Posts Tagged: Racism
The books we read in childhood don’t always hold up to our memories of them. Sometimes it’s just a matter of juvenile or bad writing, but other times, it’s the author’s prejudices that turn us off as adults—and classic detective stories can be particularly troublesome:
Chesterton’s glorious evocations of light, landscape, and unnerving, lurid strangeness remain compelling.
At The Toast, Katrina Otuonye discusses the inner pain and conflict of being unjustly stopped by the police as a black woman:
My rule-abiding politeness, my inner drive to keep the peace, my outwardly even temper, none of these things will necessarily save me.
Ever since Zoe Saldana was set to play Nina Simone in the upcoming biopic Nina, controversy has surrounded the casting choice. Writing in the Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates says that the issue isn’t just about Saldana’s lighter skin tone, but the erasure of Simone’s facial features and what it says about America’s racist beauty standards:
Saldana has said that others actors who better resembled Simone passed on the role, and that she herself declined it for a year.
Maddie Crum reviews Kaitlyn Greenidge’s We Love You, Charlie Freeman, looking at the theme of racism prevalent in the new novel, who should read it, and more:
The story’s thesis is wrapped up in when and how the Freemans choose to use sign language rather than spoken words; often, it serves the purpose of communicating what’s difficult or impossible to articulate.
“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....more
Fears of mistaken identity and unconscious slips were crystallized in the literature of detection but emerged from a broad range of hermeneutic practices across the era, at a time in which those in power considered the borders of empire and boundaries of racial identity to be insecure.
At Lit Hub, Kate Jenkins discusses Southern literature’s clumsy history in dealing with race, and theorizes that, in light of Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee may have actually been much more ahead of her time than we thought:
Did Harper Lee ever consider Atticus a hero?
Memoir, the offspring of the slave narrative, is not simply a form within the Black literary tradition; it has thoroughly shaped that tradition.
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.
At Hyperallergic, Chris Cobb explores new photography exhibits featuring over 200 color photos from a recently rediscovered collection by Gordon Parks. The collection dates from 1956, when Parks was commissioned by LIFE magazine to capture the day-to-day of black families in segregated Alabama....more
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....more