Perhaps April is
Trying to write
Rhymes and rhythms
Yesterday, today—Poetry Month!
Only one more week of Poetry Month—enjoy it! (And yes, that means only one more week of reading my terrible attempts at poetry.)
New York Times columnist Charles Blow starts us off with his experience as a black man at a Tea Party rally.
In his deadpan way, Colbert reminds us how central race is to the immigration debate:
In Poetry Month,
Links to articles on race
Come with a haiku
Ta-Nehisi Coates is thinking about Confederate History Month, and brings us a photo and descriptions of recently-emancipated slaves from an 1864 edition of Harper’s Weekly—and like everything we’ve been reading about the census, it’s a telling glimpse into America’s racial makeup and mixtures: “Rebecca Huger is eleven years old, and was a slave in her father’s house, the special attendant of a girl a little older than herself. To all appearance she is perfectly white. Her complexion, hair, and features show not the slightest trace of negro blood.”
The census, however flawed and necessary it may be, has triggered some great writing and thinking about race and how we define ourselves. From CNN we have two great essays: journalist and filmmaker Raquel Cepeda writes on being Latino and the stories her family has told of their mixed heritage, and author Walter Mosley brings us a poetic look at the 10,000 years of history that led to him.
Author Chang-Rae Lee speaks about what box he’s going to check on his census, and how little it says about him:
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.
For your watching pleasure, Colbert’s best comments on race collected in one four-minute clip:
Spring is has reached New York! Here’s your weekly dose of links to ponder as you sit and bask in the sun.
Following up on last week’s links dealing with interracial writing in the speculative fiction community is Nisi Shawl, who hits home with a description of a panel on writing and racial identity at a recent convention: “Our fourth panelist had been raised as an American Indian and spent her life knowing absolutely that this was who and what she was. Then she discovered through genetic testing that her biological heritage is a mix European and Sub-Saharan African. No American Indian.” Fascinating stuff!
Continuing last week’s conversation on being biracial or multiracial—in a video and link to an essay about census—we have a video looking back to the 2008 presidential campaign and a group of multiracial students at Rutgers:
Yesterday we posted a video on the frustrations of biracial people being put into little boxes. Taking a very different view is Michele Elam, with a thought-provoking article about the pitfalls of “mark one or more races” on the census.
On her blog, author Shannon Hale takes a look at the lack of girls in children’s movies, the limited roles they play, and an appeal to parents: take your sons to movies with girl heroes. The same goes for books and the same goes for other types of diversity: give the children you know books with heroes who don’t look like them.