Author: Theresa C. Dintino

A Re-Declaration Of Independence That Includes Everyone This Time

I guess it is true that humans often resist change. Hold on to tired old things that are no longer working. I guess we all feel this within ourselves when we need to change and we cannot make ourselves do it because things are comfortable enough as is or we are “attached.” I guess that could be what is going on with white people in the United States around the most recent request for change from the black community. I guess even having the option to resist change is a form of privilege. If it ain’t broke…well guess what?...

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Toni Morrison’s Sula: Available to and for her own imagination—a rare kind of freedom.

Toni Morrison’s Sula (1973) has long been one of my favorite books. Besides simply wanting to immerse myself back into the mastery of Morrison’s writing, I repeatedly return to Sula to contemplate the friendship between Nel and Sula, the issue of betrayal that unfolds within the novel’s plot, and to feel Nel’s grief and long and lasting cry in my own throat and chest in the last lines of the book; the ones that finally set her free: “‘We was girls together…Oh, Lord, Sula,’ she cried, ‘girl, girl, girlgirlgirl,              It was a fine...

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You say: “I’m #antiracist” but do you actually know what that means? Here are some highlights, in case you missed them….

So you say you are #antiracist. Are you ready to commit to what that means? This week’s post breaks from #NastyWomenWriters usual focus on women to allow for timely reconsideration and action on the issues of #BlackLivesMatter, racism in America, important and righteous protests in our streets, police brutality and the call for justice. The book, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, has come to the forefront, and is a leader in the conversation that needs to be had. It is this book I will use and refer to in this post about antiracism. Kendi puts...

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Lorraine Hansberry: A Voice we need NOW! American(1930-1965) By Theresa C. Dintino

Lorraine Hansberry is a National Treasure. We need her voice. Especially now when, as a country we find ourselves so polarized and divided around race and politics. Hers is a voice that speaks fiercely while bridging those gaps, which is at once radical and healing and willing to deal with the complexities of issues rather than deliver empty slogans. She was only 29 in 1959 when her first play, A Raisin In the Sun, opened on Broadway, and won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play of the Year. She was the youngest playwright and first...

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Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre’s Righteous Anger, British (1816-1855)

Jane is plain. Jane is fiery. Jane is passionate. She is outspoken. She will not be controlled. Jane is powerful and articulate but most of all, Jane is angry. Brontë’s character, Jane Eyre, was criticized as unchristian, vulgar, and unfeminine. Jane rails against her position in life—an orphaned, moneyless woman in Victorian England—feeling her lack of options unjust and unfair. Jane thinks thoughts women in the 1840s were not supposed to think.  Thoughts like: I am equal. I wish to be treated as equal. Most of us know this novel was originally published under the pen name Currer Bell,...

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Systemic Racism and the Monsters it Makes of White People

In her book, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers details through exhaustive research the role white women played in the slave trade of the American South. In this intricately detailed book she displays how white women were empowered by being slave owners, and used this power consciously and intentionally to abuse, exploit and often engage in the commerce of black bodies and lives—separating the enslaved from their loved ones—to leverage their position in society and financially advance themselves. In contrast to previously promoted depictions that white women in the...

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The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin: Ambisexuality, both male and female in the same body, explored in a novel written in 1969 by one of the greatest thinkers of our time.

In the preface to the 2019 edition of the novel, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, the second book on my list of Covid-19 reading, David Mitchell, calls Le Guin a “thought experimenter.” One of the thought experiments considered in this novel is, “What if gender was not fixed but serially mutable?”(LHD X). The inhabitants of the planet Gethen, called “Winter” by other planets because of its extreme and constant cold, experience a 26 day cycle where they are androgynous and celibate followed by a 2-3 day cycle of “kemmer”  “where they become sexually active...

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Ona Judge: “I am free, and have, I trust, been made a child of God by that means” American (1773-1848)

Ona Judge’s freedom meant more to her than anything, in spite of what those who chose to enslave her believed. Her life was, in fact, not good as an enslaved woman. Contrary to what many slave owners of the time believed or used as the rationale and excuse to continue to participate in keeping human beings as property, she was not better off being a slave than being free. Ona was enslaved by a prosperous family on their plantation in the colony of Virginia. At age ten Ona, called Oney, was taken into the home and trained to be...

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Mary Ball Washington: The “First Mother” of The United States of America was kinda #Nasty, American (1707-1789)

Mary Ball Washington, the mother of George Washington, first President of the United States of America, has a terrible reputation. She is often depicted as troublesome, irksome and not nice to George. Their relationship is depicted as fraught and unpleasant. One reason for this portrayal is that George was strapped financially and his mother kept asking him for money. This is recorded in some of his letters and in his accounting notes left behind where he begrudges funds given to his elderly mother. But the largest disagreement between them seems to have been that George Washington was a military...

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