VIDEO + AUDIO Black Study Series: Frank B. Wilderson III, reading and in conversation

Thursday, February 14 - 7:00 pm PST
The Poetry Center, HUM 512, San Francisco State University
Frank B. Wilderson III

Full-program video: Frank B. Wilderson III: February 14, 2019
Video highlight clips: Frank Wilderson, "Then Midge Remington asked the question Bobby asked me at the Berlin wall...." | Frank Wilderson, "In 1967 at the age of eleven...." | Frank Wilderson on the Afro-Pessimist recognition of the profound structural difference between antiblack violence and racial violence against other persons and groups


Mother never spoke of slavery

she was born and raised in a debutante ball

but when they killed King she wrote every blue

hair blonde eye a letter

like any spring of no reply winter

was late in leaving and we were her

only postage

my sister and I walking end to end

through the seep of slush and the push

of wind

no one dabbed a crystalled eye for

she would have no crying

—Frank B. Wilderson III, from Sideways Between Stories

The Poetry Center is very pleased to present poet and cultural critic Frank B. Wilderson III, reading from his work and joining in conversation with the audience, as the first of two events in our inaugural Black Study Series. He will be joined two nights later, off campus at The Green Arcade, reading with poet-scholar D.S. Marriott. Supported by an anonymous donor and the National Endowment for the Arts, this event is free and open to the public. 

Frank B. Wilderson III is an award-winning writer, poet, scholar, activist and emerging filmmaker. Wilderson spent five years in South Africa as an elected official in the African National Congress during the country’s transition from apartheid and was a member of the ANC’s armed wing Umkhonto We Sizwe. His books include Incognegro: a Memoir of Exile and Apartheid (South End Press 2008; reprint edition, Duke University Press, 2015) and Red, White, & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms (Duke University Press, 2010). Ishmael Reed called Incognegro, awarded the American Book Award, “an important contribution to the African and African American canons and a rare American work that bridges two cultures [Black American and Black South African].” Wilderson's collection of poems, Sideways Between Stories, was recently published as a pamphlet (available for free download here) by Commune Editions, Oakland. Much more here.

Related event: 

Black Study Series
Frank B. Wilderson III and D.S. Marriott
reading from their poetry

Saturday FEB 16
7:00 pm @ The Green Arcade
1680 Market Street, San Francisco, free and open to the public
supported by an anonymous donor and the National Endowment for the Arts

The Poetry Center's Black Study Series takes its title and impetus from Stefano Harney and Fred Moten’s collaborative work, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (Minor Compositions, 2013):

  • “But the student has a habit, a bad habit. She studies. She studies but she does not learn. If she learned they could measure her progress, establish her attributes, give her credit. But the student keeps studying, keeps planning to study, keeps running to study, keeps studying a plan, keeps elaborating a debt. The student does not intend to pay.” Harney and Moten, The Undercommons, “Debt and Study,” 62
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The Poetry Center
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The Poetry Center