Starting off with some despiriting news: in the wake of the Health Care Reform debate, several black congressmen, including John Lewis, have been called racial slurs and one was even spat on by protesters.
At Love Isn’t Enough, there’s a great piece on DNA and identity. It adds another layer to the discussions on being biracial and multiracial we’ve been having, because it looks at how little we know about our own personal genetic and racial makeup, but how much we know about our own personal cultural makeup.
The New York Times takes a look at black authors coming together for a conference and thinking about their place in the literary world—as a niche or as part of the mainstream, writing for each other or writing for everyone.
Speaking of books by black authors, a lot of political bloggers have recently been posting lists of the books that most influenced them. Ta-Nehisi Coates’s list is itself a history of the African American experience—so much so that he later added a second list of White literature that has influenced him. I’ll put my own list of influential books in the comments and I’d love to see yours.
And remember, when writing your own list, not to worry too hard about book guilt, and when looking at other peoples’, remember that “looking at anyone’s book-list, or book shelf, and exclaiming “I can’t believe you don’t have xxxx!!!” will always—always—miss the point. There’s too much out there to know. You can’t possibly experience it all. . . . I have to leave space for my own stories, and guard against getting lost in someone else’s.” – Ta-Nehisi Coates