Posts Tagged: race

Angela Flournoy

The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Angela Flournoy

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The only way that our literature will continue to grow is if we accept and acknowledge that nothing we write will change the hearts and minds of people who don’t want their hearts and minds changed. ...more

National Amnesia

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Race is an important and central issue in the United States, but what about abroad?

It appears that both the United States and the United Kingdom are witnessing one of those moments when we confront what Toni Morrison said in an early interview about Beloved (1987), ‘something that the characters don’t want to remember, I don’t want to remember, black people don’t want to remember, white people don’t want to remember.

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That’s Racist

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As much as we cherish the books from our childhood, there is no denying that some of the stories are just a little (or a lot) racist. But how do we reconcile this truth?

 They were the feckless prisoners of their times, and much as we’d like for people in the past to share our enlightenment, especially people we otherwise admire, it’s just not going to happen in an unfortunate number of cases.

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White Women Dominate Publishing?

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Man Booker prize-winner Marlon James was right: the people who work in publishing are overwhelmingly white and female. New data shows that publishing executives, editors, and the staff behind books are predominantly white women:

At the executive level, publishing is 86 percent white, 59 percent female, 89 percent “straight/heterosexual,” and 96 percent normatively-abled.

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A New Scientific History

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Did Du Bois and the Atlanta School have a distinct standpoint? Of course…. But white privileged departments of Sociology also had their distinct standpoint. And theirs was the standpoint of imperial power.

In the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, Julian Go reviews a new history of sociology (Aldon Morris’s The Scholar Denied) and the systematic dismissal of black scholars’ scientific discoveries, starting with W.E.B.

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A New Nancy Drew

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An actress of color is predicted to play Nancy Drew in the upcoming CBS adaptation of Nancy Drew. At the AtlanticLenika Cruz reflects on this decision:

The announcement will do little to quell fears that the future of entertainment will primarily be reboots, sequels, origin stories, prequels, and remakes; dooming audiences to year after year of studios excavating material from the past and trying to make it all feel new again.

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A Truly Intersectional Future

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Florence Okoye, the founder of Afro Futures_UK, will be guest curator for an Afrofuturism-themed month at How We Get to Next. To kick off the collection, Okoye offers a long look into the abundance of futurist ideas and imagery, and the impact of social technology, in black culture:

Indeed, one of the best things about the movement is being able to dream of a truly intersectional future between any number of social identities… Afrofuturism is not just a genre— it’s a way to reframe science, history, technology, and religion, as well as race and society.

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The Saturday Rumpus Review: Carol

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Carol is a powerful woman with enviable self-knowledge, effortlessly creating an erotic, sensual ideal of herself as a covert spectacle for queer midcentury women. ...more

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The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Josie Pickens

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Josie Pickens talks about building relationships through blogging, changing the narrative around black women in America, and eradicating silence through storytelling. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Margo Jefferson

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Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Margo Jefferson talks about her new memoir, Negroland, and about growing up in an elite black community in the segregated Chicago of the 1950s and 1960s. ...more

Junot Diaz Talks Reading, Books, and Race

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In a short interview with the Los Angeles Times, Junot Diaz discusses how he chooses what works to read at events, some books he’s reading now and loving, and America’s uncanny ability to erase racial struggle from its collective mind:

I think that we’re in another moment where historically, periodically issues of race and the kind of panorama in which we live becomes more clear and comes into focus.

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Real, Local, Radical

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A must-read profile of Sesshu Foster, unofficial poet laureate of East Los Angeles, steadfast advocate of racial equity, eloquent witness to the changes of gentrification, full-time school teacher, and arguable embodiment of the vibrant tangle of roots that comprises modern Los Angelean culture:

In any other city, and in any neighborhood besides East L.A., it’s unlikely that a half-Japanese, half-Anglo poet would be so enmeshed in Chicano cultural production.

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Three Brilliant Poems

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I’m pretty good / at not loving / anything enough / to fear its ruin. / The cruel speed / of our guaranteed / obsolescence suits / me. This way / I get to be / at least one / of my favorite / versions of myself / every other week: / brooding philosopher, / race man, public apology / connoisseur…

In the latest release from Wave Composition, three brilliant poems by Joshua Bennett, drawn from the experience of our contemporary racialized American world.

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Seeing (and Gazing On) Black Twitter

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In the existing ways that our fashion, speech and music are ripped from our bodies and plastered as spectacle, this otherwise radical platform becomes a tool of injustice and control. This is the shortcoming of inviting the white gaze. While many see visibility as a step toward progress, when we open our cultural products to folks with no access, their cultural power is cheapened.

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Complements to the Canon

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Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) writes for Seven Scribes on the experience of discovering novels by black writers to act as a necessary complement to reading Harper Lee’s reductive portrayals of race in Mockingbird and Watchman:

These books, this canon, represented the exact opposite of what To Kill a Mockingbird meant.

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Dear White Men, Publish Responsibly

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For Electric Literature, Adalena Kavanagh has a conversation with poet Elisa Gabbert on Google Chat about how to advise white male writers to publish ethically. Their conversation also explores topics related to power structures in the publishing industry, and the implications of white authors writing from the perspective of a different race:

There is a long tradition of male novelists writing female characters, and that doesn’t feel *necessarily* problematic to me.

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