Category: brother ali

Divide and Conquer: Part II

Last post, I started writing about the ways that the wealthy work to divide and conquer by stoking false fears and false hopes in those below them, separating individuals from one another. Keri Leigh Merritt details how this game plan worked during the Antebellum period, and after Emancipation and the Civil War, she notes that while land access opened to poor whites, most of … Read More Divide and Conquer: Part II

Divide and Conquer: Part I

I’ve always known that rhetoric, speech, and writing serve as weapons to sever communities or as tools to bring them together. Because of this, I know that individuals in power will use that weapon to keep individuals below separate through demonizing one group and promising hopes to the other. This has occurred throughout history, and in regard to race in America, it has occurred … Read More Divide and Conquer: Part I


Top Five Posts of 2017!

Back in August 2015, I started Interminable Rambling as a space for me to write about, and reflect upon, topics I was teaching, my pedagogical practices, my research, and my thoughts about popular culture. Since that first post in 2015, I have published 235 posts (two a week) for the past two and a half years. The experience of maintaining this blog has helped … Read More Top Five Posts of 2017!

Propaganda’s “Precious Puritans”and How We Teach the Puritans

Opening with discordant strings and followed by stomps and chains, Propaganda’s “Precious Puritans” challenges the teachings and thoughts of the Puritans, a group we typically teach every semester in our classrooms. When the song initially appeared in 2012, there were discussions online surrounding the song, specifically within a Christian context. (To see those see Thabiti Anyabwile’s post on the song. He has links to the … Read More Propaganda’s “Precious Puritans”and How We Teach the Puritans

Brother Ali’s “The Travelers” and Early American Literature

 Brother Ali’s “The Travelers,” from his 2009 album US, serves as a way to bridge the gap, for students, between Early American literature and their current existence. Typically, I share this song with students to give them a contemporary perspective on the Middle Passage as we read Olaudah Equiano’s Narrative. The first verse provides a graphic picture of the Middle Passage then the life of … Read More Brother Ali’s “The Travelers” and Early American Literature

Brother Ali and P.O.S. and the American Dream

The past couple of posts have touched on the American Dream, and after talking about Lecrae’s “Welcome to America,” I want to take the opportunity to share a couple of more songs with you that may be beneficial when discussing the topic with students in the classroom. The first song is Brother Ali’s “Only Life I Know.” In the video above, Ali breaks down … Read More Brother Ali and P.O.S. and the American Dream

Arna Bontemps’s "Drums at Dusk" and the Middle Passage

Over the past few months, I’ve been reading the works of Arna Bontemps. Just recently, I finished Drums at Dusk, Bontemps’s 1939 novel about the Haitian Revolution. Rather than focusing entirely on Toussaint and the slave rebellion as he did with Gabriel Proser in Black Thunder, the novel centers on white Creoles and their response to the opening moments of the revolution. Some of the … Read More Arna Bontemps’s "Drums at Dusk" and the Middle Passage