This blog launched in April of 2006 from a Birmingham hotel room during the conference of the College Language Association. Here it is, 2011, and we're still here. This year's CLA met in Spartanburg, SC. The theme of this gathering was music and literature, and my own presentation was about the William Parker reworkings of Curtis Mayfield songs, officially released as I Plan to Stay a Believer: The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield. Parker's program includes poetry recited by Amiri Baraka from the interior of the Mayfield songs. Mayfield himself had a Spartanburg background, and was pictured on the cover of the conference program along with such illuminaries as Arthur Prysock and Pink Anderson. I really only got started on the subject at this conference, so you can expect to hear the rest of this at some later venue. Baraka was the keynote speaker at an earlier CLA. This year it was Cornelius Eady.
This was the same week they were reenacting the beginning of the Civil War over in Charleston. The spirit was somewhat different in Spartanburg, a celebration of union, if you will.