Category: ernest j gaines

+

Whiteness in Lila Quintero Weaver’s “Darkroom”: Part I

During the fall semester, a student told me about on of her classes where the professor was using Lila Quintero Weaver’s Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White in the course. The student told me about Weaver’s book, and I immediately became interested in reading it. Finally, I picked up a copy and read it. In Darkroom, Weaver details her family’s experiences during the … Read More Whiteness in Lila Quintero Weaver’s “Darkroom”: Part I

+

Lillian E. Smith Center LibGuide

One of the things I enjoy doing is creating pedagogical materials for educators, students, and the general public. When I worked at the Ernest J. Gaines Center, I collaborated on the center’s LibGuide (library guide). In my position as the director of the Lillian E. Smith Center, I taken on a similar project constructing a LibGuide for Smith and some of her works. Today, … Read More Lillian E. Smith Center LibGuide

+

What keeps us from acting?

Lillian Smith wrote Now is the Time (1955) in reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Smith saw the decision as every child’s Magna Carta, and in Now is the Time, she laid out that in order to move forward, we must act. The book, in essence, as Rose Gladney and Lisa Hodgens put it, “crystallized approximately two decades … Read More What keeps us from acting?

LES Center Videos: II

Last post, I shared some of the brief videos I have made for Twitter. These videos are for the Lillian E. Smith Center’s profile, and each video focuses on some aspect of Smith’s work, usually connecting it to other authors and artists. Today, I want to share a few more of these videos. I will include the scripts I wrote and the videos. Make … Read More LES Center Videos: II

Art and Creation

In “Going Empty,” Dessa writes about filming the music video for her song “Sound the Bells.” She talks about learning to control her breathing to dive underwater amidst Jason deCaires Taylor’s submerged sculptures off the coast of Mexico. She ruminates about her career, writing about the fears that time is rapidly running out on commercial success. She thinks, Yet all my life I’ve been … Read More Art and Creation

+

Current and Future Projects at the Lillian E. Smith Center

Over the past few weeks, I have been settling into my new position as the Director of the Lillian E. Smith Center (LES Center). During this process, I have started to read more of Smith’s work and learned more about her life and social justice work, specifically through the Laurel Falls Camp and during the Civil Rights movement. There is a lot I could … Read More Current and Future Projects at the Lillian E. Smith Center

“I am as good as anybody”: 1619 and American Myths

The reaction to the New York Times 1619 Project has ranged from overwhelming approval to unabashed criticism. This criticism stemmed from those who do not see, or more importantly do not want to see, the ways that race and the institution of chattel slavery has influenced every aspect of our nation from its foundations to the present. The project states that its aim “is … Read More “I am as good as anybody”: 1619 and American Myths

+

The Roots Beneath Our Feet

Currently, I’m working on a paper that looks at the ways that Attica Locke’s The Cutting Season, amongst other things, critiques the plantation tourism industry in the South. As I was researching, I came across Rebecca C. McIntyre’s “Promoting the Gothic South,” an article that explores the ways that travel writers, after the Civil War, began to construct images of the South, specifically in … Read More The Roots Beneath Our Feet

+

History and Education in Alice Walker’s “The Third Life of Grange Copeland”

Today, I’m going to finish the discussion I began last week on history and the ways that we construct meaning. In the last post, I looked at Ernest J. Gaines’ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971). For this post, I will focus on one more scene from Gaines’ novel then move on to look at a section from Alice Walker’s The Third Life … Read More History and Education in Alice Walker’s “The Third Life of Grange Copeland”

+

“Miss Jane is not in them”: Voices in Historical Narratives

Over the past couple of posts, I have written about the role of history and literature in countering prevailing myths about the past and the present. Today, I want to continue that discussion by looking at a couple of scene from Ernest J. Gaines’ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971). On Thursday, I will finish this series by looking at a section from … Read More “Miss Jane is not in them”: Voices in Historical Narratives

+

Why does history matter?

Visiting one of the museums here in Bergen, I walked through the rooms of Edvard Munch’s work, stopping in front of Ungdom (Youth). Ungdom is a large portrait of a boy with a multicolored background behind him that looks, in many ways, like waves. As I started at the portrait, I walked closer and peered at the background near the boy’s right arm and … Read More Why does history matter?

+

I’m the Victim of America’s Sin. I’m What Sin Is.

Over the last couple of posts, I have written about Jeff Nichols’ Loving and the legal constructions of race. Today, I want to conclude that discussion by looking some at Jean Toomer’s Cane (1923) and Ernest J. Gaines’ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971). In each of these texts, published close to fifty years apart, Toomer and Gaines highlight the ways that words … Read More I’m the Victim of America’s Sin. I’m What Sin Is.