On Blackness ?>

On Blackness

“Why do you put that [Blackness] in our faces? So there’s some moral high ground you can claim, without anyone else claiming it?” –-A question asked to me.   My great-grandfather could, and did, pass for white. His only son, my grandfather, was darker and couldn’t. My grandfather told me a story of his youth that must have taken place in 1938 or 1939 in Jim Crow Louisiana. He accompanied his daddy on one of his jobs hauling things. My…

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The Pain of Homecoming ?>

The Pain of Homecoming

The word “Nostalgia” conjures up feelings of kitsch and preciousness. It’s hard to separate the word from bourgeois affectations, and “aw, shucks” images of small town life that may never really have existed.  People of a certain age connect the word with Norman Rockwell paintings, and snow at Christmas, and an apple pie cooling on the window sill. But at its heart, nostalgia is actually about pain, even its etymology reflects the sense that recalling the past causes an ache….

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Racism as a weed ?>

Racism as a weed

I’m very slowly working my way through Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland, and there’s a lot to digest.   But what keeps resonating is how bitterly people resented the Civil Rights Act of 1964, how the Civil Rights Act of 1966 was reviled in inflammatory language, and the mass hysteria about civil rights in general that were a part of the time.  It’s interesting to me, because the Right has lately a habit of trying to co-opt Martin Luther King, Jr.  but…

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Thoughts on Django Unchained ?>

Thoughts on Django Unchained

As much as I’d like my inaugural post to be about something less contentious than race relations, I don’t get a break from having to think about race, so alas dear reader, neither will you today. Last Friday, Alex and I went to see Django Unchained in a packed Glasgow cinema, and since that time I’ve been mulling over certain thoughts and emotions provoked by the experience. I’ve been thinking about how to articulate myself in an appropriate manner, and…

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