Month: October 2020

Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine (2020): Fact-Checking and Footnoting Her Own Pain

This book was hard to read. It is full of raw pain. I so appreciate Rankine’s willingness to expose her vulnerability. I am struck by how hurtful it is for a black woman to live in the culture of the United States. She is brave to expose herself this way. Rankine, a professor at Yale teaching classes on the history of whiteness in the U.S. wonders one day,  “What it would mean to ask random white men how they understood their privilege. . . . I found myself falling into easy banter with all kinds of strangers except white...

Read More

Polly Coppinger’s Son: Osceola,”Master Spirit of the Seminole Nation” (1804-1838)

National Indigenous Peoples Day is being celebrated across the United States this week. Malinda Maynor Lowery, professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill, in her article The Native History of Indigenous Peoples Day, relays, “More and more towns and cities across the country are electing to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day as an alternative to—or in addition to—the day intended to honor Columbus’ voyages…The growing recognition and celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day actually represents the fruits of a concerted, decades-long effort to recognize the role of Indigenous people in the nation’s history.” You can read Lowery’s full article here. In the spirit of...

Read More

Memorials to the Victims of the Middle Passage

In several interviews after the publication of her 1987 novel, Beloved, Toni Morrison laments the lack of awareness and homage to the victims of the Middle Passage. What is the Middle Passage? Brittanica defines the Middle Passage, as “the forced voyage of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. It was one leg of the triangular trade route that took goods (such as knives, guns, ammunition, cotton cloth, tools, and brass dishes) from Europe to Africa, Africans to work as slaves in the Americas and West Indies, and items, mostly raw materials, produced on the plantations (sugar, rice, tobacco, indigo, rum, and cotton) back to Europe. From about 1518 to the...

Read More

JOIN NOW FOR “NASTY” UPDATES, One post per week in your inbox about a #nastywoman who is inspiring us to write about them.