Wordcraft: Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild

Listening to the replay of Tanya Free’s recent radio show reminded me that I should share my thoughts about Arlie Russell Hochschild’s National Book Award-Nominated work, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right. (Ahem) I did commit to posting about each NBA shortlisted finalist entry … During the latter part of […]

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7 WAYS COLSON WHITEHEAD’S UNDERGROUND RAILROAD IS PURE DOPENESS

I expect Colson Whitehead’s National Book Award-nominated novel, The Underground Railroad, to win plenty of kudos for its ability to convey a layered story of metaphoric Afro-mysticism surrounding Black slaves, particularly a young woman named Cora, who are pursuing freedom from the antebellum South. Abolitionists, pro-slavery supporters and the ideological permutations in-between help to frame […]

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SUNDAY SMACK: DID US GOVERNMENT COMMIT CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY?

I just completed my second reading of John A. Williams’ novel Clifford’s Blues — a well-written but far from feel-good story of a black, gay jazz musician imprisoned in Nazi Germany.  The book frequently mentions the gruesome medical experiments performed on prisoners by Nazi physicians — which made me think of the 1932–1972 Tuskegee, Alabama syphilis […]

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SUNDAY SMACK: TREASON OR SLAVERY?

This week’s Sunday Smack inspiration comes from reading Eric Foner’s Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, where I was reminded of how the British promised Africans enslaved in America their freedom in return for fighting against George Washington’s patriots during America’s war for independence. That would mean any slave who fought […]

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TA-NEHISI COATES IS A 2015 NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS NONFICTION FINALIST

For some reason, I’m not surprised that Ta-Nehisi Coates made the National Book Awards long list of nominations for Nonfiction. No offense, Dr. West. Temporarily setting aside arguments about whether or not Coates’ book Between the World and Me reflects a proper descendancy from Baldwinism, or an adequate rebuttal of neo-liberalism and all artifacts which […]

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‘GO SET A WATCHMAN’ BACKLASH – TO FIT WHOSE NOVEL RACE FANTASY?

Much of America is losing its collective Sugar-Honey-Iced-Tea over the new Harper Lee book, Go Set a Watchman—a quasi-sequel of sorts to the author’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, but the former features hero attorney Atticus Finch as an older man who harbors racist views toward African descendants in America. The new book is considered a […]

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