February Books: Black History Month

A belated recap of what I read last month: Farbe bekennen, edited by May Ayim, Katharina Oguntoye, Dagmar Schultz; Freedom’s Soldiers edited by Joseph P. Reidy, Leslie S. Rowland, 1919 by Eve Ewing

January Wrap-Up: Race, Nation and the Black Atlantic

Here’s what I read this January; Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, The Fateful Triangle by Stuart Hall, Just Us by Claudia Rankine, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

Just Us in 2021

I finished Claudia Rankine’s Just Us: An American Conversation yesterday (coincidentally on Martin Luther King Day). Just Us is once again a fascinating mix of poetry, art, criticism and (personal) essay on the current state of race and racism in the United States. The title is (probably) adapted from a Richard Pryor quote Rankine also …

Ray Bradbury: Dandelion Wine

“This way, you get to live the summer over for a minute or two here or there along the way through the winter, and when the bottles are empty the summer’s gone for good and no regrets and no sentimental trash lying about for you to stumble over forty years from now. Clean, smokeless, efficient, …

Citizen: An American Lyric

“because white men can’t police their imaginationblack men are dying” I reread Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric recently. Published in 2014, this poetic, artistic snapshot of Black life in the US is stunning in its impact and intellectual heft. The book is decidedly not written for white men like me, and can, maybe should make …

Lindau in November 2020

I need a break from the real worldI will live in social media nowUntil I am a word of myself!Away you fly from such a brow! People are just as badThey’ve known the world along that wayBut rent is cheaperSince your own life is a day. A poem inspired byEmily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Sara …

The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

“So I just think about all the children who have been separated from their parents, and there’s a lot of us, past and present, and some under more traumatic circumstances than other – like those who are in internment camps right now – and I just imagine us as an army of mutants. We’ve been …

The Nickel Boys

“The white boys bruised differently than the black boys and called it the Ice Cream Factory because you came out with bruises of every color. The black boys called it the White House because that was its official name and it fit and didn’t need to be embellished. The White House delivered the law and …