Category: james baldwin

Christianity, Ross Barnett, and White Supremacy: Part II

Note: This is the second part of “Christianity, Ross Barnett, and White Supremacy.” Let’s look back at Romans 13, you know, the chapter that enslavers and the current administration have used to justify slavery and separating families at the border. What gets left out, of course, are verses 8-10 where Paul tells the Roman Christians “to love one another, for whoever loves others has … Read More Christianity, Ross Barnett, and White Supremacy: Part II

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Christianity, Ross Barnett, and White Supremacy: Part I

About halfway through Take this Hammer, James Baldwin stands outside of a burned-out St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco in 1963. Baldwin’s guide tells him about the fire that burned the building, and he tells Baldwin that as a result of the fire “the Catholic Church was able to raise fifteen million dollars to build another cathedral” in only nine months. Baldwin laughs and … Read More Christianity, Ross Barnett, and White Supremacy: Part I

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Adjectives Are the Enemies of Nouns

This semester in the LES Studies Course, we just finished Jennine Capó Crucet’s My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education. Crucet’s essays, in relation to what we have read from Lillian Smith and Ibram X. Kendi provide countless points for discussion, and I today I want to focus on one of those points: the ways that labels define others and construct … Read More Adjectives Are the Enemies of Nouns

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Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisn in the Sun” Lecture: Part I

My final lecture last fall for the American literature course at the University of Bergen was on Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. A couple of years ago, I wrote about the presence of Big Walter on stage during a performance in Boston that was directed by Liesl Tommy. As well, I have discussed my other lectures fro the American Literature class: Introductory … Read More Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisn in the Sun” Lecture: Part I

David Walker’s “Cyborg” and Identity: Part II

Last post, I started looking at David Walker’s Cyborg, and I noted that his arc, “Unplugged,” is not an origin story about how Victor Stone became Cyborg. Instead, it is an arc chronicling how Victor Stone, as Cyborg, becomes Victor Stone. It’s an arc tracing how Victor Stone becomes visible to his family and society. It’s an arc that, at its core, encapsulates the … Read More David Walker’s “Cyborg” and Identity: Part II

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“African American Literature and the American West” Syllabus

The photo above is of the head of Canyon de Chelly by Timothy O’Sullivan.  For my dissertation, I explored the connections between the ways that African American, Native American, and white women authors used Scottish Enlightenment rhetoric to argue for their positions within the body politic of the United States. One of the key aspects that arose from the dissertation was the ways that African American and … Read More “African American Literature and the American West” Syllabus

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Privilege, History, and Reality in James Baldwin’s “Blues for Mister Charlie”

If you enjoy what you read here at Interminable Rambling, think about making a contribution on our Patreon page.  The conversation between Meridian Henry and Parnell James at the end of Act I in James Baldwin’s Blues for Mister Charlie, highlights some of the key aspects of the play that I discussed in my last post. Specifically, the conversation addresses issues of privilege, the … Read More Privilege, History, and Reality in James Baldwin’s “Blues for Mister Charlie”

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Poison in James Baldwin’s “Blues for Mister Charlie”

If you enjoy what you read here at Interminable Rambling, think about making a contribution on our Patreon page.  This semester, I’m teaching James Baldwin’s Blues for Mister Charlie (1964). As I reread Baldwin’s play, a couple of items stuck out to me. The first item that caught my attention was the continual references to poison or disease throughout the text, in relation to … Read More Poison in James Baldwin’s “Blues for Mister Charlie”

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Some Reflections on CLA 2018

In Tuesday’s post, I took the time to expand upon some thoughts, ideas, and advice for scholars and students attending academic conferences. The anecdotes I shared arose out of my experiences at this years College Language Association (CLA) convention in Chicago. Today, I want to take a moment and reflect upon some of the amazing papers that I had the opportunity to hear at … Read More Some Reflections on CLA 2018

Getting Ready for Next Year in Norway

As I get ready to head to the University of Bergen in August, I have started to think about ways to discuss issues of race in America’s history. Brianne Jaquette’s piece, “Fulbright Workshop: Black Lives Matter, Part One,” sparked these thoughts, and her discussions about how Europeans talk about race differently than we do here in America. This is important for me to consider, … Read More Getting Ready for Next Year in Norway

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Dwayne McDuffie’s “Deathlok” and Language

This past year, I have delved into comics more than I ever have in my life. This journey, ignited by some work I have done recently and the upcoming Black Panther film, has introduced me to various writers, artists, and characters that I had never heard of before. These texts approach topics such as race in nuanced ways that echo the “literary” texts that … Read More Dwayne McDuffie’s “Deathlok” and Language

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“African American Literature and the American South” Syllabus

Occasionally, I post syllabi ideas here on the blog. Today, I want to share a syllabus I have been thinking about recently entitled “African American Literature and the American South.” The South, as a geographic and imaginary space, looms large in the works of not just African American authors but in writers of all ethnic backgrounds from the United States. Maryemma Graham discusses the … Read More “African American Literature and the American South” Syllabus