Category: james baldwin

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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