Posts Tagged: Racism

Black Memoir

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Memoir, the offspring of the slave narrative, is not simply a form within the Black literary tradition; it has thoroughly shaped that tradition.

With the release of smash hit Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, as well as acclaimed releases Negroland, Twin of Blackness, and Remnants, the black memoir is in a veritable golden age. 

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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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#OscarsSoWhite: Calling Out Academy Bias

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Instead of influencing our movie-going habits, The Academy can take its cues from us. We can continue to speak up through social media and—more importantly—our dollars. ...more

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The Rumpus Poetry Book Club Chat with Phillip B. Williams

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The Rumpus Poetry Book Club chats with Phillip B. Williams about his new book Thief in the Interior, form in poetry, and balancing editing work with one's own. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Elisa Gabbert

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Author Elisa Gabbert talks about her books, The Self Unstable and The French Exit, diversity, publishing, whiteness, and writing in the Internet Age. ...more

This Week in Short Fiction

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It’s December, that magical time of year when newspapers and websites across the globe unveil their “Best of the Year” lists. Valeria Luiselli has been all over them with her innovative novel The Story of my Teeth, and lucky for us, this week Guernica gifted us a new Luiselli short story, “Shakespeare, New Mexico,” translated by Christina MacSweeney.

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The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Jennifer Baker

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The more variation we see in life, the more it becomes less about seeing one type of book by marginalized people. ...more

George Saunders and Donald Trump

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George Saunders! America’s greatest satirist! The heir to Mark Twain’s estate! And I thought, Oh, what I wouldn’t give to hear Saunders weigh in on Trump. And then I remembered that, in a way, he already had.

At the Kenyon Review blog, Cody Walker talks about how George Saunders‘s story “The Red Bow” can be used as a critique of Donald Trump’s mad descent into racist demagoguery.

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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

This Week In Posivibes: Killer Mike at FSU

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While it isn’t unusual to find Killer Mike speaking about race and politics (see his past lecture at MIT on Pitchfork), Render appeared at Florida State University last week to lecture again on racism and civil rights. “Step out of your comfort zone and engage another human being as a fair and honest equal,” he said, “and based on that engagement, help that individual grow.”

Considering that racism protests have overwhelmed campuses nationwide, we’re hoping Render’s words affect change and generate positive insight.

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The Ivy Halls of Racism

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Larissa Pham writes about racism and Yale for Guernica:

This tension is not new. It is a product of the systemic racism built into the institution, as ubiquitous as the architecture that characterizes the place in our shared consciousness. “Everyone who enters Yale is reminded that they’re in an environment that is a product of centuries of classism and racism,” Cynthia Hua, who graduated earlier this year, told me.

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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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I’ll Fly Away: Notes on Economy Class Citizenship

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I want to break from a continued and systematic white supremacy so pervasive it is entrenched in the vernacular I use to express myself. ...more

Plot and Prejudice

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At Electric Literature, Matthew Salesses discusses the works of Joseph Conrad and Flannery O’Connor to explore the problem of unconscious prejudice and unintentional racism in writing, and how writers can avoid it:

The writing of fiction cannot treat marginalized characters as vessels, cannot let the plot play out the racism of under-enlightened protagonists.

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Complicating The New Jim Crow

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At the New Yorker, Kelefa Sanneh discusses a new provocative book about current racial tensions in the USThe book, Black Silent Majority by Michael Javen Fortner, aims to complicate the idea that black people are disproportionately affected by police violence and incarceration (notably addressed by Michelle Alexander in The New Jim Crow) by talking about the ways black people themselves called for harsher prison sentences and a crackdown on crime in the 60s and 70s:

At a moment of growing concern about how our criminal-justice system harms African-Americans, Fortner seeks to show that African-American leaders, urged on by members of the community, helped create that system in the first place.

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Yellowface in Poetry

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There’s a storm in the poetry world, this one set off by the bio in Best American Poetry 2015 of Michael Derrick Hudson, who has been publishing under the name Yi-Fen Chou. I’m not here to talk about the poem, or about how (at least) silly the notion of collecting some poems from the previous year and calling them the “best” of anything is.

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The Rumpus Review of [insert] boy by Danez Smith

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In this sense, the book is a “coming-of-age” story and “spiritual quest” as much as a seething commentary on the catastrophe effected by the disease of contemporary racism and white supremacy. ...more

You Are Not Like Other Children

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You are not like the other children. You can’t get into the same juvenile mischief your white friends get into. You represent something more than yourself and your family when you are outside this house. You will have to be twice as good as other people to be as successful as them.

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Bill Cosby’s Faux Legacy

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Bill Cosby was never the man, the icon, the protector and illustrator of black culture, the guide, the genius we have created in our minds. ...more