Grappling with Black deaths, tackling Western literary thought, celebrating Ramadan, and more.
June 19, 2015
Art and writing are crucial to the fight for social justice. In this week’s link roundup, writers condemn an anti-Black shooting, a new exhibit addresses sexual assault, and a series of articles lambasts avant-garde poetry’s race problem. In the midst of it all, celebrate the beginning of Ramadan, kick back with Kendrick Lamar, and have a laugh with Margaret Cho. All this and more below!
Today is Juneteenth, a day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Yet Black lives are still in danger: on Wednesday night, a white gunman killed nine members of a Black bible study at a historic African Methodist Episcopal church. Arielle Newton asks us to “[n]ame this massacre appropriately.” Jelani Cobb writes about the implications of the word “sanctuary” for Black Christians.
Ram Devineni and Vikas K. Menon’s interactive exhibit empowering sexual assault survivors is open at New York’s City Lore until November 30. If you can’t make the exhibit, check out “Priya’s Shakti” online for free.
Our movement is “is not leaderless, it is leader-full,” writes Barbara Ransby, reflecting on #BlackLivesMatter for Colorlines. Ransby is responding to Jay Caspian King’s New York Times article from May.
Wednesday marked the first day of Ramadan, a month of fasting and deep reflection. Linda Sarsour reflects on a turbulent year for Muslim Americans.
Kendrick Lamar’s birthday also fell on Wednesday! Lamar visited a school in New Jersey last week after a high school English teacher taught his latest album, “To Pimp a Butterfly,” alongside Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.
Did you read Ken Chen’s piece breaking down Conceptual Poetry’s problems with race? John Yau also criticizes the movement’s claims of “post-identity” as part of the Boston Review’s series on “Race and the Poetic Avant-Garde”.
Anjum Hasan ponders contemporary Indian writing’s relationship to “imaginativeness”, a literary norm long set by Western writers in English.
Need a laugh after this heavy week? Check out Margaret Cho’s interview with (our officemates!) Guernica Magazine.
This week’s roundup was compiled by editorial interns Janice Ko, Ariel Chu, Holly Hensley, and Arnav Adhikari.