ETHERIDGE KNIGHT FREE PEOPLES' PROJECT

“His Kindness was Overwhelming”

Etheridge Knight Jr.-“The Poet, The Poem, and the People”

What is the Etheridge Knight Project? 

Butler University is partnering with the Indianapolis Public Library’s Center for Black Literature and Culture to use Butler’s Etheridge Knight Collection to bring community members together with faculty, staff, and students to celebrate the poetry of Knight, and to reanimate his goal of creating an inclusive mix of family, readers, writers, and students.

Etheridge Card Front (1).jpg

What does the Project do for the Community? 

In response to the recent groundswell of divisive rhetoric, this project will also serve as a model for supporting one of the capacities essential to a healthy community (and a healthy democracy): the ability to empathize with others and thereby to appreciate and learn from commonalities and differences between Self and Other.

Who is involved in the Project? 

Central to our effort will be creation of a community advisory committee comprised of surviving members of Knight’s family, friends and colleagues of Knight, representatives from the Center for Black Literature and Culture, institutional team members, and student researchers. The advisory committee will have oversight of specific project goals and products, as a way to ensure all public products and exhibits align with family wishes and serve Knight’s unmistakable goal of exploring what it means to be a person in the world.

"[Knight] was not only [a] prison poet or Black Arts Movement Poet as he is commonly hailed, but someone who lived in the Word, who made and found communities that mapped onto his identities, who could connect with anyone through the sharing of feelings."

-Chris Strong, Student Researcher