Posts Tagged: race

Unstuck in Time

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Despite its uncanny salience in the context of this most recent wave of social injustice and protest, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout was written well before the #BlackLivesMatter movement began. Far from a coincidence, the book’s resonance is a product of the same paradox of time it describes, in which dated social conditions cannot possibly continue to exist, yet do:

All of the characters, regardless of how completely absurd they seem, are reacting to living in a time in which Beatty also resides; one in which he is daring to call something “‘Racism’ in a post-racial world.”

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Not Even Rumi is Safe from Hollywood Whitewashing

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One of the world’s most read and beloved poets since the 13th century, and an immensely important artistic, academic, and spiritual figure in the Muslim community, is getting his own movie. So who is going to take on the leading role of Rumi, whose poems about love, faith, and spirituality have guided generations?

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The Sound of White Flight

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Over at Catapult, Kashana Cauley explores the origins of the Midwestern accent and discovers its roots in racial segregation:

Apparently it wasn’t enough for GLVS [Great Lakes Vowel Shift] speakers to move very far away from minorities in order to avoid us: They desperately needed to adopt a nasal accent to make sure they didn’t resemble us in any way.

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Darryl Pinckney

The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Darryl Pinckney

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If your family or your people are looking over your shoulder, change your seat or push them away. Ask them to trust you with the truth. ...more

Victor in Key West

The Rumpus Interview with Victor LaValle

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Victor LaValle discusses his latest book, The Ballad of Black Tom, patience, H.P. Lovecraft, and reinvention. ...more

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Visible: Women Writers of Color #1: Desiree Cooper

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Desiree Cooper discusses her debut collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother, what mother-writers need, and why motherhood is the only story she’s ever told. ...more

The Man with the Biggest Mouth

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“The guys with the biggest mouths are always the most fragile.”
–Donald Trump, at a rally in New Orleans, March 4th 2016

Leaving the airplane hangar, thousands of Trump 2016 signs sandwiched under the arms of red, white, and blue t-shirts and American flag windbreakers, I find myself unlucky enough to be walking behind a trio of white, middle-aged men back to the distant parking lot.

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The Sunday Rumpus Interview: A Roundtable on Writing, Editing, and Race

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With Lisa Factora-Borchers, Patrice Gopo, Jennifer Niesslein, Tamiko Nimura, and Deesha Philyaw. ...more

Phillis Wheatley, Poet

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For Lenny Letter, Doreen St. Félix writes on the legacy of Phillis Wheatley, the first black poet to have her work published in America:

In her second life, Wheatley’s poetry—and the imagined determination it took to create it, to appropriate the language of white imperialism for her personal truth—has become a founding myth, of a newer black-female canon.

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American Ambiguity

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My racial awareness, perhaps even my awareness of myself as a person, self-consciousness, is a three-pronged paradox of shame, pride, and indifference. ...more

Angela Flournoy

The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Angela Flournoy

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My ambition is personal. I don’t think I need to succeed so that the race can succeed. ...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