The synchronized goose-stepping to President Donald Trump’s White-America-First drumbeat seems highly familiar to many of you. And this is the point where most media analogies between Trumpism and Nazi Germany stop short. I want to go deeper and explore the policy and moral ramifications of Trumpism’s eventual end — and what will happen once the […]Read More When the beat stops dropping — marching after Trump
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 […]Read More Wordcraft: Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild
On a different planet, we could have been Lois Lane or Tarzan’s Jane or Mary Tyler Moore or Marlo Thomas. We could have thrown our hats up, twirled and smiled. We could have made it after all. We watched the shows. We knew the songs. We sang along when Mary was big-eyed and awed by […]Read More WordCraft: Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
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 […]Read More 7 WAYS COLSON WHITEHEAD’S UNDERGROUND RAILROAD IS PURE DOPENESS
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 […]Read More SUNDAY SMACK: DID US GOVERNMENT COMMIT CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY?
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 […]Read More SUNDAY SMACK: TREASON OR SLAVERY?
The parrot promises teenager Caden Bosh “A gift of unlimited horizons,” but only if Caden Bosch agrees to “Do away with the captain. Meanwhile, the captain says “When we are free of the parrot, then we shall truly be free.” Densely written with absorbing lyrical references and a plenitude of seamless metaphors weaved into a […]Read More WORDCRAFT: CHALLENGER DEEP BY NEAL SHUSTERMAN
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 […]Read More TA-NEHISI COATES IS A 2015 NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS NONFICTION FINALIST
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 […]Read More ‘GO SET A WATCHMAN’ BACKLASH – TO FIT WHOSE NOVEL RACE FANTASY?