Tag Archives: Race

Clifton, Ellison Help Explain Whitesplaining

White politicians, if they want the Black vote, must be cautious about “whitesplaining.” Lucille Clifton gives us insight into the insensitivity in “note to self.” Brother Jack in “Invisible Man” is racially insensitive in this way and may have lessons for certain Bernie Sanders supporters.

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Bernie, Black Lives Matter, & Invisible Man

Bernie Sanders’s early missteps with Black Lives Matter, which bewildered him and his followers, is explained in Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man.”

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The Minefield of Talking about Race

More thoughts on how to address difficult questions of race, again with the help of Aphra Behn.

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Ellison and Obama’s Racial Tightrope Walk

Ellison’s “Invisible Man” helps us understand Obama’s and America’s, intricate dance with race issues.

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New Laureate Wrestles with Mixed Race

New poet laureate Natasha Trethewey describes herself floundering in her racial identity.

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How to Write a “True” Essay about Lit

When I wasn’t teaching class yesterday, I was continuing my marathon essay-grading session. I took a break to write today’s post, however, and used a well-known poem by Langston Hughes to reflect on what I was asking my students to do. In “Theme for English B,” the only black student in a college composition course […]

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Mockingbird, Powerful but Problematic

Harper Lee  National Public Radio reminded me yesterday that this summer is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. I have written a couple of times about the book, once talking about its importance to me growing up in the segregated south and once examining Malcolm Gladwell’s critique of […]

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