In 1925, W.E.B Du Bois, worried that African American art had strayed from the goal of social justice, sent a questionnaire to influential authors and publishers. In it, he asked them a series of questions about what they thought African American arts and letters should be about.
He must have been quite disappointed. Rather than affirm his own belief that African American art should be propaganda for African American equality, most of the respondents argued for the freedom of the artist to follow whatever path their “genius” desired.
But then Du Bois did a fairly remarkable thing; he published the responses in his magazine, Crisis. All of them. To my knowledge he never wrote about them, he quietly printed them over the course of a year and let his essay “The Criteria of Negro Art,” speak for him.
I’ve always admired Du Bois for this; he asked hard questions and didn’t duck the answers, perhaps realizing that the conversation was just as important as the subject.
It’s in this spirit that I’d invite you to respond to a series of questions about book blogging; these questions are meant to kindle conversation as much as they are to arrive at anything like answers.
If you’d like to respond in the comments, please do so. If you’d like to respond on your own blog, please let me know and I’ll link it up here. If you would like to run your responses as a guest post here at The Reading Ape, I would be thrilled to run it, just let me know at readingape AT gmail DOT com.
Here are the questions:
1. What does book blogging do best?
2. If you write a book blog, why do you?
3. What do you think the future of book blogging is?
4. What do your favorite book bloggers do?
5. If you could tell all book bloggers one thing, what would it be?
6. If you could change one thing about book blogging, what would it be?
7. How do you think book blogging fits into the reading landscape?
8. What about your own book blogging would you like to do better/differently?
Ken at The Ken
Ellen at Fat Books, Thin Women
Mummazappa at The Book Nerd Club
What Red Read
She Treads Softly
Ben at Dead End Follies
Nicole at Bibliographing
Jillian at A Room of One's Own
Every Book and Cranny
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