Here is the thing: silence does not protect us; in fact it suffocates us. Marcia Chatelain, professor, author, and originator of #thefergusonsyllabus, discusses the importance of talking about race in high school and college classrooms in Lenny Letter.
And while the faces and nomenclature between these historically discrete agents of change differ, the one governing commonality remains the same: unfettered gun ownership and correlative violence play a pivotal role.
Rather than being shot at, my new fear would be of seeing the officers unleash violence upon a helpless body, having to watch within the confines of my approximated uniform, padded with a bullet proof vest, which would incontrovertibly claim me, identify my orientation toward the police and not the helpless body, drown me out […]
Author Daniel José Older talks about his new novel, Shadowshaper, noir influence in urban fantasy, gentrification, white privilege and the publishing industry, and why we need diverse books, now more than ever.
Novelist LaShonda Katrice Barnett discusses her debut novel, Jam on the Vine, how becoming a historian taught her about plot, Muslims living in Texas in the 19th century, and the Missouri State Penitentiary, also known as “the bloodiest 47 acres in America.”
The Torres family learned how Christopher died from watching the news the next day. At a press conference, the department’s chief public-safety officer said that two officers had tried to arrest Christopher at home, but, when he resisted and grabbed a gun from one of them, the officers felt that their lives were in danger. […]
The work of the writer has always been about making the invisible visible. Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams, talks to Salon about Ferguson and fear, selfies and tattoos, and what it means to be a writer in the modern world.
Following the grand jury verdict in Ferguson, protests shut down local civic institutions like schools. However, the local public library continued to serve as a beacon of hope, providing area residents with access to books, Internet, and entertainment. Last week, YA author John Green sent the library signed copies of his books. And contributions to […]
When the grand juries failed to indict Darren Wilson or Daniel Pantaleo, they added to a lineage of injustices enacted against black people in America. Rumpus contributor Kaveh Akbar speaks to Claudia Rankine about her poetry collection Citizen, which explores the microaggressions supporting the system that let it happen: I didn’t have a directive in […]
Art has to be a confession. I don’t mean a true confession in the sense of that dreary magazine. The effort, it seems to me, is: if you can examine and face your life, you can discover the terms with which you are connected to other lives, and they can discover, too, the terms with […]
This week, last week, men who have taken lives are walking away unpunished, unquestioned even. We have their victims’ names: Mike Brown. Eric Garner. We have their final words: Hands up, don’t shoot. (Six shots fired.) I can’t breathe. (Repeated until his breath is forever gone.) To stand with these two men is to go […]
In July, unarmed black man Eric Garner died after he was placed in a chokehold by a white police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, on Staten Island, a suburban borough of New York City. This might sound eerily similar to the case of Michael Brown. Or similar to Akai Gurley. Or to any of the hundreds of […]
This past week has seen an outpouring of poetry responding to the disappointment, violence, and trauma spurred by the Ferguson decision. Over at Flavorwire, Jonathon Sturgeon challenges the notion that poetry written in response to political events is somehow less legitimate than art of any other kind: Over the years, I’ve heard countless complaints about […]
Following the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Michael Brown, Edwidge Danticat reflects on the overwhelming occurrence of police brutality against people of color: Today, one might generously refer to such acts as micro-aggressions. That is, until they turn major, until they turn deadly. Until a man who is […]
Scott Bonner, the director of the Ferguson Municipal Public Library, answered questions on Reddit over the weekend and discussed the needs of the community in light of the ongoing protests. The Ferguson library has continued to function, even as schools have been closed. During the question and answer session, Bonner mentioned the popularity of young […]