HONR.3300.303: Contemporary African American Literature

James Hannaham

James Hannaham

Interview with James Hannaham

T.Geronimo Johnson On "Braggsville"

T. Geronimo Johnson

T. Geronimo Johnson, photo by Elizabeth R. Cowan
Photo by Elizabeth R. Cowan

Excerpt from "Welcome to Braggsville"

Brainiac when he aced the PSATs for his region, Turd Nurd when he aced the PSATs for his region, Turd Nerd when he hung with Jo-Jo and the Black Bruiser, D'ron Da'ron, D'aron, sweet simple Daron the first few minutes of the first class of the first day of college. Am I pronouncing that correctly? Yes, ma'am, Daron it is. What about this apostrophe, this light-headed comma? Feel free to correct me. Oh no, ma'am. Ignore that. It's all one word, ma'am. No need to call me rna' am. Yes, rna' am.

AS WAS EXPECTED OF VALEDICTORIANS, he had spoken of choices, though not his personal choices. His desk was stuffed tighter than a turducken with acceptance letters, but to list those would have been smug and boastful when most classmates were going to State or to stay. He instead pontificated on abstract opportunities to be grabbed, snatched out of the air like so many feathers, of the choices life extended to those who dared dream, of new worlds awaiting, of hopes to be fulfilled and expectations met, of how they would go forth and put B-ville, GA, squarely on the map. Never mind that it was ninety-two