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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.

 

books

Toni Morrison Nobel Lecture

Toni Morrison Nobel Prize
Novelist and writer Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford, February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019), received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. Here is the speech she gave on that occasion.

Writing While Socialist

Vijay Prashad, Mark Nowak Boston Review
Over the past year, the scholar and activist Vijay Prashad taught a series of nonfiction writing workshops to students, activists, workers, and journalists across India. The workshops sought to develop an ethics and practice of socialist writing to foreground what Prashad calls “the small voices of history.”

books

Literary Agents

Patrick Iber The New Republic
In the age of "fake news" and other mysterious media distortions, this book reminds us of a "simpler" time. Joel Whitney offers a new history of how, beginning in the late 1940s, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) simply (if much of the time secretly), paid writers, musicians, and artists, and sponsored publications, concerts, exhibitions, and cultural institutions as part of its Cold War arsenal.

The Whitewashing of James Brown

Gregory Allen Howard Huffington Post
There are over fifty black iconic biopics and black-themed movies in development in Hollywood, including multiple Richard Pryor projects, five Martin Luther King projects, multiple Marvin Gaye projects, and civil rights projects, and only one or two have an African American writer. Our entire history has been given over to white writers.

labor

Can Unions Save The Creative Class?

SCOTT TIMBERG Salon
Artists, writers,musicians and similar occupations are under attack. Low pay and lack of health benefits for most are major problems. Can unions help make their lives better? The author gives a brief history of organizing in these fields.
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