Posts Tagged: Racism

When Home Doesn’t Embrace

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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.

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David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: 21 Poems That Shaped America (Pt. 1): “The Idea of Ancestry”

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I know / their dark eyes, they know mine. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Russell Banks

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Russell Banks discusses his new book, Voyager: Travel Writings, why we are never free from our history, and how writing saved his life. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Robin MacArthur

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Robin MacArthur discusses her debut story collection Half Wild, life in rural Vermont, and how narrative—and fiction—is key to reaching across what divides us. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Ben Ehrenreich

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Ben Ehrenreich, author of The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine, discusses oppression, objectivity in journalism, and millennial politics. ...more

It Was a Joke

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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.

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Florence Foster Jenkins, Meryl Streep, and White Feminism

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Streep’s career encapsulates the mid-to-late 20th century ideal of American whiteness as aspirational and as attainable. ...more

Riding the Underground

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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.

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Anti-Blackness in Sci-Fi Publishing

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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.

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The Sunday Rumpus Essay: Tiny Bubbles

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A bubble is a sphere of privilege, but it also provides the safety to mix up more soapy water and to blow new bubbles to protect what we hold dear. ...more

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R.I.P. #6: Odd Habits

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I would really like to see a coming back or recreation of funeral rites. Let’s create new ones. Let’s take this matter into our own hands. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Ben H. Winters

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Ben H. Winters discusses his new novel Underground Airlines about an America where the Civil War never took place, writing speculative fiction, and modern racism. ...more

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A Ringing in Your Ears That Would Disappear by Morning

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Soon, you would discover the local isle of misfits. Every town has at least one if you do some digging. Yours was The Boathouse. ...more

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Songs of Our Lives: Guns N’ Roses’s “Paradise City”

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When people asked what I was going to do after high school, I said, “Leave town.” I wasn’t kidding. I hadn’t applied to a single college. ...more

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The Rumpus Book Club Chat with Jensen Beach

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The Rumpus Book Club chats with Jensen Beach about his short story collection Swallowed by the Cold, suburbia in Sweden, quiet racism, and writing a series of connected short stories. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Brian Blanchfield

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Poet and writer Brian Blanchfield talks about his essay collection Proxies, touring in support of a prose collection versus a poetry collection, and frottage. ...more

Look Away, Dixie Land

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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.

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The Rumpus Interview with Ravi Shankar

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Ravi Shankar discusses Singaporean poetry in the last fifty years, Hindu mythology, translation, and his complicated relationship to his heritage. ...more

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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by Constance Mensh

Swinging Modern Sounds #72: Urban Pastoral

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It’s like a landscape that you can’t know until you’ve seen it through four seasons, until you’ve seen it on days gray and bright. ...more

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Podcatcher #2: Rose Buddies

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Rachel and Griffin McElroy, hosts of The Bachelor fancast Rose Buddies, talk about about the problematic aspects of the show, how they stay hydrated, and what’s up with all those McElroy podcasts. ...more