Ismail Muhammad
Ismail Muhammad

Ismail Muhammad is a writer based in Oakland, California. He’s a staff writer at the Millions and contributing editor at Zyzzyva.

Books
June 7 2018 12:13 PMThe Crushing Sorrow of BarracoonIn Zora Neale Hurston’s account of the last known survivor of the middle passage, her luxuriant sense of black life collides with his unspeakable grief.
Books
Dec. 20 2017 12:46 PMCornel West’s Reckless Criticism of Ta-Nehisi CoatesWhy his broadside should feel like a crushing disappointment to any young critic who writes about race in America.
Books
June 15 2017 11:29 AMSecond SightTeju Cole’s new book of photography and essays feels like the fulfillment of an intellectual project that has defined most of his career.
Books
Feb. 15 2017 4:49 PMThe Misunderstood Ghost of James BaldwinHow critics have misconstrued his influence on today’s great black nonfiction writers.
Music
April 20 2018 6:51 PMThe Pulitzers Awarded Kendrick Lamar for the Wrong ReasonsThe jury made the right choice but based it on unflattering, damaging criteria.
Books
Sept. 18 2017 7:45 AMTraumatized GhostsJesmyn Ward’s new novel is like a modern Beloved, with the cruelty of the criminal justice system swapped in for the torments of slavery.
Books
April 14 2017 5:20 PMThe Anti-PolemicistDurga Chew-Bose’s dense, meticulous writing on identity politics feels like a corrective for our current political moment.