Filed Under > Quoted & Noted
Columbia Spectator Profiles African-American Poet's Odyssey
Russell L. Goings, who recently presented two theatrical performances at Teachers College, discusses his new book, The Children of Children Keep Coming: An Epic Griotsong.
The poet Russell L. Goings presented two theatrical performances of his new book for children, The Children of Children Keep Coming: An Epic Griotsong, at Teachers College on February 5 and 6 in Milbank Chapel. The theatrical performance at TC was written by Goings and Charles Randolph-Wright, based on The Children of Children Keep Coming, and directed by Kamilah Forbes. Goings' book, which has accompanying pen-and-ink drawings by artist Romare Bearden, is an epic poem that tells the story of the African-American experience in the
. United States
In advance of a discussion of his book at Low Memorial Library on February 24, the Columbia Spectator has profiled Goings, who is a former professional football player, founded the first African-American brokerage to have its own seat on the New York Stock Exchange, and was the first chairman of Essence magazine.
A Poetic African-American Odyssey
by Anna Kelner
The Odyssey, the Iliad, the Epic of Gilgamesh—these cornerstones of the LitHum curriculum make no apologies for their sweeping stories, their dramatic climaxes, or their mythic giants. In The Children of Children Keep Coming: An Epic Griotsong, neither does Russell Goings.
Tomorrow, the Friends of the Columbia University Libraries will host a conversation with Goings about his book—an epic poem detailing two anonymous slaves’ journey to freedom—in the Low Memorial Library Rotunda. As Goings’ everyday heroes travel through fields of slaves toiling in the sun and pass over mounds of graves, they encounter African-American icons like Frederick Douglass, Billie Holiday, and Rosa Parks.
A leader in the African-American community, Goings himself merits entry into his pantheon of heroes. A Renaissance man, he once played professional football, helped found Essence, a magazine designed for black women, started the first black-owned firm on the New York Stock Exchange, and documented the recollections of the late Romare Bearden, a famed artist and his close friend.
To view the rest of the article, go to http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2009/02/22/poetic-african-american-odyssey.
Published Monday, Feb. 23, 2009