Roxane Gay is from the Midwest, but as a woman of color she feels like an outsider in the rural places she often inhabits. In an essay for Brevity, “Black in Middle America,” Gay examines reactions to her face in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a place so remote “my blackness was more curiosity than threat”, and in Illinois’s cornfields—somewhere blackness is more familiar but no more understood....more
Posts Tagged: Racism
Kaitlyn Greenidge, author most recently of We Love You, Charlie Freeman (Algonquin Books) provides her take on Lionel Shriver’s recent remarks at the Brisbane Writers’ Festival for the New York Times. Greenidge recalls writing her first novel in which there was an eighty-year-old Yankee heiress....more
At Ploughshares, Bryan Washington explores the lack of racial diversity in the “campus novel” genre, where the students rebelling against their educational establishments are still overwhelmingly white....more
In an essay on author authenticity for The Millions, Alcy Levy examines Percival Everett’s satirical novel Erasure—about a black author whose own satirical novel is taken seriously—in light of recent literary identity shake-ups such as James Frey and Michael Derrick Hudson, who changed his name to Yi-Fen Chou to get a poem published:
This exposes a major flaw in artistic perception in publishing.
The Underground Railroad has always fascinated Americans, and recently it has exploded in popularity, with books, TV shows, and even representation on United States currency. But does the mythologized version of the Underground Railroad live up to actual history? In a recent New Yorker article, Kathryn Schulz examines recent media incarnations of the Railroad:
But, as more recent work has made clear, they should also incite our curiosity and skepticism: about how the Underground Railroad really worked, why stories about it so consistently work on us, and what they teach us—or spare us from learning—about ourselves and our nation.
Less than two percent of science fiction stories published in 2015 were by black writers. And a recent study found that black speculative fiction writers face “universal” racism—more damning evidence demonstrating the institutionalized racism in book publishing, and the importance of introducing more diversity at every level of the process....more
I want readers to understand how racism and antiracism can exist at the same time even in a revolutionary setting.
Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution by author and professor Devyn Benson is the long-untold history of racism against Black Cubans....more
Two stained glass panels depicting the Confederate flag in Washington’s National Cathedral are being removed. The windows were installed to memorialize Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson:
They may have been easy to overlook, but their ousting from one of the country’s most renowned places of worship is a significant gesture in the broader, nationwide movement to rid the United States landscape of racist symbols.
At Seven Scribes, Daniel José Older examines the critical conversation surrounding Lemonade. In particular, Older addresses critics who wield the idea of an artist’s intention depending on the race of their subject, using intention as “a bludgeon to chastise creators of color or protect white artists.”...more
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?...more