Anna Osbourne, Staff Writer
As college students, we have the opportunity to be exposed to the knowledge and experiences of our various professors. With each class and professor comes a unique set of new information and insight.
Dr. Regina Bradley, Armstrong’s assistant African-American Studies professor, has unmistakable zeal for the courses that she teaches. Bradley is currently finishing up her first academic book project, a study on the hip-hop group OutKast titled “Chronicling Stankonia: Outkast and the Rise of the HipHop South.”
While working on that, Bradley is teaching a survey of African-American literature that addresses the question “Why do black lives matter?” as well as an upper-level class on contemporary black women writers.
“Technically this is my second year at Armstrong, but this past spring I was at Harvard working on my book as a Nasir Jones HipHop Fellow,” she said.
Bradley’s passion for the literature in her curriculum carries over into her own writing as well. She had the chance to publicly share an excerpt from her own short story collection, titled “Intentions,” at Seersucker Live- A Literary Performance, on Aug. 31.
“After completing my PhD I challenged myself to write a page or two of creative brainstorming. My forthcoming short story collection, “Boondock Kollage,” is a direct result of that daily writing.”
Though Bradley speaks with eloquent confidence, she admits that sharing her stories is not always easy.
“I’m scared to death to share my stories with the public because they are personal and also because my creative writing is me at my most vulnerable.”
The literary performance was held at Sulfur Studios on Bull St. and featured readings from several local authors. Dr. Bradley says she plans on attending the next show.
“This was my first time attending Seersucker Live – first time viewer, first time participant – and I thought it was amazing.”
Whether it is journaling or poetry, creative writing has always been a necessity for her.
“I’ve been a writer my whole life. […] Writing has always settled well in my spirit,” she said.
More than just a pastime, Bradley mentions that writing even became a coping mechanism of hers during her younger years.
“I wrote short stories a lot in middle school as a way to work through intense bullying.”
Intentionality runs deep in her personal writing. She saw a need for more frequent depictions of herself and by writing her stories and sharing them with others, she is meeting that need directly.
“I think the real reason I write is that I don’t see enough of myself – rural southern black girl and woman here- in literature. I wanted to make sure I represented myself for others who have a bit of country black girl magic in them as well.”
Next semester, Bradley will be teaching a special topics course on the hip-hop group OutKast, “studying their impact on post-Civil Rights southern black literature and culture.” The class is scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m.- 12:15p.m.