Posts Tagged: slavery

On Grief and Inheritance: A Conversation with Brionne Janae

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The poet Brionne Janae discusses her debut poetry collection After Jubilee, intergenerational trauma, and writing her way into historical personae. ...more

All Writing Is Political: A Conversation with Mohsin Hamid

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Mohsin Hamid discusses his new novel, Exit West, hope in fiction as a form of resistance, the necessity of learning to accept social change, and how much America and Pakistan have come to resemble each other. ...more

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #81: Chanelle Benz

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Chanelle Benz’s debut collection, The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead, is filled with characters often facing a moral crossroads. The stories contain the unexpected, like a classic Western complete with local brothel as well as a gothic tale.

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The Rumpus Saturday Essay: The Savage Mind, Pt. 3

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To deny violence is to do it. Our surprise at Sandy Hook and Cold Springs and Columbine is a form of violence in its own right. ...more

Interrogating the English Language with Safiya Sinclair

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To be forced to speak in the language of the colonist, the language of the oppressor, while also carrying within us the storm of Jamaican patois, we live under a constant hurricane of our doubleness. ...more

The Rumpus Book Club Chat with Damian Duffy and John Jennings

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Damian Duffy and John Jennings discuss their new graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler's classic novel Kindred. ...more

Touring Trump’s America on Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad

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Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad won the National Book Award on Wednesday night. In his acceptance speech he told us, “We’re happy in here; outside is the blasted hellhole wasteland of Trumpland. Be kind to everybody. Make art and fight the power.”

Not only was this apt for the evening, but it also describes the landscape of his novel, which presents us with several different Americas, including the diverse, literary America he was referring to.

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The Rumpus Review of Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation

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Parker set out to bring a different kind of “slavery movie” to audiences. And it is different. ...more

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

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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History as Structure

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In a Q & A with debut novelist Yaa Gyasi on the ZYZZYVA blog, Ismail Muhammad asks Gyasi to expound on narrative structure and the far-reaching effects of the international slave trade:

I realized that I was interested in tracking how slavery, colonialism, and institutionalized racism work over a very long period of time—not just the beginning and end, but the movement from the beginning to the end.

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The Rumpus Interview with Yaa Gyasi

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Yaa Gyasi discusses her debut novel Homegoing, growing up in Alabama, the multiplicity of black experiences, the legacy of slavery, and her writing process. ...more

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

The Rumpus Interview with Kim Brooks

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Kim Brooks discusses her debut novel, The Houseguest, her approach to character and historical narrative, and the value of engaging readers with larger social issues through literature. ...more

The Conversation: Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib and Paul Tran

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The sitting down to write, convincing myself that my voice matters, even though there are so many telling me that it doesn’t. ...more

National Amnesia

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Race is an important and central issue in the United States, but what about abroad?

It appears that both the United States and the United Kingdom are witnessing one of those moments when we confront what Toni Morrison said in an early interview about Beloved (1987), ‘something that the characters don’t want to remember, I don’t want to remember, black people don’t want to remember, white people don’t want to remember.

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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

The Rumpus Interview with Melissa Gira Grant

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Melissa Gira Grant talks sex workers’ rights, labor politics, the novelty of women’s sexuality, and her book, Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work. ...more