Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, the irreverent Jane Eaton Hamilton recounts her history with pulmonary illness in gripping detail in the Saturday Essay. Hamilton, an aspiring animal researcher, discards her educational goals when the reality of her condition is revealed. Paralleling her story to the macabre qualities of the vampire bat, she takes a clinical approach with her descriptions. “This essay is not about love,” she writes, but we know better.

Then, in the Sunday Essay, Precious Rasheeda Muhammad looks back on the “verbal sparring” that made the late Muhammad Ali such a unique and galvanizing force for change. The “brutal beat-down” of Ernie Terrell by Ali in 1967 frames her consideration of the famous boxer’s relationship with faith and black liberation ideologies during a tumultuous period in American history. The names given to slaves by their white owners sent repercussions rippling through the generations. Muhammad writes:

Sometimes I fantasize that our newly freed ancestors [kept their slave owners’ surnames] just so we could one day trace them back to their freedom points, knowing we would come looking for them, and from there trace them all the way home.

Finally, in honor of Father’s Day, Sunday Rumpus Co-Editor Martha Bayne shares her relationship with her father, and her thoughts on fatherhood, and then offers links to some wonderful past Sunday Rumpus pieces that touch on fatherhood.


Read more of Max Gray at Big City Sasquatch or follow him on Twitter @City_Sasquatch. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Encounters, Mount Hope, Conte, tNY.press, and English Kills Review. He co-hosts the etymology podcast Words For Dinner and is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. More from this author →