Tag Archives: racism

Top Post of 2014: Black Lives Matter

I repost a Toni Morrison essay on the importance of black men asserting their worth.

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The Race Projection behind the Killings

Projection helps explain many of the killings of unarmed young black men. Ralph Ellison is an expert on how projection works.

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Benito Cereno on War, Racism

A story of two students who found themselves using “Benito Cereno” to sort through two of the biggest issues that Americans face.

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Black Students Examine Uncle Tom

Two African American male students find continued worth in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

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Race Disagreements amongst Friends

The intricacies of the debate between Chait and Coates on the culture of poverty can be sorted out by applying Aphra Behn’s “Oroonoko.”

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#CancelColbert, #CancelMarkTwain

Carl Rosin, a high school teacher I admire tremendously, shares below how he will be using a recent public dust-up about a Stephen Colbert tweet to help his students understand the power and danger of satire, especially as it applies to Huckleberry Finn. I love the tweet that Carl imagines could have emerged out of Huck […]

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Duck Dynasty Patriarch as Pap Finn

Patriarch Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” shares certain characteristics with Pap Finn.

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GOP Whites Splitting? Huck Finn Says No

In “Huck Finn” has predictive value, the class tensions within today’s GOP will be papered over by racism.

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Tea Party Racism and Flannery O’Connor

To understand Obama derangement and the government shutdown, Flannery O’Connor’s short story “Artificial Nigger” is a good place to start.

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Reading as a Subversive Act

Richard Wright’s “Black Boy” testifies to the liberating power of literature.

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Keeping the Civil Rights Dream Alive

Great Civil Rights moments are great. Movements are better.

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Whoever Degrades Another Degrades Me

Whitman’s “Song of Myself” calls us to imagine the experience of the Other, just as Obama asked us to imagine the perspective of young black men.

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Trayvon Was an Invisible Man

The racial profiling at the heart of the Trayvon Martin killing is captured nowhere better than in Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man.”

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Harper Lee’s White Liberal Fantasy

Important though it was, “To Kill a Mockingbird” was also a white liberal fantasy.

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Invisible Obama, Point of Projection

Obama has had to to resist black male anger such as that described in Eliison’s “Invisible Man.”

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Ellison and Obama’s Racial Tightrope Walk

Ellison’s “Invisible Man” helps us understand Obama’s and America’s, intricate dance with race issues.

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Using Faulkner to Counter Racist Madness

Faulkner’s “Absolon, Absolon” is a continuing resource for countering the madness of racism.

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Bigotry = A Loathsome Lack of Imagination

Murakami says that the worst thing about bigots is that they are hollow men devoid of imagination.

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Men in Black 3 Embraces the Sixties

The latest “Men in Black” films takes for granted a diverse and multicultural world, set in motion by the 1960’s.

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Ellison’s Invisible Man, Always Relevant

Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” remains relevant, including to the Trayvon Martin case.

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Why Obama Hatred? Ask Ellison, Baldwin

What causes Obama-derangement? Ellison’s “Invisible Man” and Baldwin’s “Go Tell It on the Mountain” offer explanations.

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Growing More Liberal as We Age

Frost may allude to the belief that we become more conservative as we age, but his own poetry refutes the claim.

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The Healing Power of Talking about Race

Race, as we learned from watching a play based on student experiences with the subject, is more painful when we avoid it than we we confront it head-on.

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My Memories of a Mountain Writer

May Justus, an Appalachian author who wrote children’s books and poetry, has a great poem about windy weather. Recalling it recently brought back other memories of this remarkable woman.

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Using Austen to Understand Racism

African American blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates uses Jane Austen’s villainous Fanny Dashwood to penetrate the mindset of American racists.

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The Myth of Slaves as Faithful Companions

A visiting lecture on “Slaves as Loyal Confederates” reminded me of the complex relationships between black and white as they are explored by Twain and Stowe.

Posted in Twain (Mark) | Also tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

What Does a True Arab Do Now?

In “Blood,” Naomi Shihab Nye grieves the massacres of Lebanese Palestinians in a poem that calls out for us to see each other as individuals and not as racial Others.

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Remembering the Freedom Riders

King’s speech, not surprisingly, was the most memorable part of the weekend. At the time, he was upset at the violent race riots underway in Newark and Detroit. I remember him thundering, “Therefore I tell you, not ‘burn, baby, burn’ but ‘build, baby, build!’” and I carried those words with me into college.

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Dance with the Enemy, Then Go Wash

Film Friday The Western, Hollywood’s quintessential genre, can tell us a lot about race relations. I was reminded of this on Wednesday when I taught John Ford’s The Searchers in my American Film class. Rewatching the movie got me thinking about the Congressional hearings on “Muslim American Radicalization,” which began yesterday. I will have more […]

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Mexican-U.S. Relations: A Touch of Evil

Film Friday I have been teaching an adult film class this semester in conjunction with a fascinating exhibit on fences that our college’s art gallery has mounted with help from the Smithsonian Museum. My contribution is to exhibit and talk about films that focus on fences, walls, and other types of boundaries. This past Tuesday […]

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How Life Looks When One Is Property

Last week we had another fine presentation in the series of Twain lectures that my colleague Ben Click has been running. Once again a talk about race and Huckleberry Finn deepened my respect for that magnificent book. Here are some of the ideas I picked up, which I share with you from memory since I didn’t […]

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