“Those piles of ruins which you see in that narrow valley watered by the Nile, are the remains of opulent cities, the pride of
the ancient kingdom of Ethiopia…. There a people, now forgotten, discovered while others were yet barbarians, the elements
of the arts and the sciences. A race of men now rejected from society for their sable skin and frizzled hair, founded on the
study of the laws of nature, those civil and religious systems which still govern the universe.”—
“I feel personally sorrowful about black-white relations a lot of the time because black people have always been used as a buffer in this country between powers to prevent class war, to prevent other kinds of real conflagrations.
If there were no black people here in this country, it would have been Balkanized. The immigrants would have torn each other’s throats out, as they have done everywhere else. But in becoming an American, from Europe, what one has in common with that other immigrant is contempt for me — it’s nothing else but color. Wherever they were from, they would stand together. They could all say, ”I am not that.” So in that sense, becoming an American is based on an attitude: an exclusion of me.
It wasn’t negative to them — it was unifying. When they got off the boat, the second word they learned was ”nigger.” Ask them — I grew up with them. I remember in the fifth grade a smart little boy who had just arrived and didn’t speak any English. He sat next to me. I read well, and I taught him to read just by doing it. I remember the moment he found out that I was black — a nigger. It took him six months; he was told. And that’s the moment when he belonged, that was his entrance. Every immigrant knew he would not come as the very bottom. He had to come above at least one group — and that was us.”—Toni Morrison, on bridging the abyss between sexes, classes, and races. (via howtobeterrell)
Signal Boost: DC Area: Call for Authors, Call for Poets
Greetings! My name is Rashid Darden. I am a novelist and a member of Gamma Xi Phi, the professional fraternity for men and women in the arts. I am writing you today to ask for your help in securing novelists and poets for two upcoming events. Please consider participating yourself or forwarding this email to someone who might. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Event #1: A Novel Affair
On Saturday, November 15, 2014, from 1pm-4pm at the Greater Tried Stone Baptist Church in Columbia Heights (tentative location), GXP will be hosting between 5-7 novelists who have volunteered to read excerpts from their novels and provide encouraging remarks to novelists and aspiring novelists. This event is in conjunction with other FREE National Novel Writing Month activities across the city.
We are looking for published novelists - traditional, independent/self, and small press are all welcome. Three have already confirmed and we would like no more than four additional novelists. The novelists and/or their publishers will also have the opportunity to sell their works at the event.
Interested novelists should contact Rashid Darden at email@example.com no later than August 31, 2014.
Event #2: Living Black History - A Poetic Teach-In
On Saturday, February 28, 2015 from 2pm to 7pm at the Greater Tried Stone Baptist Church in Columbia Heights (tentative location), GXP will be hosting a poetic teach-in to honor Black History Month. We are recruiting a combination of local poetry professors, English teachers, and working poets to lecture, teach, and perform in 20-minute blocks. The purpose of this FREE community event is to highlight the contributions of black poets to the literary and cultural landscape.
We have many slots available but want to have a balance of seasoned poetic veterans and new/emerging poets. Although this is not a competition, slam teams are just as welcome as individual written poets.
Interested poets and poetry educators should contact Rashid Darden at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than November 30, 2014.
For more about Gamma Xi Phi, please visit www.gammaxiphi.org or www.facebook.com/GammaXiPhi. The chapter in Washington, DC is home to the first national president of the fraternity as well as working writers, photographers, and performing artists.
“Most of the world’s exploited labor comes from women. Women work in the sweatshops and the giant factories. Women sow and tend and harvest the world’s crops. Women carry and birth and raise children. Women wash and clean and shop and cook. Women care for the sick and the elderly. All of this - layer upon layer of labor - is what makes human society possible. Ripping it off is what makes capitalism possible.”—Exodus and Reconstruction: Working-Class Women at the Heart of Globalization (via amodernmanifesto)