Posts Tagged: Cannibal

Interrogating the English Language with Safiya Sinclair


To be forced to speak in the language of the colonist, the language of the oppressor, while also carrying within us the storm of Jamaican patois, we live under a constant hurricane of our doubleness. ...more

Violent Code


Poet Safiya Sinclair, author of Cannibal, takes part in the Kenyon Review Conversation series with insight into race in America from a Jamaican’s point of view. Living in a white academic bubble in Charlottesville, VA, immersing herself in slavery-era texts and James Baldwin, she describes how she discovered the ways racism is reduced to the symbolic and coded into language—“hidden in plain sight.” “For example:” she says, “Why is the name ‘killer bee’ interchangeable with ‘Africanized bee’?… coded language makes its way into our vernacular, often shielded under the unimpeachable banner of science.”