Tag: Race

Exile by the Bay

Imagining home is an inescapable preoccupation of disinherited people. Of all the possessions lost or denied, none is more precious than the security and feeling of belonging that a genuine home ...

The Breaks of History

Ralph Ellison once suggested that “living with music” provides us with “an orientation in time.” Music, in other words, helps us locate and anchor ourselves within a history that exceeds us. Living ...

Africa “Without Amnesia”

Responses to the idea of a “post-racial” society usually follow a certain script. In most progressive circles in the US, the notion is dismissed as fantasy or delusion. In southern Africa, and ...

A Black Counternarrative

Master narratives become the background music of our lives, undercurrents so ingrained that the violence they often engender is rendered unremarkable. One master narrative is the tale we tell about ...

Impossible Belonging

If the sharp end of critique’s job is to name injury, then it also has a soft lining that is oriented around recovery and repair. Even if a particular critical project stays with injury rather than ...

Power, Poison, Pain, and Joy

Sitting atop a police car beneath an oversized American flag, Kendrick Lamar opened the 2015 BET awards with his single “Alright.” “We hate the po-po ...

Our Drugs, Ourselves

Is the term “drugs” still meaningful? Many of us would confess to being at least mildly dependent on some substance, be it single-origin coffee or Sancerre, antidepressants or anti-inflammatories ...

Michelle Obama’s Embrace

I told Michelle Obama that I admired Becoming for its courage, honesty, risk taking, and optimism. But my admiration went further, because in her story I had seen myself, and not just in the book’s main character ...