight years of correspondence tapping into an extended dialogue pertaining to issues about race. This biocritical study begins in January 1916 when Toomer entered the American College of Physical Training in Chicago, and ends in April 1931, when Toomer recorded that he would no longer address issues of race in his writing.

Race: Jean Toomer's Swan Song

The Southern Trace of Black Critical Theory
R. Baxter Miller 

The fifth collection by this award-winning African American writer features sharply imaged . Miller is the author of The Art and Imagination of Langston Hughes; Black American Poets between Worlds, 1940-1960; and On the Ruins of Modernity: New Chicago Renaissance from Wright to Fair  He is a recipient of the the Langston Hughes Award and the Ford-Turpin honor for the stewardship of African American critical legacy.


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