Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Affrilachia Discussion with Frank X Walker

Frank X Walker (born June 11, 1961) is an African-American poet from Danville, Kentucky. Walker coined the word "Affrilachia", signifying the importance of the African-American presence in Appalachia: the "new word ... spoke to the union of Appalachian identity and the region's African-American culture and history". As of 2013, he is the Poet Laureate of Kentucky.
from http://kybookfair.blogspot.com/2014/11/frank-x-walker.html 


from http://www.crmagazine.org/archive/SpringSummer2010Sidebars/Pages/AHotbedofCancer.aspx

How did Frank X Walker's discussion/reading  affirm, challenge or change what you understand about American culture, African American culture and/or Kentucky?


  1. I enjoyed listening to Professor Walker today. I felt that he had a lot of knowledge about African American history that I did not know, especially about historical and monumental black people in our society. I also really enjoyed his poems because they took on the perspective of people/things that you would not think about. For example, from the perspective of the bullet or the wife. Both of those perspectives were valuable but no one would think about them. Also to touch on his information about Appalachia, what he said was very true. When I think of Appalachia, I don't think about black people (which is incorrect) just like most people don't think that there are any black people in Kentucky. It just goes to show how what is being displayed in the media has a huge impact on how people's perceptions are shaped about others or other areas. Another thing that I learned was just how large the Appalchian area is and I thought that was surprising.

  2. Professor Walker was an outstanding speaker. He educated me further on how information was so well kept from not only Americans, but African Americans. It amazed me how newspapers, a source that is suppose to cover ALL news, wouldn't report events, or if they did report it would give little detail about what was happening. This amazed me, especially when he said that his mother didn't know who Malcolm X was until she got older. It made me realize, that even today the news that is reported to us isn't necessarily always the whole story, which is sad. How can American citizens be protected if we don't know what's going on? The government isn't protecting us by withholding information they are keep us ignorant, and protecting themselves from their possible wrongdoings.

  3. He definitely gives me a sense of connection to the state of human achievement. Twice in my three meetings with Frank X Walker, he mentioned his astonishment at a younger generation having no feel for the big stands made by heroic blacks of the past. He challenged me to look up Medgar Evers, even before he read the poems in class. It makes me feel not so alone to feel that I can take pride in the works of great others.

  4. I really appreciate Professor X Walker taking the time out to talk with our class and give his perspective of black life in the Appalachia, something that until that day I have never been exposed to. I think that it is important for the generations before ours to tell us these stories about our histories in a way that we have never heard them before and give new life to those who voices have fallen by the wayside. I really also enjoy the fact that I can share what I have learned in class to my family which can open conversations to topics that we never have talked about.

  5. Frank X Walker is a very funny guy. He was great at speaking and I was glad you was able to take the time to speak to our class. I am not from appalachia and I knew very little about the region prior to moving to Kentucky. It was interesting to hear about the black experience in appalachia since that seems to almost never come up in conversation.

  6. Frank X Walker coming to our class gave me more insight about African -Americans in appalachia and how many things are covered up or not even broadcasted. So its good to make sure you to teach many generations about the history before it's lost since many of the elderly wont talk about the past.