Articles by Ismail Muhammad

May 4, 2017

The Internet Was Built as a Weapon: The Millions Interviews Jarett Kobek 0

Everyone who’s doing this has to make a series of moral compromises, and the question these compromises center around is, How big of an audience do you want to have? There’s a way to get your work out there that is legitimate, valid, and enviable, where your ethics aren’t compromised — but the reality of that is that you sell to 500 people.

March 28, 2017

Thinking Another Person’s Thoughts: The Millions Interviews Brit Bennett 3

I’ve had young black women tell me that this is the first book they’ve encountered that portrayed young black women with emotional depth. I’m glad people are responding that way, but that also makes me deeply sad.

December 17, 2016

A Year in Reading: Ismail Muhammad 0

This is the kind of writing that reorganizes thought patterns and social relations.

October 25, 2016

Pressing Closer: On Brit Bennett’s ‘The Mothers’ 0

Bennett’s characters struggle to know one another while navigating a morass of regret, bitterness, and desire; the result is a drama of feeling that explores how trauma shapes the contours of our lives and delineates the limits to our intimacy.

October 4, 2016

Frank Ocean and the Black Male Body 0

Frank Ocean asserts the elasticity of black maleness.