My first (and currently the last) cease and desist threat came not from some Hollywood agency but from a University of Virginia magazine, Postmodern Culture. Back in 2002, I attempted to re-publish a bell hooks essay, âPostmodern Blackness,â on kintespace.com. An email came soon afterâŠ
Dear Mr. Wilhite:
Thank you for notifying us that you have posted a copy of bell hooksâ âPostmodern Blacknessâ to your website. Unfortunately, by doing so you have violated copyright law. According to PMCâs contract with its publisher, the author retains copyright of any work published in PMC, although PMC and Johns Hopkins University Press must be credited whenever an article is re-published. A third party canât reprint or repost, without permissions from both author and, at this point, JHUP.
There is a relatively simple solution to this problem: rather than re-posting the article, you can include a link to the article as it originally appeared in Postmodern Culture. The link should be to PMCâs text only archive, which is accessible for free:
For an example of how such a link would work, please see .
If you choose to retain the currrent format for the re-posted article, you must secure permissions from both Professor hooks and Johns Hopkins University Press. I believe that you can contact Professor hooks via Oberlin College; the phone number for the English Department is (440)775-8570.
Please keep PMC updated on what course of action you choose to pursue.
fax (804) 982-2363
Alderman Library, 3rd Floor
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
First, let me congratulate University of Pennsylvania African Studies Center for successfully (evidently) not violating copyright law. What stands out from this adventure is that bell hooks herself told me to publish her work anywayâbut I did not. I decided to learn from this experience instead. I learned that when young, Black academics set out on a religious quest to be recognized by the âproper authoritiesâ they will know why the caged bird sings.
Successful, established authors often lose control over their own work. It is this deal with âthe devilâ at the crossroads that can seem so ironic for African-descended people preaching about freedom, dignity and independence. As long as the ignorant sycophants donât see the silken slave shackles itâs all goodâright? Iâm not saying that bell hooks is in any way associated with this game. I am saying that this experience with bell hooks reminds me of people who definitely areâŠ
Fortunately bell hooks came out from the gilded academic cage from time to time. We have one of those times in the form of streaming audio, âbell hooks: Connecting Self and Community,â here at kintespace.com.