Posts Tagged: Racism

Claudia Rankine and #BlackLivesMatter

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The American imagination has never been able to fully recover from its white-supremacist beginnings. Consequently, our laws and attitudes have been straining against the devaluation of the black body. Despite good intentions, the associations of blackness with inarticulate, bestial criminality persist beneath the appearance of white civility.

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Rachel Dolezal: A Rumpus Roundup

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Six months ago, Rachel Dolezal, an academic and the president-elect of NAACP Spokane chapter, wrote an op-ed piece piece describing the importance of the #BlackLivesMatter protest movement. On Monday, she resigned her post at the NAACP surrounded in controversy.

Dolezal was profiled back in February where she revealed she is a cervical cancer survivor and that while living in North Idaho, her home was burglarized by white supremacy groups.

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Roxane Gay on NYT’s Alabaster Summer Reading List

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“Another day, another all-white list of recommended reading.”

So begins a piece on NPR from Roxane Gay on the New York Timess newly released summer reading list, which features zero authors of color. Gay argues that national outlets with wide-ranging audiences, like NYT or NPR, should not and cannot afford to continue leaving out extraordinary works by a diversity of authors.

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The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Tamara Winfrey-Harris

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The reality is that there is privilege even within social justice movements. ...more

Daniel Jose Older by Kevin Kane

The Rumpus Interview with Daniel José Older

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Author Daniel José Older talks about his new novel, Shadowshaper, noir influence in urban fantasy, gentrification, white privilege and the publishing industry, and why we need diverse books, now more than ever. ...more

UK Publishing is Racist, Too

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The Writing the Future report . . . found that the “best chance of publication” for a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) writer was to write literary fiction conforming to a stereotypical view of their communities, addressing topics such as “racism, colonialism or post-colonialism as if these were the primary concerns of all BAME people.”

On the heels of the depressing statistics of the first-ever Women of Color VIDA Count, the UK’s Writing the Future report reveals that things aren’t any better for writers of color across the pond.

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Repressed Reading

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That night, I found myself seriously questioning this assumption I’d held since childhood: “You have to try to forget that while you’re reading.” You do? Why? And, more to the point, how?

How do you approach literature when you find it racist or elitist?

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Hugos, Hijacked

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What has happened is simple: an angry mob has exploited a loophole in how nominations occur in order to crash a party that they seemingly detest anyway. The gaming of the Hugo Awards Ballot wasn’t executed for frivolous reasons: it was organized by racist, homophobic people who want science fiction to be going backwards instead of looking toward the future.

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Return to Braggsville

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Two authors take a trip that they did not take to a place that's no place (but could be anywhere) in Wiley Cash's feature on novelist T. Geronimo Johnson and his new book, Welcome to Braggsville. ...more

LaShonda Katrice Barnett by ellen foto in COLOR

The Rumpus Interview with LaShonda Katrice Barnett

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Novelist LaShonda Katrice Barnett discusses her debut novel, Jam on the Vine, how becoming a historian taught her about plot, Muslims living in Texas in the 19th century, and the Missouri State Penitentiary, also known as “the bloodiest 47 acres in America.” ...more

Novelist Brings Slavery to California

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In an interview with NPR, novelist and funnyman Paul Beatty discusses his novel The Sellout, and what’s on his mind when creating a world where plantation culture is reborn in California. The novel focuses on Bonbon, an African American man who reacts to the accidental shooting of his father by the LAPD by re-segregating his hometown and taking on a personal slave—an elderly man famous for his role in Little Rascals.

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Outrage Laced With Vulnerability

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When the grand juries failed to indict Darren Wilson or Daniel Pantaleo, they added to a lineage of injustices enacted against black people in America. Rumpus contributor Kaveh Akbar speaks to Claudia Rankine about her poetry collection Citizen, which explores the microaggressions supporting the system that let it happen: 

I didn’t have a directive in the sense of raising consciousness.

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Mirrors and Windows

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Jacqueline Woodson responds to Daniel Handler’s racist watermelon joke at the National Book Awards with a moving and direct piece in the New York Times. She neither condemns nor forgives Handler, but instead focuses on her personal history with the watermelon joke, the positive direction of diversity in publishing, and her mission in writing:

This mission is what’s been passed down to me — to write stories that have been historically absent in this country’s body of literature, to create mirrors for the people who so rarely see themselves inside contemporary fiction, and windows for those who think we are no more than the stereotypes they’re so afraid of.

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Eric Garner: A Rumpus Roundup

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In July, unarmed black man Eric Garner died after he was placed in a chokehold by a white police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, on Staten Island, a suburban borough of New York City.

This might sound eerily similar to the case of Michael Brown.

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Diversity Matters

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Daniel Handler’s (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) recent racist joke at the National Book Awards exposed an uncomfortable truth about the American publishing industry: its overwhelming whiteness. For the industry to survive, it must embrace diversity. Over at the Guardian, Carole DeSanti points out that regardless of changes in the business of publishing, what matters is the content:

…any gains in the format and pricing wars are going to be wiped out if content is less and less relevant to the way people live, who we are, and what we aspire to be.

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Racists Are Less Creative

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Comparing cognitive tests like the Duncker Candle Problem against views of racial essentialism reveals that racists lack certain problem solving skills, reports Hazlitt:

Creativity is fundamentally the ability to recombine old ideas, moving beyond preexisting categories in order to create things that are genuinely novel.

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A Book Review Column That Isn’t All About White Men

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As VIDA’s annual stats have made very clear, most publications favor male writers reviewing books by other male writers.

Our inimitable essays editor Roxane Gay has also talked about the lack of representation of writers of color in many publications.

Ron Hogan, who runs the literary website Beatrice, wants to help change that by starting a new book-review column that intentionally focuses on the work of a diverse range of authors.

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