Category Archives: Uncategorized

No Name in the Street

It is not true that people become liars without knowing it.  A liar always knows he is lying, and that is why liars travel in packs: in order to be reassured that the judgment day will never come for them … Continue reading

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James Baldwin – Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone

Though Baldwin wrote about his own life a lot, Baldwin’s 1968 novel Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone seems like the closest he came to writing a full-length autobiography.  It’s written in the first person and as his biographer … Continue reading

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What I’ve Learned Bringing Kendrick Lamar into my Classroom

When Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize today, I think more than a few people probably dismissed it as somehow the committee trying to be trendy but that the award itself is undeserved.  They’re wrong.  For me, the question is … Continue reading

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Ain’t Nothin’ New – Or – James Baldwin – Blues for Mister Charlie

[I put the James Baldwin reading project on hold for a while, but it’s back.] In one of my classes, we just finished an almost quarter-long exploration of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly.  One of the coolest things about studying … Continue reading

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From Slavery to Freedom – or – Why White People Need to Learn from Black History

I know your countrymen do not agree with me here and I hear them saying, “You exaggerate.” They do not know Harlem and I do. So do you. Take no one’s word for anything, including mine, but trust your experience. … Continue reading

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What I Mean by White Supremacy

“The bondage of the Negro brought captive from Africa is one of the greatest dramas in history, and the writer who merely sees in that ordeal something to approve or condemn fails to understand the evolution of the human race.” … Continue reading

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What is White Supremacy? Does it Exist? One try at explaining these questions

 Try to imagine how you would feel if you woke up one morning to find the sun shivering and all the stars aflame. You would be frightened because it is out of the order of nature. Any upheaval in the … Continue reading

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George Pelecanos’s DC Quartet

I started reading George Pelecanos novels because he was one of the writers on HBO’s The Wire.  Specifically, he gets the writing credit on the episode that has what still feels to me, 15 years later, like the saddest moment … Continue reading

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The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics – George Lipsitz

Created by politics, culture, and consciousness, our possessive investment in whiteness can be altered by those same processes, but only if we face the hard facts openly and honestly and admit that whiteness is a matter of interests as well … Continue reading

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We Were Eight Years in Power: American Tragedy – Ta-Nehisi Coates

I have read 40 books this year.  This one was the best.  You should read it. If you are a White liberal and you think you know what “identity politics” means and are very clear about why you think it’s … Continue reading

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